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Free Fun In Brisbane For All Ages

Ben Hall

From free exhibitions and cinema screenings, to recreational sports and wellbeing events, Brisbane has something for everyone. And in more good news, an impressive lineup of its key attractions are free for visitors. If you’re visiting during the summer months, be sure to have a swim at Streets Beach at South Bank. This huge beach-style lagoon, nestled in the middle of the city, is popular with both visitors and locals keen for a dip in between sightseeing, shopping or work. The air-conditioned halls of the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art can also provide some welcomed respite from the summer heat. There are two quite distinct galleries which showcase world-class art exhibitions, and which are more often than not free to see. The little red CityHopper boats, which cruise from one side of the river to the other, travel between the Sydney Street terminal in New Farm Park and North Quay in the CBD; to ride it is free, and a great way to see the city from the water. On Sundays, you can head to the Brisbane Powerhouse to enjoy Livewired Comedy, an hour of free, funny and surprising comedy starting from 5pm. Brisbane locals love their farmers’ markets too, and on weekends almost every suburb has one. Just a few to put on your must-visit list include Saturday’s Davies Park Market, the Jan Powers Powerhouse Markets, and the Jan Powers City Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays in the CBD. Brisbane is also home to Australia’s largest free live music program, with local and touring bands and artists performing every week on stages located in the Queen Street Mall, Post Office Square and South Bank among other locations.  

Built between 1920 and 1930, the heritage-listed Brisbane City Hall was the tallest building in the city until 1960. Today, however, visitors benefit from free guided tours up the old city hall clock tower. Departing every 15 minutes during opening hours, you also get to ride in the original lift to enjoy a bird’s-eye view over King George Square and the buildings that now tower over it. If you love animals, you can explore the natural world through the Queensland Museum’s Discovery Centre and Wild State exhibitions, with general admission to the museum free of charge. For spectacular views of the Brisbane’s city skyline and the sunrise, jump in a car before dawn and drive up Mt Coot-tha. And for a spot of retail therapy, coupled with great people watching, Queen Street Mall is located in the heart of Brisbane City, and the best place to do it, and see the city’s best street style. You can also enjoy encounters with koalas south of Brisbane at the Daisy Hill Koala Centre, which is home to a education koalas which can’t be released back into the wild. Entry is free, and as the centre sits within Daisy Conservation Park, you can also enjoy a walk through the nearby bushland. 

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