There are many ways to explore the Brisbane River, from zipping along the riverfront on a bike or Segway tour or strolling through nearby neighborhoods to soaring overhead in a helicopter. You can set sail on a dinner cruise, or combine a sightseeing cruise with a visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Active travelers can do some kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, enjoy unbeatable views on a Story Bridge climb, and enjoy the Brisbane Riverwalk.
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Things to Know Before You Go
A Brisbane River cruise is a great way for first-time visitors to see the city’s sights and get their bearings.
It can get chilly along the river at night, so bring warm clothing if traveling on an open-air boat; sunscreen is a must for daytime cruisers.
Most boat cruises are wheelchair accessible, but it’s best to check in advance.
How to Get There
Wherever you are in the city, you’re rarely more than a 15-minute walk from the riverfront. The easiest (and cheapest) way to navigate the Brisbane River is using the CityCat ferries, which stop at 24 different ferry terminals through the city. Bikeways and walkways wind along the river’s banks in most places, and there are five pedestrian bridges to help you make your way between the north and south banks.
When to Get There
Brisbane River cruises and CityCat ferries run regularly all year round, but for the most atmospheric views, opt for a sunset sightseeing cruise or a night cruise. In December, you can also book a Christmas cruise to admire the waterfront holiday lights or watch New Years Eve fireworks from the water.
Brisbane’s Riverside Attractions
Many of Brisbane’s most popular attractions are located along the river’s banks. For the best views, take a ride on the Wheel of Brisbane, or hike up to Kangaroo Point Cliffs. On the South Bank, you can take a swim at the Streets Beach lagoon, browse the weekend Collective Markets, and visit the Queensland Maritime Museum. In the evening, head to Eagle Street Pier for dinner or drinks looking out over the illuminated riverfront.