Living in Inner City Brisbane: Top 7 Fun Lifestyle Activities

Hey there! I used to live in Kangaroo Point, I really enjoyed living along the river and the inner city lifestyle, as well as being a short drive to beaches and the countryside. It was one of the most vibrant, relaxing and exciting places to call home. Here are some of my favorite activities and spots that made living in Brisbane so memorable.

1. South Bank Parklands

South Bank Parklands was one of my go-to spots, whether for a relaxing day out or a fun-filled adventure with friends.

Streets Beach: This man-made beach in the heart of the city is absolutely perfect for those hot Brisbane days. I loved spending lazy afternoons here, cooling off in the water and soaking up the sun.

 Cultural Venues: The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Queensland Museum, and the State Library of Queensland were regular haunts for me. They always have fascinating exhibitions and events.

Dining: The riverfront dining options are fantastic. From casual eateries to high-end restaurants, South Bank has it all. I particularly enjoyed the weekend markets, where you can find amazing local produce and unique artisanal goods.

Entertainment: The Wheel of Brisbane offers stunning views, especially at sunset. South Bank also hosts various festivals, concerts, and outdoor movie nights, making it a lively place to visit any time of the year.

2. Cycle or Walk Along the Brisbane Riverwalk

The Brisbane Riverwalk is perfect for staying active while enjoying the city’s natural beauty.

Cycling: Renting a share bike (or scooter) and riding along the river was one of my favorite activities. The scenic views of the city skyline and the Story Bridge are simply breathtaking.

Walking: The Riverwalk is equally great for a leisurely stroll or jog. With plenty of benches and shaded spots, it’s an ideal place to unwind. I loved jogging here during the early evenings – the city views are amazing and can be reached from Kangaroo Point.

Water Activities: Kayaking or paddleboarding on the Brisbane River offers a unique perspective of the city. There are several rental spots and guided tours available, making it easy to explore the river.

3. Discover Fortitude Valley’s Nightlife

Fortitude Valley, or “The Valley,” is Brisbane’s nightlife hub and was my favorite place for a night out.

Live Music: The live music scene in The Valley is incredible. Venues like The Tivoli and The Triffid host fantastic gigs, and there’s always something happening. I discovered so many great bands and artists there.

Bars and Clubs: The Valley is packed with trendy bars and clubs. Whether you want to enjoy cocktails at a rooftop bar with stunning city views or dance the night away at an underground club, The Valley has something for everyone. Felon’s is just across the Story bridge and has a lot of good food options and lawn seating great for a lazy weekend afternoon with a great view of the story bridge and the city.

Dining: The food scene in The Valley is just as vibrant as the nightlife. From gourmet restaurants to street food stalls, there’s so much to explore. Chinatown is a must-visit for authentic Asian cuisine.

4. Visit the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

The Brisbane City Botanic Gardens was my go-to spot for some peace and tranquility in the city.

Gardens: Wandering through the beautifully landscaped gardens was always a treat. With exotic rainforest trees and colorful flowerbeds, it’s a perfect place to relax and recharge.

River Access: The gardens are situated along the Brisbane River, offering picturesque views. Sometimes I’d bring a kayak and paddle along the river or take a river cruise to see the city from a different angle.

Events and Activities: The Botanic Gardens host various events like guided walks, workshops, and outdoor yoga classes. It was always fun to join in on these activities and meet new people.

5. Shop and Dine at Queen Street Mall

Queen Street Mall is an outdoor / indoor shopping & dining area in the heart of the city.

Shopping: The mall has everything you need, from high-end boutiques to local shops. I loved wandering around and discovering unique items.

Dining: The dining options are endless, from casual cafes to fine dining. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a gourmet meal, you’ll find it here. The mall often has live entertainment, which adds to the lively atmosphere, too.

6. Escape to the Sunshine and Gold Coasts

One of the best things about living in Brisbane is its proximity to some of Australia’s most beautiful coastal areas.

Sunshine Coast: Just a short drive north, the Sunshine Coast is perfect for a day trip or weekend getaway. I loved visiting places like Noosa, with its stunning beaches, great surf, and vibrant dining scene. The coastal walks and national parks are fantastic for hiking and spotting wildlife.

Gold Coast: Head south, and you’ll find the Gold Coast, famous for its surf beaches, theme parks, and nightlife. Surfers is always bustling with energy, and the beachfront markets are great for a stroll. I also enjoyed exploring the hinterland, with its rainforests and scenic lookouts.

7. Hiking in the Glass House Mountains

If you love the outdoors, you’ll find plenty of hiking opportunities around Brisbane, and the Glass House Mountains are a standout.

Hiking Trails: The Glass House Mountains offer a range of trails for all levels of hikers. Mount Ngungun is one of my favorites, with a relatively easy climb and rewarding views from the top. It’s a great spot for a sunrise hike.

Nature and Wildlife: The area is rich in natural beauty and wildlife. Keep an eye out for native birds and enjoy the tranquility of the forests. The hiking trails are well-marked and maintained, making it a safe and enjoyable experience.

Day Trips: The Glass House Mountains are just an hour’s drive from Brisbane, making them perfect for a day trip. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day immersed in nature.

Final Thoughts

Living in inner-city Brisbane was an absolute joy – something I’ll definitely do again! The city’s vibrant energy and endless activities made every day an adventure. Whether you’re exploring cultural venues, enjoying the nightlife, taking day trips to the coast, or hiking in the mountains, there’s always something fun to do. Brisbane is a fantastic place to live. If you ever get the chance to experience it, I highly recommend it!

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