Things to do in Brisbane

Top Viewpoints in Brisbane

Make your Brisbane experience unforgettable as we take you on a trip to the city’s best vantage points and attractions.

Drenched in sunlight and brimming with culture, Brisbane might not be Australia’s most famous city, but it’s easily one of its most charming, modern, and beautiful.

Whether you adventure through Brisbane’s breathtaking parks and green spaces or fix your eyes skyward to the tall buildings that glimmer under a dazzling blue sky, gorgeous sights will surround you.

As exciting as it can be to explore the landscape and find things to do in Brisbane as you go, the city’s larger than you’d expect. So, if you’re looking for relaxation, thrills, and lasting memories in the capital of Australia’s sunshine state, don’t miss these dreamy hot spots.

Mountain and Hill Views

See the city stretch out, melting into the horizon. The view is better from up high.

1. Bartley’s Hill Reserve

A favorite spot of photographers and nature lovers, Bartley’s Hill Reserve overlooks most of Brisbane. You get a picturesque blend of urban and natural views. While it’s an incredible spot for sightseeing now, the reserve was originally where the influential Bartley family decided to build their home.

However, not everything went according to plan. At that time, Bartley’s Hill may have been the highest point in the neighborhood, but it was also the most isolated. Little surrounded the family’s home aside from beautiful views and bushland.

After Mr. Bartley’s wife refused to live there, the eccentric castle-like house affectionately became known as "Bartley’s Folley.” Eventually, Brisbane’s growth led to its suburbs spreading over a larger area, and the hill was acquired for a new water reservoir. It also became an important observation point during World War II.

2. Mount Coot-tha Lookout

We’re not afraid of heights. After all, it’s at the top of a somersault when we look down at our fans and expect to see the biggest grins and the most excitement. Likewise, if panoramic views of Brisbane are what you’re looking for, there’s no better spot than the Mount Coot-tha Lookout — the city’s highest vantage point.

On a clear day, you can see all the way to Moreton Bay from the top of the lookout, so it’s easy to see why the spot is so popular. However, Mount Coot-tha itself is a bushland reserve with tranquil surroundings from all angles.

If you’re up for the challenge, take one of the hiking trails up the mountain to truly immerse yourself in this ancient land, preserved right on the edge of the gleaming metropolis.

Photographer: seb.

3. Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Before Brisbane existed, indigenous tribes revered Mount Coot-tha as a land of bounty. They’d travel to the region to enjoy honey from stingless bees and gather other delicious fare from the land.

In many ways, the area is a gift that just keeps giving. Beyond the lookout and bushlands that exist there today, you’ll find one of the city’s most iconic attractions: Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

As dreamy as it is to be surrounded by so much natural beauty, the true highlight of the botanic gardens is the diverse gardens on show. Leaving the city and walking through bushland, you’d never normally expect to stumble upon a bonsai house or a bamboo grove. Kids also love the hide-and-seek trail set within a rainforest.

4. D’Aguilar National Park

If the humid, sunny weather didn’t give it away, Brisbane sits in a subtropical region of Queensland. This environment offers an entirely different experience from Sydney or Melbourne’s temperate climate. However, the best way to embrace the warm weather and truly appreciate the land is to head just north of the city to D’Aguilar National Park.

Spanning nearly 40,000 ha, D’Aguilar National Park feels worlds away from the noise of the city. Here, old eucalypti woodlands sprawl as far as the eye can see, offering a taste of what Brisbane would have looked like before the city was born.

Hike, bike, or set off on horseback. The park’s beauty is best experienced with friends and family around a roaring campfire or a delicious picnic lunch. Just watch those trees for drop bears.

Water Views

The Brisbane River winds through the city while Moreton Bay straddles it to the east, creating enchanting waterfront scenery.

5. Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

Gaze out across the entire city from one of the best natural lookouts in Brisbane. Forged through violent volcanic eruptions, the cliffs at Kangaroo Point reflect a world in constant flux. Today, Australia experiences relatively little seismic activity, so this Brisbane tuff rock offers a unique glimpse into the land’s past.

Sitting atop the heights, just across the Brisbane River, Kangaroo Point Cliffs offers a bird's-eye view of the entire city skyline flush against the waterfront. When night falls, everything becomes more captivating. The reflections of streetlights and the moon cascade across the landscape like a shimmering ballet across an urban stage.

Photographer: 5. Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park

6. Roma Street Parkland

Whether it’s by train, bus, or ferry, many people who visit Brisbane move through Roma Street because it’s where most of the city’s public transportation network converges. The street has a thrilling energy as excited travelers dart between crowds, scuttling toward restaurants and shops.

However, while Roma Street itself may be one of the city’s busiest hot spots, it’s also home to a tranquil oasis — Roma Street Parkland. Imagine a kaleidoscope of colorful flowers all blooming in unison within the aptly named Spectacle Garden and wide green spaces where you can relax and enjoy a picnic.

Everywhere you go in the park, you’re greeted by water features, innovative horticulture, and beautiful sculptures. However, if you’re looking for more excitement, you can also take a train ride around the entire park.

7. South Bank Parklands

If there’s a place in Brisbane where the diverse cultures that weave through Australia really coalesce into something fun and amazing, it’s South Bank Parklands. Set against the riverside, the parklands are home to restaurants that serve vibrant Asian, Italian, and Indian cuisine alongside the contemporary Australian dishes Brisbane is famous for.

South Bank Parklands is also among the city’s most beautiful destinations. Walk along the river and see the other side of the town teetering toward the sky across the shore. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture selfies when the golden hour hits.

However, if we had to pick, we’d say the best way to really capitalize on this viewpoint is to take in its unique sights. Head through the rainforest walk, and you’ll emerge near the Nepalese Peace Pagoda. Then, it’s only a short walk to a Ferris wheel that overlooks the entire area.

8. Goodwill Bridge

There’s a kind of duality in Brisbane. The city's north represents history and tradition, while the south is more youthful and dynamic. The Brisbane River separates both sides.

While there are many ways to cross the river, you can bob along in one of the city’s daily ferry services. However, traveling on foot or bicycle over Goodwill Bridge may be the most romantic way because it positions you at eye level with the river.

The view from the middle of this pedestrian bridge is the most captivating, especially during sunrise or sunset when golden rays wash over your surroundings.

Photographer: KWANSOON

9. Streets Beach

South Bank isn’t just a place to explore culture and dine out. It’s also a community playground where people come to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

But there’s one iconic South Bank destination that feels more like the shores of Bondi than a typical beach in Brisbane. Of course, that’s intentional. The unusual design of Streets Beach comes from its unique conception. Where there’s now golden sand and a lagoon, at one time, there was only a river.

The Streets ice cream company saw an opportunity when the city built a museum and other cultural attractions along South Bank. It sponsored the creation of this entirely artificial inland beach.

Even if you don’t enjoy swimming, walking along the shore of the lagoon will set your mind at ease. It’s easy to forget your worries among emerald-green lawns and the cheery palm trees that line the area.

10. Wilson Outlook Reserve

If you’re looking for a Brisbane viewpoint that exudes romance and intimacy, Wilson Outlook Reserve definitely fits the bill. Stroll across the lush greens while the jacarandas are in bloom to see the landscape draped in a carpet of beautiful purple petals.

You're in for an incredible treat when you reach the edge of the park’s lookout point. Wilson Outlook Reserve overlooks a substantial portion of the Brisbane River and lets you soak in panoramic views of the city skyline.

However, Story Bridge stands out most of all. During the day, sunlight reflects across its shimmering steel facade. When evening rolls around, the ambiance transitions from natural to artificial as the bridge lights up and car headlights' distant glow pulses with the night's rhythm.

11. Enoggera Reservoir Circuit

Despite the fearsome reputation Australia’s wildlife has earned, most of the native critters simply want to bask in the sun on a comfortable rock or tree branch. At least, that’s the case for the kookaburras you might see while hiking along the Enoggera Reservoir Circuit.

The circuit traces along the Enoggera Dam — Brisbane’s oldest reservoir. As you make your way through the subtropical rainforest, you’ll be flanked by tall eucalyptus trees where koalas make their homes.

On the other side, the dam is often abuzz with activity as locals come to swim and kayak. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a platypus sauntering along the shoreline or a kingfisher diving for a quick meal.


Architectural wonders take Brisbane into the sky, where tall buildings mingle among the clouds for all to watch.

12. Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower

Glance up from the streets of King George Square, and the horizon is dominated by the Brisbane City Hall Clock Tower. Its timeless elegance makes it feel right at home in the middle of the city, surrounded by its more modern brethren. This is partly due to its distinctive sandstone construction, which never goes out of fashion.

As beautiful as the Clock Tower is from the outside, the view from its lofty heights is awe-inspiring. To view the inside, you need to book a Museum of Brisbane Clock Tower Tour. Your journey begins outside City Hall, greeted by 14-meter-high Corinthian columns as you approach.

Inside, you’ll ascend to the top in an old-fashioned cage lift. This relic of the past carries you up to the interior of the clock face, where you get to see the tower’s inner workings. Then, there’s that moment of anticipation and suspense as you make the final ascent to the observation platform that overlooks Brisbane.

13. The Wheel of Brisbane

The Wheel of Brisbane is sometimes affectionately referred to as the "Eye of Brisbane" in parallel to its cousin, the London Eye. It's one of the most iconic Brisbane landmarks and one of the most visually stunning. This is the closest you might come to feeling the same thrill our performers do when leaping into an aerial pirouette.

Watch the length of the river come into view as you slowly ascend to the top, 60 m in the air. Brisbane’s tallest buildings stretch out as far as the eye can see from these lofty heights while gardens and parklands encircle you from below.

During sunset, you can even make the experience more memorable with a double ride around the wheel and a cool drink in hand.

Photographer: hynick

14. Highgate Hill Park

Sit down and relax while the gentle sound of rustling leaves and bird calls envelop you. Overhead, Moreton Bay fig trees sway in the wind — the perfect backdrop for quiet reflection or reading. That’s the kind of atmosphere Highgate Hill Park has, but it’s also one of the best lookouts in Brisbane.

Due to the park's elevation, much of the city can be seen. Rolling hills near your feet meander on for ages, the lush greenery giving way to breathtaking views of the skyline and misty mountains piercing the horizon.

Centering your shots within the heritage-listed rotunda, which serves as this quaint park’s most memorable focal point, provides gorgeous framing for a photo shoot.

15. New Farm Park

In the 1800s, much of Brisbane was little more than farmland. However, it’s unlikely people expected just how beloved one particular parcel of agricultural land would become when it was acquired nearly a century later for a public park. New Farm Park has endured since 1914, making it Brisbane’s oldest park.

It’s also possibly the most stately, with its maintained rose gardens bursting into bloom and stunning fig trees casting shadows over expansive green lawns. At one point or another, the park has watched silently over weddings, markets, and festivals.

New Farm Park has woven its way into much of the city’s history, so it’s the ideal spot to end your journey through Brisbane. What was once farmland transformed into a bustling metropolis, and the city continues to evolve.

If you want to learn more about the city's history, drop by one of the many museums in Brisbane.

Photographer: Michael

Brisbane’s Unforgettable Views

From grand old historic sites, such as the City Hall Clock Tower, to modern marvels, such as Goodwill Bridge, viewpoints in Brisbane frame the city in different ways. It’s impossible to appreciate everything such a vibrant city has to offer without visiting several. Of course, that’s all the more reason to extend your trip.

When the sun dips over the horizon, painting the city in hues of fiery orange and amber, Brisbane doesn’t go quietly into the night. It transforms into our stage, where imagination runs amok, and the air is alive with anticipation. Watch as the lines between fantasy and reality blur and the impossible becomes possible.

Come see our shows in Brisbane before you leave. Dreams take flight, and the extraordinary unfolds!

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