Top three family friendly things to do in Brisbane

May 3, 2015

Do you head north or south when the temperature takes a dip? We are a sun loving family, so as the leaves were turning golden for autumn and the mornings and nights turned chilly in Canberra we headed north for school term break. First stop was Queensland’s capital Brisbane for some sun and Tweeny’s first pop concert.

Brisbane was not initially on the itinerary for term break, we were originally headed to the Gold Coast to enjoy some beach time but a Demi Lovato concert was calling Tweeny’s name so we made a two day stop in Brisbane beforehand and I am glad we did.

Not only was the sun shining for the duration of our stay but we discovered that Brisbane is very family friendly and vibrant city with so much to do and lots of free public amenities, art and urban spaces to explore.

We had no trouble filling in our two days with some most excellent eating, walking, swimming and sightseeing in Brisbane.

Our top three family friendly things to do in Brisbane

Eat a doughnut

No really try one of the unique flavours on offer at Doughnut Time. This hole in the wall establishment offering up irresistible flavours such as “Ya bacon me Crazy”& “Back for S’more” is a perfect little vacation treat. Be warned the doughnuts are delicious and addictive (we visited three times during our stay)!

Some of the doughnuts we tried over our THREE visits to Doughnut Time

Located at 39 Alfred St, Fortitude Valley

South Bank

Before visiting, I thought South Bank was a little touristy enclave in Brisbane full of over-priced restaurants and tourist only attractions – was I wrong! Firstly South Bank is enormous, located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River; it is 17 hectares of lush parklands, with a plethora of diverse restaurants and eateries, stunning river views, museums, galleries, an urban beach and the city’s convention centre.

In our day at South Bank, we lunched on American style hot dogs and wings at The Manhattan Line.

The wings and corn were my favourite at The Manhattan Line

Followed by a swim at Australia's only beach in the middle of the city, Streets Beach is a unique, man-made swimming beach, overlooking the CBD.

White sand, blue water all in the middle of the city

Complete with crystal-clear lagoon, white-sand beaches, palm trees, pebbled creeks and shady shallows surrounded by subtropical trees and exotic plantings it was quite a fun  (and free) experience on a hot day.
Refreshed after a quick swim we dried off and changed and headed to Queensland Art Gallery – Gallery of ModernArt, which has free entry. We got to experience the Obliteration Room by artist Yayoi Kusama before the exhibition closed. Upon entering the room everyone is given a sheet of colourful sticker dots to decorate the room as you see fit. Nothing was off limits; you could decorate the furniture, walls and floors. Amazing!! If you missed out on contributing to the room, staff were sure the exhibition would make another appearance in a few years.

One of the brilliant exhibitions at QAGOMA

We returned to South Bank in the evening for the big Demi Lovato concert at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, which Tweeny loved!

Eagle Street Pier

Great place to head for a bit of a fancy meal and spectacular views of Brisbane River & Story Bridge. After wondering through the shops in Brisbane’s CBD we were in the mood for less hustle & bustle for lunch and splurged on a meal at Pony Dining at Eagle Street Pier. Sitting on the balcony taking in the views and their famous wood smoked lamb shoulder was a divine way to end our last day in Brisbane.

Lovely Brisbane lunch time view

Located at Upper Level, Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane

Getting there

We flew direct with Qantas from Canberra.  The two hour flight went quickly with the all the free wonderful movie options available on that route.


We stayed at the Pavilion on Brookes a lovely small development featuring brand new fully self contained apartments with secure undercover parking, the bonus of free wi-fi, Foxtel to all rooms, balconies and a rooftop to enjoy the superb Brisbane views, we really did not want for anything else during our two day stay. Read more on my full review of Pavilion on Brookes.