Adventure on the Brisbane River, Queensland

Brisbane River, Brisbane QLD. © Tourism Queensland

Adventure on the Brisbane River, Queensland

Don’t be deceived by the wide, mangrove-fringed Brisbane River winding leisurely through the Brisbane city centre. This scenic, serene waterway is the backdrop for a whole range of exhilarating outdoor adventure. Kayak past Brisbane’s glittering sky-line at night or take in the breathtaking panorama of the city and its surrounds from the top of the Story Bridge. Climb or abseil the sheer cliffs at Kangaroo Point or walk, bike ride or rollerblade over the floating walkways of Brisbane Riverwalk. Afterwards, take an adrenalin break in the City Botanic Gardens or the lush riverside parks of South Bank.

With its warm, sub-tropical climate, gentle river and string of riverside sights, Brisbane is a perfect place for a paddle. The canoeing and kayaking tours are all run by qualified instructors, so you don’t even need experience. Slap on some sunscreen and head out on a lunchtime tour past the tangled green parks, glass skyscrapers, old wooden homes and historic buildings. Or experience the lit-up magic of the city - including the bejewelled silhouette of the Story Bridge - at evening or dusk.  Afterwards, enjoy a seafood dinner, riverbank barbeque or late-night cheese platter as part of your tour.

Once you’ve seen the iconic Story Bridge from beneath, why not tackle the 80 metre climb to its top?  It’s an exhilarating experience that’s one of only three of its kind in the world. Start from Kangaroo Point and learn about the history of the city, bridge and river as you traverse the superstructure. At the top, your exertion is rewarded with a breathtaking panorama over the city, river, Moreton Bay and islands and nearby mountain ranges. See the city sharpen in dawn’s pink light, enjoy the most expansive view during the day or get a top-of-the-bridge perspective of Brisbane at twilight or night. Afterwards, continue your adventure with a cold drink in a bar that was once a World War II bomb shelter. It’s one of the unique attractions of the historic hotel beneath the bridge.
Kangaroo Point is also the place to join the climbers and abseilers scrambling up and down the 20m high cliffs. Scale the sheer weathered walls on a rock-climbing tour, where dizzying views over Brisbane and the river await you at the top. Or learn to abseil on a daunting downwards journey– the first scary step will be one you won’t forget. Experienced instructors lead tour groups for all skill levels, from beginner to expert, so you’re sure to find a tour to suit. 

For river-level adventure, join cyclists, roller-bladers, walkers and joggers on the palm-fringed Brisbane Riverwalk, a 20km network of floating pathways. Stop to admire the artistic sculptures or relax in the riverside parks. Picnic beneath the mangroves and macadamia trees of the wild City Botanic Gardens on the river’s north bank. On the other side, Riverwalk leads past the lagoon and sprawling gardens of South Bank. Here you can break up your day’s adventure by browsing the markets, dining alfresco or catching a performance of dance or theatre in the Queensland Cultural Centre. Alternatively, cruise the Brisbane River on a golden gondola or historic wooden paddle steamer. After all the pulse-racing activity, you might just be ready for some river relaxation.

Make sure an adventure on the Brisbane River is a part of your holiday planning in Brisbane!

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