This is going to be a series of posts in regard to solo female travel in Australia. Starting with the solo travel Brisbane tips, and things to do in Brisbane. I started my east coast adventure from Sydney to surfers paradise on the gold coast, followed by Brisbane and all the way to Cairns.
I was thinking of starting with Gold Coast but Leah, one of my Instagram supporters commented asking if my Brisbane blog was out. So, I decided to write this one first.
A road trip around Australia is a perfect getaway. Starting from Sydney is common among travelers then heading to either the East coast, west coast, or around Northern Territory and to Tassie. From a few days, weeks to months-long road trips can be experienced with the pristine white sand beaches, cute koala-type wildlife, or swimming with the sharks or dolphins by your side! Even if you solo travel to Australia, you will likely bump into a small group of people from escorted tours and other fellow solo travelers.
Travelling Australia alone can be daunting given the size of the country but it is doable and definitely enjoyable. Hope this series of posts encourage you to travel to Australia.
Handy Info for solo travel in Brisbane
- Handy Info for solo travel in Brisbane
- The best places to stay in Brisbane
- The best time to visit Brisbane
- Brisbane itinerary for a solo female traveller
- 1. Hop on/off the city hopper ferry
- 2. Take a dip at Streets Beach
- 3. Climb Story Bridge
- 4. Watch Sunsets from Kangaroo Point cliffs
- 5. Cuddle a Koala
- 6. Check out the art and culture scene
- 7. Walk to Wilson Outlook Reserve
- 8. Laugh out loud
- 9. Don’t go starving, eat
- 10. Relax in the Botanical garden
- 11. Indigenous culture and shop in Queen Street Mall
- 12. Relax at the Chinese Spa
- 13. Go on a walking tour
- 14. See the view from the clock tower
- 15. Go for a drink in a nice setting
- 16. See the view from Mt Coot-tha lookout
- 17. Day Trip to beautiful Noosa
- 18. Day trip to Surfers Paradise
- Let me know in the comments
Currency = Australian Dollars
Hello = Good Day, G’day!
Bye = See you later!
Capital City = Canberra
Main cities and 6 states = (Sydney -New South Wales, Melbourne -Victoria, Adelaide -South Australia, Perth -Western Australia, Brisbane -Queensland, Hobart -Tasmania) and 2 territories (Canberra -Australian Capital Territory and Alice Springs -Northern Territory)
Get a tram card on the first day itself. It’ll help you save money and whatever you didn’t use, you can get it back at the train station on your last day.
The best places to stay in Brisbane
Look for places around the Queen street mall, fortitude valley, or the south bank, they are close to the city and make exploring that much easier. Check hotel prices and book it through trusted Agoda, or Booking.com
The best time to visit Brisbane
IMO, every month is a good time to visit Brisbane. There are loads of sightseeing and activities to do. But if you are after the exact months, see below.
Summer – the three hottest months are December, January, and February.
Autumn – the transition months of March, April, and May.
Winter – the three coldest months are June, July, and August.
Spring – the three transition months are September, October, and November.
If you can, plan your travels to Australia during the summer. Otherwise, the rest of the year isn’t bad either. Australia is one of the best places for solo traveling and solo trips for females are increasing daily with its less crime rate. Reson why it is also regarded as a safe place to travel alone.
Now, here is the list of things you can see, do and experience in the city of Brisbane (some of them are free too!) You can also use it as a Brisbane travel guide or a Brisbane sightseeing list.
Brisbane itinerary for a solo female traveller
1. Hop on/off the city hopper ferry
When in Brisbane, enjoy the free inner city ferry service. It is a hop-on, hop-off service that runs 6 am-midnight daily between Sydney Street and North Quay ferry terminals.
Cruise the river to take in the sights on the banks of Brisbane’s inner-city or use it as a free transport service between the city and inner suburbs. You can hop on and hop off the ferry every 30 minutes and it runs between 6 am and midnight, 7 days a week. It is a great and cheap way to start exploring Brisbane solo.
2. Take a dip at Streets Beach
While you are on the city hopper ferry, make sure to disembark at the South Bank Parklands. This is where you can see Brisbane’s hot spot- Street Beach! It is a man-made beach-style lagoon in the middle of the city and next to the Brisbane River. You can get ice cream in the nearby convenience store, read a book, work on your tan, or go for a dip in the boat pool. Usually, this place gets crowded with locals and tourists, but you can skip the crowd when you go in the mornings or late afternoons and at night. Your solo travel to Brisbane wouldn’t be complete without visiting this area around the South Bank Parklands.
Pro tip: Every Sunday afternoon, there is free live music beside the water at River Quay. Just don’t forget to bring some snacks for later and enjoy the afternoon.
3. Climb Story Bridge
Another fun thing to do while in Brisbane is to climb the story bridge. It is an adventurous climb of Brisbane’s most iconic landmark, witness amazing 360 panoramic views of Brisbane.
There are twilight, day, and night walk available from a number of companies but I recommend this tour as they are affordable, easy to deal with, an experienced guide is provided and you can also learn about the colorful history of the story bridge and Brisbane city. Let the adventure in you shine! Book it here.
4. Watch Sunsets from Kangaroo Point cliffs
For the adventurous person in you, you can forget the rest, and go for outdoor rock climbing and abseiling in Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Climb up to the awesome day view or lookout lights at the night. Just don’t forget to bring your own equipment for safety.
If not, this is still a great spot to watch the sun go down in Brisbane city. Oh, and you can also Barbeque here. Just don’t forget to leave it clean after use. If a local says KP, know they mean Kangaroo Point Cliffs!
5. Cuddle a Koala
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the oldest (60 years) and largest Koala Sanctuary in the world. It is a must-see for newcomers if you want to see or/and cuddle a Koala up close, perhaps attend a talk by the koala’s keepers, and take photos with the adorable Marsupials shy platypus (a native animal to Australia) and feed the kangaroos and wallabies. Besides that, there are many other native Australian animals to discover.
Having the time to explore the sanctuary at your own leisure is the best. Just need help getting there? Book it with these guys. You can cruise along the Brisbane River, through the city’s most historic landscapes, iconic attractions, and more, listening to the informative commentary by the captain. And enjoy homemade morning teas, meals, and snacks from the onboard café. It is like having an experienced guide with you to share the stories and facts!
6. Check out the art and culture scene
When traveling to new cities, I make time for Art Galleries. It inspires me to create more beautifully. I recommend checking out the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art.
Both galleries showcase works from a diverse range of historical and contemporary artists. Throughout the year, both galleries offer several free exhibitions you can enjoy. Major art exhibitions are ticketed but it’s a small price to pay to see world-renowned art.
7. Walk to Wilson Outlook Reserve
Go for a stroll along the Story bridge, stopover at Felons for a drink, and go all the way to Wilson Outlook Reserve. Just be careful of crossing the highway at one point.
For some, it could feel like a long walk but I didn’t mind as it’s a nice way to see more of a new place and find another great spot to watch the sunsets. There are a couple of shaded picnic tables and a lift to take you up and down as well.
8. Laugh out loud
If you are feeling a little down on a Friday, head to Brisbane Powerhouse’s Knockoff. They run a free comedy session held on Fridays from 6 pm. It is an hour of funny comedy that will hopefully light you up! Have a sundowner, enjoy the session, tomorrow is another day!
9. Don’t go starving, eat
Outside of usual restaurants serving different cuisines, something worth checking out is Brisbane markets. If you are on a tight budget but want a variety of good food, markets are the best option in Brisbane. I recommend the Brisbane City Markets which pops up in Brisbane City every Wednesday. Great spot to grab the bargain on fresh produce, and lunch.
Alternatively, head to eat street in Northshore which is set inside shipping containers, and Boundary Street Markets both offer a twilight market of food stalls with every cuisine you can imagine. The Boundary Street markets also do live bands and a retail shopping market.
10. Relax in the Botanical garden
Can’t handle the heat in Brisbane? Head to the city’s oldest park – Botanical Park for some shed and greenery. Grab some sushi on the way, work on your tan, read a good book, and just enjoy being around nature.
At night, the trees light up too, giving this peaceful garden a fairy world vibes. On Saturdays, they also run a free music session at Gigs & Picnics in the botanical garden. Get your blanket and picnic basket, and you are set for the day!
11. Indigenous culture and shop in Queen Street Mall
If you are in Brisbane, you will walk around or across the Queen street mall at one point or another. It is a busy area with loads of shops (if you need something to buy, this is the place), coffee shops and bars are there too.
Interestingly at the top end of Queen Street Mall, every Wednesday from 12-1 pm you can see the Indigenous Aboriginal gatherings which are the traditional and contemporary dances representing the ancient stories. What a great way to mix shopping with some educational entertainment!
12. Relax at the Chinese Spa
All the walking, climbing, and running around calls for a day of relaxation. There are loads of massage places around Brisbane but I went to Hydra Time Spa Massage. If you google the name, you will find it (I don’t think they are on social media yet) Usually I go for a Swedish massage and bubble bath after doing something adventurous like hikes, treks, gym, or climbing.
But this time, I thought to do something different as I had never tried a Chinese massage and a special Chinese bath before. I didn’t know what to expect but was happy to report it was actually relaxing! The body massage was close to Thai ones = good and the bath was peaceful. Just not sure, what herbs or Chinese medicine they put in the bath.
13. Go on a walking tour
In case you change your mind and don’t want to explore by yourself (I did it on my own as above picture). Check out the Brisbane Greeters. They are Brisbane’s locals offering free tours around Brisbane. You can choose from street art walks, or history tours, or let the Greeter choose for you to start building a bank of local knowledge. Tips are always appreciated!
14. See the view from the clock tower
If you are a fan of views from above, go to King George Square’s City Hall clock tower. Every 15 minutes the free tours of the clock tower run. Times are 10.15 am-4.45 pm. You don’t want to miss this unique bird’s eye view of the city.
15. Go for a drink in a nice setting
Now that you have seen Brisbane City from every angle, time to relax and treat yourself. I mean solo traveling isn’t always easy and you should pat yourself on the back for encouraging yourself to see the world all on your own. And that calls for a drink in a nice setting to complete this trip. There are many rooftop bars in Brisbane but the one I went to (Sixteen Antlers) was just opposite the clock tower.
Convenient and it offered a comfortable lounge with a great view and drinks. You can see both the old and new buildings in one place and take in the European vibe with its architecture, separate cycle lane, salsa dance on the street (on weekends) sipping your favorite beverage. And the sunset view from here is awesome too!
16. See the view from Mt Coot-tha lookout
Time to head outside Brisbane city and explore as a solo journey in Brisbane continues towards Cairns. Mt Coot-tha lookout is a short 7 km West of Brisbane’s CBD. If you drive, or someone is driving you that’s the easiest as there is plenty of free off-street and on-street parking as well as 5 bus parking bays. OR you can get Uber and taxis too. Using public transport? No worries. Get on bus 471 which travels from Adelaide Street in Brisbane City to this lookout every day. While you are there, stop in at the Planetarium after wandering through the spectacular gardens.
17. Day Trip to beautiful Noosa
What else you can do in Brisbane as a solo female traveler? Go further! Travel from Brisbane to Gold Coast or perhaps a trip to Noosa. Noosa is a beautiful Australian resort area on southern Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. It is famous for its surfing lifestyle and stunning areas. Solo travel to Brisbane wouldn’t be complete without taking a day trip to Noosa or a nearby Mt Coot-tha as mentioned above.
If you are heading to Noosa for the weekend or on your east coast journey in Australia, some must-dos are the main beach in Noosa, a coastal walk along the national park, and this awesome fairy pool (35 mins return hike from the main beach), hell’s gate, learn to surf and just chill in one of many Noosa’s bar and restaurants.
18. Day trip to Surfers Paradise
Brisbane is only an hour’s drive from surfers’ paradise. If you don’t have a car, use the public train ($40 one way) to get there. Bus tickets from Greyhound cost $19 – $29 and run four times a day.
While Surfers Paradise is a tourist place, it is nice to visit for a day or two. You can take a jet boat ride, duck tour, or river cruise and visit a bar or nightclub. Some of the must-sees are – surfers paradise beach (Sunday markets on the beachside), take a course to learn surfing, work on your tan at local’s favorite Nobby’s beach, eat at the market in Miami Beach, check out Infinity and go for a hike or run in Burleigh heads. The above view is from Burleigh’s head lookout, beating the view from any other hotel room!
With so many things to do and see, I liked Brisbane slightly more than past-home town Sydney! What about you? Either way, I hope this list helps you plan your Brisbane travel better.
Let me know in the comments
- Which activity would you like to see/do first in Brisbane?
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