How good have we had it in Brisbane over the last few weeks? I love this time of year. The temperature is perfect, the sky is a cloudless blue, the sunshine peeks through the trees in golden, dappled light. Bliss.
On Friday we decided that the weather was too perfect to be enjoyed from the inside, so we put our jumpers on, grabbed the camera, a latte and a double flat white and drove/sailed right into the heart of Brisbane City. It's amazing the number of ways you can experience the city for virtually no cost at all. While on our little adventure, I compiled a list of five things to see and do in Brisbane for free. Hopefully it will give you some fresh inspiration the next time you're in town and have on hour or two to kill, or if you're in Brisbane for the first time this might give you somewhere to start.
- Ride the City Hopper - The ferry runs from North Quay to Tenerife and is council run so it won't cost you a cent. I usually like to start from South Bank, just after finding myself an ice-cream or perhaps hot churros if it's Saturday and the markets are running. Ride it to the end and back while pondering life and the universe, or stop off at Kangaroo Point (convenient segue).
- Walk along Kangaroo Point - Roughly a kilometre long, Kangaroo Point is, in my opinion, the best vantage point for viewing the city, and makes for a beautiful walk, either along the river or up the steep flight of stairs to the cliffs above. Depending on what time of day it is you can pack a picnic and have it at one of the many picnic tables, or take a bottle of something up and dangle your legs off the precipice. Live a little.
- Wander through the Botanic Gardens - There's something about walking through a forest in the middle of a city. The city botanic gardens have a wide variety of flora (and some unwelcome fauna, watch out for the ibis). They are the perfect place to rest your lids if you're like me and need a granny nap every now and then.
- Visit One of the Galleries - Both the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art hold spectacular artworks, and play host to various exhibitions throughout the year. Milling through the regular art spaces is free, however if you're interested in seeing an exhibit then you may have to pay a small amount. Currently running at the moment is The Photograph and Australia, a brilliant exhibition exploring how photography has played a large part in modern Australia. Give it a look, I highly recommend it.
- Browse through Archives Bookstore - If you're the kind of person who a) could wander through an old bookstore for hours on end and b) likes to feel as though you've discovered a secret place, then Archives is your kind of store. The shop is home to thousands of books, some over 200 years old, and the quiet library out the back creates a haven from the concrete world outside. This is every reader's dream.
Brisbane is underrated. When you have nothing better to do, put your shoes on and go exploring. You won't be disappointed if you only know where to look.