Tours of Brisbane for Tourists

south bank

So you have found yourself in our beautiful city and you are keen to discover what this place has to offer, what its highlights are, where to get a drink and a good meal and what secrets it has to offer up.   There are plenty of tours of Brisbane for tourists whether you are here for a quick stop or for a longer stay. Below are the different ways to tour and explore our great city.  

Brisbane Greeters

What better way to discover all the hidden gems of a new city than with a personalised tour from a local?  Brisbane Greeters is a much-loved service that is run by local volunteers who are all keen to introduce the city they call home to new visitors.

With three different ‘choice options’ to choose from, visitors can decide between the “Greeter’s Choice” tour (where the Greeter takes you on a route that they have chosen to share the areas they love and recommend), or they can choose one of two “Your Choice” options, one that specialises in getting off the beaten track and exploring the different precincts of Brisbane and the other is one that matches you up with a Greeter who is interested in the same things as you and can help you discover them within Brisbane.

All tours run from between two and four hours and have a maximum of 6 guests per tour.  It’s wise to either book online and plan ahead because if you are after a “your choice” option they ask for at least 7 days notice.

For full details visit www.brisbanegreeters.com.au, or call into or phone the Queen Street Mall Visitor Information Centre on 07 3006 6290

pagoda at southbank

Brisbane Segway Sightseeing Tours

If time is a little limited and you are keen to get around the city at a faster and more exciting pace then the ever-popular Brisbane segway sightseeing tours that are offered may be just right for you.

There are a few companies that specialise in Segway tours of Brisbane including Riverlife Segway tours, Kangaroo Segway Tours and X-Wing Mini Segway Tours.  Whilst the first two have a minimum age limit of 12 years, the X-Wing Mini Segway Tours offer tours for children 6 years and older.  These tours give you the chance to see our beautiful city via the self-balancing, two-wheeled electric scooters, with in-depth commentary from a guide about our city’s history and culture along the way.

Whilst there is an age restriction on who can ride the scooters, the tours are family-friendly and open to beginners, with introductory instructions given along with all safety equipment before the tour commences.  There are also night tours for a chance to see Brisbane under the lights as well.

Australian Day Tours

JPT Tour Group is one of the biggest tour groups in Australia and their impressive Australian Day Tours are the most extensive for those wishing to check out all things Brisbane and surrounds.

Their Brisbane’s Best tour is the place to start if you want to get a feel for the city itself.  With highlights that include a river cruise, trip to Mt-Cootha, visit to Southbank and even a tour of the XXXX brewery, this tour gives a great overview of Brisbane’s highlights. 

For those keen to explore a little further outside the city fringes, they also offer a range of other tours that visit places like the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Australia Zoo, Tangalooma, Byron Bay, the Natural Bridge and Glow Worm Caves as well as O’Reilly’s and Lamington National Park.

Walk Brisbane 

Walk Brisbane is owned and run by true Brisbane locals, with a fabulous team of experienced local tour guides.  Their tours are a balance of stories about Brisbane’s past, present and future, interesting sights, some hidden secrets, recommendations of the best and newest places to eat and drink, a few laughs, and a bit of exercise!

Whilst they offer six different tour options on their site, by far their most popular is their City Essentials Tour.  Perfect for travellers with a limited time frame, this walking tour, covers all the city’s main highlights in less than half an hour and takes visitors where the buses can’t go. 

Places like King George Square, the Story Bridge, the City Botanic Gardens, the oldest church in Queensland, Eagle Street Pier, the City Hall Clock Tower, and lots of hidden secrets along the way.  They will also point out the best City bars, cafes and restaurants for every budget so that you can make the most of your limited time here.

Electric Bike Tours

Electric Bike Tours offers visitors two different tours of the city, one during the day and one at night, via their peddle-assisted electric bikes.  Regardless if you have been on a bike recently or not for years, these bikes make the journey an easily enjoyable two-hour ride as you take in the sights and receive commentary and facts from the local guides along the way.

brisbane sign at southbank

Riverlife – Kayak Tours

What better way to see Brisbane, aka ‘the River City’, then by getting aboard a kayak and gliding your way down the river itself as you learn of the city highlights, history and culture?  This is an extremely popular way to see the city from a different vantage point and Riverlife is the only tour company in Brisbane to offer you this opportunity.

Choose between a day tour (8 years and older) or night tour (12 years and older) and spend a blissful 90 minutes paddling your way under the Story Bridge or past South Bank. You’ll be the captain of your own kayak as you cruise down the Brisbane River experiencing the city like never before.

Brisbane Insights

Brisbane Insights is a comprehensive and interesting walking tour of all Brisbane’s city landmarks, historical places of interest, hidden laneways and secret and alternative stories! Local guides will give you an ‘insider’ perspective on Brisbane’s brutal, rebellious and funny history.

The Brisbane Insights tour is four hours in length and bills itself as an alternative and comprehensive tour that covers the main highlights but also gets ‘off the beaten track’ as well.

Brisbane Ghost Tours

For those who like to see and hear the darker side of a new city, Brisbane Ghost Tours offer visitors the chance to explore and learn about Brisbane’s ghost and crime history.  Not for everyone, but hugely popular, tourists can choose between one of their many nightly themed ghost tours, visiting places like Boggo Road Gaol or cemeteries.

For those who are not as interested in the spiritual side, Brisbane Ghost Tour also offer true crime tours around Brisbane as well as History Tours.  You can find all the information for each type of tour on their website.

Queensland Day Tours

Queensland Day Tours is a family run business that has been operating and running tours of Brisbane and surrounding areas since 1998.  Tours start from Brisbane City and then head out to one of four main destinations, depending on where you would like to spend your day – on Stradbroke Island, up the North Coast or visiting Mount Tamborine.

Tamborine skywalk, austock photo

Pterodactyl Helicopters

If you are looking for a way to see Brisbane that is a little out of the ordinary then you may want to consider a tour of our fine city with Pterodactyl Helicopters.  One of their most popular tours is their Beer, Wine and Food tour. 

Pterodactyl Helicopters flies visitors by charter helicopter over stunning Brisbane, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Sommerset and Lockyer Valley views, delivering them in comfort and style to each of the breweries, vineyards, pubs, restaurants, and cafes on your amazing helicopter tour.

Prestige Day Tours

Private hire car company Prestige offers some very impressive private day tours for visitors to Brisbane.  Collecting visitors directly from the cruise ship terminal, Brisbane Airport or Brisbane city hotels that you arrive at, the Prestige Day Tours are best suitable for small groups and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the guests.  

While visitors have nearly 10 different destination tours to choose from, their Brisbane History and Heritage tour is one of the best for new tourists to the city.  The six-hour tour takes in everything from the Wheel of Brisbane, Southbank, Historic City Buildings, Suncorp Stadium, the XXXX brewery, Mt Cootha, Lone Pine, Kangaroo Point and so much more.

southbank floral arches

Brisbane Time Travellers Tours

If you have a love of history and are looking for a tour guide with a difference then you should consider booking with Brisbane Time Travellers Tours.  Run by Natalie, an avid researcher, actor, dancer, musician and energetic tour host, the company offers a number of tours of the city.  Choose between a multitude of tours including their ‘Brisbane Firsts Tour’, ‘Women of Brisbane Tour’, ‘City Heritage Walking Tours’, ‘Famous Local Performance Tours’ and so many more.

Delectable Tours

Brisbane’s food culture has greatly evolved with its quality and vastness of exceptional talent, produce and end-product. A food tour is a unique way to experience the city and its people, and if you are a lover of all things culinary then you may want to partake in one of the Delectable Tours of Brisbane.  Choose between their ‘Signature Must do Tour of Brisbane’ or, if you want to work a bit of that food off, why not try their ‘Brisbane Walking Food Tour’?

Bums on Seats Tours Queensland

Bums on Seats Tours is a 100% family-owned business that operates a range of Brisbane full day tours.  With over 15 different options to choose from, the company offers both personalised small group tours as well as planned day itineraries.  Some of their more popular tours are the Brisbane City Highlights tour and also the Brisbane Highlights Shore and Lone Pine tour.

koala at lone pine

Boggo Road Gaol Tour

Boggo Road Jail was Australia’s most notorious prison. Over 119 years of operation, thousands of men and women served time behind its red-brick walls.  There were many infamous inmates including the “Houdini of Boggo Road” escapologist and jail-breaker “Slim” Halliday and the Whiskey Au Go Go nightclub fire-bombers James Richard Finch and John Andrew Stuart.

Heritage-listed No. 2 Division – the remaining section of Boggo Road – is as it was when it closed. It is part of the new Boggo Road Urban Village redevelopment. Since 2012 Boggo Road Gaol Pty Ltd has conducted guided tours, events and experiences at the historic site.  You can book into one of their many different tours via their website.

Run It Running Tours

Run It Running Tours offers guided running tours around Brisbane which have been created by runners for runners. Their aim is to create interesting courses that take in some of the best sites and views our city has to offer, with a variety of different distances so they can cater for all different fitness levels.  Visitors can choose a number of tours that focus on either city, trail or beach runs.

Bekaa Air Tours

The owners of Bekaa Air Tours have two main passions – flying and Brisbane.  For this reason, they have decided to combine the two and offer visitors the chance to explore the city from above, taking in all that it has to offer in the most unique of ways.  The company offers a number of city tours as well as scenic flights and adventures outside of the city limits.  They even offer heli pub crawls!

Brisbane By Bicycle

Brisbane By Bicycle offers four different cycling tours around Brisbane, a city that is known for its many bike paths and destinations.  With easy-paced tours ranging from 2-4 hours, cycling enthusiasts can take it all that the city has to offer with a fully guided local with extensive knowledge of the city. Visitors can combine historical sites and cultural attractions with a true insider’s guide to local bars, dining options, events, and attractions.

The Big Bus Tour

The Big Bus offers visitors three different tour options around Brisbane City.  There is the 3 hour Brisbane City Morning Tour and Cruise, the four-hour afternoon sightseeing tour that also includes a visit to the Brewery and Mt Cootha and finally, an 8 hour full-day exploration of city via both coach and cruise.

Trixity Brisbane

Trixity is a ‘tour’ with a difference.  One that involves no guide and, instead, has visitors solving different clues around a city and in the process discovering not only more about it but also visiting the famous landmarks on the way.  Things to know: each trail lasts approximately 2-4 hrs and involves solving 15+ clues. The trails are all walkable distances and are not physically challenging.  When you are ready to complete your trail, go to the start point sent to you in the email you receive upon ordering. Log into the website with your smartphone/device and select ‘GET STARTED’.  Once you have solved the first clue, type your answer in the field provided and select ‘SUBMIT ANSWER’. If correct, you will be sent the next clue. 

It sounds like a fun way to explore a city, don’t you think?

Boomerang Cultural Tours

If you have just landed in Australia and are keen to get right into a new cultural experience then you may want to try the Boomerang Cultural Tour of Brisbane.   The eco-friendly tours include fun activities such as painting a returning boomerang, which is a free gift to all those who come on their cultural tours, have a tasting of Australian bush foods that are in season, try throwing a returning boomerang, try traditional fire lighting techniques and have a go at playing the yidaki (didgeridoo).

Moe Akgun Art Deco Tours

Well if you love all things vintage and architecture than “Moe” Akgun’s Art Deco Tour of Brisbane is a must!  Discover Brisbane’s rich art deco history with automobiles straight from the heart of the art deco movement – Bonnie, a 1928 luxury Chrysler vintage sedan or Clyde, a 1937 Dodge convertible sedan. Imagine re-discovering hidden gems in and around Brisbane’s CBD that have been long forgotten but still survive. Visit Westella, Regina Court, Coronet Court, Carmel Court, the secret of China town and more. Moe’s tours take approximately 120 minutes, include complimentary DSLR photography and is pure indulgence in time and travel.

Dark Stories True Crime Tour

Another tour of Brisbane that is best to do sans kids is the Dark Stories True Crime Tour of Brisbane.  For those intrigued by the crimes of the past, you can take a walk on the dark side and revisit the scenes of some of the city’s true crimes.

Wander with Me Tours

Vicki created Wander With Me Tours after finding that many locals were not aware of the history and hidden gems within Brisbane and the surrounding suburbs.  At Wander With Me Tours, Vicki’s goal is to offer the opportunity to see and sample local cultures, environments, history and tastes by exploring local destinations.  

Tours are for small groups of up to 8 people, allowing a more personal experience and make the most of the time available.  There are four tours to choose between and also the option to create a more personalised experience if you are looking to discover a particular area of interest.

Airshare

Offering guests a tour above and around the city, Airshare provides guided 20 minute scenic flights. 

Fly from the Archerfield airport towards the city on this shared flight overlooking the University of Queensland, St Lucia campus. Follow the Brisbane River around to Suncorp Stadium and circle around the spectacular towering skyline of the CBD.

Get a birds-eye view of the Story Bridge and the famous Gabba Stadium, continuing to track around the Brisbane River across South Bank before heading back out towards Archerfield over the inner city suburbs. The Brisbane Helicopter Tour has it all! What a way to view our beautiful city!

 

River City Cruises

River City Cruises is the original sightseeing cruise on the Brisbane River. During the one and a half hour guided tour, you will be entertained by the informative commentary while taking advantage of the fantastic photo opportunities as they cruise past Brisbane’s most iconic sights including the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, City Centre and the Story Bridge.  There is also a hop off hop on option as well.

Green Cabs Brisbane Tour

Green Cabs offer visitors the chance to be ridden around Brisbane in comfort as they are shown sites they could not see from a car or bus as they travel along the cycle paths and through Brisbane’s lovely parks and gardens.   Each cycle-pulled cab can comfortably fit two adults (two children under 8 are free) and offer tours of Brisbane’s highlights (20 mins), Southbank (50 mins) or the full Explorer tour (70 mins).

Brizabout Private Tours

Brizabout Tours was started by husband and wife duo, John and Diane Robinson, and is based around their love of Brisbane, travel and meeting new people.  Once they know what time you have, and where you want to see they can create your experience and manage everything.

Choose one of their set tour experiences or let them know where you want to see, and they can customise a tour, just for you or your small group.

Hop On Brewery Tours

Now, this is one that is obviously not for the whole family but definitely one for the adults to enjoy if they have a day free to explore on their own while in BrisVegas.  Hop On Brewery Tours offer visitors who like a pint or two the option to tour the best of Brisbane’s brewery’s while also discovering a little more about Brisbane on the way.  If you are feeling adventurous, you can also join a tour that combines the brewery tour with a river city cruise and another that includes some axe throwing!

Other resources for visitors to Brisbane

Brisbane Zoo Options Discover all the best places to enjoy Australian animals from koala sanctuaries to aquariums. 

Free activities in Brisbane Save your money and enjoy everything to do in Brisbane for free

Brisbane Museums and Galleries For those looking for dinosaurs or an art gallery experience

 

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