Formerly one of Australia’s most underrated cities, Brisbane has finally earned the reputation it deserves and for good reason. Year-round subtropical weather, a world-class events calendar, outdoor lifestyle, countless opportunities for scenic weekend getaways and exceptional dining experiences make it a fantastic holiday destination. But while many choose to tick off the city’s top attractions in a whirlwind two or three-day itinerary, there is so much more to be discovered in Queensland’s capital. It’s easy to spend a month or more exploring this diverse city and its stunning surroundings, and there’s always something to see and do. Once you’re settled into your award-winning CBD accommodation, take a moment to read through this guide to long stays in Brisbane.
Brisbane weather by the seasons
One of Brisbane’s major drawcards is the subtropical climate that brings warm to hot weather to the city throughout the year, with average maximum temperatures ranging from low to high 20s (°C). This also makes the shift between each season less pronounced, with more of an emphasis on wet and dry periods of the year.
Summer (December – February)
Summer may be the hottest time of the year in Brisbane, but it’s also the wettest and most humid. Average highs from December to January typically hover at 30°C while around 400-450mm of rainfall keeps the city at 60-70% humidity – February being the most humid month of the year. Despite the threat of thunderstorms, visitors can still enjoy Brisbane in summer as long as they’re well prepared for sudden changes in the weather.
Autumn (March – May)
Autumn in Brisbane heralds the start of milder temperatures, less rain and low humidity. While rain is still a factor, its lower frequency and the subsequent easing of humidity makes autumn a great time of year to visit. Expect temperatures of 15 to 25°C.
Winter (June – August)
As far as winters go, Brisbane’s is as mild as it gets. Temperatures ranging from 11 to 21°C ensure there’s no break in the outdoor lifestyle, rainfall is at its lowest for the year and overnight temperatures don’t often drop below 10°C. As long as you can tolerate some crisp evenings and early mornings, winter is a refreshing and very bearable and period.
Spring (September – November)
Similar to autumn, spring in Brisbane is a comfortable shoulder season where temperatures and humidity gradually increase in the lead up to summer. Expect plenty of sunshine eased by gentle sea breezes, with September typically being the least humid month of the year.
Must visit landmarks
Staying in Brisbane for longer than a weekend gives you plenty of time to explore the city’s top attractions at a more relaxed pace. You can even take the opportunity to visit the most popular hotspots on weekdays and outside school holiday periods, thereby avoiding the biggest crowds and highest costs.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Consistently rated by visitors as Brisbane’s best attraction, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket is a fantastic place to get acquainted with local wildlife and learn how the centre nurtures the natural environment through research, education and conservation. The centre is the world’s largest koala sanctuary and is also home to kangaroos, platypuses, Tasmanian devils, dingoes, wombats, echidnas, cassowaries, kookaburras, emus, crocodiles and much more. There are opportunities to hold and hand feed some of the residents, and the centre even hosts family-friendly movie nights at one of its three outdoor cinemas on the third Friday of the month.
The Gabba and Suncorp Stadium
Brisbane is mad about sport and proud of it, and there’s nowhere better to soak up the locals’ passion for it than at Brisbane’s two iconic stadiums: the Gabba and Suncorp Stadium. The Gabba is the city’s home of Australian Rules football and cricket, hosting the beloved Lions, Heat and Bulls in their respective codes along with international Tests and T20 matches as part of the 2020 World Cup.
Suncorp Stadium, on the other hand, is the place to be for soccer, rugby union and rugby league. Round-ball fans can catch the Brisbane Roar and the occasional Socceroos fixture, while NRL diehards can see the Broncos, Magic Round and the fiercely competed State of Origin series. Those who prefer union will get the chance to see the Queensland Reds in action along with the intermittent Wallabies match.
South Bank is the perfect place to meander into without any particular goal in mind. The hub of eateries, public areas, galleries, museums and other tourist attractions across the Brisbane River from the CBD make it a must-visit during any stay in Brisbane. Highlights include the man-made Streets Beach, the Wheel of Brisbane and the Cultural Centre.
Mt Coot-tha and Brisbane Botanic Gardens
While the City Botanic Gardens are a convenient way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, a more genuine natural retreat can be found at Mt Coot-tha and the neighbouring Botanic Gardens. With 50kms of walking trails and sweeping city views, it’s the perfect place for a walk and a picnic.
Eagle Street Pier
Outings to Eagle Street Pier are rewarded with amazing views of the Story Bridge and your choice of 15 restaurants, bars and casual eateries within walking distance of Capri by Fraser. Wine and dine the night away or drop by for a cocktail in between other items on your itinerary.
Queen Street Mall
If shopping is your weakness, Queen Street Mall is the place for you. This 500 metre stretch of pedestrian thoroughfare contains more than 700 retailers across streetside shopfronts and six separate shopping centres, giving you overwhelming opportunities for some good old-fashioned retail therapy.
One of Brisbane’s biggest strengths is the numerous day trips and weekend getaways you can take from the city. Destinations like Moreton Island, the Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Noosa Heads, Bribie Island, Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook National Park are just some of the options to choose from, and there are plenty of wine, beer and food tours operating in the region. Whatever your tastes or budget, there’s always an amazing day trip you can take during your stay in Brisbane.