Categories > Guides and Tips

Our Brisbane River Travel Guide

Our Brisbane River Travel Guide

Ever heard that the Brisbane River is home to more than just fish? It’s also a sanctuary for the elusive bull shark, making it one of the few rivers in the world where these creatures thrive. 

Yet, beyond its fascinating wildlife, the Brisbane River has evolved into a favorite focal point for both residents and tourists alike, offering an enticing array of cuisines, captivating river views, and memorable cruises. 

Read on to discover what this iconic waterway has to offer and immerse yourself in the vibrant allure that awaits along its shores.

Brisbane River’s Time Zone

Brisbane River’s Time Zone

The Brisbane River operates within the Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) zone (UTC+10:00), transitioning to Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT) (UTC+11:00) during daylight saving. 

You know, this time zone isn’t just about keeping track of hours—it’s like the conductor of Brisbane’s daily symphony, making sure everything’s in tune with the sun. 

So, whether you’re starting your day with a peaceful riverside walk at dawn or winding down with a nighttime cruise under the stars, the Brisbane River’s time zone keeps the city’s vibe flowing smoothly, right in step with the clock. 

Weather in Brisbane River 

Weather in Brisbane River

Brisbane River, just like the rest of Brisbane, enjoys a subtropical climate that makes outdoor adventures a breeze all year round. If you’re into warm summers and mild winters, you’re in luck – it’s like Mother Nature served up the perfect weather cocktail.

But when tropical cyclones hit, the river can get a bit wild. From November to April, it’s like the city braces itself for a big splash. If you’re around then, you might see the river swell and overflow, giving everyone a soggy surprise.

Luckily, Brisbane knows how to handle these storms. With fancy flood defenses and high-tech warnings, the city’s got your back.

Nonetheless, after the cyclone passes, the river bounces back, showing off its resilience and reminding us that even in tough times, there’s beauty to be found along its banks.

The Best Time to Visit Brisbane River

The Best Time to Visit Brisbane River

The best time to visit the Brisbane River would be from September to November and March to May. This period offers warm weather and clear skies, perfect for outdoor activities along the riverbanks.

So, if you enjoy sunshine and mild temperatures, these months are ideal for exploring Brisbane’s scenic waterway. However, if you prefer cooler weather, June to August can also be a pleasant time to visit.

While the temperatures may be lower, Brisbane’s mild winters still offer opportunities for cosy riverside walks and enjoying hot beverages while admiring the river views.

It’s important to be mindful of cyclone season, which occurs from November to April. During this time, Brisbane River may experience heightened activity and potential flooding.

Keeping an eye on weather forecasts and advisories is recommended if you plan to visit during these months.

Overall, Brisbane River welcomes visitors year-round, each season offering its own unique charm and experiences along its picturesque shores.

Things to Know about Brisbane River

Things to Know about Brisbane River

There are a number of things to know about Brisbane River, so let’s discover them:

Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD) is the currency used along the Brisbane River and throughout Australia.

Language: English is the primary language spoken in Brisbane and along the riverbanks.

Calling Code: The international calling code for Australia is +61.

Dress Code: Brisbane River embraces a casual and laid-back atmosphere. Comfortable clothing and footwear are ideal for exploring its shores, whether you’re strolling along the riverwalk or hopping on a cruise.

Opening Times: While Brisbane River itself doesn’t have specific opening times, certain attractions along its banks, such as riverside restaurants, cafes, and parks, may operate on varying schedules.

It’s best to check individual venue opening hours for specific activities you plan to enjoy along the river.

Safety: Be aware of safety guidelines and signs along the river, especially during extreme weather conditions or high tide. Swimming in the Brisbane River is not recommended due to strong currents and potential hazards.

Transportation: Brisbane River offers various transportation options, including CityCats (river ferries), including leisure cruises, providing convenient access to different parts of the city and offering scenic views along the way.

Events and Festivals: Keep an eye out for events and festivals held along the Brisbane River throughout the year, such as Riverfire, and Brisbane Festival

These events often feature enticing fireworks displays, live music, and vibrant performances, adding to the excitement of exploring Brisbane’s iconic waterway.

So when you’re here at Brisbane River, familiarise yourself with these essential aspects, and you can make the most of your experience along the captivating Brisbane River.

How to get around Brisbane River

How to get around Brisbane River

If you’re looking to explore Brisbane River, there are plenty of ways to get around and soak in its charm!

Hop aboard the CityCats – they’re like the river’s taxis, zipping you along to various stops while giving you a scenic tour of the city.

And hey, if you’re just cruising around the inner city, the CityHopper ferries are your free ticket to hop on and off whenever you please!

Feeling fancy? Treat yourself to a leisure cruise with River City Cruises. Sit back, relax, and let the captain do the rest while you soak in the sights and stories of Brisbane River.

Oh, don’t forget about the regular ferries and catamarans operated by TransLink. They’re like your trusty river buses, connecting different suburbs and hotspots along the river.

Of course, if you’re up for some exploration, there are walking and cycling paths lining the riverbanks. It’s the perfect way to take in the scenery and stretch your legs while enjoying the laid-back vibes of Brisbane River.

So whether you’re in the mood for a scenic cruise, a leisurely stroll, or a quick hop across the river, Brisbane River has got you covered with its diverse transportation options.

Where to stay near Brisbane River

Brisbane River doesn’t have many close accommodations to stay at, but fear not! There are still fantastic hotels nearby where you can rest your head and enjoy all that Brisbane has to offer.

Here are some top picks for your stay:

Address: 20 Montague Rd, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia

Book Now

Located in the vibrant South Bank precinct, Riverside Hotel SouthBank offers comfortable accommodations with stunning views of the river and city skyline.

With its convenient location, you’ll be just steps away from Brisbane’s premier cultural and entertainment attractions, including the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and the South Bank Parklands.

Meriton Suites

Address: 485 Adelaide St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3171 5100

Book Now

If you’re looking to be right in the hustle and bustle of Brisbane’s central business district, Meriton Suites Adelaide Street is your go-to spot!

These luxurious apartment-style accommodations offer spacious rooms, modern amenities like fitness centres, and panoramic views of the city. 

Whether you’re in town for business or leisure, it’s the perfect place to call home while you explore all that Brisbane has to offer.

Address: 21 Lambert St, Kangaroo Point, QLD 4169, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3240 0888

Book Now

Located on the edge of Kangaroo Point cliffs, The Point Brisbane Hotel offers boutique accommodations with a touch of elegance and charm.

With its riverside location and scenic vistas, we feel that you’ll enjoy tranquil walks along the riverfront or explore nearby attractions such as the Story Bridge. 

You can also get on a gastronomic adventure and explore different restaurants, cafes, and bars at Howard Smith Wharves.

Where to eat near Brisbane River

When it comes to dining and nightlife near Brisbane River, you’re in for a treat, especially around Howard Smith Wharves. Here are some must-try restaurants and bars in the area:


Address: 5 Boundary St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3188 9090

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

For those of you craving a chill spot right on the riverfront, Felons Brewing Co. at Howard Smith Wharves is the go-to!

Picture this: a laid-back vibe, craft beers brewed right there, and the Brisbane River as your backdrop. It’s like a dream for beer enthusiasts and view seekers alike.

And guess what? The best part is, it’s not just for the two-legged crowd – Felons Brewing Co. is pet-friendly!

So, feel free to bring your furry pals along as you kick back, enjoy the scenery, and savor some tasty pub-style goodness. 


Address: 5 Boundary St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia

Contact Details:+61 7 3188 9090

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM

Mr. Percival’s at Howard Smith Wharves is a great choice if you’re in search for a rooftop bar experience, complete with enticing cocktail menu and delectable shareable plates. 

Picture this: cocktails like the Percival’s Paradise, a tropical concoction featuring rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and a splash of lime, served with a pineapple wedge and umbrella for that extra island vibe.

And when it comes to shareable plates, indulge in options like the Wharfside Charcuterie Board, a delightful assortment of cured meats, artisan cheeses, olives, and house-made pickles, served with warm bread and savoury spreads for dipping!

You can also try their Crispy Calamari with Aioli, featuring tender rings of calamari lightly fried to golden perfection, served with a zesty aioli dipping sauce and a wedge of lemon for that extra burst of flavour. 

These culinary delights are just a taste of what awaits you at Mr. Percival’s – a delightful fusion of refreshing cocktails and delectable bites, all enjoyed against the stunning backdrop of Brisbane River and the city skyline.

Address: 3/5 Boundary St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia


Contact Details: +61 7 3839 1203 

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM

If you want your Greek fix after strolling around Brisbane River, Greca at Howard Smith Wharves has got you covered!

Inspired by the Mediterranean, Greca offers a taste of Greece at the heart of Brisbane. You’ll likely love this restaurant as it serves up authentic Greek cuisine with a modern twist, perfect for a leisurely meal by the river.

And oh, don’t forget to try the crowd-favourite, Saganaki—golden and crispy on the outside, yet delightfully gooey cheese on the inside!

Address: 2/5 Boundary St, Brisbane City, QLD 4000, Australia


Contact Details: +61 7 3236 6582

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM

For a taste of Japanese-inspired cuisine with a creative flair, head to Yoko Dining at Howard Smith Wharves.

From sushi and sashimi to izakaya-style dishes, Yoko Dining offers a vibrant dining experience against the backdrop of Brisbane’s scenic riverfront.

What to do near Brisbane River

When you find yourself near Brisbane River, you’re in for a world of adventure and relaxation. It’s like stepping into a playground where every corner holds something new and exciting. 

From leisurely cruises to little adventures, Brisbane River offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to every taste and preference.

So, whether you’re craving a laid-back day by the water or seeking an adrenaline rush, Brisbane River has something special in store for you.

Take a CityCat Cruise


When you’re in Brisbane River, we think that you shouldn’t miss a ride with CityCat Cruise!

Picture yourself aboard one of Brisbane’s famous CityCats, cruising down the Brisbane River like a local captain. It’s not just a ride—it’s a scenic tour filled with breathtaking views of the city skyline and riverside attractions.

Here, you can soak up the sun, feel the breeze in your hair, and snap some Instagram-worthy shots as you explore Brisbane from a whole new angle.

Explore South Bank Parklands

Address: Clem Jones Promenade, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia


Contact Details: +61 7 3029 1797

Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday: 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM

For nature lovers and urban explorers looking for an activity to do near Brisbane River, South Bank Parklands is your go-to spot for a day of fun in the sun.

Take a leisurely stroll along the riverside promenade, where lush trees and sparkling waterways create the perfect backdrop for your outdoor adventure.

And if you need to cool off, dive into Streets Beach, Australia’s only inner-city man-made beach, and splash around like a carefree kid again.

Visit the Queensland Cultural Centre

Address: South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia


For those culture vultures on the hunt for inspiration around Brisbane River, look no further than the Queensland Cultural Centre—where art, history, and creativity collide in the most spectacular way possible.

Lose yourself in the masterpieces at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), or dive deep into the wonders of science and nature at the Queensland Museum.

With so much to see and do, your inner explorer will thank you for this unforgettable journey!

Climb the Story Bridge

Address: State Route 15, New Farm, QLD 4169, Australia

Contact Details: +61 7 3403 8888

Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies visiting Brisbane River can take a little side adventure and conquer the iconic Story Bridge.

Strap on your harness, take a deep breath, and hop on the adventure of a lifetime as you ascend to the summit.

From up high, you’ll be treated to jaw-dropping panoramic views of Brisbane River, the city skyline, and beyond!

Related topics