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The Best Guided Tours in Brisbane The Ultimate Tourist’s Guide

The Best Guided Tours in Brisbane: The Ultimate Tourist’s Guide 

While the thrill of DIY vacations is undeniable, we’ve all had those moments of wandering the streets of an unfamiliar city, stomach growling, and Google Maps spinning us in bewildering circles like a confused compass.

That’s where our trusty saviors, the expert guides, step in to transform your journey from a maze into a masterpiece. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve curated the top-rated guided tours in Brisbane, endorsed by both our team and travelers worldwide.

So wave goodbye to travel anxieties and get ready to savor the essence of Brisbane, one guided tour at a time. It’s time to embark on an adventure like no other!

Brisbane Overview

Brisbane Overview

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Brisbane, the vibrant capital of Australia’s Queensland, is a captivating city renowned for its global tourist attractions. Established in 1824, it encompasses a sprawling area of 15,826 km² and is home to a thriving population of 2.5 million as of 2023.

Some of its must-visit landmarks include the enchanting South Bank Parklands, the enriching Museum & Galleries in the Cultural Centre, and the serene Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

This city features a harmonious fusion of history and modernity, where the allure of natural beauty seamlessly intertwines with the urban charm.

What are guided tours?

Guided tours offer a trip composed of different itineraries with the assistance of a knowledgeable escort or guide. These guides not only lead you to various tourist attractions but also share valuable insights, including the best photo spots. 

Travelling with a local guide allows you to gain deeper insights into our city by simply asking questions about your interests. Moreover, Brisbane boasts a variety of tour options, which we’ll outline shortly.

Select the tour that aligns with your preferences and consider adding it to your itinerary. Before you decide, discover the top 5 guided tours in Brisbane!

Our Top Picks of the Best Guided Tours in Brisbane

Address: Cultural Centre Pontoon Southbank Boardwalk, South Brisbane QLD 4101


Contact Details: +61 (0)412 749 426, [email protected]

Price starts from: $99

For a unique Australian wildlife experience combined with a leisurely river cruise in Brisbane, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Admission with Brisbane River Cruise Tour is a must-try.

This excursion offers a delightful journey that spans approximately 5-6 hours, making it a perfect day out in Brisbane.

Operated by Mirimar Cruises, this guided tour not only takes you on a scenic river cruise along the Brisbane River but also provides fascinating insights into the city itself. 

You’ll learn about the rich history and culture of Brisbane, gaining a deeper appreciation for this vibrant city.

The friendly and knowledgeable staff ensure a memorable experience, whether you’re enjoying the breathtaking river views during the cruise or encountering adorable koalas and diverse birdlife at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

During our wildlife exploration at Lone Pine, we truly enjoyed observing numerous charming koalas and delightful bird species.

Pro tips: Make the most of this tour by embracing the chance to cuddle a koala. But please note that ‘hold a koala’ photos come at an additional cost, so making a prior reservation with The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is advisable.

Check the schedule for animal feeding times. It’s fascinating to watch, and you can get closer to some animals during these sessions.

Address: 101 Eurong Resort, Fraser Island, QLD 4581 Australia 1300 553 606


Contact Details: +617 3287 1644, [email protected]

Price starts from: $249

To discover the marvels of Brisbane’s coastline, consider embarking on The Moreton Island Day Trip. It’s a journey that demands just half a day of your time but promises a full day’s adventure spanning approximately 11-12 hours.

This guided tour offers an array of activities beyond beachcombing, including kayaking, snorkelling, and sandboarding, all under the guidance of an expert who imparts insights into Brisbane’s marine world while you soak in breathtaking views.

One of the highlights of this excursion is the picnic lunch thoughtfully provided, allowing you to savor a meal amidst the stunning backdrop of Moreton Island.

As we set out on this journey, we were delighted to spot a variety of fish through the crystal-clear kayak hulls, and we even had the privilege of witnessing playful dolphins and majestic humpback whales during our voyage to Moreton Island.

Pro tips: Choose appropriate footwear for sandboarding. Closed-toe shoes are a good option to protect your feet.

The activities can be physically demanding. Pace yourself to enjoy every moment and avoid exhaustion.
Moreton Island Day Trip (Kayak, Snorkel & Sandboard)

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Address:  Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, Queensland


Contact Details: 0412 988 846, [email protected]

Price starts from: $190

Calling all nature enthusiasts! Here’s another guided tour you might enjoy.

The Premium Springbrook, Mt Tamborine Glow Worm, Lunch and Skywalk Tour is a full-day adventure that spans approximately 8-9 hours, making it an ideal addition to your Brisbane itinerary.

During this excursion, you’ll delve into caves, marvel at cascading waterfalls, traverse a towering bridge, and encounter a variety of iconic Australian wildlife, including kangaroos.

While you can’t get too close to the cows, sheep, and alpacas, you’ll have the perfect opportunity for some memorable photos.

Starting at 9 AM from the Northbank Plaza, this tour offers an enriching experience led by knowledgeable guides who can answer all your questions.

Plus, don’t forget to refuel with the provided lunch and snacks, ensuring you stay energized throughout this nature-filled journey.

Pro tips: Keep pesky insects at bay with insect repellent, especially during walks in the rainforest areas.

Capture the stunning scenery and wildlife with your camera. Additionally, binoculars can enhance your experience by allowing you to see animals and landscapes up close.

Address: 170 Main St, Kangaroo Point QLD, Australia


Contact Details: +61 (7) 3188 9070, [email protected]

Price starts from: $99

The Brisbane Story Bridge Adventure Climb is one way to discover the heart of Brisbane through a unique vantage point.

In just 2 hours, this guided tour provides an engaging experience that immerses you in the city’s rich history and showcases its stunning landscapes.

Your journey is led by a knowledgeable local guide who will accompany you throughout the climb. As you ascend, audio commentary about Brisbane’s top attractions will enrich your understanding of the city.

You’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views, including Moreton Bay, the Glass House Mountains, Lamington National Park, and the expansive Brisbane River.

What sets this tour apart is the option to choose between a daytime or nighttime adventure. If you’re a fan of city lights and want to witness Brisbane’s skyline illuminated against the night sky, the evening tour is a must-try.

Pro tips: Bring a camera or smartphone for capturing the incredible views from the bridge. Just ensure it’s securely attached.

Pay close attention to your guide’s instructions. They provide essential information for a safe and enjoyable experience.

Address: 222 Margaret St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia


Contact Details: +61 488 332 257, [email protected]

Price starts from: $169

The North Stradbroke Island Day Trip is an ideal escape for nature enthusiasts and beach lovers alike. This 8 to 10-hour adventure allows you to explore pristine lakes, scenic hikes, and inviting beaches.

You’ll begin your journey with a scenic cruise to the island aboard a luxury vehicle ferry. Throughout the trip, there’s an informative live commentary and guidance from a local expert. You might also encounter whales and other marine life along the way.

Once ashore, the island welcomes you with wildlife species such as koalas and kangaroos.

With a fully guided small-group experience, this trip allows you to delve into the island’s charm and key destinations like the picturesque township of Point Lookout, Dunwich Village, and the enchanting Myora Springs.

You’ll also have the opportunity to dive into the crystal-clear waters of Cylinder Beach, perfect for swimming, or explore the quaint fishing village of Amity Point. Additionally, the guided North Gorge walk offers stunning coastal views.

Pro tips: To secure your spot on this popular tour, visit their website regularly and book well in advance. They can only accommodate 21 people per group.

Ensure you arrive on time at the meeting point. The ferry waits for no one, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the adventure.

Walking Tours

City Essentials Tour

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Address: Brisbane Visitor Information Centre, 167 Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, QLD 4000


Contact Details: +61 478 635 115, 1800 469 255

Operating Hours: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM every Monday to Saturday

$280 per group (1-4 people)

Guided by Walk Brisbane, the City Essentials Tour allows you to delve into the vibrant streets of Brisbane, uncovering notable landmarks like King George Square, the City Hall Clock Tower, Eagle Street Pier, Queensland’s oldest church, and more.

The journey commences at Walk Brisbane’s headquarters, conveniently situated in Queen Street Mall, and concludes at the heart of the city, Eagle Street Pier.

As this is a walking excursion, we recommend donning comfortable footwear to fully relish the experience. Additionally, consider bringing a hat and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun’s rays.

Remember to capture plenty of photographs to make the most of your time at each stop! If you’re keen, you can reserve your tour spot here.

Pro tip:You’ll come across numerous attractive landmarks along the way. If you’re travelling solo, don’t hesitate to approach friendly locals and request them to capture a photo for you!
Art and Design Tour

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Address: Brisbane Visitor Information Centre, 167 Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, Qld 4000


Contact Details: +61 478 635 115, 1800 469 255

Operating Hours: 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or on request

Price starts from: $280 per group (1-4 people)

The Art & Design Tour is a three-hour exploration of the city’s vibrant open-air art scene. Here, you’ll be treated to a diverse collection of 40 works by over 30 talented artists and designers.

This walk tour offers a captivating blend of contemporary commissions, historical sculptures, street art, and architectural gems located throughout the CBD.

The knowledgeable guide will unravel the stories behind each masterpiece, providing you with valuable insights into Brisbane’s art scene. Along the way, you’ll also receive fantastic recommendations for dining, drinking, and visiting art galleries in the city.

The tour begins at Queen Street Mall, outside the Visitor Information Centre, and culminates at the renowned Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) where you can enjoy lunch and continue your art-filled day.

Alternatively, the guide can lead you on a leisurely 10-minute walk back to Queen St Mall. This is an exclusive tour designed for you and up to three fellow travellers, ensuring a personalized and immersive experience.

Pro tips: Wear comfortable walking shoes as you’ll be strolling through the city, exploring various artworks, and comfortable footwear is essential for enjoying the tour.

Use a comfortable backpack to carry your essentials. It’ll make the tour more enjoyable without having to lug around a heavy bag.
Laneways and Cafe Tour

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Address: Brisbane Visitor Information Centre, 167 Queen Street Mall, Brisbane, Qld 4000


Contact Details: +61 478 635 115, 1800 469 255

Operating Hours: 10 AM to 12:30 PM every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Price starts from: $360 per group (1-4 people)

The Laneways and Cafe Tour is a delightful 3-hour adventure that offers an insider’s perspective on Brisbane’s thriving dining and cafe scene. 

This walk tour allows you to explore hidden gems in local cafes and laneways, sampling Australian-grown coffee, tea, chai latte, iced chocolate, and delectable bites.

You can also engage with passionate baristas, uncover street art, and gather recommendations for dining and trendy bars from your friendly local guide.

The tour sets off from the Queen Street Mall Visitor Information Centre, making it convenient for visitors. Available on select weekdays, this tour is a must for foodies and coffee enthusiasts looking for an authentic taste of Brisbane.

Pro tips: While most places accept card payments, it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases or tips.

Save room for tastings along the way. Brisbane’s cafes often offer small bites to accompany your coffee, so don’t fill up before the tour.

Bicycle Tours

Brisbane Electric Mountain Bike Experience

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Contact Details: 0426223814, [email protected] 

Price starts from: $109.01 per adult 

The Brisbane Electric Mountain Bike Experience offers a memorable cycling adventure that combines the thrill of mountain biking with encounters of Brisbane’s unique wildlife.

Hosted by Forbes MTB, this guided cycling tour offers a unique way to explore the city by bicycle. As you pedal through scenic trails, you might even encounter some of Brisbane’s diverse wildlife.

The tour kicks off with a 2-hour mountain biking adventure that commences at Gap Creek Reserve. Forbes MTB ensures your comfort by providing traveller and airport pickups, making it easy to join the tour.

Each participant will be equipped with a mountain bike, helmet, and gloves. Please note that this tour is suitable for individuals aged 11 to 80 years old, offering an inclusive experience for a wide range of participants.

One of the highlights of the tour is a visit to Mount Coot-Tha Summit Lookout, where you can capture stunning photographs of the city’s breathtaking scenery.

Your journey will be guided by a coach with an impressive 23 years of experience in mountain biking, ensuring a safe and enjoyable exploration of Brisbane’s natural wonders. 

Pro tips: Ensure your biking gear is comfortable, including padded shorts and gloves if you have them.

Your guide is there to enhance your experience. Listen to their instructions for a safe and enjoyable ride.


Contact Details: +61 413 253 366, [email protected] 

Price starts from: $129 per adult 

The renowned Brisbane Classic Tour, hosted by Brisbane by Bicycle, is a leisurely 3-hour cycling excursion that immerses you in the city’s natural beauty, river vistas, and iconic landmarks.

In this cycling tour, you’ll wind along the scenic Brisbane River, cross the iconic Story Bridge, and explore sites like Southbank Parklands, Kangaroo Point, New Farm Park, and Brisbane Powerhouse.

The experienced local guide ensures a relaxed and enjoyable pace with numerous stops for photos and rest, and they even provide a traditional Aussie morning tea to keep you energized.

You’ll be equipped with a bicycle, safety helmet, bottled water, and a rain poncho if needed. A minimum of two participants is required for the tour to proceed, ensuring a social and enjoyable experience for everyone.

This cycling tour is ideal for all skill levels, offering a delightful journey through the heart of the city’s natural and cultural gems, and it starts and ends at the New Farm Park Ferry Terminal, making it convenient to access.

Pro tips: Wear closed-toe shoes suitable for cycling. You’ll be pedalling along diverse terrains, so comfortable footwear is a must.

While there’s a morning tea included, packing some light snacks like energy bars or fruits can keep you energized during the ride.

Address: 22 Andrew Ave, Tarragindi, Brisbane Area, Queensland 4121


Contact Details: +61 0411 047 828, [email protected] 

Price starts from: $30 per ride

VeloRoo – Live, Laugh, Ride … Cycling Holidays is your gateway to unforgettable cycling adventures in the beautiful landscapes of Southern Queensland Country, Scenic Rim, Sunshine Coast, South Burnett, Adelaide, and beyond.

Since 2012, VeloRoo has set the standard for personalized and innovative cycling holidays, combining the sheer joy of cycling with deep regional exploration.

What sets VeloRoo apart is their unwavering commitment to your safety and enjoyment.

Their guided itineraries, complete with vehicle support, ensure that you can fully immerse yourself in the ride and the local culture, all while sharing moments of laughter and camaraderie with fellow cyclists.

VeloRoo believes that cycling should be an emotional and enjoyable experience, prioritizing the spirit of challenge over cutthroat competition.

Pro tips: VeloRoo tours are designed for various fitness levels. Don’t push too hard; enjoy the journey and the beautiful scenery.

The guides are knowledgeable about the area. Feel free to ask them about the history, local culture, and landmarks you pass.

Do It Yourself (DIY) Tours

Brisbane Heritage Architecture Tour

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If you wish to discover the rich heritage and architecture of Brisbane at your own pace, we recommend this self-guided tour.

It offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s history through its iconic buildings, allowing you to explore its unique blend of old and new.

This DIY tour features the following iconic landmarks:

  • St. John’s Cathedral 
  • St. Andrews Church
  • Brisbane City Hall and Museum of Brisbane 
  • Treasury Building
  • Customs House
  • The Old Windmill
  • Brisbane Parliament House
  • Brisbane Arcade
  • General Post Office Building
  • Albert Street Uniting Church

As you stroll through these historic sites, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for Brisbane’s architectural heritage, making it a must-do for those with an interest in art and history.

Pro tips: Check the opening hours of the buildings you plan to visit. Some may have limited access or specific visiting times, so it’s best to plan accordingly.

Consider downloading a Brisbane city map or using a navigation app to help you find your way between stops. This can be especially handy if you’re not familiar with the city’s layout.
Central Business District Shopping Tour

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Our self-guided Central Business District Shopping Tour is one way to indulge your shopping desires. With over 1,000 stores to explore, this tour is a shopaholic’s dream come true, and the best part is, you set your own pace.

From the bustling Queen Street Mall to the boutique-lined streets of Edward, Queen’s Plaza, Elizabeth, and Albert, this tour covers the shopping hotspots of Brisbane.

Whether you’re looking for the latest fashion trends, unique souvenirs, or everyday necessities, you’ll find it all on this shopping spree through the heart of the city.

And if you need a break, you’re surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and entertainment options to refuel before your next shopping adventure.

Pro tips: Prioritize the stores you want to visit and plan your route accordingly. This will help you make the most of your time.

Many stores in Australia charge for plastic bags, so bring your reusable shopping bags to be eco-friendly and save money.
Street Art Tour

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Our DIY Street Art Tour offers a chance to uncover the vibrant world of street art in Brisbane. This self-guided journey takes you through the city’s diverse neighborhoods, allowing you to explore and appreciate the incredible talent of local artists.

As you wander through streets like Robertson Street, James Street, and Ann Street, you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of colorful and thought-provoking murals and graffiti.

These urban masterpieces tell stories, convey messages, and add a unique character to Brisbane’s cityscape.

Unlike a structured tour, this DIY adventure lets you set your own pace, linger at your favorite pieces, and immerse yourself in the thriving street art culture of Brisbane. It’s a fantastic way to explore the city’s creative spirit and connect with the local art scene.

Pro tips:Brisbane has plenty of cafes and eateries near its street art hotspots. Take breaks to refuel and enjoy some local cuisine.

Remember that street art is a form of creative expression. Avoid touching or defacing the artwork and be mindful of the artists’ messages.

Preparation for the Tours

Research the itineraries and pack your essentials thoughtfully

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Travelling overseas can be challenging, particularly for first-time travellers. However, you can ensure a smoother journey by conducting thorough research and preparation before your flight and tours.

It’s advisable to pack essential items like a first-aid kit and any necessary medications. While you might want to put effort into your daily outfits, we also advise packing comfortable shoes suitable for tours, especially those involving walking.

If you’re comfortable exploring in heels or boots, that’s fine too. The key is to ensure your comfort so you can fully enjoy the attractions.

Review the terms and conditions and the essential guidelines for your booked tours

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Familiarizing yourself with the tour guidelines for your upcoming or booked tours is a valuable step, as it can greatly enhance your experience.

Some tours have specific dress codes or restrictions on certain items to ensure a seamless and enjoyable journey for all participants. Therefore, we recommend carefully reviewing all the details to ensure a hassle-free visit to Brisbane.

Tips to Enjoy the Tours

Sleep early and arrive at your destination on time

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With a good sleep, you can do many things in just a day – and that includes enjoying the tour with so much enthusiasm and energy! 

Plus, when you sleep early, you can wake up early and ready well for your destination. If the tour is already paid for, then arriving on time will ensure that you’ll join the trip.

Oftentimes, latecomers are no longer allowed to join and are marked already as ‘no show’. That said, you can no longer ask for a refund especially if the hosts specifically mentioned these in their terms and conditions.

So if you’re travelling to another city, make sure to organise everything, sleep early and get ready for a whole bunch of adventure! 

Always bring your camera with you

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Although you might have another chance to go to Brisbane, you’ll never have a chance to capture the same moment the first time you tried the tour. 

With that said, we suggest you always bring your camera with you so you can immortalise your memories here in this beautiful city.

Also, we suggest that you prepare for your poses as well beforehand. This will not only allow you to take your photos easier, but also ensure you’re pleased with the results.

And of course, if your photos turn out great, why not share them on Instagram for others to enjoy?

Slow down and appreciate everything in every stop

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Many tourists can feel overwhelmed by the wealth of information presented in each itinerary. That’s why we recommend taking your time to fully appreciate everything.

While on a guided tour, don’t hesitate to inquire further about the history and delve into in-depth explanations. This way, you can truly make the most of your investment and gain a deeper understanding of Brisbane.

Make a note of destinations you'd like to revisit

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If you find yourself running short on time during your tour, jot down places you’d like to return to if you have extra days in Brisbane. You can also add any spots not covered in the tour to your list for future DIY adventures.

Creating this itinerary during your guided tour helps you make the most of your trip. Just don’t dwell on it too much; sometimes a place stays on your mind, and that’s when you can use your phone to mark it on your map and plan your route for future visits.

With a plethora of attractions waiting to be explored in Brisbane, we hope our guide has simplified the task of crafting your travel plans. With this, you can embrace the adventure and make the most of your time in this vibrant city!

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