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Top Attractions in Brisbane A Definitive Guide

Top Attractions in Brisbane: A Definitive Guide

G’day, fellow adventurers! If you’re ready to explore the land Down Under, get your sunscreen and your sense of wonder ready, because today we’re diving headfirst into the captivating world of attractions in Brisbane!

From stunning parks to iconic landmarks, Brisbane has more to offer than just kangaroos and vegemite sandwiches. So, buckle up and get ready for a whirlwind tour of this charming city that will make you say, “Crikey, I need to visit Brisbane ASAP!”

Discovering the Best of Brisbane

Discovering the Best of Brisbane
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Welcome to the sunny and vibrant city of Brisbane! If you’re looking for a place that effortlessly blends natural beauty, urban charm, and a laid-back Aussie vibe, you’ve come to the right spot.

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is a city that’s bursting with life and brimming with incredible attractions that will leave you awestruck. From stunning parklands to picturesque riverfronts, you’ll be constantly surrounded by breathtaking beauty.

First things first, let’s talk about the weather. With over 280 sunny days a year, Brisbane practically screams “Get outside and enjoy!” The city is blessed with a subtropical climate that’s perfect for exploring its top tourist attractions.

Brisbane pulses with a vibrant atmosphere that’s contagious from the moment you step foot on its lively streets. So, prepare to be dazzled by this city’s infectious energy.

From the bustling shopping precincts to the lively waterfront promenades, there’s always something exciting happening around every corner.

Discovering the Best of Brisbane 2
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With its sprawling parks, lush gardens, and tranquil riverside walks, Brisbane is a green oasis that offers respite from the urban hustle and bustle. Simply take a deep breath and soak in the fresh air as you explore the city’s natural treasures. 

For history buffs, Brisbane is also steeped in fascinating stories and historical landmarks that will transport you to another era, from charming heritage buildings to cultural precincts preserving the city’s rich past.

But let’s not forget the undeniable allure of Brisbane’s culinary scene. With a melting pot of international flavors and a thriving local food scene, this city will satisfy even the most discerning palates.

So, whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a culture junkie, or just someone looking to have a ripper of a time, Brisbane has something for everyone. Get ready to explore this magnificent city and create memories that will last a lifetime.

1. Museum of Brisbane

Address: Level 3, Brisbane City Hall, 64 Adelaide St, Brisbane City QLD 4000


Contact Details: +61 7 3339 0800, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10AM – 5PM

Entry Fee: None

The Museum of Brisbane is a cultural treasure that underwent a stunning redevelopment in 2013. It became a “small in size, big in stories” institution that proudly showcases the rich tapestry of Brisbane’s past.

As you step inside this museum, you’ll be transported through time as you explore a series of state-of-the-art exhibitions that delve into the city’s convict history, floods, and much more.

What sets the Museum of Brisbane apart is its ever-changing lineup of temporary exhibitions, ensuring that each visit promises a fresh and exciting experience.

As you immerse yourself in the exhibits, don’t forget to take a moment to ascend the magnificent clock tower and marvel at the sweeping views of the cityscape, adding an extra touch of magic to your visit.

The best part? Entry to the museum and most of its tours won’t cost you a dime, making it an accessible and enriching destination for all.

Pro tips: Don’t miss the view from the clock tower! It’s like getting a front-row seat to Brisbane’s stunning skyline, which is perfect for photos. Keep an eye out for special art exhibits and events on their website to see what’s currently on show!

2. Story Bridge Adventure Climb

Address: 170 Main St, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169


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

Operating Hours: Friday-Tuesday: 8:30AM – 11:30 AM, 2:30PM – 7:30 PM; Wednesday: 8:30AM – 11:30 AM; Thursday: 2:30PM – 7:30 PM

Constructed during Australia’s Great Depression in the 1930s, the Story Bridge stands proudly as an iconic landmark in Brisbane. This magnificent steel structure not only adds charm to the city’s skyline but also offers an exhilarating adventure like no other.

As one of the few bridge climbs in the world, it allows visitors to scale its heights and indulge in breathtaking views of Brisbane from 80 meters above the swirling waters of the Brisbane River.

But here’s where the Story Bridge takes it up a notch: the option to abseil the descent. It’s an experience that’s sure to make your heart race and create lasting memories! 

For those seeking more daring thrills, the new offerings of Walk the Plank and Cantilever Lean Out add an extra dose of excitement.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply someone who appreciates stunning views, the Story Bridge Adventure Climb is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Pro tips: You’ll be climbing and exploring for a couple of hours, so it’s essential to wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes that’ll keep you feeling at ease. Don’t you dare forget your camera or smartphone! The views from the bridge are nothing short of jaw-dropping!

3. Queen Street Mall 

Address: Queen Street, Brisbane

Queen Street Mall is a shopper’s paradise nestled in the heart of the city’s Central Business District. It has more than 700 retailers, showcasing a delightful mix of local gems, national favorites, and renowned international brands.

From iconic Australian labels like R.M. Williams, Lorna Jane, and Zimmermann to luxury powerhouses like Chanel, Dior, Tiffany & Co., and Louis Vuitton, there’s something to suit every style and budget.

The mall is anchored by the impressive six-level Myer Centre department store, inviting you to explore its treasure trove of fashion and accessories.

But Queen Street Mall isn’t just about shopping. It’s a lively social hub where café culture thrives, inviting shoppers to recharge with a cup of coffee or a delectable meal as they soak in the bustling atmosphere.

And if you happen to visit on a Wednesday, prepare for an extra treat as the area near the bridge end transforms into the vibrant Brisbane City Markets, where you can savor the delights of local produce, flowers, and artisanal products. 

Pro tips: Having a shopping list will help you stay focused and ensure you don’t miss out on those must-have items! If you can, plan your visit on a Wednesday when the Brisbane City Markets come alive at the bridge end of the mall. Keep in mind, it might also be the busiest though.

4. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Address: 708 Jesmond Rd, Fig Tree Pocket QLD 4069


Contact Details: +61 7 3378 1366, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 9 AM – 5 PM

Entry Fee: $24 per person

The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is one of the largest and oldest sanctuaries in Brisbane. It boasts an incredible collection of over 100 different species of Australian wildlife, making it an absolute must-visit attraction.

From adorable wallabies and kangaroos hopping about to slithering snakes and awe-inspiring crocodiles, the wildlife diversity here is truly astounding.

But the real highlight? Getting up close and personal with the cuddly koalas, capturing that iconic photograph and creating memories to last a lifetime.

But the wildlife extravaganza doesn’t stop there. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a paradise for bird enthusiasts too, with a rich tapestry of Australian avian wonders.

To make the most of your visit, don’t miss the daily encounters and interactive experiences, including thrilling bird of prey flight demonstrations, fascinating platypus feedings, and even sheepdog and shearing shows.

To add to the adventure, consider embarking on the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Admission with Brisbane River Cruise. The journey begins at Brisbane’s Cultural Centre Pontoon, on your way to this wildlife wonderland.

Pro tips: In order to maximize your wildlife encounters, try to arrive early to beat the crowds to get a chance to cuddle and interact with koalas, kangaroos and wallabies. If you’re looking for a truly unique souvenir, take home a snapshot of yourself with a dingo or a snake!

5. Botanic Gardens at Mount Coot-tha

Botanic Gardens at Mount Coot-tha
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Address: Mt Coot Tha Rd, Brisbane

Entry Fee: Free

Perched 287 meters above sea level, the Botanic Gardens at Mount Coot-tha has a 52-hectare area that provides a panoramic view of the surrounding Moreton Bay Islands.

It offers a verdant escape for nature enthusiasts and garden lovers alike. As you explore the gardens, you’ll be enthralled by the diverse themed sections that invite you on a horticultural journey.

Here, you can experience the tranquility of the enchanting Japanese gardens, admire the largest collection of Australian rainforest trees in the world, and revel in the scents and colors of the fragrant plant and bamboo sections.

Families will also delight in the Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail, where little ones can uncover the wonders of the rainforest.

If you’re eager to learn more, you can take advantage of the complimentary guided walks and minibus tours that offer fascinating insights into the botanical wonders around you.

Pro tips: The Botanic Gardens is a great spot for a leisurely picnic. Find a shady spot amidst the gardens and lay out your blanket and some delicious treats. Trust me, you’ll want to explore every nook and cranny of these expansive gardens. From the tranquil Japanese gardens to the captivating rainforest tree collection, there’s so much to see and discover. 

6. Brisbane Powerhouse

Address: Yagara Country, 119 Lamington St, New Farm QLD 4005


Contact Details: +61 7 3358 8600, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 9AM till late

Once a forgotten power station, the Brisbane Powerhouse has become the epitome of cool in the city. As you step inside, the graffiti-adorned walls and remnants of industrial machinery create an atmosphere that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Brisbane Powerhouse hosts a diverse range of cultural events, from live music gigs that make your heart thump to theatrical performances that transport you to another world.

With its ever-changing lineup, it ensures that there’s always something new and exciting to experience here.

Beyond the vibrant performances, the venue boasts two exceptional restaurants that will tantalize your taste buds with their culinary delights. And let’s not forget the stunning river views that provide a breathtaking backdrop to your time at the Powerhouse.

Whether you’re enjoying an art exhibition, sharing laughter at a stand-up comedy show, or simply taking a stroll through this architectural marvel, the Brisbane Powerhouse is a must-visit for those seeking an unforgettable cultural experience in the heart of the city.

Pro tips: Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try something new. You can catch a live gig of a genre you’ve never experienced before or immerse yourself in a thought-provoking art exhibition that challenges your perspective. Try to arrive a little early so you can take your time to wander through the graffiti-strewn corridors and head to one of the fantastic restaurants before the main event.

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Address: Stanley Pl, South Brisbane QLD 4101


Contact Details: +61 7 3840 7303

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10 AM – 5 PM

Entry Fee: Free

The Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) is one of Brisbane’s premier attractions, showcasing a remarkable collection of over 1,700 artworks from around the globe, with a special emphasis on Australia, the Pacific, and Asia.

As you step inside, you’ll see permanent exhibitions, including the International and Asian Collection, which features a captivating blend of classic and contemporary works.

You can also immerse yourself in the Indigenous Australian Collection, celebrating the rich heritage and artistic expressions of Australia’s First Nations.

Don’t forget to make your way to the Gallery of Modern Art, where there are various exhibits that span a multitude of mediums, including sculpture, painting, video, film, and photography.

Within the complex, the Australian Cinémathèque screens an array of stimulating films from around the world, while the Children’s Art Centre offers interactive exhibits designed to engage and inspire young minds.

Before bidding farewell to this cultural haven, try to visit the gallery’s River Lounge, where you can relax and soak in the breathtaking views of the city.

Pro tips: Be sure to check out the special exhibitions! There are over 1,700 works on display, so take your time and wander at your own pace.

8. River Cruise

River Cruise
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The river cruise in Brisbane offers more than just sightseeing. It’s a chance to comprehend the layout of the city and uncover hidden gems.

As the Brisbane River gently carries you along, you’ll witness a breathtaking panorama of iconic landmarks and natural wonders that define this vibrant metropolis. You’ll see the majestic Story Bridge and the rugged beauty of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.

There are plenty of river cruises to choose from to suit your preferences! 

River City Cruises offers a range of options, from leisurely 90-minute cruises to enchanting sunset voyages. We like their Cruise to Lunch Package, where you’ll indulge in Devonshire tea while listening to fascinating tales of Brisbane’s past.

If you seek a touch of old-world charm, Kookaburra River Queens offers the chance to embark on a dinner cruise as you savor the culinary delights amidst an atmosphere of timeless elegance.

And for wildlife enthusiasts, Miramar Cruises offer an unforgettable voyage to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where cuddly koalas and other native creatures await your arrival.

GoBoat Brisbane, on the other hand, presents a DIY option. You can rent one of their electric picnic boats and gather your crew for an adventure on the river!

Pro tips: Opting for a sunset cruise is a great option to experience breathtaking views. Just remember to arrive early to secure a prime spot on the deck. If you’re eager to explore the many attractions along the riverbanks, I highly recommend taking advantage of the CityCat and CityHopper services. These nifty ferries allow you to hop on and off at various terminals, granting you the freedom to discover different pockets of the city at your own pace.

9. Customs House

Address: 399 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000


Contact Details: +61 7 3365 8999, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday: 9 AM – 4 PM, Tuesday-Friday: 9 AM – 10 PM, Saturday: 10 AM – 10 PM, Sunday: 10 AM – 9:30 PM

Customs House is a splendid architectural gem that beckons both culture enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Originally a customs office, this 19th-century marvel now serves as a vibrant hub for cultural and educational experiences.

While Customs House boasts an array of public spaces, it’s the indoor/outdoor restaurant that truly steals the show. It offers delectable cuisine while being treated to breathtaking vistas of the river and the iconic Story Bridge.

If you’re keen on diving deeper into the historical treasures housed within Customs House, make time for the free guided tours available every Sunday.

This is a way to explore its captivating interiors and soak in the heritage that permeates every corner. Also, keep an eye out for the lively music concerts often held in the Long Room, where the soaring melodies harmonize with the building’s timeless elegance.

Pro tips: For a chance to unravel the intriguing history and architectural splendor of Customs House, join the free guided tour on Sundays. Remember to make a reservation for the daily high tea to ensure you don’t miss out on this delightful culinary adventure.

10. Wheel of Brisbane

Wheel of Brisbane
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Address: Russell St, South Brisbane QLD 4101


Contact Details: +61 7 3844 3464

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10 AM – 10 PM

Entry Fee: $14 per head

The Wheel of Brisbane is a must-visit attraction that dominates the South Bank skyline. Rising an impressive 60 meters above the riverfront, this iconic Ferris wheel offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you breathless.

As you step aboard one of the enclosed gondolas that can accommodate up to eight people, you can then embark on a thrilling 10 to 12-minute ride. As you ascend, the cityscape unfolds before your eyes, providing a bird’s-eye view of the Brisbane River.

Whether you choose to ride during the day, at sunset when the sky sets ablaze, or at night when the city lights dance upon the water, each moment promises to be a visual spectacle.

There’s also an informative audio tour that narrates the significance of the landmarks sprawled below. From the comfort of your air-conditioned capsule, you’ll gain insights into the city’s rich history and marvel at its iconic attractions.

No reservations are necessary for this breathtaking adventure. Simply show up, purchase your ticket, or conveniently pre-purchase online prior to your arrival.

Pro tips: It can get packed, especially during weekends and holidays. You should pre-purchase your ticket online to breeze past the queue and guarantee you a spot in one of the air-conditioned gondolas. Don’t forget to bring along a jacket or a light layer, even if it’s a warm day. As you ascend to greater heights, the temperature can drop slightly.

11. Roma Street Parklands

Address: 1 Parkland Blvd, Brisbane City QLD 4000


Contact Details: +61 1300 137 468

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: open 24 hours

Roma Street Parklands is a haven of outdoor fun and natural beauty nestled in the heart of Brisbane. If you’re looking for a family-friendly destination that will delight both young and old, this expansive 39-acre city park is an absolute must-visit.

With plenty of spaces to run and play, you can watch your little ones’ faces light up with excitement as they explore the playgrounds, climb on the equipment, and swing to their heart’s content. 

When it’s time to refuel, why not indulge in a delightful picnic under the shade of the majestic fig trees? With vibrant color-themed flower beds and lush plantings of palms and bamboo, you can immerse yourself in the botanical wonderland that surrounds you.

For those eager to delve deeper into the park’s history and horticulture, free guided walks are available, offering fascinating insights into this captivating oasis.

And with a year-round calendar of events, there’s always something happening at Roma Street Parklands, ensuring endless opportunities to immerse yourself in the magic of this green paradise.

Pro tips: an eye out for the year-round events taking place here because there’s always something happening at Roma Street Parklands Be sure to join one of the free guided walks offered at the park. These insightful tours provide fascinating tidbits about the park’s history and horticulture. 

12. South Bank Parklands

South Bank Parklands
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Address: South Brisbane QLD 4101

Entry Fee: $17 per head

South Bank Parklands, once the site of the World Expo in 1988, is a picturesque riverfront precinct that buzzes with energy and excitement, offering a delightful array of experiences.

The sprawling area features inviting parklands, charming plazas, and scenic promenades that beckon you to stay and explore. 

Don’t forget to experience the crystal-clear waters of Streets Beach, a man-made lagoon that offers a refreshing swim on a warm day!

South Bank also has a diverse range of restaurants to choose from, where you can savor delectable flavors while enjoying breathtaking river views.

Also check out the bustling Collective Markets on Little Stanley Street, where you’ll discover an eclectic mix of handmade crafts, jewelry, vintage clothing, and much more.

Beyond the food and shopping, South Bank offers a plethora of activities to keep you entertained. You can join free fitness classes, wander through the lush Epicurious Garden, or embark on a leisurely bike ride along the scenic trails.

Families will also delight in the free children’s programs and tours that are sure to create unforgettable memories!

Pro tips: South Bank Parklands is one of the top picnic spots in Brisbane. You can also bring a frisbee or a ball to play some games on the lush green lawns. Wander off the beaten path and explore the lesser-known areas. You might stumble upon an enchanting sculpture, a serene garden, or a quaint plaza that feels like your own little secret oasis.

13. Mount Coot-tha Summit Lookout

Mount Coot-tha Summit Lookout
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Address: 1012 Sir Samuel Griffith Dr, Mount Coot-Tha QLD 4066

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: Open 24 Hours

Perched high above the city, the Mount Coot-tha Summit Lookout offers an unparalleled panoramic view of Brisbane. This iconic attraction is a must-visit for locals and tourists alike, providing a breathtaking vantage point.

As you ascend to the summit, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the city skyline, the winding Brisbane River, and the lush greenery of the surrounding mountains.

But the lookout offers more than just stunning views. It’s also a gateway to outdoor adventures. For instance, you can explore the surrounding bushland and immerse yourself in nature by following one of the walking trails that crisscross the area.

You’ll also feel the cool breeze on your face as you meander through the scenic landscape. Also, keep an eye out for native wildlife that calls this natural sanctuary home.

Additionally, don’t forget to take a break at the Summit Restaurant and Bar, where you can savor a delicious meal or indulge in a refreshing beverage while still enjoying the breathtaking vista.

Pro tips: To make the most of your visit, I recommend going either early in the morning or around sunset. You’ll avoid the crowds and have more space to soak in the serenity. Don’t forget to bring a jacket or sweater, as it can get a bit chilly up there, especially in the evening.

14. Moreton Island

Moreton Island
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Just a short ferry ride away from the bustling city, Moreton Island is a haven of tranquility and adventure. As the third largest sand island in the world, it’s a playground of pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and untouched landscapes.

With over 98 percent of the island designated as a national park, you’ll encounter a vibrant array of wildlife, both on land and in the surrounding waters.

You can also embark on a day cruise to Tangalooma Island Resort, where a world of adventure awaits.

It’s a perfect spot to feel the thrill of sand tobogganing down towering dunes, watch magnificent whales and wildlife on a cruise, or dive into the famous shallow-water wrecks for a mesmerizing snorkeling experience.

For an extended stay, consider immersing yourself in the island’s magic at Tangalooma Island Resort. You can also feed wild dolphins, marvel at kookaburras and pelicans, take to the skies with a helicopter tour, or embark on an exhilarating Segway beach ride.

Pro tips: Moreton Island is a playground for thrill-seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. Don’t miss the sand tobogganing experience. It’s an adrenaline rush like no other. The famous shallow-water wrecks are a snorkeler’s dream come true. The colors and diversity are simply breathtaking, and you might even encounter some playful dolphins along the way.

15. Eat Street Northshore

Address: 221D MacArthur Ave, Hamilton QLD 4007


Contact Details: +61 428 485 242, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Friday & Saturday: 4PM – 10 PM, Sunday: 4PM – 9 PM

Welcome to Eat Street Northshore, where culinary delights and vibrant entertainment collide to create a sensory feast unlike any other. 

As you step into this bustling night market, the air is filled with mouthwatering aromas, enticing you to indulge in a global culinary adventure. From sizzling Malaysian street food to zesty Mexican tacos, the options are endless!

Here, you can gather with family and friends, even bringing your furry companions along for the fun. Children will be delighted by the towering clouds of fairy floss, adding an extra sprinkle of sweetness to their evening.

As you wander through the lively precinct, you’ll also encounter multiple stages showcasing live musicians and captivating novelty acts. Simply find a table that suits your music tastes and let the melodies carry you through the night.

Pro tips: Whether you choose to arrive by ferry, taking in the scenic river views, or opt for the convenience of free parking, be sure to wear your walking shoes and stretchy pants.

16. Brisbane Riverwalk

Brisbane Riverwalk
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Address: Eagle Street Pier

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: Open 24 Hours

Brisbane Riverwalk is a picturesque 5.3-kilometer pathway that hugs the banks of the mighty Brisbane River.

Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll, a brisk jog, or a bike ride, this riverside promenade offers something for everyone. Pedestrians and cyclists have their own dedicated lanes, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for all.

The breathtaking vistas span across the river to the iconic Kangaroo Point and beyond. The Riverwalk also leads you to the bustling Howard Smith Wharves, where you can unwind at one of the many charming restaurants or cozy cafes.

And if you’re up for more adventure, why not continue your exploration all the way to the enchanting Brisbane City Botanic Gardens? As the sun sets and the city lights begin to twinkle, this idyllic spot becomes the ideal backdrop for a romantic evening stroll.

Pro tips: I recommend starting your journey from the vibrant suburb of New Farm! Before you hit the path, grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee from one of the cozy cafes in the area. Don’t forget your camera! The Brisbane Riverwalk offers some seriously Instagram-worthy moments. 

17. Spirit of the Red Sand

Address: Beenleigh Historical Village, 205 Main St, Beenleigh QLD 4207


Spirit of the Red Sand is an extraordinary attraction just a short drive from Brisbane’s bustling CBD. It takes you on a journey of discovery that will leave you with an appreciation for Queensland’s historical roots.

You can engage in interactive activities that bring you closer to the customs and traditions of the Indigenous people. These include tasting the flavors of the land and painting a boomerang, a symbol of connection and heritage.

As the sun sets, prepare for an enchanting evening at the Beenleigh Historical Village. Amidst the serene gardens, witness a performance of Aboriginal song and dance, a portrayal of the cultural clash between the Indigenous people and the British settlers.

What sets this experience apart is the authenticity of the performers’ stories, as many of them have lived through these profound moments in history.

While you’re captivated by the performances, you can savor a sumptuous three-course meal featuring Indigenous ingredients, a culinary tribute to the flavors that have shaped this ancient land.

Pro tips: Don’t miss the theater experience! As the sun sets over the Beenleigh Historical Village, prepare to be moved by a performance that weaves together the stories of Indigenous families and their encounters with the British settlers. 
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