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Best Things to Do Near Brisbane Airport During Layover

Best Things to Do Near Brisbane Airport During Layover

G’day, weary traveler! Ever had one of those layovers where you start contemplating life’s deepest questions like, “Why does my suitcase weigh more on the way back?”

Well, mate, fret not! I’ve got the inside scoop on where to spend time near Brisbane Airport that’ll have you swapping airport lounges for outdoor adventures. We’re diving into stunning beaches, wildlife encounters, and, of course, savoring classic Aussie tucker.

So, if you’ve ever wondered how to make the most of your layover down under, keep reading, because we’re about to embark on an Aussie escapade like no other!

1. Shop at Skygate

Address: 1 The Cct, Brisbane Airport QLD 4008


Contact Details: +61 7 3406 3000, [email protected]

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

Travel Time from Brisbane Airport:

  • Domestic Terminal to Skygate: 5 minutes
  • International Terminal to Skygate: 15 minutes

If you have time to spare during a layover at Brisbane Airport, consider Skygate for an enjoyable diversion. Located just 5 km from the airport, Skygate is a shopping and lifestyle hub that offers a plethora of options to make the most of your downtime.

A complimentary shuttle bus conveniently connects Skygate to both the Domestic and International Terminals, ensuring easy access for travelers. Skygate boasts a diverse array of 145 fashion and lifestyle brands, making it a shopper’s paradise.

From fashion boutiques to homeware stores, jewelry shops to sports outlets, you can explore a wide range of choices. Plus, Skygate’s 24-hour Woolworths has your last-minute travel needs and snacks covered.

With a variety of dining options, cafes, and restaurants to choose from, you can savor a delicious meal or simply grab a coffee to recharge before your flight.

For travelers looking to indulge in some retail therapy or pick up unique Australian souvenirs, Skygate is the ideal destination during your layover. And the new TK Maxx at Skygate means more shopping options before your flight.

Pro tips:

  • If you plan on shopping for clothes or other items, consider bringing an extra carry-on bag. This way, you’ll have space for your purchases without exceeding your luggage allowance.
  • Look for charging stations or outlets around the shopping center to ensure your devices are powered up for your flight.

2. Go Karting at Slideways

Address: 870 Kingsford Smith Dr, Eagle Farm QLD 4009


Contact Details: +61 7 3868 2225

Operating Hours: Tuesday-Thursday: 12–8 PM, Friday: 12–9 PM, Saturday: 9 AM–9 PM, Sunday: 9 AM–8 PM

Distance from Brisbane Airport: around 3km

Slideways Go Karting near Brisbane Airport is a thrilling and convenient activity for travelers on layovers or anyone looking for some high-speed fun. It’s the ultimate antidote to airport boredom, allowing everyone to let loose and have a blast.

Just a 5-minute drive from the airport, Slideways offers an exciting indoor go-karting experience suitable for families and individuals alike. Rain or shine, you can enjoy lap after lap on their racetrack, complete with an impressive 24m crossover bridge.

The track offers a European-style indoor karting experience with 425m of heart-pounding action, including multi-level circuit sections, hairpins, sweepers, and more. The karts are high-powered and allow for speeds of up to 70km/h.

Friendly and knowledgeable staff with racing experience are on hand to provide tips and tricks, making it an ideal choice for both newcomers and experienced racers.

While there’s no age limit, please note there is a height restriction of 140cm, making it perfect for pre-teen kids and older visitors.

Pro tips:

  • Listen carefully to the safety briefing and follow all the rules. Your safety gear, like a helmet, is provided, so wear it properly.
  • Use your initial laps as warm-up rounds. Get a feel for the track and your kart before going full throttle.

3. Explore Thrilling Adventures at Urban Xtreme

Address: 4/370 Nudgee Rd, Hendra QLD 4011


Contact Details: +61 1300 872 269, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 9 AM–8 PM, Thursday: 10 AM–6 PM, Friday: 10 AM–9 PM, Saturday: 9 AM–6 PM, Sunday: 9 AM–5 PM

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 5km

When your layover coincides with restless kids (or adults) seeking an adrenaline rush, look no further than Urban Xtreme. Urban Xtreme is Brisbane’s premier adventure destination, boasting the title of Australia’s largest indoor Adventure Park.

It’s the place where Queensland’s only indoor ski slopes rub shoulders with an exciting lineup of nine other action-packed pursuits.

You can glide down the slopes on skis or snowboards, spring to new heights on trampolines, navigate the Ninja Warrior challenges, master the art of parkour, engage in epic laser tag battles, scale rock climbing walls, and more.

This adventure haven even has a special Adventure Playland tailored for the youngest adventurers. Urban Xtreme offers fun, fitness, and adventure for everyone, whether you’re a local looking for excitement or a traveler passing through Brisbane.

With over 10 exhilarating activities under one roof, there’s an adventure to suit every taste. From Xtreme Climb to Xtreme Ninja, you’ll push your limits, face your fears, and experience thrills beyond your wildest imagination.

Pro tips:

  • Consider purchasing an Adventure Pass, which gives you access to multiple activities at a discounted rate. It’s a cost-effective way to experience a variety of thrilling adventures.
  • Take a break from the action and refuel at the on-site café or restaurant. Enjoy a meal and relax before getting back into the adventures.

4. Climb the Iconic Story Bridge

Address: State Route 15, New Farm QLD 4169


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

Operating Hours: 

Monday & Tuesday: 8:30–11:30 AM, 2:30–7:30 PM; Wednesday: 8:30–11:30 AM; Thursday: 2:30–7:30 PM; Friday-Sunday: 8:30–11:30 AM, 2:30–7:30 PM

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 13 km

Entry Fee:

  • Adult – A$129.00
  • Student – A$116.10
  • Senior – A$116.10
  • Child: 6-16 (travel with a guardian, see terms and conditions) – A$109.65

If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for adventurous activities near Brisbane Airport, the Story Bridge Adventure Climb is an exhilarating choice.

This iconic experience takes you to the heart of Brisbane, where you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the city, stretching from Moreton Bay in the east to the Scenic Rim in the west.

Suitable for all fitness levels and ages (minimum 6 years old), this soft adventure experience takes you on an exhilarating journey to the 80-meter summit of the iconic Story Bridge.

During the one-and-a-half to two-hour climb, you’ll enjoy uninterrupted 360-degree views of Brisbane City, the river, mountain ranges, and islands. With knowledgeable and entertaining professional guides, you can have confidence in the safety of this activity.

Your adventure begins at the base headquarters, where you’ll receive a pre-climb briefing before ascending through the bridge’s superstructure to the summit.

It’s one of only three such experiences in the world and provides fascinating commentary about the history and heritage of both the bridge and the city.

With options for Dawn, Day, Twilight, and Night Climbs, this adventure is a thrilling way to spend your layover near Brisbane Airport.

Pro tips:

  • Don’t forget to pose for the group photo at the summit platform. It’s a great keepsake of your adventure.
  • After your climb, visit the Merchandise area for souvenirs. You might find the perfect memento to remember your experience.

5. Enjoy an Array of Flavors at Eat Street Northshore

Address: 221D MacArthur Ave, Hamilton QLD 4007


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

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

Distance from Brisbane Airport: Approximately 13 km

If you’re a true food enthusiast, a visit to Eat Street Markets is a must during your layover near Brisbane Airport. These unique markets come to life from Friday to Sunday, showcasing an ingenious use of old shipping containers as shopfronts.

It’s the trendiest thing to do near Brisbane Airport, where you can join locals and indulge in a diverse range of global culinary delights.

Whether you’re in the mood for Japanese pizzas, Korean sliders, Aussie fish and chips, or vegan brownies, Eat Street Markets has you covered.

The vibe is electric, resembling the lively atmosphere of Asian night markets, complete with live music. Plus, there’s an added bonus – a ‘Pop Up’ drive-in and outdoor cinema that offers movie nights every Friday and Saturday.

Eat Street never gets dull, with ever-changing food offerings to keep things fresh and exciting. Whether it’s a cozy dinner for two or a lively group gathering, Eat Street Markets is an excellent choice to satisfy your taste buds while on a layover near Brisbane Airport.

Moreover, there’s also a variety of cocktails, craft beers, and wine bars sprinkled throughout, so you can wash down all the delicious food with your preferred beverage.

Pro tips:

  • While many stalls accept card payments, it’s wise to have some cash on hand, as not all vendors may offer card facilities.
  • With numerous options, sharing dishes with your companions allows you to sample more flavors. It’s a great way to try a variety of cuisines without overindulging.

6. Wildlife Encounters at 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

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 18 km

If you yearn for a genuine wildlife encounter, make a beeline for Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a mere 30 minutes’ drive from the airport. It’s accessible by car, bus, or the scenic Mirimar River Cruise.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary isn’t just a wildlife haven; it’s a living testament to Australia’s rich biodiversity. As the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, it provides a habitat for over 100 koalas and a staggering 70 other species of native Australian animals.

This premier wildlife attraction in Brisbane offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the country’s iconic creatures, set against a backdrop of natural beauty and intimacy.

You’ll find a daily schedule brimming with entertaining shows, engaging presentations, memorable photo opportunities, and even the chance to feed kangaroos in a free-range setting.

You’ll also have an opportunity to experience the thrilling 360-degree crocodile viewing dome, where you can come face-to-face with Australia’s largest apex predator, the saltwater crocodile.

The sanctuary opens its doors daily, offering a delightful escape into the wonders of Australian wildlife during your layover near Brisbane Airport.

Pro tips:

  • Participate in interactive experiences like hand-feeding kangaroos for a truly immersive visit.
  • Visit the sanctuary’s gift shop for souvenirs and eco-friendly gifts, which also support wildlife conservation.

7. Bag the Best Deals at Direct Factory Outlets (DFO)

Address: 18th Ave, Brisbane Airport QLD 4008


Contact Details: +61 7 3305 9250, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 10 AM–6 PM

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 0.6 km

For travelers seeking retail therapy near Brisbane Airport, Direct Factory Outlets (DFO) is an ultimate shopping destination, conveniently located just 0.6km away.

At DFO, you’ll have the chance to explore a wide array of Australian stores offering discounted retail prices. Whether your shopping list includes fashion, accessories, homewares, or gifts, DFO has it all.

Dive into the world of last season’s fashion or discontinued lines from renowned brands like Calvin Klein, Nike, Oroton, and more. Surf enthusiasts will delight in iconic outlets such as Billabong, Rip Curl, Quiksilver, Hurley, and City Beach.

Whether you’re on the hunt for sports attire or fashion-forward clothing, DFO has you covered. With its seven-day-a-week operations, it’s the ideal stopover for some shopping bliss.

And when you’re ready to take a break from your shopping spree, head to the Food Court, where you can refuel with a delicious meal and refreshing drinks.

DFO’s central location, extensive shopping options, and unbeatable prices make it one of the best things to do near Brisbane Airport during a layover.

Pro tips:

  • Many stores at DFO offer loyalty programs or newsletters. Sign up for these to receive exclusive discounts and promotions during your visit.
  • Look out for coupons or discount vouchers at the information desk or online before your visit. These can provide extra savings on top of outlet prices.

8. Embark on a Scenic Brisbane River Cruise with CityCat Ferries

8. Embark on a Scenic Brisbane River Cruise with CityCat Ferries
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Address: Kingsford Smith Dr, Hamilton QLD 4007

Contact Details: +61 131230

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 6 km

Embarking on a Brisbane River cruise with CityCat Ferries offers a refreshing and unique perspective on Queensland’s capital, allowing you to navigate the iconic Brisbane River that gracefully winds its way through the heart of the city.

With a fleet of 22 CityCats, these swift and efficient ferries provide a scenic journey with numerous terminals scattered along the riverbanks.

Brisbane’s CityCat service is renowned for being one of the most popular and beloved ways to get around town. It’s not only a practical means of transportation but also a family-friendly and enjoyable way to explore the city.

The Bretts Wharf Terminal, conveniently located near Brisbane Airport, serves as your gateway to this delightful river adventure. The ferries depart approximately every 15 minutes, ensuring you can hop on board and enjoy the city’s sights at your own pace.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor eager to see the city’s landmarks or a longtime resident looking for a fresh perspective, cruising on a CityCat is an absolute must-do activity.

It allows you to experience the natural beauty and vibrant charm of Brisbane while escaping the hustle and bustle of the city’s busy streets.

With easily accessible timetables and routes available on the Translink website, taking a CityCat cruise is a convenient and affordable way to explore Brisbane.

Pro tips:

  • If you’re sensitive to the sun, consider choosing a seat in the shaded area of the ferry. There are indoor and outdoor seating options available.
  • Strike up a conversation with the locals on board or the friendly CityCat staff. They can provide valuable insights into the city and its attractions.

9. Wander Through Kalinga Park

9. Wander Through Kalinga Park
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Address: 31 Kalinga St, Clayfield QLD 4011


Contact Details: +61 7 3403 8888

Operating Hours: Open 24 hours

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 10 km

Visiting Kalinga Park is great for families and outdoor enthusiasts looking for a delightful escape near Brisbane Airport during a layover. Established in 1910, it holds historical significance with its World War I memorial gates that greet visitors as they enter.

The park’s expansive grounds offer a wide range of attractions, making it an ideal spot for a day of family fun. From treehouses to a climbing wall, a large sandpit to a creek for rock throwing and climbing, this park provides endless opportunities for recreation.

Families with children will appreciate the grid of paved ‘streets’ with stop signs, perfect for little ones on wheels and helping them learn valuable traffic sense.

The park also features picnic and barbecue facilities, creating a wonderful environment for a leisurely outdoor meal under the shade of majestic gum trees. If you’re traveling with pets, there’s even a dog off-leash enclosure with agility equipment.

Additionally, the park is well-connected through the Kedron Brook bikeway, making it accessible for cyclists looking to explore the area.

Kalinga Park’s rich blend of history, diverse amenities, and natural beauty make it an ideal stopover destination near Brisbane Airport.

Pro tips:

  • Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated, especially if you plan on exploring the park’s many attractions.
  • Grab a park map or use a GPS app to explore all the attractions, ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the park’s hidden gems.

10. Be a Pilot for a Day with Jet Flight Simulator

10. Be a Pilot for a Day with Jet Flight Simulator
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Address: Level 1/554 Lutwyche Rd, Lutwyche QLD 4030


Contact Details: +61 7 3245 5650

Operating Hours: Friday: 11 AM–8 PM, Saturday: 10 AM–8 PM, Sunday: 10 AM–6 PM

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 8 km

Have you ever dreamed of being a pilot for a day? Make that dream a reality during your layover near Brisbane Airport with the Jet Flight Simulator experience in Lutwyche.

This thrilling adventure allows you to take the captain’s seat and control an F/A-18 Super Hornet or even a Boeing 737 Next Generation airliner. At the Air Combat Centre, you’re not just a passenger; you’re the pilot.

With this activity, you’ll prepare for takeoff as you navigate the skies, perhaps taking on daring missions, air-to-air refueling, or engaging in epic dogfights.

With experienced instructors by your side, you’ll enjoy the sensation of being in the cockpit as you cruise from your choice of airport, making it a truly immersive experience.

This family-owned business prides itself on offering competitive prices and a high standard of professionalism.

The state-of-the-art simulator is based on the Boeing 737-800NG and boasts over 24,000 airports to choose from, along with various weather conditions.

Whether you’re an aspiring pilot seeking training or simply a flying enthusiast looking for adventure, the Jet Flight Simulator is an exhilarating option for an unforgettable layover activity near Brisbane Airport.

Pro tips:

  • If you’re traveling with a companion who’s also interested, consider booking a dual control session. It’s a fun way to share the experience and take turns as the pilot.
  • Listen to and communicate with virtual air traffic control. It adds realism to your experience and makes it even more exciting.

11. Play Mini Golf at Golf Central BNE

Address: 40 The Cct, Brisbane Airport QLD 4008


Contact Details: +61 7 3087 7800, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday: 9 AM–10 PM, Tuesday-Sunday: 7 AM–10 PM

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 1.5 km

Right next to Brisbane Airport, Golf Central BNE offers an exciting 18-hole mini golf experience that takes you on a journey around the world without leaving the greens.

Located conveniently near DFO Brisbane, Golf Central BNE offers a unique and fun-filled activity for travelers during their layovers.

Golf Central BNE boasts an Around the World-themed mini golf course that features rolling greens, water features, and challenging ricochets, making it an ideal choice for players of all ages and skill levels.

Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just looking for a fun way to spend your layover, this mini golf course offers an entertaining and interactive experience. Moreover, it operates seven days a week, making it accessible on any day of your flight itinerary.

Beyond mini golf, Golf Central BNE offers a top-notch driving range with state-of-the-art technology, including 29 covered hitting bays with Toptracer.

The facility also features a Clubhouse Cafe and Bar, perfect for refueling after your game or enjoying a relaxing beverage.

With stunning views of the CBD skyline, Golf Central BNE provides a well-rounded and enjoyable experience for travelers near Brisbane Airport.

  • Before you start, select a putter that feels comfortable in your hands. The right putter can make a big difference in your game.
  • Most mini golf courses have par scores for each hole. Try to match or beat these scores for an added challenge.

12. Indulge at Toms Confectionery Warehouse

Address: Unit 4/358 Nudgee Rd, Hendra QLD 4011


Contact Details: +61 7 3268 4877, emailto:[email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Friday: 10 AM–8 PM, Saturday: 8 AM–6 PM, Sunday: 8 AM–4 PM

Distance from Brisbane Airport: 6 km

If you find joy in indulging your sweet tooth, Toms Confectionery Warehouse is the perfect place to be during a layover near Brisbane Airport. It’s a delightful way to infuse some sweetness into your journey, guaranteeing a sugary treat for every traveler.

Just a short 6-minute journey from the airport terminal, this candy haven beckons with Brisbane’s most extensive selection of sugary delights. The moment you step into Toms Confectionery, you’ll be immersed in a candy wonderland.

The warehouse is brimming with a vibrant array of confectionery, from colorful popcorn and tangy lemon slices to chunky unicorns and cosmic ice cream candies.

Here, you can explore the intriguing international candy collection, featuring goodies like Big League Chew Gum, Reece’s chocolates, Amaretto nougat, and Dutch licorice.

Toms Confectionery goes beyond the ordinary with offerings like sweet cereals, a cotton candy vending machine, and an ‘under $1 pavilion for budget-friendly sweets. For those watching their sugar intake, there’s even a sugar-free section.

And if you can’t get enough, rest assured that you can continue your candy adventure by shopping online.

Pro tips:

  • Stock up on unique candies and chocolates that can make for great souvenirs or gifts for loved ones back home.
  • The staff at Toms are knowledgeable about their inventory. Don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations or inquire about special promotions.

13. Take a Stroll Along Nudgee Beach and Boardwalk

13. Take a Stroll Along Nudgee Beach and Boardwalk
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Address: Nudgee Beach QLD 4014


Distance from Brisbane Airport: Around 11 km

Nudgee Beach and its picturesque boardwalk offer a tranquil escape just a stone’s throw from Brisbane Airport, making it an ideal activity during your layover. A mere 10-minute drive or a short cab or Uber ride will transport you to this serene oasis.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a peaceful respite, Nudgee Beach has something for everyone. The 2-kilometer boardwalk winds its way through lush mangroves, allowing you to immerse in the area’s natural beauty.

As you stroll along the boardwalk, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the bay and have the chance to spot diverse wildlife.

It’s worth noting that the boardwalk is pram-friendly, but it’s essential to stay sun-safe as there’s minimal protection from the elements.

Nudgee Beach’s proximity to Brisbane’s Central Business District makes it a convenient escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Here, you can connect with nature, enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the nearby track, or observe the vibrant birdlife.

Pro tips:

  • Depending on the season, you might encounter insects. Carrying insect repellent can be helpful for a more comfortable experience.
  • Be mindful of the tides. Some areas of the boardwalk may become submerged during high tide, so check tide times in advance if you plan to explore the entire boardwalk.

14. Explore New Farm Park

Address: 1042 Brunswick St, New Farm QLD 4005


Contact Details: +61 7 3403 8888, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Open 24 hours

Distance from Brisbane Airport: Approximately 13 km

New Farm Parkis just a short 15-minute taxi ride from Brisbane Airport, making it a perfect destination for those with a layover looking for a peaceful escape.

This park holds a special place in Brisbane’s history, with its roots dating back to 1919 when it was first established. Today, it’s a sprawling 37-acre park, one of the city’s oldest and largest, with over 18,000 weekly visitors from around the world.

One of the park’s standout features is its proximity to the beautiful Brisbane River, offering stunning riverfront views. A picturesque boardwalk connects the park to the Brisbane Central Business District, making it easily accessible for travelers.

New Farm Park is a favorite among locals and tourists alike, attracting families, friends, and nature enthusiasts. It’s a place where you can relax beneath the shade of majestic trees, enjoy picnics, barbecue gatherings, and even partake in outdoor sports.

The park often hosts free live music events in its charming rotunda and various special events throughout the year, adding an extra layer of entertainment to your visit.

Adjacent to New Farm Park, you’ll find the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse, a beautifully repurposed historic building now serving as a dynamic arts center. Here, you can catch live music performances, comedy shows, theatrical productions, and more.

Pro tips:

  • If your layover falls on a weekend, don’t miss the farmers’ markets at Brisbane Powerhouse. You can discover fresh local produce, artisanal goods, and unique souvenirs.
  • After your visit, explore the nearby cafes and eateries in New Farm. It’s an opportunity to savor some local cuisine and extend your layover experience.


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