10 of the best Brisbane Lookouts

10 of the best Brisbane Lookouts

Last updated. January 30, 2023

Whether you want water views, panoramic views, adrenaline-fueled adventures or lazy days on laid-back islands, Brisbane is packed with activities and attractions you’ll love.

With sunrise, sunset and all points in between, it’s easy to catch a breathtaking view in Brisbane. In a city blessed with many hills, peaks and river views, there is an abundance of the best vantage points in Brisbane to choose from.

The best views in Brisbane? Well, everyone has their favorites. Here are some of us.

Get the heart pumping and abseil down Kangaroo Point Cliffs. (Image: Kenny Smith)

1. Climb the Story Bridge

For two incredible hours you can take in incredible views of Brisbane from the top of the Story Bridge, 80 meters above the Brisbane River.

Sunrise and sunset are great times to look out over the vastness of the city on one of only three bridge climbs in the world. But don’t limit yourself to the climb itself, as there are many experiences available through Story Bridge Adventure Climb, including bridge abseiling.

Climb the iconic Story Bridge.

Cameras are prohibited on the climb, but the guides will capture your great moments along the way and the memories will last forever.

2. River views from Howard Smith Wharves

Enjoy a craft beer from Felon’s Brewery on the boardwalk at Howard Smith Wharves, and enjoy the view from a bend in the river below the Story Bridge.

Watch the riverboats go by, check out the bridge and take a walk or cycle along the floating Brisbane Riverwalk to New Farm.

The elevator or stairs to the top of the cliffs give you a higher vantage point, or you can head to Fiume Rooftop Bar at Crystalbrook Vincent for cocktails with a view.

Drink in the view (and maybe a brew or two) from Howard Smith Wharves.

3. Kayak Brisbane River

Coming out on the river gives a completely different perspective on the city. By day or night, paddle a kayak with Riverlife for a water level vantage point as you glide under some of Brisbane’s many bridges.

Depending on the tide, you can even see the castaway Myora clinging to the riverbank between the mangroves. Twilight tours show reflections of the skyline on the water, and some include a boardwalk along the Kangaroo Point cliffs – perfect for a date night.

Find the best views in Brisbane from water level.

For a different pace, grab your friends and skipper your own picnic boat from Go Boat (no license required) to explore the river. BYO food and drink – and as a bonus, canine companions are also allowed on board.

If you want someone else to drive while you take in the views, combine a river cruise with visits to some of the city’s best cocktail bars or craft breweries aboard a River to Bay tour.

On a budget? Hop aboard a CityCat ferry and travel from the University of Queensland at St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton for just a few dollars.

Grab your friends and skipper your own boat around the river.

4. Hike to Mt Coot-tha lookout point

Brisbane’s most famous viewpoint is at the top of Mt Coot-tha, with stunning panoramic – if distant – views back to the city.

The expansive observation deck has telescopes for a closer look at city life and is a great spot for a selfie or two. Take a picnic or grab a bite to eat at the casual Summit Cafe for a meal with a view.

For energetic visitors, there are hiking and mountain biking trails leading to Mt Coot-tha’s summit, many starting at JC Slaughter Falls at the base of the mountain (for those who prefer to drive, there is parking at the top).

Find the perfect Brisbane skyline views from Mt Coot-tha’s summit. (Image: BEDA)

And don’t miss the 52 hectares of glorious subtropical Brisbane Botanic Gardens and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.

On Brisbane’s south side, the Mt Gravatt lookout is tucked away in bushland with views of the city, Moreton Bay and Mt Coot-tha, with a social enterprise cafe, playground and native garden on site.

Enjoy the view for longer with a picnic.

5. Find Brisbane’s best rooftop bars

Stylish and sophisticated rooftop bars are everywhere in Brisbane. The Terrace at Emporium Hotel South Bank boasts enchanting views over Southland Parklands, across the city center and along the river. With a retractable ceiling and glass roof to cope with any weather, it’s open from 7am until late for everything from breakfast to post-show cocktails.

Enjoy breathtaking views of the city and delicious drinks from The Terrace. (Image: Jesse Smith)

In the heart of the city, Sixteen Antlers, atop Pullman Brisbane King George Square, is a great place to sip and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the City Hall clock tower next door.

On the edge of town, the lively Fortitude Valley is full of rooftop bars. Valley Hops Brewing above Cloudland is for beer lovers, while Brisbane’s newest rooftop bar, Soko in Jubilee Place, where the menu features Japanese and Peruvian cuisine.

For margaritas and more, head to Ann Street, where MAYA Mexican offers lush Mexican Riviera-inspired surroundings and sensational views from the 11th floor.

Celebrate the lush Mexican Riviera-inspired setting and sensational views at MAYA Mexican. (Image: Jake Roden)

6. Hike to Kangaroo Point Cliffs Lookout

The high cliffs at Kangaroo Point provide a beautiful backdrop to the river opposite Brisbane Botanic Gardens, and are popular with rock climbers and abseilers. Get your thrills with Riverlife’s adventure experts, or take the 107 steps to the top for fantastic views.

For a softer experience, book a table at Joey’s on Riverside Terrace for tapas, pizza and cocktails.

Watch how sunset changes the city skyline at Kangaroo Point. (Image: Kenny Smith)

7. Snorkel Moreton Island/Mulgumpin

From above, below or on dry land, the views from Moreton Island/Mulgumpin are hard to beat.

Take a helicopter joyride as part of a day trip with Tangalooma Island Resort, or snorkel around the Tangalooma Wrecks to spot turtles, dugongs and other aquatic wildlife.

The resort offers a host of activities, from whale watching to sand tobogganing and quad biking; at the end of the day enjoy a drink from one of the few places in Brisbane where you can watch the sun sink into the sea.

If you’re keen to stay on island time, Tangalooma Island Resort offers a wide range of accommodation options.

Snorkel around the Tangalooma Wrecks.

8. Explore more of Moreton Bay

Look out over the vineyards of Ocean View Estates as you relax beyond the city in the beautiful Moreton Bay region, or enjoy the view of south-east Queensland’s largest lake from the Lake Wivenhoe Lookout.

You can also cross the bridge to Bribie Island for spectacular views of Pumicestone Passage and the Glasshouse Mountains.

For something completely different, take in the sights of a Venetian-style gondola with island gondolas. Look out for dolphins.

Cross the bridge to Bribie Island for more spectacular views.

9. Sail to North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah

North Stradbroke Island/Minjerribah offers many wonderful views, but one of the best is from the North Gorge Walk at Point Lookout, where you can peer into the gorge to see turtles and manta rays, and marvel at the power of the sea ​​at Blaas Gat.

Admire the views along North Gorge Walk. (Image: Damien Bredberg)

Another top vantage point is on the headland next to Point Lookout Surf Life Saving Club, where you can see along the expanse of the 32 kilometer long main beach.

To connect with the island’s Quandamooka people, join Elisha Kissick of Yura Tours for a tour or tour, or meet with Quandamooka chef Keiron Anderson for cultural and cooking workshops with Yalabin Dining.

For cocktails or dining with an ocean view, head to Kokomo Beach House at Point Lookout.

Enjoy never-ending views of Brisbane’s North Stradbroke Island.

10. Discover the Scenic Rim

With boutique gin distilleries, wineries, rainforest hikes and picturesque villages, Scenic Rim lives up to its name.

Just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane, this region offers much to discover. Look out over lavender fields from Kooroomba Vineyard & Lavender Farm as you enjoy tastings or a lavender gelato, or pop in for a drink at Tamborine Mountain Distillery or Cauldron Distillery.

Take your breath away with incredible rainforest views along the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk.

Burn off some energy on the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, which takes you 30 meters into the canopy for breathtaking views of the rainforest below. Serious hikers may prefer to tackle the multi-day Scenic Rim Trail through Main Range National Park.

To start planning your perfect Brisbane view, visit visitbrisbane.com.au.

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