If you only have a short time to explore our city then you will want to check out this article about what parks to visit in Brisbane. With thousands of parks in Brisbane City and surrounds, here are our picks for the best Brisbane parks to visit when you only have a limited amount of time in the area.
Roma Street Parklands, Spring Hill
Roma Street Parklands is one of the first parks we would suggest you visit when you only have a short window of time in Brisbane. Although it is located in the city’s heart, this hidden oasis is overflowing with natural beauty and a wide range of activities your family can explore.
Children will love the two delightful playgrounds found here and can also learn all about composting and growing their own produce at the worm, vegetable and fruit gardens that are situated nearby. Pack a picnic and let them run free on the expansive green lawns before jumping on the trackless train and visiting the lake, rainforest, waterfall and playground.
Main Features: Manicured gardens, children’s playgrounds, trackless train, vegetable and herb garden, picnic areas, rainforest walks, lake.
Facilities: Accessible toilets, bubblers, BBQs, cafe, information hub, metred street parking, picnic tables.
Address: Wickham Terrace in Spring Hill
Read our detailed review of Roma Street Parklands here.
Frew Park, Milton
Regardless of how big or small your family members are, a visit to Frew Park in Milton while in Brisbane will leave them all impressed. Built on an old Tennis Centre site, its central concrete playground, ‘The Arena’, has a strong tennis theme and sections that will challenge children and parents alike!
Think a 5m high curling slide, an enclosed mesh cage dangling 8m off the ground, or parkour ledges built to inspire. For smaller children there is also a smaller swing, slides and even giant sunken tennis balls to jump on. If you have a kite, frisbee or footy, the wide and generous green space will be welcome – just make sure you pack your hat and sunscreen too as it is mostly unshaded.
Main Features: Large industrial playground, tennis courts, large sporting green space, giant sunken tennis balls.
Facilities: BBQs, car park, covered and uncovered seating, cafe, accessible toilets.
Address: Between Milton Road and Frew Street at Milton.
Read our detailed review of Frew Park here.
Bradbury Park, Kedron
It’s not very often that you find a playground built with older kids in mind, but Bradbury Park is one of them. If you have older kids or teens who are looking for a more challenging play space, then a visit to this incredible park while in Brisbane will tick a lot of boxes. In particular, if your children love to climb then I wouldn’t suggest anywhere else!
Bradbury Park’s incredibly impressive play fort is a climber’s paradise, with every surface covered in footholds, handgrips and ropes, encouraging kids to scale higher.
For younger children who like a challenge, the fort is wide enough for parents to enter, and there is a small toddler section at the bottom they can explore.
A visit to this park doesn’t stop at the playground though, there is also a 200m long scooter track suitable for all ages and a magical fairy garden that the youngest kids will adore, with nature and imaginative play opportunities in abundance.
Main Features: Massive climbing fort playground, magical forest, toddler mini cliff climber and wild slide, scooter track.
Facilities: Accessible toilets, BBQs, car park, covered and uncovered picnic tables, fenced dog park.
Address: Batten Street in Kedron.
Read our detailed review of Bradbury Park here.
New Farm Park
A stay in Brisbane would not be complete without a visit to New Farm Park. Located only 7km from Brisbane city in a well-known and trendy part of town, this historic park is extremely popular with city locals and visitors all year round.
Its incredible wooden playground fort is the key drawcard for families visiting the park. Built into the roots of a row of towering fig trees, kids will be spoilt for choice as to whether to play on the playground itself or weave in and out of the giant tree roots that surround it.
Opposite the playground is a large manicured lawn space perfect for picnics, throwing a ball or simply relaxing. With its sprinkling of cafes and restaurants adjacent to the park and divine riverside location, this park offers you some of the best of what Brisbane has to offer. You can also visit this park via Citycat which is another reason for its popularity.
Main Features: Wooden fort playground built into giant fig trees, interactive and educational games, adaptive swings, rose gardens, riverside.
Facilities: Off-street parking, cafes and restaurants nearby, accessible toilets, picnic shelters, BBQs, City Cat Terminal.
Address: Brunswick Street at New Farm
Read our detailed review of New Farm Park here.
City Botanical Gardens, CBD
When it comes to natural green spaces in Brisbane’s heart, you can’t go past the City Botanical Gardens. Heritage-listed and spread over 50 acres of riverside land, the park is a wonderful escape from the city life surrounding it.
With concrete paths weaving beneath towering trees, around manicured lawns and gardens and alongside the Brisbane River, allow plenty of time to explore its vast grounds. Feed the ducks in its central lake, take in a show at the park’s Riverstage, dance beneath the sparkling fairy-lit trees near the QUT section of the park or let the kids go wild on the engaging children’s playground.
There are also free guided walks from Monday – Saturday that are informative and fun too.
Main Features: Playground, manicured gardens, walking paths, picnic areas, lake, riverside.
Facilities: Off-street parking, on-site cafe, cafes and restaurants nearby, accessible toilets, picnic shelters, BBQs.
Address: 147 Alice Street, Brisbane City
Read our detailed review of the City Botanic Gardens here.
Brisbane Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha
Not to be confused with the City Botanic Gardens in the CBD, the Brisbane Botanic Gardens is located 7km from the central Brisbane cbd at the foot of Brisbane’s tallest mountain, Mt Coot-tha.
Spectacular for so many reasons, you will want to allow a full day At Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens if you truly want to take in everything on offer. Rich in native and exotic flora and fauna, the parklands feature a playground, a children’s discovery trail and numerous different ecosystems, wildlife, and gardens.
You can wander it all on foot, drive around via the internal ring road or even climb the mountain to the Mt Coot-tha lookout if you are feeling adventurous. With so much to see and do, we would recommend you visit the information centre on arrival so you can make sure you see it all – including a visit to the Sir Thomas Planetarium found here too!
Main Features: Sensory Garden, playground, Children’s Trail, Bamboo Grove, Rainforest, Tropical Display Dome, Japanese Garden, Melaleuca Lake and the Eucalypt Woodland, Planetarium.
Facilities: Parking, on-site cafe, accessible toilets, picnic shelters, BBQs.
Address: 152 Mount Coot-tha Road, Toowong
Read our detailed review of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens here.
Southbank Parklands, South Brisbane
If you are visiting Brisbane and ask anyone Brisbane’s best park, nine times out of ten they will answer you with ‘Southbank’. Once the site of Brisbane’s Expo 88, the parklands are now one of the most impressive re-developments this city has seen.
Stretching alongside the Brisbane River, Southbank Parklands has its own lagoon pool, sandy man-made beach, playgrounds, gardens and rainforest. The famed Brisbane Wheel towers over its northern end, which is also where Brisbane’s cultural hub of museums and galleries are located. Pack your swimmers for sure, but with so much to see and do here, the pools and beach will only be one small part of the whole experience.
Main Features: Lagoon pools, Streets Beach, playgrounds, manicured gardens, riverside walks and bike paths, Brisbane Wheel, Epicurious Garden and rainforest.
Facilities: Metred street parking or paid parking, BBQs, City Cat Terminal, accessible toilets, change rooms, showers, restaurants, cafes.
Address: Clem Jones Promenade, South Brisbane
Read our detailed review of Southbank Parklands here.
Queens Park, Ipswich
Just a short drive west of Brisbane’s city centre lies Queens Park. Although it is a 30 minute drive to get here, we promise it will be well worth the journey. More of a destination than a park in our eyes, Queens Park is home to a number of attractions all located on its grounds.
By far the most popular attraction for many at Queens Park is the Ipswich Nature Centre. Home to an array of native animals, they only ask for a gold coin donation to meet and discover all of the different birds and wildlife that live here. The park also has a large children’s playground, fantastic cafe, wonderfully interactive education centre and tranquil Japanese gardens.
Main Features: Nature centre, large playground, environmental education centre, japanese-style gardens.
Facilities: Parking, cafe, accessible toilets, BBQs
Address: Brisbane Street, Ipswich
Read our detailed review of Queens Park here.
With so many immersive parks and gardens in Brisbane it can be hard to see them all. We love the ones listed above but you can also check out our other extensive lists here to see if any others seem more appealing for your visit.