Whether you get paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly, it’s a fact of life that for the first half of each pay period you live like a king, and as you limp towards payday… not so much.
While it’s tempting to turn to trusty ol’ faithfuls Netflix and two-minute mi goreng to tide you over, we’re here to let you know it doesn’t have to be that way. Brisbane is brimming with free stuff to do, and the best part? You don’t even need to spring for petrol and parking fees to get around them all.
We’ve teamed up with our mates at CityCycle to show you that broke doesn’t have to be boring! Once you’ve signed up to CityCycle, each bike hire is completely FREE (!) for trips under 30 minutes, and for the tiny fee of $5 a month, or $3 for students, you can ride them as much as you like (just make sure you pay your monthly fee, and you’re set!).
There are 150 CityCycle stations across Brisbane, so there’s really no excuse not to jump on and check out these 20 things to do in Brisbane that are free:
1. Reach peak relaxation on Sunday arvos with the free live music of City Sounds at River Quay Green in idyllic South Bank.
2. Pay a visit to QUT’s Art Museum for some seriously impressive free exhibits, including The Churchie National Emerging Art Prize showing from 11 November–17 December.
3. Reach those #fitnessgoals by joining in Medibank’s Feel Good Program with free fitness classes hosted at Southbank Parklands. Think yoga, Pilates, aqua-aerobics and dance!
4. If you’re at a loose end on a Thursday, take a browse through Milton Mini Markets (the markets and live entertainment are free, however we can’t guarantee you won’t spend any coin at the food trucks…).
5. Set up for the afternoon to people (but mainly puppy) watch in New Farm Park.
6. Get your David Attenborough on and explore the natural world at Queensland Museum’s free Discovery Centre and Wild State exhibits.
7. Take a CityCycle over the iconic Story Bridge and right round back to South Bank.
8. Drop into Vault Games in the city on any Saturday to play something from their library of over 100 games. They also hold free RPGs (role-playing games) each Wednesday night if that’s your bag–and if you run an RPG yourself one evening, they’ll reward you with a drink on the house!
9. Immerse yourself in Australia’s rich history with a free tour of QAGOMA’s Indigenous Art displays.
10. End the working week with a laugh by cruising down Teneriffe Boardwalk to Brisbane Powerhouse for Knockoff Free Comedy every Friday night.
11. Grab a CityCycle and cruise the streets of West End to see Brisbane’s best street art.
12. Did you know about the City Centre Heritage Trail? Starting at the Regent Theatre and stopping at historic highlights along the way like the site of the Great Fire of Brisbane and the old convict barracks, this self-guided tour gives an insight into the Brisneyland of yesteryear.
13. Work on that summer glow at Streets Beach without the highway stress (or wallet-stinging petrol costs).
14. Kick off the working week with Harry’s Trivia at the Brunswick Hotel, New Farm.
15. Dig something out of the freezer for a BBQ at Kangaroo Point with the best views of Brisbane.
16. Collect free produce from South Bank’s communal Epicurious Garden on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7am–2pm.
17. Take a free guided tour of the labyrinth-like City Hall, then see the city from a new perspective with historic Clock Tower Tours upstairs at the Museum of Brisbane.
18. Challenge yourself on a CityCycle, around the 36km Brisbane River Loop.
19. Find your zen at ASMY–Deep Peace Classes in West End.
20. Tone and centre yourself with free rooftop wellness classes at Eleven Rooftop Bar.
Image credit: Hayley Williamson
Editor's note: this article is sponsored by CityCycle Brisbane. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. For more information on our editorial policy, please click here.