Brisbane Budget Holiday Guide

It may be Queensland, but you certainly don’t need a royal’s ransom to enjoy the beauty, fun and excitement of Brisbane. Here’s an itinerary laden with sparkling budget holiday ideas that you can do for free or on the anus horibilisly cheap.

Day 1: Nothing like a bit of crime and passion to get a holiday off to an exciting start:

  • It won’t cost you a penny to wander around the Queensland Police Museum inspecting 25 displays of police heritage, investigative techniques and a simulated murder scene—think you can solve the crime Sherlock?

  • Another steal is free entry to the Gallery of Modern Art, part of the Queensland Art Gallery, which focuses on artworks from the 20th and 21st century including Picasso.

  • Fill up on immensely creative and tasty vegetarian gourmet at North Indian influenced Govinda’s restaurant - all you can eat for just $10.

    Day 2: Around these parts, the sun shines an average eight hours a day. It would be a shame to waste.

  • Head down to merriment centre South Bank to loiter around Streets Beach and boutique shops or sit in a cafe or pub and so some buskers and people surveillance.

  • Frolic and picnic in the Botanic Gardens Bamboo Grove, Weeping Fig Avenue and around the calming ornamental ponds.

  • Grab a late lunch/early dinner at the Kuan Yin Tea House where chin dripping Chinese delicacies are all the rage at bargain prices, such as the “delicate combo”— wonton soup served on a Bunsen burner with a huge fried Chinese pancake for less than $12. Closes 5pm Saturday and 3pm Sunday, 7.30pm most other days.

    Day 3: You’ve been very good frugal travellers. Reward yourself with a shop, giggle and a chomp on some meat:

  • Get the labels without the huge price tags at the airport DFO—a discount shopping centre with brands such as Aquila, Rivers, Country Road and many more.

  • Have some cheap laughs at the Livewired free comedy night held at the Brisbane Powerhouse every Sunday night with local and nationally acclaimed comedians under the spotlight.

  • The Alibi Room in New Farm is great fun for dinner almost any night, but none better than on Taco Tuesday for $2 tacos and $3 burritos. But don’t take our word for it - ask Vinnie Jones and other celebs who have signed their plates in states of unequivocal delight.

    Recommended hotels:

    Stay close to the action without going broke at the Sapphire Resort Brisbane, includes free off-street parking and a pool for cooling off in summer.

    At the Metro Hotel Tower Mill most rooms have a private balcony offering panoramic views of Brisbane City and surrounding suburbs.

    If you want to save a little money chilling out in your motel room, the Soho has free in-house movies and air-conditioning.

  • 4 self rated
    1 Marco Polo Drive Mandurah 6210 Australia
    Sebel Mandurah is an ultra-modern 4-star hotel providing luxury accommodation and views of the Quays and Estuary. Facilities include an outdoor heated swimming pool and a fitness room. This property also offers free WiFi. All rooms and apartments are well appointed and include an LCD TV. Most have a...more
    3 self rated
    239 Wickham Terrace Brisbane 4000 Australia
    Featuring rooms with free WiFi and beautiful views, the comfortable Madison Tower Mill Hotel is located close to the city centre, the medical district, historic attractions and conference venues. The convenient location of Madison Tower Mill Hotel is an ideal base for exploring the city centre and B...more
    4 star
    160 Roma Street Brisbane 4000 Australia
    Located in the heart of Brisbane CBD (Central Business District), Abbey Apartments feature self-catering accommodation with private balconies and kitchenettes. Guests have access to an outdoor pool and sauna.Unlimited WiFi is included per stay. Situated opposite the Brisbane Transit Centre, Abbey Ap...more
    3 star
    45 Lisson Grove, Wooloowin Brisbane 4030 Australia
    Situated 15 minutes' from both Brisbane Airport and Brisbane CBD (Central Business District), Aabon Apartments and Motel offers a range of accommodation option with access to a swimming pool, BBQ facilities and free parking, when availability. Aabon Apartments and Motel can assist with your transport to...more
    3 self rated
    180 Gladstone Road, Highgate Hill Brisbane 4101 Australia
    Southbank Motel is within a 5-minute drive of The Gabba, Southbank and Suncorp Stadium. It offers an outdoor pool, free parking on site and free Wi-Fi access. Air-conditioned guest rooms are fitted with a microwave, tea/coffee making facilities and a TV with cable channels. The en suite bathroom com...more
    3 self rated
    333 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill Brisbane 4000 Australia
    Soho Brisbane boasts a central location, opposite the beautiful Roma Street Parkland and a 5-minute walk from the heart of the city. It is just 400 metres from the Roma Street Transit Centre. Guests enjoy free WiFi. The air-conditioned guest rooms offer an iPod docking station, tea/coffee making fac...more
    3 star
    555 Gregory Terrace Bowen Hills 4006 Australia
    With a stay at Brisbane Manor Hotel - Hostel, you'll be centrally located in Bowen Hills, steps from Tivoli and minutes from RNA Showgrounds. This hostel is within close proximity of Royal Children's Hospital and Brunswick Street Mall.Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the air-conditioned rooms...more
    3.5 self rated
    591 Ipswich Road Annerley 4103 Australia
    With a stay at Annerley Motor Inn in Annerley, you'll be close to Greenslopes Private Hospital and The Gabba. This motel is within close proximity of Princess Alexandra Hospital and University of Queensland.Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the air-conditioned rooms featuring refrigerators. Comp...more


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