Novotel Brisbane South Bank - Family & Business trip hotel - Brisbane on a Budget

Brisbane on a Budget

City holidays can seem expensive, but they don’t have to be! Take advantage of our local’s tips below to save your hard-earned vacation funds. Also, we highly recommend taking advantage of our Brisbane South Bank Hotel Accommodation Specials for some bonus savings! We’re THE hotel for your accommodation needs in South Bank, and we’d love to show you why!


South Bank’s Cultural Precinct 

No visit to Brisbane would be complete without a visit to the Queensland Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art. Encompassing the best of Queensland’s art and culture, there’s always something new to discover. Although there are paid exhibitions at both the museum and the gallery, most of their galleries are completely free of charge. After all, what would a visit to Brisbane’s South Bank be without immersing yourself in some art and culture?


South Bank Parklands

We wouldn’t be one of Brisbane South Bank’s best family and leisure hotels if we didn’t give a shout out to our own backyard! Originally developed for World Expo 88, the South Bank Parklands quickly took on a life of its own after the expo and became a favourite spot for both locals and tourists to frequent.  Boasting 17 hectares of lush, riverfront greenspace, swimming facilities, walking tracks and plenty of picturesque nooks, you don’t have to spend a pretty penny to get your money’s worth at the parklands! You can pass time learning about South East Queensland’s native vegetables and fruit at Epicurious Gardens, take a few holiday snaps in front of the Brisbane sign, or catch one of City Sound’s weekly, free live music shows on the River Quay Green. If you’re feeling like exercising, we also highly recommend checking out Medibank’s free fitness classes (offering anything from Yoga to  Tai Chi), which are part of their Feel Good Program. After a quick stop to the South Bank lagoon for a post-workout dip, head back to Novotel Brisbane South Bank for an afternoon beverage at Spice Central Kitchen & Bar. Fun fact: Spice Central Kitchen & Bar is Brisbane’s number one traveller rated restaurant in Brisbane.


Planetarium & Botanical Gardens & Mount Coot-tha

One of Brisbane’s most well-known, most beautiful, free activities is enjoying the city view from the fantastic lookout of Mount Coot-tha (302m). It’s especially beautiful if you manage to catch a sunrise or sunset up there, and, if you really want to perfect the experience, you can even have a picnic on the summit lawn. While you’re already near Mount Coot-tha, make sure to also pay the Botanical Gardens and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium a visit. Entry to both the gardens and planetarium are free, but you can opt to pay $12.50 for one of four magical planetarium shows under the big star dome – you won’t regret it!


Eat Street Northshore

Imagine mountains of delicious food all in one place, then supplement it with a rustic harbour feel, live entertainment and free carparking: e voila! You’re at Eat Street Northshore. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4pm, over 70 traders (including five themed bars, eclectic shops and micro restaurants) offer tasty food from all over the world. This is all served out of repurposed, recycled shipping containers, it’s a vibe. Entry is a mere $5 per person, or $15 for a family of four.


Brisbane Greeters

Struggling to decide what to see while you’re visiting Brisbane? Let a local take care of the sightseeing program! Brisbane’s ‘Brisbane Greeters Program’ is a free service matching up Brisbane locals with anyone wanting to take a closer look at the city’s many offerings or learn about its history. Since its establishment in 2021, Brisbane greeters have provided over 80,000 tours in 20 different languages. You can opt to select a specific location, or let a greeter show you their favourite spots – either way, you’re guaranteed to learn some fascinating Brisbane stories and make a new local friend.


Sailing in Moreton Bay & Nudgee Beach

Feeling like some fresh sea air? Head to Nudgee Beach or Manly! Manly is located just over 30 minutes’ drive from the Brisbane CBD and, every Wednesday afternoon, you can join experienced ‘yachties’ at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron for a fun and friendly race around the local Moreton Bay islands. You do not need to have any prior sailing experience and the adventure is completely free, allowing you to sit back, relax and take in the scenic views. If you’re instead headed North to Nudgee, we highly recommend timing your visit to get to Nudgee beach at low tide – walking out into the ocean at low tide is truly spectacular, as the seabed transforms into a giant mirror for the sky and clouds. You can also spot plenty of sea life, and, best of all, you’re able to take your dog on the beach.


As you’ve seen, a visit to Brisbane or South Bank doesn’t need to break the bank! If you’re staying at Novotel Brisbane South Bank you’re also extremely close to Brisbane’s best experiences and venues, like the South Bank cultural precinct, the South Bank parklands, Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and many more. For free transport options in and around South Bank and the city, we also recommend catching a City Hopper ferry from the South Bank 2 Ferry Terminal, bonus ferry ride along the Brisbane river inclusive. Enjoy your time in Brisbane!

Novotel Brisbane South Bank ☆☆☆☆

38 Cordelia Street, South Brisbane, 4101 Brisbane
Tel: +61 7 3295 4100

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