Hop aboard one of the CityCat ferries and admire the Brisbane skyline from the water as you cruise past landmarks such as Story Bridge, the Brisbane Wheel, the Treasury Casino, and Kangaroo Point cliffs. Simply purchase a GO Card (a pre-paid, reusable electronic transport card), swipe your card as you step aboard, then jump off at any of the 24 ferry terminals around Brisbane. Head to the Southbank to explore the waterfront parks and cultural centers; cruise up to the City Botanical Gardens; visit the Queensland Maritime Museum; or get off at Holman Street pier for a tour or bridge climb of the Story Bridge.
Things to know before you go
*The CityCat Ferry is a convenient way for first-time visitors to explore the city, while returning travelers can access some of Brisbane’s less-visited sites and neighborhoods. Budget travelers can make the most of the free CityHopper ferry service, which runs between central stations including North Quay, South Bank, and Kangaroo Point. CityCat ferries typically run every 15-30 minutes; timetables, fares, and terminals can be found on the Translink website. *GO Cards can be bought from stations, 7Elevens, and the Tourist Information Office. *CityCat ferries are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers; most ferry terminals are accessible and assistance is available where required.
How to get there
The CityCat stops at 24 different ferry terminals along the Brisbane River, from St Lucia and South Brisbane through downtown Brisbane, then up into the northern neighborhoods of Teneriffe, Newstead, and Hamilton. The most central terminals are North Quay and Eagle Street piers, both about a 5-minute walk from Brisbane Central Station.
When to get there
Boats run daily from about 5am to 11pm, with regular departures, so you can hop on and off when you like. To avoid the crowds, it’s best not to travel during peak times (7-9am, and 5-7pm), when city workers use the boats to travel to and from work. For the most atmospheric views, set sail after dark and cruise past Brisbane’s glittering illuminations.