Discover Enchanting History And Culture In And Around Brisbane

November 3, 2023

Brisbane, the Chill & Cool River City, offers everything you’d expect of a modern, thriving city: exciting attractions and activities, buzzing neighbourhoods, a fantastic restaurant and dining scene, a vibrant nightlife… it’s all here!

Brisbane and the surrounding regions also offer much in the way of history and culture. The opportunities for exploring the region’s enchanting past and rich culture are many and varied. If you’re visiting from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia or the Philippines – or from anywhere for that matter – you’ll be spoilt for choice in where to go and what to see and do.

Visit Quandamooka Country on North Stradbroke Island / Minjerribah for First Nations adventures, get cultured at the Museum of Brisbane, check out heritage-restored buildings at Beenleigh Historical Village and Museum, and much more.

Take a gander at some of the wonderful possibilities… 

Brisbane Opal Museum, Brisbane

Just 4 km from the Brisbane CBD, Brisbane Opal Museum is dedicated to the iconic Australian gemstone. It houses an extensive collection of opal stones, artwork, and memorabilia, and tells the stories and legacies of opal miners from all over the country. There is also an opal jewellery and souvenir shop. Self-Guided, Guided and Gold Class Tour options of the museum are available.

The museum is open Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm, and Saturday, 10am-3pm. The shop is open Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm, Saturday, 10am-4pm, and Sunday 10am-3pm. Self-Guided Tour is $5 per person/free for children 5 and under, Guided Tour (10 people or more) is $10 per person/free for children 5 and under, and Gold Class Tour is $195 for 1-4 people. 

Museum of Brisbane, Brisbane

Located in the iconic Brisbane City Hall, Museum of Brisbane is a social history and art museum that aims to “reflect Brisbane’s people and passions and its ever-evolving cultures.” It houses artworks and objects of historic and cultural significance, and offers a year-round programme of exhibitions, as well as events, workshops, and kid’s activities. It also runs guided tours that explore different elements of the surrounding city, such as the Brisbane City Walking Tour: Past and Present, Tides of Brisbane: Historic Boat Tour, and Clock Tower Tour.

Open daily, 10am-5pm. 

Brisbane Tramway Museum, Brisbane

At Brisbane Tramway Museum you can take a step back in time and see Brisbane transport as it was in the 1950s. The admission price includes unlimited rides on lovingly preserved trams in a picturesque bushland setting. There are also rides for the kids – the Teacup Ride and Mini Train Ride.

Open Sunday, 12.30pm-4pm, and by special arrangement. Entry is $16 adults/$9 children/$13 concession/$50 family. For operational reasons the museum is closed in wet conditions. 

Birrunga Gallery, Brisbane

Birrunga Gallery is a proudly indigenous-owned and operated art gallery and café in Brisbane. Original artworks by principal artist, Birrunga Wiradyuri, and the resident artists are exhibited throughout the gallery, while at Birrunga Café the menu offers ‘modern Australian cuisine with a Native twist’. Art gallery tours (minimum 10 guests per tour) can be booked, as can the  Importance of Place Workshop (minimum 10 people per workshop).

Open Monday to Wednesday, 7am-2pm, Thursday & Friday, 7am-Late, and Saturday, 9am-2pm. Café is open Monday, 7am-2pm, Tuesday & Wednesday, 7am-9pm, and Thursday & Friday, 7am-Late. Art gallery tour starts from $100 per person.

Quandamooka Coast, North Stradbroke Island

First Nations tourism provider, Quandamooka Coast, offers a range of eco-friendly, authentic, indigenous cultural experiences on Minjerribah /North Stradbroke Island, southeast of Brisbane. Experiences range from sea and land-based whale watching tours, cultural walking tours, and traditional ceremonies, to workshops, and festivals like the Quandamooka Festival in August and Oyster Festival in November. For those wanting to stay on the island beyond a day trip, there is camping, glamping, and cabin-style accommodation. Water taxis and ferries to Minjerribah leave from Cleveland – an hour’s drive from Brisbane.

Harrisville Historical Society Museum, Scenic Rim

Located in the beautiful Scenic Rim, an hour’s drive from Brisbane, Harrisville Historical Society Museum exhibits artifacts showcasing the heritage of the township of Harrisville and its surrounding region. The museum is housed in a 100-year-old weatherboard home, school and display sheds. Be sure to check out the prized exhibit of a rain gun used in the 1902 drought.

Open the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, 1pm-4pm. Entry is $2 adults/$1 secondary students/$0.50 primary students. 

Beenleigh Historical Village and Museum, Logan

A visit to Beenleigh Historical Village and Museum, an hour from Brisbane, is a journey into the glorious past. The collection here of early Australian heritage is set out as a village, dedicated to preserving the cultural legacy of the old Beenleigh region. Along with the Village Café where you can enjoy hearty homestyle cooking and the Gallery in the Corridor which displays local artworks, there are numerous heritage buildings to explore. These include the Carroll House built in the 1890s, Loganholme One Teacher School that first opened in 1873, General Store built in 1892, St George’s Anglican Church built in 1875, and Council Chambers built in 1910.

Open Monday to Saturday, 9am-3pm, and 3rd Sunday of the month, 9am-3pm. Entry is $10 adults/$6 children under 12/$6 student with ID card/$8 concession card holder. Tour (less than 10 people) is $30 per hour for tour guide and $11 adults/$7 children under 12/$9 student with ID card/$9 concession card holder. Guided Tour (minimum 10 people including guide) is $11 adults/$7 children under 12/$9 student with ID card/$9 concession card holder. Guided Tour including Damper and Billy Tea (minimum 10 people) is $15.50 adults/$11.50 children under 12/$13.50 student with ID card/$13.50 concession card holder. 

Taste of QAGOMA: Tour + Lunch, South Bank

Visit one of Australia’s most visited and dynamic art galleries and discover the stories behind famous historical and contemporary artworks. Learn about the Gallery’s history, from its early origins in 1895 to its establishment across two architecturally acclaimed buildings today. The tour includes fascinating insights into several First Nations, Australian and internationally renowned artworks before concluding with a relaxing lunch at the GOMA Bistro by the river.

Every Friday from 10.45am – 1.15pm. $89 per person. Wheelchair accessible.

Book your holiday to wonderful Brisbane now! It’s easy to do, with flights from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

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