21 Best Things To Do This October Long Weekend In Brisbane
Looking for things to do this October long weekend in Brisbane? Whether you’re looking for day trips from Brisbane or somewhere new to spend the long weekend, as a Brisbane local, I’ve got some great ideas to share with you!
Think beautiful long walks, gorgeous swimming holes, beautiful wineries and so much more!
The October long weekend is now officially known as the King’s Birthday public holiday in Queensland. In previous years, it used to be the Queen’s Birthday public holiday.
For those in New South Wales, South Australia and the ACT, it’s the Labour Day public holiday. And unfortunately those in Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory don’t get a public holiday this October. But it’s a great excuse to take that annual leave and head up north or south!
So for those of us living in the Sunshine State, there’s plenty of great ways to spend the King’s Birthday long weekend. It’s time to pack away our ugg boots and winter jumpers, and enjoy the beautiful weather that October typically brings. Expect blue skies, low humidity, warm sunny days and cooler evenings. It’s really the perfect time of year to spend in Brisbane.
Things to do this October long weekend
1. Day trip to Mount Tamborine
You can’t miss one of the best day trips or weekend getaways from Brisbane! Head to the mountains and cool air to Mount Tamborine. Check out our 30 Best Things To Do In Tamborine Mountain for lots of inspiration for how to spend your long weekend.
Some of the highlights include booking the Adventure Treetops for ziplining fun through Queensland’s oldest national park!
Witches Falls walk winds down through Witches Falls National Park and is a stunning 1 hour return walk to put on your list. Or take the short walk down to Curtis Falls, one of the most famous waterfalls near Brisbane. Cedar Creek Falls an impressive set of waterfalls, perfect for an ice bath experience at this time of year and takes only minutes to get to.
I also highly recommend booking tickets for the Glow Worm Caves in Mount Tamborine. They are so much fun that we even wrote this review about what to expect.
One of my favourite places near Tamborine Mountain is the Fox & Hounds pub – a proper English pub complete with a roast dinner, pints and even Magners on top!
2. Head to Tangalooma Island Resort for the weekend
Not been to Tangalooma Island Resort in Moreton Island yet? Honestly, you need to go this October long weekend. You can book day passes with Tangalooma Island Resort and take part in some of their epic experiences. We were blown away by this island which honestly feels like you could be in the Great Barrier Reef.
Book the quad biking experience, even if you’re not into quad biking. It is an absolutely amazing experience as you’ll wind up on the sand dunes with jaw-dropping views of the island. The team that run the tour put you in groups for how confident you are so you don’t need to worry about keeping up with everyone or going too slow either.
I also highly recommend booking the snorkelling trip to Tangalooma wrecks. Again this is an outstanding experience and one of the best snorkelling spots in Queensland.
Need some fresh air and a break from city life in Brisbane? Lamington National Park offers some of the best walks in Australia! Trust me on this one! Home to the worlds oldest and largest sub-tropical rainforest, Lamington National Park is exceptional.
There’s two entry points into the park, either head to Binna Burra or Green Mountains which is where the famous O’Reillys Campground is based. Green Mountains is larger and busier, offering long walks but also a couple of shorter ones. If you’re looking for the most impressive walk, do the Taloona Creek Circuit which takes a good 6 hours return. The walk is amazing and takes you right down into the rainforest, passing by waterfall after waterfall. Then you’ll head up along the border track and through the antarctic rainforest.
If you’re looking for shorter walks in Green Mountains, the Box Forest Circuit is incredible which takes you to the magical Elebana Falls and takes 4 hours return, although there is a short cut which will take an 1 hour each way.
Morans Falls is a beautiful 2 hour walk in Green Mountains too and popular with families.
If you’re heading to Binna Burra, the top walk is the Coomera Circuit which is a long 7 hour walk. Daves Creek Circuit is a nice 4 hour walk and the Caves Circuit is an easy 1.5 hour walk, perfect for families.
Never been to Movie World? Why not make the most out of the long weekend with the 3 Day Pass and hit up Movie World, Sea World & Wet N Wild! We have been to Movie World and loved it. Originally we had planned to go to both Movie and Wet N Wild in the same day, but you really need a full day at each of them, making it the perfect way to spend the long weekend in Brisbane!
Read our Movie World Review and learn all the tips and hidden things you need to know before going there to cut down on lines and so much more!
5. Experience the magic of humpback whales in nature
Queensland is the best spot for the whole family to head for whale watching holidays. From June to November you’re pretty much guaranteed to see amazing humpback whales in action.
There is nothing more incredible than being up close and personal to the whales and their calves as they put on a show. There are a few day tours to choose from out of Brisbane, but I’d recommend this whale watching cruise with lunch. Bring a hat, sunscreen, your camera, and seasickness tablets and you’re all set.
6. Tour unique wineries in the Granite Belt
Head to Stanthorpe, Queensland’s main wine region, for the long weekend. It’s a 3 hour drive so it’s worthwhile staying at least two nights to make the most of it.
There’s an amazing 3 day winery tour package that includes accommodation, breakfast and wine tasting. It’s so much easier than organising all the separate parts yourself.
In your free time, make sure you stop in at Suttons Farm for their famous apple pie, and Ravenscroft Vineyard where the owner might even let you label your own wine to take home. Put your hiking boots on and head to Girraween National Park and see the famous giant boulders.
7. Eat your way around Brisbane’s hidden restaurants
From authentic French pastries to intimate 10-seater hole-in-the-wall restaurants, there are so many awesome places to satisfy your taste buds. Read our Secret places to eat in Brisbane guide to discover a few places you’ll definitely to track down quicker than you can say ‘bon appetit’!
8. Island escape to Stradbroke Island
Affectionately known as Straddie to us locals, North Stradbroke Island is really easy to get to. You don’t even need a four wheel drive to explore. You can catch the barge over on foot, then the local bus is only $10 to get around the island for the entire day.
Amity Point and Point Lookout are the main spots you’ll want to check out. The Stradbroke Island Beach Hotel is the perfect spot for lunch with views across Cylinder Beach. The King’s Birthday long weekend is also the last weekend of the Queensland school holidays so make sure you book early.
9. Stroll through dreamy lights at a new world-famous installation
Lightscape is a sell-out event across the world and we’re excited to see it come to Brisbane for the first time. See the City Botanic Gardens in a totally new way after dark.
Take a slow stroll through the immersive experience and take in all the mesmerising lights, colour and sound. It should take about 90 minutes and you’ll need to buy tickets in advance.
10. Get creative with your hands
Public holidays and long weekends are the perfect time to do the things you often don’t get time to do on regular weekends.
There are a bunch of fun, creative activities available you can do with friends or by yourself, including pottery classes and painting classes (with BYO wine, of course) in Fortitude Valley.
This long weekend I’ve signed up for a Turkish mosaic lamp making class. If you also love a fun afternoon out, learning new skills, being creative, look into one of these activities. The best part is you can take your masterpiece home with you!
11. Join one of Brisbane’s biggest street parties
The Royal Queensland Show might be over, but the next big event on Brisbane’s social calendar is Big Gay Day on Sunday 1 October. Held at The Wickham, an amazing LGBTQIA+ pub, Big Gay Day is one of Brisbane’s biggest street parties.
Expect live music, drag shows and entertainment, all while raising money for charities that support LGBTQIA+ communities. This year, the one and only Peter Andre is headlining the festivities! Grab your tickets before they sell out.
12. Say ‘prost!’ and celebrate German Week
Unfortunately Oktoberfest in Brisbane isn’t happening this year, but you can still get your German fix. Brisbane German Week kicks off on 1 October with an opening night movie screening and party.
Throughout Brisbane German Week, expect arts and events in unique locations around Brisbane. This is an awesome way to celebrate our multicultural city while exploring new places in Brisbane.
13. See this year’s best musical comedy
Brisbane’s darling, Kate Miller-Heidke, is a world famous pop and opera singer, songwriter, and all round creative genius. She’s bringing her latest musical comedy to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) as part of the annual Brisbane Festival.
The musical, called Bananaland, promises incredible staging, costumes, a talented local cast, and of course, catchy pop tunes. You’ll want to get tickets now so you don’t miss out on what looks like an amazing show.
14. Explore Brisbane on a budget
A long weekend is a great opportunity to take the slow road. You don’t necessarily have to look up ticketed events or shows because there is plenty on offer that won’t cost you much at all.
Check out our guide for 23 free things to do in Brisbane for some inspiration of the things that you haven’t got around to doing yet – and pop them on your list!
15. Picnic and glamping at Wivenhoe Dam
Wivenhoe Dam is the biggest dam near Brisbane, and it’s a beautiful spot for relaxing picnics and water activities. Just one hour’s drive from Brisbane, it’s the perfect day trip, or you can check out their glamping options for overnight holidays.
On your way there, pick up snacks from the Old Fernvale Bakery – their pies and slices are well known for being the talk of the town. The nearby town of Esk are holding their twice yearly Antiques and Collectables Fair during the long weekend which is a must visit.
16. Go for an icy swim in the best swimming holes in Brisbane
Feel totally refreshed and enjoy some of the best swimming holes in Brisbane! Our top recommendations include:
Cedar Creek Pools in Samford – amazing group of swimming holes, you could spend an entire day here
Gorge Falls in Gold Coast – beautiful walk in the rainforest to a spectacular swimming hole
Currumbin Cascades in Gold Coast – beautiful set of swimming holes that will make you feel like you’re in Tropical North Queensland
Kondalilla Falls in Sunshine Coast- easy 20 minute walk to a stunning swimming hole at the top of the falls.
17. Head to Mount Glorious for the day or weekend
Mount Glorious is such a stunning place to spend the weekend near Brisbane. With gorgeous walks and plenty of things to do, you won’t be bored here. Head to the Phoenix Sculpture Garden (only open on Sundays) for a stroll around before doing the Greenes Falls walk, perfect for families. The 1 hour walk is stunning and I highly recommend everyone doing it (read my Greenes Falls Review here).
Head to the Lake Lyell Deer Sanctuary to get up close to deer, or swim through Northbrook Gorge. Stop off in Samford for a bite to eat before heading home.
18. Relax on one of the best beaches near Brisbane
A long weekend isn’t complete until you head to Noosa for at least a day to soak up the beautiful sunshine on the spectacular beaches. I have to say Noosa is by far my favourite beach in near Brisbane. The clear turqouise water is a sight to be seen. Through in the holiday vibes and you’re set for a great long weekend here. Check out my Best Things To Do In Noosa Guide to help you plan your weekend.
19. Spend your long weekend in the Scenic Rim
Ah the Scenic Rim is so stunning! Some of our favourite places to visit include the Kalbar Sunflower Festival (check for dates). You can bring dogs along and take some beautiful family photos here.
20. Continue along The Falls Drive in Main Range National Park
If you continue along the Scenic Rim, you can do The Falls Drive which is a spectacular drive, taking you to 4 waterfalls and Carrs Lookout. Queen Mary Falls is the big ticket item here, a breath-taking waterfall which takes about 20 minutes to reach the bottom. We also absolutely loved Browns Falls as well, a waterfall hidden from the road but totally worth visiting.
Would a long weekend be complete without a trip to Byron Bay? Check out our popular Best Things To Do In Byron Bay guide to help you plan your trip, complete with hidden gems and the best places to eat.
Other public holidays in Queensland to consider
Need more time off to enjoy all of the amazing things to do in Brisbane?In Australia, we have other national public holidays such as Australia Day, Anzac Day, Labour Day, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Sunday, Easter Monday, New Year’s Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Other public holidays in the Brisbane area include the Royal Queensland Show public holiday in August. It’s nice to get an extra public holiday in the middle of the year!
Some of those public holidays mean that everything is closed – including shops and restaurants, so hopefully this guide has helped you plan a little.
More Brisbane travel guides
Looking for more things to do in Brisbane? Check out our popular Brisbane guides to help you plan your weekends!