You are visiting Brisbane, the capital of the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, the sun forgot about your arrival. It is raining in Brisbane. It does not happen often unless you are travelling in summer when storms hit Queensland. So you better be prepared with a list of plan Bs to stay dry or embrace the weather. Here’s a list of things to do in Brisbane on a rainy day to help you enjoy your trip and beat the weather.

Most of the tourist activities in Brisbane are outdoor activities. So what are the best things to do in Brisbane when it’s raining?

Brisbane Rain

Things to do in Brisbane on a rainy day: indoor activities around Brisbane

1. Learn more about the Galaxy

You can read about the galaxy or watch an educational show at the Brisbane Planetarium in Mount Coot-Tha. You’ll even get to see the Brisbane sky as if it weren’t raining.

2. Visit museums 

The most popular ones are in South Bank: the reputed free Gallerie Of Modern Art (GOMA) and the Queensland Museum. The Maritime Museum is nearby too.

If you’ve done them all, there are some others in the town centre: the Museum of Brisbane (City Hall) or the Contemporary Art Centre (Fortitude Valley). You can also find museums in the suburbs like the Opal Museum for instance.

3. Discover local Brisbane beers

There are many local breweries in Brisbane to visit… and even more local beers to taste! Click here to book a tour or get inspired!*

The Felons Brewery is perfectly located under the Story Bridge and offers stunning views of Brisbane City. XXXX Brewery is maybe the most famous beer in Queensland. Charming Squire is ideally located in South Bank, close to the most touristy part of Brisbane.

Or you can try smaller breweries such as Green Beacon, Newstead Brewery, Brisbane Brewery, Sea Legs Brewery, Aether Brewing…

People sitting at Green Beacon Brewery in Brisbane
Green Beacon Brewery

4. Enjoy cultural activities

The Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm regularly hosts humorists, concerts and art expositions, that are often free. For more sophisticated shows, you can check what’s on at QPAC.

5. Go skydiving

Yes, we’re still taking of indoor activities around Brisbane. You can get a true free-fall experience without going outside and jumping out of a plane. With the virtual reality goggles on, you’ll get a real thrill! Check it out*

6. Try a foodies experience

This food lovers’ guide to Brisbane lists 50 things to tick off so there are plenty of choices! You could also try modern Australian fusion* or even go to the countryside for a farm-to-table indulgence (click here for more info*).

You may feel like treating yourself to a delicious breakfast at a French bakery.

7. Go for wine tasting

There aren’t many wineries in Queensland, so that’s a good one to tick off the bucket list. The closest wineries are Mount Tambourine and Sirromet (click here for more information and book the tour*).

Mt Tamborine Winery - Mason Wines Terrace
Mason Wine at Mount Tamborine

8. Visit the Sea Life Aquarium

It will take you 1h15 mn to drive up to Mooloolaba. The aquarium is entirely undercover so the rain will not affect your time there!

9. Learn about the Aboriginal Culture

You can watch traditional dances and a theatre show about Aboriginal history and culture (click here for more info*).

10. Visit Boggo Road Gaol

You can visit the historical prison with an ex-inmate (click here for more info*) or do it at night for a more scary experience! (click here for more info*)

11. Stay at a nice hotel

Some accommodations in Brisbane offers special features that make them perfect for when it’s raining.

At FV by Peppers* for example, the covered heated swimming pool with a bar will let you enjoy an outdoorsy feeling while escaping the nasty weather. For a small fee, you could even get your private jacuzzi room, cinema room or karaoke room.

At the Emporium Hotel*, you can experience the touristy Brisbane CBD and South Bank by watching it from your bedroom, as you relax in your bath for example.

W Brisbane* has enough interior design curiosities and comfort to keep you entertained for a little while. And you won’t have to leave the building to enjoy a spa treatment.

A rainy weekend can be a perfect opportunity for a romantic getaway outside the city. We loved our time in the rainforest at the Kondalila Eco Resort* despite the rain. With the windows opened and the lovely views, we were in the rainforest while still being cosy in our room.

12. Get close to koalas

The Daisy Hill Koala Centre has a great indoor area with fun interactive displays. Koalas are outside, but you can watch them from the window or the covered boardwalk without getting too wet.

Koala at Daisy Hill Koala Centre Brisbane Sanctuary

13. Learn about the Buddhist culture

The Chung Tian Temple offers an opportunity to learn more about the Buddhist culture in an environment that will make you feel like you’ve left Australia and travelled to Asia.

brisbane buddhist temple
Chung Tian Temple

14. Experience an escape room

You can have fun and live an indoor adventure in an escape room*.

15. Go rock climbing indoor

West End or Fortitude Valley have indoor climbing walls for you to develop your skills. And when the sun shines again, you will be ready to climb the Kangaroo Point Cliffs in front of Brisbane CBD.

16. Challenge yourself with a commando mission

The Planet Commando obstacle route combines fitness, adrenaline and fun!

17. Prepare for the zombie apocalypse

Zero Latency offers a virtual-reality game that’s only available in 10 countries in the world.

18. Get nostalgic with arcade games

If virtual-reality games are too modern for you, Brisbane is also home to the largest free play retro arcade in Australia, with over 400 square metres of games.

19. Watch sports

Queenslanders love sports. If you can get a ticket in the higher seats of the Suncorp or Gabba stadiums, you should stay dry during the game. Another alternative is to watch the games from a bar – Caxton Street or Pig & Whistle venues often have them on.

Don’t mind being wet? Check out the waterfalls near Brisbane!

buderim forest - sunshine coast
Buderim Forest

There are great waterfalls in the region that can make an exciting day trip from Brisbane during or after a rainy period. That’s actually why I get excited when it’s raining in Brisbane!

My favourite ones are in Springbrook National Park (a rainy and hot day is the best to see the glow worms there!) and Lamington National Park. To stay a bit dry, The Falls Drive offers shorter walks with great falls. On the Sunshine Coast, the Buderim Forest can be a great option as well.

Embrace the rain and get wet: just dive in the water!

To find more things to do in Brisbane when it’s raining, I recommend checking the sea conditions. Who cares about the rain when already in the water?!

Maybe you’ll be lucky with great waves to go surfing?

Or maybe the sea is too flat and then snorkelling and scuba diving near Brisbane are a good option? You could see turtles at Cook Island or Manta rays and sharks at Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) for example. A bit further north, you could even dive on the HMAS Brisbane wreck.

Diving Flinders Reef
Flinders Reef

Is there something you like to do in Brisbane on a rainy day? Please share your experience in the comments below!

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Eloise is the creator and writer of She writes about her experiences exploring exotic destinations and finding hidden gems closer to home. Her goal is to share tips and stories to inspire and encourage others to go on their own adventures. She loves outdoor and nature-based activities like scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, and sailing. She grew up in France and has lived in England and Turkey before calling Australia home for the past decade. So let's get ready for another adventure!

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  1. Leonie

    I also suggest shopping sucb as a big indoor centre like the revamped Indooroopilly Shoppingtown (west) Garden City (south) of Chermside (west). There are also cindmas at Paddington near food at Caxton St, Dendy Cinemas, lower cost independent cinemas at Graceville (eat at nearby Bar None), the Eldorado at Indooroopilly. Looking for a bargain? Check out DFO at Jindalee or Brisbane Airport. For families with mids the indoor trampolining centre at Messells Foad, Macgregor is good. My son often goes to a skateboarding place near Virginka all under covdr and there is one at Coomera.

    1. Eloise

      Thanks Leonie! I am not a fan of shopping so I hardly think of this as an activity but surely some will like the idea! 😉

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