Whether you are looking to buy a present for someone who is staying in Brisbane for a short visit or living there, this Brisbane gift ideas list is made for you. We’re lucky to have many kinds of exciting activities in the Brisbane region to please any type of adventurers. There is no need to go far for having extraordinary experiences.

These gift ideas are in Brisbane and a bit further. In case you’re unfamiliar with the region, here’s a quick guide to the main destinations mentioned in the list:

The 15 most exciting experiences for a Brisbane gift

This article contains affiliate links: I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase using an affiliate link, but it won’t cost you extra. Many of these links are provided as a gift idea but do not imply a personal recommendation for the operator as I haven’t tried them all.

This Brisbane Gift Ideas list is non-exhaustive, and I haven’t tried (yet!) all the experiences listed. Don’t hesitate to share your tips and ideas in the comments below!

Looking for a Brisbane gift idea for a couple? You may be interested in these romantic getaways near Brisbane for nature lovers.

1. Rock climbing or abseiling

Brisbane Kangaroo Point Cliff Abseiling
Kangaroo Point

There are a few places where you can experience outdoor rock climbing or abseil around Brisbane. Kangaroo Point cliffs are the most famous ones, just in front of the CBD. But how about conquering the Story Bridge to get some of the best city views?

For more natural scenery, the Glasshouse Mountains offer great abseiling opportunities too.

Scared of heights? I know the feeling! Check out how I overcome my fear of heights.

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2. Skydiving

Indoor virtual reality skydiving

If you or your budget aren’t ready for jumping out of a plane, you can still experience skydiving indoor with virtual reality goggles. You’ll get a thrill! Check it out*!

Jumping out of a plane

Skydiving in Brisbane will provide fantastic views of the beautiful Moreton Bay and the Glasshouse Mountains. And landing on the beach is part of the experience. If you’re willing to go a bit further from the big city, Byron Bay, the Gold Coast or Bribie Island can make amazing spots for skydiving too.

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3. 4WD on the beach

For Australians, 4WD on the beach seems normal. But for those coming from overseas, it’s quite an adventure! With many sand islands and never-ending beaches nearby, Brisbane offers various opportunities to experience the beach in a car.

For those who haven’t driven on a beach before, it’s recommended to take a tour or be accompanied by someone experienced.

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4. Scuba diving

Do you find scuba diving scary? I know the feeling. I have now done more than 200 dives, so I’ve shared my experience about overcoming my fear of scuba diving in this article; I hope it can help!

I believe Brisbane is Australia’s best city for scuba diving. There is something to please everyone, from beginners to advanced. Many dive shops offer an Introduction to scuba diving and scuba diving courses. And for those who are already certified, tours run most weekends to explore the waters near Brisbane.

We have excellent shark diving (especially in winter with the Grey Nurse Sharks) at Flat Rock near Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island), Julian Rocks near Byron Bay and Wolf Rock near Rainbow Beach. During the warmer months, manta rays pay a visit too, and Manta Bommies at Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) is another fantastic site to spend time with them.

The HMAS Brisbane near Mooloolaba is a fun wreck to explore.

Flinders Reef has beautiful corals and many turtles. And Cook Island isn’t too bad either.

There are small operators located in Brisbane who offer trips throughout the year to many exciting destinations. Check out Professional Dive Services* and GoDive* for example. Or you can book directly with shops on the coast.

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5. Snorkelling

If scuba diving is too adventurous or out of the budget, snorkelling may be one of the best experiences to give an adventurer. There are a few snorkelling opportunities near Brisbane where you can spot turtles and many other fascinating marine life: Byron Bay, Flinders Reef, the Gold Coast… With the Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island is probably the most popular snorkelling spot near Brisbane. And during summer, you can snorkel with manta rays on Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island)!

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6. Horseriding

Two women riding a horse in Rainbow Beach in the sea with the coloured sands in the background

I did horseriding on the beach and in the sea when visiting Magnetic Island, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. Luckily, Rainbow Beach is closer to Brisbane and also offers beach horseriding tours for an amazing weekend. You can read more about our Rainbow Beach horseriding experience here.

7. Kitesurfing

Kitesurfing is very popular in the north of Brisbane, especially in Sandgate. There are a couple of shops there where you can book a lesson or hire material to have fun on the water.

8. Jetpack

It’s possible to feel like a superhero flying over the sea on the Gold Coast or the Sunshine Coast. Those with sore knees or bad balance may find it difficult. But those who’ve got good skills for surfing or surfboarding will be naturals!

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9. Ziplines

A walk in the forest may not sound exciting enough for a gift. So here’s an idea to make it a bit more adventurous and challenging. How about zip lines? Check out the Canyon Flyer and the TreeTop Challenge, both in the Gold Coast hinterland:

10. Sailing

Moreton Bay is fantastic for sailing. For those who feel experienced enough to be a skipper, you can hire a boat and go for an amazing adventure. And for those who are just starting their sailing career, there are a few tours organised to Peel Island and Moreton Island (like this one for example*).

And you’ll find even more options for sailing tours on the Gold Coast.

11. Kayaking

Kayak Noosa Everglades

Those who love kayaking will be pleased with the many options around Brisbane. You can kayak around Brisbane CBD, or in the pure wilderness of the Noosa Everglades, meet with dolphins at Double Island Point or Byron Bay, or combine your kayaking trip with snorkelling at Wave Break or on Moreton Island Tangalooma wrecks, just to name a few.

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12. Jetski

Bribie Island, the Gold Coast and Moreton Bay are the most famous spots near Brisbane to hire jet skis or join a jet ski tour.

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13. Humpback whales encounter

humpback whale sunshine coast australia

You’ll find many companies organising whale watching near Brisbane during winter, from the Sunshine Coast or the Gold Coast. But the adventurers may love even more the opportunity to swim with the whales! You can do that from Hervey Bay (more info here*), Mooloolaba (more info here*) or Byron Bay (more info here*).

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14. Scenic flights – no motor

Carlo Sandblow Rainbow Beach Paragliding
Paragliding in Rainbow Beach

There are many ways to see Brisbane and the South-East Queensland region from above.

The most adventurous may be interested in paragliding in Rainbow Beach. The views of Fraser Island and the coloured sands are unbeatable (more info here). But if Rainbow Beach is too far away from Brisbane to your taste, you can also find hang-gliding experiences and paragliding tandems on the Gold Coast (more info here) and near Byron Bay at Lennox Head (more info here). 

A hot air balloon ride is another excellent adventure. Again, there are many options not too far from Brisbane. If you’re after sea views, you can do it on the Gold Coast or Byron Bay. There are also hinterland options for beautiful countryside views.

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15. Scenic flights – with motor

View of Moreton Bay from a helicopter window
Brisbane helicopter ride over Moreton Bay

I prefer the eco-friendly options, but some may only feel comfortable if there is a motor. Tours in helicopters and small planes are available too, or a different style with parasailing!

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What’s your favourite Brisbane gift idea? Is it on this list? Share your tips in the comments below!

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Brisbane Gift Ideas Sailing Experience

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