Brisbane is known for its riverside parks, urban precincts and contemporary art galleries - but you've probably already been there and done that. If you want to see a different side to Brisbane, check out our top tips for an alternative Queensland weekend.

Hop the islands.

Moreton and Stradbroke suck up most of the tourists, but there's so much more to discover off the coast of Brisbane if you're willing to go the extra nautical mile. Check out the Ghost Tours on St Helena, snorkel the shipwrecks off Peel, aqua bike around Coochiemudlo and picnic on Karragarra. With a weekend to spare and a few boat tickets in your pocket, you can fully enjoy a mini-break in Brisbane without ever spending time in the city.

Pick your own lunch.

Most visitors already know about Brisbane’s sprawling riverside gardens, but not everyone knows that you're allowed to eat the plants. Check out the free public herb beds at the northern end of the South Bank to garnish your picnic with a bit of free basil, mint or oregano. Better still, use the Brisbane Public Harvest Google Map on your phone to track public fruit trees and vegetable patches around the city to forage some free avocados, mangoes and tomatoes.

Abseil down Kangaroo Point.

If you want to get the best view of the city, you’ll have to put yourself out a bit. Actually, you'll have to walk backwards off the top of a cliff at Kangaroo Point – abseiling 20m down to ground level. It's a lot safer (and more fun) than it sounds, and you can easily book a 2 hour beginners session at sunset via RedBalloon, giving you the perfect opportunity to admire the Brisbane skyline from the most amazing perspective.

Eat breakfast with a dolphin.

The waters around Brisbane are rich with wildlife, but there’s no better way of getting closer to nature than having the rare opportunity to interact with humpback dolphins at Snapper Creek in Tin Can Bay. Home to a pod of 9 wild dolphins who visit the shallows every day – visitors can wade in to help feed them their breakfast at the Barnacles Dolphin Centre.

Solve a murder.

The modern art galleries, ScienCentre and the Queensland Performing Arts Centre are all worth a visit - and all pretty crowded - but there’s a lot to be discovered in Brisbane's smaller museums. From opals and prisons to firefighters and Girl Guides, pretty much everything has its own exhibition space. Check out The Queensland Police Museum to see displays on the history of the force, police dogs and transport - alongside a simulated murder scene that lets you pretend you’re starring in an episode of CSI.

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