As a local living in Brisbane, I can tell you, it really is an underrated city - especially when compared to more popular Australian cities travelers choose to visit like Sydney and Melbourne. I really believe that this is because people generally aren't aware that Brisbane offers all of the following gems and so much more:
1. Easy island hopping
1.1 Bribie island (it is connected to Brisbane by a bridge so super easy and quick to get to by car!).
Couples on a budget can enjoy free romantic activities such as relaxing by the beautiful view of the Bongaree Jetty close to sunset, swimming at Red Beach and sharing the view at the Bluey Piva Park lookout. Pack a barbeque lunch to enjoy at the free barbeque facilities by the beaches. For a budget friendly lunch, try the super tasty burgers of Happys Café.
Affordable romantic activities on the island include tandem bike riding, paddle boats and more at Hire Hut & Tours.
1.2 Tangalooma Island Resort located on Moreton Bay and Island region. Day tours can be booked through their website but we recommend staying a bit longer to really enjoy all the unique romantic activities they have on offer such as feeding a wild dolphin together, sand tobogganing, Segway tours and more.
For nature lovers we recommend the Tamborine Mountain Forest Sky Walk, but if you are on a tight budget there are plenty of free options available for romantic and scenic walkways in Brisbane such as the walkways in Kondalilla National Park which we also highly recommend!
Next to the Brisbane river, the walkways have beautiful scenic city views and what I like to call a Brisbane overwater bungalow :P We actually had a romantic picnic set up inside one for us. To have your own romantic picnic set up for you anywhere around Brisbane, contact Stylish Picnics.
2.3 Sandgate Beach is beautiful for enjoying a relaxing afternoon walking next to the beach. There are gazebo's in the area that you can relax in and have a picnic or pick one of the many seafood restaurants in the area.
It's also a great and safe place to set up your inflatable air couches, relax and watch the sun go down and the moon come up!
3. Unique and themed romantic restaurants, cafe's and ice cream parlours
Cliffs Café offers unbeatable views of the Brisbane river and stunning staircase down a rockface leads straight to the loveliest walkways. For the nerdy couple and Star Wars lover, Death Star Canteen has it all!
For a magical ice cream experience, vist Nitrogenie South Bank.
For fine dining and the ultimate romantic experience, visit La Dolce Vita Restaurant (a Paris themed restaurant featuring a mini Eiffel tower) or consider booking a private gondola dining experience at The Big Wheel of Brisbane.
If you are heading out to Gold Coast, visit Pancakes Paradise and feel like you are eating inside a hot air balloon!
There are so many but I'd like to highlight two ultra luxurious and unique accommodations - Ananda Rainforest Spa offers a tree house-like cottage to couples that features a private outdoor Jacuzzi, a sauna and so much more!
Hot on my list is also The Castle on Tamborine for a princess-like experience - sleep over in a castle with a room fit for royalty!
5. Wonderfully romantic activities at affordable prices
5.3 Visit Riverlife for Stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, rollerblading and other activities.
6. Stunning beaches and a man made beach
Red Beach on Bribie island and the beaches at Noosa National Park (1.5 hour drive from Brisbane) are just a few of the stunning beaches we can recommend. The man made beach at South Bank is also highly recommended!
Limes Hotel's rooftop cinema show new and old "classics" that you can view from one of their plunge pools! Ben & Jerry's open air cinemas is a great place to share an ice-cream while watching the latest movies outdoors. Eat street Market's (which is also a wonderful outing to have) now features its own outdoor Cinema.
Popcorn and soft drinks are not the only options available at cinemas anymore - the waitresses at Blue Room Cinebar deliver your dinner and drinks order to your seat to enjoy during your movie.
8. Public parks with free to use barbeques, romantic seating options and gazebos. Plus services to bring romantic picnics to you!
Kondalilla Falls Circuit and Cedar Creek Falls offer easy hikes to romantic waterfalls and rock pools.
11. Romantic, scenic flights If you go as far as to visit the Gold Coast and have a bit to spend, book a scenic flight to an island beach on which you can enjoy a romantic picnic set up for you by Cloud 9 Seaplanes. If popping the big question is on the cards, a little help from Flying signs in Caboolture will do the trick! Their custom banners can display your declaration of love in the sky as they fly by.