This winter, explore a new city with our Winter Bucket list series. In Brisbane, spend days out on the river, discover hidden small bars and rediscover your inner child at the Ekka.
Brunch all day long
Brisbanites are big on breakfast. So when it comes to firing up your day in this foodies' paradise, the river city has all your favourite morning pick-me-ups covered. Whether it’s a champagne brunch, fluffy pancakes or a healthy acai bowl you’re after, Brisbane will provide. Discover our favourite brunch spots.
It's show time!
The countryside rolls into the city for the annual Royal Queensland Show each August. Known by locals as the Ekka, it’s a giant collection of rides, showbags, petting zoos, whip cracking demonstrations, delicious produce and enormous strawberry sundaes. In short, you should get involved.
Wander the waterfront
Head to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs for amazing views of the city. Stroll along the waterfront, test your rock climbing skills or lay out a picnic rug in time for sunset and watch the world go by.
Watch for whales
Get up close and personal with majestic humpback whales as they make their way north up the Queensland coast. Brisbane Whale Watching offers tours in Moreton Bay Marine Park and guarantees a sighting: just remember to pack your camera!
Power your own vessel
One of the best ways to explore the Brisbane River is by planting yourself on your very own kayak or stand-up paddle board – no experience necessary! Paddle under the Story Bridge, past South Bank, the Botanic Gardens and the city itself. Guided tours leave from Kangaroo Point day and night or, if you’re more confident, take a self-guided tour. Discover more ways to enjoy the river.
Get up close and personal with the animals
For a hit of nature and up-close animal experiences, you can’t go past Walkabout Creek located just 12 kilometres from the CBD at the entrance to the D’Aguilar National Park. At the wildlife centre you can meet a platypus, quoll and wombat, or even pet a reptile during the ranger guided talks and tours held every weekend. Afterwards, go for a bushwalk and cool off with a refreshing dip in the Enoggera Reservoir.
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Discover underground bars
Some of the best bars in Brisbane can be found lurking behind discreet street frontages, in subterranean basements or squirreled away up narrow laneways. If you’ve got the evenings free and are looking for things to do at night, here’s a list of the best underground bars in Brisbane to get you started.
Follow a public art trail
Starting on the Kangaroo Point side of the Goodwill Bridge, Brisbane’s art trail heads downstream along the river, finishing at the Thornton Street ferry terminal. Along the route you’ll see 12 installations telling the story of the city’s connection with the river, including the maritime and industrial history of the city.
Do West End like a local
West End is one of Brisbane’s favourite locales, full of grungy bars, bustling markets, laid-back restaurants, vintage shopping and stacks of live music venues. Head over at lunch time to test out one of the many cafes, peruse the shops in the afternoon and secure a seat at a small bar as the sun sets. Find our favourite West End hot spots here.
Get produce straight from the farm
The winter months are perfect for setting out on a foodie adventure in Brisbane’s Scenic Rim, thanks to the fact lots of produce - like berries and root vegetables - is harvested throughout July and August. If you’re in town from June 24 to July 2, you can even make the most of Eat Local Week where you can enjoy farm tours and cooking classes or take part in the big finale, the Winter Harvest Festival.