Brisbane | Things to do

Soak up the buzzing city atmosphere, take a walk over the Story Bridge, catch live music in Fortitude Valley and submerge yourself in culture at South Bank’s art galleries, theatre spaces and museums. Discover witty local street art, attend the annual Brisbane Festival and Riverfire, or time your visit around one of Brisbane’s blockbuster events.

Shopping central

Find international brands in the Queen Street Mall, designer boutiques in James Street and Bulimba, and hunt out vintage treasures in Paddington. If you’re looking for a bargain, head to the factory outlets at DFO Brisbane Airport. Show me Brisbane's shopping guide

Food and drink

Make the most of the sunshine and sit down at an al fresco restaurant, or grab tasty street food at the Eat Street Northshore Markets, South Bank Markets and Jan Powers Farmers Markets. Brisbane is bursting with bars, so make your way from rooftop to laneway in search of the finest cocktail. Try a limited-edition brew at a local craft beer bar or take the CityCat along the river for a pub crawl with a difference.

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Day trips from Brisbane

Get out of the city and see what else the region has to offer. Take a day-trip to the Scenic Rim, Somerset or Tamborine National Park and go on a bushwalk to seek out hidden waterfalls. Hop on a ferry to Moreton or North Stradbroke Islands, or flop on the beaches of the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast. Hire a car to get the best out of the region with plenty of self-drive adventures on offer.

Wildlife

Cuddle a koala at the Lone Pine Sanctuary, hand-feed wild dolphins on Moreton Island and spot whales from the North Gorge Walk at North Stradbroke Island.

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James Turrell's Night Life 2018

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
1 August 2018 – 31 December 2019
See the GOMA in a new light. As the sky shifts to dusk, James Turrell’s permanent architectural light installation Night Life 2018 illuminates the Gallery of Modern Art from within. Through shifts in tempo, hue and intensity of colour over 88 minutes, the artist invites us to consider how we’re affected by light.

NASA – A Human Adventure

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
From AU$12 - 58
15 March – 9 October 2019
NASA – A Human Adventure is a thrilling journey through humankind’s exploration of space. Come face to face with NASA’s remarkable achievements in human space flights and space exploration – the greatest adventure that humans have ever undertaken.

Opinion Trivia at Beirne Lane

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
Weekly from 19 March – 17 December 2019
Hey Brisbane! Going to the same clubs and eating the same food every week gets old. They get it. They used to be you. You deserve good food and a fun night out that'll still get you home early enough on a school night.

I heard it on the radio: 25 years of 98.9FM Murri Country

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
4 May – 6 October 2019
Protest in the air, a fresh voice on the airwaves; the first Indigenous radio station in a capital city began broadcasting in the 1990s… bringing an exciting new sound to our stereos. I heard it on the radio looks at 25 years of 98.

Margaret Olley: A Generous Life

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
13 June – 13 October 2019
‘A Generous Life’ examines the legacy and influence of the much-loved Australian artist, Margaret Olley (1923–2011) who spent a formative part of her career in Brisbane. A charismatic character who exerted a lasting impact on many artists as a mentor and friend over several decades was also a muse for artists from William Dobell to Jeffrey Smart.

Ferrari Park Markets Laidley

Laidley, Lockyer Valley Area
Free Entry
Monthly from 22 June 2019 – 25 January 2020
Take home some fresh local produce and home-made treats from one of their local country markets. You'll also find collectables, arts and crafts, books and lots of other goodies. Laidley Markets are held on the fourth Saturday of the Month in Ferrari Park Patrick Street, Laidley from 6am to 12pm.

Quilty

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
29 June – 13 October 2019
‘Quilty’ is the first major survey exhibition in a decade of one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary artists, Ben Quilty. The exhibition extends from Quilty’s early reflections on the initiation rituals performed by young Australian men to his experience as an official war artist in Afghanistan and his campaign to save the lives of Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

Livewired Comedy

New Farm, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
Weekly from 14 July 2019 – 14 July 2020
Presented by Brisbane Powerhouse. Brisbane Powerhouse’s free comedy event may have moved days and the name (back to the original), however they’re still serving up the best local and interstate comedy every Sunday afternoon.

Colourful Chaos II and The Story of Us exhibitions at the Somerset Regional Art Gallery

Toogoolawah, Somerset Area
Free Entry
20 July – 22 September 2019
'Colourful Chaos II' is full of vibrant 2D colour pieces featuring animals and the occasional human. Each piece is inspired by Sandi Harrold's country upbringing. Be prepared to get carried away in the colourful chaos of this lively display.

What the centre cannot hold: New work by Madeleine Kelly

Ipswich Area
Free Entry
2 August – 7 October 2019
In these new works Madeleine Kelly takes images of local flowers and seed pods as a starting point and interweaves them with disparate images drawn from a variety of sources. The finished paintings present a complex realm where references from mythology, politics and art history intersect with and the artist’s concern for the environment.
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