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.

Plantation Voices: Contemporary Conversations with Australian South Sea Islanders

South Brisbane, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
20 April – 8 September 2019
Emerging from the sugarcane farms of tropical Queensland to cut a path to freedom, the stories of Australian South Sea Islanders are steeped in strength and resilience. Through never-before-seen original photographs, rare and restricted historical papers, and newly commissioned artworks, Plantation Voices repatriates the living history of the unknown names and faces of people tricked or kidnapped into servitude as cheap labour in Queensland’s cane fields.

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.

Drawing Machines

Ipswich Area
Free Entry
27 May – 15 September 2019
Swinging pendulums, turning cogs and spinning discs… come and play with the drawing machines! Make a frenzy of marks with wind-up mice and chickens. Swing the pendulum table and see magic spirals appear.

Quandamooka Festival 2019

North Stradbroke Island,
1 June – 31 August 2019
Quandamooka Festival, held over three winter months, returns in 2019 to coastal region of East Brisbane with up to 55 events including whale watching cultural tours, Kunjiels (corroborees), Indigenous sports, music, eco boat tours, art exhibitions, fibre art and weaving workshops, bush tucker dining, arts and cultural talks by specialists and new events featuring international acts and First Nations dancers and performances - something to suit all ages!

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.

Sculpture in the Vines at Sirromet Winery

Mount Cotton,
Free Entry
22 June – 15 September 2019
In celebration of Sculptors Queensland’s 50th anniversary, take a self-guided tour of a selection of spectacular outdoor sculptures set upon the grounds of the picturesque Sirromet property. Sculptors Queensland is a not-for-profit organisation formed by a dedicated group of sculptors wanting to share their knowledge and to connect in a friendly supportive environment.
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