Brisbane Travel Guide

Activities & Events

Activities and trips
Kangaroo Point, the walls along the Brisbane River are a popular spot for rock climbers and give an excellent view of the CBD skyline just across the river. Activities carry on after dark, when the walls are well-lit. Abseiling and rock climbing classes on the cliffs with an instructor are available from Riverlife Adventures, as well as kayak, kick-bike, rollerblade and bicycle hire. There are also barbecue and picnic spots in the area.
Story Bridge Adventure ClimbOffers the opportunity to scale the top of Brisbane's iconic bridge. You can enjoy 360 views of Brisbane, the mountain ranges and Moreton Bay Islands at dawn, afternoon or night.
Jan Powers Farmers MarketsBuy fresh fruit, vegetables and cuts of meat from one of the many farmers markets across Brisbane including the Powerhouse at New Farm, Manly, Mitchelton and the newest market at Reddacliff Place at the top of the Queen Street Mall.
Balloons over BrisbanePhone: 07 3844 6671You can gain an aerial perspective as you float over Brisbane in a hot air balloon. It's often possible to see as far off as the magnificent Glasshouse Mountains, to the Gold Coast and out to the islands of Moreton Bay.
Cruise the Brisbane River, There are many tours available that cruise the Brisbane River and will help you take in the sights of the city.
Explore Brisbane's Moreton Bay and Islands25 km (16 mi) from the Brisbane's CBD and stretches from Bribie Island to the Southern Bay Islands. Enjoy sand tobogganing, 4wheel driving, diving or snorkelling or go marine watching and spot turtles, dolphins, dugongs and even whales.
Explore Greater Brisbane CountryTake a day trip to the surrounding regions around an hour from Brisbane and discover wineries, national parks, lakes and country living. The Scenic Rim including Ipswich, Beaudesert and Boonah is a vast region of mountains, rainforest and valleys embracing the World Heritage wilderness of the McPherson Range. The Lockyer Valley provides a perfect blend of town and country living, with experiences ranging from guided tours and bush camping to hot air ballooning and sky-diving.
The Scenic RimThis describes the large arc of mountains, to a height of 1,375 m (4,511 ft), from the Mistake Ranges (south of Gatton) across the Main (Great Dividing) Range to the MacPherson Range that terminates at Currumbin on the Gold Coast. Apart from some well known locations on the Rim, such as Binna Burra and O'Reilleys guesthouses, Springbrook and Cunninghams Gap, the largest proportion of these ranges are unspoilt and much of it near-wilderness. Many forest areas were previously logged, but the forest recovery has been excellent, and virtually all the logging tracks have disappeared except for those still used for foot access. At the previously mentioned sites, graded paths offer a taste, but for the more adventurous there are many hiking possibilities from day trips to sustained multi-day exercises. More information can be found on the web. Parties should be properly prepared and conversant with navigation in difficult country and the rules of National Parks.
Riverlife Adventure CentreBrisbane's riverside adventures. Kayaking, Abseiling the Kangaroo Cliffs, a rollerblade session and bike rentals. They also organise evening activities such as Kayak paddle and prawns.
Bosky Bike HireExplore the cities landscape on a bicycle. With each bike you also obtain a community card which entitles you to discounts at various cafes, attractions and retail stores throughout Brisbane.

Thanks to Brisbane's year-round wonderful climate, it's the perfect city to host outdoor events. The city often plays host to cultural and historic celebrations, music festivals and family entertainment, particularly in the Summer holiday months of December, January and February.

Cultural and historic

By far the largest and most popular event in Brisbane is the annual Brisbane Festival. This festival, which originally started as a celebration of the Brisbane River, now incorporates a number of smaller events at various places around South Bank Parklands, the Cultural Centre and the CBD as a celebration to Brisbane itself. Notably the 'Riverfire' event which is held in South Bank every September and draws the largest crowd. It offers free family entertainment all day and the city's biggest Fireworks display at night.

The annual Royal Queensland Show or The Ekka as it's almost exclusively called by the locals is a staple event in Brisbane's history and culture, held every August and dating back to 1876. It is hosted at the RNA Showgrounds in the inner-suburb of Bowen Hills and runs for a week, where the Wednesday is a public holiday (so expect large crowds on this day). Primarily marketed toward families, attractions at the Ekka include fairground rides, a Side Show Alley, animal parades, wood chopping competitions, agricultural displays, equestrian events and Showbags, usually containing food items (such as confectionery) and novelty items. If you are in Brissy at the time, it really is not to be missed!

In Musgrave Park, the Greek Paniyiri Festival is another popular family entertainment event. Brisbane has a large Greek population who come out in force to celebrate Greek culture. Offers authentic Greek foods and entertainment.

The St. George Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) was held in July/August, but from 2010, early November, is in a variety of venues around Brisbane, including the Regent Cinema in Queen Street Mall and Palace Cinemas in Fortitude Valley. BIFF features new films and retrospectives by domestic and international filmmakers along with seminars and awards.


Brisbane has been named one of the world's top 5 hotspots for music by the influential US entertainment Billboard magazine. A night out in Brisbane is not complete without experiencing some of the live music on offer. The Valley has the highest concentration of bars, pubs and clubs anywhere in Australia and in 2005, was given Australia's first and only "Special Entertainment Precinct" zoning, which protects and promotes the live music scene.

If you are looking for what's happening in Brisbane, most music and entertainment stores as well as some hipster restaurants and cafés offer free entertainment magazines like Rave, Time-Off, Tsunami, Scene and City News that list what's coming up within the next month or so.

Though you might find most musicians playing in the numerous bars and clubs around the CBD, West End and The Valley, there are some venues which are geared specifically toward hosting bands or artists that are on official tours. Some events allows under 18s in, but not all, so it's best to check beforehand.

The Hi-Fi125 Boundary StFunky, purpose-built live show venue located in the heart of West End.
The Tivoli52 Costin StHas a very relaxed, noir-styled interior with sizable floor space and a mezzanine. Highly rated venue among locals and only a 10 minute walk from The Valley.
The Zoo711 Ann StLocated in The Valley, this live music venue is almost more Brisbane than the river. Indie rock, hipsters and that alternative vibe.

The Valley Fiesta is an annual three-day event. It was launched by Brisbane Marketing in 2002 to promote Fortitude Valley as a hub for arts and youth culture. It features free live music, market stalls, food and drink from many local restaurants and cafés, and other entertainment.

Brisbane and the Gold Coast also play host to a number of nationwide electronic and rock music festivals, mostly geared toward the younger crowd.

Big Day Out Hosted on the Gold Coast.
Future Music Festival
Good Vibrations Hosted on the Gold Coast.
Parklife Hosted between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Sunset Sounds

Whether watching or participating, Brisbane has a great range of sporting events.

Voted as one of the best stadiums in Australia, Suncorp Stadium is host to the Brisbane Broncos NRL and Queensland Reds Rugby Union teams in the winter, and Brisbane Roar Football (Soccer) Club in the summer. Other events such as the NRL State of Origin are also a very big draw-card. Most matches cost between $25–40 for an adult.

On the south side of city at Woolloongabba is the Brisbane Cricket Ground, or commonly known as the 'Gabba. Here, the Brisbane Lions AFL team plays in the winter, and all forms of cricket can be viewed in the summer.

source: Wikivoyage

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