The people in Sydney and Melbourne seem to think that Brisbane is a slow, boring city with nothing much to do on a good day. Of course they’re wrong, and we can prove it.
Firstly, that good day they’re referring to, is more like a perfect day. It rarely rains in Queensland, even in the wet season. And if it does, it won’t be for long.
So your days are bound to be full of good weather to begin with, but what do you do with all that great sunlight?
The trick to Brisvegas is, you can’t just stick to all the stuff the tour guides tell you to do, or you’ll be fast asleep by lunch time. Brisbane is full of little gems that the locals don’t advertise, just so they stay tourist free and less commercial. That’s why Brisbanians are so fiercely loyal, they know things about their city you don’t!
Start with some fun daytime activities, like a day playing paintball or even laser skirmish. Some great fields are out at Samford or closer to the city at Keppera. Laser skirmish is on both sides of town, so you don’t have to go too far to find the fields.
If you like to try different things, but paintball sounds a bit violent, try one of Brisvegas’ experience days. You can search around to find various exciting, out of the norm things to do for a day. From hot stone therapy and wine tasting, to golf lessons, jet boating, dawn hot air ballooning, skydiving or race car driving. Check out Red Balloon Days for a complete guide, and price lists.
Hungry? Brisvegas is a coastal town, so there’s one thing you can always be guaranteed: the seafood is good. Not just a meal, seafood in tropical Queensland is more of a pastime. You can make an afternoon of lazing about the grassy knolls by Brisbane’s shores with some peeled king prawns, and take a football or cricket bat with you for some entertainment.
Picnics are great with Brisbane weather and you can find most parks packed out on a sunny weekend, decked out with bushy trees, barbeque tables and cookers. A lot of the time, you can even find a nearby dog off leash area for the pooches.
Shorncliffe, Redcliffe and Scarborough are hugely popular on the north side of town for parks, while New Farm Park is the city’s big meeting point for a game of frisbee. Cleveland and Manly on the south side will also get you a good deal of sun and fun, but don’t forget you can also get some great food and amusement at South Bank in the city, and at Kangaroo Point. Kangaroo Point is really popular for rock climbers and abseilers, so if you're too scared to climb, you can at least watch.
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Finish up at one of Brisbane’s outdoor movie cinemas (not the outdated drive- in you’re thinking of). In summer, Brisbane makes use of the lovely evening temperatures with outdoor cinemas, like in The Wedding Planner with Jennifer Lopez. Both fun and romantic if you’re up for something new. You can watch current movies under starry skies, on a picnic blanket with the summer breezes in your hair.
The Moonlight Cinema operates from the Powerhouse at New Farm and tickets are available either online or by phone. For special Australia Day celebrations, South Bank also screens movies at the Formal Gardens Green for free. Be mindful to keep an eye out for others popping up over the place, if you’re not paying attention, you won’t hear about them. Our Brisbane keeps a listing of current screenings.
Leah Bradicich has travelled comprehensively through Europe, the UK, South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. She works for Vroom Vroom Vroom, http://www.vroomvroomvroom.com , a travel website collating all the deals and specials from the nation’s largest car rental companies, offering discounts on car rentals. Her pieces focus on the ‘best of’ parts of each city, offering a fail safe guide to travelling and listing interesting facts that make each city unique.