Best Things To Do In Brisbane
3 Top Ways To Relax In Brisbane
With numerous quirky districts, a great cafe scene, a long riverside park, a busy cultural calendar and a thriving nightlife, Brisbane is chock-full of character and things to do. However, we recommend balancing adrenalin-pumping activities such as skydiving, abseiling at Kangaroo Point and shopping (heee heee) – with more serene and relaxing pursuits such as:
- A visit to the Chung Tian Buddhist Temple, which – ironically – is located in a suburb called Priestdale, south of Brisbane. This expansive complex is set in beautiful gardens that back onto bushland. Everyone is welcome.
You are free to wander the grounds of this very spiritual place and rest in any of the meditation rooms that you’ll find along the way. Look for gargoyles and other mythical figures that protect some of the buildings and you’ll even find a traditional Blessing Bell in the central court.
You can end your visit with a delicious vegetarian meal at the Water Drop Tea House (open 10am-2pm) or simply enjoy a cup of tea and take in the gorgeous peaceful views.
2. The Brisbane Botanic Gardens on Mt Coot-tha Road at Toowong are open 365 days. This 56 hectare site includes many zones such as a bamboo grove, a Bonsai house and a large geodesic dome filled with tropical plants – but you’re not here to see any of these.
You are here to visit Brisbane’s most peaceful location – the Japanese Gardens. Trust us, this place is so soothing that you’ll want to pause a while and close your eyes. Here you will gently inhale the garden’s peaceful energy and slowly exhale stress – and repeat. Several times.
The theme of this restful oasis is ‘tsuki-yama-chisen’ which translates to ‘mountain – pond – stream’ and this shows in the careful selection of key elements such as stone paths, rocks, water and lush vegetation. It is so very ‘Zen’ – we know you’re going to love it!
Day spas are awesome, but sometimes you just want to curl up in your hotel or home.
Ripple comes to you all Brisbane CBD and suburbs with relaxation or deep tissue massage, day spa packages and manis, pedis and facials. Or if you are adventurous there are massages with chocolate oil, coffee infused oil or honey oil which is great for the skin. Phone on 0438 567 906 to book in or a full price list is here
Four Super Quirky And Little Known Things To Do In Brisbane
- At least once in your life you should get in a kayak, in a river city – at night. Sure. You can walk the length and breadth of Brisbane all you like, but there is nothing quite like seeing this magnificent city from its river. In particular, the sight of the Story Bridge’s many multicoloured lights as they reflect on the inky water around you, is pure aquatic magic.
Don’t worry; no experience is necessary and you won’t be all alone in the dark. Riverlife’s night kayaking adventures are guided by qualified and experienced instructors who will take good care of you. We’ve done it – it’s all good! Call Riverlife on (07) 3891 5766.
- Imagine taking a tour of a prison. Now imagine that the person leading you on that tour is a former inmate. How much more interesting is that tour going to be? Very!
Boggo Road Gaol offers day and night time tours that are lead by ex-inmates and ex-prison officers too. Originally built in 1883 (and closed in 1992) Boggo Road Gaol was home to some infamous inmates and it’s haunted to boot!
You have a ‘bouquet’ of tours to choose from; there’s the Historic Tour, the Ghost Tour and the Great Escapes Excursion. Imagine the reactions to your post when you check in on Facebook or Instagram from Boggo Road Goal! Ha! Ha! Do it! Dot it now! Call Boggo Road Gaol on (07) 3844 0059.
- Meet a stranger – go for a walk! Brisbane Greeters is a group formed by local volunteers who love their river city so much that they love to show visitors around.
This completely free service offers two types of greets; the Greeter’s Choice Tour or Your Choice. Tours operate Monday to Friday departing at noon from the Brisbane Visitor Information and Booking Centre at 167 Queen Street. Call Brisbane Greeters on (07) 3156 6364.
- Spread over 108 acres of hills and steep slopes, Toowong Cemetery is a necropolis formed by tens of thousands of gravestones, tombs an
d crypts. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to join a guided tour of this fascinatingly creepy place – in the dead of night. Your rendezvous with the ghosts of Brisbane begins at 7pm every Friday and Saturday night – and the torches – that you will be reluctant to turn off when prompted to – are provided.
The guide’s commentary is fact filled, at times dramatic and always interesting and entertaining. If you’d rather visit under your own steam, the main entrance to Toowong Cemetery is on the corner of Milton Road and Frederick Street in Toowong.
You enter through a semi-circular gateway comprising of daunting stone gate posts and a shiver-inducing cast iron fence that is straight out of a blood-festing horror movie. Come to think of it don’t go alone. Call Brisbane Ghost Tours on (07) 3344 7265 and go with them.
The Top Three Brisbane Bars – In Our Humble Opinion
This dazzling river city hasn’t earned its Bris Vegas nickname for nothing – oh no! It brims with awesome opportunities for a rip-roaring good time and we can’t get enough of it. Here are our three favourite after dark venues.
The Bearded Lady – With graffiti and timber panels on the walls, a piano in the corner and dark timber eaves above you, the Bearded Lady is as quirky as her name implies. There’s a small bar serving some great beers and wines and you can bring your own food. Yes! BYO food.
You can pick up pizza, Chinese, sushi – whatever you wish – and tuck in here while you listen to some great live music. Genre of music is always pot luck; maybe you’ll catch a rock night, a punk band, or a country duo – who knows? You won’t really care. This friendly ‘anything goes’ venue oozes character and you’ll just be happy to be there. The funky cocktails and craft beers will see to that! Address: 138 Boundary Street, West End.
Cloudland – It’s like nothing else. In fact, you might want to visit their website to get a better idea of how glorious this place is, because we’re not entirely sure that we can get its glory across in just a few words. But we’ll try. Think of how a bar would look on Pandora (the planet in the movie Avatar) – add gold, red and fuchsia.
Then add vertical gardens, a waterfall, large chandeliers, various levels and two distinct bars. Finish it off with VIP booths and various function and event spaces for weddings, concerts and the like – and you have Cloudland. Food and drinks? As exceptional as the decor. Address: 641 Ann St, Fortitude Valley.
Our first experience of Dandy’s Rooftop Bar was as pedestrians quite happily minding our own business way down in the street below. We had seen a show at nearby QPAC and were gingerly strolling back to our car. At first we heard the beat of the music. As we got closer we heard singing and laughter – lots of laughter – followed by the chink of bottles and glasses. We looked up, spotted the bar and an enormous glitter ball.
A psychedelic light show bounced off hundreds of wind chime contraptions hanging from the bar’s ceiling and before we knew it, we wanted to be there. So we climbed the stairs and joined in. You can too on Fridays 4pm until late and on Saturdays and Sundays 2pm until late. Address: 71-73 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane.