Fun things to do in Brisbane

  • Colin Campbell Place
    Colin Campbell Place
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  • Lots of colours in the Spectacle Garden
    Lots of colours in the Spectacle Garden
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    Creative planting
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Brisbane

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    The Regatta Hotel

    by al2401 Updated Feb 15, 2014

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    The Regatta Hotel is so well known in Brisbane that it even has its own City Cat jetty. It is named after the rowing regattas held on the river; it was often the finishing post.

    In 1965 there was a famous protest in the Regatta Hotel. Two women chained themselves to the public bar in protest of the law restricting the public bar to men only. The protest failed and the law stood for quite a few years.

    A single storey building was erected on the site in 1884. After flooding the present three storey structure was built in 1886. It featured beautiful iron lace work which is still present today. The Regatta Hotel was redecorated in 1981. It is part of the National Trust of Queensland and was registered in 1992.

    The hotel was progressively renovated from 2001-4 to include modern bars and nightclubs only to be extensively damaged in the 2010-11 Queensland floods. It was reopened in September 2012 after more refurbishments.

    The Regatta Hotel is a great place to have a meal and is a favourite place to stop for folk on a City Cat tour.

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    Bridges

    by al2401 Updated Nov 22, 2013

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    The Brisbane River is spanned by 14 bridges. Most are road bridges but there are rail and pedestrian bridges as well.

    Arguably Brisbane's most famous landmark is the Story Bridge which was built in 1940. It was designed by Dr John Bradfield who also designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Story Bridge also offers bridge climbs.

    The William Jolly Bridge (originally the Grey Street Bridge) was built in 1932 and named posthumously after Brisbane's first Lord Mayor.

    The Victoria Bridge was opened in 1970. Two bridges had stood on this site - the first built in 1865 collapsed in 1867. Its replacement was partially destroyed in 1893 floods.

    The two major rail links in Queensland were finally joined in the CBD with the construction of the Merivale Rail Bridge in 1978. Previously the only rail bridge was miles upriver at Indooroopilly or passenger took public transport between the southside of the river to the north.

    The Goodwill Pedestrain Bridge linking Gardens Pont and the Queensland University of Technology with Southbank was built in 2001.

    Since writing the above Brisbane has seen the addition of two new bridges - the Kurilpa Bridge from Tank Street to Kurilpa Point and the Go Between Bridge from Hale Street to the South side.

    The list of 16 bridges from the lower to the upper reaches is;
    Sir Leo Hielscher (two bridges) - formerly known as the Gateway Bridge
    Story Bridge
    Captain Cook Bridge
    Goodwill Pedestrian Bridge
    Victoria Bridge
    Kurilpa Pedestrian Bridge
    William Jolly Bridge
    Merivale Rail Bridge
    Go Between Bridge
    Eleanor Schonell Bridge - buses, cyclists & pedestrians
    Jack Pesch Bridge - cyclists & pedestrians
    Albert Rail Bridge
    Indooroopilly Railway Bridge
    Walter Taylor Bridge
    Centenary Bridge

    Story Bridge - Brisbane William Jolly Bridge - Brisbane Victoria Bridge - Brisbane Merivale Rail Bridge with William Jolly Bridge Goodwill Pedestrian Bridge - Brisbane
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    The Glasshouse Mountains

    by al2401 Written Nov 21, 2013

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    Glass House Mountains National Park has an area of 2,117 hectares and starts about 70 km north of Brisbane. It is a flat plain featuring cores of extinct volcanoes, the outer rock having been eroded away. The park was established in 1994 and extended in 2010.

    The Glass House Mountains were named by Captain James Cook in 1770 as he sailed up the coast. The mountains can be seen from quite a distance out to sea and the shapes reminded him of glass kilns.

    The highest peak is Beerwah at 555m, while the most recognisable are Coonowrin (or Crookneck) 377m and Tibrogargan 364m (also 2nd & 3rd highest)

    Walking tracks allow access to the summit of some of the peaks but you need to check with the National Parks on accessibility. Climbing the mountains can be extremely dangerous and many people have had to be rescued. There have also been fatalities.

    The park covers a diverse range of habitiats from heath to open forest with some rainforest patches.

    The Glass House Mountains are best viewed from Mary Cairncross Park - Maleny

    Glasshouse Mountains from Mary Cairncross Park Glasshouse Mountains from Mary Cairncross Park Mount Tibrogargan - Glasshouse Mountains Crookneck - Glasshouse Mountains Crookneck from Mary Cairncross Park
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    Kurilpa Bridge

    by al2401 Written Nov 20, 2013

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    Originally know as the Tank Street bridge this pedestrian/cycle bridge crosses the Brisbane River from Tank Street (off George Street) to Kurilpa Point near the Gallery of Modern Art. Construction started in 2007 and the bridge was opened in 2009. The Kurilpa Bridge is the world's largest hybrid tensegrity bridge. It is a multiple-mast, cable-stay structure, designed to be light but incredibly strong.

    The bridge is lit by a LED lighting system which can produce many different effects. The power for the lighting is derived 75% - 100% from solar power depending on the design in use.

    A competition was held to choose the name for the bridge. The successful "Kurilpa Bridge" comes from a local Aboriginal name and means 'place for water rats'.

    Kurilpa Bridge Kurilpa Point - Kurilpa Bridge Kurilpa Bridge Kurilpa Bridge Kurilpa Bridge
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    The Wheel of Brisbane

    by al2401 Written Nov 20, 2013

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    This 60 metre tall ferris wheel was erected to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the statehood of Queensland and 20 years since World Expo 88. It is located next to the Queensland Performing Arts Complex at South Bank. Rides started in August 2008.

    There are 42 air-conditioned gondolas that can carry 6 adults and two children. The ride takes approximately 12 minutes and is accompanied by an audio pointing out landmarks across the city.

    This is a great thing to do for visitors to Brisbane and for locals too.

    The price is 15AUD

    Wheel of Brisbane Wheel of Brisbane Wheel of Brisbane Wheel of Brisbane South Bank beach from Wheel of Brisbane
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    A slice of history restored.

    by al2401 Written Nov 18, 2013

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    Brisbane's oldest cafe the Shingle Inn was established in 1936 and was originally located at 254 Edward Street. It derived its name from the shingle awning over the door. It was created as an old English teahouse and was famous for its cakes. The front windows of the cafe were always loaded with all sorts of cakes and sweet things.

    In 2002 Shingle Inn had to bow to the pressure of inner-city development and expansion and closed its doors. It was lovingly dismantled and stored by the current owners. More than eight years later the owners gifted it to the City of Brisbane. It has been faithfully restored by the Brisbane City Council and now can be found in the newly restored Brisbane City Hall.

    Original 75 year old timber panelling, light fittings and booths have been restored and original windows act as features in the new restaurant space.

    The tradition of great cakes, excellent service and warm ambience that is Shingle Inn lives again.

    Shingle Inn City Hall Shingle Inn City Hall Shingle Inn City Hall
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    Oktoberfest Brisbane Style

    by wise23girl Written Oct 12, 2013

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    So you want to celebrate Oktoberfest? Well you can do that in Brisbane, Queensland in 2013 ...no problem....so raise a stein and get your beer goggles ready and head for The Brisbane Showgrounds out near The Royal Brisbane Hospital or to the Bavarian Bier Cafe in the city centre.

    I read that The Bavarian Cafe is the only venue offering all five 5 exported Oktoberfestbeir which are actually brewed in Munich .....so isn't that something.

    Then there are two 2 weeks of celebration at the Showgrounds...German music, entertainment....everything you could want....in fact this event has been called one of the Ten10 top Oktoberfests outside of Germany.

    All this started in 1810 (no not the Australian one of course) back in Bavaria to celebrate a royal wedding and the event has never looked back.

    There may be other venues that celebrate Ocktoberfest in Brisbane (well we had one on Buderim recently, but this tip will get you started.

    see you there!

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    DICK JOHNSON RACE SHOP & MUSEUM

    by balhannah Updated Oct 7, 2013

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    If you are interested in V8 car racing, then a visit to this Museum you would enjoy.
    The Dick Johnson Racing complex is home to the Dick Johnson Museum, Raceshop, Workshop, Team Mates HQ and of course, The Team.
    Dick Johnson is a famous Australian driver.

    In the Museum, there are cars that made Dick Johnson famous, including...
    Bathurst 1000 winning cars in 1981, 1994 and the 1981/82 championship.
    The Shell Falcon which was Dick’s last race car. (He is retired now)
    The museum also displays some of Dick’s rivals' race cars from time to time, including Peter Brock’s 1978 A9X Torana, Kevin Bartlett’s 9 Camaro and Allan Moffat’s 1969 Coca Cola Mustang.
    Over 30 years of DJR memorabilia are also on display including the famous 'Rock' (valued at one million dollars), trophies, videos and photographs.

    The Raceshop stocks the entire range of DJR merchandise including their exclusive Jim Beam Racing range of clothes and accessories. There are model cars, books, DVD’s, stickers, flags, mugs, key rings, pens and much, much more.
    You are sure to find a unique souvenir or the perfect gift for the man? or woman in your life!

    A large glass window to the workshop allows you to see the DJR team working hard on the current Jim Beam Racing cars.

    The museum is open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday
    CLOSED ON Saturdays & Sundays & Pubic Holidays.

    Tours are held Wednesdays and Saturdays at 11am. Bookings are essential and group tours can be arranged.
    Call the DJR Raceshop on +61 7 3287 0123 *Subject to race schedule.

    PRICES FOR 2013.....

    FREE admission to the Dick Johnson museum and race shop.

    Workshop tour costs.... $15.00 adults $7.50 school age children
    $7.50 concession
    Bookings are essential and can be made by calling the DJR Raceshop on +61 7 3287 0123. Group tours can also be arranged

    Closed in shoes essential.

    TO GET HERE.......
    PUBLIC TRANSPORT........
    Take the Train to Beenleigh Station, then a Taxi to Stapylton (only 7-10 minutes).

    BY CAR.......
    On Pacific Highway, Take EXIT 38 (Yatala North turnoff), head towards Jacobs Well (Route 96) and look out for the 'Dick Johnson Racing' sign.
    ....Turn right into DeBortoli Street (just before the Yatala/Beenleigh Drive In) and right again into Emeri Street.

    Photo by GTHO
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    AUSTRALIAN - AMERICAN MEMORIAL

    by balhannah Written Oct 7, 2013

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    I must admit, that I have never bothered walking around Newstead Park before, so on the sunny day I visited Newstead House, I decided to go for a walk and was quite surprised with what I saw.

    The entrance to Newstead Park is through some lovely sandstone gates that have ornamental lights on top. Before entering, I stopped and viewed the map of the park, then made my way to the pathway known as Lyndon B. Johnson Place.

    This led me alongside the river and past the Australian-American Memorial which commemorates the contribution of people of USA to the defence of Australia during 1939-1945 war. The foundation stone was laid by Professor John Bostock, President of the Australian American Association on the 3rd May 1951 during Coral Sea week. £2000 had been allocated for the memorial, money spent on a very impressive tall column that reaches for the sky, with an Eagle sitting atop. In 1951, this was the first American war memorial in Australia. I guess Newstead park was chosen for this monument as Newstead House was occupied by American forces during WWII. More plaques were added to the memorial in 1988 and 1995.

    As I walked around the park, I found many families picnicking on the lawns, some were trying their luck fishing - I didn't see anybody catch a fish. The views of the Brisbane River that runs beside Newstead Park are lovely, and further around, I had views of Brisbane. A nice way to come to the park, is by the City-Cat ferry.
    On a hot day, this was a very pleasant park to be in, as breezes come along the Brisbane River and sweep over Newstead Park.

    Australian-American Memorial Views of Brisbane from Newstead Park Entrance gates to Newstead park
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    KOALA AND RIVER CRUISE WITH MIRIMAR II

    by Anniko Updated Aug 25, 2013

    Alongside a boardwalk in the city’s heart, on the waters of Brisbane River, rested the Mirimar II, a cruise boat about to depart for Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

    On board, the captain and crew greeted everyone with a warm welcome. Inside was a licensed bar, and café, where coffee and refreshments could be purchased. People from all over the globe, including Australia, occupied the upstairs deck, protected from weather by an awning.

    As the engine began to purr, a narrative guide commenced. During the following hour and a quarter, we sailed past waterfront suburbs displaying different architectural styles. They ranged from historical Queenslander homes to impressive modern mansions. This view was only accessible by boat, and was a new experience.

    Arriving at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, passengers were eager to commence the 2.5 hour encounter with creatures uniquely Australian. Clambering up steps, screeches of parrots filled our ears. Occupying several enclosures, they shared the park with marsupials including Tasmanian devils, wombats, koalas and kangaroos. Also represented were platypuses, dingoes, emus, and reptiles. Lectures on various species were available at scheduled times, throughout opening hours.

    The main attraction being koalas, over one hundred of them clung to eucalyptus tree constructions. No cages, only waist high barriers separated them from tourists, who fervently clicked cameras, and queued to cuddle the animals. The koala talk was interrupted when two of the furry bundles repeatedly slapped each other. The audience burst into giggles. Zoo keepers separated the pair, but they continued to groan loudly, providing another hilarious moment. Soon, the sparring partners were at it again, and had to be forced apart with a plastic rake.

    Our mouths watered smelling barbequed onions. Visitors headed for the café, to experience a traditional Australian sausage sizzle. Tasting fresh bread and grilled ingredients drowned in tomato sauce, pleasantly relieved hunger.

    At the kangaroo enclosure, Asians timidly approached with cameras focused. A Japanese girl said to one, “Hello!” The marsupial just looked at her, obligingly staying still during photography. Tourists were able to sit down beside tame animals, and run fingers though soft fur. The kangaroos appreciated having their necks rubbed.

    The two and a half hours allocated for exploring Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was just right. Weary passengers returned to the cruise boat, as the captain welcomed everyone back. Many momentarily dozed off. As the Mirimar II commenced its return journey, they were revived by river breezes.

    Don and family from San Diego, California, who were staying at the Sofitel, a five-star hotel in the CBD, exclaimed, “This place is really beautiful!” Our waterfront impressed them. Don said, “We live in a house as big as any of these, but you guys have got it right, the way you fit in with the environment. You’re far more sophisticated than us, and everything is so clean.”

    Surroundings taken for granted by Australians were viewed in a different light. The vessel glided towards the city, as visitors clicked away, photographing every building in sight. From a local’s point of view, I thought, “Yes, everything is immaculately maintained. Nothing looks shabby or neglected. There’s no rubbish floating about, or grime covering any structure.”

    Satisfied passengers disembarked from the cruise boat, as its captain fare-welled them individually. The Mirimar II then disappeared downstream, beneath skyscrapers and bridges glistening in the afternoon light. Never before had I felt so proud to be an Aussie!

    Koala Kangaroo
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    Explore the Brisbane Arcade

    by wise23girl Updated Aug 24, 2013

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    Well if you love to shop with a bit of local history this is a place to do just that. But NOT on Sundays. We are often in town on a Sunday and all I can do is a bit of window shopping.

    Now for the history...The site was once the home of the Mayne family...Dad was a butcher and he must have been a very successful one for he built the Arcade for his two youngest children one of whom was a doctor. Still to this day proceeds go to the Medical school and Medical Research at the University of Queensland.

    There are three levels to explore in the arcade and you will be delighted by the Edwardian Baroque style street facade and original terrazzo stairs.

    And you can purchase some hand made sleepwear...fashion design...imported shoes...and teapots. Oh and Darryl Lea chocolates if you love to indulge.....Sorry Darryl Lea have gone! Something called Bodyworks there now.

    2013....I just discovered on the balcony level this little place called Room of Roses which surely will tempt your senses with the beautiful food and decor ...and especially the roses....

    And down the stairs in Kerri Craig Emporium not only clothes and gifts but an elegant restaurant where fresh crab sandwiches to die for are served....at an elegant price I may add.

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    Shingle Inns for Coffee

    by wise23girl Updated May 25, 2013

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    Well I remember the original Shingle Inn which was established 1936:
    "The historic Shingle Inn, Edward Street, Brisbane was built by David Webster and Sons amidst the horrific depression of the 1930's. The Managing Director at the time was W.R Webster, a son of David Webster, the founder of Webster Cake and Biscuit Company of the 1890 era."
    "Purchased by the Bellchambers family in 1975, Shingle Inn Cafés & Bakery has been owned by only two families during its 72 year history, enabling the business to retain the quality and unique character which has made it famous amongst several generations".

    Such a beautiful building and they served the most delicious cream cake you could ever imagine. As a young nurse it was one of my favourite places.

    We were there on the last day when progress demanded its demise....sad day in August 2002.

    The City Hall Shingle Inn opened in 2013 using the original fittings

    Today you can still get some enjoyable food and tea or coffee and there are little "Shingle Inns" scattered all over the place. And they have really special high teas as well.

    (And they are now in Sydney I notice)

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    PUBLIC ART - "THE GUARDIAN"

    by balhannah Written Feb 21, 2013

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    'The Guardian' BY Cezary Stulgis in 2008 is a funny looking creature!

    This is a 6 foot tall wolf-man statue is dressed in a long overcoaat and has boots on. There is a square cutout where his organs should be, 'The Guardian' looks a little sinister as he stands on the corner watching everybody going about their daily routines.
    Different!

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    BRISBANE TREE TRAIL

    by balhannah Updated Feb 21, 2013

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    Being a keen gardener, I found this trail interesting, so I thought that you may, as you might like to know the different varieties of Trees that we grow in Queensland.
    The added plus, you have a good look at Brisbane at the same time!

    Brisbane
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    PUBLIC ART TRAIL - CULTURAL HERITAGE

    by balhannah Written Feb 16, 2013

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    The Cultural Heritage Trail is a 1.3 kilometre walk through the city’s historic plazas and squares.
    The walk begins at King George Square and finishes at St Stephen’s Cathedral on Elizabeth Street.
    On the walk are memorials, contemporary artworks, monuments and historic pieces which commemorate Brisbane’s history or depict historical figures or events.
    Once again, either pick up a map from the Tourist Information centre or look at one on the "net'

    We begin at the City Hall.

    City Hall
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