Brisbane’s Best Bits: Where to Eat, Shop, Play

I flew into Brisbane on a Thursday afternoon with noone to meet and not a lot to do. The plan as usual, to make friends at the hostel and go from there didn’t work out so well on this occasion. 25 riled up rugby players left me with not a lot of options, so I headed out own my own to see what Brisbane had on offer. As it turns out, more than you might think.

Thursday Salsa @ Cloudland

Being a big Salsa dance fan, I’d heard of Cloudland before I arrived, so first stop was their regular Thursday night social. Picture one sweeping grand staircase, chandeliers dripping from the ceiling, and champagne on ice and you’re halfway there. Just add one live latin band, and international waters of Salseros swimming with the beat.

Cigarette butts stamped out in ash trays featuring scenes of Aboriginal life
Striking symbolism of Queensland’s past
Cigarette butts on scenes of aboriginal life
Stamping out cigarettes on scenes of Aboriginal life

Culture @ Queensland Art Gallery

In my opinion any well planned trip should always start with a visit to at least one of the local museums or galleries, so Friday morning I zipped straight on over to Southbank’s Queensland Art Gallery (GOMA). A mix of Aboriginal and Western art gave me a sense of the conflicts in this community and an insight into it’s past.

Sunbathing @ Southbank

Also on the Southbank is Brisbane’s human-made Streets Beach which was a surprisingly relaxing to spend the afternoon sunbathing, between bar and beach.

Two female comedians and a piano-man
Quick wit with gin

Show @ Brisbane Festival

For Friday evening’s entertainment I dove into the Brisbane Festival brochure and booked myself a comedy show. The History of Gin was a two woman, one piano-man comedy burlesque, and a right hilarious one at that. I was so pleased to have made the journey from the central city out to the Roundhouse Theatre to catch this one on closing night.

Hotcakes with strawberries at No. 5 Cafe
Brunching in Winn Lane

Cafe life @ The Lanes

Brunch was top of my list for Saturday morning, so down I wandered through Fortitude Valley to No. 5 cafe. Hidden conspicuously in Winn Lane, this would be the perfect inner city hideaway, if it wasn’t so popular! Here I gobbled down hot cakes, then went looking for Fortitude Valley’s other hidden lanes.

consious.kin store on James St
Dropping dollars on conscious.kin

Boutique shopping @ James Street

I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to spend a chill Saturday afternoon than boutique shopping beneath James Street’s leafy canopy. Dropping my wallet in conscious.kin was a costly but inevitable fate to stock up on Australia’s best natural beauty products. Luckily I’d already enjoyed a serene long lunch at Harvey’s modern Australian bistro.

Koala cuddles @ Lone Pine

Last but not least I could not miss a cuddle with a Koala, so on Sunday I took my opportunity and headed out of the city to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. The most terrifying part of this visit – being bound at by a troop of Kangaroos. The most surprising part – finding Koala’s have a very hard plate in their back-sides to help them stay in the trees!

Night falls across Brisbane river and city
From Kangaroo Point at dusk

After my weekend in Brisbane it was time to head north up the coast to Go Jungle Surfing from Cairns to Daintree.

If you liked this round-up of Brisbane’s best bits, also check out my Brisbane Vlog ft. Lone Pine, Pride, Brisfest 2018.