Brisbane off the Beaten Track
A Local’s Guide to Adventuring Around Australia’s Best City…
Brisbane, affectionately known by locals as ‘Brissie’, is the most ‘Australian’ of all the big cities. Where Melbourne is culturally exciting and Sydney has a cool harbour (and P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way), they don’t boast the same eclectic and subtropical scenes as Queensland’s capital city.
As the gateway to both the sunshine and gold coasts, Brisbane has a lot to offer. Its year-round warm climate, flowering trees and host of colourful, exotic birds attracts a multitude of tourists as well as creates a youthful zeal and chilled vibe.
Where Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Australia Zoo and Story Bridge are popular tourist hotspots, exploring slightly off the beaten track uncovers a collection of Brisbane’s hidden gems, of which there are many!
They say for any worthwhile adventure, you should take the ‘road less travelled by’, so without further ado, here is our guide to exploring Brissie, as recommended by locals! So, grab your backpack, pack your snacks and don’t forget the hobbits… oh wait… the wrong country… the wrong adventure…
Find Yourself a Local…
Want to meet your very own Brissie local? The Gandalf of your Aussie quest? ‘Brisbane Greeters’ is a free tour company, run by passionate volunteers. In this tour, locals uncover some of Brisbane’s best spots and share some secret ‘insider stories’. As a complimentary, ambassador service, you can make your own itinerary, or leave it to the wise, neighbourhood wizards! To book your Brissie, click here.
Food Glorious Food…
So, you’ve met your Brisbane local, and all this walking around is exhausting… Where can you go for breakfast? Second breakfast? Elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon Tea? Dinner? Supper? To channel your inner Pippin and Merry, Eat Street Northshore is one of Brisbane’s precious gems well worth checking out. Constructed from repurposed shipping containers and adorned with glittering fairy lights, it’s the perfect backdrop to an awesome Aussie food adventure as well as a colourful landmark to the Brisbane and South East Queensland dining scene!
For a more local feel, it is worth venturing out to the quirkier West End district. As a Brissie favourite rather than a go-to tourist area, visitors get an authentic taste of the city’s cafe scene. The Three Monkeys and Jungle both have a unique and funky atmosphere, playing on the subtropical and aboriginal themes dotted throughout the city. Plenty and Miss Bliss, also tucked away in the vibrant West End, serves insta-worthy plates of whole food, catering to every millennial’s brunch dreams. Cardamom Pod, located in the gold coast, also provides some dreamy snaps, and acai bowls, for those food fanatics and brunch enthusiasts.
BrisStyle Indie Markets
If you fancy collecting some unique souvenirs from your Brisbane trip but don’t want mainstream, tourist tat cluttering up your home, BrisStyle twilight market is the place for you. As Brisbane’s only marketplace selling 100% locally handmade products, you can not only shop a variety of exclusive items directly from the maker but also enjoy live music and craft workshops. Who says you need an ‘I heart Brisbane’ t-shirt as proof of your trip?
For some additional unique finds, Suitcase Rummage is a pop-up, mini, bric-a-brac market in central Brisbane. The concept is similar to a car-boot sale, but in true with Brissie, youthful zeal, locals auction off their belongings from a different kind of trunk… a suitcase!
Whether you’re looking to pursue an eco-warrior status and buy second hand, or reduce your luggage before your next adventure, it’s worth checking out!
Brisbane out of Bounds…
Now you’ve received the city scoop and eaten like a king, it’s time to explore further afield! Brisbane is nestled between the Sunshine and Gold Coast, meaning there are lots of gorgeous scenes to explore outside of the city jurisdiction. Travelling out of bounds is the best part of the adventure, after all, Frodo wouldn’t have seen Middle Earth if he’d never left Hobbiton…
Dubbed the ‘gem of southeast Queensland’, Moreton is one of Australia’s largest sand islands allowing a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of urban Brisbane…
The Tangalooma wrecks, just off Moreton Island, host a variety of aquatic life with both kayaking and diving excursions offered in surplus.
A cool, bucket-list option is Night Kayaking at the Wrecks. With only the moonlight and two LED stripes as your guide, you can paddle a clear perspex kayak around the historic wrecks, which are that bit eerier at night!
Kangaroo Point, a suburb of Brisbane located across the Brisbane River is a popular recreation spot. It is worth checking out for the cityscape views and picturesque sunsets!
Boggo Road Gaol
As Australia’s Alcatraz, Boggo Road Gaol is a good place to learn about the other side of Brisbane during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries! It’s not all sunshine and golden coastlines! For more information, click here.
Just 35km from the Central Business District and a short 10-minute ferry journey from Victoria point jetty, Coochiemudlo Island (try saying that three times really fast!) is well worth the visit. In the Southern Part of Moreton Bay, there are plenty of activities and gorgeous Aussie coastal scenes to explore.
With so much to see and do, why would you not make Brisbane, the subtropical metropolis, your next must-see destination ‘down-under’?