Brisbane River, Brisbane, Queensland © Brisbane Marketing
Brisbane's hidden gems
Discover some of Brisbane's lesser-known experiences for a trip that's packed with unique things to do.
By Allie Metz
Brisbane is an exciting city with more than its share of sunny days that transition into balmy evenings. From finding hip foodie haunts to discovering the Aboriginal history of the city, get out and about and take it all in when you add these incredible hidden gems to your itinerary.
Where: 40 Fox St, Albion
For lovers of all things brewed and fermented, Fonzie Abbott has the unique distinction of being a coffee roaster, brewery and distillery. Located in the north Brisbane suburb of Albion, you can stop in for your early morning wake up call and come back again in the afternoon for a cold beer. With delicious drinks and friendly staff, it's the perfect spot to settle in for a while, meet with locals and taste the distinctive flavours of Queensland.
BlackCard Cultural Tours
Where: Brisbane city centre
See the city of Brisbane with a new perspective when you embark on a cultural exploration of the area with Aboriginal tour guides. BlackCard Cultural Tours will connect you to the world's oldest living culture through its cultural insights, history, art and cultural performances. It's an opportunity to experience an authentic, warm and culturally inclusive welcome to Brisbane and all of Australia.
See an opera underground
Where: 226 Wickham Terrace, Spring Hill
Built in the late 1800s, the Spring Hill Reservoirs once held the city's water supply. Now these large, underground spaces are home to theatrical performances that take advantage of the natural acoustics. Watch theatre, opera and Broadway musicals performed by the Underground Opera Company and small theatre troupes in this intimate setting.
Stroll along the Brisbane Riverwalk
For other ways to explore the river, do a guided tour with Riverlife Brisbane. They also rent bikes, kayaks, rollerblades or waterbikes so you can go at your own pace.
Where: Along the Brisbane River
Home to a mighty, snaking river, Brisbane is ideal for a city stroll. The Brisbane Riverwalk starts at the historic Howard Smith Wharves in the city centre and ends in the leafy suburb of New Farm. This walk, however, isn’t just along the water’s edge; it’s a suspended path that allows you to walk above the water. Along the way you'll get a taste for the lively entertainment and lifestyle precinct of The Howard Smith Wharves with great drinking and dining options, including Mr Percival’s and Greca Restaurant. In New Farm, you can take a walk around New Farm Park before exploring the historic Brisbane Powerhouse, where you'll find restaurants, bars and live events. Take the Riverwalk after dark to enjoy the shining skyline.
Seek out a speakeasy
Where: 23 Logan Rd, Woolloongabba
Electric Avenue is an old-world style pub with antique furniture and whimsical collectibles. But for something really fun, head up the antique staircase, go left at the landing and up another flight of stairs. Open the antique wardrobe, push the clothing aside and enter Mrs. J Rabbits. You'll love the speakeasy vibes as you sip a gorgeously presented cocktail, browse the extensive whisky menu or enjoy a glass of fine wine.
Spot Brisbane's edgy street art
Where: Various locations
Brisbane's streets and laneways are sprinkled with funky murals just waiting to be discovered. Burnett Lane offers an eclectic mix of public art, micro bars and cafés, making it a good place to start your exploration. In Fortitude Valley you’ll find several unique murals as you wander the area. Be sure to head to New Farm and Spring Hill, across the river to the West End and South Brisbane. Artistic styles range from edgy surrealism to lifelike depictions of important community members. The city also plays host to an annual Street Art Festival, bringing in artists from Australia and abroad to add their touch to the city’s landscape.
Grab a bite at the Eat Street Markets
Where: 221D MacArthur Ave, Hamilton
Brisbane's Eat Street Markets is a wonderful mix of market stalls, street food eateries, fairy lights and a festive atmosphere, set in a disused waterside shipping container terminal. The small entry fee will buy you live entertainment and access to food from around the world, including Mexican quesadillas, Spanish paella, German sausages, Asian dumplings and fresh local seafood. The markets run every Friday and Saturday night, and Sunday lunchtimes in winter. Take a ferry ride to the Northshore Hamilton terminal to view the city lights from the water and really make an evening of it.