Brisbane City, Queensland © Tourism Australia
Lincoln Lewis’ guide to Brisbane
Popular actor and long-time Brisbane resident Lincoln Lewis explains what he loves most about the hidden, insider secrets of the Queensland capital.
Interviewed by Dan F Stapleton
Best known for his stint on the Australian soap opera Home and Away, Lincoln Lewis – Linc for short – has also appeared in numerous movies and TV shows. The son of legendary rugby league player Wally Lewis, Linc says he spent much of his upbringing outdoors, taking advantage of Brisbane’s balmy climate and abundance of open space. He still spends much of his free time exploring the city’s parks and coastline. Here, he offers a true local’s guide to the natural attractions and cultural hotspots that make Brisbane such a captivating city.
Outdoor secret spot: Venman Bushland National Park
“I’ve lived in Brisbane, otherwise known as ‘Brissie’, since I was eight years old and I’ve only recently discovered this 7.5-kilometre (4.6-mile) walk in the Venman Bushland National Park, about a 45-minute drive south of the city centre. It takes you through wonderful unspoiled terrain, past creeks, and once you reach the top of the track, you get this beautiful view across bushland and all the way out to the islands off the coast. The walk is suitable for all ages from kids to grandparents – it’s not too hectic. But the view from the top is world-class.”
Lesser known suburb: Wellington Point
“Wellington Point is a quiet little suburb that’s gaining traction with Brisbane locals who want to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the city. It’s on the water, a 45-minute drive east of the city centre, with beautiful cafés, including my favourite, Point of View, which I love because it sits right at the end of the point overlooking all of the local islands of the Moreton Bay region.
From there, you can go fishing off a long jetty – or, during low tide, you can walk all the way out to King Island, which is about 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) from the shore. At high tide it looks like an unconnected small island, however, low tide reveals a large natural sand pathway from the mainland. Definitely a fun walk for taking the kids and/or dogs!”
Eat Street: Eat Street Markets
“Eat Street Northshore, in the north-east suburb of Hamilton, is the best. The variety of food stalls is seriously impressive – from snacks like bratwurst to gourmet Asian cuisines – and it’s the sort of place you can visit with anyone, whether it’s family, mates or a date. I don’t really have a standout, since there’s such a wide variety, but trust me when I say there’s something for everyone.
The atmosphere they’ve created here, a half-hour ferry ride from the city, is quite special; live music, vibrant aesthetic, all the different cultural stalls and designs.”
Favourite bar: The Terrace, Emporium Hotel
“I don’t visit bars too often, so I’m quite picky when it comes to choosing one. The Terrace, on Brisbane’s buzzing South Bank, is a beautifully constructed modern venue that’s very well maintained and offers great views over the river and the city. The drinks and food menus are second to none, but it’s really the atmosphere that draws me back; it’s just a lovely spot to catch up with friends, have a good chat and really relax.”
Destination shopping experience: James Street
“James Street, in Fortitude Valley, has become quite upmarket in recent years. It has a lot of boutique stores – everything from Australian skincare at Aesop to jewellery and homewares at the brilliant Dinosaur Designs – alongside cool coffee spots and tasty places to eat. It’s close to the city centre [around 3 kilometres, or 2 miles] and really easily accessible by car, so it’s great for a quick detour, and it’s a pleasure to walk along, with plenty of greenery.”
Only in Brisbane: the Ekka
“This is a nostalgic pick for me, because I’ve been going since I was a kid. You can’t beat the Royal Queensland Show. Everyone refers to it as the Ekka, which is short for its roots as an agricultural exhibition.
Part of what makes it special are the rides, stalls and the food, but then it’s also about the farmers who bring their livestock to Brisbane from all around the state. The farmers enter show competitions to decide who has the best horse, bull, cow, working dog … even birds! There’s a bit of something for everyone. I still get excited going through the show-bag arena, and my nephews love the science stalls.”
Favourite hotel: W Brisbane
“The W is so slick, and it sits right on the Brisbane River, so the views are ace. As you walk into the lobby you’re hit by vibrant colours and loud design, and that continues in the guestrooms and suites. It’s very extroverted. My mate Andy Allen, who won the TV show MasterChef, oversees the restaurant, Three Blue Ducks, and the food is just amazing. There’s also the WET Deck, which is a bar that’s right next to the swimming pool – it’s really summery, and when the sun goes down the whole area is lit up with neon lights.”