Fun things to do at night on the Brisbane River

Tired of spending your evenings doing the same ol' thing (like binging episodes of Friends in your pyjamas)? Thanks to a little local help, we've pulled together a bunch of the city's best waterfront bars, restaurants and all-round fun things to do after dark on the Brisbane River. So ditch the remote, assemble your crew and head riverside for a night out in Brisbane that is anything but ordinary.

Getting around

When it comes to travel, there's nothing more iconically 'Brisbane' than zooming along the river on a CityCat. Luckily, water travel isn't limited to daytime hours. The NightCat service, which runs up until midnight every Friday and Saturday, is the easiest way to get around after dark.

For the ultimate night river experience, jump on one of the double-decker CityCats and head upstairs for a sparkling 360-degree view of the city skyline. You won't be disappointed!

Gateway to the Valley and beyond

The Howard Smith Wharves ferry terminal is the gateway to Fortitude Valley and New Farm. Catch a lift to Bowen Terrace and then walk a short distance to your venue of choice. Whether you want to explore the nightlife in Fortitude Valley, or have a relaxed meal at one of the hidden gems along Brunswick Street, like Istanbul 1923, it all starts with a trip on a NightCat.

Picnic under the stars at New Farm Park

Brisbane's oldest and grandest park isn't just popular among day-trippers. It's also got some serious night appeal! Round up the gang and snag a spot along the riverbank for a starlight picnic, or snuggle up with a blanket and simply watch the world float by.

Looking for entertainment! The historic Brisbane Powerhouse is an easy, five-minute walk from the New Farm Park ferry terminal and is constantly dishing up live performances, comedy and culture. It also houses two much-loved riverside hangouts - Mary Mae's Bar & Kitchen and Bar Alto.

Eat your heart out at Eat Street

If the thought of doughnut fries, cronut ice cream or Snickers cannoli has your taste buds in a tangle, then you need to spend a night at the famous Eat Street Northshore, Hamilton. Catch a CityCat downstream to Northshore Hamilton and head towards the brightly coloured shipping containers for a serve of tasty dishes and funky beats every Friday and Saturday from 4-10pm and Sunday from 4-9pm. It's eat your way through this venue in one sitting, so multiple visits are a must (as if you need the excuse)!

Take a stroll through South Bank

Whether you're new to the Sunshine State's capital or a local, a night on the Brisbane River isn't complete without a visit to the city's most iconic, riverside playground - South Bank. Sporting some of the city's best bars and restaurants, the parklands offer endless opportunities to eat and play. Indulge in something tasty at one of the many eateries, take a dip at Streets Beach, or catch a show with friends at QPAC. You can also sneak in a spot of late-night shopping at the Collective Markets which take over Little Stanley Street on Friday and Saturday nights until 9pm. If you take a short stroll towards Grey Street, you'll also find Fish Lane - a vibrant mix of buzzing bars, stylish restaurants and an ever-evolving canvas of street art.

Streets Beach, South Bank Parklands

A night out on Oxford Street

Getting the CityCat to Bulimba is a sure-fire way to pack the most into a short walk! There's plenty of choices for drinks, dinner and dessert. Why not make it an Oxford Street progressive dinner and stop at a few places as you explore this iconic Brisbane street?

Creative lighting, Oxford Street, Bulimba

Paddle the river at night in a kayak

What better way to see the river than spending a night on it. Get adventurous and experience Brisbane from a different angle with a twilight kayak tour. There are several evening tours on offer with businesses like Kayak Fun and Riverlife Adventure Centre and some even have the option of ending the paddle with a glass of wine and grazing board. Tours are guided by trained instructors and no previous experience is necessary. You'll be gliding under bridges and past iconic riverside locations like a pro in no time.

Kayaking with Riverlife Adventure Centre, Kangaroo Point

Find more to do in Brisbane

With so much to see and do in Brisbane, nights never have to be boring. For more inspiration on the best things to see and do in Brisbane City and the suburbs, visit our Brisbetter Explore page and download the Brisbane app.

Related links

Editor's note: The featured content in Brisbane Explore is created to inspire residents and visitors to plan a day out exploring Brisbane and to buy local as part of the city's Economic Recovery Plan. Brisbane City Council disclaims any relationship with, or endorsement of, businesses featured in this video.

Come back regularly to check for new and updated content and don't forget to share your favourite places on Instagram using #Brisbetter!

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