12 things to do in Brisbane at night

Whether you're a serial night owl, or simply looking to create a special evening with friends and family, Brisbane has plenty on offer after dark. From stargazing to romantic picnic rug lazing, energetic adventures and river cruising, we've got the top things for you to do in Brisbane at night.

1. See the twinkling fairy lights

Across Brisbane, there are more than 20 locations where you can find illuminated fig trees, bridges and landmarks. Admire the glittering Story Bridge by night while picnicking at Captain Burke Park in Kangaroo Point, or experience the twinkling fairy lights under sprawling fig trees in the City Botanic Gardens (near the Goodwill Bridge). From the terraces in Paddington to Sandgate Town Hall, Brisbane's creative lighting provides the perfect backdrop for a picnic, dinner date, or talking point on a romantic walk. Check out our Light Up Brisbane calendar.

City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane City

2. Relax on the river

Cruise the Brisbane River under the stars on a CityCat and make a stop at the dining precincts of South Bank, Eagle Street (Riverside), Racecourse Road (Brett's Wharf), or New Farm (Sydney Street or New Farm). If you want to get just that bit closer to the night sky, hop on a double-decker CityCat for the trip home. It's got an upper deck with seating for 20 people, allowing you to admire Brisbane's stunning skyline of city lights. Looking for something free to do at night? Hop on a free CityHopper (KittyCat) service, which runs between North Quay in Brisbane City and Sydney Street in New Farm every 25 minutes up to midnight. For timetables, visit the Translink website.

3. Try a twilight paddle

Explore Brisbane waterways at sunset on one of our guided canoe or kayak paddle sessions. Have a fun evening on the water and learn about our waterways, wetlands and wildlife as you watch the sun sink and moon rise into the night sky. All equipment is supplied, but bookings are a must. Tours are dependent on tidal events. 

4. Get lost in a laneway

Stroll down the city's twinkle-lit laneways offering great food, live music, street art and Outdoor Gallery. From hole-in-the-wall cafes in Winn Lane to small bars in Bakery Lane, Insta-worthy street art and indie fashion, some of the city's best laneways can be found just off the beaten track. Winn, Bakery and California lanes are a must when in Fortitude Valley, while Burnett and Eagle lanes are perfect for those looking for something a little different in the heart of Brisbane CBD. And just over the river, don't go past Fish Lane in South Brisbane — stretching six blocks between Merivale and Cordelia streets, there are six cafes, 16 restaurants, 11 bars, and 15 public art installations to choose from!

5. Take a moonlight walk

Wander the Riverwalk from Riverview Court at new Farm to the bustling Howard Smith Wharves precinct. It's less than a 900-metre walk, but once you're there enjoy dinner or a drink at one of the popular bars or restaurants. Want to keep walking? The Riverwalk connects to the City Reach Boardwalk, creating an uninterrupted 1.9-kilometre route all the way to the City Botanic Gardens, which is lit up like an enchanted wonderland at night.

City Reach Boardwalk, Brisbane City

6. See the city lights from new heights

Stargaze and get a new perspective on the city skyline at night from the Mt Coot-tha Lookout. Set amongst beautifully manicured gardens, the lookout provides a remarkable view of Brisbane and beyond. Enjoy a meal at The Summit Cafe, then take in the spectacle of the city lights and star-lit skies. The lookout boasts arguably the best view of the CBD and well-known Brisbane landmarks. If you can't make it up the mountain but still want a lookout with city views, Wilson Outlook Reserve along Bowen Terrace in New Farm, Mount Gravatt Outlook Reserve, Bartley's Hill in Ascot, or the Kangaroo Point Cliffs also offer epic vantage points.

Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Kangaroo Point

7. Shop under the stars

Wander through the stalls showcasing the best of local designers at the Collective Markets held weekly at South Bank. Enjoy a unique range of clothing, inspiring artworks, cleverly crafted ceramics, food to keep your tummy satisfied and live music. The markets are open every Friday and Saturday until 9pm. 

After high street fashion? Brisbane's Queen Street Mall is open late on Friday night for some evening retail therapy.

Queen Street Mall, Brisbane City

8. Walk on the wild side

Looking for an adventure after dark? Enjoy a guided night walk and discover the wonders of the Brisbane bushland under the moonlight. Bookings are required.

9. Feast at Eat Street

Take a trip around the world exploring different flavours and cuisines at Eat Street Northshore. Think 70-plus shipping containers fitted out into food stalls, covering everything from Japanese pizzas to Korean sliders, fish and chips to snails in garlic sauce. You can take on a classic pub-style burger chased by a vegan brownie. Eat Street really does cater for all tastes and dietary requirements. With lights, live music and atmosphere aplenty, the vibe is electric — and it's all just 10 minutes from the city. The best way to reach Eat Street using public transport is via CityCat to Northshore Hamilton ferry terminal. From here, it's an easy, flat, 250-metre walk.

10. Go for a late-night dip

Have a dip at Streets Beach at South Bank Parklands on the edge of the Brisbane River. Positioned within 17 hectares of gardens, Streets Beach is Australia's only manmade beach and a must-visit in Brisbane. The pools are free to use and currently open and patrolled by lifeguards from 7am until midnight daily.

Not a fan of water and sand? Brisbane's summer season of movies under the stars continues with Moonlight Cinema in the stunning setting of Roma Street Parkland. Packed or purchased, picnic hampers are welcome. There are plenty of eateries nearby providing delicious takeaway bites into the evening.

Streets Beach, South Bank Parklands

11. Get your late-night cultural kicks

Want to be inspired and entertained? New Farm's Brisbane Powerhouse packs a punch with plenty of music, comedy shows, exhibitions, dance and vibrant theatre displays. Immerse yourself in culture with more than 1250 shows each year. This Brisbane landmark is a great spot for a special evening out, with two on-site restaurants and bars to choose from or plenty of nearby dining options in New Farm and Teneriffe.

Tip - For something different, enjoy a sunset cruise along the river and a special backstage tour of the Brisbane Powerhouse with Mirimar Cruises, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening.

12. Night-time Putt Putt

Putt Putt lovers rejoice! Your week just got better with Victoria Park's cheap weeknight mini golf deal for students and adults! From Monday to Wednesday, you can enjoy discounted rates between 5-9pm. No bookings are required – just remember the course closes at 10pm. Alternatively, head to St Lucia's Garden Mini Golf Putt Putt – Brisbane's newest Putt Putt course. Unlike traditional mini golf, which is typically flat, this course offers a series of slopes, hills, curves and bends with bridges, ricochet walls and rocks set amongst lush gardens.

So what are you waiting for?

If you were ready to pull on the bed socks and stay put, think again, because Brisbane by night is not to be missed! Once you've tested these options, check out our Brisbetter Explore page to discover what makes Brisbane's suburbs shine.

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Date posted:
Last updated: 28 January 2021
Topics: things to do