Discover Brisbane through 'Boy Swallows Universe'

Darra streetscape

Bestselling author Trent Dalton's debut novel, Boy Swallows Universe, captured the hearts of people across the world and has now been developed into a Netflix series. Set and filmed in Brisbane, the series perfectly captures 1980s Brisbane with its landmarks and suburbs. Read our list of things to do that will carry you into the Boy Swallows Universe world.

Explore Brisbane City Hall

Built between 1920-30, Brisbane City Council's heritage-listed Brisbane City Hall features sweeping marble staircases, vaulted ceilings, chandeliers and mosaic-tiled floors. Regular tours showcase the Main Auditorium, Father Henry Willis Organ and the iconic Clock Tower, including a trip in Brisbane's oldest working cage lift and a look behind Australia's largest analogue clock. City Hall's Clock Tower is the backdrop to the last challenge Eli faces in the novel's final act.

For another step into the Boy Swallows Universe, visit the Museum of Brisbane to learn more about Brisbane's history and life in the 1980s.

Delve into the city's history

Learn more about Brisbane's history from Brisbane's committed volunteers with a free Brisbane Greeters tour. The program includes tours of Brisbane City, as well as key precincts such as Fortitude Valley and Paddington.

Alternatively tour the dark history of the city with Crime Tours Australia. Uncover the crime stories from Brisbane's past with 3 walking tours in the Brisbane CBD, South Brisbane and Fortitude Valley. Be sure to ask about the story of Boggo Road Gaol, where real-life inmate, Arthur 'Slim' Halliday, Eli's babysitter, resided.

Sample Darra's rich cuisine

Catch a train to the city's west to explore the multicultural suburb of Darra where the Bell family lived. Darra's strong multicultural roots means you can sample the best of Brisbane's Vietnamese cuisine while there.

Catch a show at The Tivoli

The Tivoli is Brisbane's much-loved indoor theatre and music venue that also acted as a backdrop in the series. Built in 1917, the historic building has been used as a live performance venue since Expo '88. Catch a show for a great time in one of Brisbane's most historic venues.

Related information

Waiting to read the book before you watch the series, or has watching the series piqued your interest in reading the book?

Borrow it from one of Council's 33 libraries with a free library membership.

For more ideas about things to see and do in and around locations featured in the series or book, download the Brisbane app.

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Topics: things to do

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