Top Brisbane staycation ideas

Enjoy a picnic in one of our 2100-plus parks

Bonus long weekend, anyone? You Bris-betcha. Enjoy sublime strawberry sundaes among a host of destination delights during Brisbane’s Ekka long weekend on 14-16 August 2020. Stay, play and vacay, the Brissy way.

If our subtropical seasons, endless sunshine and vibrant city isn’t enough reason to holiday at home, think about all the great local businesses (food, fun, leisure or shopping) who’ll be happy to see your face during your long weekend staycation.

For the hardcore adventurer

The Story Bridge has just turned 80. Celebrate this milestone with a Story Bridge Adventure Climb. Council is preparing to give this Brisbane grand dame a makeover as part of a five-year project to restore it to its former glory.

If obstacle courses are more your style, release your inner ninja at St Lucia’s Guyatt Park’s new outdoor fitness challenge course, Warrior Park. Beat the clock or tackle the obstacles at your own pace.

Reach great heights with the Story Bridge Adventure Climb

For the gentle adventurer

Brisbane is a haven for kayakers and Council has just opened a new recreation hub at Riverhills. Grab your paddles and head to Newcomb Park to launch your kayak or canoe from this 18-metre long pontoon.

Riverhills also allows limited fishing (watercraft receive priority here), or you can grab your rod and reel and head to the fishing platform at Cameron Rocks Reserve in Hamilton, or one of our many other fishing platforms.

No kayak? No worries. Riverlife Brisbane at Kangaroo Point is fully operational and hires kayaks, bikes, rollerblades and Urb-e scooters for use along this beautiful Brisbane River stretch.

For paddling of a different kind, Streets Beach at South Bank Parklands is making a splash after its recent facelift and the family favourite Riverside Green playground is back in action too.

Hire a kayak from Riverlife and explore the City Reach, Brisbane River

For the foodie

Howard Smith Wharves is enjoying a cosy comeback with foodie faves Felons Brewing Company, Mr Percival’s, Grecca, Betty’s Burgers and Goodtimes Gelateria back serving. Laze on the lawn with alfresco food and drinks overlooking the Story Bridge, Brisbane River and city skyline.

Toast the long weekend at City Winery – the first urban winery to open in Brisbane since 1860. Indulge in wine blending workshops, tours and tastings, wine and food pairing experiences, or their fireside experience in the heart of Brisbane.

Then, do what any holidaying foodie should – get gourmet the local way with fresh produce and street eats from neighbourhood markets across the city.

So much to explore at Howard Smith Wharves

For the art aficionado

We’ve painted the town red, and in every other colour, with a plethora of public art dotted around the city. Soar along Kingsford Smith Drive and admire the new Bretts Wharf plaza as well as ten aviation-themed art beacons.

Head to the Brisbane CBD for the latest Outdoor Gallery offerings and check out the Razzle Dazzle exhibition on a curator's walking tour at Brisbane City Hall. Make sure to register to secure your spot.

Like your art and your gardens cutting-edge? Council commissioned artist Hiromi Tango has created a permanent public artwork for The Platform at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. Check out Roots, a bronze artwork which explores connection and place, and enjoy exotic blooms while you’re there.

Explore the new Kingsford Smith Drive Public Art Trail

For the history buff

Immerse yourself in local history with Brisbane’s newest heritage trail, Roam the River from Creek to Wharf Heritage Trail to uncover the rich history of the Hamilton area including Aboriginal history, the transformation of Kingsford Smith Drive and the iconic architecture and infrastructure.

The Anzac Legacy Gallery at the Queensland Museum is another must-do for history lovers. Entry to the Queensland Museum is free, but you do need to book your visit online for a timed session to this South Bank venue.

Brisbane City Hall and Clock Tower Tours are also back and can be booked online through the Museum of Brisbane. Did you know it’s been 100 years since its foundation stone was laid and construction of the city’s iconic building began? Check out The Storytellers exhibition when you visit and uncover Brisbane's histories, myths and tales as told by storytellers of our city.

For the culture vulture

The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) will open its doors in time for the long weekend and has two exciting exhibitions running until near the end of August - so plan your visit and book a free timed-entry ticket.

'I, object' examines the complex relationships indigenous Australians have to certain objects, while Al Weiwei, Boomerang 2006 is a giant object made of 270,000 crystal pieces that fill the soaring space of QAG’s Watermall. The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is offering free tickets to the sublime showcase of Indigenous artist, Mavis Ngallametta.

Over at New Farm Park, the Brisbane Powerhouse is back with a limited run of shows and events, like Sundays on the Lawn.

Visit the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art

For the music makers

Missed live music? Check out Sweater Curse, Presidential Blues and Brisbane-born singer Bernard Fanning at the aptly-named Cabin Fever Festival at The Triffid in Newstead.

It’s a case of who’s who at The Zoo during its Anti-Social Series with The Dreggs + Make the Moon plus Concrete Surfers playing over the long weekend at this Valley favourite.

For the Ekka enthusiast

Bummed about missing the Ekka? Worry not, as the Ekka is going online with baby animals, farms, entertainment and agriculture all available at your fingertips.

Missing your annual strawberry sundae fix? You can find five pop-up strawberry sundae stalls around the city until 16 August or order a do-it-yourself strawberry sundae pack online before Friday 23 July and spend your long weekend in strawberry fields.

For the hotel hedonist

Nothing screams staycation like a sleepover and Brisbane hotels have some great deals on offer. Check out Visit Brisbane for the latest and greatest accommodation packages available during the long weekend.

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Date posted:
Last updated:31 July 2020
Topics: things to do