Our quick guide to exploring the seaside town of Sandgate
Updated: 19 July 2021
Jump in the car or on the train – your next destination is Sandgate, a vibrant and historic seaside village. The cute town has been popular with daytrippers since way back when and continues to be thanks to its relaxed vibe, cute cafes, kitsch small bars, and seaside fun.
Just a short 30-minutes drive north of Brisbane CBD, families can take the kids to a local pool and chase crabs on the mudflats, while friends can meet over specialty coffee or beers.
First up, some history
Back in 1853, the first land lots were put up for sale and five years later Sandgate’s first hotel was opened by Charles Davie. This sparked an interest in tourist trade for the area and by the late 1860s seaside cottages dotting the coastline were listed as available for rent at 3 pounds per week – if only that was still the case today.
Fast forward 20 years, and the area was officially declared a town in 1880 with a population of 500. Originally known as Cabbage Tree Creek, the name was eventually changed to Sandgate as the area was surveyed.
Boasting an old-world feel with the historic buildings and bayside charm, Sandgate’s history has been preserved within the historic town hall and clock tower.
Here are our top tips for enjoying a day by the bay in charming Sandgate:
Fish & chips by the sea
With critically acclaimed calamari from Sandgate Fishmonger, huge proportions from Doug’s and the ever-so-popular Flinders Seafood and Bar, you would be silly to not enjoy this classic seaside meal.
Wander the waterfront to Shorncliffe Pier
Stroll south along Sandgate foreshore towards Shorncliffe Pier. This historic 350m-long pier is a must-do. From the end, admire views back to town, watch people fish and walk their dogs, or just stare out or down into the deep blue. It’s a great spot to catch the bay breezes.
Because of its small borders, Sandgate is a close-knit community of local shops, bars, pubs and cafes. Head to Satori Organics for a coffee, Old Favourites for some antique shopping, Cardigan Bar for an evening drink and Ilforno Pizzeria for authentic wood fired pizza or the Full Moon Hotel for some pub grub and cracking water views.
If you happen to be visiting Sandgate on a festival weekend, then you’re in for a treat. Bluewater Festival takes over the waterfront during Easter, Einbunpin Festival celebrates Sandgate’s lagoon lifestyle and Music by the Sea supports artists in this local area.
Catch a sunrise at Sandgate
Nothing beats an epic sunrise over the water. It may be an early morning for some but you won’t regret seeing the colours of the sun mirrored on the water – perfect start to your morning.
Don’t stop now, there’s plenty more to do. Check out our comprehensive guide of things to do in Sandgate and the neighbouring suburbs of Brighton and Shorncliffe. Go on, do it.
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