Ditch the thermals this winter for Brisbane's exclusive events
Looking for a reason to head to Brisbane for some warm sunny days during winter? It won’t take you long to find a good excuse to throw off those thermals and soak up Brisbane’s sub-tropical vibes.
Race day glamour
Brisbane Racing Carnival’s TAB Stradbroke Day on 12 June might not be Royal Ascot, but it’s right next door to Brisbane’s Ascot at Eagle Farm. Dress to impress to win Fashions on the Field, but should you forget anything, head to James Street for a quick shopping spree or wardrobe refresh.
Add more glamour to your stay with an elegant high tea at Treasury Hotel or Room with Roses in the historic Brisbane Arcade.
For an easy but exciting dinner after the races, head out to Eat Street Northshore. Here over 70 traders have created a food wonderland with themed bars, shops and treats from around the world, all served from recycled shipping containers.
End the night with a cocktail at Iris Rooftop and a stay at the edgy Hotel X, which reflects the vibrancy of Fortitude Valley.
Wine and dine
Winter is when Brisbane and the regions burst at the seam with food festivals! Grazed + Grown from 18 to 20 June kicks off a three-part series for Regional Flavours in 2021. All your favourite chefs will be hitting the pans to share their cooking secrets while also whipping up a fabulous feast for the signature event. For those who like to eat fresh and local, foraging through The Marketplace will reveal exciting new finds.
Scenic Rim Eat Local Week runs from 26 June to 4 July. Just an hour’s drive from Brisbane, this region packs in 125 events for the 10th-anniversary celebration program. Join the farm gate events, dine out at long lunches, have breakfast on a farm with the Jersey Girls, and feast at the Winter Harvest Festival. It doesn’t get much more paddock to plate than this.
For a bird’s eye look at this beautiful region, take a flight with Floating Images in their hot air balloon.
You won’t want to leave this countryside so book yourself a rainforest escape at Binna Burra, O’Reilly’s or Witches Falls cottages.
Image of O'Reillys Rainforest Retreat via @mai.roper
Try a New York state of mind
Image credit: Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi) Italy 1571–1610The Musicians 1597Oil on canvas 92.1 x 118.4cmRogers Fund, 1952 / 52.81Collection: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Missing those leisurely strolls through famous international galleries? Pop into QAGOMA’s European Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York from June to October and lose yourself in the glory of more than 500 years of art. It’s a journey from the 1420s to early 20th-century post-impressionism that includes paintings from Fra Angelico, Titian, Raphael, Rembrandt, Turner, Van Gogh and Monet.
Continue those New York feels with a shopping spree down Queen and Edward Streets, where you can even grab a bagel at The Bagel Boys. New York is known for its stage shows, so check out the latest blockbuster performance at QPAC including Alice in Wonderland, Westside Story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Encore: Carol King’s Tapestry.
Grab a pizza from renowned pizzeria Julius in South Bank or settle into Walter’s Steakhouse for New York-style dining with prime Australian steak on your plate. They even have pumpkin pie on the menu!
Finish your day with a sunset cocktail at Emporium Hotel’s The Terrace, where the rooftop deck offers a Brisbane vista that’s hard to match.
Time for an adventure
Celebrating 28 years of running, the Brisbane Marathon Festival on 5-6 June attracts thousands of entries. When the running is over, it’s time to relax and enjoy everything Brisbane city offers.
Keep that adrenalin pumping with kayaking, rock climbing or abseiling right in the heart of the city with Riverlife. Explore more of the river with a Go Boat electric picnic boat cruise. No boat licence is required!
Explore art and handmade products created by First Nations Artisans at Birrunga Gallery and try a kangaroo burger or grilled crocodile salad. Finish your night with a locally brewed beer at Felons Brewing Co at Howard Smith Wharves and stay right next door at The Fantauzzo.
Spin those wheels
As the Tour de France winds its way through the French countryside, the Brisbane Cycling Festival welcomes riders and spectators from 1 to 11 July. Brisbane Showgrounds will be transformed into a Festival Village with events and a big screen bringing Tour de France action to life.
With over 110km of closed roads around Brisbane on Sunday 11 July the Tour de Brisbane is the ultimate Sunday bicycle ride.
Team your cycling adventure with a city escape and explore the new restaurants at Eagle Street Pier with wine tasting at City Winery’s Eagle Street cellar door and bistro. Try seasonal produce and coastal Italian cuisines at Coppa, or go Greek on the waterfront at Opa Bar + Mezze.
Your city stay needs a night of sleep, and the comfy beds at W Brisbane or Treasury Brisbane are just what a tired cyclist requires after a big day of riding.
It’s a laugh
When all you need is a good giggle, the Brisbane Comedy Festival will deliver from 16 July to 8 August. Brisbane will be adorned with some of Australia and New Zealand’s best comedians as they fill the stages at The Tivoli, Brisbane Powerhouse and The Fortitude Music Hall.
Keep the good times going with a craft brewery crawl or wine bar trail around Newstead. The laughs will just keep on coming until you fall into bed at Ovolo The Valley, a boutique hotel that’s just a short stroll from Fortitude Valley’s live music and cafes.
No matter what code you follow, there’s plenty of footy action to enjoy in Brisbane over winter, with State of Origin Game 2, QLD Reds V Auckland Blues, Wallabies v France and Brisbane Lions v Geelong just some of the highlights.
What can you do in Brisbane before and after the games? There is no missing the rooftop sign just up the road from Suncorp Stadium, but did you know you can take a guided wander through Queensland’s iconic XXXX brewery? The 90-minute tours cover the 140-year history of the brewery and include a guided tasting session.
Why not take a day trip and get on island time. It's rarely too cold to for a beach swim on Moreton Island! There are so many activities to choose from thanks to Tangalooma Island Resort, like sand tobogganing, and quad biking, or even whale watching or snorkelling the iconic Tangalooma wrecks.
Click here for more info on What's On in Brisbane.