18 reasons to visit Brisbane in winter

The awesome weather isn’t the only motivation you need to bounce into Brisbane this winter, with a stack of action from the galleries to the horse track and back. Ditch the winter woollies, pack your bags (with just one light jumper) and head north for the winter – here's 18 reasons why.

1. The events line-up is super powered


Do you see what we did there? There are some pretty major events coming to Brisbane this winter and if you time it just right, you may be able to tick a few off the list in one trip. Don your best cape and head to QAGOMA for Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe then stop into the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre for Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum. Over at QPAC, the Royal Ballet is visiting Australia for the first time in 15 years, performing two original productions in one exclusive Brisbane season.

2. It's not too cold to go to the footy


Regardless of the code you prefer, the winter months signal a pretty full calendar across the AFL, NRL and rugby union. Get to the Gabba and support the Brisbane Lions or saddle up and trot along to Suncorp Stadium and catch the Brisbane Broncos in action. For the Union fans, the Qantas Wallabies go up against Italy on 24 June and the Reds will take on the Brumbies in their final home game of the year in July.

3. The Battle of Brisbane is on

Battle of Brisbane

Ding ding! Suncorp Stadium will be transformed into a boxing ring for one night only when Brisbane's very own Jeff Horn steps out to take on reigning title holder Manny Pacquiaio. The world will be watching when Horn takes his chance to become Australia's first-ever world welterweight champion. Want to be ringside – or at least in the building? Tickets are still available, and they're affordable.

4. The sunrises and sunsets are worth the trip

Wilsons Outlook

Winter sunrises and sunsets in Brisbane are pretty spectacular. We'd hate for you to miss the city looking this pretty. Don't believe us? Just check out our Instagram.

5. Brisbane is off and racing

Brisbane Racing Carnival

Suit up, frock up and saddle up – Brisbane's winter carnival is off and racing. Jumping out on 13 May at Doomben, carnival race meets will be held across five Saturdays, with the almighty UBET Stradbroke Raceday to close out the carnival. Some of the best horses in the country will be competing to win one of the seven Group 1 feature races in preparation for their spring campaign in Melbourne – so keep an eye out for the winners and you just may have a hot tip come cup-time.

6. You'll have a whale of a time


These magnificent giants of the ocean start making their way past Brisbane in June each year and Brisbane has a stack of ways to witness their migration – by land and by sea. Get up close and personal with the majestic humpback whales as they pass by Queensland with our guide to whale watching in Brisbane.

7. You'll discover where your food comes from

Taste food and wine from the region, take part in cooking classes, tour the farms, enjoy dinner under the stars and other activities during Scenic Rim Eat Local Week. The program is packed with events throughout the Scenic Rim over a week and a half, ending with the Winter Harvest Festival complete with a tractor pulling competition.

Other events on the program include the Farm Gate Festival in the Lost World or the Kalfresh Carrot Field Day for families, for the foodies there's the Kooroomba Vineyard Degustation Dinner and for the true city slicker, the Ladybrook Cattle Demonstration will only set you back a gold coin donation. Don't wear your best shoes. Check out the full program.

8. Because Brisbane is the home of #8inarow

State of Origin

The Cauldron. Fifty thousand screaming fans. State versus state, mate versus mate. Brisbane becomes a glorious euphoric Queensland meme when rugby league’s biggest contest comes to a head in game three at Suncorp Stadium on 12 July. We know you’ve already booked your ticket, so check out accommodation options here.

9. You can take an island escape... in July

North Gorge Walk, North Stradbroke Island

It isn't often that the temperature dips into the single figures in Brisbane and when it does we generally complain. It's just a hop, skip and a jump to Moreton Island or North Stradbroke Island and even if it's too chilly to dive into the water, there's plenty of things to do that will make you forget that winter is even a thing.

10. Brisbane becomes one big country town

There’s something comforting about wrapping your lips around a strawberry ice-cream at the Ekka. And it’s not the only moment of nostalgia you’ll get from walking through those gates. Add in the high-octane action of the main arena, Sideshow Alley and pavilions of creatures big and small, and the Royal Queensland Show delivers family fun in spades. Don’t miss it from 11 to 20 August, with the People’s Day public holiday on Wednesday 16 August.

11. You can experience the region on a plate

Regional Flavours

South Bank gets the recipe just right for huge foodie event Regional Flavours and this year, on 15-16 July, you can see your favourite celebrity chefs cook up a storm, stroll through the Producer Showcase, chow down tasty morsels and craft beer at The Hunting Club and hit up the best food trucks the city has to offer. Delish.

12. Embrace Brisbane’s foodie scene

Wild Lime Cooking School

Brisbane and its surrounding regions are a gold mine of incredible produce and ingredients, and the autumn-winter offerings are to die for. Brisbane’s restaurants have a real paddock-to-plate philosophy, so prepare for some incredible fare as you work your way through our ultimate food bucket list.

13. Rooftop bars are still in action

Eleven Rooftop Bar

One of the countless benefits of living in Brisbane is the fact our average daytime temperature sits near 23 degrees during winter, which means the outdoor lifestyle continues year-round. It also means our rooftop bars remain in action during the cooler months. The views (and drinks) from some of our favourites are awesome.

If you're adamant to have a cosy winter experience, Brisbane can accommodate. Customs House have an Absolut Winter Pop Up Bar complete with igloos, and there's plenty of bars to snuggle up in with your favourite winter tipple.

14. Take a hike, because it's not really winter

Oreillys Tree Top Walk

The city’s winter sun is glorious, which makes it a great time to head out of town and enjoy Brisbane’s natural beauty. Discover these great hikes and walking trails within 30km of the city, 16 short and scenic walks around Brisbane, or if you’re keen for a challenge you can try some brilliant mountain climbs nearby.

15. Get back to nature

Nightfall Wilderness Camp

Camping in cooler weather is a pretty awesome proposition. Beautiful days fishing and four-wheel-driving; nights around the campfire – perfection. Check out our list of the best camping spots to find the perfect place to pitch your tent. Like the idea of camping but hate the idea of going without life’s luxuries? Try glamping instead.

16. Eat your heart out at Eat Street Northshore

Take a wide open space, add a whole stack of shipping containers that have been transformed into stalls, pack them with incredible food operators, and you get the seriously cool Eat Street markets at Northshore Hamilton. The eats are insanely good, so follow our guide and ensure it’s a delicious trip.

17. Brunch in the winter sun

International Students at Riverbar in Brisbane

Imagine the sunshine bathing your face as you sip your morning coffee and tuck into some delish eats at our top picks for Brisbane’s brunch spots.

18. You can eat ice-cream year-round

Gelato Messina

Why? What do you mean, why? It’s Brisbane! And it’s always the right temperature for ice-cream. In particular, these amazing ice-creams. Dont delay, your treat will melt.

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