29 things to do in Bulimba & Hawthorne - Visit Brisbane

29 things to do in Bulimba & Hawthorne

The vibe is happening and the streets are dotted with charming cafes, restaurants, cinemas, bars and boutiques. Bulimba and neighbouring Hawthorne are the perfect mix of suburban life and urban fun that demands to be explored. 

Match the area's sophisticated gastronomic and entertainment offerings with its lush parks and picturesque riverfront address and it’s a winning pick for the perfect day out. 

Bulimba Ferry Terminal

1. Catch a flick at Balmoral Cinema

One of the oldest cinema’s in Brisbane, don't skip catching the latest blockbuster at the pictures on Oxford St. The tickets and candy bar are at 1999 prices and Cinema 1 features red plush velvet seats and big hanging chandeliers. Talk about old-world Hollywood glam.

2. Order breakfast at Ambrosia & Co., French Twist or Sarmic

So flavoursome the dishes and impressive the service at these top cafes. Fill up on Ambrosia & Co.'s shakshouka (baked eggs), Sarmic’s house omelette or French Twist’s Mediterranean grilled haloumi (and a takeaway choc croissant for later, of course). 

3. Sunset drinks overlooking the river at Il Molo Italian Kitchen

Score (or book) a seat on the back deck, order an aperitif and relax as the sun goes down while overlooking the Brisbane River and New Farm. Bliss. 

4. Bar-hop around the 'burb

Choose from a selection of craft beer brews

Oxford St has a number of ace bars lining the street and we recommend you try them all. Kick off with sunset drinks at Il Molo before making your way up to The Oxford Tap House, then Barcadia and Oxford 152, finally heading to The Manhattan Line for cocktails before finishing up at The Upper Deck

5. Hunt for an epic second-hand find 

Designer labels at affordable prices

Find great second-hand books at the Lifeline on Oxford St and hunt down anything from furniture to jewellery at Anne’s Second Hand Shop. 

6. Breakfast, brunch or beers? It’s your choice at Southside Tea Room

Run by indie rock duo from Brisbane band The Grates, the Southside Tea Room is a retro, kitsch hideaway with good vibes and great coffee. These guys cook up no-fuss breakfast and brunch options with beers flowing from 10am.

7. Sip on craft beer and tuck into supper at Death Valley

Slip out the back of Southside Tea Room to its younger sibling – a small dive bar with a permanent food truck. The Red Robin Supper Truck dishes up everything from cheeseburgers to buffalo wings best paired with Death Valley’s 10 specialty tap beers.

8. Pick up a cup of the good stuff at Mugged

Caffeine-thirsty locals line up for Campos Coffee at Mugged each morning and we don’t blame them. Brisbane knows good coffee. 

9. Shop your way down the strip

Inside Fuel Clothing Co

Stroll along Bulimba’s sun-dappled streets and weave in and out of its many boutiques (with a coffee in hand) – top picks are Fuel Clothing Co., House on Oxford, Side Street and Thousand Island Dressing

10. Hit Bulimba’s high-end troves

Shop the full White Label Noba Collection

If luxe shopping is more your style, pop into Little Red Dress, Etre, White Label Noba and Black Jacket Suiting. These stores are scattered throughout Hawthorne, Balmoral and Bulimba. 

11. Pack a picnic at Hawthorne Garage

The Hawthorne Garage

Hawthorne Garage is a food wonderland for the gourmand. Pick up a selection of fresh produce, gourmet condiments and treats galore before throwing down a rug at Vic Lucas Park for lunch on the river. 

12. Eat your way through the best dinner hotspots

Love Indian? Curryville’s butter chicken is arguably the best in Brisbane and as for Italian there’s no beating Sugo Mi’s Anatra pizza featuring confit duck, mozzarella, caramelised apple, parmesan and rocket. Skip the main’s at Thai restaurant, Red Galanga and instead order up big on their entrées or hop across Oxford St for Mexican and tequila at La Quinta – Ole! 

13. Tuck into fresh seafood from the Fish Factory

It’s been around for 30 years making it Brisbane’s oldest fresh seafood market – yep, the produce is top-notch here. Grab takeaway fish and chips and set up lunch at Bulimba Riverside Park.

14. Pick out a new read at Riverbend Books

Riverbend Books is a local favourite

Squeeze past the latte-sipping locals at the popular Double Shot café out on the deck and into this award-winning bookstore. Besides a killer collection of novels Riverbend also have a jam-packed program of author events, poetry evenings, bookclubs and workshops for children.

15. Tee off at Bulimba Golf Club

Grab your mates, whack a few balls and sink a few brews at the local golf club. Play socially, join a comp or get tuition at the club. With riverside views and cheap meals, it's a pretty top spot.

16. Sink a tipple at Revel Brewing Co.

A microbrewery has taken over Oxford St, so prepare for epic craft beers and wood-fired pizzas. Offering five beers and one cider, wet your whistle with pints freshly brewed onsite and poured straight from the barrel. Don't worry, there's also wine.

17. Pack your camping chairs and snag one of the best views for Riverfire

Head to Fifth or Main Ave for an uninterrupted view of the fireworks. Be sure to get in early as these spots go quick. 

18. Date night sorted with a film and dinner

Score some points with your significant other and treat them to a meal at Downtown Istanbul or Marinara Restaurant before popping over to Hawthorne’s deluxe cinema. 

19. ‘Gram your acai bowl from Coco Bliss

Some of the best Acai Bowls in town!

Coco Bliss know how to fan fruit like nothing else matters. Rake in all the likes on Instagram by taking a a fresh as snap of your acai bowl and sharing it with your 436 fans. #cleaneating #sohealthyRN.

20. French Twist is where food meets art

A bakery, café and arthouse found in the depths of Bulimba’s industrial estate, there’s no better way to spend a Saturday morning than with brekky surrounded by local art. 

21. Hunt out Sugo Mi’s secret gelato bar

Besides doing pizza and pasta really, really well, Sugo Mi’s best kept secret is the gelato bar. Find it down the alley beside the restaurant – the marshmallow gelato is not to be missed. 

22. Treat your dog to a day out

Jogger with a dog at Bulimba

Take your pooch for a jog along the river and enjoy a view so perfect you’ll forget you’re exercising. Truly. Reward yourself with a smoothie post-workout at dog-friendly cafes Bellissimo, Sarmic Cafe  or Park Bench Espresso Bar. 

23. Find the perfect gift

Looking for that little something for a friend, or even your own home? Victor Scot, Indigo and Stalks & Stems are Bulimba’s go-to haunts that know the art of gift-giving.

24. Work up a sweat at Lorna Jane’s Active Living Room

Jumpstart your day with a free workout at the Active Living Room. It's attached to the Lorna Jane store off Oxford St – refuel with a smoothie or healthy treat from the onsite cafe afterwards too.

25. Relax and call it spa day

Rejuvenate your whole body at Beauty in Style Bulimba or Stephanie’s Urban Spa

26. Up your cool at one of Brisbane’s best barbers

The decor adds to the old-school charm

Lads, get your moustache and more in shape at the Moustachery or nail that hipster do at George’s Barber. Ladies, pop into Barber Girl for a quick and convenient walk-in haircut. 

27. #Fitspo in the park

Amp up your heart rate with the Drive Fitness bootcamp at Hawthorne Park. Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays feature a class in the park – that means there is no excuse.

28. Pick up a hearty homemade meal from Homeslice

Looking for wholesome, home-style cooking but can't be bothered, well, cooking? These guys are the go-to for a quick and guilt-free takeaway lunch or dinner.

29. Pop down to the Bulimba Festival

Get a taste of it all during Bulimba’s week-long festival in November. With live music curated by the Triffid, skateboarding and hip hop workshops, movies in the park, beer gardens, food trucks and more – you know it’ll be a good time. 

Our precinct picks