28 things to do in Bulimba & Hawthorne - Visit Brisbane

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28 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 Bungalow 4171

So flavoursome the dishes and impressive the service at these top cafes. Fill up on Ambrosia & Co.'s shakshouka (baked eggs), Bungalow’s Mediterranean breakfast or French Twist’s French eggs Benedict (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 Revel Brewing Co, then The Oxford Tap House and Oxford 152 before finishing up at The Upper Deck

5. Hunt for an epic second-hand find 

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. Start your day with breakfast the right way at Sister Cafe

The team behind Miss Jones in New Farm has blessed the Eastern suburbs by opening a sibling cafe in Hawthorne, aptly named Sister. Linger a little longer at this street-side pastel paradise and enjoy a fresh and quirky breakfast – the breakfast gnocchi with a poached egg is to die for.

7. 'Sea food' and eat it all at King Crab Co

Pull that bib on and choose your weapon because King Crab Co is plating up the freshest seafood, but it may take a little more effort to eat than you think. This 'crab in the bag' concept brings the fun and mess back into dining. Not into seafood? You're crazy but lucky for you, King Crab Co is also a fine purveyor of charred meats and gourmet chips. 

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

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., The White Owl BoutiqueHouse 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 The Common Thread, 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. The menu is long at Pawpaw Asian Kitchen so we suggest dining with a group to maximise the number of dishes tasted or hop over to 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 for those non-beer drinkers.

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, Vimada Thai Kitchen 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 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, Ministry of the Coffee Bean 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 fresh batch of fish and chips from The Fishmonger's Wife

Don't feel cooking? Who ever does. These guys are the go-to for a quick and tasty lunch or dinner of marinated seafood, freshly prepared salads and classic fish and chips – the chips here also happen to be some of the best in town. 

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