Things to do New Farm Newstead and Teneriffe
Brisbane’s inner-north riverside trio is booming, constantly adding more cafes, bars, boutiques and restaurants to the area. Most of suburban New Farm, Newstead and Teneriffe strike that wonderful balance between waterfront luxury and beauty, leafy greenery and big parks, and local drinking and dining fun. We put our thinking caps on to dream up a list of where there are great times to be had, where the cafes are plentiful, the streets beautiful and the river only ever a short walk away.
1. Picnic in New Farm Park
It’s hard to imagine Brisbane without the odd Sunday snacking session down by the river. Sprawl on the grass under the shade of some massive tree and tuck into the delicious fare you grabbed at a boutique deli down the road. Stay a while and watch as dogs gambol around and the water flows by.
2. Power(house) up your culture metre
The beautifully industrial Brisbane Powerhouse theatre is loaded with comedy, music and exhibitions. And that’s just the free stuff. Catch premier events such as the Brisbane Comedy Festival, Brisbane Festival, Wonderland, Melt and vibrant theatre, dance and more in an industrial and intimate setting.
There’s a reason Brisbane’s reputation as a stellar place to tuck into the most important meal of the day is growing by the minute. And this pocket of Brisbane, with joints like Kin & Co, King Arthur, Sourced Grocer and Miss Jones, is a big part of it. Arrive early or expect to wait for a table on weekends.
They don’t call it Brewstead for nothing. Newstead Brewing Co, Green Beacon Brewing Co and Range Brewing all knock out their own wicked beers and are an easy walk from each other. Add in Tippler’s Tap and Bitter Suite and you have your very own ale trail.
5. Wander where history meets luxury
Teneriffe’s woolstores played an important role in Brisbane’s history, before turning into one of the seedier parts of town. Now, they’re filled with some of the city’s swankiest and most interesting apartments, along with great cafes, bars and restaurants. Wander around and soak in the history between coffees.
Fresh produce and delicious food stalls invade the Powerhouse from 6am to noon every Saturday. Combine with number 1 for the ultimate in New Farm Picnicking.
7. Live your best Queenslander life in a boutique hotel
When we say Queenslanders are beautiful, we’re not just giving our good-looking selves a pat on the back. The Queenslander style home is as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional and you can see them everywhere in Brisbane. But there’s a big difference in the beauty stakes between a university sharehouse Queenslander and the boutique Spicers Balfour Hotel.
If a leafy street filled with flagship, independent and local boutiques, plus award-winning restaurants and bars, sounds like your thing then try James Street on for size. If you’re looking for that unique item, head here for some of the city’s best shopping.
9. Visit Brisbane’s oldest home
Apart from its setting in a park that is one of Brisbane’s great undiscovered romantic picnic locations, Newstead House is a history buff’s delight. The grand residence, built in 1846 but since radically expanded, is Brisbane’s oldest surviving home and decorated inside to reflect its age.
10. New Farm Deli + New Farm Park = Picnic perfection
This one is an oldie but a goodie, for a reason. What better way to stock your picnic than with traditional cheeses, meats and delicacies from Italy and the rest of Europe, bought from a deli that’s prompted serious food envy since 1975? The deli also runs an incredibly popular cafe - for good reason.
Former Powderfinger bassist John Collins helped turn this WWII hangar into one of the country’s best-sounding gig venues. It’s perfect on a Sunday afternoon and even better when a mid-sized Aussie act is rocking the room.
12. Check out the area’s best bars
One of the best things about Brisbane’s inner suburbs is the the sprawl of bars, pubs and other drinking spots. These three areas are no different. Check out Bar Alto or Mary Mae's before or after a show at the Powerhouse (or just for the hell of it), Gerard’s Bar or Cru Bar on James Street or The Triffid’s beer garden on a Sunday arvo.
13. Work off some of those calories with (insert fitness activity of your choice)
It turns out some (but only some) of the reason everyone in these suburbs seems to be wearing activewear is because – wait for it – they’re actually exercising. Pilates, gyms and Crossfit studios are everywhere and Lululemon on James Street even offers free yoga on Sundays.
14. Drink a delicious coffee at literally any time of day or night
Coffee is great to help wake you up in the morning, pick you up in the afternoon or polish off a delicious dinner. But why stop there? The team at Death Before Decaf have heartily embraced the idea of “sleep when you’re dead”, offering properly good coffee 24/7.
15. Wander the riverside from Newstead Park to New Farm Park
Can’t choose between Newstead Park and New Farm Park? In the immortal words of the Old El Paso girl, por qué no los dos? A riverfront boardwalk and pathway will happily take you from A to B. Do it on foot or hire a CityCycle.
16. Walk, art, repeat
It was Picasso who once said: “Art, art, it’s good for your heart, the more you see the more you…” Ok, we may have slightly misremembered that one, but the point is, enjoying art is a truly enriching experience. And you can explore several of Brisbane’s best smaller galleries within walking distance on our New Farm art trail.
17. Give Marvel the flick and see a local flick
Problem: You want to go see a movie but you haven’t seen Cicadaboy 4 so the plot of Avengers 17: Age of Retirement won’t make any sense. Solution: Palace Centro. You will find all the regular franchises here but they also showcase great Aussie films like Breath and Gurrumul and replay classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey. New Farm Cinemas also regularly shows less-well-known flicks.
18. Look out from Wilson Outlook Reserve
You might have seen the postcard-perfect photo but if you’re not from Brisbane, there’s a good chance you don’t know where it's taken from. Take a left onto Bowen Terrace just before you get on the Story Bridge heading south and bam, you’re at Wilson Outlook Reserve. A tiny park with one of the best views in the city.
Dig out the spare change from your couch to take a relaxing cruise down the Brisbane River on the public ferry from New Farm or Teneriffe.
20. Treat yo’self at some of Brisbane’s best restaurants
The inner-north is better known for its cafe culture but also boasts some Brisbane fine-dining favourites. Gerard’s Bistro’s fancy middle eastern is one of the city’s best restaurants, period, while E’cco and Rogue Bistro and Allium can all match it with favourites in other areas.
21. Pay tribute to submariners from Australia and the US
The first thing you’ll likely notice about New Farm’s riverfront Submariners Walk Heritage Trail is the intriguing submarine-shaped benches at the Hastings Street end, but it serves a deeper purpose. The walk commemorates the service given and lives lost when a US Navy taskforce was based there in World War Two.
22. Feel the grass under your toes with a spot of barefoot bowls
Merthyr Bowls Club isn’t your nanna’s bowls club (unless she lives in New Farm, we guess). It’s a spectacular spot by the river, with a much-loved and affordable barbecue menu and a young crowd ready to make the most of the location.
23. Live your best Italian life with a-grade pizza and gelato
Beccofino still regularly tops lists of the city’s best pizza, for a reason. Grab one (or two) of its traditional Italian-style creations and top it off with equally excellent gelato from the nearby La Macellaria.
24. Check out Gasworks, where power generation has become calorie generation
Newstead’s heritage-listed former gasworks has been transformed into the booming suburb’s beating heart, along with the neighbouring Haven strip. You’ll find a top-notch grocer, tasty burgers, cheeses, meats, Chinese, Italian, juices, smoothies, poke bowls and dessert options galore, so arrive hungry.
25. CityCycle your heart along the river
There’s something beautifully relaxing about a quiet cycle through these suburbs as they wind along the Brisbane River. You’ll find a path and relatively flat ground the whole way so there’s no need to worry about cars or hills. The CityCycle bike hire scheme allows you to purchase a casual 24 hour pass for $2, you just need to return the bike to a station within 30 min intervals, so make the most of it.
26. Try the brownies international celebs can’t get enough of
Ashton Kutcher famously had New Farm’s Dello Mano brownies flown to Paris for his birthday, while Oprah Winfrey counts them among her favourites.
27. Delicious Italian food without the price tag
Newstead’s ANFE (National Association of Migrant Families) Italian club has been around since 1962 and is a great spot for Italians and non-Italians alike. Head there on Thursdays to score gnocchi and a glass of wine for $20.
28. Upmarket op shopping
These are the places to come when you want to step up your op-shop game to the high-end. The well-off residents around here chuck out some stunningly good clothes and furniture that you can pick up for a fraction of the original cost. The RSPCA is great for furniture while Vinnies at Newstead will refresh your wardrobe.
29. Take the free ferry to Bulimba or the city
Aside from all the great things in New Farm, Teneriffe and Newstead, one of the best things about the area is how close it is to everything else. Why not jump on a free CityHopper from Sydney Street, or take the CityFerry across the river to explore Bulimba or down to the city?