3 days around The Gabba - Visit Brisbane

3 days around The Gabba

Before the Gabba stadium erupts with cheering crowds for a Brisbane Lions match, 20-20 cricket game or international cricket test you need to know where to find great vibes before and after the game. While you’re in Brisbane it’s also a great chance to explore everything the inner city has to offer or bounce out to our natural surrounds. We’re changing at a rapid pace so no doubt something new is waiting for you here.

Your entire stay in Brisbane depends on when your AFL game or cricket match starts at The Gabba. Given that we’ve kept the timing of this itinerary fairly loose so you can slot these extra adventures in and around on-field action.

Day 1

Arrival and check in

Let’s not beat around the bush – you’ve got tickets to a game at The Gabba and need a place to stay close to the action. A short walk away, Quest Woolloongabba or Quest South Bank promise a comfortable stay, while a touch further away the swish boutique Emporium Hotel offers sweeping views of Brisbane from the rooftop pool and bar. Public transport to and from the game is usually free for ticket holders, so there’s no need to worry if you’re not walking distance to the stadium.

Nail that sunset spot

Kangaroo Point

Our favourite spot on the southside to catch the golden glow of sunset is from the top of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. From up there you’ll experience a panoramic view of the city over the river. Grab an Aperol and antipasto platter from Bar Spritz and soak in the sun setting behind the glass skyscrapers. 

Hit the water

Embrace the River City by not just seeing the water but getting out on it too. At the base of the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Riverlife Adventure Centre run a bunch of different tours and activities by night. Every Friday night join for Paddle & Prawns, a 90-minute illuminated kayak tour along the river followed by buckets of beer and king prawns. On Saturdays it’s an evening paddle followed by a barbecue; and on Sundays they set off earlier to catch the sunset from the water and finished with drinks and dips.

Hunt and gather dinner

It’s a downhill walk from the top of the cliffs towards South Bank where you’ll have around 100 dining spots to choose from. Really, just pick the cuisine you’re craving and there’s sure to be a place and vibe for you. Closest to the cliffs, the River Quay Green precinct has five top restaurants for a nice meal with river and CBD views.

If you want to kick on…

From South Bank you can easily walk to Fish Lane for drinks at Wandering Cooks, beer at Saccharomyces, wines at La Lune and cocktails at Maker. The laneway leads you to the neighbourhood of West End where more small bars, breweries and music rooms along Boundary Street will keep you busy and entertained. Dropping into late night whisky den Cobbler is always a good idea.

Day 2

Rise and shine for a riverside walk

Follow the Brisbane River’s curves from suburb to suburb. If you’re after an easy morning, jump on a CityCat and cruise up and down, stepping back on dry land to find breakfast or lunch. If you’re a runner the ‘River Run Loop’ is the perfect 3 or 6km holiday trail to keep fit and take in key sights.

Soak up history on this heritage pub crawl

Balance out your sport-fuelled weekend with a dose of culture (wink, wink). Like Brisbane’s famous wooden Queenslander homes, our old two-storey pubs are wrapped in a hug of wide verandas worthy of sinking pints under. Educational? You bet. Most of Brisbane’s best old, character-filled pubs lie on the southside surrounding The Gabba. Take a look at our southside pub crawl here, and warm up a seat at the Pineapple, Norman, Story Bridge and/or Morrison hotels.

Game on

When it’s game time nothing else matters. Pay the bill. Quit the pub crawl. Get to the Gabba.

Kick on with class

Canvas, Woollongabba

After the on-field action you have a choice: continue an unfinished pub crawl; sink steins and a eat a pork knuckle at the Brisbane German Club; or wander into the Gabba Fiveways. Picking the latter might see you downing soft pillows of gnocchi and a bottle of chianti at one of Brisbane’s top Italian restaurants, Enoteca 1889; or slipping through the antique wardrobe into a prohibition-themed whisky den at Electric Avenue. Also along this street you can drop in for a cocktail and snacks at the award-winning Canvas or drop in for dinner at Detour or Sorellina Pizzeria. We’ve written plenty more about where to kick on after the game here

Hot tip: if you’re staying near the Gabba, return to the Fiveways for an epic breakfast at Pearl Cafe or treats from Baker’s Arms.

Day 3

How this itinerary ends is up to you. It’s a choose-your-own-adventure – so pick between street art and coffee or reach new heights with a mountain or bridge climb.

Suburban art and bean exploring

Contessa by Blackstar Roma Street Brisbane

If your idea of adventure is tasting the world via your cup, find single origin roasts in the grinders of Brisbane’s best cafes. Explore on foot or use the CityCycle bike share scheme to hop between inner-city cafes and roasters. In the city try John Mills Himself, Contessa, Edward, Botero and Coffee Anthology

Grab a bike or walk over the bridge to South Brisbane. Here the Pillars Project is Australia’s largest outdoor gallery, featuring full scale street art murals on the rail pylons. Started in 2014, each piece is by a different local artist and tells a story about the city. After this, make your way down Fish Lane by day and head to the suburb of West End where recent annual street art festivals have helped retain the neighbourhood’s bohemian and artsy edge as the suburb becomes more gentrified.

Head for the hills

Sand hills, that is. The world’s second and third largest sand islands lie just off the coast of Brisbane. Get yourself to Moreton Island where giant sand dunes await, perfect for sandboarding. Elbows in, knees togethers and hold onto the small piece of waxed board as you rocket down the dunes. Careful or you’ll have yourself a “Moreton Sand-wich” for lunch. Join a tour with Australian Sunset Safaris or Tangatours. The island is just a 70-minute ferry from Brisbane.

Or for a real hike

If you prefer hills made of stone, west of Brisbane lies the mountain ranges of the Great Dividing Range. There’s no feeling like making it to the summit after hours of climbing – fingers crossed there’s no cloud cover! We’ve pulled together a list of all the mountains you can climb to the peak of here, or if you want a hiking adventure closer to the city here are a bunch of walks located within 30km of the city centre.

Ready for more?