20 things to do in Brisbane during the Youth Water Polo Championships - Visit Brisbane


20 things to do in Brisbane during the Youth Water Polo Championships

You’ll have a ball in Brisbane while here for the Australian Youth Water Polo Championships (AYWPC) from 11-23 January. Plunge into the city and surrounds with this list of 21 must-do experiences, from island hopping and adrenaline-fueled fun, to a foodie feast and endless summer sport.

The city will come alive when more than 190 teams from around the country compete in the National Age Championships for 12&U, 14&U, 16&U and 18&U divisions. We hope to see you, your team and family out and about exploring Brisbane’s must-do experiences.

1.  It’s love all at the Brisbane Tennis

Why stop at one sport, right? In a case of excellent timing the Brisbane Tennis - Men's ATP Cup and Women's Brisbane International falls just before the Water Polo Championships. A highlight on Queensland’s summer events calendar, plan to arrive early and catch courtside action with the biggest names in world tennis from 3 - 12 January. 

2. Get lost in the South Bank Parklands 

Life guard looks over Streets Beach at South Bank

There’s a sandy beach, an edible garden, multiple playgrounds, an aquapark, picnic areas, rolling greens, cafes, restaurants and the towering Wheel of Brisbane. South Bank Parklands is 17 hectares of riverfront parkland for you to explore. It’s easy to get lost and be found – just look for the river or follow the architecturally designed Arbour. Discover more things to do at South Bank here.

3. Visit the home of the Crocodile Hunter 

The biggest animal park in the Brisbane region, this 100-acre zoo is just an hour’s drive north of the city. View everything from crocodiles, wombats and Tasmanian devils to rhinos, tigers, red pandas and cheetahs. The zoo also offers a range of unique one-on-one animal experiences and if you’re lucky, you may even catch Bob or Bindi Irwin at one of the shows.

4. Don’t miss the international water polo tests

Australia’s Women’s and Men’s water polo teams will host the USA for a three-match international test series. The Aussie Stingers and Aussie Sharks will take on the USA, a tough side that is preparing to host the Olympic Games. With less than a year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, both sides will be eager to get this international competition under their belt. All three tests will feature a double header with the Women's and Men's teams.

TEST 1: Brisbane Aquatic Centre, Chandler: Tuesday 14 January 2020, 5:00pm

TEST 2: Brisbane Aquatic Centre, Chandler: Thursday 16 January 2020, 6:30pm

Test 3: Brisbane Aquatic Centre, Chandler: Thursday 18 January 2020, 5:00pm

5. Kick back by the big stage at QPAC

Extend your stay and catch the first show of Penn and Teller performing on the 22 January at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Direct from Las Vegas to Brisvegas on their first ever Australian tour, catch the world's most famous magicians live. Sharp, funny and above all magic, this one is perfect for the whole family. 

6. Get up close with furry friends 

Brisbane Koala Bushlands

Did you know the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary is in Brisbane? Situated right on the banks of the Brisbane River, the sanctuary is the perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature and see some of Australia’s most iconic species up close – including koalas, dingoes, wombats, Tasmanian devils, cassowary and platypus. 

7. Fly high with Cirque du Soleil's Kurios - Cabinet of Curiosities 

Discover the cabinet of curiosities, a tale where time stands still, and the audience is transported to a fantasy world where anything is possible. Poetic, joyous, absurd, fun and beautiful watch as gymnasts, acrobats, contortionists, clowns, actors and more bring alive a story that will have the whole family entertained. Featuring an extraordinary cast of 47 artists from across 17 different countries, you will not want to miss this enchanting performance.

8. Add a dose of adventure with Riverlife


See Brisbane from a different angle as you kayak along the Brisbane River or abseil down the famous Kangaroo Point Cliffs. In the middle of the city, Riverlife provides a great alternative way to get out and see Brisbane. 

9. Park life + markets + arts = perfect day

Three-time Olympian (with two bronze medals) Bronwen Knox from the Aussie Stingers shared one of her favourite things to do in Brisbane: “I love checking out the Brisbane Powerhouse, especially on the weekends. Situated in New Farm park, right on the river, the Powerhouse provides a fantastic atmosphere to meet up with friends, grab a drink and check out a wonderful range of cultural and artistic events. Better yet, on Saturdays, Powerhouse plays host to markets – pick up some picnic supplies and enjoy some time lounging in the park.”

10. Switch to island time

If you have a few days in Brisbane, one of our favourite city day-trip escapes is to Tangaloona Island Resort. Enjoy the unspoiled splendour of Moreton Island, wild dolphin feeding, adrenalin activities and a unique Australian holiday experience. The world’s third largest sand island is a 70-minute cruise from Brisbane. Arrive on the beach and enjoy lunch at the resort paradise. A day cruise also includes a choice of either a signature 4WD Desert Safari Tour (with sand tobogganing experience), or a marine wildlife discovery cruise. 

11. Discover Brisbane's music scene with High Rotation

Love music? Make your way to the Museum of Brisbane to see the exhibition, High Rotation. Follow the journey of some of Brisbane's most successful and influential musicians and experience what makes their music so popular and unique. Don't fret and play this one by ear, make sure you check it out before it closes in April 2020.

12. Hit the track… in a go kart 

Race your friends, family or team mates at Slideways Go-Karting Brisbane. Its adrenaline-pumping multi-level indoor kart track is the perfect racing circuit to gain speed, and a unique surface allows the karts to drift.

13. Taste the colour of Eat Street 

The sights, smells, tastes and sounds of Eat Street come to life in this container food village every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Leave plenty of time so you can arrive hungry via the river on a CityCat. Once inside the market feels like a giant food-filled festival and you can expect to find almost every cuisine and wild over-the-top dessert imaginable, along with live music, comedy and more.

14. Swing through the treetops 

Keep the active adventure going during your break in Brisbane. Fly through the trees, conquer your fears and have a whole lot of fun at TreeTop Challenge in Tamborine Mountain. It’s Australia’s largest adventure park with more than 120 activities that will have you swinging between lush rainforest trees, including 10 huge flying foxes! Whoa. 

15. Keep fit and take in the sights on a bike

Rhys Howden, three-time Olympian and Aussie Sharks player, suggests hiring a CityCycle or bicycle to explore: “An enjoyable and fun way to see Brisbane city is to cycle-hop your way along the Brisbane river from South Bank to Kangaroo Point Cliffs over the Story Bridge and back along the boardwalk in the city. You’ll get to appreciate all that Brisbane has to offer.”

16. Rise and shine for Mt Coot-tha views

Head to Brisbane’s highest point to savour panoramic views of the city, take a bush walk, browse the beautiful Brisbane Botanic Gardens or learn about the night skies at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. Mt Coot-tha Lookout is great at any time of day, but arriving for sunrise is truly spectacular.

17. Get up and above for a new perspective 

Get a bird’s eye view of Brisbane from above with 360-degree panoramic and rotating views of the city from the Wheel of Brisbane. See the sights by day, the lights by night or experience a beautiful Brisbane sunset ride. 

18. Eat all the delicious Brisbane things

Love food? Us too. That’s why we wrote this guide to ALL this must-eat Brisbane foods. These dishes are the ones that every local talks about and no venue can take off its menu without public uproar. There’s everything from doughnuts and brunch spots through to the best steak and top degustation in town. Take a look and taste your first slice of the Brisbane pie. 

19. Go Fish 

Avid anglers get hooked on these top fishing spots around Brisbane. We have hunted high and low to find you the best places to cast off and drop in a line. So pack a picnic, grab a hat and spend your day relaxing by the river or out on the bay, a perfect way to discover Brisbane.    

20. Look up at the stars

Stargaze with your family and friends at the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium. Lie back in a comfy chair and see if you can make out Orion's Belt or Scorpio. Prefer the outdoors? Right next door is the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at the bottom of Mount Coot-tha. These are stunning 56-hectare gardens have exotic plants from all over the world, and the Tropical Dome is an insta-worthy stop.

But wait, there’s more...

Brisbane has plenty more to offer. Explore the city with a walking tour, join a bicycle or Segway tour or enjoy a river cruise. Further afield, cruise to more pristine sand islands on Moreton Bay or discover lush national parks and authentic farm experiences in the hinterland.

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