For a city that’s known for its sunshine, it’s good to know that Brisbane also ‘shines’ at night! When choosing where to live, study or holiday, knowing what you can do at night-time in a city can help you decide if there’s enough to keep you interested and happy.
We’re pleased to outline a number of things to do in Brisbane at night and we’re sure that among the nightlife, markets and activities that get your blood pumping will excite your senses.
Watery things to do in Brisbane at night
If you feel like being close to the water, there are myriad options in Brisbane. Beaches are about a half-hour drive away, at Sandgate, Bribie Island and Redcliffe to the north and Wynnum and Wellington Point to the east. They’re perfect for fish and chips by the waterside or to dip your toes in the ocean. Otherwise, there are these ideas:
- Go for a moonlit dip – Brisbane’s temperatures are comfortable for swimming for six to nine months of the year, depending on your individual comfort level. You can go for a free swim at night in some of the most beautiful locations you won’t believe existed. Streets Beach at Southbank Parklands is right in the heart of the City and features a man-made beach with powder white sand, a sparkling lagoon and Aquativity, an interactive water-play park. Streets Beach is patrolled by lifeguards during the day but swimming after hours is at your own risk. To the north of Brisbane, about half an hour’s drive, is Settlement Cove Lagoon at Redcliffe. The huge, man-made lagoon is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with lifeguards on duty during daylight hours.
- Kayak the Brisbane River – Paddle your individual kayak up the CBD reach of the Brisbane River as the city lights twinkle on the water. No matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced kayaker, the activity is fun and safe and the group journey is supervised. You’ll paddle up-river to Southbank or down-river and under the Story Bridge and you’ll love the atmosphere of the quiet river festooned by twinkling, coloured lights. Riverlife offers night paddles with prawns or a barbecue.
- Take a paddlesteamer ride – The City Lights Dinner Cruise aboard the Kookaburra Queen paddle wheeler is an exciting way to spend an evening. From the comfort of the deck or dining rooms you’ll see some of the city’s prettiest sights including the beautifully lit Kangaroo Point cliffs, the Story Bridge and the skyline. Feast on a contemporary buffet and dance to live music.
Brisbane night markets
Brisbane is made for markets! There are week day, weekend and night markets, farmer’s, food and craft markets, all with dazzling, tempting offerings. At night, Brisbane’s market scene really comes alive and at any time of year, they are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike.
- Eat Street – Fridays and Saturdays from 4pm to 10pm and Sundays from 12 noon to 8pm, Eat Street at 221D Macarthur Avenue, Hamilton is a feast for the senses. Food trucks and permanent vendors offer such incredible foods as strawberry Turkish delight, Thai egg noodle stir fry, handmade cannolis, funnel cakes, Korean fried chicken, bombe Alaska, giant brownies, Brazilian street food, pinata cakes and raclette platters.
- The Collective Markets – Southbank Parklands host these markets on Fridays and Saturdays to 9pm (to 4pm Sundays). They add colourful sparkle to the precinct when lit up at night and there are tons of different wares for sale. You’ll find vintage clothing, photography, artisanal jewellery and candles, crystals, fashion accessories, essential oils, books, games, puzzles, leather goods and original art works.
- Mt Gravatt Marketta – At Mt Gravatt Showgrounds, Logan Road, the Marketta is open every Saturday from 4pm to 9pm. The emphasis is on food so prepare your appetite for deep fried cheese balls, seafood dumplings, churros, mussel bowls, Transylvanian langos, Turkish gozleme, Spanish hot chocolate, Vietnamese pho and more.
Be adventurous at night-time
Do you like a bit of an adrenalin rush? Like to keep active? Brisbane has night-time activities that will get you sweating.
- Climb Kangaroo Point cliffs – Led by qualified instructors, these rock climbs are so much more fun than scaling the artificial walls of an indoor centre. The cliffs themselves are beautiful at night and as you climb up the 20-metre face, you’ll see gorgeous skyline views. Whether you’re a beginner or looking for more of a challenge, you’ll find it here.
- Climb the Story Bridge – Arguably the best vantage point in Brisbane, the top of the Story Bridge is a breathtaking place to view the city. Starting right after sunset, you’ll ascend the structure with the supervised group of up to 14 participants, complete with comprehensive safety equipment. The climb takes two hours and at the top, your photo will be taken, for purchase afterwards if you like.
- Fly over Brisbane – How about a twilight helicopter flight? For 15 minutes, you can zoom high and low over the city, taking in the outstanding views and filling your Instagram feed with enviable shots. Departing Archerfield Airport, the flight will take you over Southbank and the CBD.
Laughing through the night
Laughter is good medicine and Brisbane’s comedy scene is alive and kicking. Get yourself some tickets to a gig and have a great time giggling at the various acts that come to town.
- Sit Down Comedy Club – The club has been hosting comedy acts for decades, across multiple locations. Some of the most well-known acts in Australia and from overseas have performed – or even been discovered – here and draw huge crowds. Enjoy a pub meal and some drinks for a brilliant night out.
- Friday night Knockoffs – Every Friday night, Brisbane Powerhouse puts on a free comedy event where local and national comedians perform to enthusiastic audiences.
- Funky Bunch Trivia – Win cash prizes and bragging rights at the Waterloo Hotel’s weekly Wednesday trivia nights. Grab a cheap burger or pizza and play along with your friends.
- Openair Cinemas – Lay out a rug or hire comfy seating and watch a funny movie under the stars. There are plenty of food and beverage options and the movies are always current releases.
So much more than nightclubs
Brisbane has its share of nightclubs for amusement into the night but it’s great to know that there are so many other things you can do at night, many free, most that appeal to all ages.