It might be located in the sunshine state, but winter in Brisbane brings plenty of “cool” activities.
Here’s a list of affordable and fun things to do in winter in Brisbane this year!
Yatala Drive-in movies
Located about 30 minutes drive from Brisbane is Yatala Drive-in movie theatre. With a magical old-school feel, drive up to the big screen in your car, sit back and enjoy the show!
The cinema runs all through winter, and offers a range of movies, from the latest releases to classics like Indiana Jones and Grease. And best of all, you can buy tickets for the whole car rather than individually (a car of 6 people costs $40). So pack a couple of blankets, your favourite movie snacks and enjoy a film under the stars!
James Street Food & Wine Trail (29 July – 1 August)
For any foodies looking for an excuse to treat your taste buds this winter, check out the James Street Food and Wine Trail. Located (you guessed it) on James Street, this annual event gives you the chance to enjoy some of Brisbane’s best chefs and providores in a truly festive atmosphere.
The indoor/outdoor market flows throughout all your favourite restaurants, bars and cafes along James Street, and will feature live musicians, jazz bands and DJs. The four-day festival features a combination of ticketed and free events, while the final “Market Day” on 1 August is free for anyone to come and enjoy.
Cheer on the hometown Brisbane Broncos or Brisbane Lions
Winter in Brisbane means it’s footy season and the two biggest teams are the Brisbane Broncos and the Brisbane Lions. They play two different sports – NRL and AFL and home games for the Broncos are generally at Suncorp Stadium in Milton, while the Lions play at the GABBA located in Woolloongabba.
If you have never experienced footy in Brisbane, check out the schedule to get to a home game this winter, as both stadiums offer an electric atmosphere with some of Australia’s most passionate fans. Outside either stadium, you will find bars, restaurants and clubs to enjoy the pre and post-game fun. Tickets range in price depending on the game, but both start from around $15 for students.
This year (2023), you also have the chance to catch a game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup at the Suncorp Stadium, running throughout July and August.
Ice skating in Brisbane? Yes, you read that correctly! Ice World is an indoor ice sports facility with locations in Acacia Ridge and Boondall. Both centres offer ice skating lessons, two-hour public sessions and night sessions on weekends. They also offer skate hire for all the gear you might need to enjoy a couple of hours on the ice.
If you want to have a go or watch winter sports like ice hockey, speed skating or figure skating, those can be found at ice world too. Check their website for more information on session times, prices and more.
Sunsets at Wilson Outlook or Highgate Hill Park
A budget option for any romantic, Brisbane offers plenty of beautiful spots for the sunset. Thanks to the city’s year-round mild climate, even winter evenings offer the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking sunsets. Two options that are well-kept secrets (for now) are Wilson Outlook Reserve in New Farm and Highgate Hill Park.
Wilson Outlook is a small grassy park with 180-degree views of the Brisbane River, Kangaroo Point, the Story Bridge and Howard Smith wharves. At sunset, the city comes to life with bustling nightlife and boats cruising along the river. From the outlook, you can enjoy the view under the stars, from your car, or head down along the riverwalk to join the fun!
Highgate Hill Park is much bigger and is located a 5-minute drive from Southbank. Its high viewpoint means great sunsets overlooking the city and the atmosphere is always vibrant, especially on weekends as locals come to enjoy the views!
For another great lookout – check out Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
Thrift shopping in West End
West End is a multicultural and eclectic suburb located near SouthBank. It’s home to a variety of delicious restaurants, markets and of course, some of Brisbane’s best thrift stores and op shops.
If you need to add to your winter wardrobe, you can take advantage of some great deals in stores that offer vintage, designer and ethical fashion brands and labels. There are many options along Boundary Street like SWOP, a store that not only sells pre-loved clothes but will buy clothes from you that you want to get rid of ethically.
Eat Street Northshore
Eat Street is one of Brisbane’s most popular food and entertainment spots for locals and tourists alike. In 2013, an empty dock located in Hamilton was converted into a bustling food market. More than 50 shipping containers now host a rich and diverse list of internationally inspired-food and drink stalls.
On Friday/Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons, you can enjoy alfresco dining by the water, tasting authentic dishes from six different continents. Throughout Eat Street you can also pull up a chair and enjoy dinner and a show in front of live music and entertainment performing on the stages located around the venue.
Eat Street is open year-round, but the truth is, Bao Buns, spicy Pad Thai or Carbonara just hit different in winter.