Get ready to explore with these new exciting things to do in Brisbane including Brisbane’s Art Boat for Brisbane Festival. These 15 new Brisbane experiences will show you a different side to the city. Discover a new food tour, relaxing river cruises, rooftop mineral soak pools, and sunset cocktail stops plus an exclusive cultural dinner at Brisbane’s Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Brisbane’s got it all baby!
Whether you are a local or visitor searching for new ways to explore Brisbane or you want to show your visitors, the best Brissie has to offer. This list will fill your mind with ideas and start your tummy rumbling with expectations. Enjoy!
New exciting things to do in Brisbane – Brisbane’s Art Boat. IMAGE Atmosphere Photography
Brisbane’s Art Boat, Brisbane Festival
One of the Brisbane Festival highlights is Brisbane’s Art Boat, where you can walk through The Spheres, a stunning installation by internationally renowned artist Lindy Lee. The immersive experience combines art, light and sound as guests cruise up and down the mighty Brisbane River. The sculpture lights up with colour, and ‘smoke’ adds a fascinating and mysterious element. There’s also a performance program that responds to the artwork. If you have experienced the Art Boat at previous Brisbane Festivals, you’ll be pleased to know there are additional dawn and midnight cruises to tempt you. A top storey has also been added to Art Boat, offering stunning views across the river. There’s a bar onboard where you can obtain drinks plus gourmet snacks and share plates. Seating around the sides of the boat (it’s really a large barge) offers comfortable spots to dine. When you land at Northshore Brisbane, The Dock Bar has pizzas too. The cruise takes between one and a half and two hours, depending on what route you book. All the details for this new and exciting thing to do in Brisbane are on the website. While you are there, check out the full Brisbane Festival program. It’s a cracker.
Need to know: Allow extra time to find a park and stroll to the venue from Friday to Sunday while the Eat Street Markets are on. Don’t go to the ferry terminal at Northshore Hamilton. The Art Boat leaves from a special pop-up terminal on the festival grounds. Brisbane Festival runs from 2 to 24 September.
Eat drink and be Kerry recommends this cruise!
Cost: Adults $45, concession and children $40. Book here Brisbane’s Art Boat.
Blooming beautiful picnics on Sirromet’s Lavender Hill
It’s the season for lavender blooms, and Sirromet at Mount Cotton has a hill where you can picnic with your friends. All you have to do is reserve your spot amongst the fragrant flowers, and Sirromet will supply a wine and food picnic hamper. There’s also an umbrella, a picnic rug, cushions and a table. All you have to do is set back and enjoy. Doesn’t this new exciting thing to do in Brisbane sound delicious? The hamper includes selected cheese, meat and preserves along with biscuits and bread. There’s a bottle of Sirromet wine as well. You can book a picnic from 11 am to 1 pm from Thursday to Sunday. On Saturday and Sunday, there are also afternoon sessions from 2 to 4 pm.
Cost: The picnic costs $129 plus a booking fee and serves two people. Book online at Sirromet.
Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles at GOMA
‘The Soul Trembles’ at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is the largest, most comprehensive exhibition by renowned Japanese-born, Berlin-based artist Chiharu Shiota. It includes over 100 works created over 30 years with large-scale installations, video performance, sculpture, drawings, photography and set design. It is a deeply personal exhibition with countless threads evoking the stirrings of heartstrings and an immersive experience. You can walk around the huge installations to see them from many different perspectives. Young visitors can explore the exhibition’s themes in a Children’s Art Centre, including a cumulative display. It’s times like this when I just want to be a big kid!
The exhibition continues at GOMA until October 3, 2022, and tickets can be purchased at GOMA.
World of Wonder: Margot McKinney exhibition at Museum of Brisbane
If Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend is your theme song, this is an exhibition you won’t want to miss. Likewise, if you like a little or a lot of bling or lust after the finer things in life, find the time to lose yourself in this show. They are treasured by discerning buyers worldwide, and now Brisbanites can see some of the best bold jewellery and greatest treasures created by one of their own, internationally renowned designer Margot McKinney OAM. It is a jewellery lover’s dream come true with multiple rooms filled with amazing creations. It’s a chance to get up close and personal with the sort of jewels that the rich and famous wear.
For five generations, the McKinney family name has been synonymous with luxury jewels. Margot has elevated the family name to soaring new heights through her own jewellery brand and flagship store in Brisbane and internationally through her stockists in the prestigious Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman stores in the USA. Margot’s dedication to her craft knows no limits. It’s not unusual for her to wait 10 years to complete the perfect collection of jewels to incorporate into one bespoke piece. The exhibition showcases her hands-on role in selecting the gems, working directly with world-leading pearl farmers, miners and cutters, ensuring quality and sustainability.
World of Wonder at the Museum of Brisbane runs until 6 November 2022. Entry costs $15 for adults, and $12 for children.
The Ultimate Champagne and Oyster Tour
River to Bay’s new high-speed day trip to Kooringal Oyster Farm on the southern tip of Moreton Island. Eating freshly shucked oysters while sipping cold champagne within metres of where they have grown. Get all the details here.
The Brisbane to Byron Food Trail is one of the new exciting things to do in Brisbane.
Brisbane to Byron Food Trail Tour
Kiff & Culture’s three day Brisbane to Byron Food Trail takes you to some of the region’s best farm-to-table restaurants with extended tasting sessions at boutique farms, vineyards, breweries, and distilleries. Departing from Crystalbrook Vincent, you’ll stay in five-star sustainable luxury at Crystalbrook Byron. The trail includes long lunches at Three Blue Ducks at The Farm to tastings of Husk Distillery’s famous Ink Gin, and locally-produced cheese and wine at Witches Falls Winery.
Guests will learn about age-old Indigenous Australian customs and sample bush tucker on a tour led by Arakwal Bundjalung elder Delta Kay. There also will be opportunities to Savour Stone & Wood’s famed craft brews and Cape Byron Distillery’s botanical-infused Brookie’s gin range.
Starting from $1875 per person, this new Brisbane experience includes accommodation, tastings and most meals.
100 Views of Brisbane
Museum of Brisbane (MoB) has delved deep into its collection for their Making Place: 100 views of Brisbane exhibition. Featuring artwork depicting views from as early as the 1820s, the new exhibition shows a multi-faceted view into Brisbane’s artistic, historical and cultural development.
Artists featured include Judy Watson, Richard Randall, Noel McKenna, William Bustard, Vida Lahey, Jane Grealy, Danie Mellor, Kenneth Jack, Sam Fulbrook, Charles Lancaster, Robert Brownhall, Margaret Olley, Stephen Nothling, Margaret Cilento, Lloyd Rees, Paul Davies, Mia Boe and more.
Attendance is free. Visit Museum of Brisbane for more information.
Follow the winding snake of the Brisbane River on a Go Boat cruise.
Take yourself Brisbane River boating
This is my new favourite way to explore the Brisbane River. A Go Boat cruise is the perfect way to get on the water, with departure points at Breakfast Creek Wharf Lifestyle Centre and Kangaroo Point. You can hire an electric boat for one, two or three hours and take off with a group of up to eight friends. The cruise is dog friendly (just make sure your dog has read the boating instructions). Just fill the central table with a picnic box from MICA Brasserie and head off on your adventure. The boat travels slowly, so you don’t need a boat licence. Keep an eye out for the City Cats and check out the riverside mansions. They are pretty amazing! Rates start at $119 for an hour.
Take some delicious pastries from MICA along for your picnic
Soak in a rooftop mineral bath
The Japanese do communal bathing so well, and now you will be able to practice at home at a new rooftop bathhouse in West End. Opening in September 2022 at West Village, Soak is an Australian version of a bathhouse that promises 90-minute microdoses of wellness. There will be seven mineral pools, open-air hot spas, a cold plunge, a steam room and a sauna. It reminds me of the spas I have enjoyed in Rotarua, minus the mud. Find out more here.
Hop onboard and explore the history of the Brisbane River.
Brisbane boat tour with history
Jump on a historically rich ride around the Brisbane River’s bends with the Museum of Brisbane’s new Tides of Brisbane Boat Tour. Learn about the generations that came before from an entertaining and authoritative guide and step back in time on this cruise for $120 per person. This new Brisbane experience dives into the history and stories from Brisbane’s past takes in views of the stunning city skyline and includes a mooring on a beach at Kangaroo Point with a lunch stop at Sea Legs Brewing Co for refreshments.
History on the Hill Walking Tour
Set against the backdrop of one of Brisbane’s oldest suburbs, Spring Hill, History on the Hill is a tour that lifts the lid on the hidden history of this iconic district. History, art, culture, true crime, intrigue and the stories that have woven the fabric of Brisbane come together in MoB’s Brisbane City Walking Tours. So, lace up your walking shoes and explore a whole new side to the city. Tour costs from $30 to $35 per person.
For more information on dates, times and bookings visit Museum of Brisbane.
QAGOMA First Nations Exceptional Indigenous Art and Dining Experience
Indigenous Art and Dining Experience
Awaken the senses with an exclusive evening of art, culture and culinary delights at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art’s (QAGOMA) First Artists: Exceptional Indigenous Art and Dining Experience. For $4,199, you can enjoy a private tour of Queensland’s unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and cultural history. You’ll hear from an Australian First Nations storyteller, artist and curator before joining them for an intimate dinner by Koori Chef Chris Jordan and QAGOMA’s Executive Chef Doug Innes-Wills. This new exciting thing to do in Brisbane experience includes Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander live music and dance performances. Alternatively, opt for the group experience connecting artwork and culture with an exhibition tour, hands-on, creative activities and canapes for $465 per person.
A visit to QAGOMA is always a highlight for me. It would be amazing to enjoy the gallery from an Indigenous perspective.
QAGOMA First Artists dining includes Emu tartare with anise myrtle
The Tangalooma Cruiser is one of the new Brisbane experiences
New ways to explore Moreton Island
One of Australia’s largest sand islands, Moreton Island (Mulgumpin), is a Moreton Bay gem. Located on the southern end of the island’s east coast, Tangalooma Island Resort has added two new tours for visitors. The Tangalooma Cruiser is a two-hour fast-boat adventure to explore the west coast of Moreton Island for just $99 per adult. It departs from the beachfront and takes you out to spot marine and birdlife with the help of expert guides and explore the shoreline. Then, as the sun begins to set, settle in for an afternoon ‘tipple’ with the second new tour, a Sunset Cocktails experience, to watch the pastel colours of days end paint the sky over Moreton Bay.
Would you like to explore more of Moreton Island? Here’s how to go glamping on the island.
Cruise river to Moreton Bay
Departing from Sandstone Point near Bribie Island to the sandy beaches Tangalooma, River to Bay’s new Moreton Bay tour is a quick 45-minute jaunt across the water. The Sandstone Point to Tangalooma Day Cruise departs from the Sandstone Point Hotel jetty and Spinnaker Sound Marina, approximately an hour north of Brisbane. Once on the island, guests can access the pools, retail stores, restaurants, bars, tours and facilities at Tangalooma Island Resort. Lunch on the island is also included in the $119 per person ticket.
Whale Watching in Moreton Bay
During the whale watching season Moreton Bay is a great place to see them. I went onboard with Captain Kerry Lopez and Brisbane Whale Watching. It was a fabulous day out on the bay. Here’s what happened.
Paint your high tea
Everyone loves a high tea, but what if it involved painting as well. At W Brisbane the high tea comes with a paintbrush and pots of edible ‘paints’ that you can use to decorate your food. Find out more about this Brisbane Art High Tea.
Try a new exciting thing to do in Brisbane like a Kiff & Culture day trip
Cool hinterland food and drink tours
Bringing the ‘kiff’ (cool) to southeast Queensland, Kiff & Culture offer guided day trips to Tamborine Mountain and Gold Coast beachside hubs, scoping out the region’s best food and drink experiences, including some of Australia’s top restaurants, wineries, distilleries, and breweries. So, rally the #squad and get ready for an Instagram-worthy day of food and fun times. Tours start from $165 per person, depending on itinerary location and tour duration.
Brisbane River cocktail cruise
Unwind in the River City and experience some of the capital’s best cocktail bars with River to Bay’s tantalising new Cocktail Cruise (jump aboard for $99 per adult). Coasting along the Brisbane River, the cruise is a relaxed and convenient way to sample Brisbane’s most delectable concoctions. There is a complimentary drink as you board and stops to sample some of Brisbane’s best riverside bars, including Toscano, Fiume Bar, Mary Mae’s and Will and Flow, with priority entry given to River to Bay guests. It’s a new exciting thing to do in Brisbane.