The buzzing riverside city of Brisbane on Australia’s east coast is one of the country’s busiest tourist destinations, owing to its scenic setting, array of cultural attractions, and laidback character. Wedged between the ocean and rugged national parks, and overlooked by the imposing Mount Coot-Tha, the city is a magnet for lovers of the great outdoors and offers a huge variety of activities for adventure seekers and the more leisurely inclined alike.
When it comes to things to see and do at night in Brisbane, there are no shortage of options. Whether it’s hitting the bright lights of the city after dark, or visiting one of its cultural venues that offer evening activities and events, there’ll be something to satisfy every taste. To help inspire you, we’ve picked out 12 of the best night-time pursuits in Brisbane.
Watch a magical sunset at Mount Coot-tha
Situated a short drive or bus ride out of town, the lookout point at Mount Coot-tha is perhaps Brisbane’s finest spot for enjoying the city’s dramatic sunsets. Offering sensational views back across Brisbane’s landscape, as well as Roseanne Cory and out to Moreton Bay, there’s no better way in which to admire the region’s natural wonders by night.
Sample home-grown mushrooms at Customs House Restaurant
Housed in a three-story Victorian Classical Style building, complete with columns and a grand arched copper dome, the appeal of this restaurant extends beyond its impressive setting – especially if you’re a fan of the endlessly versatile mushroom. That’s because the thick, stable sandstone walls of the site’s humid basement provides peak conditions for the growing of fungi, with home-grown ‘shrooms then taken upstairs to be included in dishes such as the restaurant’s signature nicola-potato-and-ricotta gnocchi.
LOCATION 399 Queen Street HOURS Mon 9am-5pm Tues-Fri 9am-10pm Sat 10am-10pm Sun 9am-4pm
Learn to paint at Cork and Chroma
For a fun night out that combines music and drinks with the chance to get your creative juices flowing, there’s nowhere in Brisbane quite like Cork & Chroma. Visitors are invited to bring their own beer or wine to their studios where you’ll learn the basic techniques of painting with acrylics on canvas in a relaxed, social setting, set against the backdrop of funky tunes. All art equipment is provided – so you just bring the booze, they’ll take care of the arty stuff. And you’ll even get to take home your very own unique artwork at the end of the session.
LOCATION Shop 15A Little Stanley Street, South Bank HOURS Thurs-Sat 7pm-10pm Sun 2pm-5pm
Join a Brisbane Night Photography Tour
Photography enthusiasts in Brisbane can join a private after-dark tour which will pair you up with a professional photographer guide for a unique night-time adventure. Together you’ll hit the streets and learn to shoot the best compositions in low light, while picking up plenty of hot tips on the city’s most photogenic spots. You’ll even get to take home some of your snaps as mementos of the experience. Tours can be booked through Viator.com.
Catch some free comedy at Brisbane Powerhouse
Australia has a thriving comedy scene and every Friday evening the Brisbane Powerhouse plays host to a great programme of mirth-makers ready to help you start your weekend with plenty of big belly laughs. From 6pm onwards the venue showcases the city’s best comedy talent, giving visitors the chance to sample a real taste of inimitable Brisbane humour.
LOCATION 119 Lamington Street
Swing on down to Brisbane Jazz Club
Jazz fans in Brisbane are in for a real treat, with the city home to several outstanding jazz venues. Two of the best are the Brisbane Jazz Club, which combines the sweet brassy sounds of Australian jazz with scenic river views, and the Doo-Bop Jazz bar in the city’s central business district where revellers can don their dancing shoes while listening to top class acts.
LOCATION 1 Annie Streer, Kangaroo Point HOURS Thurs-Fri 6.30pm-11pm Sat 3pm-11pm Sun 5pm-10pm
Wander around a buzzing night market
There are a few better ways to get under the kin of a city than by visiting one of its bustling markets. Brisbane is home to four excellent night markets – Boundary Street Market, The Collective Market Southbank, Brisbane Twilight Market, and Eat Street Market – each packed full of vendors selling an assortment of great value goods such jewellery, art, homewares, vintage clothing, and more. Boundary Street and Brisbane Twilight Markets have live music while the latter also runs a free craft workshop.
Cook with fire at Kangaroo Point
Situated just across the Brisbane River, Kangaroo Point Cliffs are another popular vantage point from which to admire the full expanse of the city. And perched at the base of the cliffs, affording superb views of the Captain Cook Bridge, Story Bridge, the City Botanic Gardens and downtown buildings, visitors regularly pitch up at night to avail themselves of communal BBQ equipment and outdoor furniture for the ultimate al fresco experience.
Embark on the ultimate adventure climb
Story Bridge is one of Brisbane’s most recognisable landmarks and visitors have the chance to ascend the imposing structure on a Story Bridge Adventure Climb – with 2-hour night-time guided tours available. The experience begin at base camp directly under the bridge where you’ll receive a quick briefing before making your way up a spiral staircase that leads to the main suspended walkway. During the climb you’ll be regaled with tales about the bridge’s colourful history as you marvel at the views of Brisbane’s illuminated night skies below. You can purchase tickets through GetYourGuide.com.
Admire the night sky at the Cosmic Skydome
Located within the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, the Cosmic Skydome stays open late every Saturday night to give even more visitors the chance to lie back and take in the wonders of the universe. Made possible by high-tech projection technology that creates immersive space shows and realistic recreations of Brisbane’s night sky, this is one of the city’s most magical nocturnal activities that will captivate young and old alike.
LOCATION Mount Coot Tha Rd, Toowong
See Brisbane from up high at the Clock Tower
Another distinctive Brisbane tourist site is its impressive Clock Tower, located on the site of the City Hall and Museum of Brisbane. Every Friday from 5pm-7pm you can join a clock tower tour, travelling to the top of the tower via a beautiful, original 1930s hand-operated lift before arriving at a 64-metre high platform, where you can enjoy a superb bird’s-eye view of the city below.
LOCATION City Hall, 64 Adelaide Street
Send shivers down your spine on a Brisbane Ghost Tour
Those who like a shiver down their spine can join a Brisbane ghost tour, which combines the unique experience of visiting some of the city’s most haunted site with ghost stories, urban legends and myths, and true tales of tragedy, crime, murder and mystery. There are themed tours, cemetery tours or coach tours, each run by experienced guides who will keep you entertained – and not a little scared – throughout.