The Ultimate Brisbane Bucket List

By Daniel Colasimone
9th Dec 2014

Hopefully you are not going to die soon. Like, in the next six months. Probably even in the next four or five years would be pretty bad, depending on how old you are. But if you did happen to cark it in the next little while, and you are a resident of Brisbane, you’ll want to make sure you have done everything on this list before you go. Here it is, the ultimate Brisbane bucket list: 51 essential things to do in Brisbane, brought to you, with love, by The Urban List.

  1. As has long been the tradition for many days, take a selfie with the most enduring and recognisable symbol of our city, the BRISBANE sign at South Bank.
  2. While you’re in South Bank, refuse to get on the Wheel of Brisbane because you think it’s too expensive.
  3. Go to the Eat Street Markets, gorge yourself on the first thing you see, then wander around regretting being too full to try all the other wonderful foods on offer.
  4. Visit the William Jolly Bridge to re-enact the famous scene from Hollywood blockbuster Inspector Gadget 2 that was filmed there.
  5. Try the little balls of salty, heavenly delight that are the crumbed giant green olives filled with fennel, salami, pork, rosemary & chilli at Bucci.
  6. Catch a live show at the Powerhouse, where you are so close to the action you get to spend the whole time in mortal fear that the performers are going to engage with you as part of their act.
  7. Even if you’re not a student… nay, especially if you’re not a student, experience the Uni lifestyle by spending an evening listening to a band perform Pearl Jam and Greenday covers at the RE before getting choked out by a bouncer.
  8. Pretend to be a politician or B-List celebrity by getting a photo taken with a koala at Lone Pine.
  9. See shabby hippies and Range Rover-driving soccer mums mingle awkwardly at the Jan Powers Markets as you munch on a pie from the Goat Pie Guy.
  10. Wonder what was up with olden days people as you browse through the weird crap in the Wooloongabba antiques stores.
  11. Experience one of Junk Bar’s world class Bloody Marys.
  12. Pay tribute to Cam Smith, Steven Bradbury and Savage Garden at the Logan City Wall of Acclaim.
  13. After you’ve done that, check out the walkway, photo shrine and statue of Barry, Morris and Bryan Gibb that comprise Moreton Bay’s Bee Gees Way.
  14. Head into the Sir Thomas Brisbane planetarium after eating a packet of red frogs and stare at the optical star projector used to recreate a stunning realistic night sky on the 12.5 metre diameter projection dome.
  15. Vape at the Southbank pretend beach.
  16. Then do what real Brisbanites do when they want to go to the beach and drive up or down the coast for an hour till you get to one.
  17. Monitor weather websites and Twitter every day throughout summer to keep abreast of the latest #rainmaggedon #storm #event.
  18. Do a wings and trivia combo on any Wednesday afternoon. Get a mad posse together at The Dirty South in Paddington for ‘Wicked Wing Wednesday’. Grab a bottle or a six pack on your way there (it’s BYO), order some wings (only $5 per serve) and enjoy the afternoon. When you’re stuffed with wings and half cut, stroll down to The Paddo for Trivia.
  19. Watch the Roar, Broncos, or Reds play at Suncorp Stadium before posing for the traditional ‘I’m catching Lockie’s pass photo’ with the statue out the front.
  20. Watch the six o’clock news and scream something derogatory about Campbell Newman at the television.
  21. Have at least one birthday party in your lifetime at a lawn bowls club.
  22. Get swiped right by Sofia Formica or Pete Murray on Tinder.
  23. Go night kayaking on the Brisbane River with Riverlife. The lights under the story bridge are like, really pretty.
  24. Avoid the official XXXX tour (unless you like looking at factory floors) and create your own version by drinking two cartons of XXXX with your friends and waking up at a bus stop in Pimpana with no recollection of how you got there.
  25. Ensure you’re in the same room as Rod Young’s moustache at least once in your life. Its true chatoyant, bushy magnificence can never be adequately captured on film. Like the Mona Lisa or the roof of the Sistine Chapel, it must be seen in person.
  26. Experience Brisbane’s history at its finest at the Queensland Police Service Museum, located at Police HQ, 200 Roma Street. Walk through the 150 years of policing in Queensland and learn more about some of Queensland’s most famous crimes, including the unsolved murder of Betty Shanks.
  27. Take to social media to complain about Brisbane’s transport system.
  28. Hit up Statler and Waldorf on a Sunday arvo for their succulent BBQ roast pig rolls and a game of ping pong.
  29. Drive up Mount Coot-tha with a date and re-enact the ‘Saint Diego’ scene from Anchorman using a script relevant to Brisbane.
  30. Experience some culture (not to be confused with 90’s urban boy band Kulcha) at GOMA, one of the Southern Hemisphere’s finest art galleries.
  31. Take your mother on a date to one of the fantastic Greek restaurants in West End such as Leftkas, Ouzeri, or the Little Greek Taverna and be sure to check out the Paniyiri festival in May. Smash your plate after eating if you like, they won’t even care. (Note: They may actually care and could charge you for the broken plate.)
  32. Find out what it’s like to get into a pub brawl by wearing a Paul Gallen New South Wales jersey to The Glen Hotel in Eight Mile Plains on a big Friday night.
  33. Go to Jo-Jo’s every night until you make friends with owner Stefan and he invites you to ‘light up the sky needle’ with him.
  34. Visit the Lorna Jane store at the site of its original location in the Wintergarden and lay a wreath of your old Flashdance pants at the door while chanting inspirational T-shirt mantras in honour of the Spandex Goddess.
  35. Inhale a kebab ‘with the lot’ (‘I SAID THE LOT! ALL OF IT!’) in the Valley at 2am.
  36. Spend an awesome night out at the Albion trots (the fastest track in the Southern Hemisphere).
  37. Wait for the moment a CityCat PA microphone is left unattended (and there is always that moment) and make a hoax ‘land ahoy’ announcement in a pirate voice.
  38. Risk death by Bull Shark by playing a round at the Nudgee Golf Club.
  39. Stick your tongue down the throat of a Dutch backpacker on the dancefloor of the Down Under Bar.
  40. Spend the most Australian of Australia Days ever by meeting up with a big group of mates for a BBQ at Kangaroo Point.
  41. Watch some live, sweaty, raw rock ‘n’ roll at the Tivoli.
  42. Meet your future spouse while blackout drunk at Lefty’s.
  43. Start a food blog called something like ‘Brisbane’s Bonza Bites’ and then leave it idly squatting unattended in cyber space after just two posts.
  44. Eat some ridiculously fresh and delicious fish and chips on the bay and feel good about life in general.
  45. Do a 5K Brisbane run which is worth 10K everywhere else in the world due to the ‘triple H’ factor of heat, humidity, and hills.
  46. Wake up early on Saturday or Sunday morning, get dressed up in casual-but-actually-pretty-damn-expensive clothes that match your partner’s outfit, line up for an inordinate amount of time at one of the city’s uber hip cafés and then decide all the effort was worth it once you’ve demolished an amazing breakfast.
  47. Sing a Powderfinger or Go-Betweens ballad very loudly and very off-key while driving around with your car windows open.
  48. Laugh and point at the people on the red double-decker tourist bus.
  49. Wear a pair of thongs for approximately 87 per cent of time during the summer months.
  50. Get buried in Toowong Cemetery. No, wait… that should be after you die. Definitely not while you’re still alive. Now I have to think of one more.
  51. Take a stroll in Toowong Cemetery and get an atmospheric photo of silhouetted tombstones at dusk for your Facebook cover pic.

Click here for more things to do in Brisbane!

Image credit: Fly Australia

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