Practise your English with a Brisbane Greeter
A concept that originated in New York, the Greeter programme is a free way to get an insider’s peek into a city directly from a local volunteer. When you meet your Brisbane Greeter, you can choose the area of the city you’d most like to visit or have the Greeter show you their personal favourite part of Brisbane. For up to four hours, your Greeter will peel back the curtain on the city, allowing you to experience it like a local rather than as a tourist. What could be better than a free behind-the-scenes tour where you can practise your English with a local?
Budget Tuesdays in Brisbane
For all those that say Brisbane isn’t cheap (it really isn’t that bad!), they must not know about Budget Tuesdays! On Tuesdays, the Cineplex and several other cinemas offers discounted movie tickets, and bars and restaurants go crazy with two-for-one deals and happy hour discounts. If you’re not sure, just ask your waiter or bartender if there are any “tight a$$ Tuesday” specials! So if you’re looking to save, stay in on Friday and go out on the town on Tuesday.
If you’re looking for the mecca of sports in Brisbane, look no further than Suncorp Stadium, around the river bend from the CBD. Home to the Queensland Rugby League association, the Brisbane Broncos rugby team, the Queensland Reds rugby team and the Queensland Roar football/soccer team, this a stadium with one packed sports agenda! If you’re a basketball fan, you can head to the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Center to see the Brisbane Bullets play, or check out a local favourite and catch a cricket match at The Gabba.
Free comedy nights in Brisbane
Looking for a laugh? Then head to Brisbane’s infamous comedy venue, The Brisbane Powerhouse, for a night of free comedy where you can put your English skills to the test! Friday nights from 6 p.m. you can catch free improv while you sip on a Brisbane beer and shout out a suggestion or two for the comedy troupe. There’s nothing not to love about free entertainment!
Watch, Read, Listen
Paperback Hero (1999) Director: Antony J. Bowman
Curious about Aussie actor Hugh Jackman’s first film? This is it! With scenes filmed in Brisbane, this fun rom-com has Jackman playing a romance novelist travelling through the outback to the big city.
All My Friends Are Leaving Brisbane (2007) Director: Louise Alston
Following twenty-somethings as they navigate their love lives in Brisbane, this indie comedy is a great introduction to the local dating scene!
In Her Skin (2009) Director: Simone North
Based on the true-life disappearance of a 15-year-old Australian girl, this emotionally intense film captures one of the most highly followed cases in the country. It stars Miranda Otto, known for her role Lord of the Rings and for being one of the most famous actresses born in Brisbane.
The Slow Natives (1965) by Thea Astley
One of Brisbane’s most prolific and revered writers, Thea Astley published a whole canon of literature, all related to Australia and many set in Brisbane. Providing fantastic insight into the Australian and Brisbane mentality, this award-winning early novel is a good place to start.
He Died With A Felafel In His Hand (1994) by John Birmingham
A former contributor to Rolling Stone, John Birmingham’s memoir tells the harrowing tale of cohabitation with scores of ex-housemates, some of whom he lived with in Brisbane.
Dream Stuff: Stories (2001) by David Malouf
Brisbane-born writer David Malouf draws upon his hometown for inspiration in this short story collection. If you like Malouf’s stories, check out his 1998 novel Johnno, which is a coming-of-age tale set in Brisbane.
The Forgotten Garden (2008) by Kate Morton
Starting out in Brisbane, this best-selling novel weaves its way to the heart of a long-kept family secret with plenty of intrigue along the way.
Stayin’ Alive (1977) by the Bee Gees
Brisbane (Security City) (1978) by The Saints
Streets of Your Town (1988) by The Go-Betweens
I Want You (1997) by Savage Garden
Live music in Brisbane
If you love live music, you’ll love Brisbane. If swanky cocktails and DJs are your thing, try The Kitty in the CBD, while in the West End, The Bearded Lady offers free live music a few times a week with an affordable cover charge for the local talent all other nights. For a bluesy Americana type vibe, head to the Brooklyn Standard or Sonny’s House of Blues.
In Fortitude Valley, you can’t throw a stone without hitting a live music joint. The small theatre setting of The Tivoli has attracted names as big as Bob Dylan and isn’t far from the endless bar scene between Wickham Street and Ann Street. Shinjuku-inspired Heya Bar is just too cool for school with its pool tables, Asian artwork and little stage where musicians perform. It’s the perfect fusion of chopsticks and drumsticks! Outside of the neighbourhood’s main drag of bars, The Triffid delivers a beer garden atmosphere and great eats with live music. And finally, for a consistently stellar line-up, you can’t do much better than The Zoo, which has seen such acts as The Pixies, The Black Keys and Ben Harper, and has been in business for more than 25 years.