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Brooke Maddison

Brooke Maddison

Brooke Maddison is a writer and editor living on unceded Turrbal and Yuggera land in Brisbane. Her work has been published in Kill Your Darlings, Antithesis, The Spineless Wonders Queer as Fiction Anthology, Verity La and Jacaranda. She is also the editor of the UQ Creative Writing Anthology, and she is currently writing a novel. After stints in Kathmandu and London, she returned to soak up the sun in Brisbane. In her spare time you
can find her drinking coffee, eating all the (vegan) food, visiting her local library, or escaping
to the beach with her son.

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Articles (9)

The 18 best things to do in Brisbane for free

The 18 best things to do in Brisbane for free

Nothing in life is free. Nothing! And you might disagree and say something like “what about walking along a beach? That’s free!” And you’d be right, but Brisbane doesn’t have beaches, so you’d be wrong.  So if you’re in Brisbane, and you’re broke and looking to have some fun, what do you do? Well, after living here a long time with varying amounts of disposable income we feel we’re in a position to offer some suggestions. Here’s what we’d do, in no particular order. Cashed up? You may like to go eat at one of Brisbane's best restaurants. Walk it off on one of the best easy day hikes near Brisbane.

The 25 best things to do in Brisbane

The 25 best things to do in Brisbane

If there was any lingering doubt that Queensland's capital is a world city, it was put to rest with the announcement that the 2032 Olympics would be hosted right here in Brisvegas. And truth be told, for a long time the River City has been much more than just a pit-stop on the way to the Gold Coast.  In QAGOMA, the city has two of the best-designed art galleries anywhere in the world, and blockbuster art to show in them. We have great barbecue spots, sure, but there are also some great high-end, fine dining experiences too. With an incredible climate (although slip, slop, slap please, we implore you) and a great set of river walkways and public transport connections, it’s also easier than ever to get around. Whether it’s a family adventure, a romantic weekend or a spare 24 hours at the end of a business trip – here are our pick of the best attractions in Brisbane. Got no money? Here are the best free things to do in Brisbane.

Best day trips from Brisbane

Best day trips from Brisbane

There is plenty to do in Brisbane itself, but the city is also perfectly positioned for a range of one-day adventures. You can get away to the beach, the mountains, an island, or a picturesque country town, and still be back home in time for a backyard barbie dinner.    Here are ten of the best day trips to take from Brisbane. Please note that there are many sacred sites that are of great cultural significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders throughout Australia. Always check if it is appropriate for you to visit specific areas. For example, the Traditional Owners of the Glass House Mountains, the Jinbara and Kabi Kabi people, request that visitors don’t climb Mount Beerwah or Mount Tibrogargan. Looking for an overnight stay? Check out the best weekend getaways from Brisbane.

The best cinemas in Brisbane

The best cinemas in Brisbane

Even as the world becomes filled with evermore screens there's still nothing that can quite touch the magic and nostalgia of a trip to the pictures. The smell of popcorn, the organ-rattling throb of the surround sound, and at many top cinemas, the luxurious option of Gold Class, keep movie lovers coming back for more. Narrowing this list down to the best cinemas in Brisbane was no easy feat. But for our money, these picture palaces are the silver screens you need to see. Wondering which flick to pick? Check out Time Out's latest movie reviews. More about real-life action than Hollywood blockbusters? Here's our ultimate Brisbane bucket list.

The best coffee in Brisbane to get your caffeine fix

The best coffee in Brisbane to get your caffeine fix

When it comes to good coffee, Brisbanites don't have to look far. We’ve got it all: cool inner-city haunts, highly awarded local roasters, chic espresso bars, coffee tasting experiences and enough espresso and cold brew to power the city. From a not-so-secret bunker to a 24/7 joint serving up killer coffee and tunes, these are our top picks. Need a croissant to dip in that coffee? Here are Brisbane's best bakeries. If all the coffee is making you hungry, why not grab a slice at one of Brisbane's best pizza joints?

The best waterfalls near Brisbane

The best waterfalls near Brisbane

We hate to say it, but TLC were wrong. Turns out you should go chasing waterfalls, especially the ones near Brisbane. Some are in national parks, you can swim in others, and some secret ones will take you a bit of a walk to find. But trust us, no matter which of the five we've highlighted you fall for, you're in for a beautiful day out in nature. So load up the picnic basket and take a road trip to find these cascading waters near, in and around Brisbane. In search of sun and solitude? Check out these amazing secret beaches in and around Brisbane.

The best things to do in Brisbane with kids

The best things to do in Brisbane with kids

Parents understand that a free day can be a terrifying thing if you have no plans and no idea what to do with your little darlings. Never fear: here we have a bunch of great ideas for filling in those dreaded hours between sun up and bath time.  Need more ideas? Tire them out with Brisbane’s best playgrounds or exercise their minds at Brisbane’s best museums. 

The best secret beaches in and around Brisbane

The best secret beaches in and around Brisbane

We've all been there: the sun is shining and the beach is calling, but when we rock up at our favourite sandy stretch, it's already heaving with people. Well we'll let you in on a little secret – there are some gorgeous shores near Brissie that are generally off the radar of most, so when you need to beat the crowds, head to these secret beaches in and around Brisbane.  Got a taste for the great outdoors? Keep your outing going at one of the best places to go camping near Brisbane. Or take a walk at one of the best walking tracks in Brisbane. The Queensland Department of Environment and Science advises that swimming at unpatrolled waterways, lakes and beaches is hazardous and may result in serious injury or death. Read and heed safety signs and only swim at beaches, lakes or waterways where swimming is permitted.

The best Indian restaurants in Brisbane right now

The best Indian restaurants in Brisbane right now

Brisbane is spoilt for choice when it comes to the flavours of India. Whether you crave the smoky flavours of the tandoor, the fiery heat of a North Indian curry, a South Indian delicacy or some lip-smackingly good street food, we’ve got the place for you.   Feel like an old-school steak? Here are the best steaks in Brisbane. Japanese more your bag? The best Japanese restaurants in Brisbane are here. Eating to impress? Here are the very best restaurants in Brisbane right now.

Listings and reviews (38)

Brisbane River

Brisbane River

What is it? The Brisbane River snakes through the heart of the city, and there are several tour operators who will help you get out on the water and show you the ropes, like Riverlife Adventure Centre. Why go? Paddle Brisbane's scenic waterways and see the city from a new perspective as you take in sights from the water, including the Story Bridge, mangroves and the Myora shipwreck. Riverlife Adventures offer guided tours and kayak hire, so it doesn’t matter how experienced you are. Want more? If you're not keen on kayaking, jump on a CityCat or CityHopper. The larger CityCat ferries cruise up and down the river from the University of Queensland to Northshore Hamilton. The smaller CityHoppers are a free inner city service that will ferry you across the river to major attractions.

The Elizabeth Picture Theatre

The Elizabeth Picture Theatre

The Elizabeth Picture Theatre brings a touch of opulence to Brisbane’s cinema scene. Seeing a movie here is as much about checking out the historical surroundings as it is about watching the movie. Housed in a heritage-listed former ballroom in the heart of the CBD, at this cinema you’ll find all the trappings of a bygone era. Take the spiral staircase up to the foyer, where you’ll find stained glass windows, vintage chairs and the original wooden bar - perfect for a pre-screening drink. The two theatres are housed in the former ballrooms and still boast all the original ceiling finishes. Playing a range of arthouse, indie and mainstream movies, this cinema is a must-do Brisbane experience.  Find more of Brisbane's best cinemas.

New Farm Six Cinemas

New Farm Six Cinemas

The New Farm Cinemas are a pillar of Brissie culture. On the scene since 1921, this student and indie fave is a great place to catch a movie after a bite to eat on Brunswick Street. The six theatres have been designed around individual colour schemes, the highlight of which is the Purple Room – an original 1970s vintage delight restored to its former glory but with the addition of state-of-the-art technology. Along with Bronze, Blue and Red rooms, there are also two intimate Gold Class theatres. Chuck in some front-row beanbags, vintage glass chandeliers, eclectic movie memorabilia, retro arcade games and signature cocktails, and you’ve got the perfect cinema-going experience.  Find more of Brisbane's best cinemas.

Yatala Drive-In

Yatala Drive-In

OK, so Yatala isn’t technically Brisbane, but as a much-loved local landmark, we couldn't leave this quirky venue off our listings of the best cinemas. Yatala Drive-In is all about old-school fun. Think back to childhood visits to the drive-in in your PJs, where you’d fill up on popcorn and choc tops as you watched the latest blockbusters on the outdoor screen. Bring along chairs and a picnic blanket if you want to sit outside, and visit the 1950s-style diner for hot food and snacks. If you really want to make a night of it, there are special discounts for double screenings. And if you have a pooch that's partial to Polanski, Peckinpah, Pasolini or Payne, you can even bring your pets. Find more of Brisbane's best cinemas.  

Cinebar Rosalie Village

Cinebar Rosalie Village

Local favourite Cinebar plays the latest releases in super luxe surroundings. Right at home in the buzzing dining hub of Rosalie, Cinebar tempts movie lovers with an array of gourmet pizzas and Asian-inspired eats, all of which can be delivered directly to your seat. You can even order a cheese board to go with your wine or signature cocktail. With five theatres screening the latest blockbusters, as well as Bubs in Arms and open caption screenings, all that’s left to do is pick your movie and kick back in the super-comfortable reclining seats. Find more of the best cinemas in Brisbane.

Red Hill Cinemas

Red Hill Cinemas

The Red Hill Cinemas are the coolest cinemas in Brisbane. It's big call, but we're making it! The heritage-listed site dates back to the 1920s and has been home to the Pop Picture Palace, a club, and most recently, a skating rink. Forced to close in the early 2000s due to fire, the vacant building became a haven for local graffiti artists. When the Sourris Brothers (whose great-uncle ran the original theatre on the same site) opened the cinema in 2019, they made sure to include some of the street art from the original building. The cinema is home to four intimate Gold Room theatres, featuring reclining chairs and bar service, as well as a traditional larger theatre.  Find more of Brisbane's best cinemas.

Cedar Creek Falls and Curtis Falls

Cedar Creek Falls and Curtis Falls

Mount Tamborine has something for everyone - accessible waterfalls, picturesque views, great walking tracks, and plenty of activities for the whole family. Only a one-hour drive from Brisbane’s CBD, Cedar Creek is extremely popular, so make sure you go early to find a park. The lookout near the car park offers stunning views of the falls and the gorge below and is wheelchair and stroller friendly. Head down the track for 900 metres and you’ll find the only swimming holes in the area. Curtis Falls can be reached via a moderate one-kilometre walk through lush rainforest. The falls are stunning, and you can get pretty close via the viewing platform at the end of the walk. Swimming is not allowed at Curtis Falls, but if you’re lucky you might spot a platypus or even some glow worms.  

Cedar Creek Falls

Cedar Creek Falls

Cedar Creek is a favourite swimming destination among Brisbanites, especially during the sweltering summer months. The drive to the falls will take you through Samford Village, where you can pick up picnic supplies before driving through the picturesque rolling hills of Cedar Creek Road. At Andy Williams Park you’ll find picnic tables and a large grassy area to spread out on. There are plenty of options for swimming, from easy-access rock pools to more secluded spots the further you walk along the creek. To reach the falls, follow the creek away from the road, but be mindful that it will involve some rock scrambling as there are no roads or walkways to the waterfall. It should take about thirty minutes to reach the falls from the end of the road, and when you get there you’ll feel like you’ve found a hidden paradise.

Simpson Falls and JC Slaughter Falls

Simpson Falls and JC Slaughter Falls

If you want to hit up some waterfalls without leaving the city, check out the Mt Coot-tha Reserve. The reserve is home to two spectacular waterfalls and is just a 15-minute drive from Brisbane’s CBD. The uphill hike to the falls follows Ithaca Creek and along the way, you’ll see plenty of native flora and fauna. If you’ve worked up a sweat you can have a dip when you reach the falls, but that will depend on how much rain Brisbane has had - the falls are more impressive after a big storm. If you’ve worked up an appetite you can make use of the nearby barbeque and picnic facilities, or head up to the cafe at the lookout which boasts some of the best sunset views over Brisbane.

Kondalilla Falls

Kondalilla Falls

Nestled in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, Kondalilla Falls is one of Montville’s hidden gems. Just an hour north of Brisbane, a day trip to Kondalilla National Park is an excellent way to escape the heat of the city. Kondalilla means ‘rushing waters’ in the local Aboriginal language, and the falls more than deliver on this promise, especially after big rains. The main waterfall boasts a drop of over 90 metres into a lush rainforest valley, and there is also a smaller four-metre waterfall with a deep pool for swimming in. With plenty of picnic tables nearby, make sure you take refreshments as the 45-minute circuit walk has over 300 stairs and can be tiring, especially for little legs. 

Home Beach & Adder Rock, North Stradbroke Island

Home Beach & Adder Rock, North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island, also known as Minjerribah, is home to some of the best beaches in the world, and luckily for us, it is only a 50-minute ferry ride away from Brisbane. Crowds flock to Cylinder and Main Beach year-round, but there are plenty of other options worth checking out on the island. Local secret Adder Rock boasts some of the best sunset views on the island - grab some fish and chips, scramble up the rock and settle in for an evening show as the last of the sun’s rays light up the long stretch of beach. On the other side of the rock, Home Beach is a dog-friendly delight, as well as being the access point for diving trips (see the nearby Manta Lodge for details). During whale-watching season (May-Nov), walk up to the highest point of the rocky outcrop (to the left of the small car park near the entrance to the campground) for unrivalled views of whales and dolphins. If you feel like staying the night there are plenty of nearby accommodation options, including Adder Rock campground.

Woorim Beach, Bribie Island

Woorim Beach, Bribie Island

Chilled-out Woorim Beach is the closest patrolled surf beach to Brisbane and has the added bonus of being less busy than beaches of the Sunny and Gold Coasts. Connected to the mainland by bridge, Bribie is an excellent choice for a day trip, and Woorim has something for everyone: an endless stretch of white sand, warm water year-round, plenty of dining options, barbeque and picnic areas, a playground and even a skate park. The calm waves are also an ideal place to learn to surf - check out Bribie Island Surf School for more info. A whopping 80% of the island is made of National Park, meaning that unspoilt beaches like Woorim remain pristine and unspoilt.