The Iglu Guide | Blog

What’s on: Summer in Brisbane

Pack the books away, ditch the blankets and take a look outside. Summer has arrived and the city awaits you! With a range of activities on offer to suit all tastes, Brisbane has it covered this summertime. From mince pies and music to swimming and sun-baking, you’re in the perfect spot for an awesome holiday. Here’s how.

The great outdoors

There’s no better place in the world to enjoy the beautiful outdoors than Brisbane in the summertime. With endless sunshine on tap and so much to do and see, it’s the perfect season to get out and explore the city at its best.

Get your cultural fix on over at Southbank, an area that truly celebrates outdoor living and a great place to explore and discover in the heat of a summer’s day. Cool off at one of the many available exhibitions that range from art and science through to cultural and natural history. ‘Water’ at QAGOMA (Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art) invites us to explore our relationship with this vital source, and consider the role it plays in our lives. Showing between 7 Dec-26 April, Brisbane’s resident art gallery challenges our conceptions and beliefs through immersive experiences and installations. To take a step right out of your comfort zone, explore the fascinating world of spiders at The Queensland Museum (6 Dec-4 May) and get up close and personal with some of Australia’s most feared residents.

But if that gets you too hot under the collar simply take a plunge into the popular Streets Beach lagoon – Brisbane’s unique man-made watering hole that attracts bundles of tourists and locals alike. Snag a picnic spot at one of the licensed green spaces, or take a walk along the popular Clem Jones Promenade with the Brisbane River reliably by your side.

If your legs are getting a little tired, register online and rent a bike from CityCycle. And if you do happen to own a bike yourself, the good news is there are over 70 routes for you to explore ranging from the flat to the hilly and everything in between. And don’t forget you’re never far from a beach with 5 of the best to choose from right here.

Festival Fever

Music lovers can sleep easy in their beds, the festival season is now upon us – and once again Brisbane does not disappoint. If you really hate that feeling of everyone being somewhere else, FOMO (4 Jan) is for you. But only in a good way. There’s actually no chance of any real FOMO happening here, because everything you need is on that one stage right in front of you. Warning: tickets sell out rather quickly so don’t delay.

Embodying the epitome of art and self-expression is the St Jerome’s Laneway Festival (1 Feb). Now one of the country’s most beloved festival institutions, it actually started out as a Sunday session in a tiny Melbourne bar. It continues to champion community and cause – but more importantly, it’s coming to a spot near you.

Folk music fans should head straight to Woodfordia, the 500-acre property that is home to the 34th Woodford Folk Festival (27 Dec-1 Jan). With over 2000 performers across 35 venues, there is nothing you cannot find here from music, film, debate and comedy through to art, theatre, dance, and cabaret. Grab a camping spot, embrace the Woodford community and feel the festival magic.

Culture fix

When you’ve had your fill of vitamin D, it’s time to head indoors and soak up some of the cultural infusion that Brizzy has on offer this summer.

Don’t miss the return of A Christmas Carol showing at the QPAC Playhouse (29 Nov-15 Dec). Starring the acclaimed Brisbane actor Eugene Gilfedder, this seasonal favourite is fast becoming a festive institution.

Also returning to Brisbane’s QPAC for a limited season (3 Jan-26 Jan) is the acclaimed Book of Mormon. This irreverent musical comedy follows two missionaries dispatched from Salt Lake City to spread the proverbial word around the Ugandan locals. An immediate international hit, this toe-tapping singalonga show is an absolute must-see.

Enjoy the surprises and delight on offer at the Wonderland Festival, held each year at the Brisbane Powerhouse (21 Nov-1 Dec). With 9 self-proclaimed nights of ‘decadence and debauchery’, this celebration features over 30 performances ranging from live music and comedy to circus and magic. The surprise and delight just keeps on giving.


OK, it’s time for some truths. Aussie summertime is actually all about the sport – and this season does not disappoint with a jam-packed schedule to keep you on the edge of your seat. Whether you prefer the boot or the bat, the racket or the ruck there is a fixture for everyone. Lounge around on the sofa and let everyone else do the hard work, or pick up some tickets and immerse yourself in the very best of Australian sporting culture.

Cricket fans, rejoice. The Gabba will once more kick off the international cricket test season with an opener against Pakistan (21 Nov) in the first of a 2-test series thriller. With a cracker season that takes fans right through until Autumn 2020 (owing to international scheduling difficulties), there’s no better way to cool it down on a hot summer’s day. For those who like it fast and furious, the Big Bash League resumes 17 Dec with two extra matches to enjoy. Tickets start from as little as $26.

Tennis fans will be keen to get to the now women’s only Brisbane International (6 Jan-12 Jan) where heavyweights Pliskova and Osaka have already confirmed attendance. A great warm up for the upcoming Aussie Open, tickets are already on sale.

The super rugby season kicks off early for the Queensland Reds with their first outing falling on Jan 31 down in the cool climes of Canberra. But the season soon heats up with plenty of home matches back at Suncorp Stadium starting on 22 Feb against the fast-paced and lately popularized Japanese Sunwolves.

Footy fans can track the progress of the Brisbane Roar in the Hyandai A League, now boasting the coaching prowess of Premier League giant Robbie Fowler. Don’t miss out!

Jingle Bells

Sporting fixtures aside, it’s beginning to look quite a lot like Christmas over here. But the festive season cannot truly kick off until that tree in King George Square tells it to be so. The extensive (and free) Christmas in the City program takes over the city centre for a month of festive celebrations, with something for everyone to enjoy. From the Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols and the nightly Christmas Parade, to the City Hall Christmas lights show and the Christmas markets, you’ll never feel so festive. Ho ho ho!

Photo by ZACHARY STAINES on Unsplash

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