Things to do after dark around Brisbane 

18 JANUARY 2023

A sunset cocktail by the river? Been there, done that! It may not be the city that never sleeps, but Brisbane has a very special set-up when it comes to activities after dark – coming to life with ultra-memorable experiences that go far beyond a bevvy by the river. Glide across the river by twilight, sway to live music under the stars, or maybe catch a fright from a ghost or two as you discover the best that Brisbane has to offer after the sun goes down. If you’re looking to squeeze even more out of your visit, bookmark this list and map out your itinerary with our top things to do from 6pm onwards.

01. Twilight Kayak Adventure 

Discover Brisbane from a different perspective as you glide along the river in a kayak beneath the stars. Finish the work week with a bang and hop on over to Riverlife at Kangaroo Point on a Friday night to enjoy 90 minutes of paddling under the Story Bridge before stopping to take in sensational city views over a classic Aussie barbecue in a riverside marquee. 

02. Look to the stars

Grab a picnic blanket and head outside to take in all that the Brisbane night sky has to offer. BYO snacks and stargaze to your heart's content – you may even be lucky enough to spot a shooting star. If you’re after the perfect spot to park up for the evening head to Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Wilson Outlook Reserve or New Farm Park. 

03. Picnic by the river

The fun of a picnic never gets old when it includes city views and delicious takeaways (even better when you don’t have to make it yourself). Just add good company to watch the sunset and the city light up against the night sky. 

Looking to level up your picnic experience? Gather your crew and skipper your very own boat with GoBoat. Sail the river just before sundown and choose to BYO picnic, or go all out with one of their food packages.

04. Feast galore at Eat Street Northshore

Two words: Epic feed. Featuring over 70 traders and 5 themed bars, Eat Street Northshore is now considered one of Brisbane’s institutions for delicious street food, and it’s only 15 mins from the CBD! Every week from Friday to Sunday you’ll find Eat Street nestled among coloured shipping containers and illuminated by fairy lights, teeming with eclectic art and retailers, and (what feels like) an endless amount of dining vendors cooking up savoury dishes and tasty treats from all around the world. Key ingredients to take with you include a somewhat ravenous appetite, extra comfortable clothes, and a dash of curiosity! 

05. Get spooked with ghost tours

Despite its modern appearance, Brisbane is an old town haunted by the past. Hear real ghost stories about the Brisbane Arcade ghost, undead politician and Boggo Road Gaol ghosts on the haunted Brisbane Ghost Tours or head to St Helena to spend the evening in the cemetery. Speaking of cemeteries, dare yourself to attend the Toowong Cemetery night tour where it's said the silhouette of a woman is often spotted wandering the avenue around her grave. 

06. It’s a kayak life for me

Put aside a weekend and go on the two-day Moreton Island tour with Australian Sunset Safaris to enjoy an unforgettable kayak at night. Paddling out to the Tangalooma Wrecks in a transparent kayak lit by LEDs will reveal the underwater world like never before. Drift over the top of the eerie sunken ships as fish and turtles attracted to the light come to say hi.

07. Paint and Sip

Although this one actually involves wine, we’re putting the emphasis on the art side of things. Make it a fun night out with friends or a unique date to show your creative side. Head along to Cork and Chroma in South Brisbane or West End to learn the basic skills of painting as an artist leads you through a step-by-step session. 

08. The gondolas on the wheel go round and round

Take in a 360-degree view of the city as you soar into the sky on the Wheel of Brisbane. Rising almost 60m off the ground, each trip includes four rotations as well as a magical stop at the top to take in the surroundings. 

09. Discover nocturnal wildlife

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary switches to night mode with their after-dark experience, Nocturnal. Wander through the eucalypt plantation on this 90-minute guided tour and see Australian wildlife like never before! Wield your red torch to help you spot koalas, wombats, echidnas, bandicoots and even a tree kangaroo on this exciting nature tour.

10. Swing on down to a jazz bar

Get your groove on at some of Brisbane’s best jazz venues. Brisbane Jazz Club can offer some smooth-sounding jazz and river views. Order soda and wear your dancing shoes.

11. Be serenaded by the local talent

Brisbane is a growing hub of local artists and bands all sporting a unique sound. While many venues around town offer these artists a chance to showcase their talent, the free City Sounds program curates a weekly line-up of artists in parks and Queen Street Mall. Check out the City Sounds guide to check out upcoming artists, and the rest is easy – rock up and enjoy! 

12. Attend a sports game

Almost every weekend throughout the year you’ll see multitudes of fans heading to the local sports ground to cheer on their favourite team. Head along to an AFL, rugby union, rugby league, soccer, cricket, netball or basketball game where the atmosphere promises to be wild. 

13. Skip dinner and see a movie

Running throughout summer evenings, the Moonlight Cinema and American Express open air cinema showcase new releases and classic movies to make those hot summer nights a little more bearable. Get in early to grab one of the bean bag chairs for some extra comfort. Then of course, the Yatala Drive-In and Dendy Powerhouse Outdoor Cinema is open year round. 

14. Strrrrriiiikkkee – you’re out

Calling all kidults who want to introduce a bit of fun into their evenings. Strike Wintergarden in The City offers bowling, laser tag and karaoke for big groups, so no need to sit at home feeling bored on your Saturday nights. 

Story Bridge Climbing

15. Twilight climb with a view

Watch the sunset and the city light up as you climb Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge. Feel the cars race beneath you as you ascend 80m above sea level to snap that perfect shot of the city – we wouldn’t say no to a cheeky selfie either. 

16. Skip bedtime, enjoy art instead

Brisbane’s iconic cultural establishments are made extra special at sundown - with QAGOMA, Brisbane Powerhouse, and Queensland Museum all running after-dark events as part of their Spring and Summer offerings.  

QAGOMA’s signature Up Late events brings their world-class exhibitions to life. Wander the light-filled halls and gaze across the River to the colourful cityscape while flexing your artistic mind with music performances, food and drink and talks by local identities that will stir your curiosity, and make you think twice about the exhibition artworks and themes.  

If live performances are your jam, The Brisbane Powerhouse is home to the best in contemporary art, in all its converted-1920s-power-station-glory. From cabaret and comedy to film and dance, their events calendar is packed with experiences set to surprise, delight and even provoke! Indulge pre-or-post-show at Bar Alto – rich in Italian charm, or feel at one with the river at Mary Maes.  

And last but not least, as the sun goes down, The Queensland Museum comes alive with its Museum After Dark events. Check out their website to find out about the latest events. 

17. Wander the evening markets

Find a hidden gem at the Collective Markets in South Bank every Friday and Saturday night. With an eclectic mix of original art, photography, handmade jewellery, trending fashion and vintage clothing, something special is waiting for you at market prices. 

18. Get your shop on at the markets 

About once a month, the Brisbane Twilight markets are held in King George Square and offer this meet-the-maker event with all stallholders selling 100 per cent locally handmade products. Shop from a huge variety of unique and quality handmade items, grab a quick bite from local food vendors, listen to some live music and involve yourself in a free craft workshop. 

19. It’s a hole in one

It’ll start off friendly but may end in tears as everyone’s competitive side comes out. Visit Hillstone St Lucia for a mini course full of twists and turns or head to Holey Moley in Fortitude Valley or the Wintergarden to follow the traditional putt putt course through a labyrinth of unique holes over two levels that’ll keep you on your toes. 

One female and one male climbers getting ready for cliff climbing game with two staff in blue shirts and Brisbane River sunset as background at Kangaroo Point Cliffs.
Abseil Down The Kangaroo Point Cliffs

20. Climb into the night 

Abandon the fake rocks and indoor rock climbing – get out and test yourself with the real thing on the cliff face of Kangaroo Point Cliffs with Riverlife. It will certainly be a challenge, but scaling the weathered wall with lights behind you will be an unforgettable experience – just don’t look down.

21. Sausage, bread and a sunset

You can barbecue for free almost anywhere in Brisbane, but snagging a barbecue at the Kangaroo Point Cliffs at sunset trounces all other spots. Get there early to secure a table and grill as it fills up quickly with people who have the same great idea. 

22. Eat everything at Mt Gravatt markets

Taste food from around the world made fresh by the experts. Held every Saturday night, the Mt Gravatt Markets offers over 50 street food stalls and live music. Not to worry for our intolerant friends, as there are vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available. 

23. Listen to live music

Check out some music at one of Brisbane's live music venues. You are bound to find a gig that suits your tastes, with Brisbane producing varied artists like The Go Betweens, Powderfinger, Regurgitator, Screamfeeder and more. The Zoo is a great place to start. 

24. Try to escape

Put your heads together and work to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues and escape the room within a 60 minute time frame… or else. Fox in the Box is Europe’s number one escape room company and with six different rooms to challenge you, you’re sure to have a blast. 

25. Throw some axes

Limber up and get ready to hurl some axes. Aim for the bullseye and have some fun along the way. Maniax is the place to go and it also offers food and beverage packages to really get the night going.