Streets Beach
The sun is shining, bronzed
people are bouncing about in bikinis and boardies…then everyone packs up and
goes back to the office. Don’t you just love a beach in the middle of the city?
Streets Beach, in South Bank, has got it all: sand, palms, lifesavers
and warm, crystal-clear waters. Open all year round, take a dip then coffee in
the restaurant strip overlooking the lagoon. Perfect. And perfectly Queensland.
Brissy loves its indie
culture and two of its best-loved contemporary performing arts spaces, the Judith
Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts
and the Brisbane Powerhouse, oblige.  The cosy little Judy loves a spot of cabaret
and shines a spotlight on local work, while the Powerhouse hosts film festivals, theatre and is a
major site for the Brisbane Festival. Upcoming visitors include Henry Rollins, blues
guitarist Harry Manx, comedians Judith Lucy and Candy Bowers and classical
pianist Sally Whitwell (judithwrightcentre.com, brisbanepowerhouse.org)
Get a grip on Brisbane and its
surrounds, with views to Moreton Bay, by climbing Brisbane’s architectural
icon, the Story Bridge, 80 meters above the Brisbane River. If you think
bridge climbs are for pre-schoolers, go one up and abseil down the pylons (storybridgeadventureclimb.com.au)
If jumping off a high bridge isn’t your idea of a cool time, instead,
work your photography and climbing skills simultaneously when you climb the bridge
with a professional photographer who’ll help capture the panorama, using your
own camera equipment. Photography climbs
are held monthly (blue-dog.com.au)
For aimless ambling in the sunshine, South Bank Lifestyle Markets
are flush with craft, food, fashion and homewares. Open Friday evenings, all
day Saturday and Sunday on Stanley St, the stalls get a decided fashion bent on
the first Sunday of the month with the addition of the Young Designer Markets, where you can buy direct from the designer
(southbankmarket.com.au, youngdesignersmarket.com.au). Saturday nights in the West
End get a whole lot funkier when the West
End Twilight Markets
are in town, with artisan stalls, providores and free music
by indie performers (cnr Wilson & Boundary St, 2nd and 4th Saturday of the
month, westendtwilightmarkets.com)
 
For the crush of your classic band pub or the roar of the
latest club, you’ll be asking your taxi to take you to Fortitude Valley. The
Valley’s spit-and-sawdust days are fading as the latest openings combine sexy
bites with well-crafted drinks: take a look at the late-night supper club La Ruche (680 Ann St) and its neighbour
the Bowery Bar (676 Ann St). Veteran Cru Bar is still regarded as one of the best wine bars in
town.
Oh Hello! gathers all the pretty
twentysomethings in one place (621 Ann St) while at ManaBar, you can drink cocktails (for the adult in you) while
hammering video games (for the inner child) (420 Brunswick St).  
Archive Beer Boutique
Keep an
eye out for Alfred
& Constance
, two heritage houses revamped to
include a gastro pub, underground cellar and late-night dessert café by the
Limes Hotel crew, opening July (cnr Alfred & Constance St). Other hotspots across the city include
Woollongabba for Matt Moran’s tapas and rum cocktails at edgy Canvas, its new little sister, Public Bar & Kitchen in the CBD (400
George St) and the West
End’s The End (73
Vulture St).
CRAFT
BEER REVIVAL
Real beer drinkers, rejoice! Brisbane is enjoying a
revival of craft beers, the charge is led by the West End’s Archive Beer Boutique (100 Boundary St,
West End). Add to your list The Scratch
for Gold Coast operation Burleigh Brewing’s My
Wife’s Bitter
(8/1 Park Rd, Milton) and newcomer’s Super Whatnot’s grunged-out wine bar, which keeps Brissy brewers
Bacchus on tap (Burnett La, CBD).