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Bowling in Brisbane

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by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published March 17th 2015
Best family fun
If you are like me you may not have gone bowling in years, but you might remember it as a fun activity from when you were a kid. Here is a guide to bowling in Brisbane.

Bowls, food and beer

Bowling is a great activity, and most bowling centres provide a food and bowling deal. You can sit back while you bowl with a soft drink, and in most places, a beer or other alcoholic beverage.

Courtesy of Aspley 10 Pin Bowl
Courtesy of Aspley 10 Pin Bowl

Most bowling centres have a cafe or restaurant. This can vary from a basic burgers, hot dogs and chips style take away to a decent cafe with sandwiches, pizza and other meals. Generally though, the cafes cater for family meals.

Getting the best value for money

Bowling is great value for money when you go with a larger group, so it is perfect for families. Each person has 2 goes at knocking their pins before the next player has a go. This means that the more people you have, the longer the game takes. If you go with 2 people the game will be over very quickly, but if you go with many friends it is a nice evening out

More than bowling

Most bowling centres don't restrict themselves to bowling. We have already talked about the food and drinks, but often you have games and other activities. So expect some arcade games, pool and with Strike Bowling at Wintergarden in the city there is also karaoke and laser tag.

But I haven't bowled in years

What makes bowling fun is that it is both easy and fun at the same time. There is no special skill involved, but usually half the game involves your ball going into the gutter or just hitting a single pin, followed eventually by a lucky bowl that gets you a strike.

Go to any bowling alley and you will see both experts and amateurs having a go. Bowling centre staff are usually friendly to people who haven't bowled in a long time and provide you with advice on shoes and balls. So there is no need to feel shy about the fact that you haven't bowled in a long time.


Prices vary between both different bowling alleys and different times. It can cost as much as $18 a game in the most expensive places and $7 to $8 a game at the right time of the day and at the right place. This can be even cheaper when you look for multi-game or game and meal deals.

Basics of bowling

If you've never bowled before or it has been a long time, don't worry, here is a guide to the basics. When you go bowling each person pays for the number of games that they will play. One game is made up of 10 frames. In each frame you have 2 chances to knock down your 10 pins.

Unless you have your own bowling shoes (in which case you won't be reading this) you will need to hire shoes. Don't forget to bring some socks with you.

The ball is usually free with the games. When choosing a ball you are usually choosing both weight and grip size, with the grip size being the most important. The balls are numbered to indicate weight, with the numbers starting at 6 and going up to 16 and should indicate in pounds how much the ball weighs. .

Basically when you pick up the ball it shouldn't feel too heavy or light and the holes should be spaced so that your fingers are in the holes comfortably without have to spread your fingers or squeeze them in. Also the holes shouldn't be too tight. Try a few balls to find one that feels the most comfortable.

Some notable locations for bowling

Aspley 10 Pin Bowl is probably the cheapest bowling alley in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. Look for the different meals, drinks and bowling deals.

Strike Wintergarden is Brisbane's most expensive bowling centre. The dark lighting and music caters for the teenage market well and there is also laser tag and karaoke, so it can be a great night out. Watch out for deals such as the recent $25 unlimited access to all activities on Sunday evenings.

The need to watch The Big Lebowski

There is no better way to get into the right mindset for bowling than watching the movie The Big Lebowski. It also helps if everyone you are bowling with has seen the movie so you can make references to it.

The Big Lebowski (Courtesy of Gramercy Pictures)
The Big Lebowski (Courtesy of Gramercy Pictures)

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Why? It's easy and fun
Where: Various venues throughout Brisbane
Cost: Varies.
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