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5 Brisbane Suburbs Worth Visiting

Home > Brisbane > Day Trips | Family | Outdoor | Unusual Things to do | Walks | Lists
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Published March 22nd 2015
Brisbane can surprise you
Having adventure and fun in the suburbs

Brisbane suburbs can appear to be a desert of suburban houses, KFCs, with the occasional Westfield built oasis. However Brisbane is often a city of surprises and there are a number of suburbs worth visiting, from close to the city to outlying regions.

Escape to the suburbs

Here are 5 suburbs ranging from close to the city, to those further afield that are definitely worth a visit.

Best Seaside Suburb: Sandgate

My friends from Wynnum and Manly might debate this, however, Sandgate and its neighbouring suburbs of Shorncliffe and Brighton form a lovely coastal strip that has long been a beach side destination for Brisbanites.

Things to do in Sandgate

The beach itself is not a great swimming beach, more of a place to go for a wade in the shallow waters. However, the area attracts people fishing. Since the closure of the old Shorncliffe pier, people tend to head out in the direction of Brighton for fishing. However a pier is being built and Shorncliffe will once again become a major attraction for fishing.

The foreshore in Sandgate with the old pier in the background (Courtesy of Brisbane City Council)
The foreshore in Sandgate with the old pier in the background (Courtesy of Brisbane City Council)

Sandgate is the best place in Brisbane for kite surfing as the bay is very shallow, meaning it is easy to recover if your kite stalls. It also attracts sea kayakers to some extent. Nundah Creek is also an attraction for kayakers and canoeists who wish to visit the Boondall Wetlands by water.

Sandgate is the oasis of fine dining in the area. Obviously you can buy fish and chips and eat them on the beach. However there are a number of notable dining establishments, with 4017 Bar & Grill serving great gourmet meals. Another notable bar is the Full Moon Hotel with views overlooking the ocean from up on the hill.

Sandgate's historic town hall is often host to concerts and music festivals, making Sandgate the cultural hub of the area.

Sandgate Townhall (Courtesy of Brisbane City Council)
Sandgate Townhall (Courtesy of Brisbane City Council)

Hippest Suburb: Paddington

West End and Fortitude Valley try to be cool and that is why they are not. Paddington on the other hand is just on the cusp of total gentrification as it becomes the little working class suburb that made good.

Paddignton is the working class Brisbane suburb that made good
Paddignton is the working class Brisbane suburb that made good

Things to do in Paddington

Walk along Given Terrace to look for the latest and hippest of everything. Be aware that this is a fairly hilly road, but this doesn't stop those who must shop until they drop. One shopping highlight in Paddington is that it is the best place to buy trendy retro items from the many second hand stores and op shops.

Paddington is the home of many retro and secondhand shops
Paddington is the home of many retro and secondhand shops

Paddington also manages to be the place for cafes and causal dining in a trendy atmosphere that attracts a young crowd.

Paddington Street
Paddington Street

Trendiest Suburb: Bulimba

Actually the label that I want to use is Brisbane's Yuppiest suburb. A lot of people assume that this is Teneriffe, but you will find a very diverse crowd living there. Other people see New Farm as the trendy place to be, but it doesn't quite match Bulimba. Pop into Bulimba on the weekend and you will see lots of young people, especially married couples with children, usually well dressed even just to sit in the park. If you are young, professional and moving up in the world, this is the place to live and be.

Things to do in Bulimba

The main thing to do in Bulimba is, earn enough money to buy a house in the area. Yes it is that sort of suburb, yet it more than that.

The historic Bulimba Warf
The historic Bulimba Warf

Visitors head there to walk the Bulimba Heritage Trail or eat at a Trendy Restaurant or Cafe. Worth jumping on a ferry for the journey down to Bulimba.

Best outlying suburb: Redcliffe

Out in Moreton Bay Shire lies Brisbane's original settlement that was quickly abandoned for a better settlement on the banks of the Brisbane river. Sixty years later it was re-established as a seaside resort town and that vibe still exists today. With many wealthier people moving there it has become more gentrified and even the famous Jetty Cafe has been transformed from a basic fish & chip shop into a proper cafe. On weekends it really comes alive as people from around the area come to play and shop at the Sunday markets.

Things to to do in Redcliffe

People go to Redcliffe for three main reasons. The first is to go to the beach. Though not many people do so, the best swimming is at Sutton's beach, while most people prefer to swim at the artificial lagoon. The adventurous can go kite surfing, kayaking and sky diving. Other prefer a relaxed walk along the sea shore or even a cycling.

The beach at Redcliffe
The beach at Redcliffe

The other reason is to eat. Redcliffe is home to a wide variety of restaurants and cafes, including the upmarket and innovative Brick run by a young upcoming chef or the more mainstream Mon Komo Hotel. Many people go to eat at the famous Jetty Cafe, but while the name and location is the same, it is now more upscale than its famous predecessor. Don't worry though, Reddy Kebabs has stepped in to fill this gap by providing great seafood packs along with their offering of kebabs. Overall Redcliffe has food and dining for every taste and budget.

The third attraction is the Sunday markets. Be aware if you choose to visit Redcliffe on a Sunday the traffic is bad and the parking difficult, but it is still worth going. You can avoid most of the traffic hassles by taking a bus from Sandgate.

While at Redcliffe don't forget to walk along Bee Gee Way, a tribute to the band the Bee Gees, who came to fame while they lived in Redcliffe.

Bee Gee Way, Redcliffe
Bee Gee Way, Redcliffe

Best Bush Suburb: The Gap

There are many bushland reserves dotted around the greater Brisbane area and there are also many suburbs backing on the Mt Coot-tha, however, The Gap is the stand out location because it also backs onto Walkabout Creek and D'Aguilar National Park as well. It is also the suburb that is most prepared to fight to keep their relaxed and sleepy lifestyle.

Things to do in The Gap

The main thing to do in The Gap is to enjoy nature. Walkabout Creek has a number of little hikes, a cafe, zoo and now the gateway to head down to the Enoggera Reservoir for paddling, fishing and swimming.

Enogerra Reservoir
Enogerra Reservoir

It can also be the gateway for some more serious hikes, including walking the circumference of Enoggera Reservoir, hiking the back of Mt Coot-Tha or heading up into the D'Aguilar National Park

Hiking at Enoggera Reservoir
Hiking at Enoggera Reservoir
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Your Comment
Redcliffe is not a Brisbane suburb. it is a city
by derek (score: 1|12) 2743 days ago
The Jetty Cafe has not had that name for a couple of years. It is called Preece's now.
by attol (score: 0|8) 2743 days ago
Get out more, check out Mt Cotton for beautiful bush and hills also Sheldon is acreage with loads of bush and trees. West End is way more hippy than Paddington which is Trendy as opposed to hippy. Pullenvale and Brookfield are also two beautiful hilly and bushy suburbs of brisbane. Who picked the best six needs to have a look at more areas of Brisbane that are better than the ones chosen. regards Julia
by jujuh (score: 0|4) 2742 days ago
I've just moved here so this is super helpful for me, thank you. I noticed some negative comments- something I have experienced being cultural here already. Put a smile on your dial Brisbane-ites! Complaining is bogan. Just be nice to people offering a service or advice, it's not hard :)
by Lolly (score: 0|4) 2200 days ago
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