Brisbane’s vibrant precincts offer the ultimate delegate experience

Growing at a rate faster than any other Australian capital city, with new businesses and innovations being created all the time, Brisbane is on an unstoppable path

When delegates arrive in Brisbane, they will find a warm and welcoming city that continues to offer more options for the ultimate visitor experience.

Brisbane is well and truly open for business. Growing at a rate faster than any other Australian capital city, with new businesses and innovations being created all the time, Brisbane is on an unstoppable path.

From the cultural, food and adventure experiences in the heart of the city to the rolling hills of the Scenic Rim and out to the tides of Moreton Bay, Brisbane has a range of options to curate a unique stay for each delegate.

Nestled around the Brisbane River, the city is home to thriving and varied precincts each with its own personality and charm.

Want a foodie jaunt through inner city precincts? Can do. Perhaps your delegates are keen to watch the cricket at iconic venue, The Gabba, before hitting the city’s nightlife? Brisbane’s got it covered. And there are also options in the surrounding areas where visitors can experience the natural beauty of bucket list experiences.

Read on for an insider guide to Brisbane’s diverse precincts.

South Bank Cultural Precinct

Not only is the city’s cultural heart South Bank home to the multi award-winning Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, it’s also home to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), as well as some of the city’s best restaurants and 17 hectares of parklands and open green spaces.

There’s no better way to start the morning off than with a leisurely walk or run in the sunshine. Accessible from South Bank, the CBD or Howard Smith Wharves, delegates are spoilt for choice with walking and cycling tracks along the river’s edge.

After or between sessions, delegates can enjoy the year round sunshine and stroll through the lush riverfront gardens – the Riverside Green is often activated with pop up movies, bars or live performances. For a riverfront meal, there’s every cuisine to choose from with favourites including Otto, Popolo, Ole or for more casual dining head to Southbeach Social for a slice of Palm Springs.

For those seeking out Brisbane arts scene, adjacent to the South Bank parklands, delegates can explore QAGOMA with a line-up of blockbuster exhibitions including ‘Air’, opening from 26 November 2022 until 23 April 2023 and Japan’s Mori Art Museum’s Chiharu Shiota: The Soul Trembles. The gallery also offers First Artist Cultural Experiences, where guests have exclusive access to the gallery for an immersive guided tour of First Nations culture through art, music, native food, dance and storytelling.

For more of a culture fix, delegates can catch a live performance at QPAC with a constant range of international and national performances.

Just across the road from QPAC is the thriving Fish Lane. This has been inner-city renewal at its best, converting a vacant railway underpass into a quirky entertainment and dining precinct with public art and more than 3000 plants. Not to mention the many cocktail and wine bars and the immensely popular east Asian Southside restaurant or local favourite Julius Pizzeria.

A short walk south and delegates can find themselves in the eclectic suburb of West End, where arts meet dining and culture. Into this mix is the home-grown spirits still, Brisbane Gin Distillery. This Montague Road venue has an onsite Gin School where visitors can create their own spirit and enjoy tasting flights while doing so.

The best part? Delegates can stay in the heart of the action, with a range of accommodation options including the luxury Emporium South Bank Hotel and the Novotel South Bank. For more space and for an option of self-catering, the Arise Apartments offer a range of apartment hotel options across South Bank, South Brisbane and West End.

With everything just a leisurely stroll away, including the CBD just a short walk across the river, it’s truly an unparalleled offering for delegates.

Central Business District 

This is the heart of Brisbane’s shopping and corporate district where the hum of activity is once again thriving.

The Queen Street Mall is an open-air stretch that spans from the luxury boutique precinct of Edward Street, almost to the Brisbane River. Here visitors will find more than 700 retailers from high-end to fast fashion.

There are also hundreds of options to eat and drink the days and nights away. There are charming bars such as the award-winning The Gresham Bar, tucked away gem Death & Taxes, and interactive cocktail-making classes at the Sixteen Antlers rooftop bar at the top of the Pullman & Mercure Hotel.

There are dining spots to suit every taste and budget from fast food, to cafes like hidden laneway gem Felix for Goodness and coffee specialists Strauss to acclaimed dining options including contemporary Sichuanese and Cantonese Donna Chang, paddock to plate Three Blue Ducks, French brasserie BANC, and long-lunch specialist Rothwell’s Bar & Grill.

Visitors can learn more about the city, its culture and history at the Museum of Brisbane. The MoB celebrates the city’s contemporary arts with exhibitions around local paintings, sculptures, fashion and design, located in the iconic Brisbane City Hall.

As a city best experienced for its liveability and lifestyle, just a short walk from the Queen Street Mall is the famed Roma Street Parklands. This 16-hectare green zone that makes the most of Brisbane’s subtropical climate offering delegates a tranquil escape right in the heart of the city.

Accommodation options are plentiful. There are options from all the major operators including the W BrisbaneHyatt Regency BrisbaneHiltonSofitel Brisbane Central and many others, where your guests will be in the centre of the action, and can easily walk across to South Bank.

Howard Smith Wharves

Converted 1930s shipping docks have been transformed into one of Brisbane’s most thriving dining and entertainment precincts.

Spanning more than a kilometre of the Brisbane River, the Howard Smith Wharves precinct incorporates one of the city’s most popular walkways and bike paths. This is a premium spot to take in the beauty and relaxed lifestyle of Brisbane.

Starting at the stunning meeting rooms overlooking the city skyline of sustainability-focused independent hotel Crystalbrook Vincent or one of the Wharves’ event spaces, delegates are then well-placed for pre-dinner waterfront bar Mr Percival’s.

Then comes the choice of one of the many leading restaurants. Contemporary Greek food at Greca? Japanese at Yoko? Or maybe Cantonese institution Stanley.

Howard Smith Wharves are also a launch point for River to Bay cruises out to the pristine islands of Moreton Bay. In less than an hour on the fast jet boat, your guests can spot turtles or dolphins, or swim and snorkel around the iconic Tangalooma Wrecks. For those wanting to stay overnight, the Tangalooma Island Resort has full-service accommodation and conference facilities suitable for every function, along with over 80 land and sea activities to entertain guests.

Woolloongabba 

For sporting fans, The Gabba is synonymous with Brisbane – but there is so much more to the area.

Woolloongabbajust south of the river as it curves around the central business district, is being rejuvenated with a range of restaurants, bars and places to be.

Diverse function spaces are available at the newly and beautifully restored 1888 Princess Theatre, where performance arts coexist with functions and festivities.

From there, your guests are close by to the restaurant hotspot of Logan Road with its rooftop bars and hidden speakeasies. From Indian cuisine and Portuguese egg tarts, to pies and coffees, the area has an option to suit every taste bud.

For premium dining, check out French restaurant C’est Bon, or the contemporary Italian Trattoria Sasso Italiano.

And for the sporting true believers there is a busy calendar of cricket, AFL and other matches at The Gabba – the future home of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Rest and recover at one of the conveniently located hotels, such as The Point at Kangaroo Point, where the rooftop bar offers spectacular views across Brisbane’s central business district.

Fortitude Valley

Urban renewal was also the genesis of another of Brisbane’s most popular precincts, James Street in Fortitude Valley. Famed for its boutiques and the contemporary chic, the Fortitude Valley strip also has a range of celebrated restaurants.

Starting from much-loved Gerard’s Bistro and Cru Bar & Cellar, the street’s dining offerings span baked goods and sushi to five-star selections.

Fortitude Valley is Brisbane’s late-night entertainment centre, but there is also a hive of activity during the day.

Premium event spaces in the area range from contemporary meeting rooms and function spaces at the Fortitude Music Hall, which is also one of the city’s best-loved live performance venues. Another in the precinct is the intimate Tivoli, a live music and performing arts veteran in the city.

For a different corporate event, try City Winery’s wine blending experience, where you can sit in a converted warehouse surrounded by barrels and learn about the wine industry and its delicious products. Here, there are private function spaces available for groups of up to 150 people.

And when it’s time to sleep – even if the Valley doesn’t – choose from the renowned Calile Hotel on James Street, the 5-star luxury Hotel X, the eclectic Ovolo Valley or the urban chic The Constance.

Brisbane surrounds

Within an hour of the vibrant Brisbane city centre, visitors can be experiencing the diversity of the region.

To the north of Brisbane is the Moreton Bay region, where the coast meets the hinterland. Delegates can explore the stunning Bribie Island on a G’Day Adventure Tours 4WD journey or head inland to Ocean View Estates winery. There’s also the waterfront Sandstone Point Hotel with event and function spaces, dining options and live performances.

Another entertainment and function hotspot in the region is the Eatons Hill Hotel, where international music acts meet a restaurant, nine bars, expansive grassed areas, children’s playgrounds and 16 function areas.

For a retro chic experience, try the pop-up umbrellas, curved outdoor seating and stripped tables of The Komo in Redcliffe. Facing the blue waters of the bay, the Komo has Redcliffe’s largest conference space and prides itself on its charcoal rotisserie dining.

For more al fresco waterfront, The Belvedere Hotel has relaxed outdoor dining, with additional function spaces.

Follow the coast south from Brisbane and you will find the Redlands Coast. While a popular yachting and sailing hub, it is also home to much of Queensland’s koala population in the surrounding hills.

It is within these surrounds that Sanctuary by Sirromet hosts events and corporate retreats, adjacent to its Sirromet Winery and Cellar Door. The onsite luxury glamping has 18 retreats nestled into the paperbark bushland. This sustainably operated accommodation is complemented by function spaces for small meetings or events up to 300 people.

Further west of Redlands lies the Scenic Rim, recognised as one of Lonely Planet’s Top 10 ‘must-visit’ regions in the world. Boasting breath-taking natural beauty and six protected national parks, Scenic Rim has an abundance of walks and hikes.

An overnight stay to take it all in is ideal. The off-grid, eco-retreat Wander @ The Overflow 1895 has premium accommodation pods positioned to capture sweeping views to the mountains, valleys and Lake Wyaralong.

Another stunning option is the Hazelwood Estate within the World Heritage-listed Lamington National Park, which has 16 eco-friendly King Farm cabins and a three-bedroom luxury pavilion. In addition to the operational Wagyu beef and polo station, there are also conference and cocktail facilities to suit 14 people to 150.

Spicers Hidden Vale, by ecotourism pioneer the Spicers group, offers a heritage collection of cabins and pavilions and provides luxury with a warm country welcome, with onsite paddock-to-plate restaurant Homestead awarded two Chef Hats in the 2021 Australian Good Food Guide.

For more information or inspiration on hosting your next event in Brisbane, contact the Brisbane Business Events team at businessevents@brisbane-eda.com.au