At first glance, Brisbane may just seem like a simple, sunny holiday destination. With pristine beaches a short drive away and a stunning river running through the CBD, it’s certainly pretty. But there’s more to Brisbane than initially meets the eye.[related_articles]62975,61249,49718[/related_articles]
From its ’70s and ’80s punk rock history to its current burgeoning arts scene (thanks to the likes of QAGOMA), there’s plenty unusual and exciting things to do beyond the postcard perfect tourist spots. Let’s check out what’s lurking beneath the surface.
#1 Take A Nap In A Sleeping Pod
Where: 72 Queen Street, Brisbane
A short stroll to QAGOMA and the surrounding arts precinct, the NEXT Hotel is conveniently located in the centre of the CBD in Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall. And convenience is key at the NEXT Hotel.
More Black Mirror than your average lodgings, the NEXT Hotel is a technological wonderland, providing tablets and downloadable apps that ensure swift service is a mere click away. You can do everything on this handy little device: order room service, alter the air conditioning, turn on the TV or even complete express check out. It’s so easy! Additionally, NEXT Hotel Brisbane offers guests access to four free mini-bar items per day, a stunning rooftop pool and bar and futuristic sleeping pods if you feel like zoning out for a bit.
#2 Hand Feed Some Deer
Where: 6 Lyell Court, Mt Samson
If you feel like experiencing a little bit of what nature has to offer, you should take a road trip. About 40 minutes out of Brisbane city, through Samford Valley along eucalypt-lined roads, past sleeping cows and surrounded by lush, rolling hillsides, you’ll find your way to the Lyell Deer Sanctuary: the cutest place in Brisbane.
Grab a bag of pellets (a bargain at $1 each) and have a blast feeding the doe-eyed, well, doe. Relish in their innocence and beauty as deer upon deer upon deer scramble for your attention and love, pleading with you through their long lashes for more pats and snacks galore. These sweet dears are totally harmless and dreamy. They’re totally safe to feed by hand, and it’s a joy. Andy, the magnificent white stag, is in a paddock to himself, and his regal presence is a sight to behold. But mainly, you really haven’t lived until you’ve seen a deer run.
#3 Drink a coffee in a bomb shelter
Where: 21 Railway Terrace, Milton
Bunker is a specialised coffee and chocolate shop built into a dimly lit World War II bomb shelter. Surrounded by an array of offices and commercial buildings in Milton, Bunker’s unique setting is accurately matched by the goods on offer; utilising organic milks and locally roasted beans, the friendly baristas know what they’re doing. The selection of in house iced coffees/iced chocolates available adds a nice, sweet touch that you can takeaway with you or sip under the ivy.
#4 Geek out at the world’s longest running experiment
Where: Level 2 of the Physics Annexe (Building No. 6), The University of Queensland, St Lucia
If you’re after something little slower, definitely strange and pensive, The Pitch Drop Experiment, housed in the School of Mathematics and Physics at The University of Queensland, is for you. Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running lab experiment, The Pitch Drop Experiment is a sight to behold, or not as the case may be.
In 1927 Physics professor Thomas Parnell started the experiment to demonstrate how everyday materials can expose some oddly surprising properties by heating a sample of pitch and pouring it into a glass funnel with a sealed stem. Once the pitch had settled three years later, the stem was chopped and the pitch slowly dripped out of the funnel…but slowly is an understatement, because to this day only nine drops have formed from the funnel in 83 years.
Available for all to see in a display case at the pretty Brisbane campus of UQ, unlike former Pitch Drop custodian and physicist John Mainstone, who missed all three pitch drops that occurred during his time with the experiment, perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to witness the tenth.
#5 Drink A Cocktail From A Pineapple
Where: 76 Vulture Street, West End
With its bamboo, barrels and blazing cocktails, Jungle, ‘Brisbane’s Authentic Tiki Bar’ has all the tropical flavourings you expect from a Queensland trip but with added attitude. Sip a cocktail out of of a pineapple or sample Jungle’s speciality, the Hurricane. Made for sharing, the Hurricane comes in a fish bowl full of goodness topped off by a flaming rum centre. Head to this hidden, hole in the wall retreat in the West End to be showered with good island holiday vibes, delicious drinks and on weekends, tunes from some chill local DJs.
(Lead image: Tate Johnson/Flickr)
Sarah Holmes is a lifestyle and entertainment writer based in Melbourne.