October in Brisbane is the perfect time to embrace that sweet spring sunshine. Whether its spooky Halloween themed events or grazing glorious food at market stalls, Queensland’s sunny capital is always up for a good time. Here’s our pick of the seven best ways to pass the time this October.
#1 Be afraid, be really quite afraid
Warner Bros. Movie World on the Gold Coast has an annual Halloween series of events they call Fright Nights, during which their teams of expert “extreme experience” makers craft terrifying live versions of horror movies. There are mazes, panic rooms to escape from, and horror precincts to explore. Every year the themes are different: this year there’s a Friday The 13th maze through which hockey-loving killer Jason will stalk you and a Zombieland precinct with, yeah, lots of zombies. Also, for the first time this year there’s a scary movie film festival so you can even be afraid while sitting down. Fright Nights run every Friday and Saturday through October.
#2 Clowns are always jolly
While we’re on the subject of scary, the creators of the Hunted series of “interactive horror experiences” are bringing their immersive fright-fests on the road and will be in Brisbane from October 7 to October 15. Their latest event is called ‘Sideshow’ and it involves being trapped in a time-locked circus by a psychotic clown, so if that’s your idea of a good time you should definitely check it out here.
#3 History is full of murders
One last bit of spooky entertainment: the organisers of Brisbane’s ghost tours, which normally take in locations like Boggo Road Gaol and Toowong Cemetery, are staging a ‘Bloody Brisbane’ crime tour of the CBD. During the hour and a half walk through the city you’ll hear true stories from its history about the Mad Butcher of Queen Street, the shootout at the Regent Cinema, and the death of Dundalli. The tour is based on the books Bloody Brisbane: Murder In The River City volume one and two. We’ve got two whole volumes of local grisly murders, you hear that Sydney?
#4 Dust off your lederhosen
Brisbane’s Oktoberfest is the biggest in the country, spread over two weekends (October 9-11 and 16-18) at the RNA Showgrounds. Like all Australian versions of the Bavarian tradition it remains true to the original’s celebration of all things German and beer-y, with plenty of dancers in lederhosen and dirndls and events like the Bavarian Strongman and Miss Oktoberfest competitions. There are a lot of schnitzels to eat and leg-slapping dances to dance, and of course plenty of German beer to drink.
#5 Enjoy some Italian cinema
Brisbane’s Italian Film Festival takes place at the Palace Barracks cinemas from October 1 to October 18. This year 32 Italian movies are on show, including Black Souls (a crime thriller set on a goat farm), Mia Madre (a comedy starring Margherita Buy and John Turturro), and Tale Of Tales (a surreal fairytale fantasy starring Salma Hayek and Vincent Cassel). The closing film is a special restoration of The Conformist, Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 political thriller set in Mussolini’s Rome.
#6 Eat all the food
Catch a ferry to Hamilton Wharf on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as Sunday afternoons, for the Eat Street Markets. Eat Street is an Asian-style market held off Macarthur Avenue with a huge variety of food from around the world on offer, including Dutch poffertjes, French crepes, and German sausages as well as stands serving Thai, Indian, Malaysian, and Hungarian delights. There are also cronuts because of course there are. Live bands play at Eat Street, several bars are on-site, and dogs are welcome.
#7 Remember the rules of handball
The New Farm Handball Festival was first held in 2012, bringing 500 people together to remember the rules from their school days and bounce a tennis ball in one-on-one competitions as well as enjoying some “casual foursquare”. It’s being revived this year under the banner of “Bouncing Back” to coincide with Mental Health Week, and as well as handball games will feature music, a barbecue, and speakers talking about good mental health. It takes place at The Powerhouse in New Farm on Sunday October 11 from 9am. If you need a refresher, official rules are online here.
(Lead image: Eat Street Markets/Facebook)
Jody has written for The Big Issue, Brisbane Times, and Rock Paper Shotgun. He is currently planning a trip to South Korea, where he will enjoy rich cultural traditions like K-pop and very fast wi-fi.