Most people visit Brisbane—the capital of Australia’s ‘sunshine state’—expecting non-stop sun and outdoor fun, but if you happen to find yourself in Brisbane on a rainy day, never fear, there’s plenty to keep you entertained indoors.
Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
Overlooking the Brisbane River at South Bank, the Gallery of Modern Art, or ‘GOMA’ as it’s known, is a great place to spend a rainy day. Since its opening in 2006, GOMA has attracted world-class exhibitions of artists including Andy Warhol, Valentino, Picasso, Matisse, as well as the Asia Pacific Triennial, and Surrealism exhibit.
GOMA’s Friday night ‘up late’ events are a great way to enjoy the art, a glass of wine, and live music by the best local, national and international musicians and bands.
Balmoral and Hawthorne cinemas
If it’s really hot, or wet, Brisbane folk love going to the cinema. So if you’re thinking of checking out a film on a rainy day, avoid the megaplexes and head over to the beautifully quaint, retro cinemas in Balmoral and Hawthorne.
The Hawthorne cinema first opened in the 1940s, and the Bulimba cinema started out as an open-air movie theatre way back in 1912. Both these boutique cinemas have an old-world charm, the warmth of a family-run business, and movie prices that seem to be decades old!
Brisbane PowerhouseThe Brisbane Powerhouse is a striking landmark on the New Farm riverfront. This former power station lay dormant for decades as an abandoned, derelict building, before being reincarnated in 2000 as a cutting edge multi-arts venue.
On a rainy day, why not kick back with a selection of theatre, music, comedy, film and visual arts? While the majority of events at the Powerhouse are ticketed, there’s art hanging from almost every wall (in fact even the walls themselves are works of art), and on weekends there’s often free music and comedy on the Turbine Platform stage.
For travellers keen to learn more about the history of the building, you can book a site tour for next to nothing.
If you travel to Brisbane and find yourself caught in the rain, escape to another world—even another universe—at the Brisbane Planetarium. Open Tuesday–Sunday, the planetarium has a variety of daily shows suitable to all ages.
The main attraction of the planetarium is its giant Cosmic Skydome that brings the wonder and magic of the universe into sharp focus. It also features an observatory, gift shop, and educational displays on the history of space travel and our solar system. Shows include the popular ‘Saturday Night Live’ guided tour of the universe, as well as:
When it’s cold and wet outside and all you want is a warm coffee, hot chocolate or chai tea, there’s no better place than Brisbane’s hippest bohemian suburb: West End. This vibrant, multicultural area of Brisbane is popular amongst artists, students, and tourists alike. It’s packed with cute cafés, an array of international cuisine, hip bars, and a few little nooks and crannies to hide away in.The Three Monkey’s Coffee and Teahouse is famous for its selection of fresh cakes, giant chai tea ‘bowls’, and its unique layout that create a sense of privacy and romance, even when the place is packed. Other West End highlights include:
If you need more tips on things to do in Brisbane, check out Flight Centre’s travel guide on Brisbane for more information.