1. South Bank Streets Beach
For us city folk, the greatest invention second to the swimming pool has got to be the man made lagoon, of which Brisbanites are lucky to have located conveniently in the Southbank Parklands. If you can brave the crowds (it’s very popular) then the Streets Beach is the easiest and most convenient way to stay cool on a hot summers day in Brisbane. Not only is there clear water to swim in, there are shady trees to relax under and ice cream vendors to help you cool from the inside.
2. Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and Queensland Art Gallery (QAG)
Anyone who knows a thing or two about art knows that cool climates offer the best chance of preservation. Lucky for us, that means the galleries will always be kept at a nice low temperature. Often in summer, after a busy morning of shopping and a walk across to Southbank from the city, I’m left a little worse for wear. Thankfully walking through the doors of either GoMA or QAG fixes that, and, if you love art like me, it won’t be hard to while away quite a few hours in the cool between the two. Both galleries also feature works where seats are conveniently part of the experience and each gallery has its own cafe and shop. Entry is free and although there is a wide range of work on show in the general gallery spaces, this summer GoMA’s ‘Cai Guo-Qiang: Falling Back to Earth’ and QAG’s ‘California Design 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way’ are two paid exhibitions definitely worth a look! QAG even has works from Gold Coast artists on display and Guo-Qiang’s ‘Heritage’ at GoMA features 99 replica animals drinking from a blue lake for even further chilly thoughts.
3. Roma Street Parklands
A refreshing break from the surrounding chaos of the city, the Roma Street Parklands are a beautiful place to take some time out and relax. The foliage makes the air immediately cooler and fresher and provides a pocket of forest right in the heart of Brisbane. If you’re having a rest day during your busy traveling schedule take a book and some snacks. If you’re early for a train, the parklands are across the road from Roma Street station and are a great opportunity to stretch your legs before a long journey but if you want to rest, there are plenty if seats along the walking paths.
4. DFO Jindalee and Brisbane Airport
DFO is situated at two locations in Brisbane and is a great way to take a break from the summer heat. Both locations offer all the big brands a fraction of the price which is great for those of us looking to save money on holiday shopping for other slightly more adventurous activities. The Airport DFO, just a short drive from the airport, is especially a great place to spend those last few hours before flying out.
5. Iceworld Boondall and Acacia Ridge
If you’re melting in the sweltering summer Iceworld is the perfect place to forget about the heat and acquire a new skill all in the one go! Both locations, boasting Olympic size rinks, run many sessions a day and skate hire is cheap. If you’ve ever been roller blading before then don’t listen to anyone who tells you that ice skating is harder. Having rollerbladed much in my childhood I found ice skating a breeze and quickly left the security of the safety rail, but if you want to play it safe there’s no pressure to enter the middle of the rink. The music, however, and a little coaxing from friends, might soon entice you there.
As a side note: Those of you after a natural watering hole near Brisbane, you are up for a bit of an adventure, as most are located quite a distance from the city centre. Nevertheless, the drives are full of beautiful scenery and if nature is your thing they beat the city’s Streets Beach with their fresh water and surrounding rainforest. Local favourites include JC Slaughter Falls, Cedar Creek and Diana’s Bath to name a few.