Don’t succumb to the winter blues this year and don’t succumb to mid-year school holiday boredom. Winter in our part of the world means milder days but it also means lots of opportunity to get out and about while it’s not stinkin’ hot! And hello school holidays for giving us the perfect excuse. Check out the haven team’s ideas for how to keep busy and entertained this winter while maybe also warming your spirit of adventure. How many of these items can you tick off the list before September 1?


  1. Winter Festival

Held from June 17-July 10 in King George Square, Brisbane CBD, the Winter Festival will feature open-air ice skating, markets, rides, culinary delights and more fun activities for the whole family daily. Winter Festival is free to enter, however tickets are required for the ice skating rink, Toboggan Terror, Powder Pit and Inflatable Slide. As the name suggests, it’s your go-to festival this winter! Visit www.winterfestival.com.au


  1. Suns RESIZECatch a match

Why not warm up via the sheer adrenalin of a sports match? Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host Game 2 of the State of Origin series or catch the Gold Coast SUNS at Metricon Stadium with five home games across the winter months. Don’t miss QClash12 when the SUNS take on cross town rivals Brisbane Lions on July 9. With live music, kick-to-kick and free transport every home game, the Gold Coast SUNS have your Saturday entertainment sorted. Visit www.goldcoastfc.com.au


  1. Eat Street Markets

Food glorious food – isn’t that what winter’s all about? Head to Northshore, Hamilton, for the Eat Street Markets as our top idea for the best all-round casual food options. It’s open Friday and Saturday nights and 11am-3pm on Sundays. The new drive-in and outdoor cinema are added bonuses. Visit www.eatstreetmarkets.com


  1. Picnic in the park

Make use of the parks in your area and plan a picnic with friends or family in the wonderful mild winter weather. Enjoy a game of cricket or badminton, collect old sticks and leaves for a collage or even set up a scavenger hunt. Here’s some inspo: Botanical Gardens, New Farm Park, Kalinga Park, Southbank, Bardon Scenic Reserve, Jubilee Park, Kurrawarra Park in Broadbeach or Burleigh Heads.


  1. shutterstock_405654685 RESIZENight out at the theatre

There’s nothing like dressing up for dinner and a show. These are just some of the shows you can catch at QPAC this winter:

  • Little Shop Of Horrors: June 1-12
  • Wuthering Heights: June 12-19
  • Little Red Riding Hood: June 21-28
  • We will rock you, the musical: July 10-31


  1. Disney on Ice

What better way to celebrate winter and the beginning of the school holidays than watching your favourite Disney characters perform on ice skates? The Brisbane Entertainment Centre will host the Disney On Ice Magical Ice Festival from June 23-27.


  1. Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival

Running from May 14-June 11, the Brisbane Racing Carnival features more than just horse racing. The Treasury Casino & Hotel Ladies’ Oaks Day is a chance to don your fave fascinator and indulge in the best food and wine, while the annual Kingston Town Club Luncheon is a great boys’ day out. Visit www.brc.com.au


  1. shutterstock_11575756 RESIZEIce skating

We may not be blessed with a white winter in Australia, but don’t forget you can enjoy a winter wonderland at any ice skating rink. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, you are sure to have a blast. Check out Iceworld at Boondall and Acacia Ridge, or Iceland on the Gold Coast.


  1. Bushwalking

Make the most of the milder temperatures and get in touch with nature. Some great bushwalks include:

  • Lamington National Park
    Located within the Gold Coast hinterland, the park features many tracks including the Rainforest circuit, Moran Falls track, Rainforest track and the Python Rock track. Extend your stay and set up camp at the Green Mountains Camping Area or at one of the remote campsites if you’re up for a real adventure.
  • Tamborine National Park
    Whether you’re keen to make tracks with a scenic hike or simply enjoy a leisurely picnic with a view, Tamborine National Park is sure to deliver. For something a bit different, head underground to visit the Glow Worm Caves. Visit www.glowwormcavetamborinemountain.com.au
  • Mt Nebo & Mt Glorious
    Located 18km from Brisbane, Mt Nebo and Mt Glorious are part of the beautiful D’Aguilar Range. You’ll be rewarded with views all the way out to Moreton Bay, and if you’re hungry (or thirsty) for more try one of the many cafes or wineries in the area.
  • Springbrook National Park
    Have you ever wanted to explore an ancient volcano, or swim in a rock pool beneath a waterfall? Visit Springbrook’s Warringa Pool or hike through the rainforests up to one of the many lookouts.
  • Arakwal National Park
    Offers a range of activities like fishing, bird watching and picnicking. Don’t forget your binoculars, as the humpback whales will be heading north in the cooler months!


  1. shutterstock_127772522 RESIZEFamily Fun Run

Just like cycling (above), participating in a fun run is a sure fire way to warm yourself up this winter. Brisbane will host a number of fun runs over the coming months, but a few in particular have piqued our interest:

  • The Colour Run: Held at the Gold Coast’s Greenheart Reserve on July 17, the Colour Run is a great way to get outside and get colourful.
  • City2South: Like Sydney’s City2Surf and Melbourne’s City2Sea, City2South will be held in Brisbane on June 5. There are two tracks (5km or 14km) winding from Brisbane’s CBD to Musgrave Park. Enter two adults and register a child for free.
  • Kokoda Challenge: Held on June 5 at the Brookfield Showgrounds, this event pays homage to the famous Papua New Guinea trail, and raises money for the Kokoda Youth Foundation. Nothing will beat your sense of accomplishment after the 15km or 30km journey.


  1. Home movie marathon

Take advantage of the cozy weather to enjoy your favourite movies and snacks from the comfort of your own couch. It sounds like the obvious winter choice, but maybe not-so for those time poor? We implore you to carve out some time to just chill out this winter. Watch (or re-watch) a movie series with the kids from start to finish. Think Harry Potter, Toy Story or The Chronicles of Narnia. Or start (and finish) a gripping TV series like Game of Thrones, Damages or Breaking Bad, if you haven’t already.


  1. Brunswick Heads Old and Gold Festival

A unique festival held at four locations across the Brunswick Heads area, this festival is held on June 11 (over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend) offering fun family activities like horse riding, live music, an ‘all-town’ garage sale, sing-a-longs, and more. Visit www.brunswickheads.org.au


  1. shutterstock_328192013 RESIZETake a bike tour

The mild winter weather makes physical activities that little bit more enjoyable, right?  Brisbane by Bicycle offers daily tours of Brisbane for riders of all skill levels. Alternatively, become your own tour guide and try some of Brisbane’s many bike tracks – CityCycles are available for hire from Newstead to West End and Toowong. Plan your trip at www.cyclingbrisbane.com.au


  1. Curry crawl

Whether you like your curry hot in temperature or taste, a curry crawl is a great way to warm up on the inside when the weather’s cold out. Brisbane’s northern suburbs are where it’s at – start at Masala Rasoi on Gympie Road, then head to Moti Mahal on South Pine Road, and finish up at Spice of India on Gympie Road for some Gulab Jamun (dumplings of milk concentrate dipped in sugar syrup).


  1. Fondue for you?

And on the topic of food, nothing screams winter like smashing loads of chocolate, right?! And the more ooey gooey, warm melted chocolate the better. Yes people, we are talking fondue! Entertaining this winter is as simple as picking up a fondue set, filling it with melted chocolate and inviting over your best mates. Martha Stewart does a great ‘Fondue Party Planner’ guide on her website.


Words // Belinda Glindemann & Anny White


Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.