Cheap Thrills in the Sunshine State

CityCycle4With the cost of living rising, it is getting increasingly difficult for most to go on holidays or have weekends without spending a lot of money.

I went to Brisbane last weekend to spend the long weekend with my friend Kylie, who had recently moved back to the Sunshine State after a few years in Sydney. While I lived in Brisbane for about six years after university, there are still so many places and experiences that I am yet to discover.

Of course, when you’re wanting a cost-effective getaway, the great outdoors is a great place to start. So here are some cheap thrills that I experienced over the weekend- with my usual food, active, outdoorsy spin!

Eat Street Markets, Hamilton Wharf:

Eat Street markets are a new eating destination inspired by the Asian market scene. The location, situated close to Hamilton wharf shows an arrangement of 50 shipping containers designed in a format to create mini restaurants and a vendor style environment.

A great way to spend a weekend with a selection of street food, drinks, live music and general market stores.


Open: Friday and Saturdays from 4.00pm till 10.00pm and Sunday from 10.00am till 3.00pm

Cost: $2.00 entry fee, Admittedly. prices are higher than normal Asian street markets at around $10.00-20.00a dish

For more info visit:

Jan Powers Farmers Markets, Powerhouse, New Farm:

Jan Powers Farmers Markets are a number of open air farmers markets located around Brisbane. With four locations (Queen St, Powerhouse, Manly and Mitchelton), you can find quality produce and “the most interesting food and plants, kitchen goods and wine, breads, meat, fish and fowl under the sun” at affordable price. Kylie and I visited the markets at the Powerhouse in my old suburb, New Farm. You can grab a delicious coffee and Kylie picked up a box of fresh produce for $25.00 which she says will last her about two weeks.

Powerhouse Market 12Powerhouse Market 7Powerhouse Market 11

Open: Every Saturday from 6:00am-12:00pm

Cost: Free entry and affordable fruit and vegetables and other treats- luckily, there are often free tastings to enjoy as well!

Click below to find out more about:

Jan Powers Farmers Markets

For more info visit:


Lamington National Park, Green Mountains Section (O’Reilly’s)

While this one is a little drive away from Brisbane, the Green Mountains section of Lamington National parks features a range of bushwalks of various lengths and difficulties as well as it’s famous Tree Top walk that leads your through the rainforest canopy on a suspension bridge,15 metres above the ground.

National parks are always a great way to find affordable entertainment where you can have a picnic in the forest.


Cost: Free; There are a range of eco-activities available at cost.

Click below to find out more about:

Moran Falls Walk

Tree Top Walk

For more info visit: or


O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard

O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard is located just outside of Canungra, about 60 minutes south of Brisbane and 35minutes west of the Gold Coast. Built around a Queensland homestead, the first crops were planted in 1998 with the first harvest being in 2000. Varietals grown at O’Reilly’s are Shiraz, Chambourcin, Verdelho, Petit Verdot and Semillon grapes. If you’re a port lover, the Pete’s port is definitely worth a try.


Open: 7 days, 10:00am-4:30pm

Cost: Wine tasting free; cakes, snacks, meals and cheese platters are also available.

Click below to find out more about:

O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard

For more info visit:


Brisbane City Cycle:

City Cycle is a public bike hire system that is available across Brisbane’s city centre. CityCycle has 150 stations available stretching from Newstead to West End and Toowong.

We rode along the river from Newstead to Southbank which is mostly shared paths away from traffic. The bikes were easy-to-ride and very convenient. A great way to see the Brisbane City.


Open: CityCycle bike hiring and returning is available 24 hours 7 days a week.

Cost: Starting from $2.00 for a daily pass, all rides under 30 minutes are free of charge.

For more info visit:


Brisbane CityCat:

Brisbane City Council operates a fleet of 20 CityCats fleets that operate along a network of 25 terminals along the Brisbane River from The University of Queensland at St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton.

They are a great way to see some iconic Brisbane landmarks including the Story Bridge, Southbank foreshore, Kangaroo Point Cliffs and New Farm Park.


Open: CityCats operate seven days a week with regular services every 15 minutes for most of the day, and express routes and more frequent services during peak times.

Cost: $5.60 from St Lucia to Northshore Hamilton, cheaper with a go card.

For more info visit:

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