by Jodi Panayotov
From the inner reaches of Brisbane city and river to the bay, bush and beyond, here are 20 of Brisbane's best barbecue spots:
With views across to the old woolstores of Teneriffe, Bulimba's new schmick park gives a unique perspective to barbecuing. Along with its gas barbecues and shiny new picnic tables it also has a decent sand-based playground, an off leash dog park adjacent and is just a short stroll to the Bulimba Ferry.
The inner city's best kept secret, this little jacaranda festooned pocket park on the river between GOMA and the Go-Between Bridge has a couple of gas barbecues in a modern pavilion and another beside an old-fashioned rotunda on the other side of the William Jolly Bridge. There's also a patch of grass and great sunset views to be had, with the option of dropping a line in the river to catch dinner.
Kangaroo Point is BBQ central, boasting stunning city views from several vantage points. One is Kangaroo Point Park itself, the new sculpture dominated patch of green between St Mary's and the Cliffs Café, another also on upper River Terrace with a handful of barbecues strung out along the clifftops.
Lower River Terrace
Head down the cliff steps or drive into Lower River Terrace, Kangaroo Point, where the riverfront promenade is home to 4 barbecues and a batch of picnic shelters, sandwiched between the Riverlife Centre and the water dragon-infested boardwalk, backed by the dramatic scape of the Kangaroo Point cliffs and easily located by the red Expo sculptures that spring up in their midst.
At the far reach of Kangaroo Point in the shadow of the Story Bridge's south pylon is this exclusive little park featuring a maritime themed playground, its own tidal beach and a couple of barbecues. One is on the city side and the other can be found under the massive canopy of two ancient fig trees facing the upper reaches of New Farm.
The attractions of the southern hemisphere's largest city park are many, which is why the handful of barbecue spots down by the duck pond by the vast expanse of Celebration Lawn are prized. Other options are dotted throughout the parkland's many precincts – look out for BBQs near Weeping Fig Avenue, Aridland, Sunset Glade and Spring Hill Corner.
As inner city barbecues go this one comes with all the trimmings – a tropical lagoon like setting dotted with timber barbecue bures adjacent to a sandy beach perfect for an evening dip and with city views. It's these same attractions that make this Brisbane's most sought after barbecue place so get in early.
The century old fig tree park that hems the river between St Lucia and West End has 2 barbecue spots comprising a gas barbecue and picnic pavilions. One is on the Hill End Terrace stretch next to the popular 'frog park' for little ones and the other on Orleigh St towards the ferry terminal, both with views to St Lucia on the other side.
Enter via a grand avenue of trees to the east side's best kept secret, Colmslie Beach Reserve, an exclusive riverfront grove of shaded picnic pavilions, barbecues, a little river beach and a character filled playground featuring colourful Miro-esque sea sculptures. As a bonus right next door Raptis Seafood sells good value trawler fresh seafood perfect for barbecuing.
Brisbane's oldest park is so many things to so many people that barbecues play second fiddle to the fig tree encased playground, rose garden, bandstand and neighbouring arts centre The Brisbane Powerhouse. Yet along the river amongst the weekend picnicking crowds and in the shadow of fig trees are three gas powered BBQs. If these are taken there are some shiny new ones near the ferry terminal & for those with children a couple adjacent to the playground.
East Brisbane's gracious memorial park on the river is bookended by a quaint historical croquet club and bowls club and features a World War I memorial, the remnants of a public swimming pool and avenue of palms. Its barbecues have views across to New Farm and make a more serene alternative to some of the sought after inner city spots. There's also a bonus revamped playground.
An old coral crushing plant and cement works once occupied the splendid waterfront site of the south side's showcase park. Industrial relics of those days are scattered throughout like giant gothic sculptures and the modern well-maintained barbecues hold prime position down on the riverfront overlooking Indooroopilly island. This is a fab family spot with playgrounds, an aquativity zone, mini farm and bike tracks.
Head south from Manly and the sleepy hamlet of Lota is home to a fantastic waterfront park, once Lota Camping Grounds. As well as bike and walking paths and a first class playground for all ages, overlooking the bay are some white timber barbecue pavilions that make it worth a visit alone.
At the northern tip of the Sandgate peninsula just before the Hornibrook Highway bridge is this local's favourite park, a grassy waterfront reserve that incorporates a quirky sea-themed playground, dog park and where the all important barbecues come with their own rustic pavilions and take pride of place with sea vistas.
Along a pebbly creek bed in this bushy inner western gorge can be found some rustic wooden picnic tables and wood fire barbecues. Bonus extras include an Aboriginal art trail, walking tracks, bush chapel and a resident population of white cockatoos.
A gigantic picturesque eucalypt clearing surrounded by creek beds and bush, this gorgeous grassy treed expanse has a handful of wood fired barbecues scattered throughout, with plenty of space between. Pre or post barbecue there are some great bushwalks to do, the best in the inner west.
The Sherwood Arboretum is the result of some pioneering foresight, a splendid people's river frontage park that is a century old and incorporating ponds that are home to a variety of birds, an historic avenue of trees, river boardwalk, playgrounds and some gas barbecues and picnic tables.
Drive a little north form Brisbane to find one of the most scenic and tranquil barbecue spots of all. On the shores of Lake Samsonvale a gum tree grove has been preserved and equipped with a series of barbecue and picnic nooks, each with their own parking spot. The lake itself is home to black swans and there's a playground in the mix.
Adjacent to Redcliffe's best swimming spot Sutton Beach is this recently revamped park with shiny new beachside barbecues. A bonus is the nearby Settlement Cove lagoon, a short hike around the bend and a couple of age related playgrounds nearby for children.
State of the art white barbecue pavilions along a paved promenade, an historic jetty, a kids fortress-themed park and sandy sheltered swimming cove make this one of the bay's best barbecue sites. Entrance is via Upper Moora Park with a driveway down to a car park that quickly fills on weekends.
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