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Tips for cruisers departing or visiting Brisbane

Sarah on Oct 13, 2015

Tips for cruisers departing or visiting Brisbane

As Queensland gets a larger slice of the cruising pie, Brisbane is fast becoming a busy hub for ships of all lines, both those visiting and those taking on passengers for cruises departing the city. In late 2014 the Brisbane Cruise Terminal welcomed its one millionth passenger since its opening in 2006, and the numbers continue to rise (along with the overall figures for Australia) as the residents of Queensland take to cruising like a crocodile to a billabong.

If you're cruising from Brisbane, or even just stopping there on your way along the coast, you might like to take a look at this handy guide for things to do near the Brisbane cruise terminal whether you have booked a last minute cruise from Brisbane or had your plans locked in well in advance. We've put together a few things you might enjoy within a short walk or taxi ride of the terminals, to make the hours pre-departure a little more exciting.

Brisbane Cruise Terminal, Portside Wharf
The majority of cruise ships visiting or sailing from Brisbane dock at the cruise terminal at Portside Wharf, a modern complex capable of welcoming ships up to 270 metres and also home to an upscale shopping and residential precinct. It's also a 15-minute drive from Brisbane, so if cruisers have an hour or two to kill, they might want to stick around in the area in case of traffic and other delays. Thankfully, there are a few options for things to do near Portside!

Hamilton Recreation Reserve

If you want nothing more than to enjoy a bit of nature before boarding or reboarding, the Hamilton Recreation Reserve is a fun place to relax and people watch. Those with kids will appreciate the playgrounds, climbing structures and balance equipment to keep all ages entertained. With BBQs and shelters, it also makes a great place for a picnic lunch - and it's located just across Hercules Street from the Portside complex. A simple but fun way to spend time in Brisbane!

Eat Street Markets

Within sight of the ships are the Eat Street Markets, which take place every Friday and Saturday night from 4pm to 10pm. You might not be able to make it there there before your ship sails, but if it fits in the schedule they are a fabulous spot to visit, billed as the ultimate foodie extravaganza. From Japanese pizza to oysters, churros, crepes, South American specialties and beyond, you will be amazed by the many flavours of Eat Street. The entry fee is $2.

Shopping at Portside

This is one of the most convenient diversions available to cruisers who don't have time to stray far from the dock! There are a range of shops right there as you step off the ship, peddling anything from fashion to health and beauty to homewares to food. You could get your nails done while you are onshore at KC Nails, get in a pilates class at Studio Pilates, or stock up on snacks at the IGA Supermarket.

Dine before you dash

Portside also offers some great eateries where you can get in a quick meal on land before getting on (or back on) the ship. Amongst the bars, cafes and restaurants you'll find almost anything your tastebuds could desire. There's Indian, Thai, Italian, Mexican, a Movenpick cafe, a chocolate bar, fast food and more.

Eagle Farm Markets

Less than 2 kilometres away, a short walk or taxi ride, are the Eagle Farm Markets next to the Eagle Farm Racecourse. These are only held on Sunday mornings, but if you are lucky enough to be at Portside on that day you should certainly check them out. They are full of gourmet goodies, food stalls and other handmade products like clothes and homewares.

Newstead House

It's a taxi ride of ten minutes or so, but the drive to Newstead House is a lot shorter than one into central Brisbane, with less chance of traffic. This one is worth the trip, especially for history buffs. It is Brisbane's oldest surviving residence and now operates as a house museum to tell the story of life in the area in the 19th century. The museum hosts several collections of art and antiques, and is a fascinating place to spend a few hours.

Multi-User Terminal
If your ship is too big to fit under the bridge, or there is no space at Portside, you might be docked at Brisbane's Multi-User Terminal in the Port of Brisbane complex at the mouth of the river. Unfortunately there is nothing within walking distance but industrial port areas. If your ship departs here, it's best to time your arrival so you can board more or less straight away - or if you are calling in, sign on for a port tour or shuttle into Brisbane central.

Cruises departing from Brisbane include cruises to the South Pacific islands, Sydney and New Zealand.

I have enjoyed visiting as much of the world as possible over the years. Europe and the Mediterranean are personal favourites, but there is so much to see very close to our little Australasian corner of the globe- one of my top travel experiences was snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles in New Caledonia! Cruising is a fantastic way to see it all, and we hope to make booking a cruise easier for both first-timers and old salts. From ship tips to destination news and views, we will keep you up-to-date. Happy cruising!

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