Jersey Boys is on stage at QPAC from July.
Jersey Boys is on stage at QPAC from July. Jeff Busby

City comes in from the cold

THIS season, Brisbane is taking on the world.

Visitors will enjoy a calendar of internationally acclaimed arts, cultural and sporting events, a host of new world-class retailers and the emergence of intimate European-style nightspots.

Art and Culture

Rush head-first into a colourful ecosystem of insects with Cirque du Soleil's big-top creation, OVO. This family-friendly production opens on July 14.

Opera Australia is returning to Brisbane. QPAC will host two spectacular and engaging operas: The Magic Flute from today until June 8, and A Midsummer Night's Dream from June 1-9.

Enjoy hit songs from the Four Seasons at the musical Jersey Boys from July 13-October 14.

Celebrate Queensland produce, farmers and chefs at the inaugural food festival, delectable, from July 16-29.

The Queensland Art Gallery will unveil a Portrait of Spain: Masterpieces from the Prado, an exclusive survey of the history of Spain and Spanish art from the 16th century to the early 20th century, from July 21-November 4.

Making their Australian debut, the Hamburg Ballet, the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hamburg State Opera will charm audiences when they take to the stage at The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from August 23.

Uncover the mysteries of ancient Egyptian civilisation at Mummy: Secrets of the Tomb, at the Queensland Museum South Bank and receive an insight into life, death and the afterlife of the mummy of Nesperennub: a prized treasure of the British Museum. The exhibit is open until August 19.

The vibrant Brisbane Festival in early September has an exciting program of music, theatre, dance and free entertainment.

BIGSOUND from September 12 draws musicians, buyers and industry experts who host presentations and live performances.

Sport

The Brisbane Racing Carnival is in full swing at Doomben and Eagle Farm racecourses every Saturday until June 9.

On October 20, the Wallabies will face the All Blacks at Suncorp Stadium for the third and final Bledisloe Cup Test.

Show your support for the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.

Head to Suncorp Stadium to cheer on the Brisbane Broncos in their 25th season.

Show your true colours on July 4 at Suncorp Stadium for the final match in the 2012 State of Origin.

Shopping

Visit Queens Plaza for Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co, Bally, Chanel, Canturi and Salvatore Ferragamo.

Edward Street is home to Hermes, Hugo Boss and Gucci.

Try the newly refurbished Wintergarden for Coach, Lisa Ho, Scanlan and Theodore, Georg Jensen, Swarovski and Tommy Hilfiger; or head to Tattersall's Arcade for Longchamp.

Food and nightlife

Try your hand at laneway hopping in Burnett Lane in The City with Brew, Super Whatnot and The Survey Co. Hit Fortitude Valley for some intimate spaces including Our Place, The Hideaway or Lady Lamington or, across the river in South Bank, enjoy French-themed fun at French Martini.

Brisbane has become obsessed with dumpling dining. Try South Bank's Bamboo Basket, Dragonfly in the CBD and Brunswick Social or Harajuku Gyoza in the Valley.

Other must-experience restaurants still pulling in a crowd include the Spanish Ortiga and the Italian gems Ristorante Tartufo and 1889 Enoteca. For a French twist, try Montrachet or enjoy Japanese delights at Saké.

Sleep and more

Dine in Vintaged Bar + Grill - the Hilton Brisbane's newly refurbished restaurant.

Indulge in a chocolate-themed high tea at the Stamford Plaza Brisbane.

Sofitel Brisbane Central's day spa or the Dome Retreat at the Marriott will rejuvenate you before perhaps a cooking class at Spicers Balfour.

Enjoy a night cap at the Limes Hotel rooftop bar, visit Emporium Hotel to sample premium cocktails or hit Treasury Hotel and Casino for live music and tasty food.

Outdoor

Be transported to a white winter wonderland at the Alpine Winter Festival in King George Square. Strap on your skates and enjoy the outdoor ice skating rink and warm up afterwards with your pick from a range of food stalls.

Continue the outdoor fun with the Story Bridge Adventure Climb and enjoy the view of the river as you abseil the bridge's towering pylons.

Get among the fun and excitement with the Riverlife Adventure Centre on a kayaking or Stand Up Paddle Boarding tour.

Enjoy the river from a different angle as you float in style with River City Cruises or Mirimar Cruises.

Take the time to learn the secrets behind Brisbane by booking a free, guided Brisbane Greeter walking tour. Pick from a range of tours and see first-hand what makes our city's heart-beat.

June to November is whale-watching season. Be part of the great natural experience with Tangalooma Island Resort, Brisbane Whale Watching and Discover Stradbroke.

Visit visitbrisbane.com.au.

>> Read more travel stories.


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