Libby-Rose Niederer is one of many New Zealanders living and working in Brisbane, who were eagerly awaiting the two-way Trans-Tasman travel bubble.
“What I’m looking forward to most in 2021, is getting back on stage and also, hopefully, my family can come and watch me dance again. Not just my parents but my grandma and my aunties, they love to visit and watch me on stage.”
Libby-Rose moved from Auckland to Brisbane when she was 16 to attend the Queensland Ballet Academy before securing a place as a Company Artist performing with the Queensland Ballet. Brisbane’s outdoor lifestyle and the stunning weather helped draw Libby to Brisbane over Wellington.
“Brisbane is a fun city to live in. Everyone is lovely and casual about everything and the weather is STUNNING. It actually makes me so happy. One of the reasons I chose to live here is because of the weather.”
Brisbane is also a city that is appreciative of its incredible arts and culture scene. Libby says:
“One of the main things I love about performing in Brisbane, is how much the audience appreciates the arts. Whenever I go out the stage door there is always someone excited to see or talk to me – I love that feeling when what we do is appreciated”.
Follow Libby’s guide to Brisbane that makes the most of our glorious weather and envious outdoor lifestyle.
Best places to see in Brisbane
South Bank Parklands
Across from Brisbane City, nestled between the river and the cultural and dining precinct is 17.5 hectares of green and outdoor space that makes up South Bank Parklands. Walk or ride along the river-side paths, meander through the curated gardens and stop for a dip at the man-made beach overlooking the city.
Mt Cootha Lookout
Morning hikes up the Mt Cootha walking trails is a local favourite must-do, mainly due to the reward of amazing views over the city and out to Moreton Bay from the lookout at the very top. Pop into the Summit Cafe for a coffee, quick bite to eat or an ice-cream to refuel for the rest of your day.
Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon watching the sunset over the city. The only decision you need to make is top of the cliffs or the bottom by the river? Both are excellent choices.
And of course, you must see a Queensland Ballet performance
We couldn’t have a ballerina’s guide to Brisbane without mentioning Queensland Ballet’s upcoming performances and with all of the additional practice that 2020 allowed, the 2021 season will be a cracker.
Kicking off in March, with their postponed 60th Anniversary Gala (5 – 20 March 2021), Queensland Ballet will pay tribute to each of its five Artistic Directors since the 1960s including Charles Lisner OBE, Harry Hawthorne MBE, Harold Collins MBE, François Klaus and Li Cinxin AO.
Libby-Rose will be making special appearances in The Sleeping Beauty (4 – 19 June 2021), Bespoke (8 – 23 October 2021), Dracula (26 November – 4 December 2021), The Nutcracker (16 – 23 December 2021) in addition to the 60th Anniversary Gala if you’d like to see her on stage while you are visiting Brisbane.
Other Queensland Ballet events to check out during their 2021 season include Queensland Ballet Academy Gala (13 – 15 August 2021), Peter and the Wolf (14 – 21 September 2021) and the Queensland Ballet Academy Summer Soiree (9 December 2021). Buy tickets online.
Things to do in Brisbane
Bike ride along the river
Cycling along the Brisbane River is super easy with endless bike paths from West End to South Bank and onto Kangaroo Point making a long leisurely bike ride soaking up the outdoors the perfect way to spend the morning or an afternoon.
Catch the CityCat
Jumping on the CityCat is a great way to see the city from another angle. CityCat stops are located along the river and can take you from West End into the city and South Bank, down to New Farm Park and beyond. River to Bay have also launched a Brisbane River Brewery Tour for those craft beer lovers that want a designated boat driver for the day.
Do as the locals do and spend your weekend mornings at one of many farmers markets that pop up every weekend across the city. Libby’s favourites are West End Markets at Davies Park on Saturdays and on Sundays try out Milton Markets or Northey Street Organic Farmers Market at Windsor.
Where to eat in Brisbane
If you have a focus on healthy, wholesome foods made with gluten free ingredients but also want to have a bit of fun, nodo’s menu will have you buzzing especially when you have permission to eat donuts for breakfast.
Find nodo in Newstead, camp Hill, Brisbane CBD and South Bank.
Sake Restaurant & Bar
Take your sushi game higher with a dinner out at Sake. Not only can you enjoy the riverside Eagle Street Pier vibe, but you’ll be also served up modern, innovative Japanese food. Yum.
Find Sake at Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane City.
On Mosconi’s menu you’ll find seasonal, locally sourced ingredients used in well-thought-out meals with an air of mystery, mainly because the menu changes every month just to make sure you will be back again and again, guaranteed.
Find Mosconi in Fortitude Valley.
Best coffee: Morning After
This weekend staple in West End wins Libby’s vote on best coffee in Brisbane. Not only is the coffee worth the wait in line for a table, the breakky offering will knock your socks off, this is THE must-do breakfast in West End.
Find Morning After in West End.
Must do adventures from Brisbane
Road trip to the beach
Brisbane is spoilt in its location, nestled in between the beaches of the Sunshine Coast to the north and the Gold Coast in the south, all within an hour and a half drive of the city.
Libby’s beach picks on the Gold Coast include Burleigh and nearby Tallebudgera Creek for a calmer cool-off swim or if you are heading north, you can’t go past the classic beach day at Noosa Main Beach or a stop in at Coolum.
Hike in nature
If you are heading up to Noosa anyway, one of Libby’s favourite things to do is to hit up the Hell’s Gate Walk along Noosa National Park. Keep your eyes peeled upwards to spot koalas in the wild.
If you are after more of a hike, a climb up Mt Ngungun, in the Glass House Mountains is another hot pick. The view at the top is well-worth the calorie burn.
Mt Tamborine and the Gold Coast Hinterland
If you are heading south to the Gold Coast, head inland to explore rainforest hikes complete with waterfalls and quaint country towns filled with locally made cheese, fudge, wines, and beer. All the good stuff.
PLAN YOUR TRAVEL