Food festivals and photographic renegades are just the beginning, with a winter of events just warming up in the river city.

1. Patricia Piccinini’s Curious Affection exhibition

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), 24 March – 5 August, 2018

This chilly season, the entire ground floor of GOMA will be occupied by a retrospective display of Patricia Piccinini’s best works – and a sample of some daring new concepts.

Piccinini is well known for her ‘hybrid’ creatures, and continues that tact in her latest works.

Using a mix of sculpture, installation, sound and video, Piccinini brings to life a compassionate vision inspired by science and mythology.


2. Briz-Chilli Fest

Bulimba Golf Club, 10 June 2018

A day out on the golf club, what could be better?


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Perhaps in excess of 27 stalls featuring all things delicious – and chilli?

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of options on the milder end of the scale – and without any chilli whatsoever. There’ll also be donkey rides, jumping castles and creative sand art for the kids.


3. Eat Local Week: Scenic Rim, 30 June – 8 July

For anyone who’s ever wondered how ‘rainforest caviar’ is grown, or what it takes to produce a bottle of your favourite microbrew beer, jump in the car and head into Brisbane’s surrounding food bowl.

Tickets to the signature event, the Winter Harvest Festival in Aratula on Saturday 7 July, are hotly contested.

Cooking demonstrations and food stalls are paired with a tractor-pulling competition, live music, and the chance to mingle with the farmers who keep the hills alive by growing carrots, avocados, rhubarb and more.

4. The Merry Widow

Lyric Theatre, QPAC: 22 June – 30 June, 2018

A light-hearted look at love through the champagne-fogged lense of Art Deco France, The Merry Widow is full of lavish gowns, dapper gents, and glamour a-plenty in Graeme Murphy’s new production of the ever popular musical.

5. Egyptian Mummies: Exploring Ancient Lives

Queensland Museum, 16 March – 26 August, 2018

During this exhibition, you’ll meet six mummies, and unlock the secrets behind how they wound up where they did – wrapped.
This is achieved using the latest in CT scanning technology, and gives viewers an insight into the life and death of these six individuals, who resided in Egypt between 3000 and 1800 years ago.

The exhibition will feature more than 200 artefacts from the British Museum.

6. Regional Flavours

South Bank Parklands, 21 & 22 July

Within Queensland’s borders there is an abundance of produce to make even the highest-calibre chef’s head spin, and this is the weekend it all comes to the CBD.

For two days, the South Bank Parklands come alive with the sound of chopping, whizzing, searing and the chinking of glasses as the likes of Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and Sarah Wilson give free cooking demonstrations and discussions.

Alongside them, over 80 stallholders offer up their epicurean delights to over 85,000 hungry visitors.

Take a picnic blanket, arrive early, and get set up for a day of foraging and feasting, city-style.

7. Royal Queensland Show (EKKA)

Brisbane Showgrounds, 10-19 August

What attracts 400,000 visitors, has 330 different showbag options, and includes 10,000 animals (along with 16 tonnes of manure to be removed from the grounds afterwards)?

Brisbane’s Royal Queensland Show – The Ekka – has been part of the Brisbane experience for 139 years.

Watch the whip-cracking and wood-chopping, cast a discerning eye over the baking competition and watch show dogs strut their stuff.

Then, get dizzy in Sideshow Alley, grab an iconic strawberry sundae (which made its debut in 1950 and has been on the must-do list for visitors ever since), before ending the night with fireworks.


8. The Sunday Mail Suncorp Bank Bridge to Brisbane Day

Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge, 26 August

See the best of the city while going for a personal best, during the Bridge to Brisbane fun run, crossing three of the city’s iconic bridges.

Celebrating its 22nd year in 2018, participants can choose betwee a a five-kilometre option or the 10-kilometre course, with post-run celebrations along South Bank’s Little Stanley Street.

9. Brisbane Festival

Various venues, 8-29 September

Soak up three weeks of arts and culture across the city’s arts precincts, galleries and theatres, watch bands and comedians over cocktails in the Spiegeltent, and stake out a spot early to watch Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Sunsuper Riverfire and Horror, which is inspired by your favourite scary movies.

This year, David Baddiel: my family – not the sitcom. will own the spotlight with tellings of his dysfunctional family, his ageing – and gay cats.