With only limited time to spend in Brisbane, Belinda Feek gets busy being entertained .
Friday night: Brisbane Comedy Festival
There are not many places where you can get away with joking about having sex with ghosts — you'll never look at that hand dryer the same way again, trust me — but here you can. That's the great thing about comedy shows, there are few limits, but plenty of laughs. Lawnmowing, feminism, sex and potatoes were also topics of hilarity during the comedy festival launch at City Hall. The festival features 70 comedians, including Aussie favourites Celia Pacquola, Matt Okine, Becky Lucas, Luke Heggie and sidesplitter Tom Gleeson. A few Kiwis are on offer too, such as Urzila Carlson, Guy Montgomery and Cal Wilson. Prices vary, and it's being held at three venues, Brisbane Powerhouse, SunPAC and Brisbane City Hall, until March 25.
Saturday morning: S&S Aviation
You often don't get to see a lot when you fly into a new city, so why not take to the sky for a bird's-eye view? We had spare time Saturday morning and the weather gods gave us a reprieve to see what it's like up high. Brendan Parker has clocked up eight years behind the controls, so that gave us comfort. We took off from the nearby Mt Coot-tha, home to all the major television stations, with its vantage point nestled in bush and a nearby lookout. It's the perfect way to see the city's river snaking its way around and through the city. Cloud will limit the time you're up in the air, it did for us, but we still had long enough to have a look around.
Saturday midday: Welcome to Bowen Hills
The food trucks and beer garden are actually a new set-up next to the home of the Brisbane Showgrounds. After sitting idle, hosting hot chips and hot dogs, there's been a tidy up and it now features one of the longest bars I've seen — with six beer tap stations — and not only XXXX but also a good selection of craft beers. It's open Wednesday to Sunday and will always have a rotating selection of food trucks on site. The types of grub on offer can include chicken wings, burgers, kebabs, cronuts and German fare. There's rumours of a microbrewery moving in, too.
Saturday 3pm: Wheel of Brisbane
If you can't afford a chopper ride or a stay at the cloud-scraping Infinity tower, the Wheel of Brisbane is your next best bet. Akin to the London Eye, you get around four rotations, seeing the city from different heights. The bonus is the air conditioning in each of the covered-in carriages, so you can escape the Brisbane heat.
Saturday 5pm: King George Square
You not only have a heap of cafes and bars to choose from, there's also malls and other shops to fill in a day and clock up some debt on the credit card. The main area of the mall is open air, but then there are several separate indoor malls, too. It's also a short, scenic walk across the bridge to the South Bank where there are more shops and restaurants, as well as the Queensland Art Gallery.
Saturday 7.30pm: Disney's Aladdin — The Musical
If you're heading to Brisbane over the next few months, you have to see Aladdin — The Musical. This energetic and hilarious show is not to be missed. Held at Queensland Performing Arts Centre, its storyline follows that of the movie, but it's not just for kids. The actors are flawless in their routines and songs. The costumes are flashy, and there are even a few Kiwis in the cast, including George Henare, Graeme Isaako, and Sasha-Lee Saunders.
flies Auckland to Brisbane, with return Economy Class fares from $557.
The Mercure Brisbane King George Square Hotel.