Ah, the great Aussie barbecue. It’s a national activity done on a scale to rival any other country on earth. And why wouldn’t it be, with our blessed climate and miles of open space there’s plenty of room and opportunities to throw a steak, snag or veggie kebab (or prawn, but never shrimp) on the hotplate and enjoy the world’s best outdoor kitchen – for free!
It’s a scientific fact* that everything tastes better when cooked on the barbie, from post-surf bacon and egg rolls to the most budget-friendly lunch around – the good ol’ sausage sizzle – and anything shared with good mates as the sun goes down and conversation flows.
Pack your utensils, oil and roll of paper towel and have a feast at one of these top BBQ spots in south-east Queensland.
Just a short stroll from the action of Surfers Paradise, this serene lakeside park has it all. A smattering of shady trees, BBQs, toilet facilities and playground and calm water for the kids. Bumbles Café is across the road so you can grab a coffee (or lunch if the chef burns the sausages) and if you’re looking for a way to burn off that meat coma, hire a kayak or stand-up paddle board from Australian Kayaking Adventures.
You’ll find shady trees, picnic tables and BBQs running beachside and up the headland at Burleigh. This spot has prime views over the surf and north to Surfers Paradise so get in early to nab a spot (and a park) and don’t forget to treat yourself to an ice-cream from the Mr Whippy van or the shops across the road.
Currumbin Valley rock pools
It’s hard to deviate from an ocean-view kitchen, but drive 15 minutes inland and you’ll earn a good dose of fresh air and a refreshing dip at the Currumbin Valley rock pools to go along with your BBQ lunch. Be aware that lifeguards don’t patrol the pools.
Kangaroo Point Cliffs
The cliffs are one of the most impressive slices of riverside land in Brisbane and while this sometimes makes it harder to score a BBQ than winning Lotto, the views make it worth the effort. Perch yourself up top for views over the city and towards South Bank or head down to river level and grab a shady spot under a tree to while away the afternoon.
New Farm Park
You can’t go wrong with New Farm Park. Jump off the CityCat and grab a BBQ under a tree looking out over the river to the mansions of Hawthorne. There’s always someone up for a game of park cricket and come the weekend, it becomes one of the liveliest spots in Brisbane, and not just because The Powerhouse and Watt Restaurant and Bar are just a few steps away.
City views, playgrounds, cafes and yep, even a beach! South Bank has it all and there are free barbecues dotted throughout the parklands. Get there early.
La Balsa Park
A local’s favourite and a relatively hidden secret on the coast, La Balsa Park hugs the Mooloolah River inlet between Mooloolaba and Point Cartwright. Tuck into a BBQ feast as you watch the yachts and trawlers come and go, while the kids lose themselves in the playground.
Just near the ex-HMAS Brisbane memorial at ‘Alex’ sits a prime outdoor BBQ spot with sweeping views from Point Cartwright as far north as Noosa. It’s made even more beautiful right on sunset as you watch the surfers below and you tuck into a BBQ dinner.
Set on one of the most picturesque corners of coastline in Caloundra, Happy Valley is a picnic and BBQ lovers dream – surf on one side, calm passage on the other, fish and chips and ice-cream available across the road, coffee van in the park, and a gorgeous walk in both directions along the Caloundra Coastal Walk if you’re feeling active.
Are you a novice on the BBQ tools? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Clean the hotplate before AND after you show everyone how much your kitchen rules.
- Lay down foil or a BBQ mat if you’re paranoid about sharing.
- Keep an eye on that little green light on the BBQ. If she goes out, you won’t be cooking much. You have to keep pressing it in to keep the heat up.
- Don’t feed the seagulls (unless you’re feeling lonely).
- Keep the chef well hydrated with his or her beverage of choice. (Optional but recommended if you want your steak cooked to taste.)
Where’s your favourite spot to man the grill in Queensland?
*Okay, we’re not scientists. But we love a good barbecue!
(Feature image: Shutterstock)