20 things to do in Redcliffe and Scarborough
In case it’s been years between visits, we’re here to tell you, Brisbane’s bayside is booming.
Gentrification has transformed the once-sleepy Redcliffe Peninsula into one of the easiest and economical beach destinations, and it comes laced with acai bowls, raw treats and iced lattes. The best part? You’ll find it just 25km from Brisbane, overlooking Moreton Bay.
For bays, beaches and cool summer breezes, point your bonnet north-east of Brisbane and discover these 20 things to do in Redcliffe and Scarborough.
1. Shop the Redcliffe Jetty Markets
Every Sunday, Redcliffe Parade shuts down to a sea of market stalls with vendors stocking everything from fruit and veggies to candles and handmade artisan jewelry.
Time your visit for breakfast – our picks are the okonomiyaki pancakes and Turkish patisserie to take your taste buds out of their comfort zone.
2. Eat out like a local
The line out the door of Rustic Olive is good evidence that what’s inside is mwah! (that’s Italian for perfect).
The crowds don’t lie, inside you’ll find an authentic Italian restaurant that doesn’t scrimp on meal sizes, specialising in pizzas and pastas, served nonna’s way.
It’s best not to take anyone indecisive here though – there are 33 pasta dishes on the menu, meaning you could dine here for an entire month and never eat the same thing twice. If in doubt – close your eyes and point to the menu – or just choose something with fresh local prawns because you know it won’t disappoint.
3. Take a dip at Settlement Cove
Redcliffe’s answer to Brisbane’s South Bank is a man-made lagoon that’s bordered by Moreton Bay Figs on one side and the bay that gives them their name on the other.
Unlike South Bank, the lagoon is made of pebblecrete which means you won’t be dragging sand home with you (music to mum and dad’s ears everywhere). The picnic tables, pergolas and BBQ facilities that surround the pool encourage you to set up for a day on the bay with the kids.
4. Enjoy breakfast of champions
There’s good reason to Flock to the best breakfast in Redcliffe. This little cafe, Flock, serves up a paddock-to-plate philosophy alongside views across Moreton Bay. Everything about the menu is inspired by local sources. In fact, even the crockery is handmade by a Peninsula potter.
Breakfasts like the broccoli and chickpea fritters served with harissa yoghurt, avocado, tomato salsa and sliced beets can be washed down with Tim Adams coffee. If you’re visiting on the weekend, get in early. It gets hectic with a capital H.
5. Watch the boats float by
Don’t underestimate how much of a good time can be had with a deck chair and a few hours up your sleeve to watch the cargo-loaded containers, cruise ships and big boats cruise along the horizon.
Moreton Bay is the equivalent of a boat-Autobahn and from Redcliffe, you’ll have box-office seats to the show.
Boat fans can also head down to the Scarborough Marina to eye off private yachts if that’s more your style. It’s the best vantage point to play a game of, “if you won the lotto, which one would you pick?”
6. Enjoy fish and chips
You know the fish and chips are going to be good when you can see trawlers at the marina.
For fish and chips served with some light comedy relief, our pick is Yabbey Road, which turns Beatles songs into dishes like the ‘The Walrus’ – battered cod, mushy peas, potato scallop, lettuce and tartare dished up inside a toasted bun.
To find the front door, you’ll have to walk across a crossing, of course.
7. Sundowners at Mon Komo Hotel
If your perfect Sunday-sesh includes ocean views, sea breezes and a jug of Pimms, then get yourself to Oaks Mon Komo for sundowners.
With Pimms on tap, you’re guaranteed a perfect drop every time. Match it with a charcuterie board or trio of dips and you have all the ingredients for a great time.
8. Discover Bee Gees Way
The walkway that connects Redcliffe Parade with Sutton Street is living proof that the Bee Gees are Stayin’ Alive in Redcliffe.
This laneway has been transformed into an outdoor museum, where you can walk through the band’s history, which started here in 1959.
You’ll take away fun facts, personality traits and timeline of their stardom with a short stroll through the lane. By night, there’s a daily light show that takes place every half hour from 7-9pm, which makes you feel like you’re at a concert and not in the middle of Redcliffe.
9. Sleep in style
The views get bigger and better with every storey and with your own self-contained kitchen and wide balcony, you’ll have the best seats in the house to watch sunset with a vino and DIY cheeseboard.
Plus, as soon as you check-in, there’s no need to use your car again as you explore the headland from this base.
10. Cast off and catch
There’s no shortage of evidence the fish bite well here.
If you want to cast off, pick up a back of bait supplies along Redcliffe Parade and make your way to the Redcliffe Jetty, Hornibrook Bridge or Scarborough Marina.
11. Paddle the Bay
If it’s a calm day on the bay, head down to Flinders Parade in Scarborough or the Redcliffe Jetty to hire paddle boards, kayaks and SUPs from Floatin’ Fun.
It’s some of the best fun you can have for $20 as you take out any craft for 30 minutes. If you’re not so keen to fly solo, join the crew for a lesson instead and upskill in paddle skills.
12. Play in a Pirate Park
You’ll find one of Brisbane’s most popular playgrounds in Scarborough – Pirate Park.
Located on the beachfront, it’s a winner with the kids for its pirate-theming and cluster of low set Cotton Wood trees that have grown to the perfect tree-climbing height.
Just outside the fenced playground area, there’s tables and benches for parents to base themselves and still supervise playtime.
13. Swim at Suttons Beach
If you’re keen for a swim, make a beeline to Suttons Beach, which is the only patrolled beach in Redcliffe.
It’s not just the lifesavers who make this spot popular with families. BBQ tables, picnic tables and secure playgrounds make this a plum choice for those wanting to spend their weekends outdoors.
Parking is a real perk at this beach and the toilet facilities mean you can set up and stay a while.
14. Drop right onto the beach
Why not see Redcliffe from above? We’re talking about Brisbane Skydive which drops you from up to 15,000ft above the ground onto Suttons Beach.
After a fast and furious 60 seconds of freefalling at 200km/hour, you’ll float to the ground under a parachute for 5-7 minutes, taking in Redcliffe’s best views.
15. Fish off the old Hornibrook Bridge
Once upon a time (well, anytime before 2010) Redcliffe was separated to Brisbane with a wooden bridge. At the time it was built, it was the longest bridge in the Southern Hemisphere and second-longest bridge in the word – fun facts that contributed to its heritage-listing in 1994.
Even though today a new, safer, cement infrastructure crosses the bay, the Council has left a small part of the old timber bridge complete with art-deco archway for pedestrian use.
The bridge is fitted it out with all the fishing essentials – fish cleaning stations, shade and seats and the locals certainly make use of these amenities.
16. Discover the Redcliffe Art Trail
Art lovers, history buffs and those wanting to burn off dinner should pound the pavement on the self-guided Redcliffe Foreshore Public Art Trail.
There are seven pieces in total, but one of the easiest to find is opposite Bee Gees Way – an artwork titled the Apparatus for Non-Destructive Transmission of Biological Visualisation, which looks like a submarine on the footpath.
This interactive device is a source of amusement for everyone who walks past (and those people-watching from afar) as they try to crank the handle and look down the peep-hole.
17. Take the coastal walk
If you have about four or five hours up your sleeve, take the Clontarf-Redcliffe seaside walk.
The walk covers 13km, hugging the coastline taking in the Redcliffe Jetty, a shipwreck, headland views and plenty of Bee Gees-related history.
Start the walk at Pelican Park and finish it at the Redcliffe Jetty, with stops at the boutique homewares stores, coffee shops and cafes along the way.
18. See Redcliffe Jetty in the afternoon light
Arguably the peninsula’s most recognisable sight is the Redcliffe Jetty, which was first built in 1885 to provide a landing area for visitors when boats were the best way to get to the bay.
Although, the original two jetties that stood in its place are long gone, the current jetty, est. 1995, still mimics the original design.
Today you’ll also find drinking fountains, fish cleaning stations and seating along the jetty and plenty of people walking it for fitness.
While there’s no bad time to see it, photography enthusiasts should time their visit for sunrise or sunset to see it basking in a warm glow. The fishermen also tell us that’s the best spot to hook a catch, too.
19. Feed the pelicans
How would you like to feed breakfast to pelicans? Bring the family to Pelican Park to dish up breakfast at 10am to the local pelican population.
The pelicans chow down on a bucket of fresh fish, while the local volunteers check the seabirds for injuries. In case you’re wondering what’s on the menu – it’s flathead, whiting and bream.
20. Go whale watching
Time your visit for winter to catch the aerial display of humpbacks each winter with Brisbane Whale Watching.
Join Captain Kerry for 100% guaranteed whale sightings between June and October when the tours depart daily from the Redcliffe Jetty.
Onboard ‘Eye Spy’, you’ll see the majestic giants breach, blow and play within metres of the boat.