The Sandgate area, including its adjoining suburbs of Shorncliffe and Brighton, is one of Brisbane’s most relaxed and scenic bayside hotspots.
Unlike other Brisbane and Moreton Bay Region waterside precincts, Sandgate remains a suburban hub, rather than a commercialised precinct with many of its historic buildings preserved and its natural charms retained and well-maintained.
The spectacular 6.5 kilometre Sandgate foreshore promenade is the focal point of the precinct, stretching from Shorncliffe to the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge, it is simply one of the most beautiful waterside walks to be found in and around Brisbane.
While you can peruse a bunch of eclectic shops including op shops, fashion retailers, pet shops and more in the heart of town, the best Sandgate things to do are undoubtedly nature recreational and foodie based. People flock here predominantly to enjoy waterside strolls, beautiful parks, playgrounds, picnic and BBQ areas, fishing and cafe & pub dining.
Shorncliffe is where it’s at if you’re looking to take home fresh seafood, kick-back with a coffee, go for a waterside walk, spend a day out with your pooch, launch a boat into the water, or go pier fishing.
Shorncliffe’s best-kept secrets are the seafood stalls along Sinbad Street and the trawlers moored behind them in Cabbage Tree Creek. Come past on a morning to grab some super fresh seafood to take home at affordable prices. It’s well worth the drive out.
While most of the stall holders are set-up most mornings, turning up early on a Saturday is probably your safest bet. The sellers are always happy to clue you in on their catch and the best times to pass by during the week.
The newly refurbished, 350-metre Shorncliffe Pier off Moora Park dating back to 1872 is one of the longest recreational piers in Australia and is your go-to fishing hotspot in the area. While you can avoid the weekend crowds by fishing far out from the Sandgate mud flats, the pier is a more convenient location and usually offers a good haul. You can nab yellowfin whiting, winter whiting, bream, flathead, garfish, and chopper tailor.
For Brighton to Shorncliffe fishing spots, head along the Sandgate foreshore to look for break waters all along the shoreline to Brighton.
As for on-water fishing, you’ll find boat ramps into Cabbage Tree Creek off Sinbad Street next to the yacht club with another ramp located further up the street at Frank Doyle Park.
Dog-friendly Café on the Park is one of the closest cafes to Shorncliffe Pier. The serene location makes it a perfect place to begin your day with a leisurely coffee and hearty breakfast or lunch. From here you can walk straight through the park and down to the water for a lengthy stroll discovering more Sandgate things to do and see along the way.
The unpretentious Queensland Cruising Yacht Club nearby the seafood stalls on Sinbad Street is another perfect spot for a quiet bite to eat indoors or al fresco by Cabbage Tree Creek. It’s worth paying the once-off $15 yearly membership fee if you plan on hitting up this venue more frequently. Breakfast, lunch and dinner times vary so please check their website for opening hours.
The Sandgate area is very on-leash dog friendly. Bring your pup for leashed play in Moora Park, a short stroll from Café on the Park, before taking a waterside jaunt along the Sandgate foreshore.
The only off-leash dog area in the vicinity is found within Curlew Park, sandwiched between Sandgate and Shorncliffe. If you find yourself in Brighton, Decker Park also features an off-leash dog area.
From Shorncliffe’s Frank Doyle Park, you can enjoy a 2km cliff walk circuit to the little beach by Shorncliffe Pier and back. Unless you want to scramble down the bluff, we recommend taking the rough path which travels around the base of the cliffs.
You will need to make it across some rocky terrain, but no scrambling is required.
The Full Moon Hotel is one of the area’s party pubs and is the go-to place for weekend fun overlooking the bay.
Chandelier Bar & Grill in the old Sandgate Post Office Hotel is a more upmarket venue with great live entertainment on weekends, while Cardigan Bar across the road hosts open mic nights on Thursdays and live bands Friday through Sunday.
As for breakfast and lunch, enjoy a hint of Nordic flavour at cosy and quaint Bramble Place Tea and Coffee. For all day breakfast, or lunch try Matthew Thomas Café inside the historical Masonic Lodge, which features homewares and a gift shop.
For waterside eats head to Baaia for Modern Australian cuisine with a twist. Open breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you prefer fish and chips your 3 bayside options are: Sandgate Fishmonger, Doug’s Seafood Café, or Fish on Flinders.
You’ll find more dining options in the centre of town, around Einbunpin Lagoon Park, along with more shopaholic Sandgate things to do.
On a sunny day you’re sure to find scores of people strolling the waterside pathways, shore fishing, playing with pups on the mudflat banks, as well as kite surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking out on the bay.
The wonderful foreshore shared pathway can take you from the Shorncliffe Pier, past numerous picnic spots and Arthur Davies Park (home to Sandgate Swimming Pool), all the way up to Brighton’s Decker Park beside Houghton Highway Bridge.
You may even consider cycling the Sandgate foreshore path into Redcliffe (or vice-versa). To do so, simply follow it all the way to the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge. This 2.7km bridge will drop you at Clontarf where you can continue along the Moreton Bay Cycleway to Scarborough Beach.
Head to Deagon Wetlands to enjoy a 3km circuit around lagoons, through parkland and bushland. You can access the Third lagoon Bikeway through Peace Park at the corner of Bracken Ridge Road and Wighton Street.
The path will take you all the way to Agnew Street, 700 metres from where you started. There’s plenty of parking in the residential streets all around the area.
Einbunpin Festival celebrating the Sandgate community, is held on the last Sunday of July at Einbunpin Lagoon Reserve in Brighton Road Sandgate. With 4 stages showcasing local performers and over 175 stalls, as well as games and activities, it promises a fantastic day out for the whole family.
Bluewater Festival takes place on Good Friday. Bring the family for fun in the sun watching the start of the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race. Alternatively, head across the bridge to Suttons Beach for the Redcliffe Festival of Sails running simultaneously.
For unique Sandgate things to do don’t miss Music by the Sea Festival which takes place over 3 days in early January at Sandgate Town Hall, wowing music lovers with 3 big evenings of first class performances by touring, local and emerging artists. Prepare for jazz, classical, popular and world music.
Music by the Sea also conducts monthly concerts on the first Saturday of each month.
Sandgate Village Markets is an arts and crafts market featuring diverse stalls, buskers and kids activities. It’s held on the 3rd Saturday of each month from 3pm to 7pm in Einbunpin Lagoon Park, 122 Brighton Road.
Satori Boutique Farmers Markets focuses on organic, spray-free and sustainable foods, condiments and beverages. It’s expanding its Sunday Market to feature more bespoke food and beverage vendors. This market takes place every Wednesday and Sunday between 7am and 11am.
You’ll find it inside the mini shopping and dining complex at 198 Seymour St, Sandgate.
Unplugged Cafe takes place (usually) on the first Friday of each month at Sandgate Community Centre. For affordable Sandgate things to do for an entertaining Friday evening out, head on over.
Sandgate Town Hall is another great venue which hosts numerous events throughout the year so keep tabs on their events schedule to find out about upcoming Sandgate things to do.