The Ten Best Places to Play Lawn Bowls in Brisbane for 2024
Where beer and barefootedness reign.
January 01, 2023
When you're standing on a Brisbane lawn bowls green, hurtling bowls and having a cold beer or two, you really come to appreciate the phrase 'roll with it'. Going with the flow is what an afternoon lawn bowls session is all about — even if you tend to take the fun pastime seriously.
Thankfully, finding somewhere to indulge in a spot of lawn bowls in the city is easy. Choosing the best of the bunch is a little more difficult — but that's where we come in. Here's our top ten places to play lawn bowls in Brisbane.
MERTHYR BOWLS CLUB, NEW FARM
Given its prime riverside location in New Farm, it's no wonder that Merthyr Bowls Club is one of Brisbane's best bowls clubs. Who doesn't want to pair an afternoon on the green with a water view and a refreshing breeze? From Wednesday to Sunday all year-round (and on Mondays and Tuesdays too in December), you'll fork out a mere tenner for a two-hour session, which even includes coaching if you need it. A bar on-site will take care of your thirst and, when it comes to food, Merthyr's group barbecue menu is another reason to stop by with all of your mates.
THE BOO, NEWSTEAD
Okay, so you can't enjoy a game of bowls right in the heart of the CBD, but venturing to the Breakfast Creek area in Newstead is just as good. The Boo, short for Booroodabin Bowls Club, is the city's only 100 percent social bowls club and also Queensland's oldest, having opened back in 1889. Basically, history and fun are the highlights here — not forgetting the rather hefty drinks menu, of course.
CAMP HILL BOWLS CLUB, CAMP HILL
This Brisbane bowls club has that perfect blend of old school charm and new wave experiences. It will still just cost you just $6 to play a game for two hours, but there's stacks more to do here. You can also play a round or two of bocce and petanque or head over on Friday nights for the special social competition — pop $20 in the communal kitty and you'll be in the running for a few prizes. Regular trivia, live music and comedy nights are also on the cards, making Camp Hill Bowls Club popular with plenty of Millenials, too. During busier days and nights the outdoor bar is pumping out local craft beers, decent wines and some sparkling for those looking to celebrate. And the Pan Thai Restaurant ain't a bad spot to hit up after a day of playing lawn bowls in Brisbane with a few of your favourite people.
NORMAN PARK BOWLS CLUB, NORMAN PARK
There's clearly something special going on in Brisbane's inner southeast. A mere suburb away from Camp Hill's great facilities sits Norman Park's own bowls club. As well as the game everyone knows and loves, you'll also find trivia twice a week and live music on Sundays. The fact that it's run by the same folks behind Merthyr Bowls Club makes it clear that they know what they're doing. It's hard to beat a Brisbane bowls club like this local haunt.
WEST TOOWONG BOWLS CLUB, TARINGA
If there's one thing that'll get even the laziest person to a bowls club, it's the prices at the bar and restaurant. Located between the Toowong shopping centre and the University of Queensland, West Toowong Bowls Club knows this, and you can expect to find one of the city's cheapest pot of beer — the Bowlers Brew. As far as good value goes, schedule in a Wednesday or Saturday arvo visit, and pay $15 for bowls and afternoon tea. Come Friday night, you can go in on the traditional Australian meat tray raffle before joining the Saturday morning breakfast buffet that'll only set you back $15. This Brisbane lawn bowls joint is a bargain in stacks of ways, and a really important meeting place for locals of all ages.
WINDSOR BOWLS CLUB, WINDSOR
Windsor Bowls Club is the unsung hero of Brisbane's barefoot bowls world. Thanks to its sizeable yet cosy bar, dropping in just for a beverage — or for a parma on Wednesday and Friday nights — is completely understandable. Luckily, the main attraction is just as fun. Plus, we know from first-hand experience that this is an ace venue to throw a party, no matter what the occasion.
RED HILL COMMUNITY SPORTS CLUB, RED HILL
Let's face it: food, drinks, bowls — you can find all three at a whole heap of places around town. You won't find a cute cafe anywhere other than Red Hill Bowls though — which is what makes this inner west spot stand out from the crowd. To take advantage of their cafe, make sure you head to the green before 2pm. Then grab a few bevs at the club once you've crowned a winner. This laidback spot is certainly one of the best places to play lawn bowls in Brisbane.
NEW FARM BOWLS CLUB, NEW FARM
Trust New Farm to boast not one, but two spots for barefoot bowling fun. At New Farm Bowls Club you'll spy greenery as far as the eye can see, with the club just across the road from New Farm Park. For those keen on an evening roll, this is the place for it, with night sessions available from August to May. Dinner, bowls and drinks — now that's a great way to end the day.
GALLOPERS SPORTS CLUB, ASCOT
If you're a keen foodie, you've probably spent plenty of time in Ascot and Hamilton. You mightn't have ventured to the bowls club nearby, though — in fact, you mightn't even know that it's there. Gallopers can host up to 112 lawn bowlers at one time and, yes, because it's a sports club, there's also a bar and a bistro on-site featuring weekly meal deals like Barra Munday Special and Parmi Paradise.
POINT LOOKOUT BOWLS CLUB, NORTH STRADBROKE ISLAND
We know, we know — because Point Lookout Bowls Club is on Straddie, you can't just organise an impromptu game of lawn bowls whenever the feeling strikes, but pre-planning is a small price to pay for a prime island location. If we need to convince you further, the burgers and beers at the bistro are also a drawcard, and the change of scenery is as good as a mini holiday.
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