Howard Smith Wharves Transforms into Origin Battleground for Livestream Event

Howard Smith Wharves is gearing up to host an unforgettable State of Origin decider livestream event on Wednesday, July 17. The final game of this year’s series is sure to deliver an electrifying atmosphere as Queensland and New South Wales battle for supremacy.

Read: 10 Things You Should Know About the Soon-to-Open Queen’s Wharf Development

Howard Smith Wharves livestream details

The livestream will take place at Felons Barrel Hall, with additional viewing areas available on the Rivergarden Lawn. Doors open well before the 8:05 p.m. kickoff, allowing fans to secure prime viewing spots and soak in the pre-game excitement.

Howard Smith Wharves, nestled beneath the iconic Story Bridge, offers more than just a viewing experience. The precinct boasts:
– 13 restaurants, cafes, and bars
– Multiple event spaces
– The award-winning Felons Brewery

This vibrant location aims to harness Brisbane’s energy, providing an ideal backdrop for the Origin excitement.

The Decider: a close contest expected

This year’s State of Origin series heads into a decider for the fourth time in six years. Queensland holds a formidable record in such situations, having won nine of the last ten deciders. New South Wales, on the other hand, enters the match with momentum from their Game 2 victory.

State of Origin team comparison
Photo Credit: The Analyst

Some key statistics for the game, according to Opta’s analysis:
– Queensland leads in line breaks, tackles, and dominant tackles this series
– New South Wales shows superiority in run metres, post-contact metres, and tackle breaks
– The Blues’ average play-the-ball speed (3.4 seconds) outpaces the Maroons (3.71 seconds)

Among all the stars on the field, Valentine Holmes is heralded as Queensland’s potential game-changer. The North Queensland Cowboys star boasts an impressive Game 3 record, having scored in every decider he’s played in.

The 2024 State of Origin series is on track to be one of the most-watched in history. With a combined attendance of 167,298 for the first two games, the addition of a packed Suncorp Stadium could push the total beyond 200,000—a feat not achieved since 2018.

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For Fortitude Valley residents, this event represents more than just a game. It’s an opportunity to come together, celebrate local culture, and be part of a historic sporting moment. Whether die-hard fans or casual observers, all are welcome to join in the festivities at Howard Smith Wharves.

Book your spot here.

Published 12-July-2024

NAIDOC Week 2024 Celebration to Showcase Indigenous Culture and Art

In celebration of NAIDOC Week 2024, Howard Smith Wharves (HSW) is set to host a vibrant event showcasing Indigenous culture and art on July 10th. The celebration, organised in collaboration with Birrunga Gallery, will take place at Felons Barrel Hall from 11 am to 2:30 pm.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme, “Keep the fire burning! Blak, loud and proud!” aims to honour the resilience of Indigenous communities and encourage solidarity in amplifying voices that have historically been marginalised.

The event will commence with a Traditional Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony on the Rivergarden lawn adjacent to Felons Barrel Hall. Attendees will then be treated to a live didgeridoo performance, setting the stage for a day of cultural immersion.

Inside Barrel Hall, visitors can explore an art installation curated specifically for NAIDOC Week by Birrunga Gallery. The artists themselves will be present, offering a unique opportunity for attendees to engage directly with the creators.

A highlight of the afternoon will be a discussion between Trent Wallace and Birrunga Wiradyuri, focusing on NAIDOC Week themes and reflections on the past year.

This year’s theme symbolises the enduring resilience of Indigenous cultures and their deep connection to Country and traditions. It also represents a call for Indigenous Peoples to confidently embrace their heritage and assert their presence in contemporary society.

Tickets for the event include a shared grazing-style lunch featuring a fusion of native ingredients and contemporary cuisine, as well as a welcome drink. Due to limited capacity, interested parties are encouraged to RSVP promptly to secure their attendance.

Published 9-July-2024

Cruise Into the City’s Buzziest Spot With the New CityCat Service at Howard Smith Wharves

Getting to Brisbane CBD just got even more accessible with the launch of a new dedicated CityCat service at the Howard Smith Wharves ferry terminal starting yesterday, May 27. 

Read: Fortitude Valley Train Transforms into Spontaneous Rave, Enthralling Commuters

Travelling to the bars, restaurants, event spaces and the city centre underneath the iconic Story Bridge is now a breeze, with CityCat services running from early morning until late night, seven days a week.

The first CityCat will pull up at 6:10 a.m. daily, with the last services departing around 11:30 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

Photo credit: Ofer En/Google Maps

Although Howard Smith Wharves has been serviced by the CityHopper and Cross River Ferry since its public ferry terminal opened in late 2021, this seamless CityCat integration is a game-changer for accessing both the precinct and the city centre. 

An estimated 45,000 people per year have already been accessing the wharves by river transport. Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner hailed the new stop as a no-brainer for such a beloved riverside hotspot. 

Photo credit: James Gibson/Google Maps

“Howard Smith Wharves is not only one of Brisbane’s most beloved entertainment areas, but directly linked to the iconic Fortitude Valley precinct, so a permanent CityCat stop at the wharves makes perfect sense,” said Cr Schrinner.

Luke Fraser, CEO of Howard Smith Wharves, expressed immense enthusiasm about the new CityCat stop, stating it was a thrilling development that is sure to delight both visitors and locals in Brisbane. 

“The river really is one of Brisbane’s superpowers, so showcasing one of our city’s most amazing assets to even more CityCat users is a great idea, and we congratulate the Council on this commitment,” said Mr Fraser.

Read: More Than Standard Fare: Indulge in Fortitude Valley’s Creative Bar Snacks

“At Howard Smith Wharves, we’re passionate about the environment, and as the new CityCat service will reduce cars on the road, this is going to have a positive impact on our planet and our city.

With stunning river vistas, dining overseen by top chefs, buzzy bars and a constant calendar of events, getting to Howard Smith Wharves just got exponentially easier. Visit Translink’s website for more details about the CityCat service at Howard Smith Wharves ferry terminal.

Published 28-May-2024

Countdown Begins for 2024 Brisbane Portrait Prize

The countdown to the 2024 Brisbane Portrait Prize has officially begun, with several of the 2023 winning portraits unveiled at a launch event held earlier this week at the Howard Smith Wharves.

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The launch brought together artists and potential subjects ahead of the opening of submissions for the 2024 prize. Attendees also heard from past finalists during a Q&A session.

Now in its sixth year, the Brisbane Portrait Prize has received over 3,200 entries to date, including 466 submissions to the Next Gen category for emerging artists. A total of $428,000 in prize money and grants has been awarded since the competition’s inception.

Photo credit: Brisbane Portrait Prize/Instagram 

“The Brisbane Portrait Prize is proud to play a role in supporting the creative economy in this city, providing opportunity for artists, and telling the stories of Brisbane and its characters,” said BPP board member Lady Jane Edwards.

This year the finalist exhibition will be held at the State Library of Queensland for an extended three-month run, the longest showing since the prize began.

The 2024 Prize consists of two key competitions: the Main Competition, which is open to all entrants 18 and over, and the Next Gen Prize, which is open to entrants 18 and under.

Photo credit: Brisbane Portrait Prize/Instagram 

“We are delighted to be moving into the premier arts precinct in Brisbane, in the heart of South Bank at State Library of Queensland for what will be our most exciting year yet,” said Lady Edwards.

The 2024 chief judge Bree Pickering, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, said she is looking forward to seeing diverse mediums and approaches to portraiture. 

Brisbane Portrait Prize
Chief judge Bree Pickering (Photo credit:

“I’m expecting to see works across mediums that celebrate the art of portraiture in all its forms. As Chief Judge I’m looking for great artworks that reveal something about you as the artist, about your sitter and importantly, the people of Brisbane,” Ms Pickering said.

Alongside Pickering, the esteemed 2024 judging panel includes Francoise Lane, Artistic Director of Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, and Christine Clark, Head of Curatorial and Collections at Museum Brisbane.

Brisbane Portrait Prize
Last year’s winner of the Lord Mayor’s $50,000 grand prize, made by Indigenous artist Dylan Mooney (Photo credit:

Entries close on 22 May 2024, giving artists over three months to submit their work. The finalist exhibition will be held at the State Library in August.

The top honour is the Lord Mayor’s Prize of $50,000, presented by Brisbane City Council. Those who will be chosen for the “Support for emerging artists” award will take home $1,000 vouchers from Oxlades.

Read: Big Names, Fresh Faces Rock the Mountain Goat Valley Crawl 2024

The Brisbane Portrait Prize celebrates Brisbane’s portrait artists and encourages engagement with the arts. Any artist with a connection to the city can enter.

Published 20-February-2024

Indulge in Culinary Delights as Festa Italiana Shines at Howard Smith Wharves

Prepare yourself for FESTA ITALIANA, happening over two weekends in May and June! This eagerly anticipated Italian food market is taking place at the Howard Smith Wharves.

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From 26 to 28 May and 2 to 4 June, Howard Smith Wharves will be transformed into a bustling Italian food market.

Experience the excitement of FESTA ITALIANA with the presence of esteemed guest Chef Orazio D’Elia from the popular Italian hotspot “Da Orazio,” a Bondi Beach favourite.

Hailing from Naples, Chef Orazio infuses his expertise and passion into the event to showcase his exceptional interpretation of traditional Italian cuisine.

 Indulge in Culinary Delights as Festa Italiana Shines at Howard Smith Wharves
Photo Credit: Howard Smith Wharves  /

Chef Orazio’s culinary journey has taken him from prestigious establishments like Icebergs Dining Room and Bar in Sydney to the opening of Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta in Bondi Beach.

 Indulge in Culinary Delights as Festa Italiana Shines at Howard Smith Wharves
Photo Credit: Howard Smith Wharves  /

Chef Orazio will be serving up his famous ‘Vodka Rigatoni,’ a mouth-watering pasta dish featuring a creamy tomato and vodka sauce, generously topped with parmesan cheese.

Another must-try is the ‘Focaccia con Porchetta,’ a fan favourite made with succulent rotisserie porchetta, marinated grilled eggplant, crisp cos lettuce, and creamy mayonnaise, all sandwiched between slices of Schiacciatina bread.

FESTA ITALIANA also offers a plethora of other authentic Italian delights. Indulge in freshly made pasta from a live pasta station, savour the rich flavours of local Casa Motta Buffalo Mozzarella, delight in wood-fired bread, and satisfy your sweet tooth with creamy gelato.

 Indulge in Culinary Delights as Festa Italiana Shines at Howard Smith Wharves
Photo Credit: Howard Smith Wharves  /

All these, as you sip on classic Italian beverages or your beloved Aperol Spritz.

 Indulge in Culinary Delights as Festa Italiana Shines at Howard Smith Wharves
Photo Credit: Howard Smith Wharves  /

Beyond the food, FESTA ITALIANA promises a lively and immersive atmosphere. Take a seat on the lawn, sip on a refreshing Spritz, and let the live music transport you to the bustling streets of Naples. The entertainment lineup will captivate you, showcasing the vibrant spirit and energy of Italian culture.

Read: Queen’s Wharf Brisbane Prepares to Open in Stages in 2023

So mark your calendars and make your way to Howard Smith Wharves for FESTA ITALIANA and celebrate the magnificence of Italian culture, cuisine, and hospitality in a truly unforgettable experience.

Published 19-May-2023

Ginuary Festival Heads To Howard Smith Wharves For Its 2023 Edition

Get ready, gin lovers! The iconic Ginuary Festival is returning in January 2023, bigger than ever as it takes over the Rivershed and the Green House at Howard Smith Wharves. Here’s what to look forward to in the upcoming event. 

Read: $7-Million Revamp of GPO Hotel to Introduce New Fine Dining Venue in Early 2023

Gin Tasting Hall

Ginuary Festival
Photo credit: Covent Garden/Facebook

Expect more gin ever than before, as Ginuary Festival is back with a vengeance following two years of restricted events brought by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 and the floods in 2022. 

The ‘gin tasting hall’ is a fully covered space which features more than 10 different degustation stations, where guests can enjoy free gin tastings. There’s also an opportunity to purchase limited-edition gins or find new potential favourites.

As Ginuary Festival returns for its fifth year, Covent Garden has once again teamed up with Long Rays, CG Gin Co and some other Australian distillers to showcase the best of the homegrown gin industry at the gin tasting hall.

‘Gin House’ area

Ginuary Festival
Howard Smith Wharves (Photo credit: Odee/Google Maps)

Covent Garden will be bringing along more than a hundred of your favourite gins, for you to indulge in, whilst enjoying the best view in town. 

Howard Smith Wharves’ Rivershed is a heritage wharf building with an incomparable space overlooking the city and the Story Bridge. The Green House, on the other hand, offers an intimate, inner city escape for guests with plenty of natural light and greenery.

Hottest 100 Aussie Gins

As part of Covent Garden’s annual tradition, they will be bringing to you a countdown of the Hottest 100 Aussie Gins, voted by the people, especially gin lovers. 

Voting is now open at This year’s nominations have already reached a record number of more than 650 and are still growing.

Save the Date!

WhatGinuary Festival 2023/ Hottest 100 Aussie Gins 2022
WhereHoward Smith Wharves, 5 Boundary Street Brisbane City
WhenSunday, 22 January 2023, 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

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Ticket prices for the event start at $69, with a discount for early bird. For more details, visit their Events page on Facebook. 

Stage 2 Story Bridge Adventure Climb Approved Despite Privacy Concerns

Plans for a new climb at the city end of the Story Bridge Adventure Climb have been given the go-ahead despite concerns about privacy.

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XBrisbane Pty Ltd successfully lodged an application (A005619901) for the project in December 2020 and was granted approval in April 2021.

The proposed development is for a new north peak bridge climb route, viewing platform, and swing out on the Story Bridge. Planning documents also indicate that the climb will consist of 550 steps and will be approximately 60 minutes in duration. Climbs will be undertaken in groups of a maximum of 14 climbers and will be suitable for both daytime and nighttime adventure.

Aerial Photograph Showing General Location of Proposed Activity (Photo credit:

Whilst this is good news for adventure seekers and tourists, residents are worried about losing their privacy once it’s operating. In addition to privacy concerns, other issues raised include road safety and noise.

Ami, a resident of Petrie Point Apartments said the proximity to their building which is located at 100 Bowen Terrace, Fortitude Valley, would mean severe privacy implications especially with the hours proposed and additional noise impacts which are extremely concerning. 

“The Howard Smith Wharves precinct has already create issues for our complex with additional noise, people doing inappropriate things around our building and take up all available street parks. If the north end of the bridge is available to the public, our homes will also be invaded by people being able to look at us in our homes directly,” Ami wrote in her submission.

Read: Bianca: A Delicious, New Taste of Italy in Fortitude Valley

In another submission sent to Council, one resident pointed out that application is incorrectly made and should be rejected as an “outdoor sport and recreation” of code assessment as it falls into the activity of “tourism” which requires a thorough impact assessment process.

Proposed North Peak Climb route (Photo credit:

A town planning report states that the “development is sited and designed to enable existing and future buildings to be well separated from each other to allow for light penetration, air circulation, views, vistas and privacy, particularly for residential towers.”

Once complete, The Northern Peak Climb will operate year-round in all weather conditions other than extreme winds, electrical storms or severe rainstorms. It will open from early-morning to 10:00 pm seven days a week.

Felons Barrel Hall Moves Into Howards Hall at Howard Smith Wharves

Felons Brewing Co at Howard Smith Wharves recently expanded and opened a new Felons Barrel Hall by taking over Howards Hall, the massive space for functions and events next door.

Since the pandemic struck, Howards Hall has been an idle space, unused and in need of a bailout. The transformation to Felons Barrel Hall has been a step in the right direction to revitalise this restaurant and bar precinct. 

Howards Hall, before the pandemic crisis
Photo Credit: Howard Smith Wharves/Facebook

Pre-pandemic, Felons Brewing Co was always packed with patrons, especially on weekends. With the new venue, guests have more spaces to drink and dine at guaranteed tables and seats. 

To distinguish the two venues, Felons Barrel Hall plans to take it up a notch and bring a fresh selection of food, crafted drinks and cultural performances.

The new bar and restaurant will take inspiration from popular beer halls in Europe. Inside, barrels of wine are lined behind the bar with four different beer tanks churning 6,000 litres of beers regularly. But since a really good drink needs to age, the newly-crafted flavours at the new site won’t be ready by 2021. 

Photo Credit: Felons Brewing Co/Facebook

However, visitors eager to check out the new drinking spot as soon as possible could still be able to enjoy their fill as Felons’ range of drinks, including the seasonal and limited flavours, are all on the drink list.

Food choices paired with a stein of beer include classic beer hall choices like BBQ chicken and pork chops or lemony buttered prawns, crabs and oysters. The menu consists of modern dishes with an Australian twist. 

Photo Credit: Felons Brewing Co/Facebook

“After 2 years of brewing beer for the good people of Brisbane we’re excited to embark on a new adventure that redefines beer and the brewery experience,” the company announced on Facebook. “Felons Barrel Hall is a modern Australian take on a German beer hall. Come enjoy a space which masterfully blends punchy flavours and bold sounds, all washed down with the refreshing range of Felons beer.”

Felons Barrel Hall will also feature family-friendly live entertainment from local artists, as well as arthouse film viewings. 

For updates on trading hours, deals, events and live performances, follow Felons Brewing Co on Facebook. 

Art Series Hotel on Howard Smith Wharves to Open March 2019

Art Series Hotels is opening its eighth site at Howard Smith Wharves in Fortitude Valley. Slated to welcome guests beginning 2019 March, the hotel has begun taking reservations since November 2018.

The new attraction in the revitalised Howard Smith Wharves precinct joins favourite watering holes Mr Percival’s and Felon’s Brewing Co. It’s seven kilometres away from Art Series Hotel’s The Johnson in Spring Hill which, in keeping with the hotel’s name, celebrates the works of Australian abstract artist Michael Johnson.

For its part, the Art Series Hotel on Howard Smith Wharves will feature the works of Australian contemporary artist Vincent Fantauzzo. The site of six-storey 166-room hotel, aptly named The Fantauzzo, will be under the Story Bridge and has been designed to blend with the cliff’s neutral tones.  

Photo Credit: Instagram/ArtSeriesHotels

Mr Fantauzzo, whose parents come from Italy and Ireland, was born in England in 1977. The family moved to Broadmeadows in the Melbourne in the 1980s but the Fantauzzos would move around Australia a lot while the artist was growing up.

Undiagnosed with a learning condition as a child, Mr Fantauzzo had difficulty in primary school and was grouped in a special class with other children with learning difficulties. He fared no better in high school and was expelled for “misbehaviour.” By this time, his parents had separated and the artist tried to help his mother by apprenticing as a kitchen helper in an Italian restaurant.

Mr Fantauzzo, however, excelled in sports and competed in Martial Arts tournaments. During competitions, Mr Fantauzzo would discover his growing love for painting and would illustrate sporting pictures he had seen.

Fearing he’d fail again, the artist resolved to improve his art and did so at an impressively progressive state. He enrolled at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) for college, sans a high school diploma, and paid for his school fees with by selling his paintings.

Unfortunately, the school found out he did not complete high school after discovering a plagiarised paper he paid someone to write. Mr Fantauzzo said he had to confess his learning problems and the school facilitated tests to help him get a proper diagnosis. He found out he was dyslexic.

Mr Fantauzzo said he has learned to embrace his dyslexia more positively, especially with the help of the school’s disability liaison. In 2003, the artist received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting degree from the RMIT and completed his Masters two years later.

Photo Credit: Instagram/vincent_fantauzzo

In 2012, RMIT made Mr Fantauzzo an Adjunct Professor. He has also travelled to Central Australia to create a portrait series featuring Aboriginal artists. Following an exhibit in Sydney in 2016, Mr Fantauzzo established himself as a well-recognized Australian painter whose works are now displayed in many homes and buildings.

Mr Fantauzzo has also done exhibits in Hong Kong, New York, Los Angeles and Vietnam. He has worked with famous Austrian director Baz Luhrmann and received various awards as an artist, such as the Archibald Prize People’s Choice.

Apart from Fantauzzo’s original artworks, guests at The Fantauzzo at the Howard Smith Wharves will also get to enjoy the view of the Brisbane river from the rooftop pool terrace. The hotel also has a bar, a gym and several rooms for different functions.

Mr Percival’s: Brisbane’s First Overwater Bar at the Howard Smith Wharves is now Open

Brisbane’s first overwater bar has opened, located at the Howard Smith Wharves and underneath the historic Story Bridge.

Mr Percival’s officially opened on 29 November 2018, and is the latest drinking and dining destination to open at the Howard Smith Wharves development after the successful opening of Felons Brewing Co.

Anna Spiro was responsible for the impressive design that breathed life to this 340-seat bar and eatery. The inspiration was taken from European beach clubs and rotundas found in Brisbane parks; featuring an octagonal-shape design, terracotta-coloured marble top, salmon pink umbrellas, timber walls, and retro-inspired interior.

Photo Credit: Mr Percival’s /

The octagonal-shaped bar is helmed by chef Damien Styles, former head chef of The Fish House. The menu features Aperitivo-style inspired bar snacks such as Zucchini fritters, lobster rolls, whipped cod roe served with a warm baguette, and anchovies topped with olive oil, lemon and garlic.

Photo Credit: Mr Percival’s /

As for the drink selection, the menu features 17 cocktails, 50 wine selections, and four brews courtesy of Felons.

NYE at Mr Percival’s

Mr Percival’s will be throwing a New Year’s Eve party to welcome 2019, and you are invited! Greet 2019 with uninterrupted fireworks views (from 8:30 P.M.until midnight), with music by Niki de Saint and live instrumentalists. The party starts at 6 P.M. 31 December 2018 until 2 A.M. 1 January 2019.

Buy Tickets

Mr Percival’s, the latest venue where you can unwind, drink and dine, and enjoy the romantic view of the Brisbane river is open 11 A.M. – 1 A.M. Thursday – Saturday and 11 A.M. until Midnight Sunday- Wednesday.