The site of the original settlement, this area of Brisbane was damaged in the floods of 1893. The CBD was moved to the north side of the river and the area became industrialised and run-down. It was given a new lease on life when used for the World Expo 88 site. After Expo the area was transformed into parkland.
There you can find rainforest, grassy areas, a beach, the riverside promenade and a beautiful avenue shaded by an arbour of bougainvillea. There are also shops and restaurants, a covered auditorium, a Nepalese pagoda gifted by Nepal after Expo and the more recent addition - the Wheel of Brisbane. South Bank is also the home of the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.
Southbank in Brisbane, is the recreation area across the River from the Brisbane CBD.
Many times have I been here, but never at night!
We parked our car in the street for FREE, but do check the times that it is for free, you won't want an expensive parking ticket, and yes, Inspector's are around at nighttime.
A short walk and we were there, and I must say I was impressed! The plain Ferris Wheel of the daytime, became a very prettily lit Ferris Wheel at night.
What I thought was really nice lit at night, was the Nepalese Pagoda from World Expo 1988. This gorgeous handcrafted Pagoda made from indigenous Nepalese timber and is only one of only three Nepal Peace Pagodas outside Nepal. It is very nice in daytime, but for me, it was even more stunning at night!
Visit Southbank both in the day and evening.
Southbank is a lovely recreation area on the banks of the Brisbane river. It is situated where Expo was once held.
There are all sorts of things to do here, lots of people enjoy the man made lagoon area. The walks around are nice, the Bouganvillea arches just beautiful when in bloom. There are Markets on the weekend! Plenty of nice outdoor eating areas, whether you bring your own for a BBQ or have a meal at a Restaurant or an outdoor Cafe.
Parking is available if you come by car, but its very expensive [$14]
You can walk to Southbank from the city centre, the bus service is good, or catch the Train and get off at Southbank or South Brisbane Stations and there is the City cat river ferry that will drop you off right there!
All up, its an enjoyable place for the whole family.
It was so nice strolling along the Southbank boardwalk and seeing the restoration after the devastation of the 2011 Brisbane floods. Work is still being done to the inner city beach and swimming areas.I visited Southbank in August 2012.
I thought the giant Ferris wheel would look out of place but I was pleasantly surprised how it adds to the varied entertainment of Southbank.
The arbour walk is a delight and I can only imagine the shade this provides during the hot summer months.Lots of bbq's and shady picnic spots throughout and plenty of seats to rest on or have one of those tasty ice creams you can purchase from ice cream vendors.
Southbank has restaurants and shops and even weekend markets.
The cultural centre at Southbank has every thing for everybody including the QLD Art Gallery,Museum,Playhouse,Lyric theatre,movie theatre etc etc..it really is a city of entertainment.
So if you are in Brisbane and looking for something to do then go on over to and explore Southbank.You can walk across Victoria Bridge or the Goodwill Bridge or take one of the ferries over.If you are driving then you need to refer to the road map.If you are going by bus then refer to the bus timetables.
I decided to walk across Victoria Bridge to Brisbane's Southbank rather than take the ferry across and very pleased I did this because the views up and down Brisbane river was worth it.
I started out from the treasury building which is now a casino and onto the bridge with other people and traffic coming and going.
I stopped many times to take photos and appreciate the Brisbane river and the busy water craft crisscrossing to and fro.
It is a great place to see the city skyline and across to Southbank with all the entertaining areas, the riverside pathways and the giant Ferris wheel which kind of suited this area.
Best of all it's free and has access for wheelchairs and prams.
The lagoon on southbank was my favourite thing about Brisbane, I love the idea that they built a beach to make up for the fact that they don't really have a natural one! Although it gets pretty crowded up there on sunny days and at weekends, you still shouldn't really have too many probs finding a spot to stretch out in the sun and relax. There's a sandy beach, or grassy areas, whichever you prefer and there are also cafes and shops to buy refreshments. The lagoon itself is really nice with a sandy bottom and is a great way to escape the Brisbane heat, although you're likely to get splashed by children during the school hols!
The Southbank Parklands are a really nice area to be in, and it's a good place to go for a walk and chill out for an afternoon. There are plenty of bars and cafes, music performances and other special events, details of which can be found on the website below.
Southbank is an oasis in the middle of Brisbane city. Take a towel and a newspaper/magazine and lie on the beach. Get there early because theres a lot of people in Brisbane and the little beach can't hold everyone. There are plenty of cafes, restaurants and fast food places or if your on a budget take a picnic.
There are markets, an entertainment pavillion, conservatorium, souvenier shops, a pub, newsagent, restaurants, a nepalese peace pagoda, cultural centre, tranquil chinese gardens and so much more.
Built on the Expo 88 site, South Bank has become a mecca for locals and visitors to Brisbane. It's a great place for a picnic, a stroll or ride along the river front, an evening out or a family gathering. On special events, the places is packed, and there is often fireworks displays. South Bank is across the river from the City, and you can walk across the bridge or catch the bus/ train/ ferry/Citycat. Parking is also available. The Queensland museum, State library and Performing Arts Complex and Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre are also all located around South Bank.
The parklands includes:
Spread across the parklands and overlooking gardens, the beach, Brisbane city and the river, facilities include BBQ's, covered seating areas, water and public toilets. You can bring your own food or opt for something from the numerous snack bars and take away places.
On hot summer days in Brisbane, locals and tourists flock to South Bank to cool off at the beach, situated in the middle of South Bank, overlooking the city. The beach is patrolled by a life guard, but if you don't want to get wet you can relax on the sand and enjoy the view. If you're looking for a place to enjoy the quiet, avoid South Bank in summer!!
The South Bank Art and Craft markets, which operates Friday 5pm until10pm, Saturday 11am until 5pm, and Sunday 9am until 5pm. The Farmers and Fresh Seafood markets are held from 7am to 12 noon on every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month.
Restaurants, bars and coffee shops:
South Bank and the surrounding area has developed into a funky little community of restaurants and bars. The cuisine varies (check out the website for a full list), as do the prices, but there are some good eats to be found.
For information about upcoming events, accommodation options and any other information you'd like about South Bank, contact the Visitor Information Centre.
Stanley Street Plaza, South Bank
PO Box 2001
SOUTH BANK QLD 4101
The Ferris Wheel is one of the newest attractions at Southbank. It was built to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of World Expo '88, at South Bank Parklands
This huge, 60 metre Ferris Wheel gives you spectacular views over the CBD and South Bank areas and much further. No worries about getting too hot in one of the 42 Gondola's, they are all climate controlled!
Evidently, it is not going to remain here for ever, only 2 years, so if you want a ride on it, go now, before its too late!
OPEN....7 days a week from 10AM - 10PM
COST in 2011.... $15 for adults, $10 for children 12 years and under, $2 for children aged between one and three.
THE RIDE TAKES.....15 minutes
The thing I would suggest travelers to do while in Brisbane city itself, is to go and have a swim at our man made beach. The attraction of this is it's almost in the middle of our growing CBD. It is very different going to the beach when your almost in the middle of town. Best of all, it's free. Head down the highway about an hour and visit four of the best theme parks in the Southern Hemosphere.
In 1988, Brisbane hosted World Expo and the area of Brisbane just south of the Victoria Bridge was developed as the site for Expo. It had, up till that time, been rather a seedy part of town and for many many years, was where you would find the fish markets. Suffice to say, major work had to be done to get it ready for Expo.
Expo88 was a huge success and one of the legacies to Brisbane of this fabulous six months was that the site was redeveloped again after Expo to give us what today is known as Southbank Parklands.
The park and gardens are exquisite with many a little bridge or rockpool to be seen. The prime feature however, would have to be the artificial beach which has pride of place in a large section right in the middle. Here you can swim under the watchful eye of a lifeguard, free of charge. There are plenty of showers and facilitities available to make it comfortable.
There are plenty of lovely restaurants, ice creameries and other food outlets on hand as well as barbecue areas (no liquor allowed).
There are markets held in the park on weekends and when you have seen enough, you can go and stroll along the river or just sit and watch the world go by.
Southbank is serviced by both the CityCat and the City Ferry as well as buses and trains. This is a hugely important must see for any visitors to Brisbane.
Not much left of the "old girl!' but some interesting history.
In 1918, during the celebrations marking the end of the Great War, an 11 year old child, Hector Vasyli, of Greek ancestry, was struck by one of the vehicles in the parade and killed. A marble tablet was erected to his memory and a memorial service has been held at the site on Anzac Day ever since.
In 1969 when the bridge was being demolished, to be replaced by the present one, the tablet was removed for safe keeping. Brisbane City Council decided to retain that portion of the abutment which had originally held the memorial tablet and so it was returned to its original location on April 24, 1970. During storage the bronze relief head of the boy which decorated the tablet was lost, the young boy's sister provided a photograph of the boy from which a replacement likeness was cast.
On South bank end, by the river's edge, next to the "new" Victoria bridge is the Abutment. You can walk to the top, and just be that little higher up to view South Bank, the Brisbane River and CBD.
This is a beautifully carved Pagoda that was left over from the World Expo of 1988. It is only one of three Nepalese Peace Pagodas outside of Nepal.
To build it required over 80 tonnes of Nepalese timber and over 150 Nepalese families to build the components which were then shipped to Australia.
There are three levels, one being for meditation, another, the Tea House, and the other area now has a small display of pictures and artifacts from the Expo '88.
Originally, the plan had been to remove the pagoda once the Expo was finished however, the people of Brisbane loved the pavilion so much they petitioned to keep it in the city.
It is a MUST SEE when in Southbank, the carvings are so beautifully done!
When coming to Southbank, there is no need to go hungry as there is plenty of everything here.
You can fetch your own meat, and have a BBQ at any of the many nice areas around the park. There is even an island they call "Picnic Island"
This would be the cheapest option.
Takeaways, and once again, there is a good choice, but I found them very expensive, pay at least $2 more per item to else where, the same with drinks, make sure you bring your own bottle of water with you as it is expensive here.
The eating area is really nice, beside water & fountains, the beautiful bouganvillea, just a very nice, relaxing setting.
Restaurants, and plenty of these too, if you wish to have a sit down meal and be waited upon.