Southbank Parklands

This iconic public waterfront parkland is a lush haven in the city, with tropical pools, restaurants, cafés, a Ferris wheel, markets and free BBQs with playgrounds.

Enjoy the Queensland sunshine in a lush, inner-city setting. Have a BBQ, go for a swim, discover the local flora and fauna and shop for souvenirs. Visit one of the restaurants to enjoy alfresco dining with river views.  

South Bank was developed for the World Expo in 1988 and has been maintained as free parklands for everyone to enjoy. Set aside a day to explore the riverfront venue, which is just a mile wide (1.6 kilometers) wide but packed with entertainment.

Start at the Maritime Museum at the foot of the Goodwill Bridge. Its historic dry dock harbors a significant World War II naval frigate. Across the road, the former sailor’s drinking den The Ship Inn from 1864 is now a classy pub. 

The Arbor, South Bank’s iconic bougainvillea arch, guides you through the parklands. You’ll pass a creek and playground and can take a little detour to some chic riverfront restaurants.

In the heart of the parklands are the tropical outdoor pools of Streets Beach. Cool off in the water or rest under a palm tree while the kids explore the water-play park. Rent a locker for your bags outside the free showers and change rooms. 

Visit a typical Australian pub to try the local fare, enjoy a BBQ picnic on the lawn or have lunch on a terrace. The kiosks, cafés and restaurants sell everything from sandwiches to eclectic European cuisine.

Visit the tourist office on Stanley Street Plaza to find out what is on. Browse the weekend market, with locals selling crafts and clothing, or be entertained by street artists. Join free sports events or visit a festival in or near the public stadium. 

Board the huge Ferris wheel see Brisbane from above. At its base, almost hidden in the rainforest, is a beautiful Nepalese Pagoda. From here, continue west to visit some of Queensland’s major museums and theaters.

It is best to reach South Bank by public transport, including ferries. South Bank Station is on the east end and the Cultural Centre bus station is on the west end. There is parking available on site however it is reasonably expensive. 

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