South Bank, Brisbane

Set on the pretty southern banks of the Brisbane River, the South Bank is one of the city’s premier cultural hotspots, boasting tonnes of great restaurants, bars, shops, and events.

Brisbane’s South Bank and Parklands provide the perfect place to relax, promising visitors an eclectic mix of rainforest, grassland, and plazas, as well as several great attractions to explore while in the area. Large city festivals are also held here regularly. With so much going on, it’s no wonder that the South Bank attracts 11 million visitors every year!

What to See and Do in South Bank

  • 1. The Arbour

    One of the top attractions is the 1km long Arbour walkway that begins in Cultural Forecourt and finishes in River Quay. Featuring 443 curving galvanised steel posts, the arch is covered with brilliant purple bougainvillea flowers growing into a unique natural archway. The path weaves within the grassy areas, rainforest areas, and incredible sculptures of the South Bank Parklands and is a perfect place for your next Instagram shot, with the purple canopy creating a picturesque backdrop.

  • 2. Courier Mail Piazza

    The Parklands has plenty of squares for visitors to enjoy, and the Courier Mail Piazza is one of the most popular. Boasting an open-air amphitheatre, it is a constant hive of activity and a regular spot for community events and performances. And when it is not being used for a festival, you can watch sporting events or the news on big screens that are suspended around it. The amphitheatre featured there has a capacity of 2,158 people, so you’ll have plenty of room to set yourself up for a footy or rugby game on the weekend.

  • 3. Wheel of Brisbane

    Discover the city from a different perspective on the Wheel of Brisbane, a stunning 60 metre Ferris wheel that was erected to celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Expo 88. It has now become a staple feature in the city’s skyline, lighting up at night in a variety of colours. Rides last 15 minutes and provide stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding area. The gondola carriages even offer food and drink, letting you enjoy the high life as you sip on a glass of bubbly while you look out over Brisbane and beyond.

  • 4. Markets

    Every Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, the Collective Markets set up and offer an exciting range of art, homeware, collectibles, food, designer fashion and more! The Markets are an ideal way to see the local community at its best, letting you stroll through and enjoy the atmosphere. The market is also an excellent place to purchase gifts and sample delicious treats and homemade goodies. Live music and entertainment is scattered about the market, so after grabbing some food simply set up in the nearby grass or benches and enjoy the lively music and performances.

  • 5. Nepal Peace Pagoda

    The Nepal Peace Pagoda is one of the relics of Expo ’88, a specialised Expo held in Brisbane during a six-month period in 1988. It is one of the most significant heritage attractions in Brisbane, being the only international exhibit remaining after the Expo. Originally brought to the expo as the Kingdom of Nepal’s contribution, it features traditional architecture and a meditation area that makes it a popular attraction in the area.

  • 6. Restaurants and Cafes

    The South Bank boasts many local and international restaurants, featuring food from all over the world. It’s one of the premier dining spots in the city and includes tasty gems like Café San Marco, Gandhi Curry House, Wang Dynasty, Chez Laila, and The Plough Inn. If you want to try some seafood, head to the South Bank Surf Club where celebrity chef Ben O’Donoghue has created a menu filled with delicious fresh fish.

  • 7. Streets Beach

    One major feature of the Parklands is Streets Beach, a manmade stretch of sand that acts as a picturesque backdrop for all sorts of fun activities. It is a South Bank icon, being one of the most popular attractions in the Parklands and it is the only man-made, inner city beach in the entire country. Featuring soft white sand, tropical palm trees, and brilliant blue waters, it is the perfect place to soak up the sunshine and cool off in the water while only being a breath away from the busy city centre.

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