South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia +61 7 3156 6366 Website 5am – Late Brisbane Campervan Hire

courierhidden (contributor)

The riverside area to the south from the city is now known as “Southbank”. In former days, it was simply “South Brisbane” and was a sleazy run-down area with rotting old timber wharves, tired looking warehouses, ugly industrial developments, and drunk-infested old pubs. Now it is one of the jewels in Brisbane’s crown.

What brought about the dramatic change? The World Expo of 1988, Brisbane’s contribution to Australia’s bicentenary celebrations. In a flash of inspiration a large expanse of South Brisbane was cleared, with the exception of a few historic pubs, which were restored. Roads were diverted, massive landscaping undertaken, and the 1988 Expo achieved more than anything before or since to put Brisbane on the international map.

Very little remains of the Expo developments – after it had finished nearly all the buildings were removed, most of the roads torn up, and the area was redeveloped again: this time mainly as parkland. As you wander through the forested areas, with substantial trees and water features, it is hard to imagine that the parklands have not been there for far longer! Fortunately, the planners have recognised that people need some shelter from the blazing summer heat, and have provided shelter over many of the main walking paths. But it’s far more than parks, as you will find in the next two tips.

AdvisorCircle (contributor)

As you wander through Southbank, you encounter a quite extraordinary sight (well, I think so, anyway). Before you is a sandy beach area surrounded by subtropical parkland and with the city skyline directly across the river. Should you venture there on a sunny summer weekend, you will find what seems a goodly proportion of Brisbane’s population enjoying a swim or just lying on the sand soaking up the sun. The use of the beach is free.

When we visited, not only was the artificial beach extremely busy, but it seemed that another large extension to the pool and beach is well on the way to being completed (it was concreted but empty). Yes, there even is a lifeguard service!

Not far from the beach are numerous restaurants (prices when we visited were reasonable and the food and coffee quite good). Close by them was an open air market and beyond that an old pub restored for Expo – if I hadn’t been so busily involved in doing VT research, I’d very possibly have slipped in for a cold beer! (Oh the sacrifices I make to keep you informed! :-) )

listenerural (contributor)

As its name suggests, Brisbane’s South Bank Parklands is located on the south bank of the city’s river.

This scenic area of parkland, riverside walks, artificial beaches, cafes, restaurants and shops occupies the whole of the riverfront between Victoria bridge and Goodwill Bridge.

One of the highlights of the South Bank Parklands is Streets Beach – a sandy beach and shallow lagoon right in the centre of the city! I first visited Streets Beach on ANZAC Day and, with most locals off work for the day and the hot sun shining, the crowds were out in force. Every inch of sand and grass was occupied by people sunbathing, picnicking or playing ball games. It was far too busy to enjoy a relaxing sunbathe or swim – this is the problem with having a beach in the city centre! The following day, with many people back at work, the beach looked far more relaxing and inviting.

Another highlight of the parklands is Stanley Street Plaza, a walkway lined with cafes, shops and restaurants. The eating establishments are strung out along the plaza, in three distinct areas: “Stanley Street Plaza”, “Central Cafes” and “Arbour View Cafes”. Many of these have outdoor seating areas with views of either the park, the river or Streets Beach. Choose from a selection of Mediterranean restaurants, pizzerias, ice cream parlours, juice bars, a branch of Subway, a fish and chips shop, a kebab kiosk and many more. The food is a little more expensive than average in some cases, but the atmosphere is excellent.

The paths through the park are often flower lined and there are small ponds with water birds flocking around them. There is lots of open grassland and plenty of childrens play areas.

It is possible to catch a ferry to various points along the river. There are three ferry piers along the South Bank Parklands stretch of riverfront.

frazzledlastage (contributor)

The Maritime Museum is at the eastern boundary of Southbank, adjacent to the (pedestrian and cyclist only) Goodwill Bridge. It is located in and around the historic South Brisbane Dry Dock and is sure to appeal to those with a maritime interest.

Here you can inspect the old Frigate “HMAS Diamantina” built in 1945, look at ship models, ship engines, details of shipwrecks and lighthouses. If you time your visit for the right day (check the website below), you may be able to take a tour down the river and back on the retired 1925 steam-powered tug “Forceful”. I had visited the Museum previously (sadly without a camera) and did not have time for a visit on this trip – but it is worthwhile if you have any historical or maritime interests. The entry charge is $7 for adults.

Open 0930 – 1630 (entry until 1530) except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday.

Cautioussquid (contributor)

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.

threatenedyonkers (contributor)

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!

eagervitamin (contributor)

This beautiful recreational area covers 17 hectares of parklands in a wider 120 hectare precinct. This side of the river was developed for 1988 Expo, the dream of our then long term Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen. Once the site of pavilions, displays, restaurants and international country showcasing, this is now a beautiful and well used recreational site for locals and visitors – with roughly 5 million people visiting this site every year. The ony remnants of Expo are some of the utility buildings and a pub, and a 2 story pagoda, handcrafted for the event, and left as a gift from the Nepalese people.

The parkland runs for roughly 1km along the south bank of the Brisbane River – and now an attractive arbour runs along the stretch as a colourful bougainvillia covered shelter.

The range of activities are extensive, and I really like the fact that you can use the parklands for such a wide range of activities, and spend little or a lot – making it truly accessible for everyone. You can bring a picnic or BBQ, and guaranteed to find your own secluded spot amongt the meandering grassy areas. You can have a fish and ship or variety of other takeaways, or enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants dotted throughout the park.

There is a created and extensive beach area, complete with lifeguards, catering to a range of swimming and cooling needs – all adjacent picnic and supervision areas – looking over the Brisbane River and city.

At the southern end of the parklands is the Queensland Maritime Museum – where there are a range of memorabilia from our maritime past, including an old frigate, Diamantina, and steam tug, Forceful.

You can access the parklands from the city by either walking across the Goodwill Bridge or the Victoria Bridge, at either ends of the parklands.

The Queensland Museum, Art Gallery and Performing Arts Complex are also part of the Southbank precinct, access from the Victoria Bridge.

Latest Images of Southbank, Brisbane

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