Are you planning a visit to Brisbane in Queensland, Australia? With a year-round warm sub-tropical climate the city has much to offer the growing numbers of domestic and international visitors arriving annually.
If you are visiting Brisbane one place that really has to be included in your itinerary is South Bank. Located on the south bank of the Brisbane river with stunning views of the city and surrounded by parks, pools, restaurants and the only beach located in a city in Australia it has something to appeal to all the family.
If you are wondering what there is to do in South Bank I have you covered! In this article, you will discover some of the best things to do in South Bank Brisbane
First visit to Brisbane? We recommend a walking tour of Brisbane City Highlights or this Brisbane river cruise (with lunch included) as perfect ways to familiarise yourself with this beautiful Queensland city.
- Don’t miss these things to do at South Bank!
- Take a photograph of the Brisbane sign
- Take (or buy) a picnic or have a BBQ
- Take a stroll along the river and spot some of the local flora and fauna!
- Take a ride on the wheel of Brisbane in South Bank Brisbane!
- Take a Swim at Streets Beach!
- Take a swim in the Boat Pool
- Have fun at Aquativity
- Take a book and relax in the beautiful South Bank Gardens
- Stroll through the arbours
- Visit the the South Bank Brisbane Market
- Catch the City Cat and take a boat ride along the river
- Visit the Nepalese Temple
- Enjoy live music
- Pick Up a City Bike and go for a cycle along the river
- Walk Along to GOMA in South Bank Brisbane
- Watch a Show/Musical at QPAC
- Visit the cheapest cinema in Brisbane
- Take your dog for a walk along South Bank
- Let the kids play in the playground while you relax
- Have a meal at one of the many South Bank Brisbane eateries
- Things to know before visiting South Bank in Brisbane
- More information about visiting Queensland Australia
Don’t miss these things to do at South Bank!
Take a photograph of the Brisbane sign
Who doesn’t want to take a picture of the Brisbane sign? Even better the sign is lit up at night so you can get that perfect shot of the skyline behind!
Take (or buy) a picnic or have a BBQ
You can purchase food (or take your own) just remember to take a blanket, wear a hat and lots of sunscreen! There are lots of green spaces available and finding a great spot is easy.
There are also BBQ’s available for you to use so bring your own food and cook at South Bank!
This is a popular option for lots of people and there is free entertainment too every Sunday at River Quay Green so you can sit back enjoy some music and just relax. For up-to-date information on what is on this month at South Bank check out the official website.
Take a stroll along the river and spot some of the local flora and fauna!
There are lots of birds and more exotic Australian animals to spot as you walk along the river!
Take a ride on the wheel of Brisbane in South Bank Brisbane!
These can be found in every city around the globe these days – I prefer my feet firmly on the ground but for a view of Brisbane from a slightly higher viewpoint try the Wheel of Brisbane!
If you want to have a go on the wheel check out the official website!
Take a Swim at Streets Beach!
One of the most popular of things to do in South Bank Brisbane is to go for a swim!!
South Bank Brisbane has the only man-made beach in a city centre in Australia. The facilities are excellent and the pool has lifeguards on duty – be sure to contact the South Bank Visitor Centre on (07) 3156 6366 to double check when they are there. And best of all it is free to use – yes you read that right – FREE!
At Christmas, there was an open-air cinema screen at the beach so you could enjoy the warm weather with a swim and a movie! One for next Christmas for us – this is a really unique experience!
Check out more things to do in Brisbane with children!
Take a swim in the Boat Pool
Another free pool to swim in and again this is patrolled by lifeguards though as mentioned above check before you go!
Have fun at Aquativity
Aquativity is an interactive water-play park free for all to enjoy but the kids will love it! Again this is open daily and patrolled by lifeguards.
Take a book and relax in the beautiful South Bank Gardens
The parklands are a wonderful space to enjoy – a veritable oasis in the middle of the city. Take a stroll, get some shade, find a seat or somewhere to sit and enjoy the surroundings!
You can even visit the Epicurious Garden and find out about some of the wonderful fruit and vegetables that are grown there.
Stroll through the arbours
Beautiful bougainvillaea surrounds you as you stroll through the arbours – and lights at Christmas make them extra pretty!
If you are looking for somewhere extra special to visit there are lots of romantic getaways near Brisbane to see too.
Visit the the South Bank Brisbane Market
The Collective markets can be found at the Stanley Street plaza at South Bank and are open
Friday 12pm – 9pm Saturday 10am – 9pm Sunday 9am – 4pm
The Brisbane Christmas markets at South Bank are also excellent and worth a visit.
Catch the City Cat and take a boat ride along the river
Catch the City Cat and enjoy a ride along the river taking in the sights of the city (and the cooler breeze in the summer too!)
Visit the Nepalese Temple
The Temple was brought to Brisbane by the Nepalese for the World Expo in 1988. It is only one of 3 Nepalese peace pagodas to be located outside Nepal! I loved looking around the pagoda and this carving caught my eye!
Enjoy live music
There is free entertainment every Sunday at River Quay Green so you can sit back enjoy some music and just relax.
For up-to-date information of what is on this month at South Bank check out the official website.
Pick Up a City Bike and go for a cycle along the river
Bikes available to hire 24 hours a day – what a brilliant scheme! You can use the bike for half an hour for free and it has to be returned to one of the many stations at this point or you will be charged a usage fee. Stations are in close proximity to each other and there are 150 across the city.
To find out more check out the City Cycle website!
Walk Along to GOMA in South Bank Brisbane
If you are the arty type take a stroll along to the Queensland Art Gallery Of Modern Art.
Previous exhibitions include the art of YAYOI KUSAMA in the LIFE IS THE HEART OF A RAINBOW. You can find up-to-date info on exhibitions on their website.
Watch a Show/Musical at QPAC
Check out events and shows at Queensland’s Performing Arts Centre!
Visit the cheapest cinema in Brisbane
The cineplex South Bank is the cheapest cinema we have yet found in fact I double checked when told the price!
We love heading to the cinema in the evening after a day at South Bank so check out what’s on and add it to your itinerary!
Take your dog for a walk along South Bank
Why not take your pooch for a walk along the river? This little beauty is called Cassie and was only 4 months old – so cute!
Let the kids play in the playground while you relax
There are lots of little play areas in South Bank and this huge one! I know my daughter would have loved this when she was younger.
Have a meal at one of the many South Bank Brisbane eateries
There are so many restaurants to choose from and though I really want to try them all out my waistline dictates that I can’t!
So far I can recommend a Sunday roast at the Hop and Pickle if that floats your boat.
Otherwise there are so many other choices I will just say you will not have a problem finding one that satisfies your hunger!
Things to know before visiting South Bank in Brisbane
How to travel to South Bank
Bus – check out the Brisbane City Council website for information about buses that run in the city.
CityCat or CityHopper – South Bank stops 1 and 2 are served by the CityCat and stop 3 by the CityHopper. Check out Translink for timetables and fare information.
Train – catch the train to South Bank station and it is a short 5 minute stroll to the riverside.
GoCard – Buy a GoCard and top it up for easy access to all types of transport in Brisbane. Buy your card at a station or on-line (you have to wait for it through the post) top it up and when you get on and off make sure to tap your card!
By car – If you decide to drive into the city there is an underground car park at South Bank with 800 spaces.
When is the best time of year to visit South Bank?
Brisbane has a sub-tropical climate with hot summers and dry warm winters. If you want to make use of the free bathing facilities they make be closed at times for cleaning so make sure to check!
Christmas is a great time to visit with fireworks, parades, festive markets and a cinema at the beach!
But to be honest ANY time of year is a wonderful time to visit Brisbane and South Bank!
What are the accommodation options at South Bank?
We have a couple of favourite hotels we recommend at South Bank.
The Mantra is only 2 minutes walk from South Bank and has excellent facilities (pool/gym/amazing breakfast).
Fabulous infinity pool and bar with a beautiful view of the city. Luxurious bedrooms with excellent facilities.
More information about visiting Queensland Australia
You can find lots of articles about visiting Australia on this website and a number of these are focussed on the beautiful state of Queensland.
Why not start with the top 23 places to visit in Queensland? This is the perfect bucket list for anyone visiting (or living in) Queensland!
Want to know what to avoid doing? Read all about what NOT to do when visiting Oz!