Brisbane’s Riverfire is a spectacular fireworks display and pyrotechnic show that takes place annually in Brisbane, Australia. It is one of the city’s most iconic events and serves as part of the Brisbane Festival, a celebration of arts, music, and culture.
Riverfire typically occurs on a Saturday in September and attracts a massive audience of locals and tourists alike. The event centres around the Brisbane River, with fireworks launched from multiple locations along the riverbanks and other strategic points, creating a dazzling display of lights, colours, and sound.
The fireworks are synchronized to a carefully selected soundtrack, which adds an extra element of excitement and emotion to the spectacle. The pyrotechnics range from ground-based fireworks to aerial displays, including cascading waterfalls of sparks, exploding patterns, and breathtaking bursts of colour illuminating the night sky.
One of the highlights of Riverfire is usually an aerial display by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft (C-17 Globemaster III or F/A-18) performs a thrilling flyover along the river, showcasing its agility and power. This flyover is often accompanied by music and generates tremendous excitement among the spectators.
Riverfire has also featured performances by military helicopters, including the Australian Army’s Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters and the Navy’s Seahawk helicopters. These aircraft showcase their capabilities through impressive aerial manoeuvres, adding an element of adrenaline and drama to the event.
The best vantage points to watch Riverfire are along the Brisbane River, with South Bank, Kangaroo Point, and Victoria Bridge being popular locations. Many people also enjoy viewing the spectacle from rooftops, restaurants, and parks throughout the city.
Riverfire attracts a significant crowd, so it is advisable to arrive early to secure a good spot. It is common for people to bring picnic blankets, chairs, and snacks to enjoy the show comfortably. The event concludes with a grand finale featuring an intense display of fireworks, leaving the audience in awe.
The Riverfire event is not only about fireworks but also serves as a celebration of Brisbane’s community spirit, arts, and culture. It brings together people from all walks of life to enjoy a magical evening filled with beauty and excitement.
Best Places to Watch Riverfire
Anywhere on the river front from West End to New Farm will have good views but the following are recommended:
- South Bank – Clem Jones Promenade
- River Terrace at Kangaroo Point
- Kangaroo Point Cliffs
- Captain Burke Park or Wilson’s Outlook
- Eagle Street Pier or Riverside Centre
- Mt Coot-Tha
- Mt Gravatt Lookout
- Your city employers building (book the board room FTW and make sure your pass works on the weekend)
Best Hotels with a View
These are some of the best hotels to watch the fireworks from your room. These hotels will book out fast. Those that plan ahead get the best results and if you miss out, there’s always next year.
Why not party in an apartment with a great view! Self cater and invite your friends to stay with you. No expensive drinks, parking or transport issues either. Be aware some apartments have a minimum 2 night stay and that Saturday/Sunday will be cheaper than Friday/Saturday.
- Meriton Suites Adelaide Street, Brisbane
- Hotel X Brisbane Fortitude Vly, Vignette Collection
- Meriton Suites Herschel Street, Brisbane
- Atlas Apartments by CLLIX (2 night min)
- Ivy and Eve Apartments by CLLIX (2 night min)
- Oaks Brisbane Casino Tower Suites (2 night min)
Get right up close without fighting the crowds by taking a river cruise.
- Aria Cruises
- Dolphin Wild Island Cruises
- River To Bay
- Moreton Island Adventures
- Brisbane Whale Watching
- Brisbane Riverfire Cruises
- Australian Cruise Group
Best Riverfire Rooftop Bars
Want to get down and party at on the Rooftop Bar? Here’s a list of rooftop bars some with pools where you can.
Want to enjoy a grand meal and the fireworks at the same venue? Here are some good choices.
- OTTO – South Bank
- Medley – Kangaroo Point
- The Jetty – South Bank
- Greca – Howard Smith Wharves
- Yoko Dining – Howard Smith Wharves
- Crystalbrook Vincent – Howard Smith Wharves
Road and Bridge Closures
There are a considerable number of roads and bridges that will be closed temporarily for the event.
The final list will be published shortly but last years closures will give you a good idea – Brisbane Festival Closures 2022