South Bank is a popular precinct located on the southern bank of the Brisbane River, opposite the central business district. It is a vibrant and diverse area that is home to a range of cultural and entertainment attractions, as well as restaurants, cafes, and bars. Here are some of the things to see and do in South Bank:
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) – QPAC is a world-class performing arts venue, hosting a range of live theatre, dance, music, and comedy performances throughout the year.
Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) – The Queensland Art Gallery is an award-winning gallery featuring a collection of Australian and international art, including indigenous and contemporary works. GOMA is one of Australia’s leading contemporary art museums, featuring a range of international and Australian artworks across a variety of mediums.
Queensland Museum – The Queensland Museum features a range of exhibits on natural history, science, and culture. The museum also hosts regular events, workshops, and tours.
Streets Beach – South Bank’s Streets Beach is a man-made beach and lagoon, offering a unique swimming experience in the heart of the city. The beach is surrounded by tropical gardens and a range of food and drink options.
South Bank Parklands – The South Bank Parklands offer a range of outdoor spaces and attractions, including the Arbour, a kilometre-long walkway with stunning bougainvillea-covered arches, and the Wheel of Brisbane, a Ferris wheel offering panoramic views of the city.
South Bank Cultural Forecourt – The South Bank Cultural Forecourt hosts a range of events throughout the year, including music festivals, cultural celebrations, and outdoor movies.
Riverfront Promenade – The Riverfront Promenade is a scenic walking and cycling path along the Brisbane River, offering stunning views of the city skyline and access to a range of restaurants and cafes.
Queensland Maritime Museum – The Queensland Maritime Museum at the southern end of South Bank, has exhibitions and displays that show the maritime history of Queensland.
South Bank Collective Markets -popular outdoor markets held on weekends and feature a wide range of local artisanal products, including handmade crafts, jewellery, clothing, accessories and food.
Brisbane Wheel – This Ferris Wheel has enclosed gondolas that give you a 10 – 15 minute ride to enjoy the fabulous views.
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre (BCEC) – The BCEC is a massive building that holds a variety of events from rock concerts and sporting events to expos and conventions like the annual Lifeline Bookfest. At other times it provides a convenient option for parking.
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The Queensland Performing Arts Centre, or QPAC for short, is a world-class performing arts venue located in the South Bank precinct of Brisbane, Australia. QPAC hosts a variety of live theatre, music, dance, and comedy performances throughout the year, attracting local and international talent and audiences.
The venue has four main performance spaces, each with its own unique design and features:
Lyric Theatre – The largest of QPAC’s theatres, the Lyric Theatre has a seating capacity of 2,000 and is the venue’s flagship performance space. The theatre is designed to accommodate a range of productions, including musicals, plays, and opera.
Concert Hall – The Concert Hall is a world-renowned concert venue with seating for up to 1,800 guests. It features state-of-the-art acoustics and is renowned for its ability to showcase a range of musical genres, from classical to contemporary.
Playhouse – The Playhouse is a more intimate theatre space, with seating for up to 850 guests. The theatre is designed for theatrical productions, including plays and musicals.
Cremorne Theatre – The Cremorne Theatre is QPAC’s smallest theatre, with seating for up to 200 guests. It is a flexible space that can be used for a range of performances, including smaller-scale theatre productions, dance performances, and workshops.
In addition to its performance spaces, QPAC also has a range of facilities and services for performers and visitors, including bars and restaurants, a box office, and cloakroom services.
QPAC is a cultural hub in Brisbane and a must-visit destination for performing arts enthusiasts.
QAGOMA stands for the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. It is a world-class art museum located in the cultural precinct of South Bank, Brisbane, Australia.
QAGOMA is one of the largest and most significant art institutions in Australia, and it is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of both historical and contemporary art from around the world. The museum’s collection includes works by some of the most renowned artists in history, as well as contemporary artists working in a range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, video, and installation art.
The museum consists of two buildings, the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art, which are connected by a bridge. The Queensland Art Gallery features works from the museum’s historical collection, as well as temporary exhibitions of international and local artists. The Gallery of Modern Art, on the other hand, focuses on contemporary art and is renowned for its innovative and thought-provoking exhibitions.
Permanent collection – QAG’s permanent collection features over 20,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, prints, and decorative arts. The collection includes a range of Australian and international artists, with a particular focus on art from the Asia-Pacific region.
Temporary exhibitions – QAG hosts a range of temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring a variety of artists and themes. These exhibitions often include major touring shows from around the world, as well as exhibitions of contemporary Australian art.
Cinémathèque – GOMA’s Cinémathèque is a dedicated cinema space that screens a range of films and moving image works, including classic and contemporary cinema, as well as experimental and avant-garde works.
Children’s Art Centre – The Children’s Art Centre is a dedicated space for young visitors to engage with contemporary art through interactive exhibits, workshops, and activities.
QAG & GOMA are on the list of must-visit destinations in Brisbane for tourists.
The Queensland Museum is a museum of natural history, cultural heritage, and science located in South Bank, Brisbane, Australia. The museum is a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike, offering a range of exhibits and interactive displays that explore the natural and cultural history of Queensland.
Queensland Museum is a great destination with a range of interesting exhibits and interactive displays.
Streets Beach is a man-made beach located in the heart of the South Bank precinct. The beach is covered in fine white sand, giving visitors the feeling of being at a real beach.
It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a unique and enjoyable experience in the heart of the city.
The beach stretches over 2,000 square meters, with a lagoon-style design that includes shallow and deep areas for swimming.
It is patrolled by qualified lifeguards during opening hours, ensuring a safe swimming environment for visitors.
The beach has a range of play areas for children, including a water play area, a climbing wall, and a giant chess board.
South Bank Parklands
South Bank Parklands cover an area of 17 hectares and are a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. The parklands feature a range of gardens, including the Rainforest Walk, the Arbour, and the Riverside Green, providing a peaceful and relaxing environment in the heart of the city.
They offer stunning views of the river and the city skyline with a range of walking and cycling paths, offering a great way to explore the area and take in the sights.
The parklands have a large playground area that includes a range of play equipment suitable for children of all ages.
The parklands have a range of BBQ and picnic areas, making it a great destination for a family day out or a social gathering.
The parklands host a range of events and activities throughout the year, including music and cultural festivals, markets, and sporting events.
The Brisbane Wheel is a large Ferris wheel, located in the South Bank Parklands, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It is a popular tourist attraction that offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the Brisbane River.
The wheel stands at a height of 60 meters and features 42 fully enclosed gondolas, each of which can accommodate up to 6 passengers. The gondolas are air-conditioned and feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows, offering unobstructed views of the city.
The Brisbane Wheel operates daily from 10 am to 10 pm, and a single ride lasts for approximately 12 minutes. It is a popular attraction for both locals and tourists, and it provides a unique perspective of the city that is not available from anywhere else.
The wheel has become an iconic part of the Brisbane skyline, and it is often used as a backdrop for photos and videos. It is also a popular venue for special events and celebrations, such as weddings, birthdays, and corporate functions.
The Queensland Maritime Museum is a museum located in the South Bank precinct of Brisbane, Australia. It is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the maritime history of Queensland and Australia.
The museum features a range of exhibitions that showcase the maritime history of Queensland and Australia, including ship models, navigational equipment, and maritime artifacts.
The museum has a range of vessels on display, including the HMAS Diamantina, a World War II-era frigate that served in the Royal Australian Navy.
The museum offers guided tours of the vessels and exhibitions, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of the maritime history of the area.
There are a range of education programs for school groups and visitors of all ages, helping to promote an understanding of the importance of maritime history and its relevance to the present day.
The South Bank Collective Markets are a popular outdoor market located in the heart of South Bank, Brisbane, Australia. The markets are held on weekends and feature a wide range of local artisanal products, including handmade crafts, jewellery, clothing, accessories, and food.
The markets are operated by the Collective Markets, which is a community-driven organization dedicated to promoting local entrepreneurship and creativity. They offer a platform for emerging and established artists and designers to showcase and sell their products to a wide audience.
In addition to the artisanal products, the markets also feature a range of food stalls offering a variety of international and local cuisine, as well as live music and other entertainment.
South Bank Cultural Forecourt
The South Bank Cultural Forecourt is a large outdoor event space located in the heart of the South Bank precinct in Brisbane, Australia. It is situated in front of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) and is a popular venue for major cultural and community events in Brisbane.
Key features include:
Open-air stage – The Forecourt features an open-air stage that is used for a range of cultural and community events throughout the year. The Forecourt has tiered seating that can accommodate up to 2,000 people, providing a great view of the stage for all attendees.
Fountain – The Forecourt features a large water fountain that is illuminated at night, creating a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere.
Event facilities – The Forecourt has a range of event facilities, including toilets, dressing rooms, and storage areas, making it a popular venue for large-scale events.
The Riverfront Promenade is a scenic walkway located along the banks of the Brisbane River in the South Bank precinct of Brisbane, Australia. It is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, offering stunning views of the river and the city skyline.
Key features include:
Scenic walkway – The Riverfront Promenade is a wide walkway that stretches for approximately 1.2 kilometres along the river, offering a great way to explore the area and take in the sights.
Landscaped gardens – The promenade features a range of landscaped gardens, including the Rainforest Walk, which provides a peaceful and relaxing environment in the heart of the city.
Public art installations – The Riverfront Promenade features a range of public art installations, including sculptures and murals, which add to the vibrant atmosphere of the area.
Picnic and BBQ areas – The promenade has a range of picnic and BBQ areas, making it a great destination for a family day out or a social gathering.
River views – The promenade offers stunning views of the Brisbane River and the city skyline, providing a unique and memorable experience for visitors.
The Riverfront Promenade is an ideal place to go for a scenic and relaxing walk with lots to see.
The Goodwill Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that joins the City with the southern end of the South Bank. It’s a convenient entry point into the city for students at QUT and visitors wanting to see the City Botanical Gardens.
Neville Bonner Bridge
The latest pedestrian bridge across the Brisbane river from Queen’s Wharf Precinct to South Bank is the Neville Bonner Bridge.
The River Walk from South Bank is a popular walking and cycling path that follows the Brisbane River from the South Bank Parklands to the Kangaroo Point Cliffs. It continues by the riverside after the Maritime Museum at the southern end of South Bank.
It is a scenic route that offers stunning views of the city skyline and the river, and it is a popular spot for exercise, watching rock climbers and photography. You will be able to get insta worthy shots of the city and the Story Bridge. Duck up the cliffs for a better view. The stairs are at each end of the cliffs.
The River Walk is approximately 870 meters long and is fully accessible for pedestrians and cyclists. It features separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians, as well as seating areas and lookout points along the way. Keep note of the painted lanes to avoid collisions.
The River Walk is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and it provides a unique perspective of the city that is not available from anywhere else.
The State Library of Queensland is the main reference and research library in Queensland and is open to the public. It is situated in the cultural precinct of South Bank, adjacent to the Gallery of Modern Art and the Queensland Museum. The library is easily accessible by public transport and is located within walking distance of several hotels and other attractions in the South Bank area.
The State Library offers a range of services and resources to the public, including:
Collections – The library has a large collection of books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other materials relating to Queensland and Australia.
Exhibitions – The library hosts a range of exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing items from its collections and exploring different aspects of Queensland and Australian history.
Learning programs – The library offers a range of learning programs for people of all ages, including workshops, talks, and tours.
Research assistance – The library provides research assistance to help people find information on a range of topics, including genealogy and family history.
Digital resources – The library offers a range of digital resources, including online databases, e-books, and digitized collections.
Cultural events – The library also hosts a range of cultural events, including film screenings, live music performances, and author talks.
The centre is located in the heart of South Bank, close to several major hotels, restaurants, and other attractions. It is easily accessible by public transport and is situated on the banks of the Brisbane River, offering stunning views of the city skyline.
It has the largest car park at South Bank and is centrally located making it a short walk from everything. Except the Ship Inn.
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre is a large events and conference venue located in South Bank, Brisbane, Australia. It is one of the most popular event venues in the city and has hosted a wide range of events, including international conferences, trade shows, concerts, and sporting events.
The centre has a total of 44 meeting and event spaces, including several large exhibition halls, a grand ballroom, and a range of smaller meeting rooms. It has a total capacity of up to 8,000 delegates and is fully equipped with the latest audio-visual and presentation technology.
In addition to its conference and exhibition facilities, the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre also features a range of on-site services and amenities, including several restaurants and cafes, a business centre, and a range of other support services for event organizers.
South Bank Accommodation
South Bank offers a range of accommodation options from luxurious five-star hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Some of the most popular types of South Bank accommodation include:
South Bank is home to a range of hotels, from luxurious five-star options to more budget-friendly choices. Some of the most popular hotels in the area include:
If you’re looking for a bit more space and privacy, South Bank also offers a range of serviced apartments. Some of the most popular options include:
Backpackers & Hostels
If you’re on a budget, South Bank has a number of backpacker hostels that offer affordable accommodation. Some of the most popular options include:
Best South Bank Accommodation Options
To help you make the best decision, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top accommodation options in the area.
The Emporium Hotel South Bank is a boutique hotel boasting luxury accommodation and exceptional dining in the heart of the South Bank precinct. The roof top bar and infinity pool offer awesome views of the river and city.
The Rydges South Bank is a luxurious five-star hotel located in the heart of South Bank. It offers stunning views of the river and the city skyline, as well as easy access to some of the area’s top attractions. The hotel features a range of amenities, including a rooftop pool, a fitness centre, and an on-site restaurant and bar.
The Arise Arena South Bank is a modern serviced apartment complex that offers spacious and stylish accommodation. It is located just a short walk from the South Bank Parklands and offers easy access to public transport. The apartments feature fully equipped kitchens, laundry facilities, and private balconies with stunning views of the city.
If you’re on a budget, the Brisbane Backpackers Resort is a great option for affordable South Bank accommodation. It offers a range of dormitory and private rooms, as well as a range of amenities, such as a swimming pool, a BBQ area, and a communal kitchen.
South Bank Places to Eat
Here are some popular places to eat in the South Bank precinct:
OTTO Ristorante and Osteria – The Ristorante offers a modern Italian menu that is “fresh, seasonal and produce-driven; sourcing the finest local ingredients”. The Osteria is menu inspired by the regions of Northern Italy and guests can enjoy a casual bite to eat while taking in the view. Did I mention the fabulous river front view. Oh and pasta and wine for lunches, Wednesday through to Sunday.
Popolo – This casual Italian eatery features a menu of authentic dishes, including wood-fired pizzas and handmade pastas. It has a lively atmosphere and a popular riverside location.
The Charming Squire – This brewery and restaurant offers a range of craft beers and pub-style food. It is a popular spot for after-work drinks and casual dining.
Denim Co. – This trendy cafe offers a menu of healthy and indulgent options, including smoothie bowls, salads, and burgers. It has a bright and airy interior and a popular outdoor seating area.
Ahmet’s Turkish Restaurant – This family-owned restaurant serves authentic Turkish cuisine, including meze platters, grilled meats, and traditional desserts. It has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and is a popular choice for groups.
The Plough Inn – This historic pub has been serving food and drinks in the South Bank precinct since 1864. It offers a range of classic pub fare, including steaks, burgers, and fish and chips.
The Ship Inn – Iconic hotel was constructed in 1864 and has developed a reputation as a lamb lover’s paradise. It provides a classic pub style menu and has three separate dining areas plus function rooms catering for casual dining, lazy alfresco lunches, functions and events. And exceptional service. It’s located at the southern end of the arboretum.
Pie Town – Not technically located in South Bank but you’ll need the walk to burn the calories after. They claim “Pie Town is home to some of the best pies in Australia. Everything we create is made from scratch, by hand, with finest sourced ingredients as locally as possible”. It’s a big call but it’s hard to disagree.
South Bank Parking
Parking options at South Bank can be convenient but not cheap. Other options, particularly when busy include catching a train and getting off at either South Bank (southern end) or South Brisbane Stations (northern end).