One of the more interesting districts in Brisbane is the area of South Bank, situated on the southern bank of the Brisbane River, across from the city center (CBD). This cultural, educational, and recreational area is visited by over 11,000,000 people a year. It is a feature packed area that is home to parkland, universities, several museums, a convention center, theatres, restaurants and bars, hotels, and even a beach.
South Bank Parklands
The South Bank Parklands was built on the site of Expo 88, and since then has grown and developed into an amazing inner city destination that is full of features that make it popular with tourists and locals alike, throughout the year. It has its own ferry station and it is a busy one at that. The walkway is lined with multicolored Bougainvillea along the river side. We usually take our visitors there.
One can walk along the river on the wide promenade or through the lush rainforest, which include grassed areas, plazas, water features, the Nepal Peace Pagoda, and the Wheel of Brisbane, and even a beach with real sand!
The Nepal Peace Pagoda
Built for World Expo 88, it is one of only 3 such pagodas that exist outside of Nepal.
The Wheel of Brisbane
This is also a leftover from Expo 88. Ed and I enjoyed the great views from our ride in one of the 42 air-conditioned capsules.
One of the sites that you can see when looking down from the wheel is the distinctive and beautiful Arbour Lane, which is covered in Bougainvillea most of the year. This pedestrian walkway is made of 443 curling steel columns covered in bougainvilleas. Even when it is not flowering, the Lane is sculpturally beautiful.
Arbour Lane meanders from the Wheel of Brisbane to Streets Beach. Streets Beach has the unusual location of being next to the Brisbane River and across from the City center.
“Streets Beach is a man-made beach, which is 2,000 square metres of free-formed concrete surrounded by 4,000 cubic metres of sand. The sand surrounding the beach is sourced from the Rous Channel in nearby Moreton Bay and every year the beach is topped up with an additional 70 tonnes to ensure that it is kept in pristine condition. The lagoon contains chlorinated fresh water that is recirculated every six hours at up to 125 litres per second. Water for the beach is pumped through two large sand filters and chemically treated before being pumped back into the pools. Dredge pump and self-propelled sifting machines clean the adjoining pools.” Wikipedia
If you get hungry or thirsty, you can head over to Grey Street or Little Stanley Street, or to the south end of the park, where you will find almost endless choices of some of the city’s most vibrant restaurants, bars, cafe’s and food stands, to eat at – and do a little shopping while you are at it.
This is also the site of many markets and festivals throughout the year, such as the Regional Flavors Food and Wine Festival or the Brisbane Festival.
Queensland Cultural Center
You can spend many a day or evening exploring and experiencing art and dance and music. I have enjoyed several visits to these free museums, which have something to suit every taste. The buildings are beautiful and modern and full of interesting displays and special exhibitions – and if you need to rest, there is always a nice place enjoy some refreshments at one of the excellent indoor and outdoor cafes.This hub of culture is home to:
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC)
- Each year QPAC is abuzz with dance, musicals, theatre, opera, music concerts, ballet, and more.
The Queensland Museum and Science Centre
The Queensland Art Gallery
In general, I have found that museums and art galleries across Australia are free, which is nice when you just want to look around or have some refreshment in a cafe’ like this one.
The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)
The State Library of Queensland
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
This large venue is over 20,000 m² and has received 126 major industry awards, making it the most awarded convention centre in Australia and it has been ranked among the top three convention centres world-wide by the Association Internationale des Palais de Congres (AIPC) on three separate occasions. The centre was also host to the G20 Leaders Summit in November 2014.
We went to a food and wine show here. This place really is massive and beautiful.
Griffith Film School
Queensland College of Art
- founded in 1881 and is the oldest arts institution in Australia
Queensland Conservatorium (of Music)
“Queensland Conservatorium is considered the most comprehensive tertiary music school in Australia. With offerings in classical instrumental studies, vocal performance and opera, composition, jazz, new music, popular music, musical theatre, music technology and electronic music, Queensland Conservatorium helps aspiring musicians to find their places on the world stage.”
Queensland Maritime Museum
Some Final Words…
I’m sorry that I don’t have pictures of Griffith University (or the Maritime Museum) to show you, but it is enough to know that Brisbane would probably be a wonderful place to attend university, especially if you are into the arts. Here are a few final pictures before I go.
Brisbane Art Installation
If you look back at the beginning of this post you will see the original “Brisbane” art installation. It was only meant to be temporary, but it was wildly popular, so a permanent installation was created. This one needs to be visited at night so that you can enjoy the changing lights. This area of Brisbane is wonderful to wander around at night. First, because of the agreeable evening temperatures and second, because of the beautiful lights.