Saturday, February 11, 2012

Gold Coast - Brisbane - South Bank

Want to have a look at more than ocean beaches?  Queensland's capital city, Brisbane, is barely an hour's drive away.  Today we will drive up to Southbank; a centrepiece of culture, outdoor fun, a massive swimming lagoon, picnic facilities, entertainment, wining and dining.  All this moulded along the south bank of the Brisbane River, directly opposite the CBD.  Drive north along the M1 Pacific Motorway or take the train which stops right in the middle of the South Bank action.  Use a Go Card for all public transport travel.  Parking under the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition centre is $15 all day, cheaper than the parking right in South Bank.  It is a one block walk away.

Fun and interest for all the family at South Bank

There are two areas in the park.  At one end there is a cultural hub.  You could spend days exploring the Art Gallery, Museum, Gallery of Modern Art, the Science Centre and the State Library.  Free entry to all, except the Science Centre.  Some special exhibitions may entail a charge.  They are all modern constructions, with fabulous displays inside huge collections.  They are accessed directly from the South Bank rail station or via boardwalk along the river.

Entrance to Art Gallery

Museum at South Bank

A riverside playground

State Library at South Bank on Brisbane River

Fun on the Brisbane River at South Bank

The Brisbane Wheel and boardwalk. Brisbane River on left

Wander along the boardwalk from this cultural feast designed to suit all curiosities of an arty, historic, scientific, or literary nature.  Hmmm smell the learning.

Anyway, off to the outdoor entertainment.  Central is the huge series of swimming lagoons.  Sandy beaches, water fountains and streams with lifeguards on duty.  There are shady trees and shrubs throughout.  Excellent for all the family to cool off on a hot day. Toilets have lots of showers and a large change area for drying off after a swim.  Mum and dad can share a cold drink and watch the kids from the comfort of a cafe seat, if they wish.  When the tribe is hungry, the choice is endless.   BYO to cook on several barbecues, a cool drink or ice cream from one of many mobile carts, traditional fish and chips, cafe, through to fine riverside restaurant dining.

Some of the fountains in the lagoon area at South Bank
A cool drink

Part of the huge lagoon area
Lots of choice for food and drink

Shady walkway at South Bank along the banks of the Brisbane River

The kids can find all manner of activities: playgrounds, parkland, long cycle paths along the river and the fun lagoon area.  It's easy to fill a whole day.  Shops line the side of the park.  For the serious shopper in you, walk across one of two pedestrian bridges straight into the CBD and shopping malls. 

South Bank is much too large to fit into one story.  There are days of fun you could line up, so you can rest assured that you and the kids will have a fun-filled day.

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