Want to know what is happening with Riverfire in Brisbane in 2023? The great news is Brisbane’s most spectacular fireworks show and family day-out Riverfire by Australian Retirement Trust, will be back in all its glory this year!
What Is Brisbane Riverfire?
Brisbane Riverfire is an epic fireworks show held to celebrate the opening night of the Brisbane Festival.
It’s been around for a while, originally to celebrate the end of the Brisbane Festival, then it was scaled back and then turned into a lights show during 2020. But no matter when it’s been held, it’s always drawn a crowd.
Brisbane Riverfire fireworks show lasts for about 20 minutes and can be seen all over the city. It’s one of our favourite things to do in Brisbane each year. We normally see Riverfire at South Bank, but keep reading… there are lots of places to see the Brisbane Festival fireworks!
Brisbane Riverfire 2023 date
If you are looking for when is Riverfire Brisbane 2023 or what date is Brisbane River? The date for Riverfire 2023 is Saturday 2 September.
For this explosive Festival event you can tune into Triple M’s live broadcast or Channel 9’s exclusive television coverage.
Riverfire 2023 schedule
The Brisbane River fireworks 2023 will be an incredible display of fireworks and will light up the Brisbane skyline from multiple city rooftops, barges and bridges. Ahead of the pyrotechnics, the Army Aviation team will demonstrate their flying prowess.
This 2023 Brisbane Festival fireworks will begin at 7.05pm but the entertainment begins much earlier, at 4pm.
Foti Fireworks’ handles the pyrotechnic show, which is choreographed to a soundtrack of music by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall.
Expect the entire city to be very crowded all day, as people wait hours to get the best view point. The fenced South Bank area will open at 9am.
Best places to watch Riverfire Brisbane 2023 fireworks
The best places to watch the Riverfire 2023 fireworks for free are:
- South Bank
- Kangaroo Point cliffs
- Captain Burke Park
- Wilson’s Lookout
- City Riverwalk including the Eagle St Pier and Riverside Centre
- Wilsons Outlook, Bowen Terrace, Fortitude Valley
Note that the South Bank area is fenced and they do close it off once it reaches capacity. This area opens up at 9am and will likely fill up several hours before the event.
Read our detailed article – Best places to see Brisbane Festival fireworks 2023 – see our detailed list of vantage points to see River Fireworks Brisbane here.
Best places to see Riverfire for people with limited mobility
Best access points for Riverfire if you or a family member have limited mobility are South Bank, Eagle Street Pier, Riverside Centre and Captain Burke Park.
As in previous years, Brisbane Festival will establish a dedicated accessible viewing platform at Kangaroo Point for people with disabilities and their companions. Booking for these areas is essential. You can find the booking form in the FAQ section of the Brisbane Festival website.
Food and drink at Brisbane River Festival 2023
There are plenty of places to buy food and drink during Riverfire. We usually eat in South Bank since that’s where we watch the show. You can see the best South Bank restaurants here.
However, you can always pack your own picnic to save money.
Don’t bring any glass bottles, soft drink bottles with broken seals or water bottles as these will be confiscated by security. South Bank is alcohol-free.
Riverfire road closures and changes during the event for 2023
The following roads closures and changes apply for Riverfire 2023.
- Saturday 2 September there will be alterations to public transport so check before travelling.
- Western footpath (Museum side) closes from 5:30pm to 9:30pm (or as directed by Police)
- Victoria Bridge Monument closes between 4pm and 9:00pm.
- Closed to pedestrians and cyclists between 4:00pm and 8:00pm.
- Two City-bound traffic lanes close on Wednesday 31 August from 11pm until 5am, Thursday 1 September from 8:00pm until 5.00am Friday 1 September and again on Sunday 3 September between 5:00am and 10:00am.
- Western footpath (City-side) closes to pedestrians on Thursday 1 September from 8pm until 10.00pm Saturday 2 September.
- Eastern footpath (Dockside side) closes to pedestrians from 6:30pm to 8:00pm on Saturday 2 September.
- No pedestrian access on the Story Bridge from 6:30pm until 8:00pm on Saturday 2 September.
- All Traffic lanes close from 6:30pm until 8:00pm on Saturday 2 September.
Captain Cook Bridge – Riverside Expressway
- The inbound lanes (North bound) of the Captain Cook Bridge may close between 7:00pm to 7:30pm on Saturday 2 September via a controlled vehicle movement, visit the Brisbane Festival website in late August for up-to-date information of this closure.
- The outbound lanes (South bound) always remain open but operates at a reduced speed with police patrols monitoring traffic flow and responding to any incidents.
Riverfire times – Riverfire Brisbane for 2023
Below is the schedule for Brisbane Riverfire 2023.
- South Bank area opens – 9am
- C17A Globemaster Display – 5pm
- EA-18G Growler Display – 5.15pm
- Army Tiger Helicopter Display – 5.25pm
- Fireworks from 7.05pm – 7.25pm
- Nieergoo: Spirit of the Whale drone show – 7.45pm and 9.15pm
Riverfire flypast rehearsal times 2023
If you’re keen to check out the rehearsal flybys without the crowds, here are the current scheduled rehearsal times. Please note, these times are subject to change.
- Thursday 31 August 12:30pm Army Aviation Helicopter Rehearsals – Victoria Bridge
- Friday 1 September 12:30pm C17A Globemaster Rehearsals – Victoria Bridge and 12:50pm EA-18G Growler Jet Display Rehearsals – Victoria Bridge
ADF Display for 2023
The event will see the return of the much-loved Australian Defence Force display as the Royal Australian Airforce marks 100 years of service to Australia. There will be a flyover from a C17A Globemaster, EA-18G Growler and Army Tiger Helicopter.
Riverfire timetable for 2023
There will be activities during the day at South Bank for kids prior to the aerial display.
Australian Defence Force activities on the night will be subject to availability. These times are subject to change at the last minute.
Best parking for Riverfire for 2023
Families Magazine has teamed up with Secure Parking and we have all the best places to park. Expect to pay between $30 and $60 for parking.
You can find all of our recommendations here but here’s a quick rundown of top options.
- South Bank – 10 Browning Street Car Park, SW1 Car Park, Vulture Street Car Park
- Howard Smith Wharves – 90 Bowen Terrace Car Park, 167 Eagle Street Car Park, Howard Smith Wharves Car Park
- City Riverwalk – Cathedral Square Car Park, Post Office Square Car Park, Central Plaza 1 Car Park, MacArthur Central Car Park, 201 Charlotte Street Car Park
Brisbane Riverfire 2023 FAQs
Yes. The Riverfire firework show will continue as planned even if it rains. The show is only cancelled if there are high winds.
No. Dogs will not be permitted in the parklands for Riverfire.
No, Brisbane Riverfire is free to attend.
There are many vantage points along the Brisbane River. South Bank, Kangaroo Point, and the City Riverwalk are all great options.
Brisbane Riverfire Tips for First Timers
If you’ve never attended Riverfire before, you’re in for a true treat. Here are some tips and things you should know in advance.
- Get there early. Like New Year’s Eve, get there early if you want to secure the best spots to catch the Riverfire extravaganza. South Bank is fenced off for the event and access will be closed once it’s full.
- Use public transport if possible. Plan your evening around public transport as limited parking and road closures will make taking your car difficult. Most carparks in the city predict that they’ll be full from 11am on the day. There’ll be plenty of extra trains and buses running on the night.
- Be aware of South Bank rules. South Bank is an alcohol-free event for Riverfire. Please do not bring pets, bikes and scooters, drink bottles with broken seals (including bottles of water or soft drink), glass or alcohol to South Bank. These items will be confiscated by South Bank security staff.
Where to stay for Brisbane Riverfire 2023
Riverfire attracts people from across the country – not just within Brisbane! If you’re looking for a hotel during Riverfire, here are a few options:
- Rydges Hotel South Bank – Rydges is one of the closest hotels to the South Bank parklands, which is perfect if that’s where you plan to view the fireworks show. The hotel is perfect for families and offers some incredible views too. You can even see the fireworks from certain rooms!
- Novotel Brisbane South Bank – Novotel is another great option for Riverfire accommodation. It’s on the affordable side, is in a great location, and offers spacious rooms.
- Stamford Plaza Brisbane. Stamford is an upscale option right on the riverfront. They actually host several different Riverfire events, such as a cold seafood buffet and Riverfire on the Promenade. You can see all of their Riverfire specials here.
Riverfire is fun for the whole family
Riverfire 2023 will be one of the biggest fireworks displays that Brisbane has seen and is sure to be an amazing night for the whole family.
For more information on Riverfire Brisbane, visit www.brisbanefestival.com.au. Remember to bookmark our page for all the updated Riverfire 2023 date and times!
Did you know?
Riverfire is sometimes called the Brisbane Fire Festival 2023.