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20 Unforgettable Adventures for Families at South Bank, Brisbane

South Bank, Brisbane’s vibrant green heart, is more than just a artificial beach and a haven for chocolate lovers. It’s a playground for families overflowing with hidden gems and unforgettable experiences. Dive deeper and discover the magic beyond the ordinary with this curated day out guide for adventurous families.

1. Epicurious Garden: A Sensory Feast for the Curious

Epicurious garden for Brisbane toddlers

Transform your picnic into a culinary adventure at the Epicurious Garden. This vibrant haven boasts exotic plants, fragrant herbs, and seasonal produce. Let your children explore, pick fresh ingredients for their lunch, and learn about sustainable gardening. Open Tuesdays through Thursdays, this eco-oasis is a delightful surprise amidst the city buzz.

2. Rainforest Walk: Where Living Dinosaurs Roam

Brisbane South Bank Rainforest Walk

Embark on a Jurassic journey just steps from the Queensland Museum. The Rainforest Walk transports you to a lush jungle, home to the iconic South Bank water dragons. Spot these modern-day dinosaurs basking in the sun and let your little explorers discover the wonders of nature’s vibrant tapestry.

3. Children’s Art Centre at GOMA: Igniting Artistic Flames

Toddler exploring art at QAGOMA

Unleash your child’s inner artist at the Children’s Art Centre at GOMA. This dedicated space explodes with creativity, offering interactive workshops, engaging activities, and contemporary art experiences. From exploring diverse cultures through art to unleashing imaginations in hands-on projects, the center’s ever-changing program promises a unique adventure for every visit.

4. Streets Beach: Sandcastles and Splashtastic Fun

Streets Beach South bank

No South Bank adventure is complete without a visit to the iconic Streets Beach. This artificial beach is a haven for families, offering crystal-clear waters for splashing, sandcastles galore, and ample space for relaxation. Pack your swimsuits, sunhats, and beach toys and let the laughter flow.

5. Aquativity: A Water Wonderland for All Ages

Toddler Friendly Pools South Bank

Just next to Streets Beach, Aquativity invites families to unleash their inner water nymphs. This interactive water playground features jets, sprays, and tipping buckets, ensuring endless fun for toddlers and big kids alike. Slip on your swimsuits and prepare for a refreshing adventure.

6. Picnic Island Green: A Lush Oasis for Family Fun

picnic spots in Brisbane

Spread out your picnic blanket on the sprawling green expanse of Picnic Island Green. This open-air haven is perfect for family gatherings, boasting ample space for running around, playing ball games, or simply enjoying the sunshine. Pack your picnic basket with delicious treats and let the good times roll.

7. Nepalese Pagoda: A Glimpse into a Cultural Gem

Nepalese Temples Brisbane South Bank

Nestled amidst the lush greenery, the Nepalese Pagoda offers a unique cultural experience. This ornate structure stands as a symbol of peace and tranquility, offering a peaceful escape for families to admire its intricate architecture and learn about Buddhist culture.

8. Riverlife Adventure Climb: Conquering New Heights Together

Challenge yourselves and conquer the breathtaking views from the Riverlife Adventure Climb. This thrilling experience offers families the opportunity to climb the iconic Story Bridge, scaling its heights and soaking in panoramic vistas of the city. It’s an unforgettable adventure for families craving excitement.

9. Queensland Museum: Unearthing the Past and Exploring the Future

Toddler at QLD Museum with magnifying glass

Step back in time and embark on a journey of discovery at the Queensland Museum. This world-renowned museum showcases fascinating exhibits on dinosaurs, ancient cultures, and natural history, captivating the imaginations of young and old alike.

10. South Bank Parklands: A Haven for Exploration and Play

Let your children’s imaginations run wild as you explore the vast expanse of the South Bank Parklands. With its network of paths, playgrounds, and gardens, this vibrant green space offers endless opportunities for families to play, picnic, and connect with nature.

11. Wheel of Brisbane: Soaring Above the City

The Wheel of Brisbane is Open Christmas Day Brisbane

Take flight on the iconic Wheel of Brisbane and experience breathtaking 360-degree views of the city skyline. Families will love riding in the spacious, air-conditioned gondolas as they gently rotate, offering unique perspectives and lasting memories.

12. Take a CityCat Ferry

Brisbane CityCat with Kids
Brisbane CityCat with Kids

Enjoy a scenic journey and experience the heart of Brisbane from the water. Hop on a CityCat ferry at South Bank’s terminal and cruise along the Brisbane River, taking in breathtaking views of the city skyline, iconic bridges, and historical landmarks. It’s a fun and affordable (Families tip: kids travel free on the weekends) way to explore the city while enjoying the refreshing river breeze.

13. Join the South Bank Markets: A Treasure Trove for All Ages

The Collective markets - Christmas at South Bank

Immerse yourselves in a vibrant kaleidoscope of sights, sounds, and smells at the South Bank Markets. Held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, this bustling marketplace offers a treasure trove of locally handcrafted goods, unique souvenirs, delicious street food, and live music performances. Let your children explore the stalls, discover hidden gems, and experience the authentic spirit of Brisbane.

Families tip: If you are at South Bank at Christmas time, you can grab a present from their famous South Bank Christmas markets.

14. Maritime Museum: Setting Sail on Seas of Adventure

Ahoy, mateys! Embark on a nautical journey at the Maritime Museum, where families can explore the fascinating world of ships and the sea. Climb aboard historic vessels, discover hidden treasures, and learn about the rich maritime history of Brisbane and beyond.

15. Sciencentre: A Playground for Curious Minds

dinosaurs for kids

Unleash your inner scientist at the Sciencentre, where interactive exhibits and engaging demonstrations bring science to life. From exploring the human body to witnessing the wonders of the natural world, this interactive space promises hours of fun and learning for all ages.

16. Kayak the Brisbane River

kayaking on the Brisbane River
Kayaking on the Brisbane River

Embark on a unique adventure and explore South Bank from a different perspective. Kayak tours are available for all ages and skill levels, offering stunning views of the city skyline, iconic landmarks, and hidden gems along the riverbank. Witness wildlife, appreciate the natural beauty, and create lasting memories with your family.

17. Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC): Immerse Yourself in Art and Culture

QPAC for kids

Experience the magic of live performances at QPAC, where families can enjoy a diverse range of shows, from captivating musicals and enchanting ballets to hilarious comedies and vibrant live music.

18. GoMA Green: A Lush Oasis for Relaxation and Play

Escape the city bustle and find solace in the sprawling green expanse of GoMA Green. This tranquil haven features rolling lawns, towering trees, and stunning river views, offering families a place to relax, enjoy a picnic, or simply soak up the sunshine.

19. River Quay Green: A Vibrant Hub for Food and Fun

Indulge in delicious food and soak up the lively atmosphere at River Quay Green. This vibrant hub boasts a diverse selection of restaurants, cafes, and bars, offering something for everyone’s taste buds. Enjoy a leisurely meal while soaking in the riverfront views and enjoying live music performances.

20. Board the CityHopper Ferry: A Free Ride to Adventure

Free City Hopper
Free City Hopper

Embark on a free and delightful adventure aboard the CityHopper ferry. This iconic service offers a scenic journey along the Brisbane River, stopping at various landmarks and providing families with stunning views of the city skyline, iconic bridges, and lush parklands. Enjoy the refreshing river breeze, hop on and off at different stops to explore further, and create lasting memories of your South Bank adventure. It is a perfect thing do do on a lazy Sunday!

Bonus! World Science Festival Brisbane

Calling all budding scientists and self identified nerds. It is time to geek out with the return of one of the most exciting festivals of the year, the World Science Festival Brisbane. From Friday 15 to Sunday 24 March 2024 this extraordinary event, hosted by Queensland Museum will feature a mix of free and ticketed events, family-friendly activities, talks, debates, and conversations that will illuminate the wonders of science.

South Bank is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences for families. So, pack your sense of adventure, grab your little explorers, and embark on a journey of laughter, learning, and lasting memories.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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