15 Top Free Things To Do In South Bank

South Bank, Brisbane’s premier tourist attraction and all-ages playground is a mecca for young and old. And with so many things to do and see, culturally, food, drink and leisure wise, here are the top 15 free things that should not be missed on a visit or three.

QAG

Designed by renowned Brisbane architect Robin Dods, the heritage-listed brutalist-design building has been home to world class class exhibitions since it opened in 1982 and today holds permanent priceless collections of iconic Queensland and Australian artists including Sidney Nolan, Vida Lahey and Russell Drysdale. Until Feb 7 you can see the fantastic free exhibition Mavis Ngallametta; Show Me the Way to Go Home

GOMA

Not only is GOMA Australia’s leading museum of contemporary art, but many of the exhibitions here are free, along with their fantastic two level children’s art centre and the world class permanent art collection on show. 

SLQ Exhibitions

Books are only one of many reasons to visit the State Library. With a constant stream of exhibitions and events for both kids and adults, there’s always something to see, listen to or experience. Current free exhibitions are Cut Copy; Brisbane Music Posters 1977-87 and Twenty: Two Decades of Queensland Photography

Streets Beach

The world’s only city beach, manned by surf lifesavers is open all year round to either soak up the winter sun on fine white sand or cool off in summer in the infinity edged pool

Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery

Up on the 4th level of SLQ, this gallery has an ever changing often quirky exhibition spotlighting aspects of culture, literature or history. While on this level take a peek at the commemorative tea cup collection adorning the Queensland Terrace.

Queensland Museum

From the plane that Bert Hinkler flew across the world in to a World War ! tank and Queensland’s own dinosaur, from a world of indigenous and islander arts and crafts to hands-on zoological displays, there’s plenty to soak up for free at the museum.

Epicurious Garden

Pick some fresh herbs or tea leaves to take home from this secret community garden that stretches along Clem Jones Boulevard from the Victoria Abutment. There’s also a tiny budding citrus orchard.

The Collective Markets

From Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, the white peaks of the South Bank Lifestyle Market stretch all the way along Stanley Plaza with merchants peddling everything from homewares, jewellery and fashion to art, gourmet goodies and ethnic snacks.

Nepalese Pagoda

Catch a glimpse of Expo ’88 ate this intricate hand carved wooden pagoda that sits nestled in a rainforest glade. Then take a walk along the boardwalk that winds through the rainforest, the perfect antidote to hot summer days.

Tony Gould Gallery

Tucked away next to the Cremorne Theatre is this intriguing little theatrical museum that exhibits everything from a history of costumes from the ballet, theatre or opera to retrospectives on actors and musicians.

Australian Cinematheque.

GOMA is the only Australian art gallery home to a cinematheque, screening an ongoing (mostly free) program of film and video that you're unlikely to see elsewhere, showcasing the work of influential filmmakers and international cinema, rare 35mm prints, recent restorations and silent films with live musical accompaniment. Wed & Fri nights and Sat-Sun matinees.
 

Picnic Island

Tucked away on the east end of South Bank is the lush Picnic island Green complete with giant fig playground and a BBQ pavilion on a tiny man made tropical island

Pond and fig tree next to kids park at Picnic Island South Bank

Griffith University Art Museum

See what the next generation of artists are up to with expos such as the Churchie National Emerging Art Prize as well as artists talks and panel discussions. The art museum is also custodian of the Griffith University Art Collection, a significant public art collection in Queensland. Open Tue-Sat 11am-4pm (closed public hols) 

Free Computer Access at the State Library

Free computers are available at the State Library for the public to access. Otherwise BYO notebook/laptop and enjoy free wi-fi with some of the best river and city views in town.

Victoria Bridge Abutment 

Climb the stairs to the remaining piece of the 1896 Victoria Bridge (the fourth to be built in that location) , which is also home to a haunting WW1 memorial of a young Greek boy who was killed on the bridge during a home-coming parade for troops in 1918

River Quay Amphitheatre

There are few better ways to end a weekend in Brisbane than chilling out on the green lawns of the amphitheatre opposite the River Quay restaurants and watching the setting sun’s rays reflect on the city buildings. And on most Sunday afternoons you can catch free live music performances.
 

While you're at South Bank, why not grab a bite to eat at one of these restaurants.

 

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