20 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 20 free things that should not be missed on a visit or three.



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.


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




Discover for the history of Queensland art & artists in the priceless collection here that includes Nolan, Drysdale and Vida Lahey and make the most of a visit with free gallery i-tours.

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.

Live! Qld Band Culture SLQ


SLiQ Flicks

On most Sundays at the State Library there are free films showing at the Auditorium. From classics to cult, blockbuster to family, check the program for details.

Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery

Up on the 4th level of the library, 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 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.

Queensland Museum


Jazz Café

Held monthly in the foyer of the Griffith Conservatorium & showcasing the leading talents from the jazz department of the Con is the pop up Jazz Café. Last gigs for 2013 are a night of Brazilian in Sept and a day of jazz in Oct.

Herb and Tea Garden

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

South Bank Lifestyle Market

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.

Basil plant next to Brisbane River broadwalk at South Bank's herb and tea garden

Herb and tea garden


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.

The Seed Project

Listen to the bands and musos that are poised to be the next big thing in music at these Friday night concerts under the stars at the Melbourne St Green.

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.

The Seed Project


Griffith University Art Gallery

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.

Talbot Family Treasures Wall

Catch a glimpse of 200 years of local history via this fascinating montage of photos, and unique and rare items from the SLQ’s prize collection.

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.

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

Picnic Island


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

South Bank Young Designer Market

Emerging designers of fashion, jewellery and homewares gather along Stanley St once a month on a Sunday.

A Night by the Fire

Gather round the open campfire for indigenous yarn time with storytellers and artists, once a month on Friday night just outside the State Library.

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 if in the city you can reach South Bank for free via the Goodwill or Kurilpa Bridges or the city hopper that departs from Gardens QUT.

People siting on lawn in the evening looking on to Brisbane river and city lights from River Quay Amphitheatre South Bank

River Quay Amphitheatre


Top Things To Do In Brisbane This Week

Enjoy a free fun-fileld family day out at this multicultrual fiesta
All Dogs Sports Spectacular is a fun day out for the whole family
A unique chance to journey through 5 weddings in one night
Romeo & Juliet is the unmissable ballet event of the year
Don't miss the Australian premiere of Piano Battle
It has sparked a cult following across the world and it's coming to Brisbane
Spend an evening with 'one of the most extraordinary people in the world today
Camerata returns to QPAC on August 29 for an unmissable concert
Treat Dad to some Father's Day fun at Golf Central BNE