The Banks of Brisbane

Australia’s third largest city has a waterfront teeming with shops, restaurants, a kid-friendly beach and a children’s art center.


Brisbane, the sub-tropical capital of Queensland in Australia, is the country’s third-most populous city and makes for a pleasant urban visit if you've already tackled Sydney and Melbourne. With nearly two million residents, it’s a bit surprising that central Brisbane’s clean streets are walkable and uncrowded, except during rush hour. So while Brisbane offers the culture, dining and shopping of a major international city, it’s also particularly suited to families. Dry and balmy weather make it a perfect spot for relaxed outdoor touring year round, and mostly smooth sidewalks are amenable to kids and strollers.

Location & Getting Around

Brissy, as the locals call it, is almost an hour drive from the ocean, but because it straddles the Brisbane River, the waterfront is still a star attraction of this serene Australian city. Pedestrian walkways suited to bicycling and walking line both sides of the river and provide easy access to waterside parks, cafes and restaurants. Many locals use twin-hulled CityCats as waterborne buses to get to and from work. The CityCats stop at major destinations on the waterfront and are a bargain at about $5 for adults. Clean and uncrowded except during peak hours, CityCats are a great option for families. Other options for boating on the river include kayak rentals and ferry charters.

Eating & Attractions

The north side of the Brisbane River offers upscale restaurants and cafes, as well as several kid-friendly parks, some of which are suitable for barbecues and offer dog runs. Here skyscrapers crowd the water and the well-to-do dine with water views.

As nice as the north side is, however, the quieter South Bank district is even more family friendly, as it’s home to several family-oriented public spaces. The South Bank park complex features a public water park called Streets Beach, which includes a man-made beach, wading pools and fountains suited to kids. A footpath fringed with bougainvillea snakes through the complex, past wide lawns and topiary.

Toward the eastern part of South Bank, casual cafes and restaurants offer take-out and outdoor dining. Favorites include Brissy’s beloved kebab and other family standbys like pizza. On school days this area will be crowded with youngsters from nearby schools eating lunch. Just beyond the dining area, the new Gallery of Modern Art includes an interactive Children’s Art Centre.

At the end of the day, make sure to take in the sunset from the South Bank, which has a beautiful view of the Brisbane skyline in the evening.

CityCat: Runs during the day and into early evening; $5 for an unlimited day pass. Visit Brisbane's City Council Web site for details.
South Bank Streets Beach: Lifeguard hours vary. Check the South Bank Web site for more info.
Gallery of Modern Art, Children’s Art Centre: Visit for program information.

Destinations: Brisbane

Themes: Family Travel

Activities: Arts and Entertainment, Museums, Shopping

User Comments

I totally agree by Eliz2626.But in my views Brisbane is much more happening place in Australia rather than only for outdoor games and urban zoo.Are you inspired to buy properties in Australia??? then here is a chance to get best deal from one of the best real estate consultant. To Know Read More Visit:

good combination Brisbane seems like the perfect spot experience both cultural city attractions and still have easy access to the outdoors--without being in a sprawling urban zoo.

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