Friday, October 8, 2010

South Bank

South Bank in the heart of Brisbane is full of wonderful things to experience. There are shops and restaurants in the area, but with kids we head to the water. Providing awesome free entertainment, there's a great water play park and Australia's only beach in the middle of a city. The water is also channeled towards the play park in a man-made river complete with stones, which are great for building dams!
The area overlooks the Brisbane River so the setting is great. There are also wonderful areas to picnic as well as BBQ facilities and children's playgrounds.
Parking can be expensive, but if you park at the nearby library, museum or performing arts centre parking areas, it's $14 for the day. Street parking is limited. The South Bank train stop is conveniently located for access to the water park.

Interestingly, South Bank was originally the business heart of Brisbane, but following floods in 1893, the central business district was relocated to higher ground on the north side of the river. By 1930, South Bank had established itself as a busy river port and industrial zone with markets, wharves, dance halls and theatres.
The area declined and there was even little impact when the Queensland government decided to build the Performing Arts Centre there in 1977. The area was near-derelict when South Bank was selected in 1984 as the site for the World Expo '88. It consisted of a couple of old hotels and a few industrial buildings.
The Expo was the prime catalyst for the resurrection of South Bank and by the time the Expo came to an end, over 18 million people had visited South Bank.

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