Nestled in a prime location along Brisbane River across from the city’s CBD you’ll discover South Bank, home to the Brisbane art and culture scene. Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre and State Library of Queensland are all located within close proximity, dubbing the area the Queensland Cultural Centre.
The Queensland Cultural Centre is the only collection of multiple cultural institutions on a single site in Australia, and rare worldwide. For a unique mix of art, culture, history and natural beauty, South Bank is a top Brisbane attraction for locals and tourists alike.
Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art
QAGOMA is your one stop shop for Brisbane art and culture. Both the Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art offer spectacular installations and travelling exhibitions. Across the two galleries you’ll find a variety of ever-changing exhibitions of indigenous, contemporary and international art. With most exhibitions and cinema programs free, it’s an easy and affordable Brisbane cultural attraction for all.
The Children’s Art Centre at QAGOMA allows children of all ages to experience interactive exhibitions and activities, with special programs designed for young children.
While you’re there, you can’t miss the Gallery Shop which is almost like a gallery in itself! After being browsing through and being inspired by the incredible artwork at QAGOMA, you can hit the Gallery Shop for art prints, books, small homewares, jewellery and some very artsy QAGOMA merchandise.
Queensland Museum and Sciencentre
For the stories of Queensland, from natural history and cultural heritage to scientific discovery and human achievement, you can’t miss Queensland Museum. There is a mix of permanent and changing exhibitions and collections, all of which are engaging and educational. Even better, entry to Queensland Museum is entry is free year-round!
Queensland Museum is also home to the Sciencentre, the discovery zone of science-based fun. There are almost 100 interactive exhibits that kids (and adults) of all ages can explore. The permanent exhibition SparkLab is a unique science gallery which showcases hands-on learning to spark creativity, curiosity and confidence.
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
QPAC showcases some of the best in performing arts, from Australia and around the world, and is the leading centre for live performance in Queensland. Whether you want to be dazzled by theatre, music, comedy or ballet, with over 1,200 performances each year there’s sure to be a performing arts event for you. Conveniently located within QPAC there is also a variety of dining options, so you can have a drink, bistro meal or fine dining experience before or after you enjoy the performance.
State Library of Queensland
In the South Bank cultural precinct you’ll find the State Library of Queensland. The State Library is so much more than your traditional library. As well as being home to the largest collection of Queensland’s cultural and documentary history, the State Library also has creative play sessions for children and topic exhibitions inspired by the State Library’s collection of stories.
Located in the State Library, The Edge is a special space for creativity, ideas and experimentation. The facilities at The Edge can be used by makers and creatives to design graphics, edit audio and video content, print in 3D, record and mix music, and more. They also host events to help creatives develop their skills in a range of areas like podcasting, sewing and architectural design.
Relax and recharge
Exploring Brisbane art and culture requires some time to relax and recharge. Within the South Bank cultural precinct you’ll have access to cafes offering drinks and light eats as well as restaurants with heartier meals and fine dining options. You can also take a short stroll further into South Bank and choose from one of the many eateries located on Little Stanley Street and Grey Street.
Perhaps what makes South Bank such a special location for housing Brisbane’s art and culture scene is the prominent riverside location and vast green spaces. Before, during or after being indoors at one of the many cultural institutions, enjoy some fresh air, sunshine and views in the beautiful outdoor landscape of Qeii Park, located adjacent to the Brisbane River and next to Victoria Bridge.
And if you still have energy after a cultural adventure, why not take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque riverside promenade with views of the river and city skyline. You can either head east toward South Bank Parklands on the Clem Jones Promenade, or wander west toward West End on the West End River Walk.
Getting to South Bank for art and culture
Make Airtrain part of your journey as you discover Brisbane art and culture. Our services run express from Brisbane Airport and stop at Fortitude Valley, Central, Roma Street and South Brisbane stations. With a reliable, safe and comfortable service, Airtrain will help get you to and from South Bank cultural precinct.
Travelling to and around Brisbane is easy with a go card, accepted on all Translink transport throughout Greater Brisbane, Ipswich, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. To purchase your smartcards or to find out more, head to the nearest Airtrain counter.
Translink’s Smart Ticketing system offers more ways to pay, for a more convenient journey. Smart Ticketing allows you to pay with your Visa, Mastercard and American Express debit and credit cards at any South East Queensland train station, including Domestic and International Airports.