You can spend a whole weekend exploring with these 10 things to do at South Bank Brisbane. Even better, many activities are free or low cost at South Bank.

Once you’ve had your fill of South Bank’s obvious delights, such as the blockbuster exhibitions at the Queensland Art Gallery and GOMA or the performances at QPAC, there’s still plenty to do here.

The best thing is that much of it is low cost or free! All are within walkable distance of South Bank’s accommodation options, so you don’t really have to go far at all.

First up, explore the new Riverside Green.  It’s a football field-sized space with barbecues and a pavilion for shade.  Hanging plants and mature trees create a cooling rainforest environment. You will find it near the Boat Pool and the Courier-Mail Piazza.

Here are 10 things you may not know about that you can do at South Bank and still go home with money in your pocket.

Epicurious garden 

This volunteer-run veggie patch in the middle of South Bank Parklands is a serene haven near River Quay.  Browse the Epicurious garden and see how seasonal and edible plants grow and taste the produce from the big pots.

The free harvest cart is open from 7 am-2 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when volunteers are onsite. It operates on a first-in basis, so get in early to or you will leave empty-handed.

  • free at South Bank

Cafe on the Goodwill Bridge 

It’s got the best coffee view in Brisbane in my book and the walk there is just as pleasant.  You’ll find Goodwill Brew Cafe in the middle of the Goodwill Brisbane which runs from just near the Maritime Museum into the grounds of QUT. 

This is one of my favourite things to do at South Bank Brisbane.

  • low cost at South Bank

Catch the CityHopper

Brisbane City Council’s CityHopper is an inner-city ferry service for the Brisbane River and it’s free. Hop on and hop off a ferry every 30 minutes between 6 am and midnight, seven days a week.

From South Bank, you can catch the CityHopper to Sydney Street, New Farm and visit the Jan Powers Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.  It’s well worth the trip.

  • free at South Bank

Join the vibe at Flowstate

This creative digital pop-up at South Bank Parklands is mesmerizingly eye-catching at night with its constantly changing colours. Find a space on the loungers under the open pavilion or just watch it from the site as the colours create a magical world.

  • free at South Bank

Sunday Social on the Green at South Bank Parklands

On Sundays, the music moves to River Quay Green with live performances in a riverfront setting from 2 pm to 5 pm.

There are comfy deck chairs that you can settle into for serious river gazing and a rolling green lawn to relax on as well.  Some of the River Green restaurants offer picnic packs too.  It’s even dog friendly.

*free at South Bank

Relax at Green Jam 

Mosey on down to the Melbourne Street Green and enjoy free live music every Friday evening from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm. 

The music includes jazz, folk and contemporary rock and the vibe always chilled and easy under the twinkling lights strung between the trees.

Featuring established and emerging artists from around South East Queensland, Green Jam also plays host to musicians and jazz students from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Jazz Music Institute and JMC Academy.

There are chairs and tables available or you can sit on the grass on your own blanket. Food and drinks also are available.

  • free at South Bank

Explore Fish Lane

Head to the GOMA end of Grey Street to find the entrance to Fish Lane.  This is a 450-metre wander than will keep your eyes very busy with some amazing street art.  Stop for a coffee or an ice cream at Messina along the way.

I recently discovered the street art here and it’s something I recommend to everyone as a favourite free thing to do at South Bank Brisbane.

  • free at South Bank

Try abseiling

If you don’t mind the idea of stepping backwards off a clifftop, abseiling down the 20-metre-high cliffs at Kangaroo Point might appeal.  Riverlife Brisbane runs regular sessions with experienced instructors in charge.  You don’t need experience, but you do need to be older than eight years.

Kayaking in Brisbane River

You’ll be amazed at how different the Brisbane River looks when you are on the same level as the mangroves.  The Riverlife Kayak tours take about 90 minutes and will see you paddling along the riverbank like a pro.

Walk around Kangaroo Point 

Head to the boardwalk at South Bank and start walking towards the Story Bridge.  The track follows the river right around to Kangaroo Point with lots of spots to stop along the way.  Melange Café is a great reviving stop and then you can either cut back through Kangaroo Point or follow the path back.

I’ve walked this path many times and it certainly deserves a place in my favourite things to do at South Bank Brisbane.  I particularly like that the walking and riding trails are mainly separated so walkers are safe from collision with bike riders.

Finish your day at South Bank with a drink at The Terrace at Emporium Hotel and have an eagle’s eye view over where you have travelled.

This is my top 10 of things to do including free things to do at South Bank Brisbane.  Do you have some other favourite activities here?  Please share them in the comments below.