Monday, October 5, 2009

Southbank Parklands

Budget family entertainment is available in Brisbane at Southbank Parklands and the surrounding attractions.
Because I'm a Single Dad, I am always on the lookout for inexpensive family style entertainment. Here in Brisbane it is very hard to go past Southbank Parklands for value. The Parklands area is built on the old site of the World Expo '88 venue. Situated on the Southern bank of the Brisbane river, directly opposite the city heart, it is a stones throw from everything.

There is no admission price to the parklands {That is correct folks, it is FREE}, and being so very close to the city centre there are all manner of transport opportunities available. Busses are available at both the adjoining Cultural centre & at Southbank bus station. The train has a stop at South Brisbane {Opposite the cultural centre at the western end of the parklands} and also at Southbank Station situated at the Eastern end of the Parklands. Parking is also available if you choose to drive. Be warned though that the price of parking in the area is not cheap, and the fines are very steep if you forget to feed the meter. There is also some underground parking available at the parklands where you pay as you leave, trust me, it is usually full & it is a long way from cheap. If you are staying in Brisbane, it is also a casual stroll over the bribge from Bribane city to the parklands. There is easy walk from either the Victoria bridge at the bottom of Queen Street {Near the Casino} or alternativly the pedestrian bridge from the bottanical gardens in Alice Street.

Southbank Parklands is a family orientated venue, with activities available for almost any age group. There are a few drinking establishments, and these really "go off" of an evening & on weekends. If you are wanting food, there is everythiong from some inexpensive take away cafe all the way to some very classy restrauntes, with everything in between available. Scattered throughout the area there are also some electric BBQ's with picnic tables if you are the type that likes to bring & cook your own, these are very popular. If you would like a very unique experience of Brisbane there is a giant wheel with reasonable pricing, and the view from the top over the river & city is something else. However the ultimate is the beach in the middle of the parklands. The beach is what makes Brisbanes' Southbank Parklands unique in the world, offering a beach in the middle of the city. People go there to relax, swim, or just soak up the sun as they do at any other beach around the world.

The Beach is not just one area. There are several lagoon areas. One is designed as a beach {Minus the surf}, another as a rock surrounded lagoon, and the third as a very kid friendly water play area. all of the water areas are kid friendly, with very clearly marked shallow & deep sections. Because they are now designated public swimming areas, there are also lifegaurds on duty from the Surf Life Savers Club. Safety is always a good thing. Being A Single Dad, I love this setup because I can take my boy somewhere that he can have a swim, & we have a lot of fun together. After he has a swim, we can get a bite to eat and then hit the water again. He can continue to play in the kids water play area, while I sit on the side & enjoy a coffee while keeping a very watchful eye on him. Ed also gets to play with all the other little kids.

The Lifestyle Markets are also setup on most weekends & there are plenty of souveners etc available, along with clothing, jewellry, & even massage. Among the permanent shops there are candy stores, clothing stores, and even a pharmacy. There really is something for everyone at Southbank Parklands. If you are visiting Brisbane, I highly recomend a day out there, just remember to bring your sunscreen.

As a point of interest, all of the pictures here were taken with my Nokia 6720 Classic. This means that I travel very light, and only need the basic essentials. This is something very important when having a day out with kids.