Follow the locals’ lead and spend some time at this delightful 16-hectare (40-acre) complex of parks, restaurants, cafes, shops, playgrounds, street theater, and weekend markets. There’s a manmade beach lined with palm trees, with waves and sand, where you can swim, stroll, and cycle the meandering pathways. From the parklands it’s an easy walk to the museum, art gallery, and other parts of the adjacent Queensland Cultural Centre. Hop on the Wheel of Brisbane ([tel] 07/3844 3464; www.thewheelofbrisbane.com.au) for a 13-minute ride in an air-conditioned enclosed gondola, where you get a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of Brisbane from 60m (197 ft.) up; it costs A$15 for adults, A$10 for children 4 to 12, A$2 for children 1 to 3, A$42 for family of four. The buzzing outdoor South Bank Lifestyle Market is illuminated by fairy lights at night. The market is open Friday 5 to 10pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm, and Sunday 9am to 5pm. The South Bank Parklands are a 7-minute walk from town.
- Frommer's Staff