If you're looking for a guaranteed good time where things won't take a dive south, you should take a trip to Brisbane and while away the hours at South Bank. There truly is plenty to explore across the 17 hectares that make up South Bank, nestled along the southern banks of the Brisbane River.

Many of the quality activities here are free of charge, proving that money doesn't need to buy happiness when you can simply visit South Bank! Here we take a look at some of the best things to do during your time here in Brissy's easy breezy bank. 

Streets Beach, The Parklands

Get the sand between your toes at this manmade mini beach, which also boasts a crystal-clear lagoon framed by palm trees. Because it's not connected to the ocean or river, this pool is a safe spot for little ones to splash about. Life guards also patrol the beach, helping parents relax and unwind with peace of mind.

Visit Brisbane notes this is the only beach in Australia located smack bang in the middle of a bustling city, and if that isn't enticing enough, there are a plethora of ice cream stalls and vendors surrounding the sands for a tasty treat.

A photo posted by @yaokazato on

Apr 5, 2015 at 11:01pm PDT

Wheel of Brisbane

Admire panoramic views of the city's skyline from the soaring 60-metre heights of this iconic structure. An ideal time to take a ride in these air-conditioned gondolas is twilight, watching the sun set over the city and the building lights shine like fireflies and reflect in the river waters below.

There's also a romantic on-board dining experience package offered on weekends – what better place for a dinner date? As a bonus goodie, you can also request the music you'd like played as you share an appetiser meal if you send them your playlist in advance. 

Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA)

With free admission to this vast collection of over 16,000 Australian and international artworks, a trip to GOMA on South Bank is a lovely reprise from the heat outdoors. Contemporary art awaits your perusal here, with a range of critically acclaimed exhibitions regularly on show – no matter when you come by, there's likely to be a carefully curated display ready to make your jaw drop. 

Don't think the permanent collection isn't worthy of an art history coffee table book either – there are Anish Kapoor works here, alongside other big art world names from several centuries such as Tintoretto, Picasso, Degas, Renoir, Miro and de Kooning. 

Nepalese Peace Pagoda 

The Kingdom of Nepal brought this three-storey gem to Brisbane as part of World Expo 88. Step inside to look closely at how 80 tonnes of Nepalese timber has been intricately carved by hand, the masterpiece of over 160 Nepalese families. It took all of these talented artisans more than two years to complete this serene structure. 

There are only three such pagoda's located in the world outside of Nepal itself, making a visit to this one a rare, unique experience. Be sure to spend some tranquil moments within these walls during your South Bank venture.

A photo posted by @rita__margarita on

Sep 2, 2015 at 7:36pm PDT

Picnic in The Parklands

In addition to all of these landmarks, South Bank offers the opportunity to just lie on soft, lush green grass and enjoy the simple things in life. With a myriad of restaurants, cafes and bars around the central green grounds, there is sure to be a meal to satisfy every palette.

Foodies can also bring a picnic blanket and make the most of the Queensland sunshine as they indulge in scrumptious foods. Another place to sit and eat in the area is Liana Lounge, a sculptural series of benches that mimic the shape of native liana vines located a stone's throw away in the South Bank rainforest walk. People with a passion for the environment will be happy to know these benches are made from precast concrete and recycled plastic.

A photo posted by @sarahacolling on

Apr 15, 2015 at 9:12pm PDT