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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Brisbane City Tour Pt 5: South Bank Parklands


South Bank Parklands was the last destination on our Brisbane City Tour itinerary.
Our bus dropped us near a humongous ferris wheel in South Bank. If you are willing to pay AUD19, The Wheel of Brisbane will take you for a 12 minutes ride on its air-conditioned gondolas to experience a 360° bird's eye view of South Bank and the city of Brisbane from a height of 197 feet. Ehhem, that's a bit pricey I thought, and by the way hadn't I seen a more majestic and mesmerizing view of Brisbane from Mount Coot-tha earlier on in the day?  Like a sour grape,I decided to skip this. 
The Wheel Of Brisbane was erected in 2008 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Expo '88 and has been at the parklands since then.
Another structure that can be considered an attraction here is Nepal Peace Pagoda, an intricate hand-carved wooden pagoda contributed by the Nepal government for World Expo '88.
This 3 storey high pagoda is the only international exhibit remaining on the World Expo site.
More attractive to me however is The Arbour, a walkway with a bougainvillea-clad steel awning that spans one kilometre through the parklands.
This awning is made of 443 curling, galvanised steel posts and bougainvilleas is the natural choice I presume as they not only creep but also flower perennially.
I actually walked the entire 1km stretch and enjoyed every moment of it admiring the beauty of the architecture and the bougainvilleas of course!
At the far end near River Quay is Epicurious Garden, dedicated to the cultivation of edible plants, which include fruits, vegetables, and fragrant herbs.
South Bank Parklands is a recreational area for people of all ages, meticulously landscaped and painstakingly maintained and that's the reason why I think it is a Must Be place if you are visiting Brisbane for the first time.
The effort to create a small rainforest with boardwalks within the parklands in really commendable. This is a possible outlet for stressed-out city folks seeking solitude and solace.
And if you have not taken breakfast, lunch or dinner, not to worry as there are plenty of eateries within the parklands. 
The parklands boast of a big and well equipped children's playground which may make you want to be a child all over again.
Another spectacular attraction to watch out for is Streets Beach. This is a man-made beach which is created to look like a real one.
A fun time at the beach in the middle of the city - that's amazing!
Adjacent to Streets Beach is The Beach Pool in which I was tempted to take a dip but quit the idea for fear my tour bus would leave me behind.
The last thing I did in South Bank Parklands was to stroll along Clem Jones Promenade. This is a walkway by the bank of Brisbane River, which is mostly shaded by canopies of trees. The view of Brisbane City from this promenade is simply stunning.
The city centre is just across the river and you get to see a prominent skyline of the high rises from the promenade.
Victoria Bridge which can be seen in this picture is the main bridge that links South Bank to the city.
a ferry terminal
If there is only one place you should go in Brisbane, I would recommend South Bank Parklands. The reason is simply because this place offers a load of attractions and many recreational activities - from stunning scenery and beautiful walkways to lovely beaches, lagoons, rainforest walks and lots more.
Brisbane may have a lot more to offer but I was contented with what I saw, what I did and the places I visited which was all done in a single day.

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