Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard (or seen) that Brisbane Festival is in full swing now! Kicking off this year on September 5, the city-wide festival will come to its usual stunning close on September 28 with the Sunsuper Riverfire, the beloved Brisbane Festival fixture that sees people coming from all over for the fireworks and great vibes. Best of all, Riverfire is absolutely free, so anyone is welcome to come along!
The first step to the best Riverfire experience is to gather your friends and jot down the date (28 September, with the fireworks starting at 7pm); and the second step is to find a spot to watch the action!
Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up 10 spots where you’ll have the best view to watch Riverfire this year!
1) South Bank Parklands
The most obvious choice is South Bank Parklands – not only because it is the hub of Brisbane Festival, but also because it’s right on the river, so you’ll be able to see the action up close! Because of its prime location, a lot of people flock to this spot for Riverfire, so you’ll have to get in a few hours early to stake out your spot. Our tip is to bring a picnic blanket and some snacks to tide you over while you wait for the show to start.
2) Victoria Bridge
Another vantage point that’s right on the river and super close to the action is Victoria Bridge, the bridge that stretches from the CBD to South Bank. During the day, this bridge is a great spot for a relaxing walk or bike/car/bus ride, but during the night of Riverfire, the whole bridge fills up with onlookers wanting to get a view of the fireworks from the river itself. This spot is ideal if you’re on your own or in a small group and don’t mind standing.
3) Kangaroo Point Cliffs
Just across the river, Kangaroo Point Cliffs are a popular place to watch the fireworks from, mainly because it’s a bit quieter than South Bank and the area’s stretch of space has a lot of spots where you can set up. Like South Bank, this location is mostly a sit-down affair, so we’d recommend bringing a picnic blanket and getting in a bit early to choose your spot.
If you’re looking to make a social event of the night, Riverlife is the destination for you. Tucked away beneath Kangaroo Point Cliffs, Riverlife is away from the crowds and right on the river, so you’ll be able to enjoy the view without needing to get there hours beforehand. Riverlife throws a spectacular soiree for Riverfire, so be sure to book in your tickets to enjoy delicious food and poppin’ music while you watch the fireworks!
5) Brisbane Riverwalk
Connecting New Farm and Brisbane CBD is the Brisbane Riverwalk. During the day, the Riverwalk is a picture-perfect water highway for pedestrians and cyclists. When Riverfire is on, this is a spectacular spot as it’s right on the river and stretches over 870m, so there’s plenty of standing room. Our tip is to start at New Farm, the quieter end of the walk, and make your way down until you find the best spot for you to watch the fireworks.
6) Howard Smith Wharves
The Riverwalk ends at the historic Howard Smith Wharves, which has become one of Brisbane’s nest new entertainment and lifestyle hub. Located just underneath Story Bridge, this location boasts gorgeous city and river views. You can choose to watch the fireworks from the boardwalk or duck into one of the many bars and restaurants in this precinct and raise a glass to Riverfire!
7) Three Blue Ducks
If you haven’t heard of this restaurant, you’re missing out! Nested in W Brisbane Hotel, Three Blue Ducks is not only home to incredible food but also overlooks the Brisbane River, so the views are lush. If you’re wanting to make Riverfire a date night, you can score an intimate dinner with high-class views all-in-one at Three Blue Ducks.
8) The Terrace
On the other side of the river from Three Blue Ducks is The Terrace, the rooftop bar at Emporium Hotel on South Bank, which has fast become a favourite for Brisbane locals. Make your way over here to watch Riverfire if your group is an adults-only affair—say cheers to a night you’ll never forget with the fireworks show and exquisite cocktails.
9) Wilson Outlook Reserve
Tucked away in New Farm, Wilson Outlook Reserve is a small park with some of the best views in the city. This location is great if you’re taking your family to see the fireworks—bring some snacks and a few picnic blankets and get yourself set up for the show away from the buzz of the city proper.
10) Kookaburra Showboat Cruises
For a more dynamic experience, hop on board a Kookaburra Showboat Cruise! If you book a ticket for their Riverfire Cruise, you’ll be right on the river to take in the fireworks while you’re treated to a delicious buffet and drinks. What could be better?
There you have it! Don’t wait a second longer to make your Riverfire plans—the night will come before we know it, so make sure you’ve called your friends and sorted out your spot to see the fireworks!
About the author
Rochelle is a 5-foot sass bomb with a serial penchant for taking photos of her daily adventures and writing about them. When she’s not on-the-go or working on a project, she loves watching hedgehog videos, scouting out new cafes with her friends, and drinking hot chocolate like it’s water.