My grandaughter Ayla and I went into Brisbane City to take a look around Southbank.I haven’t been there for many years so it was quite a surprise to see the changes that have been made over the years. The wheel is just as the name implies a Ferris wheel with 42 closed in gondola’s each holding up to 6 adults and 2 children.
Each capsule is air conditioned thank goodness, as the morning we went on it was a rather warm day and we got quite heated before turning on the air con.
- So what do you get to see when you are taking a turn on the Wheel of Brisbane. Well the wheel turns slowly giving you a great view of the Brisbane river, the city and Southbank and providing you with plenty of opportunity to take some spectacular photos of the surrounding area.
- And, of course, photos of each other.
- Standing at 60 metres in height, the Wheel of Brisbane isn’t as high as the London Eye’s which measures 135 metres, but it is still impressive, especially at nighttime when it illuminates both the skyline of the Southbank parkland and the Brisbane river with thousands of LED lights., however, we went during the day and it was just as appealing.
- The ride goes for 12 to 15 minutes which is equal to 3 or 4 rotations of the wheel.
Not only was I impressed with the Wheel of Brisbane, I just love what they have done with Southbank itself. There is a lagoon with a lifeguard on duty, giving you the peace of mind in knowing that you and your family are safe while frolicking in the water.
After your ride you can stroll through walkways with stainless steel structures draped in purple Bougainvillea and there are plenty of bars and eateries to sit and have a meal or a quick snack.
Then there is the pathway along the river for those with an athletic bent, to run and jog to their hearts content.
I thoroughly recommend that you take the time to while away a few hours in Southbank when you next come to Brisbane.
The prices of the tickets go on the Wheel (as at 2010) are:
- $15 for adults
- $12.50 for seniors
- $10 for children 12 years and under
- $2 for children aged between 1 year and 3 years. And although I don’t have any little ones, I really believe that this age group should be free.
- For anyone who is considering making a wedding proposal or requires a private gondola, you can book this for $95.
- Keep in mind that you can buy tickets at a discounted rate if you purchase them online.
After a leisurely stroll through the bougainvillea walk, we stopped to have ice cream at the New Zealand ice cream stand, a favorite for both of us are the Hokey Pokey and Boysenberry ice creams which we had in a double cone topped with whipped cream and hot chocolate fudge. Yum.
- We strolled along the boardwalk and stopped for a moment of reflection in the Nepalese Peace Pagoda, which was a gifted to Brisbane for the World Expo 1988.
- Approximately 160 families worked for two years crafting the beautiful designs in the Pagoda. It really is a work of art. Aound 80 tonnes of indigenous Nepalese timber was used in the construction.
- Looking down over the Brisbane river at the CityCat.
- View looking down from above.
- The gondolas are air conditioned for your comfort and include an audio tour pointing out landmarks and points of interest about Brisbane.
- The soothing and calming Rainforest Walk
- One of the many fountain sculptures
The Arts Centre, Museum and the railway station are close at hand and the shopping district and casino are just across the bridge, or you can catch the CityCat for a trip down the Brisbane river.
All I can say is that Brisbane has certainly come of age since the World Expo was held here in 1988. And for those who came to Brisbane then, well wasn’t that a fantastic show to behold. Those of us who lived here at the time had an amazing time as you could visit any time of the day or night (with the right pass of course), and there was so much to see and do. A truly amazing time for Brisbane.