How to Get to Riverfire and Where to Watch It from

On Saturday evening, Mrs Bobinoz, Elizabeth and I took ourselves off to the city to watch what I think might well be our fourth Riverfire, the annual firework spectacular that takes place over the Brisbane River.

It truly is a spectacular fire display with fireworks firing off from the river, the bridges, and, as you can see with these images, the tops of city buildings…

roof (1) roof (2) roof (3)

This year’s event also had helicopters…

copters 1 copters 2 copter 3 copter 4

Even 7 News had a copter…

7 newsAnd it had $140 million worth of aircrafts zipping across the sky, these two Super Hornets…

super hornet 1 super hornet 2

What is Riverfire?

There’s no real point in me explaining exactly what Riverfire is like precisely, or why it happens when it does, it’s all been explained before in my previous posts on this subject which you can access easily by clicking any of the following links.

So, here’s how we watched our previous three Riverfires:

And in 2012, like the year before, we didn’t go at all. So this year we felt we should again make the trip.

Going to Riverfire

There are two decisions you need to make if deciding to go to this event, and that’s what we were thinking about on Saturday afternoon. If we are going to go, i) where are we going to watch it from and ii) how are we going to get there and back?

This is a big event and the organisers, although they can’t put an exact number on it, felt that this year something like 500,000 people would turn up.

The police estimated that the crowd on Saturday night was bigger than it was for Brisbane’s New Year’s Eve event, although they also wouldn’t put a number on it. As big as the crowd was though, the police did go on to say that they only made one arrest throughout the entire evening and that happened at 10:30 PM long after the fireworks had finished.

Not bad, eh?

Anyway, the crowds can get very big, especially over at South Bank Parklands…

crowds 1

And although the council lay on free transport to get you home after this event, getting on a bus at the same time as half a million other people want to get on a bus can present its own problems. The South Bank Parklands/public transport combo was the method we used in 2008, and I do remember it took us some time before we got home.

In 2009 we used the Mount Coot-tha/drive our own car combo and whilst it was slightly easier to get home, it’s really too far away from the city and although you can see the fireworks, you can’t really hear them.

In 2010 when we watched it from the city, we drove part of the way and then took the train. The free train home was quick and efficient and we were indoors by 8:30 PM.

Surely this can’t be beaten?

The one thing the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk, would rather you didn’t do though, would be drive into the city. I saw him on the TV the night before advising people to use public transport.

Despite that, this year, unlike any other year, I wondered what it would be like to drive in.

Driving in to Riverfire

So this year we decided to drive into the city, park the car, and watch Riverfire from the city centre, the opposite side of the river from South Bank Parklands. On Saturday afternoon I Googled and found a car park right in the middle of the city and was able to book a parking spot online.

Not only that, but it had a coupon code for Riverfire, I got my parking ticket for half price, $20 instead of $40.

We left at about 3:40 PM and we were parked up about 35 minutes later even though I stopped for petrol on the way.

We watched it in the city, where there were still quite a crowd…

crowds 2

… but Elizabeth managed to find her own seat…


The fireworks finished at 7:25 PM, it was a short eight minute or so walk back to the car park and we were all back home at 8:08 PM.

No traffic, no problems booking the parking space, probably the quickest journey I’ve ever had from my house into the city and easily the most stressfree journey home after Riverfire that we’ve ever had.

Maybe we were lucky, but if we are going to hope to have the same luck next year, we need to keep this under our hats. Promise?

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Nicky October 31, 2013, 6:05 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    We now live in Bris (yey) and attended our second riverfire this year. It was spectacular. We too drove in after using public transport last year and it was ‘too easy’;) We parked in a car park right next to the beach at southbank around 2pm. Played all day, stayed on the beach with deckchairs and an esky for the helicopters and show, then back to the car, a safe and quick exit from the city and back home again. Parking was around $20. We took our own food and the show was free x Can’t beat it!

    • BobinOz October 31, 2013, 10:00 pm |

      Hi Nicky

      Yes, it really is ‘too easy’ (glad to hear you are picking up the local language) isn’t it? It was stunningly easy to slip in and out of the city by car for this big event. But we really must keep this to ourselves, otherwise next year…

      Good day out though, especially for free eh?

      Cheers, Bob

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