The Best Places To Watch Riverfire for Families

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The Best Places To Watch Riverfire for Families

Sunsuper Riverfire is the closing event for the Brisbane Festival – sending it off, quite literally with a BANG! Riverfire is being held this year on Saturday, 30 September, 2017.

This is the 20th time the sky has been lit up with Brisbane’s ultimate fireworks display AND to celebrate there will be 20 minutes of fireworks, set to a soundtrack of top hits from the last 20 years.

20 Minutes of fireworks is enough to delight even the biggest kids!

There will also be displays from the RAAF Super Hornets – which are always a highlight – and Army Helicopters.

NOW I know alot of Mums get worried about going to Sunsuper Riverfire.

‘It’ll be too crowded.’

‘What if the kids get lost?’

‘How will we find a good spot to watch the fireworks?’

But we have put together this quick guide on the best vantage points for the fireworks. Some of these are in the city and some are in the suburbs, as there are quite a few locations that have amazing views if you don’t want to come to all the way into town.

20 Minutes of Fireworks!

The Riverfire Schedule

Ok, First things first – what happens at when?

Riverfire 2017 Schedule – Saturday 30 September

3.30pm RAAF Roulettes Display

4.30pm ARMY Helicopter Display

5pm RAAF Globemaster fly over

5.15pm ARMY Helicopter Display

5.40pm RAAF Growler Plane display

7.05pm RAAF Growler Plane fly over AND the start of fireworks

The Top 3 Places For Families to Watch Riverfire in the City


There are a number of places to get the best views AND have a stress free family night out.

Image: ABC News

1. South Bank Parklands

Now this is arguably where the best views are to be had and where most of the action happens. Obviously it gets very very busy here and it is well advised to get there early to nab a good spot. It could also reach full capacity quickly.

MUM TIP: Set up across from one of the firework barges to get the best firework views – Jess

MUM TIP: Go with a few adults, as if you need to take a little one to the bathroom/for food/to get a drink, you will loose your spot – Anne.

If you do go to South Bank to watch Riverfire, it is advised that you take public transport. South Bank is alcohol free zone during Riverfire and your bag will be searched and any opened or non sealed drinks will be removed. You also cant take scooters or bikes into the Parklands and we would recommend taking plenty of (sealed) water and snacks.

The helicopters and the fighter jets are also very loud, and can be scary, so factor that in.

2. Wilson Outlook Reserve

You can actually get spots all the way along Bowen Terrace to Story Bridge. You might not be able to see the fireworks at Southbank, but you have a view of the story bridge in all its glory!

It is easy to leave, via car or public transport, once everything is over, as it usually isn’t as crowded – Plus after 7pm some public transport services are free!

MUMTIP: There is usually more space along here, and you can find a good spot to make the most of the fireworks. The atmosphere is awesome! This is where we go each year -Anita

3. Eagle Street Pier

Have dinner at one of the great restaurants along the river and then wander out to watch the fireworks.

MUMTIP: Book a table if you want go to a restaurant and use either public transport OR if you know of road closures, book some car parking in the city – Melanie.

Image: Translink


Other great Riverfire vantage points around the city

  • Kangaroo Point Cliffs
  • Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
  • Victoria Bridge
  • Dock Street Park, South Brisbane
  • Along the Bicentennial Bike-way

Getting There and Back

As we have previously mentioned, it is best to take public transport to and from Riverfire if you are going into one of the city vantage points.

There are road closures, and you can find more details about that here.

Translink are putting on extra services after the after the fireworks finish to get everyone home, and services are free until 9.30pm. BUT you must get on at one of the following stations:

  • Mater Hill busway station
  • South Brisbane station
  • Grey Street bus stops
  • Cultural Centre
  • Roma Street station
  • South Bank bus and train stations

You can find more details on the translink website here.

You can still get a great view – minus the crowds!

The Best Places To Watch Riverfire in the Suburbs

If you can’t handle the idea of coming into the city to watch Riverfire – there are plenty of great places in the suburbs where you can get a great view of the fireworks! Given that several hundred thousand people will be coming into the city and surrounds, if crowds are not your thing, then this list might be the way to go.

BONUS: You can take your kids in their pajamas – no reason to get dressed up!

  • Collins Road, Ferny Hills
  • Forbes Street, Hawthorne
  • Camp Hill Bowls Club on Ferguson Road
  • Trammies Corner, Paddington
  • Rode Road, Wavell Heights
  • Plucks Road, Arana Hills
  • Caratel Street, Stafford Heights
  • Corner of Dornoch Terrace and Hampstead Road, Highgate Hill Park
  • Stuartholme Road, Bardon
  • Camelia Avenue, Everton Hills
  • Bartley’s Lookout, Ascot
  • Eildons Hill Reserve, Wilston

MUMTIP: The Camp Hills Bowls Club has great views and is really family friendly – Clare

You know your suburb, so you know if there is a good place to go to see the fireworks. If you have a secret spot – let us know and we will pop it in!


You can have a fun filled night with a little planning.

Here are our top tips again:

  • Take snacks (and then more snacks) and bottled water
  • Make sure you take cash with you – no one wants to spend all night in an ATM line
  • Bring games or toys to entertain the kids if you are going in early
  • Set yourself up across from a fireworks barge for extra special views
  • Take public transport
  • Utilise one of the ‘secret spots’ to get great views without the crowds
  • Fireworks are due to start just after 7 – so make sure you have found a good spot by then!
  • Riverfire will also be broadcast on Channel 9
  • For people who have limited mobility, access is available at South Bank, Eagle Street Pier, Riverside Centre and Captain Burke Park.

If you plan well, you can have a great family night out!

Do you have any other hints or tips for surviving a night out at Riverfire as a family? Share them with us 🙂



Katie is the Creative Director at Mums of Brisbane. She loves reading, sleep and travelling. Most days will find her drinking coffee and trying to keep up with her cheeky kids. She lives with her husband and three children in beautiful Brisbane.





Looking for more great family fun? You should head to GOMA – so much creative fun for families!


Katie -


Katie is the Managing Director and Editor of Mums of Brisbane. Most days will find her drinking copious amounts of coffee, cuddling her kids and trying not to step barefoot on lego. Katie lives in Beautiful Brisbane with her husband and four gorgeous children.