Christmas in the River City

Beautiful Brisbane comes alive this Christmas.

Brisban-ites may not be dreaming of a white Christmas this year but that doesn’t mean we’re missing out on the wonders of the festive season.  From brilliant light shows to enchanted gardens and train rides to the North Pole, there are plenty of reasons to step out and appreciate the beauty of Christmas in the River City.

The Enchanted Garden, Roma Street Parkland

The twinkling magic of Roma Street’s Enchanted Garden is coming back to Brisbane this year, having delighted locals and visitors alike with its spectacular light fest for the past two festive seasons. Start your journey near 'Queensland Greats', walk the beautiful lit rainforest and gardens and stop for a bite to eat by the lake with food trucks and live music onsite. For visitors making their second or third pilgrimage to the gardens, entry remains free but queuing to see the lights is no longer required.

Spectacles in the CBD

There’s plenty for families to do in the middle of town. King George Square comes to life at night with the spectacular Gold Lotto City Hall Lights, a unique and creative show telling the story of an Australian Christmas experience through creative light displays and narrative. The annual David Jones Christmas Parade which marches through the Queens Street Mall and culminates in King George square is sure to delight the young ones with traditional and new Christmas characters, live music and dancing along the way. Head to St Stephen’s Cathedral and take in the beautiful sound and light show animating the walls of the church. If you’re in town on 8 December, be sure to head down to the River Stage in Brisbane’s stunning Botanical Gardens for the annual Lord Mayor’s Christmas Carols. The Giftorium is open for business again in Myer this year; kids can explore the beautiful Christmas decorations on display and visit Santaland by virtual train, with a range of activities inside Santa’s workshop designed to keep them busy.

Christmas at South Bank

Across the river from the CBD, South Bank boasts a range of Christmas activities, coupled with breathtaking views of the city and an impressive array of dining options.  Most of the action starts at the beginning of the school holidays with a focus on child-friendly options. Little ones will love the Holly Jolly Kids program; kids can discover what it takes to become one of Santa’s elves at the Elf Academy, participate in craft and dance classes or enjoy amazing acrobatic street shows. Pick up some unique Christmas gifts at the Christmas Gift Market, which open in the afternoon and stay alive until 10pm.  South Bank’s outdoor Christmas Cinema is back from 815pm each night with a range of festive season favourites showing on the River Quay lawn. Get there early and enjoy Carols by Twilight, while closer to Christmas Day, take in riverside views of South Bank’s fireworks spectacular from 8pm.

With a huge range of entertainment and activities on offer, be sure to get out and explore the  magic of Christmas in Brisbane this year.

Words by Rebecca Walker - Published 27 November 2018
Quick Facts 
Population Approx 1.9 million
Area 1326.8 km2
Time Zone GMT +10
Languages English (official)
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Electricity 220 – 240v 50Hz
Share this article 
facebook Twitter Pinterest Google
Related Articles 
Brisbane: the city of FIT
Brisvegas. Brisneyland. The River City. Whatever your preferred description of the Queensland capital may be, one fact is wholly undeniable; Brisbane is a fitness lover’s paradise.
Lunch to Impress: Brisbane’s Best Business Lunches
Meeting with clients on your next business trip to Brisbane? Leave a lasting impression with our guide to the best business lunches in town.
Lunchtime Delivered: Brisbane’s Best Outdoor Lunches for Business Travellers
In Brisbane on business? Take a break from the office and get lunch delivered to the best outdoor spots in the CBD with Virgin Australia.