The cultural precinct at South Bank is the destination of choice for Brisbane locals and visitors looking for the best in arts and culture. It is a place where home-grown talent takes centre stage alongside international exhibitions and productions at world class art and performance spaces such as the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Queensland Museum and Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC).

Discover hidden treasures, see some of the world’s best art, learn more about Queensland’s history, experience Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture, or just watch the world go by at this exciting cultural precinct. Located on the banks of the Brisbane River, it is just a few minute’s stroll from the CBD across the Kurilpa Bridge, and only a stone’s throw from South Bank Parklands where you’ll also find plenty of things to see and do.

You’ve got until 28 January 2018 to see history come alive at the Queensland Museum’s ‘Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum’ exhibition which takes visitors on a journey to ancient Rome, where gladiators encapsulated the spirit of this powerful empire. There are over 100 artefacts from museums around Italy, plus interactive games and the chance for kids to dress up as a gladiator. Some of the most spectacular items are the original gladiatorial helmets and pieces of stonework from the famous Colosseum in Rome. According to exhibition curator, Dr Rossella Rea, it is the first (and probably the last) time these precious artefacts will be seen in Australia. Timed ticket entry is required for this very special exhibition so don’t be late!

Learn about the gladiators of ancient Rome

If you are a fan of the Marvel movie franchise (or simply can’t get enough of Chris Hemsworth), don’t miss QAGOMA’s ‘Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe’, which is on show until 3 September 2017. The exhibition takes up GOMA’s entire ground floor, with over 500 objects on show, including more than 60 original costumes worn by actors including Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and Tilda Swinton. There are also comic books, props, spectacular set design, concept and keyframe art, clips from Marvel Studios films and bespoke hands-on activities.

Everybody needs a hero

The Throne Room

Original Marvel costumes

Channel your inner Ironman (and make him dance like he’s in ‘Saturday Night Fever’) or capture yourself on a movie poster using green screen technology, complete with Thor’s hammer or Captain Marvel’s shield, for the ultimate selfie. During the exhibition, you can also watch a retrospective of Marvel Cinematic Universe films including ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2’ and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ at QAGOMA’s onsite Australian Cinémathèque.

Just after the Marvel exhibition finishes, Brisbane Festival will be encouraging audiences to open their minds, divert the norm and discover a risky, quirky, offbeat side of the artistic world with ground-breaking, avant garde, poignant and artistically beautiful shows. If you can’t make it to Brisbane Festival in September (or even if you can), don’t forget the Queensland Performing Arts Centre holds behind the scenes tours every Friday at 10.30am and 11.30am. What you see depends on what shows are on, which makes this tour an exciting lucky dip. Whether you would prefer to catch one of the funky Up Late sessions hosted by GOMA, eyeball a dinosaur or catch a show at QPAC, South Bank has all of your cultural desires covered.

QPAC Behind the Scenes Tour

Disclosure: The writer visited South Bank as a guest of Brisbane Marketing.