Expo 88 – Brisbane
1988 World’s Fair held in Queensland – Expo 88.
The 1988 world’s fair was hosted at Brisbane’s South Bank and ran for six months from 30 April to 30 October 1988. It was the largest event of Australia’s Bicentennial year.
World Expo 88, with the theme “Leisure In The Age of Technology”, came at a cost of over $600 million and expected 7.8 million visitors over the six month duration — though in reality by the event’s end it had clocked up more than 16 million visitors. More than 40 nations were on show at Expo plus there were daily shows of music, comedy, theatre, parades, water skiing and a nightly fireworks display.
One of the main attractions left over from the World Expo of 1988 is the Nepalese Peace Pagoda. One of only three Nepalese Peace Pagodas outside of Nepal it required over 80 tonnes of Nepalese timber and over 150 Nepalese families to build the components which were then shipped to Australia.
Each of the temple’s three levels contains a different space. There is a meditation level, a tea house, and now, a display of pictures and artifacts from the Expo.
The Skyneedle, a prominent feature of the Brisbane skyline, was constructed especially for World Expo 88. The 88 metre tall landmark was earmarked for relocation to Tokyo Disneyland (following the completion of Expo ’88). However, hairdresser Stefan Ackerie stepped in and purchased the Skyneedle, which was then relocated to the Stefan HQ at South Brisbane. After purchase, Stefan added his firm’s signature rainbow rings logo to the top of the tower with the aid of neon.
The South Bank Parklands were constructed on the old site of Brisbane’s World Expo ’88.