Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
In the past I have visited many different cities around the world. With a handful of exceptions I have found something interesting and intriguing to photograph and write about. It would seem however for more then a couple of years Brisbane has been in that handful of exceptions. Brisbane is the place that I live and I had found it difficult to find the inspiration to see the city from the point of a tourist.
However earlier this month, with a little arm twisting I was able to get out in the city of Brisbane with my camera and capture a little of the city that I call home. Today I wanted to share some of this with you, and take you on a trip from Queen St Mall, through the CBD to the Riverside and into the Botanical Gardens. A walk that can take an hour or the whole day.
To start the afternoon I was in the Queen St Mall, a two block section of Queen St, which has been is celebrating it’s 30th year as a pedestrian mall. If you are looking to do some shopping while in Brisbane this is the place to do it, with some 700+ stores either facing the mall or in surrounding shopping centre’s and arcades. Plenty to suit everyone’s shopping needs, but of course not the focus of my time today.
Taking a short walk west along Albert St that intersects Queen St Mall in the middle, and crossing Adelaide St will find you in King George Square. The dominant building in King George Square is the Brisbane City Hall, with’s clock tower, however currently closed until early 2013 for restoration work. The City Hall is one of the beautiful Heritage building’s in Brisbane and was built between 1920 and 1930. King George Square is also the host to many cultural and social events each year, as well as the location for possibly Brisbane’s largest Christmas tree in December each year.
Directly across Ann St is another fine heritage building, The Albert Street Uniting Church. The church as it stands today was opened in November if 1889, with extensive restorations undertaken in 1974, replacing previous churches on this site dating back to 1849. the construction of the building is from Brick and Omaru Sandstone dressing. This is quite an beautiful building, however I did not get a chance to take a look inside. The church is open Monday – Friday from 10am – 2pm and holds services on Friday and sunday, see their website for more details.
I headed back across King George Square and onto Adelaide Street, heading east, to ANZAC Square. ANZAC Square is the place in Brisbane for Remembrance, with statues and sculptures dedicated to the memory of those who served in the many wars since World War I. The square is also home to the Shrine of Remembrance where the Eternal flame of Remembrance is continuously lit in a bronze urn, which was dedicated on the 11th November 1930. There is a touch of symbolism in and around the Eternal Flame as well, with the column’s surrounding the flame numbering 18, for the year which World War I ended. Along with the stairs approaching the flame number 19 in the first set and 18 in the second again noting the year 1918. You can find more information about ANZAC Square here.
Taking the stairs past the Shrine Of Remembrance, I kept heading east, this time along Ann Street. On the next two blocks are two more of Brisbane’s Churches. The first you will come to on the left hand side of the street, where you need to take the stairs just after the Suncorp building. The church is All Saint’s Anglican Church, a smaller church, however the oldest Anglican Church in Brisbane. The current church was built in 1869 replacing an earlier building from 1862, and is built in the nineteenth century gothic revival style.
Continuing along Ann St in an easterly direction, you will find the second Church, St John’s Cathedral. This is the Anglican Cathedral in Brisbane, construction started in 1901 with the laying of the foundation stone, and officially the first stage of construction commenced in 1906. The cathedral was finally completed to how it stands today in 2009. This cathedral is really a landmark building, facing Ann St, and backing on to Adelaide Street, atop a stone cliff face.
A little further along Ann Street, and you come to the intersection of Ann Street and Queen Street. Here I took a right hand turned onto queen Street heading south. Almost two blocks along Queen Street is another iconic building in Brisbane, Customs House, which backs onto the River. The building was completed and opened in 1889 to perform the function of collecting Customs Duty. Today though the building is heritage listed and used primarily for functions and concerts. More information about the Customers House can be found on their websites here.
Continuing along Queen Street heading South, you will reach Eagle Street Pier, where on a sunday you will find some Markets. However this is also a great place to escape the city streets for a walk along the Brisbane River. This is a great place to get a view of the Story Bridge, and the best place to find your way to the City Botanic Gardens. It is a nice flat walk, however keep your eye’s open for people on Bicycles as this is a shared path.
The City Botanic Gardens is a great way to end the day walking around Brisbane and you can you really take as much time as you like here. The City Botanic Gardens are a 20 Hectare gardens, located on Gardens point at the southern end of the CBD. The plot of land they occupy was originally identified for gardens in 1828, and has taken form to what it is today over the years since. Today the gardens are open 24 hours a day with the paths lit at night, and host many functions year round. However it is also a great place to take a picnic, or just a walk around to escape the rush of the city.
From here I choose to leave via the Akbert Street Gate and head back to Queen Street Mall. However your options are quite open from here, if you want to explore more of the Brisbane CBD or the surround area’s. Public Buses are available just at the front of the City botanic Gardens on Alice Street, there is a city cat terminal in the north east corner of the gardens or the Goodwill Bridge in the south west corner will take you across the river to Southern end of the Southbank Precinct. Really if you take your time one day is not enough to explore. Hopefully one day soon I will get a chance to get out again and share a little of the Southbank area and other parts of the CBD that I did not get to this time.
If the directions sound a little confusing or you would like to follow along on the same path that I took, you can have a look at the following link for all the points and the trail that I followed on Google Maps. Brisbane City Walk Map.