Fun things to do in Brisbane

  • Colin Campbell Place
    Colin Campbell Place
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  • Lots of colours in the Spectacle Garden
    Lots of colours in the Spectacle Garden
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    Creative planting
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Brisbane

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    GOVERNMENT HOUSE

    by balhannah Updated Jun 16, 2014

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    Government House is located approximately 5 kilometres west of the Brisbane CBD in the suburb of Paddington.

    It is the official residence of the Governor of Queensland, who is the representative of Queen Elizabeth II in Queensland.
    This is where the State Premier of Queensland comes if he or she wishes to request from the Governor a dissolution of Parliament and the calling of a general election. Following the outcome of such elections, the Governor appoints the Premier and Ministry, and the swearing-in of members takes place at Government House.
    The Governor is patron of more than 200 not-for-profit organisations and hosts thousands of visitors to Government House annually. These events are usually Open Days, school visits, ceremonial occasions and hospitality events that recognise and value individuals and organisations who serve the Queensland community.

    Twice a year, on AUSTRALIA DAY-JANUARY 26TH and QUEENSLAND DAY - JUNE 6th, GOVERNMENT HOUSE IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AND ENTRY IS FREE
    ENTRY IS FROM 10am

    We came early on Queensland Day. Free parking at a nearby park was available and a free shuttle bus left from here to Government House every 15mins. You could walk up the steep hill if you wished. At the entrance gate, we were given a booklet of what events were on during the day.

    Entrance to the house is by ticket, this stops the house from becoming over-crowded and people not seeing much at all. The beginning of the day is the best time to come to avoid the crowds. We picked up our tickets and entered the house straight away. Only the rooms where dignitaries and other guests came were open to the public, fair enough as most of the house is the private living area of the Governor.
    The rooms were furnished beautifully, there was a wonderful stained glass window above the stair case and excellent paintings of Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II and others.

    My only disappointment was, NO PHOTOS ALLOWED INSIDE THE HOUSE

    We wandered around the large garden which is mainly lawn, shrubs, trees, Bromeliads and Roses.
    Bands were entertaining during the day, there were a few olden day cars on display, food stalls and charity stalls.
    It was a great chance to see beautiful Fernberg!
    The rest of the year you will have to be content with peering through the gates.

    FREE ENTRY TO EVERYTHING

    Government House Government House open day Government House open day Government House open day Government House open day
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    SHRINE OF SAINT MARY MACKILLOP

    by balhannah Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    I wouldn't have known about this, but for another Brisbane VT'er, Maryimelda

    Thanks to her, I was taken to St. Stephen's Chapel, and shown this marvellous carved figure of Saint Mary MacKillop.

    Mary Mackillop is Australia's 1st canonised Saint, this happened on October 17th, 2010.
    This wonderful lady cared for destitute women and children, the early pioneering families who had to overcome massive adjustment's to their lives, and lastly, her trust in God to provide for all.

    What 1st struck me when I saw this sculpture done by a John Elliott in 1998, was the resemblance to this wonderful lady from photo's I have seen.
    The sculpture is done from a trunk of a 100yr old Camphor Laurel tree. It was no accident that this Tree was used. The bark of this tree is rough and is meant to be a reminder of the slab bark huts of years ago.......Mary MacKillop opened her 1st school in a slab bark hut.

    Near her Shrine is a piece of the original coffin she was buried in, in 1909.

    St. Stephen's Chapel is also the oldest Church in Queensland.

    Sculpture of St. Mary MacKillop
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    HISTORICAL GEORGE STREET MANSIONS

    by balhannah Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    STOP 6 on Reflections of the river heritage trail

    I loved these Mansions! Built in 1889, this another of minority in Brisbane that have gargoyles, these being cat gargoyles on the corners of the parapet. The Mansions are a row of six, three story high American Romanesque style Terrace houses with some history attached to them. They are different to others, as instead of lovey iron lacework typical of Australian terraces, limestone has been used. There are other italianate features, brick chimneys, and it is fenced and gated.

    In the early days, these Mansions attracted the wealthier members of Brisbane society as tenants, and still today, the shops are very upmarket.
    An early resident of “The Mansions” was Dr. Lillian Cooper, who was Queensland’s first female doctor and Australia’s first female surgeon.
    After World War I the building became a rooming house and in 1954 was bought by the Government of Queensland to be used as offices.

    You can enter the mansions for free as they now are shops and restaurants.
    OPEN..Monday to Friday - 10 - 4PM

    George street mansions
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    CONVICT BUILT COMMISSARIAT STORE

    by balhannah Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    STOP 8 on the Reflections of the river heritage trail

    The Commissariat Store is a Museum of historical interest as it was constructed by convict labour under the direction of the colony's Commandant, Captain Logan. The building was erected with Brisbane tuff [porous rock] taken from a quarry at Kangaroo Point. The Commissariat Store was built with convict labour, starting in 1828 and continuring until it was completed in 1829. In 1913, the top brick storey was added and the roof refixed.

    The riverside site of the stores is located on what was a gateway to the "infant colony." Prisoners and guards disembarking would make their way past the building to reach the other buildings of the settlement.
    This section of the stores is the second oldest building in Queensland.

    It now belongs to the Royal Historical Society of Queensland and is a Museum. On each floor of the Commissariat Store there are exhibitions. You can see what is on at your time of visit by looking at the website.
    Volunteer guides are available Tuesday to Friday from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm to guide visitors and groups through the museum.

    The area it is located is known as the "Birthplace of Queensland"

    The commissariat stores
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    THE BRISBANE SYNAGOGUE

    by balhannah Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    STOP 5 on Reflections on the river heritage trail

    The Synagogue looked liked it had been squeezed between two tall buildings, but this wasn't the case, the new buildings were built after the Synagogue.
    It belongs to the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation who used to worship where-ever they could before it was built. Eventually, they decided to build a place of worship, but what style to build? An architectural competition was put in place, a winner found, and the building was started, being completed in 1886. The stained glass windows were added just prior to the congregation’s centenary. Many of these were memorials to family members murdered during the WW Holocaust.

    Don't expect it to be open, as like most Churches in Australia, the doors are kept locked except on days of worship.

    Brisbane synagogue
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    NALDHAM HOUSE

    by balhannah Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    Reflections of the river STOP 3

    We are now in the Eagle street area of Brisbane and it's here where the Heritage listed Naldham House is. This building is now the home to the elite Brisbane Polo club.

    It was originally the home of the Australian United Steamship Navigation Company in 1889. This building is a good example of Australian colonial architecture. It has a lovely Cupola, and I believe you can wander inside even though it is a club (I didn't), its meant to be quite nice, with still the original staircase.
    Located beside it is an information sign on the details of the building, and on the side of the building are flood markers showing the record high of 1893.

    The area around here had the interesting name of Frog’s Hollow. It was a swampy area full of warehouses, engineering works, foundrys, mercantile agencies, brothels, hotels, boarding houses, and residences, all adjacent to busy wharves, a ferry terminal and the Botanic Gardens, one of few recreational spaces of the time.
    People were mixed together just like the buildings were. Tradesmen, merchants, stevedores, shopgirls, labourers, sailors and prostitutes all were in this one area.
    It must have been quite a sight!

    My photo isn't the best, found it hard to get one, as there are so many trees surrounding Naldham House.

    The Cupola of Naldham House Information sign
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    HARRIS TERRACES

    by balhannah Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    Reflections of the river STOP 7

    Located next to the beautiful George street Mansions, these are not quite as impressive. They are named after local businessman and parliamentarian George Harris, who had this row of attached houses built in 1867. As Parliament House was nearby, these houses were leased by Professionals and Members of Parliament. In 1958 it was purchased by the Queensland Government for use as office space and was restored to its original appearance in 1985.

    Harris Terraces
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    THE QUEENSLAND CLUB

    by balhannah Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    STOP 10 on the Reflections of the River Heritage trail

    This is a really lovely building, containing 41 bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a clubroom, dining room, billiard room, smoking room and various kitchens and servants’ rooms. It is painted white and has plenty of greenery surrounding it.
    The Queensland Club was based on British "Gentleman's Clubs." Established in 1859 for men of common interest and socio-economic backgrounds, it attracted gentry, politicians, business and professional men. Building was begun in 1882 and the Club opened in 1884,

    Queensland club
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    REFLECTIONS ON THE RIVER HERITAGE TRAIL

    by balhannah Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    This is another heritage trail only this one takes in the sights along Brisbane's CBD waterfront.
    Lots of the buildings can only be viewed from the outside.

    So lets begin the walk. We have good walking shoes on, a hat, sunscreen and a bottle of water.

    The walk begins in Queen Street at the lovely old Custom's House, a building you won't miss because of the large copper dome.
    Years ago, Brisbane relied heavily on shipping. Timber and wool exported and manufactured goods and foodstuffs were imported. The colonial government imposed taxes on this trade from as
    early as 1846. In 1889, the impressive copper-domed Customs House with grand facades was opened. In the 20th century, the Customs House closed. Now the University of Queensland uses it as a functions centre and art gallery. Evidently, it has a stunning ballroom.
    The Customs House is open seven days from 9am.

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    James Street and The Valley

    by wise23girl Updated Mar 12, 2014

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    Known as "The Valley" but more properly Fortitude Valley (named from the ship SS Fortitude which arrived in Brisbane in 1849) this little bit of Brisbane has been known to me since I was a young girl. At one time when I was nursing at The Royal Brisbane Hospital (now RBWH....Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital) I knew every 'inch' of The Valley but not any more. We drive through 'the Valley" many times every year now-a-days to go to the Brisbane CBD and never stop and certainly have not kept up with the changing scene..
    I usually see some sports shops as we whisk by in the traffic and around the corner...we pass Cathedral Place.....I knew there was China Town...I knew it was a bit rough in some areas....I knew there was night life of some sort......and I did want to find out a bit more of The Valley scene.

    Well I did just that the other night...found out a bit more....I visited Jugglers Art Gallery....almost vistied a cute boutique hotel called Limes where there are cocktails on the roof top but not much sleep if you stay over(the party goes on till 3am at weekends)....had a glimpse of James Street night life... enjoyed a meal in Chow House and even discovered there are some places to park if you know where to look.
    2013 Dec, Have been told night life in the Valley is tops...Look for a place called Cloudland.(bit of a shame if you remember the old Cloudland that was demolished by wicked men in the past)

    So what I am getting around to is that if you want to find the quirky interesting side of The Valley do visit James Street....for all of about 15 minutes....

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    Visit The Eden Garden Centre

    by wise23girl Updated Feb 25, 2014

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    This little spot for relaxation is on the outskirts of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia ...in the area of Aspley/Carseldine.

    I always quite like the cafes attached to garden centres...you have something else to do besides eat, drink , and be merry
    Not only shopping but also you can stroll around the grounds....see the water fountain...watch the ducks at play ...and that is quite an amusing pass time.

    The food here is pretty good...we came in for afternoon tea and breakfast the next day...served from 8.30am.
    You will enjoy the view from the cafe as well....you do not even notice the traffic on Gympie Road.

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    The Blackall Range

    by al2401 Updated Feb 15, 2014

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    The Blackall Range starts 80 kilometres north of Brisbane. It runs behind the Sunshine Coast parallel to the ocean. Starting with Maleny in the south a road travels along the ridge, linking Montville, Flaxton and Mapleton and showing spectacular views over the Sunshine Coast.

    A drive up the range is a very popular outing for residents and tourist alike.

    Activities are varied. There are three main parks with walking tracks through subtropical rainforest and sclerophyll forest - Mary Cairncross Park, Kondalilla National Park and Mapleton Falls National Park.

    Shops, galleries and restaurants can be found in all of the range towns and there are wineries at Maleny and Montville. There are also many Bed & Breakfasts and small hotel accommodation. There is even a reception centre - Maleny Manor - on the east side of the range which caters mainly for weddings and offers amazing views.

    On the western side of the range are the towns of Kenilworth and Connondale. This is rich dairy country and Kenilworth is famous for its cheese.

    Along with the Bunya Mountains the Blackall Range isthe only are where the Bunya Pine is found naturally. The area was first established by timber getters after the Red Cedar which grows in the rainforest.

    Follow the link to all the things to do on the Blackall Range.

    Blackall Range

    Bunya Pines Maleny Montville Mapleton Mary Cairncross Park
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    The Regatta Hotel

    by al2401 Updated Feb 15, 2014

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    The Regatta Hotel is so well known in Brisbane that it even has its own City Cat jetty. It is named after the rowing regattas held on the river; it was often the finishing post.

    In 1965 there was a famous protest in the Regatta Hotel. Two women chained themselves to the public bar in protest of the law restricting the public bar to men only. The protest failed and the law stood for quite a few years.

    A single storey building was erected on the site in 1884. After flooding the present three storey structure was built in 1886. It featured beautiful iron lace work which is still present today. The Regatta Hotel was redecorated in 1981. It is part of the National Trust of Queensland and was registered in 1992.

    The hotel was progressively renovated from 2001-4 to include modern bars and nightclubs only to be extensively damaged in the 2010-11 Queensland floods. It was reopened in September 2012 after more refurbishments.

    The Regatta Hotel is a great place to have a meal and is a favourite place to stop for folk on a City Cat tour.

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    Bridges

    by al2401 Updated Nov 22, 2013

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    The Brisbane River is spanned by 14 bridges. Most are road bridges but there are rail and pedestrian bridges as well.

    Arguably Brisbane's most famous landmark is the Story Bridge which was built in 1940. It was designed by Dr John Bradfield who also designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Story Bridge also offers bridge climbs.

    The William Jolly Bridge (originally the Grey Street Bridge) was built in 1932 and named posthumously after Brisbane's first Lord Mayor.

    The Victoria Bridge was opened in 1970. Two bridges had stood on this site - the first built in 1865 collapsed in 1867. Its replacement was partially destroyed in 1893 floods.

    The two major rail links in Queensland were finally joined in the CBD with the construction of the Merivale Rail Bridge in 1978. Previously the only rail bridge was miles upriver at Indooroopilly or passenger took public transport between the southside of the river to the north.

    The Goodwill Pedestrain Bridge linking Gardens Pont and the Queensland University of Technology with Southbank was built in 2001.

    Since writing the above Brisbane has seen the addition of two new bridges - the Kurilpa Bridge from Tank Street to Kurilpa Point and the Go Between Bridge from Hale Street to the South side.

    The list of 16 bridges from the lower to the upper reaches is;
    Sir Leo Hielscher (two bridges) - formerly known as the Gateway Bridge
    Story Bridge
    Captain Cook Bridge
    Goodwill Pedestrian Bridge
    Victoria Bridge
    Kurilpa Pedestrian Bridge
    William Jolly Bridge
    Merivale Rail Bridge
    Go Between Bridge
    Eleanor Schonell Bridge - buses, cyclists & pedestrians
    Jack Pesch Bridge - cyclists & pedestrians
    Albert Rail Bridge
    Indooroopilly Railway Bridge
    Walter Taylor Bridge
    Centenary Bridge

    Story Bridge - Brisbane William Jolly Bridge - Brisbane Victoria Bridge - Brisbane Merivale Rail Bridge with William Jolly Bridge Goodwill Pedestrian Bridge - Brisbane
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    The Glasshouse Mountains

    by al2401 Written Nov 21, 2013

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    Glass House Mountains National Park has an area of 2,117 hectares and starts about 70 km north of Brisbane. It is a flat plain featuring cores of extinct volcanoes, the outer rock having been eroded away. The park was established in 1994 and extended in 2010.

    The Glass House Mountains were named by Captain James Cook in 1770 as he sailed up the coast. The mountains can be seen from quite a distance out to sea and the shapes reminded him of glass kilns.

    The highest peak is Beerwah at 555m, while the most recognisable are Coonowrin (or Crookneck) 377m and Tibrogargan 364m (also 2nd & 3rd highest)

    Walking tracks allow access to the summit of some of the peaks but you need to check with the National Parks on accessibility. Climbing the mountains can be extremely dangerous and many people have had to be rescued. There have also been fatalities.

    The park covers a diverse range of habitiats from heath to open forest with some rainforest patches.

    The Glass House Mountains are best viewed from Mary Cairncross Park - Maleny

    Glasshouse Mountains from Mary Cairncross Park Glasshouse Mountains from Mary Cairncross Park Mount Tibrogargan - Glasshouse Mountains Crookneck - Glasshouse Mountains Crookneck from Mary Cairncross Park
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