Well Brisbane is very close to home and I sometimes forget how exciting it would be to walk from West End to Fortitude Valley. How long would it take? An hour or two perhaps but maybe go slower and enjoy yourself on the walk.
Now West End is all things bohemian...how good is that? You can then head to Southbank...cross the River, enjoy the view from the bridge, and you are in the main CBD..You will probably enjoy Queen Street Mall. (no do not detour to the Botanical Gardens...you will never get to the Valley.) Pick up a map if you need at the Tourist Info Centre in the Mall.
So continue along...if it is Sunday you will pass the Riverside Markets as you head towards the Valley and China Town. You could go on to New Farm...rest in the park and catch a ferry back to Southbank.
And there are some very interesting boutiques to find. Explore...enjoy yourself.
But I would not suggest this walk in the middle of summer.
Now if you want to go back to the start you could make your way to the river and "catch a cat" (River transport )
Here is the way to spend a whole perfect day at Southbank. So take a little bag with a swim suit and a change of clothes...here's why
First take a stroll beneath the bougainvillea clad steel arches...then pick up a pastry from Poppy's in little Stanley Street and by then you will be ready for an espresso...look for the bright red door of Espresso Garage and follow your nose....to the smell of roasted coffee beans.
Now I said bring your swim suit...how about a splash ...there is a man made swimming beach...how's that?
Tidy up and you are ready for lunch in the Queensland Art Gallery.....spend ages here viewing the display and finish your day with tapas and wine at The Sardine Tin ...again in Little Stanley Street.
So there you are a perfect day...at Southbank
Back in the dim distant days when I was a small boy, I enjoyed nothing more than having my grandmother take me to the Museum. The Queensland Museum was a marvellous place for a boy, with large skeletons of dinosaurs and diprotodons, real live Queensland lungfish in tanks, and endless glass display cases with cloth covers which could be lifted to display the exciting items inside. In those days, it was housed in this quite extravagant brick building erected in 1891. Before my time, it seems there also was a concert hall in which Dame Nellie Melba once sang, however in 1930 that area was passed to the Queensland Art Gallery. The museum and art gallery remained there until new purpose-built buildings were erected for them in the Southbank area in 1987.
The photo shows the building in 1964, when it still housed the museum. It still looks much the same, but the traffic has changed and the ugly overhead wires for the tramway have gone. I gather the building has been restored in recent years for cultural purposes and now is heritage listed. The original concert hall has been rebuilt, a pipe organ installed, and it houses the Queensland Youth Orchestras, the Queensland Youth Choir, the Queensland Pipe Band, and at least one theatrical group. The building must count as one of the more interesting in Brisbane.
The Palace is now a Backpackers Hostel but it never used to be. It is a beautiful heritage listed building with bull nosed verandahs, iron lacework and cast iron balustrades. It used to be called the "People's Palace" and was run by the Salvation Army as a Hotel in 1911. It had 130 rooms, and was regarded as a safe place for morals, gambling, a general safe house to bless and help the people. It operated like this until 1979. Since then, it has become a Backpacker's Hostel, known for its atmosphere and the "Down Under Bar" Mixed dorms, doubles and single rooms are available. The Roof top has great views of the city, and you can have a BBQ here if you wish.
Well if you love to shop with a bit of local history this is a place to do just that. But NOT on Sundays. We are often in town on a Sunday and all I can do is a bit of window shopping.
Now for the history...The site was once the home of the Mayne family...Dad was a butcher and he must have been a very successful one for he built the Arcade for his two youngest children one of whom was a doctor. Still to this day proceeds go to the Medical school and Medical Research at the University of Queensland.
There are three levels to explore in the arcade and you will be delighted by the Edwardian Baroque style street facade and original terrazzo stairs.
And you can purchase some hand made sleepwear...fashion design...imported shoes...and teapots. Oh and Darryl Lea chocolates if you love to indulge.....Sorry Darryl Lea have gone! Something called Bodyworks there now.
2013....I just discovered on the balcony level this little place called Room of Roses which surely will tempt your senses with the beautiful food and decor ...and especially the roses....
And down the stairs in Kerri Craig Emporium not only clothes and gifts but an elegant restaurant where fresh crab sandwiches to die for are served....at an elegant price I may add.
In 1934, the Australian Mutual Provident Insurance Society (or AMP) must have been very proud of their new Queensland headquarters building, the largest and most modern office block in Brisbane at the time and designed in English Renaissance style. Built of concrete with a steel frame, and faced with sandstone and red granite, the new building was built to last. They could never have expected the events of just eight years later.
In July 1942, following the American defeat in the Philippines, the Commander in Chief of the South-West Pacific Campaign, General Douglas MacArthur, established his headquarters until November 1944 on the eighth floor of this building, which was taken over entirely for military purposes. Brisbane became the main headquarters for the United States forces, with military camps established in many areas and the city’s population roughly doubling with tens of thousands of military personnel.
The building now has been renamed MacArthur Chambers and has been converted to luxury apartments. But the eighth floor has been preserved as the MacArthur Museum. It is open from 1000 -1500 on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays (except public holidays and Xmas/New Year). The entry charge is $5 for adults and there are concessions for children and families.
Main photo: MacArthur Chambers, Former headquarters for WW2 in the SW Pacific.
Second photo: Commemorative Plaque.
Brisbane has many markets you can browse through.
I went to the Eagle Street/Pier Markets on the Sunday morning. These are the cities original markets and there are approx 200 stalls. They start at 8.30am and through to 4.00pm.
An array of interesting things are available, from food, clothes, art , wood work, jewelry and many other bits and pieces to spend your money on.
I also browsed through the Southbank Markets.
Markets are held at King George Square every Sunday
Valley Markets, Brunswick St and China Malls on a Saturday ans Sunday 8am to 4.00pm
Jan Powers Farmer Markets, Brisbane Powerhouse New Farm, 2nd and 4th Saturdays 7am to 11am
There are more than 40 urban markets held regularly.
This is a really pleasant way to see this part of Brisbane, It can be combined with a meal as the Brisbane City Council provide free electric BBQ facilities along the way.
There are demarcated walking path's and seperate path's for cyclist's and bladers, so its safe for all.
You can try rock climbing at the cliffs as well if you are game. There is also cayaking available.
The walk starts from the Story Bridge and can end right round at west end, it depends how far you want to go.
It includes Southbank, goes past the Maritime museum, passes the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, The Queensland Museum and the Queensland Library. There are many cafe's restaurants, a beach (yes there is one in the middle of Brisbane), and in the summer you can see the water dragons sunning themselves.
We were in for a shock when we went to park our car after checking into the Astor Metropole Tower Apartments. It was our first experience parking on the stacker system. This one operated like a lift, you found a vacant parking spot and then pressed the button to move the
parking space down to road level, then drove into the spot. A very tight space and for anyone much taller than your car you will have trouble walking from your car. After the initial shock, the system was very efficient.
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.
Not far north of Brisbane is the Sunshine Coasts.
Picture an area of sweeping shiny beaches bordered by beautiful blue water. Picture majestic mountain ranges and refreshing radiant rainforest. Picture scenic drives along ridges and through valleys, overlooking coastal panoramas and vast fruit plantations. Picture tranquil hillside villages famous for local arts and crafts.
This can be a day trip or a stay over one - your choice.
There is a resort on the island that is quite good, the day trippers get to use the facilities there for the day.
You go over on the Cat from Brisbane (the trip takes aprox 1 - 1 1/2 hours) . Its a nice ride and the day over there is great.
It has a lot to do, walks, snorkling, beach walks, beach quad bike rides etc, or just laze on the beach or by the pool on at the bar, your choice.
There are wrecks just off shore a short distance away to snorkle, and there are also guided snorkle tours if you want.
Tangalooma also has dolphin feading (for the normal fee) Every night on sunset, a pod of up to 11 bottlenose dolphins swim up to the beach in front of the resort
Well I remember the original Shingle Inn which was established 1936:
"The historic Shingle Inn, Edward Street, Brisbane was built by David Webster and Sons amidst the horrific depression of the 1930's. The Managing Director at the time was W.R Webster, a son of David Webster, the founder of Webster Cake and Biscuit Company of the 1890 era."
"Purchased by the Bellchambers family in 1975, Shingle Inn Cafés & Bakery has been owned by only two families during its 72 year history, enabling the business to retain the quality and unique character which has made it famous amongst several generations".
Such a beautiful building and they served the most delicious cream cake you could ever imagine. As a young nurse it was one of my favourite places.
We were there on the last day when progress demanded its demise....sad day in August 2002.
The City Hall Shingle Inn opened in 2013 using the original fittings
Today you can still get some enjoyable food and tea or coffee and there are little "Shingle Inns" scattered all over the place. And they have really special high teas as well.
(And they are now in Sydney I notice)
Wickham Terrace is high on the hill overlooking the City. It is home to St. Andrew's War Memorial Hospital, lots of Doctors and Specialists, Hotels, and the Baptist Tabernacle. The Baptist church is an old stone three story building that was built in 1910. Next door is the "Greenhouse," a beautiful old Brisbane home. If you visit the "Old Windmill" take a walk further along the street, to see these nice old buildings before heading down the hill into the city centre.
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.
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