Friday, August 13, 2010

The Brisbane River walk and a bunch of bridges

Perhaps the greatest change for Brisbane since I lived there back in the early 80's has been the increased access to the river banks. Walkways extend for miles on both banks and they are getting lots of use. Here I walk from the point on the river where the word 'Brisbane' is on the map and head south.
Fortunately it was a lovely sunny day. This is not a walk to do when it is cold, wet and windy.

The river is fairly wide at this point and tidal. In the distance is the Story Bridge.
One of the small older ferries that do the short cross river trips.
This is the heart or Brisbane's financial district with the new, the old and the under construction.
One of two paddle wheel vessels that presumably can be used for parties and such events.

The city welcomes boat visitors and provides mooring points.
After a few hundred yards, you reach the City Botanic Gardens that come right to the river edge. It was now lunch time and there were quite a few people running and walking along the path.

A couple of the visiting boats. The rock face in the background is used to teach people how to abseil and rock climb. Back in the late 80's, for some reason we decided to watch the revival series of Mission Impossible. To our great surprise, in the opening episode, we saw this rock face in the background. Yes, the whole series was shot in Australia and mostly in Brisbane. It was fun to work out the actual locations that had been used to simulate London, Paris, New York etc. 


Some of the more picturesque boats in the river.
The river is tidal and in a sub tropical area, so there are mangroves.

A walkway takes you out into the mangroves so that you can get a closer look at them.
And now for a spot of colour. I have no idea what it is.
The Goodwill Bridge, for pedestrians and bicyclists only.

Looking upstream with a high speed catamaran approaching. On the right hand side is the freeway that joins the east and west sides of Brisbane and feeds traffic into and out of the city. The sun in Australia can be very bright, even in winter. Sun glasses are needed when you drive.
One of Australia's old naval vessels, the Diamantina, in an old dry dock. The ship was built in Maryborough.

In 1988, Brisbane hosted an Expo on the South Bank of the river. A large area of mostly derelict buildings was cleared except for significant old hotels and the Expo exhibit buildings were constructed. The Expo was very successful and absolutely transformed Brisbane not only physically, but mentally. Brisbane had always been a large country town and overnight became a city.

Most of the Expo buildings were demolished at the end of the Expo and the3 area was transformed into a huge park with a bunch of public buildings including a Performing Arts Center, Museums, a new State Library, restaurants, walks etc.

Here we are at one end of the park with one of the old hotels that survived the bulldozer.
One of the walkways through the park. These are bougainvilleas.



In places the walk has a roof like structure where you can shelter when it rains. At times, rain in Brisbane can be a real downpour, much heavier than anything I have experienced in the US.


I loved the name of the company.



There is even a beach as well as numerous fountains.


Wharves for the City Cat catamarans which travel up and down the river at approximately 40 mph.


Of course there has to be a Ferris wheel. You'll never get me up there.


All that remains of the old Victoria Bridge.

I
n 1969, this new Victoria Bridge was opened.


Where the express way enters the bowels of the city.



Images of the new library and museum buildings.



The Kurilpa Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists. It's a wonderful bridge for photographers, so here are a few of mine.






It's just so much fun getting interesting angles with this bridge. In the background is the next bridge. Incidentally, this was the first time I had walked over this bridge.


There used to be just three bridges in the city area and this was the third, the Grey Street or William Jolly Bridge. I've always liked the look of this bridge though I didn't travel over it too often.


An interesting mural between the arches.


The Merivale Bridge only carries trains from the south side to the north side of the river. In addition to the narrow 3'6" gauge trains used in Queensland, the bridge also carries trains from New South Wales that use the standard gauge 4'8" (and 1/2) used in most of the world. Until the bridge was built in 1978, the train from NSW used to stop at the South Brisbane Station.


A suburban Queensland train going over the bridge.


The pedestrian entrance to Brisbane's newest bridge, the Go Between, that was opened only a couple of days before we arrived.

Increasingly, new construction is being funded by tolls, though of course, this was quite common in the past. Toll booths have disappeared however and you need to have an electronic tag or log on to a website to pay the toll. It's a real pain for visitors. A toll is charged to use this bridge and so far, motorists aren't using it much even though you are supposed to save 15 minutes in rush hour.


No cars, no pedestrians and it is about 2pm.


And finally, a plaque honouring John Oxley who first explored the Brisbane River. Supposedly he first landed close to the Kurilpa bridge, but there are some who reckon he landed elsewhere. He was one of the great explorers in Australian history.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe we can talk to Brisbane about building some bridges in Cecil County while they're at it...

    --Manda

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