Walk 127: Brisbane, Australia, Circular Walk

The ‘Needs to Know’

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Time to walk: A city walk, so there’s no real time limit

Difficulty: Easy & all on hard paths, although quite hilly at times

Parking: Can’t comment as we were on our hols

Public toilets: Cafes, bar etc – plent to chose from

Map of the route: 

Brisbane was the second Australian city we visited on our tour in 2019…we loved it!

Brisbane is the capital & the most populated city in Queensland & the third most populated in Australia. One of the oldest cities in Australia, in 1823 the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane decided that some of the convicts needed more secure properties &, after investigation, it was decided to move them to Brisbane

It was founded upon the ancient homelands of the indigenous Turrbal & Jagera peoples. Today, Brisbane is well known for its distinct Queenslander architecture which forms much of the city’s built heritage

Shall we go & have a look?

Let’s Walk!

1. We stayed in Edward Street outside the Botanical Gardens & started this walk about 6.30am whilst most of our travelling party were still asleep in their beds. As well as walking this beautiful city, it was great to also watch it wake up. Let’s enter the Botanical Gardens which run alongside the river…

The Gardens include Brisbane’s most mature gardens, with many rare & unusual botanic species. The Queensland Heritage Register describes the Gardens as “the most significant, non-Aboriginal cultural landscape in Queensland, having a continuous horticultural history since 1828, without any significant loss of land area or change in use over that time

2. We loved this stretch of this walk, especially at this hour of the day, with the views of the river (so calming)…

We should, of course, remember that we’re in the tropics so, even along here, you can still see mangroves…

3. At the end of the park, turn left across Victoria Bridge…

The coffee stall halfway across was doing a roaring trade with commuters…

4. At the far end of the bridge, turn right to follow the ‘South Bank’. Now then…this was our first encounter with an Australian spider & boy…was he big..about the size of your hand

5. Time to chill now as Brisbane’s South Bank is rather lovely (just keep out of the way of cyclists!)

The views back across to the city are pretty spectacular too…

6. There’s an area on the South Bank called ‘Epicurious’ which, as allotment holders, obviously caught our eye…

The Epicurious Garden contains seasonal, edible plants including fruits, vegetables & herbs. It is all about discovery, & visitors are invited to explore & see what fresh produce looks, feels & smells like

Produce can only be harvested by volunteers & horticulturists. How fabulous & what we loved about all the Australian cities we visited, was how nothing had been vandalised & nothing had graffiti on it

7. After spending a morning in the vegetable garden, why not walk another 100 yards & enjoy…the beach!!

This is Brisbane’s spectacular ‘Streets Beach’ & the country’s only man-made inner city beach, complete with its own lifeguards – fabulous!

8. The walkway along the South Bank has many mosaics & it’s worth spending some time admiring them…

This really is a varied, eclectic stretch of our walk as next up’s the Australia / Japan Friendship Stone, which was erected in 1994 after the holding of the Tenjin Matsuri Festival in Brisbane. Tenjin Matsuri Festival is normally held in Osaka. As a cultural exchange in 1994 it was held in Brisbane

And just when you think you’ve seen it all, up pops the Nepal Peace Pagoda. This whole area hosted the World Expo in 1988 & is one of the most significant heritage items in Brisbane from the hosting of the Expo. It’s the only international exhibit remaining on the site. The pagoda is one of only three Nepal Peace Pagodas outside of Nepal, the other two being in Munich & Osaka & is a close copy of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu

Whilst not used as a traditional Buddhist or Hindu centre, it’s occasionally used for weddings, private functions, book launches & company events

9. Continue along Clem Jones Promenade towards Victoria Bridge, popping up the bank to see the colourful city sign…

Cross Victoria Bridge & cross over the road along William Street…

10. The Treasury Building, also previously known as the New Public Offices, is a former government public administration building. It was built from 1886 to 1928 for the Queensland Government. In the 1890s & early 1900s the imposing Treasury Building served as a symbol of self-government & as a focus for celebratory & patriotic displays.

11. Continue down William Street to see The Mansions, which are a row of 1890’s three-storey red brick, terraced houses…

At the end of the street’s part of the complex that forms Parliament House & the Old Government House

12. Turn left down Margaret Street to arrive at the Brisbane Synagogue

…which was designed by Arthur Morry & opened in 1886. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register in 1992

13. At the junction, turn left into Albert Street…

…& it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’ll always find an Irish Bar. In this case it’s ‘Gilhooley’s’ which was established in 1995

Continue straight ahead towards one of the city’s focus points…King George Square

14. Following the death of King George V in 1936, the square was widened to include the area which had been Albert Street, & renamed King George Square in honour of the King. The building that dominate most of the square’s City Hall, which also contains the Museum of Brisbane

Home to the Brisbane City Council, the largest in Australia, the Museum contains a display of contemporary art & Aboriginal art & culture

15. At the back of the square’s our favourite Brisbane church…Albert Street Uniting Church. Indeed it’s recognised as one of the ten most beautiful churches in Australia…

The Heritage listed building was designed by George Henry Male Addison, & built from 1888 to 1889. In the early 20th century, it was the main Methodist church in Brisbane, & became the Uniting Church after its formation in 1977

16. Turn left along Ann Street…

…& then left again into George Street

17. We’re walking in blocks at the moment, now turning left again onto Elizabeth Street (have you noticed that the streets are all named after British Kings & Queens?). If you fancy a coffee stop, there’s a nice area in the Elizabeth Street Arcade

We’re now heading towards one of Brisbane’s most famous areas, Anzac Square, so turn left up Edward Street & then slightly right into Adelaide Street…

You’ll see the huge, mounted statue guarding the entrance to the Square…

18. Anzac Square is a stunning oasis in this city. It’s a state memorial to the men & women who participated in overseas armed service & is named in honour of the Australian & New Zealand Army Corps. It was opened on Armistice Day 1930 & is also known as 9th Battalion Memorial & Queensland Women’s War Memorial

Walk around & look at the various memorials…

The over-riding memorial here though is the Shrine of Remembrance & the ‘Eternal Flame of Remembrance’ held in a continuously lit bronze urn…

On 25 April every year, a dawn service is held at the Shrine of Remembrance

19. Come back out & continue along Adelaide Street, turning left up a steep hill called Wharf Street. At the top turn right into Ann Street to arrive at St John’s Cathedral

St John’s is the Anglican cathedral in Brisbane & the metropolitan cathedral of the ecclesiastical province of Queensland. The cathedral is the second oldest Anglican church in Brisbane, behind All Saints church. It’s also the only existing building with a stone vaulted ceiling in the southern hemisphere. Go inside…it’s beautiful…

The cathedral is the centre for big diocesan events such as the ordinations of priests & deacons; a parish church catering for a diverse congregation of worshipers from around the city of Brisbane; a major centre for the arts & music with its own orchestra; & an international centre of pilgrimage attracting over 20,000 visitors annually from around the world

20. It’s time now to head back to the Brisbane River & the Boardwalk to complete our walk. Come back down Wharf Street & cross the busy junction…

Look to the left to see the Customs House which was designed by Charles H McLay & built between 1886 & 1889. It was originally used for the collection of customs duty when Queensland was a British colony

21. Walk through the gap below to arrive at the Boardwalk…

…after walking down the steps, you’ll be face to face with Story Bridge, a steel cantilever bridge that carries vehicular, bicycle & pedestrian traffic between the northern & the southern suburbs of the city. It’s the longest cantilever bridge in Australia

It looked even better from our hotel room at night…

22. Walking along the Boardwalk beside the river’s a great finale to this walk…

Look out for the old paddle steamer…

23. Exit the Boardwalk at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens to arrive back at the start of the walk. Have a look across the street at the renowned Smellie & Co

That’s the end of our 6.30am stroll around Brisbane &, by now we’re feeling ready for a good Aussie brekkie. So what did we think about the beautiful city of Brisbane?

Stunning, laid back, proud of its heritage, clean, positive & just fantastic!

Now…as a special add-on we can’t leave this walk without mentioning our day trip from Brisbane on the ‘Croc Express’ to Steve Irwin & his family’s incredible ‘Australia Zoo’

It lies about 1 hour outside the city & we simply loved it. It’s like no zoo you’ve ever visited & we couldn’t call it a zoo because it’s simply focused on conservation & education. Here’s a few photos…

And…if at the end of a long day you’d just like someone to hold your hand….well

We loved Brisbane so if you visit the city you must…

Go Walk!