CBD...Historic Walking Tour
Brisbane hasn't had a great reputation for preserving its heritage
buildings. The drive to modernise the city saw a
large number of historic sites torn down in the 1970's and 1980's.
There are still a number of them around, particularly in the CBD
districts, but a day or two's walking will be enough for you to see
most of the really old sites.
Brisbane City Hall is located in the very heart of Brisbane and is an ideal place to start your Brisbane city tour. Built during the 1920s, City Hall is probably the city's most significant historical landmark.
There is an observation deck at the top of the clock tower which rises
nearly 100 meters above King George Square. At City Hall you will also
find an Art Gallery and the Museum Of Brisbane.
Walk up Adelaide Street to George Street near the Brisbane River.
Because (CBD) Brisbane's streets are laid out in a grid pattern with
English Kings running east/west and Queens running north/south, it's
quite easy to find your way around. When you reach George Street turn
left toward East and walk one block until you reach The Old Treasury Building.
This heritage-listed, historic building harks back to Brisbane's
earliest foundations. Now it is home to a casino with more than 80
gaming tables and over 1300 gaming machines, bars and food outlets.
Once you walk past the Treasury on George Street turn right onto
Elizabeth St and walk up the hill. There's a nice park (Queens Park)
there between the Casino and the Treasury Hotel. You can visit a statue
of Queen Victoria there.
Straight ahead of you, on North Quay you should see the old Queensland
State Library. When I say old I mean it is no longer the State Library
which has now moved across the river to the South Bank precinct. The
Treasury Hotel is actually the really old State Library, built in 1899.
The State Library extension building was built in the 1950's and has
a fabulous abstract mural that's not to be missed.
Turn left onto North Quay (which is actually William Street from that
point onwards) and keep walking another couple of blocks up toward the
Queensland University Of Technology. From street level you will be able
to see the high-rise Queensland Parliament House beautifully framed by trees along the side of the road.
The 22 story building was built in the 1980's and overlooks the Botanic
Gardens and the Old Parliament House which is in the grounds of the
Before you get there though, almost opposite the Hotel, you will find
the old Commissariat Store with its museum. Built in 1829 this is one
of only two convict built structures left in Brisbane. It is also the
home to the Royal Historical Society of Queensland.
After visiting there you can continue along William street to
Parliament House. Built progressively from about 1868 through to 1878
and is in a French Renaissance style. The roof is made form copper
mined in the central Queensland mining town of Mount Isa.
From the University and Parliament House you can walk down the hill through the Botanic Gardens.
Once in the Gardens keep going the same direction you came along
William Street and you will reach the river. There's a nice boardwalk
near the bottom of the hill where you can walk out and inspect the
mangroves without getting your feet muddy.
As you exit the Gardens head along the walking track on the river bank
and you can skip the hustle and bustle of the City streets. You can
walk along this promenade all the way to you next stop, Customs House. Or you can pause along the way at one of the cafes/bars. If it's the weekend you might catch the markets at the Riverside Centre.
with its grand Corinthian columns, is one of Brisbane's heritage icons.
Located right on the river this beautifully restored building is
operated by The University of Queensland as a cultural, educational and
heritage facility. Here you'll find exquisite boardrooms, a stunning
ballroom, a licensed restaurant and a University of Queensland
Customs House is on Queen Street, so here we'll start heading back the
way we've just come. Careful not to follow Eagle Street here or you
will get lost. Walk along Queen Street For about one and half blocks
until you reach the old Post Office building on your left and Post
Office Square on your right. The GPO has been the GPO since 1872, but
we're going to turn right here and head though the Square, it's a nice
Cross the road (Adelaide Street) and you are in Anzac Square, a
memorial to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (the Diggers who
fought in WWI).
Directly in front of you, up the stairs you will find the Shrine of
Remembrance with its Eternal Flame - a tribute to those all those who
have fought for the country.
From Here you are only a block and a half from your starting point at King George Square.
If you are still feeling energetic, take a walk up to the Old Windmill (Observatory)
at the top of Wickham Terrace. Built in 1828 the old Windmill is the
oldest structure in Brisbane and along with the Commissariat Stores you
visited earlier is the second remaining convict building in Brisbane.
Ironically, the Windmill was poorly designed. Although it was built to grind
corn for the new settlement, the sails didn't work and it ended up
being used as a fire lookout. A warning it is quite a climb up Wickham
Terrace as the hill is quite steep.
Here you will find a directory listing of the Dick Smith Electronics stores in
Brisbane. For the most up to date list you can visit their website.
When looking to dine out in Brisbane, it is helpful to understand the different
restaurants in Brisbane.