Tramping Around Brisbane – Gardens, Towers & Bridges

Note: A link to a video of the walk appears at the foot of this post.

When your hobby is photography, then you must take photos. And the more photos the better. With digital photography, taking photos continues to be both an indoor and outdoor recreation. Outdoors to take photos and afterwards, with the assistance of a computer and appropriate software, to process the photos. I find processing to be every bit as satisfying as actually composing the photo and pressing the shutter release. Just like it was all those years ago with black and white photography in the darkroom.

The Signature Bougainville at Southbank

I hadn’t been out for a while. Expected opportunities evaporated for a couple of locations, so a determined effort was needed. On Monday morning of the week of 27th November 2023 I got up early, showered, dressed and breakfasted and drove to Sandgate Railway Station. I chose Sandgate as the Cleveland train departs from there and passes through South Brisbane Station, thus avoiding a change of trains at Central Station.

The Brisbane Eye Against City Background
Using Colour in Architecture

My first objective was coffee on the Goodwill pedestrian bridge, one of the links between the south and north banks of the river, adjacent to the Queensland University of Technology Gardens Point Campus. This walking route took me down Grey Street in South Brisbane and past the western boundary of the Southbank Parklands.

Goodwill Bridge from Near QUT

The winding trellis of Bougainvillea that runs like a spine through the gardens at the Parklands is at its blooming best. The tropical wetland feature area was lush with spring greenery. We have received some very handy rain showers over this part of Brisbane in recent weeks, so the tourist areas at the back of the parklands had that freshly washed look about them.

The approach to the elevated bridge provides fine views of the river and the development along its banks. At its western end the bridge passes above the Queensland Maritime Museum, providing good views of HMAS Diamantina in its permanent dry dock and the many additional items displayed outside of the actual museum buildings.

Deck of the Goodwill Bridge

Goodwill Brew is a coffee dispensing caravan part way over the bridge. I had a choice of seating, so enjoyed my coffee watching pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders crossing the bridge, Rivercats and other craft fussing about while I changed the lens and set up for the next stage of my walk.

As I have grown older I have become more interested in making videos. The interest first arose when I wanted to turn the still images of our travels into a more internet friendly form. I had a video camera for a while but when technology passed it by I decided to return to a Single Lens Reflex camera. But by that point SLR had been replaced by DSLR. The ability to produce still images and quality video was a winning combination.

Queensland Maritime Museum and HMAS Diamantina
Goodwill Bridge and QUT

About 18 months age I purchased a Canon EOS 90D with kit lenses but upgraded to a decent telephoto for bird photography and a 18-250mm zoom for general use and videos. I have recently bought my first prime lens in a long time, a Canon 50mm lens. It is fondly known by owners as a “nifty fifty”. At f1.8 it is by far my fastest lens.

QUT Ferry Terminal and South Bank

I did give some serious consideration to buying a new mirrorless camera body but decided to stick with established technology. I am very happy with the Canon EOS 80D.

The purpose of this outing was to capture video of two large building projects under way in Brisbane. They are the Queens Wharf project that will house, among other things, a new casino and a new pedestrian bridge to link the lower east of the city with Kangaroo Point. Both are multi billion dollar and multi year projects. Both are well under way. Between the two sites I walked through the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

The Queens Wharf Projext
The Bridge Between the Two Queens Wharf Buildings.

As I mentioned, the first part of my walk was through the streets to the west of Southbank Parklands. I fitted my newly acquired Canon 50mm prime lens. I am happy with the images produced by this camera and lens combination. After coffee I changed to a Sigma 18-250mm zoom lens which serves as my walk around lens and my video lens. To complete the setup I added a telescopic monopod with a pan and tilt head to mount the camera. There are advantages in using a tripod to shoot video but the monopod is much lighter and easier to carry.

Southbank Entrance to Goodwill Bridge

The Queens Wharf Project is under construction in the vicinity of the old Queens Wharf, which occupied part of the site on the bank of the Brisbane River, about mid city and overlooking Southbank and the motor-way that leads to Captain Cook Bridge. The almost complete Neville Bonner Bridge will provide a pedestrian link between the new casino and Southbank Parklands.

Flowers in Queensland Botanic Gardens
THe Work Area for Kangaroo Point Footbridge

The building nearest to the river is the shorter of the two. It is a horseshoe shape with the adjoining tower built at the open end of the horseshoe. The tower will rise to the level similar to neighbouring buildings. The online promotional blurb claims the site as an integrated tourist precinct including a casino, hotels, retail and accommodation.

When completed it will be well worth visiting and will, as claimed, raise Brisbane’s profile as an international tourist destination.

Artists Impression of Finished Project.

From Queens Wharf I walked via the entrance to Queensland University of Technology, through part of the Botanic Gardens to the riverside pathway that leads to the Eagle Street Pier area. The old pier area is under major reconstruction but the part that was of interest to me on this walk was the new Kangaroo Point pedestrian bridge.

The bridge is quite a structure. It is well under way. Its defining characteristic is a mid-river pilon that will support the cables that in turn will suspend the walkway at a level that will allow river traffic to pass underneath. Construction has cut the riverside walkway at this point, so it is necessary to return to the city streets to make your way past this obstacle.

Kangaroo Point Footbridge and Storey Bridge

The pier area, had previously housed several restaurants and provided moorings for the Kookaburra Queen paddle wheel restaurants that we still had from Expo 88. But it looks like the paddle wheelers have gone. Major construction will take place when the bridge works, that take up a large area of shore space, are completed. The current bridge works area takes up much of the footprint of the final development.

St Stephens Cathedral is crowded by a cluster of high rise buildings.

Having reached this point I had seen what I came to see and photograph, so I grabbed some lunch and walked to Central Station for my train, via the grounds of St Stephens Cathedral and Post Office Square.

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