28.10.2018 – Brisbane City Botanic Gardens

Mike was spared (due to working) from taking in the sights of yet another garden with Lee. Within walking distance of the inner City, the gardens border the Brisbane River. Originally a botanic reserve was established to provide food for the early colony in 1828. In 1855 the City Botanic Gardens officially opened.

In the gardens a fountain dedicated to Walter Hill who in 1855 was the first curator of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens. When built in 1867, the fountain was a working drinking fountain made from sandstone and marble, with lions on its sides.

Walter Hill in 1858, planted a Macadamia Tree in the gardens. Lee could not determine which of the large trees in the grove was the Macadamia Tree – they were all large.

This was yet another park area of Brisbane well used by people on their Sunday morning exercise routines. Some walked/jogged the pathways through the gardens and down by the river. Some did Tai-chi. Sunday morning is market day and some of the stalls were a meeting place for breakfast. And others – well tomorrow’s blog will be all about that!

In the meantime, come for a stroll through the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens….


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27.10.2018 – Brisbane’s South Bank

South Bank is a hive of activity whenever we have visited. Its Recreational areas, parks and walk ways line the banks  of Brisbane River with the Wheel of Brisbane standing out on the bank. Around the vast parklands stretching along the bank for over 1.5.kms, cultural centres – galleries, museums, performing arts centre, cinema – along with many restaurants and bars. This day, with the weather so warm, families were enjoying the inland swimming areas, including one created with beach sand. All along the main walkway, the large metal structure lining the walk with its metal beams reaching up and bending as if it were itself growing, and covered in flowering bougainvillea. Within the nearby concentration of restaurants, the street was full of marquees for market day, with stallholders selling their craft and wares. A very busy place!

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27.10.2018 -Victoria Bridge & Art Gallery

Walking between the City across Victoria Bridge (the third one built here) to the Art Gallery, on each end a stonework entrance has been retained that once marked the entrance to a footbridge to the second Victoria Bridge constructed in 1896. By June 1897 the bridge was enlarged from the single lane for traffic to two lanes for the horse and carts with a tram up the middle and footpath on either side. On the southern side, a memorial to a young lad, Hector Vasyli, who died near to that spot “as the result of a lamentable accident, whilst welcoming returned soldiers” on 9.June 1918 aged 11.years. “During his brief sojourn on earth, he devoted much of his time to patriotic work for Australian soldiers during the great European War.”

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South Bank

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On the southern side, another sculpture of a cicada with wings that shimmered in the sunlight. Rides across the bridge seemed popular, the poor cyclists under stress with the curve of the bridge in the heat.

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The Art Gallery was well worth the visit.  Lee enjoyed the various works on display, in particular those by Albert Namatjira. Another amazing work by Lin Onus of the Yorta Yorta people, Victoria was “Morumbeeja Pitoa” (Floods and moonlight) painted three years before his death in 1996.  It shows his country, Barmah Forest, in flood by moonlight. The photo does not do it justice and look hard to see the fish in the water, through a traditional crosshatching design he learnt in Arnhem Land.  Beautiful.


Many other brilliant works of art of landscapes and seascapes took time to appreciate, with their high level of detail, shades and colour. More modern art left Lee in a state of bewilderment. Perhaps she lacks the in-depth appreciation and insight for some of the works. She was left to wonder if this artist’s paintings were numbered because he too was at a loss for words?

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27.10.2018 – Brisbane City Hall

At King George Square, Brisbane, the impressive Brisbane City Hall building which also houses the Brisbane Museum, where 15-minute tours are available to ride the oldest electric elevator in Brisbane and view from inside it’s ‘cage’ the clocks and up to a lookout at the top. From the lookout, on an adjacent corner is the Uniting Church built in 1888-1889 and at that time, was the tallest building in Brisbane.  It was dwarfed when Brisbane City Hall claimed the title of the tallest building but itself is now small compared to the high rise buildings all around it. Also in view was part of the top of the dome of the auditorium.

Inside City Hall are marvellous examples of workmanship, from the mosaic flooring in the entrance lobby, the craftmanship on the walls and leadlight windows to the vaulted ceilings and the impressive domed auditorium.

On the ground floor, the oldest cafe in Brisbane – Shingle Inn. The original Shingle Inn was opened in 1936 and has grown to a franchise network of 53.cafés throughout Australia. Redevelopment caused the first Shingle Inn to close in 2002 and it’s original store fit-out was restored in its present home at City Hall.

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27.10.2018 – A Wander around Brisbane

With Mike working at the Brisbane Pre-Christmas Caravan & Camping Show, Lee wandered around Brisbane City, through the Queen Street Mall, taking in the beautiful old buildings and statues, and viewing some of the more unusual modern sculptures and boarding the public service (free) ferry for a quick, short trip on the Brisbane River between the City and South Bank.


22.10.2018 – Ruth Whitfield Memorial Park, Kallangur, QLD

Ruth Whitfield died in 1972 when she was 36.years old.  Ruth had rallied to have the pocket of land next to Anzac Avenue, Kallangur developed into a parkland with the support of the Kallangur Lions Club. Her wish eventually came true and when the park was officially opened in November 1993, was named in her honour. The park extends much further than one sees when parking at the top end and despite the nearby busy road, is surprisingly quiet.

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What had caught our eye as we travelled along Anzac Avenue that caused us to drive into the park, was the model of a submarine – a memorial to the ‘Silent ANZAC’- HMAS AE2 and its crew and acknowledging their part in WWI. It was the first Allied warship to make it through the heavily fortified Dardenelles Strait, negotiating underwater mines and strong currents not to mention the enemy, to the Sea of Marmara where they caused major disruptions to the enemy and created a diversion as the ANZACs and Allied forces breached Turkey’s shoreline on 25.April 1915. The details are on a 3D sculptured plaque next to a bright blue seat made out of recycled plastics that details top and side elevation outlines of AE2.

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21.10.2018 – Osprey House Environmental Centre

Osprey House is set up to educate, particularly school children, about the environment. At the far end of the car park, a pole on which osprey have re-built their nest following their first one being swept away in a storm. Above the nest, a camera streaming live to a screen inside Osprey House which has covered the nesting, eggs and now the chicks. The birds have fish from the nearby waterways.

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Even when Osprey House is not open, the boardwalks along the edge of wetlands where the North Pine and Pine Rivers flow into the Morton Bay Marine Park are accessible through the mangroves, to vantage points over the wetlands and a bird hide. In the mud of the mangroves, large numbers of small crabs scavenge and sometimes fight. In the quiet of our scenic platform, we could hear the ‘popping’ and other indistinct sounds as the tide went out over the muddy area.

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21.10.2018 – Old Petrie Town – Take 2

What a difference the sun and a few days makes!  Last Saturday, when we visited Old Petrie Town it was deserted and we walked around in the drizzling rain. This day, the sun was shining and not only was it market day, the shops were all open and there was a Ford Car Club rally on.

The shops and markets had an interesting and sometimes unusual collection of wares of locally made products as well as good quality overseas items. One of the larger buildings had every room filled with boxes of CD music for sale and a collection of ‘cut out’ LP records. Food on offer everywhere and of course, Mike couldn’t resist the ice cream shop. Loved the double decker café.

Also of interest, the various displays of farm equipment, metal and wood workshops and Fire Station museum. Children were loving their fire engine ride on “Little Squirt”, with its flashing lights, siren and bell. At the end of the car park outside the entrance to the  historic town, the Pine Rivers Heritage Museum is worth the visit. Just a little unnerving for Lee to see a camera on display like the first one she ever owned, and a telephone switchboard smaller, but similar to that which she once used. Lee left the museum feeling a bit like a relic herself!

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At our last visit, due to the rain, we had not ventured beyond the chapel and large grassed area. We did this time, following the display of Fords, and were amazed at the grove of majestic 350.year old fig trees, their spreading roots having formed curved folds high above ground level.

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And for the rev heads:

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13.10.2018 – Old Petrie Town, QLD.

On our return journey to Lawnton, we thought we would call in at Old Petrie Town – a collection of historic buildings containing shops open between Wednesday to Sunday, with Sunday being market day. But the rain had affected that place too with none of the shops open. That didn’t stop us walking around the streets in the drizzling rain to have a look at the beautiful buildings etc.

13.10.2018 – Scarborough, QLD.

Our next stop on our drive north is Scarborough Boat Harbour. A very different Scarborough to the one we are used to in Western Australia. No white sand beaches here! Only time for a quick walk around the northern side of the harbour before the rain set in again.