Brisbane Open House (Day 1) : Discover the City’s Hidden Radiance and Elegance

Summary :
Brisbane Domestic Airport
Brisbane Airport Station
Brisbane Central Station
Brisbane City Hall
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises
Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House
Hotel Embassy
The General Douglas MacArthur Room
MacArthur Museum Brisbane
Queen Street
Visitor Information Center Brisbane
Tattersall Club
Brisbane Arcade
General Post Office
The Manor Apartments
National Australia Bank
ANZAC Square Memorial
Ecosciences Precinct

When I lived in Australia between 2013-2014, I received impression about Brisbane from colleagues and friends that there was nothing to see in the city. I did not heard so much good and enthusiastic feedback about Brisbane. Most people whom I talked that had been in the city just advised me that Melbourne still far better, then they will follow a suggestion to visit Gold Coast instead of Brisbane. But, I was still curious and eager to see the city. I wondered why it is a capital of Queensland instead of Gold Coast.

I searched the internet to check what to see in Brisbane, looked for popular and interesting place to see. During the search, I came across an event that made me pushed to materialize my plan. The event is called Brisbane Open House happened last October 2013. When I learned about it, I felt excited because it will give me a chance to see more of Brisbane.

I visited the official website of Brisbane Open House (please check here) and ordered the guide-book that only cost $5AUD. I signed up for the event and registered for buildings with limited visitors. I registered in three buildings, two out of three, I was successfully selected. The two buildings were Riverside Centre and Translational Research Institute. Unfortunately, I was not lucky to be chosen to visit One One One Eagle Street. When I received the guide-book, I was more excited and looked forward to the event.

A month before the scheduled open house, I booked my flight and my accommodation. But few days before my scheduled flight to TigerAir (one of the budget airline in Australia), they canceled my inbound flight to Brisbane without explanation and I was furious of what the airline did because I had few days left before the Brisbane Open House event and booking that was tight to the schedule is more expensive than early booking. I requested TigerAir to compensate the additional cost that I incurred to the other airline where I booked my new inbound flight to the city. I flew via Virgin Australia. My supposed arrival in the city at 8:15 AM in the morning of Saturday has changed to 9:10 AM.

I visited Brisbane for the Open House event which happened over the weekend. As I only spent one night in the city, I never brought a luggage which reduced the cost of my flight. It was a short flight from Melbourne. After more than 2 hours in the air, we touched down at Brisbane Airport. I disembarked the plane and walked out of the departure terminal. When I reached outside of the terminal, I was glad to find a train terminal that I can use as public transportation to reach the city center cheaper and easier. My arrival time in the airport was timely and I still had enough time to commute to the city before my scheduled building tour in Riverside Centre at 11:00AM. I took from the Airport Station and went out at Central Station.

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Brisbane Domestic Airport

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Domestic Airport from Airport Station

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Brisbane Airport Station

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Different Stations that the train passed on the way to Central Station from Airport Station

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Brisbane Central Station

I walked from Central Station towards Riverside Centre. I exited in Ann Street and turned right. I turned left at Albert Street where I saw Museum of Brisbane and Brisbane City Hall. From Albert Street, I turned left to Elizabeth Street while trying to find my way to Riverside Centre.

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Brisbane City Hall with Clock Tower

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One One One Eagle Street

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Riparian Plaza (left) and One One One Eagle Street (right)

I reached Riverside Centre and had amazing building tour with a bonus of exploring Riverside Quarter, the ground building. For the detailed building tour, check here.

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Riverside Centre

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Riverside Centre from Riverside Quarter

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With Brisbane River and Story Bridge from the top

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Nearby Buildings Surrounds Brisbane River from Riverside Quarter

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Riverside Quarter

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Story Bridge from Riverside Quarter

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Customs House from Riverside Quarter

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Kookabura Showboat Cruises Ferry Terminal at Eagle Street Pier

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Bavarian Pier Cafe

Coming from Riverside Quarter, my walks led me from Eagle Street Pier to Mary Street where I passed some restaurants like Bavarian Pier Cafe. Next, I saw Brisbane Polo Club which was a former Naldham House, a former two-storey office building built in 1866 through Australasian Steam Navigation Company. As little bit history of it, the building undergone renovations under several shipping companies that took over the building, until it became under MacDonald Hamilton and Co. which managed the building from 1914 until 1986. In 1989, the building was purchased by AMP and leased to polo players until it was sold to them in 2003.

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Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House

My walk continued from Mary Street to Albert Street where I found a heritage building called Hotel Embassy. Below are the excerpts that I found about it.

The Embassy Hotel was built in 1928 during Brisbane’s interwar building boom. It is one of eight remaining pre-World War II corner hotels in Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD), and the only one erected during the interwar period. Designed in the Interwar Commercial Palazzo style, the building is an unusual example of architect Jack Donoghue’s work and, along with Invicta House and Pioneer House, provides the south side intersection of Edward and Elizabeth Street with a distinct interwar presence.

–Heritage Brisbane

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Hotel Embassy

Walking within central business district of the city, I found a museum, a museum that I never expected that I will be familiar to it. I went to MacArthur Museum Brisbane. For the quick tour to the museum, please check here.

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The General Douglas MacArthur Room/Office at MacArthur Museum Brisbane

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MacArthur Chamber

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Queen Street near Brisbane Arcade

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Visitor Information Center Brisbane

While walking at Edward Street, I turned left at Queen Street where I had a chance to see Tattersall Club and Brisbane Arcade. Tatters All club was formed in 1865 by group of men prominent in business and horse-racing in Queensland. Then, a three-storey building was built in 1926 and to provide billiard, card, reading and dining rooms for its members. The building has been extended in 1936 to be able to contain new dining rooms and kitchen. In 1990, it was refurbished again for redevelopment that will include fine dining restaurant, large function rooms, 18 accommodation rooms, gymnasium, indoor heated swimming pool, a library and administration offices. The building is architecturally important because of the period interiors which features the use of materials from Queensland. The building’s facade in Queen and Edward Streets are good examples of Classical Revival and Art Deco styles.

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Tattersall Club

My walks continued at Queen Street until I saw Brisbane Arcade. The name was familiar as I had visited similar arcades in Melbourne and Sydney. And the thought excited me at that time because I knew I will discover another arcades in Australia which became additional collection for me about traditional arcade shopping center in the country.

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Brisbane Arcade

When I entered the arcade, I felt amazed because of interior design of the building. These kind of interiors can be only seen in old and historical buildings. The design of the arcade are said to be based on traditional arcade shopping in Europe during late 18th century. For the detailed photos of the Brisbane Arcade and its interiors, please check here.

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Central Walkway from the upper level showing the terrazo flooring Queen Street towards Adelaide Street with terrazzo flooring and leading to gallery stores on each side

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Roof structure with lightweight exposed steel trusses and clerestory windows on both sides to admit light naturally

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Central Walkway towards Adelaide Street displaying the ‘Mirage’ 1978, Stainless Steel and Bronsze by Gidon Graetz.

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With lead-light windows on each gallery stores at the upper level, ballusters, and chandelier lights

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One of the stores inside Brisbane Arcade

Brisbane Arcade was built in 1923 and founded by Maine family. Even though the family has interesting story related to the arcade which detailed in the history section of their official website of the building. In my own opinion, if I will understand what the Maine family are doing, because of what father of the family did, they wanted to pay forward of the sins of their father by giving the fortunes of the arcade back to community such as helping University of Queensland Medical School.

Queen Street has lots of important buildings, another one is General Post Office which is a heritage building considered today as one of Brisbane’s finest historic landmarks.

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General Post Office

While walking along Queen Street, another noticeable building to be seen just beside General Post Office is The Manor Apartments, though it was not included on the list of building for Open House Brisbane event, the external design of the building was captivating and it was registered as heritage with its gargoyles and elegant bronze semi-circular windows overlooking Queen St. It was the tallest building in the city when built in 1931.

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The Manor Apartments

National Australia Bank, another heritage building exist along Queen Street. It was a former Queensland National Bank head office built in 1885. The building symbolizes the close relationship of Queensland Bank and Queensland Government. It was designed by Architect FDG Stanley in Classical Revival Style. The Giant order columns of Oamaru (New Zealand) limestone dominates the Queen and Creek Street. Please check here to see detailed post on building tour.

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National Australia Bank

ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance which located in heritage listed ANZAC Square which can be found between Ann Street and Adelaide Street. If coming from Central Station and exited in Ann Street, ANZAC Square can be seen immediately. This was the third ANZAC related structure that I had seen so far while exploring Australia. The first was in Melbourne and second was in Canberra. The town square was built to honor the Queenslander soldiers fought in the war.

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ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance

Before ending my tour in the city which still part of Brisbane Open House, I left the business district to travel to Dutton Park where Ecosciences Precinct is located. I return to Central Station to reach Park Road Railway Station. From that station I walked towards my destination which is a science building.

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I was excited that there are science buildings that were open anytime for vistors during the city’s open house event. And I was really glad that the Ecosciences Precinct was not included in pre-book tours wherein only selected people that registered can come to the building. I came late in afternoon and hoping I was still able to catch-up the schedules before it ends the day. To see detailed post about the building’s interior, please check here.

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At the back of Ecosciences Precinct

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At the front of Ecosciences Precinct

© THE HIDDEN PANORAMA 2019

Scenery from the roof of Ecosciences Precinct

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Translational Research Institute (left)

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The Gabba (left)

Summary :
Brisbane Domestic Airport
Brisbane Airport Station
Brisbane Central Station
Brisbane City Hall
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises
Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House
Hotel Embassy
The General Douglas MacArthur Room
MacArthur Museum Brisbane
Queen Street
Visitor Information Center Brisbane
Tattersall Club
Brisbane Arcade
General Post Office
The Manor Apartments
National Australia Bank
ANZAC Square Memorial
Ecosciences Precinct

Notes :
Plan to visit Brisbane ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Brisbane Central Business District :
1. Within Brisbane take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Brisbane

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National Australia Bank – Once Queensland’s Most Prominent Bank

National Australia Bank is another heritage building exist along Queen Street located in city central of Brisbane. It was a former Queensland National Bank head office built in 1885. The building symbolizes the close relationship of Queensland Bank and state of Queensland Government. It was designed by Architect FDG Stanley in Classical Revival Style.

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National Australia Bank

Three-Storeyed Brick Structure with Murphy’s Creek sandstone facings in Classical Revival Style with distinct Palladian influence. Giant order columns of Oamaru (New Zealand) limestone dominate the Queen and Creek Street facades.

The building has a distinct Palladian influence with careful classical detailing and giant order columns. It is built on a corner, and the two facades are dominated by bays of Corinthian columns which rise through the upper two storeys. This portion of the Queen Street facade protrudes in the form of a porch while the similar colonnade on Creek Street is recessed.

— Wikipedia

The moment I entered the building, I felt like I was going to discover something amazing and the moment that I saw inside the magnificent heritage structure, I totally agree why is has to be a heritage structure. A building that was able to stand more than 100 years since it was built and it remains its radiance is something that people of Brisbane should be proud of.

I  just had a couple of photos inside of it, but to be honest, it was not allowed to take photos, but at that time, I got few shots taken while touring the building. If the external design of the building looks so grand, the things to see inside is the same as well. Since the building still use as bank for real, I thought that was the reason I never able to capture so much photos inside.

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Decorative Ceiling with hanging brass chandelier

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Hanging Brass Chandlier

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Decorative Ceiling and Walls

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At the second floor balcony with the giant order Corinthian columns rise through two-upper storeys with semi-circular windows

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Boardroom showcasing elegant mahogany and walnut furnishings with well designed marble fireplace

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The Chambers feature Italian marble fireplaces with customised glazed ceramic tiling—here depicting Milton’s Il Penseroso and L’Allegro.

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At the third floor balcony with the giant order Corinthian columns rise through two-upper storeys

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Another beautiful brass chandelier

There was a room that was allowed for the visitor to see and seeing it with my own eyes, made me felt like I was entering a room that used by important people before, because the interior design are so detailed, from the ceiling, the hanging chandelier, the long tables and chairs, the carpets, the walls and even fire places are so elegant in style that at that time symbolizes luxury. Another building features that I truly admired is the lift with surrounding stairs where it clearly shows the design of its metallic structure.

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The original staircase, lit naturally from decorative light wells, wraps around the lift well and opens to the The Chambers’ grand Queen Street entrance.

The building still servers as one of the branch of National Australia Bank. And having a chance to see this amazing classical structure in the city was a great opportunity to witness again, how Brisbane share its own elegance like other city that I visited in Australia.

Until then.

Notes :
Plan to visit Brisbane ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Brisbane Central Business District :
1. Within Brisbane take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Brisbane

Plan to see National Bank Australia in Brisbane? Or plan to visit the building during Brisbane Open House event? Check here.
Location : 308-322 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation to National Bank Australia :
1. From Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Cross Ann Street and walk straight towards ANZAC Square and ANZAC Memorial until reaching Adelaide Street
3. Cross Adelaide Street and walk straight towards Sir William Glasgow Memorial until reaching Queen Street
4. Turn left at Queen Street and walk until reaching Creek Street
Official Website : None

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MacArthur Museum Brisbane – A Familiar History Museum

While walking within business district of the city, there was a museum that I never expected that it will be familiar to me. The name MacArthur knocked something in my head, but I was not sure what it was at first. I decided to visit MacArthur Museum since it was near where I was at that time and the building was included in the Brisbane Open House anyway. I walked along Queen Street coming from taking photos of Hotel Embassy.

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At 8th Floor towards the museum

At the time of the visit, the building ground was being renovated, that was why I just have few photos of the building that includes the ground. I went upstairs and followed the way to the museum itself. The moment I entered the museum, I was surprised as  I never thought that the name of MacArthur will be the same person that I was familiar with because of my country’s history.

During rudimentary and intermediate school, I learned about the notable quote that American General made during Japanese invasion in Philippines and I am referring to General MacArthur whom announced to the Filipino and Allied forces “I came through and I shall return” during his great escape as Japanese forces able to gain control the country at that time. Since I learned the history quite a long time ago, I was reminded or probably learned that MacArthur went to Australia after leaving Philippines to think again how to retaliate the enemy which made him able to come back to my country and able conquer Japanese forces.

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The restored General Douglas MacArthur Room / Office

The first thing that caught my interest is the room that General MacArthur used which still reflects what it was before. When I saw the room, I just thought that it was pretty simple and functional. Well, luxury has no room during war time.

Based on the Brisbane Open House guide book that I bought, the MacArthur Museum Brisbane is a heritage listed MacArthur Chambers built between 1931-1934 as the Queensland headquarter of Australian Mutual Provident Society. The building was used as the headquarter of Allied forces  in South-West Pacific during World War II. The AMP Society stayed at basement and ground floor while Commander In Chief of Allied Forces in South-West Pacific Area General Douglas MacArthur, occupied the Boardroom and his staff used the rest of the building.

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MacArthur Chambers

After the war, the building reverted its former use by AMP Society until 1978. Then, the building was named as MacArthur Chambers to honor the American General.

I also explored the museum in a short period of time and it showcase the history related to General MacArthur, the World War II, and the role of the Brisbane City during that time. But one thing was for sure that I learned when I visited the museum, the city has a huge role to help and to enable General MacArthur with Allied forces to win back the World War II and that was the moment that my country was waiting, that the American General was able to fulfill his promised and able to return to Philippines to fight back against Japanese.

As museum is my weakness in every of my travel, as I had this tendency to stay longer to read and check almost every displays in the museum but I controlled myself because of limited time that I had. I still wanted to explore other parts of the city, I left the museum and continued exploring other buildings that still part of Brisbane Open House event.

Until then.

Notes :
Plan to visit Brisbane ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Brisbane Central Business District :
1. Within Brisbane take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Brisbane

Plan to visit MacArthur Museum? Check here.
Location : MacArthur Chambers, 201 Edward St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation to MacArthur Museum Brisbane :
1. From Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Cross Ann Street and walk straight towards ANZAC Square and ANZAC Memorial until reaching Adelaide Street
3. Cross Adelaide Street and walk straight towards Sir William Glasgow Memorial until reaching Queen Street
4. Turn right at Queen Street until reaching Edward Street
5. Turn left at Edward Street and walk few meters to reach MacArthur Museum Brisbane or
6. From Ann Street, turn right to Edward Street.
7. Walk along Edward Street until crossing Street. Then, walk few meters to reach MacArthur Museum Brisbane
8. Check the access link to the museum here.
Official Website : MacArthur Museum Brisbane

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Riverside Centre Tour and More

Summary :
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises

The first pre-booked tour that I had while I was in Brisbane is Riverside Centre. I was lucky to be chosen to enter the building. Coming from Central Station, I followed my GPS to walk towards the building that I was intended to be for a free building tour during Brisbane Open House.

 

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One One One Eagle Street

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Riparian Plaza (left) and One One One Eagle Street (right)

Riverside Centre Tour

From Elizabeth Street, I turned right to Creek Street, when I am near Riverside Centre, I saw other towers beside it which is Riparian Plaza and One One One Eagle Street, combining it to Riverside Centre, almost completes the city’s famous ‘Golden Triangle’ precinct. Then, I went inside the building where we were instructed to wait in the lobby as I was few minutes earlier before 11:00 AM. While waiting, as I was fascinated with the arts that are part of the foyer interior, I took a couple of photos. At the lobby entrance, I found the Norman Carlberg sculpture described as seen against exposed rib structure with title of “Winterwind” and a colorful wall frame display that definitely gives life to the monotone color of the wall.

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Riverside Centre from Riverside Quarter

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“Winterwind” sculpture by Norman Carlberg

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Color Wall-frame Display

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Our Tour Guide in Riverside Centre

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Riverside Centre Tower Model with Riverside Quarter at its bottom

When the time was up, a woman approached us in the foyer, introduced herself and asked who were going to join her in the building tour. And she checked us like counting us and then, she started an introduction of the building. After her introduction, we followed her to the elevator and went to one of the vacant floor at that time and we went straight to wall window where the city was view-able. Most of us visitors spent time taking photos of city scenery where Brisbane River and Story Bridge can be seen. After we enjoyed the scenery of the city from the top, we went to Auditorium and our guide also explained other facilities and amenities that the building is offering to its clients as Riverside Centre is a commercial space for work and offices located within the “Golden Triangle”, a precinct which is the prime location within Brisbane central business district.

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With Brisbane River and Story Bridge

 

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Nearby Buildings Surrounds Brisbane River

After the building tour, I spent time in Riverside Quarter which for me is really a great spot to chill and relax. The location is so charming as it offers the Brisbane River views which really fantastic and the Story Bridge which added beauty to natural settings of the river. Riverside Quarter is commercial district where lots of restaurants are located which anyone can enjoy with the view. Walking here can see and appreciate the beauty that surrounds it. Here, aside from Brisbane River and Story Bridge, I was able to see Customs House and Kookabura Showboat Cruises Ferry Terminal at Eagle Street Pier.

 

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Nearby Buildngs Surrounds Brisbane River from Riverside Quarter

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Riverside Quarter

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Story Bridge from Riverside Quarter

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Customs House from Riverside Quarter

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Kookabura Showboat Cruises Ferry Terminal at Eagle Street Pier

My walks continued in city central where lots of buildings opened to the public during event, and I was even more excited just knowing it. Until then.

Notes :
Plan to visit Brisbane ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Brisbane Central Business District :
1. Within Brisbane take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Brisbane

Plan to visit Riverside Centre? Check here.
Location : 123 Eagle St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Riverside Centre :
1. From Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Cross Ann Street and walk straight towards ANZAC Square and ANZAC Memorial until reaching Adelaide Street
3. Cross Adelaide Street and walk straight towards Sir William Glasgow Memorial until reaching Queen Street
4. Cross Queen Street and walk in pedestrian way within General Post Office until reaching Elizabeth Street.
5. Turn left at Elizabeth Street until reaching Eagle Street where Riverside Centre is located or simply
6. Turn left at Ann Street from Central Station, then turn right at Creek Street until reaching Eagle Street.
7. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Riverside Centre

Summary :
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises

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14 Amazing Bays, Beaches & Pool to Enjoy in Rottnest

As Rottnest surrounded by water for being an island, therefore it is understandable that it has plenty of bays, beaches and even pool that fascinates every water adventure enthusiast. It has total of 63 beaches and what I had seen so far were just few of it. Whether you are a rookie swimmer, seasoned snorkeler or expert diver, or just wanted to go fishing or watching sunset with sea, the island offers a lot of water spots to enjoy with different activities. The list below is partial list that I was able to see from the ground and just waiting to be explored. And do not take for granted Rottnest as it is “One of the Most Luxurious Snorkelling Spots in the World” according to Expedia’s Listopedia.

1. Thomson Bay

The bay named after Robert Thomson who farmed salt from the island in 1841. Arriving in Thomson Bay is the first thing to experience in the island. You will immediately see jetties on this bay. The Main Jetty, Fuel Jetty and Hotel Jetty are all located in Thomson Bay. Additional feature of the bay is its historical settlement area where it boast its interesting Colonial Buildings that are more than 100 years old standing until today which mostly converted and used as guest houses, accommodations and hotels nowadays. From the settlement, there is sheltered waters of Thomson Bay that can be enjoyed for swimming. There is aquapark as well that can enjoy inflatable equipment for any ages.

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2. Henrietta Rocks & The Shark Wreck

Henrietta Rocks is a lookout where it can easily see “The Shark” shipwreck which said to be the easiest shipwreck to enjoy around the island for diving and for snorkeling as it is accessible 50 meters from the beach. There is small beach under the lookout that can be enjoyed for swimming. Whether you enjoy the beach alone or snorkel in short distance, the place is perfect for both. Henrietta Rocks Lookout, Dyer Island can be seen closer than any other points in the island.

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3. Parker Point and Purpoise Bay

Parker Point does not only offer scenic views of stunning bay and beaches from its lookout, the white sand beach at the bottom is lovely, the turquoise water is great for swimming. Parker Point beach is one of the most popular beach in the island. And Purpose Bay is wonderful for boating experience. The bay is one of the great spot for snorkeling since Parker Point is one out of five marine sanctuary exist in Rottnest.

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4. Jeannies Pool

A beautiful pool can be seen in Jeannies lookout. The pool is a series of holes in the reefs between Parker Point and Little Salmon Bay and only recommended to swim if the wind is light. From the lookout, the pool scenery is unique compared to other viewpoint.

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5. Little Salmon Bay

When I had a chance to see Little Salmon Bay from a distance, I can say that the small beach was amazing. Its clear water still visible from afar that looks so lovely for swimming.

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6. Salmon Bay

Salmon Bay is the longest bay in Rottnest where the long stretch of shoreline consist of beaches boasted its beauties and offers lots of underwater sites to enjoy snorkeling and swimming.

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7. Fish Hook Bay

This bay near at Cape Vlamingh looks similar to Jeannies Pool from the lookout which also said to be a great place for snorkelling. It is said that this bay can enjoy lots of fishes and even turtles.

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8. Cape Vlamingh

At Cape Vlamingh Viewing Platform I enjoyed the waves that breaks into the reef and an up-close observation of flying silver gull. During migration season, this is one of the best spots to enjoy watching whales.

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9. Cathedral Rocks

Not far from Cape Vlamingh is Cathedral Rocks where the New Zealand Fur Seals (local residents of the island) can be observed from the viewing platform or from the boat that can go nearer to these wilds at short distance. If lucky, will have a chance to see them playing around in the water like what I witnessed during the visit.

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Other bays and beach that I found while exploring the island are : Rocky Bay , Stark Bay, Ricey Beach, Catherine Bay Beach and Geordie Bay.

10. Rocky Bay

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11. Stark Bay

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12. Ricey Beach

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13. Catherine Bay Beach

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14. Geordie Bay

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Notes :
1. Plan to visit Rottnest Island ? Please check latest information here.
2. Location : Rottnest Island, WA 6161, Australia
3. Directions to Rottnest Island :
Transportation :
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Go to Barrack Street Jetty Elizabeth Quay terminal and take Rottnest Express
ferry
c. Go to Hillarys Ferry Terminal and take Rottnest Fast Ferries boat
d. Go to Northport Rous Head Harbour or  B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and
take Rottnest Express ferry or
e. Go to B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and take Sealink Rottnest Island ferry
Official Website : Rottnest Island

 

Rottnest Island – Its Perfections and Imperfections

The fourth and last day tour that I had while in Perth. And while completing my writings for my travel post which started in Perth, I just realized that I almost did a counter-clockwise travel from the said city. First tour was going south, second tour was going east, third tour was going north, and last but not the least, the last day tour was going west.

Perth is already at the west side, which place I was referring to that means my tour was going west? If the three tours were all by land, the last tour was involved with crossing the sea. I took a ferry that goes back and forth from Perth to the island named Rottnest. I still booked a tour to the island since my flight returning to Manila happened at the evening. It was my last day in Perth, or let say my last day in Australia since I must return to my country that night. That day for me like, every moment counts because I am not sure when I will be able to return to the third country which became my home for more than 1.5 years.

It was Sunday and I did checked-out in my hotel. Then, I temporarily left all my luggage at the hotel lobby as I will picked them back again after my last day tour. Since it was Sunday and like my usual Sunday, I attended personal activity early in the morning. Then, I took an Uber to reach Hillarys Boat Harbour as my tour will commence from the said harbour. I reached the harbour and I was thankful that I had a bit of familiarity of it since the night before, I had a chance to drive to the harbour with the help of Patricia (my tour guide from previous tour). When I got-off the car, at first, I thought I had to go to straight to the jetty where the boat will pickup their passenger. Then, I inquired some people whom I thought will be doing the same tour in the island and then I learned that I have to go the ticket booth first to exchange my booking. I was glad that I had time and I did exchange my booking for the actual ticket. Then, I went to the boarding area and realized that the boarding had already started. I approached the staff in the area and shown my exchanged ticket. And after inspecting my ticket, I was allowed to enter in the gate and walked to the ferry, I was very excited to get on-board.

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Hillarys Boat Harbour at Night

While traveling via ferry, it was already an adventure because the ferry captain announces if they found a whales along the way so that people on-board will have a chance to see them in their natural environment. At first announcements, I missed to see them, but after third or fourth announcement, I had a chance to see them playing in the water. Unfortunately because of immediate appearance of the whales, I was not able to capture photos of them.

The travel time from Hillarys Boat Harbour to Rottnest Island is around 45 minutes. We left the harbour just few minutes after 10AM and reached the island just after more than 45 minutes. When I arrived the island that was the time I realized how popular the island to people. At the time of tour in Rottnest Island, there was bike racing event and it can be the main reason why lots of people were there at that time. Most of the visitors brought or rented a bike, a one way to enjoy and explore the island for less.

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Thomson Bay

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Salt Store

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Walking Trails featured in Rottnest

The tour that I booked was Grand Island package where there was an assigned tour guide. As I had limited time, I took the said option. And honestly, I never regret that I took that Grand Island tour because I was able to maximize my time exploring Rottnest.

From the Main Jetty (ferry terminal), I walked and followed the path to meet the tour guide as described in the brochures that was given to me when I exchanged my booking to a ticket. And the walking path was easy to follow. Then, at first, I was hesitant because I met the tour guide and he said, we just need to wait a couple of minutes to see if there are other guests that will join the tour. And in few minutes, two female adult joined the tour. We were exactly three people in the tour.

Rottnest Island offers bus options but it was different compared with the tour that I booked. Because, the bus that we had were designated on the tour while the other bus options is operating as hop on / hop off. This means that passengers has to wait to the drop-off/pick-up point to be able to take a bus. And at the time of the visit, it will take some time to wait for the bus. While on my end, since it was a tour, our bus was right there, we were able to easily navigate and explore every corner of the island which for me was a great choice, as I don’t have so much luxury of time to see all of what Rottnest Island has to offer.

The tour started at the center of Thomson Bay Settlement area where the Main Bus Stop terminal is located. Our tour started and our tour guide started telling us information about the island. He mentioned that at that day, all the accommodations in the island was fully booked and he added that if in case we plan to book accommodations in the island, it has to be done months before your holiday to get vacancy.

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Bickley Swamp

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The railway from Oliver Hill Station to Settlement Station (Left) or Kingstown Station (Right)

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Dyer Island from Parker Point Road

We took Parker Point Road from Brand Way. And along the road, we saw Bickley Swamp, a crossing rail-tracks and some set of accommodation units. Following the road track of Parker Point Road, we saw Dyer Island from a distance and our tour bus had a quick stop at Henrietta Rocks where we saw “The Shark” shipwreck which said to be the easiest shipwreck to enjoy around the island for diving and for snorkeling as it is accessible 50 meters from the beach.

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At Henrietta Rocks with Dyer Island

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The Shark Wreck

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A bay scenery near Henrietta Rocks

Since we never get-off the bus, our tour guide continued driving along Parker Point Road until we reach Parker Point itself. It was the first stop in the tour where a part of its stunning turquoise water bay greeted us. Parker Point has white sand beach and some portion of turquoise water, I can say it’s a great spot for short distance swimming and snorkeling to enjoy the water. At the time of the visit, there were just couple of boats nearby the coast. Based from our guide, during peak season, it’s normal to see lots of boats in Parker Point. But for me, I can say that I was lucky seeing Parker Point with few boat as it honestly lovely.

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Porpoise Bay from Parker Point Road

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Almost near at Parker Point

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At Parker Point

After appreciating the beauty of Porpoise Bay that surrounds Parker Point, we found the famous creature exist in Rottnest Island near of Perth, Bald Island near Albany and isolated scattered populations in forest and coastal heath between Perth and Albany. That animal is none other than Quokka. We found one of them drinking water (though it is advised not to give them food and water) by some bikers that were resting in Parker Point.

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Quokka

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At Jeannies Lookout

After Parker Point, we had a short drive to Jeannies Lookout where different pools between reefs are visible from the lookout.  Then, we passed Little Salmon Bay (one of the best site to snorkel and to swim), Eastern Osprey Nest (one of the 14 nest site of Eastern Osprey – a wild large eagle bird shape in Rottnest) and Salmon Bay (where beached boasted its beauties and offers lots of underwater sites to enjoy snorkeling and swimming) wherein all the photos were captured while inside the bus.

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Little Salmon Bay

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Eastern Osprey Nest

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Salmon Bay

Next destination that we stopped for a while for another great scenery was Cape Vlamingh. It was the same place where we ate our packed lunch. In that same location, where I enjoyed second incident of up-close observation of flying silver gull with the beautiful backdrop around it.

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Fish Hook Bay while at Cape Vlamingh

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At Cape Vlamingh Viewing Platform with scenery and silver gull

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At Cape Vlamingh

Not far from Cape Vlamingh is Cathedral Rocks where we had another stop in the island. This is where the New Zealand Fur Seals (local residents of the island) can be observed from the viewing platform or from the boat that can go nearer to these wilds at short distance. If lucky, will have a chance to see them playing around in the water.

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At Cathedral Rocks with New Zealand Fur Seal

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West End (Between Cape Vlamingh and Cathedral Rocks) – Near the corner of Aitken Way and Digby Drive

The tour continues around the island and to be honest, I was really glad that I joined the tour, because of limited time that I had, I was able to see more in short period of time. Another places that I saw and appreciate while inside the bus were : Rocky Bay, Stark Bay, Ricey Beach and Catherine Bay Beach.

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Rocky Bay

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Stark Bay

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Ricey Beach

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Catherine Bay Beach

Taking Bovell Highway

While we took Bovell Highway, I was able to see from a distance the Wadjemup Lighthouse, Lake Vincent, Lake Baghdad, Geordie Bay and Rottnest Wind Turbine.

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Wadjemup Lighthouse

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Lake Vincent

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Lake Vincent and Wadjemup Lighthouse

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Lake Baghdad/Lake Vincent Wadjemup Lighthouse

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Geordie Bay

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Rottnest Wind Turbine

Taking Geordie Bay Road

Places to appreciate while taking Geordie Bay Road were : Herschel Lake and Rottnest Wind Turbine.

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Herschel Lake

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Rottnest Wind Turbine and Herschel Lake

Taking Digby Road

The scenery to appreciate while driving along Digby Road is the Government House Lake

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Government House Lake

One of the historical sites that can be found in Rottnest Island located almost at the center is Oliver Hill where it features the military remnants from World War II specifically the 9.2 inch gun battery. And I had a chance to see it up close and experience a tour on its underground tunnels. For a more details of the visit, please see my post about Oliver Hill.

After Oliver Hill, we visited Wadjemup Lighthouse which stands in the highest hill in the island. But unfortunately, tour schedules were over when we arrived. Therefore, we only took couple of photos inside the lighthouse and its surroundings.

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At Oliver Hill

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Wadjemup Lighthouse at Oliver Hill

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Wadjemup Lighthouse at Digby Drive

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Inside and Outside of Wadjemup Lighthouse

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At Wadjemup Lighthouse and its surrounding scenery

After coming from Lighthouse, we went straight to Thomson Bay Settlement where our tour bus ended.

At the start of my travel in Rottnest Island, my only impression was that it’s just holiday island and nothing else. While taking the guided bus tour, I was really impressed and thought that it was a perfect place for recreational activities. The last part of my tour in the island was a worthy education for me. My earlier impression in Rottnest was changed. The island has its imperfections that needs to be known by people who comes and visits the island. But these flaws should not spoil the guest perfect holidays, but at least to be a great lesson to learn, to accept and to respect what Rottnest past has.

Rottnest Island Museum is one of the colonial buildings to discover in Thomson Bay Settlement area and currently the island’s museum. To know more about my visit in the museum and some of its display, please check Rottnest … Island Museum post.

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Rottnest Island Museum

Another part of the island to discover is the Thomson Bay Settlement area where most of the historical and colonial heritage building can be found and still standing today. The full post about my walk following the colonial buildings of Thomson Bay, check the post Rottnest Walks : Collonial Buildings of Thomson Bay.

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Military Barracks (1844)  – 3 Flats (“E”,”J” & “H”) or Room 339, 338, & 337

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The Quod

After a quick walking tour about Colonial Buildings in the island, I had to run to the Main Jetty to board the ferry that will bring me back to Hillarys Terminal. And before totally turning my back to the island, I had another glimpse of The Salt Store and Rottnest Island Visitor Centre

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The Salt Store

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Rottnest Island Visitor Centre

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The Main Jetty

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Around the Main Jetty

When I was inside the ferry I just relaxed myself. And I had my silent moment of my life. Rottnest was the last place that I left before leaving Australia. And the thought of my flight made me reminded, when I will be able to see again the country that had been part of my life because of my career. And it made me felt that I am going to miss it a lot.

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The ferry we had when returning from Rottnest Island to Hillarys Boat Harbour

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