We recently left our lovely garden visitors, the King Parrots, and flew to Queensland to escape Canberra’s cold weather and to enjoy a family holiday …
Queensland has a tropical and subtropical climate, and for those of us who live in the southern states, winter is the perfect time to visit this part of Australia.
Our first stop was the city of Brisbane, a friendly and relaxed city of about 2.4 million people.
We stayed at Southbank, overlooking the city and along the Brisbane River.
Southbank has restaurants, gardens, river walks, ferry rides, water play for children….something for everyone.
Here along the River Quay, we arrived just in time for the last day of a local festival celebrating the food grown around this area. I wish we had been here earlier to write more about this festival…another time.
Despite the Canberra winter, I am always looking for shade in hot weather, and this was a perfect promenade for people to sit, walk or ride bikes along the river.
After my accident earlier in the year, ( being knocked over by a rogue cyclist in Austria) I am, for the first time, a bit nervous of bikes.
However, Southbank is designed for all. There is a second extra wide path, easy for walkers, and prams and strollers, and people who just want to stroll along with a camera, or to sit under the trees and watch the world going by….
I loved the curved paths around the water features, space for children to play and splash in water fountains, and for adults to sit close by and enjoy some food and the subtropical warmth and greenery.
The town planner’s attention to shade was obvious….(Australia has a very high rate of skin cancers)
This Arbour is a shady walkway going the whole length of Southbank, made from 406 curling galvanised posts, all covered with Bougainvillea..
My photo shows some flowering bougainvillea but the photo below shows just how lovely this walkway can look, and how cool in summer… it is used constantly by the locals and tourists alike as a connection between the ferries going to and from the city..
The Arbour : Photo by Tjunction Media -Oz Roamer
Mature trees have been used for shade and design
In the centre of Southbank there is the Epicurious Garden, for foodies, garden enthusiasts and children …
This garden, with lots of herbs and vegetables, is for people to see, feel and smell and taste all that is in the garden. All plants are grown organically and there are volunteers available to talk about the gardens and methods used.
Every Tuesday to Thursday morning, free produce is available from the gardens….this is done on a ”first come, first served, basis”.
I enjoyed seeing plants I haven’t seen since my childhood…(I was brought up in Central Africa)
Here is the Guava tree…..I had a flashback to the many long hot afternoons I sat with friends under shady trees just like these, eating Guavas.
I believe guavas are very high in Vitamin C…..who knew in those days!
The Goodwill Bridge is shaped to capture the views of the Brisbane River and the shoreline.
There is a pedestrian walkway which links Southbank to the city’s Botanic Gardens. There is even a coffee shop at midpoint if you are walking across the bridge.
Photo by Visit Brisbane
After a hard day of walking and looking at gardens…the food choices in Southbank were wonderful……..such a positive refection of a multicultural city.
So here are the decisions we had to make every night… Italian, Turkish, Mexican, Indian, Creole, French, Vietnamese, fish and chips, and burgers.
We tried a few, all good, but the Turkish was up there with the best…
This dessert was called Baklava (better known to me as Lady Fingers) with wonderful soft pastry, dripping with nuts and honey, a glass of wine and a refreshing apple tea to finish it off.
….which restaurant would you choose?
The perfect end of the day spent in Southbank….. the city’s green spaces, designed and built by town planners and architects for the people.
Copyright: Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved.