In many ways Albion is one of my favourite suburbs in Brisbane and one of the best preserved historically. Yes, the heritage listed flour mill has burnt down and the landmark silos have been demolished, however walking through downtown Albion is like a step back in time.
Downtown Albion can feel like a quiet country town
Historic locations include pubs, shops, homesteads, cottages, Chinese temples and more. There is more to Albion than just the heritage listed buildings. There is also the stand out modernist TAB building, Breakfast Creek and a lovely dining and cafe scene. If you haven't been to Albion you should, and if you have been there, now is the time to learn more about this suburb.
The name Albion comes from the local hotel which was named Albion because of the white wall of a local quarry reminded the publican of the white cliffs of Dover and Albion being the oldest recorded name for Great Britain.
The suburb of Albion is named after the Albion Hotel
Albion historically and today is a very diverse place. The hill tops are festooned with apartment buildings providing excellent city views, while in the valleys relatively cheaper houses, including heritage listed workers cottages, are common. Much of the suburb is still industrial estates and the little town centre contains pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes.
The TAB building dominates the landscape in Albion
The town centre along Sandgate Road is the place to start, and probably end this walk for most people. Simply finding a place that feels like a country town so close to the city is a joy in itself. This is because most traffic diverts off Sandgate Road along Frodsham St to avoid the town centre.
One building to check out just beyond the town centre is the lovely Dunaverty cottage built in 1880 that combines the style of a classic Queenslander with beautiful Scottish inspired iron work.
If you are inclined, you can head along Sandgate Road away form the city to check out a few of the mansions, though you are not going to get the best view just from the street. They are still worth checking out to see how the rich used to, and still do, live. Check Whytcliffe and Whytcliffe Roads.
This is how the other half lives, now and in the past
If you don't mind a walk you can keep going to the Breakfast Creek Hotel which allegedly has the best steaks in Brisbane. Just behind this hotel along Higgs Street is what the guide refers to as Joss House, but should be called the Holy Triad Temple. This lovely little Chinese temple reminds me of the little neighbourhood temples you see around southern China and Hong Kong. Please note that the Brisbane City Council Heritage Trail guide puts the temple along Crosby Road, but it is a fair walk to get to the actual location.