There are eight bridges linking Brisbane CBD with South Brisbane and this guide will help ease any confusion as to which bridge to use. Some bridges are designed for pedestrian use only and one is designed for rail use only, some are old and some are very new.
Merivale Bridge with Go Between Bridge in the background
Beginning upstream, The Go Between Bridge is Brisbane's newest bridge, connecting four lanes of cars (must pay the electronic toll) across the river since 2010. It has been cleverly named after a popular Brisbane band, The Go Betweens, who performed at the opening celebrations. Next bridge downstream is Merivale Bridge (pictured above), which is only accessible to trains. You can drive or walk across William Jolly Bridge, named after Brisbane City's first Lord Mayor (pictured below).
The next bridge downstream is my personal favourite, marking the point where The Turrbal People crossed long before white settlement. This is now known as Kurilpa Bridge, Kurilpa meaning "place of water rats". It is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge only and is the world's first and largest tensegrity bridge. By night, Kurilpa Bridge becomes a rainbow of color, lit by solar powered LED lights. Last year, it won the prestigious World Architecture Award for Best Transport Project.
Goodwill Bridge links Queensland University of Technology with Southbank and is a pedestrian and cycle bridge spanning 450 meters (pictured below). It has sheltered places to rest and contemplate the river. It marks the start of The Goodwill Loop self guided walking tour (see tour below).
Our final and most well known CBD bridge (pictured above) is the Story Bridge, named after John Douglas Story, Public Service Commissioner and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Queensland. Thrill seekers might be interested in trying the Story Bridge Climb for a unique view of Brisbane and its surrounds. Six lanes of vehicles travel over the Story Bridge with separate cycle and pedestrian paths.
Brisbane's bridges are relatively close together and there are several ways to see them all in just a few hours. You can ride the CityCat and take the new CityCat audio tour. The interactive online tour invites you to share Brisbane's journey from big country town to new world city. The CityCat is the easiest way to see Brisbane's bridges, as you just sit and look up as each one passes above.
You can also enjoy Brisbane's bridges by walking or hiring a bicycle at one of City Cycle's many locations around the city and take The Goodwill Loop.
The Goodwill Loop - Self Guided Walking/ Cycle Tour This easy walking tour takes several hours to complete and takes you past or over four of Brisbane's bridges.
Beginning at City Botanic Gardens, make your way to The Goodwill Bridge, Gardens Point. Cross the Brisbane River, taking some time to explore the cultural precinct - cafes, playgrounds and rainforest walkways at Southbank Parklands. Continue along the river until you reach Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), where you cross back over the river using Kurilpa Bridge. Following George Street via the city, will take you back to the City Botanic Gardens.
The present day Victoria Bridge is in fact the fifth bridge ever built in that location, not the second one - see: "Portrait of a Bridge. Ephemeral silhouettes of Brisbane's Victoria Bridge", by Daria Gomez Gane (c) 2007 - in preparation (*if an editor eventuates - I had "Inside History", but now they've gone big/ Pty Ltd, so they won't publish it anymore...)