Standing on the river bank at South Bank looking across at the city you do realise that Brisbane definitely has an ugly side. Instead of historic buildings all you see are elevated roads. Turning around you see the squat brutalist concrete designs of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Queensland Art Gallery.
A nice city view dominated by ugly roads
Yes, not only can Brisbane be ugly, but for decades under the Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen government there was almost a policy towards either the ugly or the banal, where quick development bucks were given priority over developing the city as a whole.
South Bank doesn't present the most beautiful view
One of the main aspects of Brisbane is that for most visitors the main view is not that thrilling. At the best you might say that Brisbane is a nice place with a good personality rather than a stunning beauty. Especially when you compare the sweeping majesty of Sydney's harbour.
The thing is that for many years now Brisbane has been working hard to develop its beauty. South Bank of course was the great project that transformed Brisbane River's last remaining dock district into parklands that attract locals and tourists alike.
The cultural precinct has added to the original concrete blockhouse style buildings with more delicate designs such as those used for the State Library and GoMA.
While South Bank attracts the most visitors, both the view from South Bank and the view of South Bank are a little disappointing. To really see the beauty of the city you have to head to Kangaroo Point.
Arrive in Sydney and there is the harbour, arrive at the Gold Coast and of course there is the beach. But arrive in Brisbane, and you will see a formal normal city, dirty brown river and some South Bank that is nice but not amazing.
Yet head to the right location and you will find great beauty and wonderful views. But let's not dismiss the niceness aspect of Brisbane. It is easy to forget just how nice Brisbane is and how hard it is to find any place in Brisbane that is really ugly. Even the roads running along the river front form delicate and beautiful shapes that are a beauty in their own right.
Brisbane is beautiful. True too hot for a while and wonderful for the rest..
Love the jacarandas,poincianas, bougainvilleas, the river even if it is a bit muddy. The accessible beaches, lots of parks. Think the City mall needs to up market. Our cultural region and SouthBank very special . More ton bay, big cool and close. Love that we are about 1,000.000 compared with Sydney and Melbourne being millions more. Love it here.
Like many of us, Brisbane looks better by the twinkling evening lights than she does in full stark sunlight. It's just too harsh. Plus, at night we can pretend the river isn't a poopy colour. I do love Brisbane and even on a 'road melting brightest sun from hell' kind of day I feel very happy whenever I drive into the city after being away. Love you Brisbaaaaaaaannnnneeeee...