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10 Things to Discover in Captain Burke Park

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by Gillian Ching (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane who loves exploring quirky places with my dog. Join me on my quest to find, experience, and share fun things to do and interesting places to go.Please subscribe if you enjoy the articles.
Published September 27th 2019
Exploring a much loved Brisbane park with so much to offer
Captain Burke Park, sitting below Brisbane's Story Bridge is one of Brisbane's most scenic, inner-city parks with a host of hidden treasures just waiting to be explored.

Whether you are new to Brisbane, or a diehard local, Captain Burke Park at 117 Holman Street Kangaroo Point has surprising features that are well worth discovering. So grab your hat, adjust your sunnies and let's go. Here are my top 10 picks for things to catch your attention.

1. The John Burke and Sons story
As I entered the park, the first thing I came across was a sign with a short illustrated history in honour of the namesake of the park, Captain Burke. Born in County Cork, Captain John Burke was a mariner and the Principal of a small, shipbuilding enterprise. That probably goes some way to explaining the nautical themes that appear throughout the park. More of that, later.

2. Some of the best views of the Brisbane CBD
While I was trying to concentrate on reading the historical notes, my eye kept being drawn to the city views behind it. This park boasts some of the finest views you may just find in Brisbane.

From most sections of the park, you can see the towering skyscrapers of the cities' financial district in Creek Street. They include the Riverside Centre and Riparian Plaza, both designed by the Award-winning Austrian born, modernist architect Harry Seidler.

The riverside homes and apartments of New Farm are also in view as well as the newly renovated and heritage-listed Howard Smith Wharves . While taking in these sights, the rumbling traffic scooting across the Story Bridge can be heard overhead.

3. Catch a ferry from The Holman Street Ferry Terminal
If you decide to use Captain Burke Park as a starting point for getting around to other parts of Brisbane, it is good to know that it is part of the river ferry network.

Built in the classicism style in 1919 the original blue, wooden ferry terminal at 116 Holman Street is one of 25 terminals and continues to greet and farewell travellers from this Kangaroo Point stop. From here you can jump on board one of the Cty Cat or City Hopper vessels and venture south through New Farm to Hamilton or north to Southbank and onto St Lucia.

4. Play equipment for the kids
While all this scenery is great for the adults and Instagram fanatics, the kids are probably wondering what's in it for me? The covered kids play area has lots of climb worthy play equipment to burn off energy or meet for playdates. Oh and there's a little rowboat. Remember what I said about the nautical references. Other park amenities including toilets, BBQs, sheltered sheds and bench seats.

5. The Kangaroo Point Bikeway
The park is hugged by the Kangaroo Point Bikeway with its easy walking, riding or scooting concrete path which winds around the path at the river's edge.

6. A hidden Sandy Beach
Ok. So it's not Bondi or Burleigh but this Brisbane River beach is sweet just the same. Not ideal for swimming from, the beach is best reserved for looking.

7. Cool public art
The park is home to some cool public art installations including a nautical piece next to the ferry stop, a mural of the Story Bridge on the toilet block and a piece called "The Rock" which was originally located near the Australian Pavilion at World Expo '88.

The Rock responds to the theme of 'leisure in the age of technology'. It's artist, Stephen Killick uses international media and events to create a collection of humorous motifs which record the political issues of the day.

8. A film location for The Bachelor
Looking for a touch of romance? Keen fans of the 2019 season of the Bachelor, may notice that Captain Burke Park was the backdrop for a Brisbane based episode of the show when Bachelor Matt Agnew was re-united with final contestant Abbie Chatfield before meeting her fam. They were seen walking and embracing along the pathway.

9. A place to watch Riverfire
Each September Captain Burke Park is highly sought after as a prime vantage point to watch the citie's stunning Riverfire fireworks spectacular which marks the finale of the arts and cultural program, the Brisbane Festival. This is a premier locale to particularly see the Story Bridge light up in the fireworks' finale and hear the thunderous roar of the military's Super Hornet jets make an unforgettable entrance.

10. Relax and take a break
After finding all of these sites, why not pull up to one of the parks' seats and just sit back, relax and take in the serenity.
So there you have it. Whether you are a local or hosting guests eager to see our city, why not take a break from Mt Cootha and see the CBD from a different angle, by stopping at Captain Burke Park.

What Else
To access the park by car, take the first exit off the Story Bridge. Metred street parking is available during the week. Council City Cycle bicycles are also available for hire if you'd prefer to explore the park on 2 wheels. Rivercat ferries stop at the Holman Street terminal provide access by water.

Captain Burke Park is free to visit and open 24 hours.

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Why? Inner City Park With Sensational Views of Briz
When: Anytime
Where: 117 Holman Street, Kangaroo Point
Cost: Free
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by Debra Lidster on 03/02/2012
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