A freelance writer living by Moreton Bay. Visit my website at www.traceylloyd.com.
Published March 19th 2010
There is a treasure trove of history hidden on Brisbane's streets and you can discover it on the Colonial Brisbane Heritage Walk. A self-paced tour (which takes a minimum of 90 minutes to complete), the Colonial Brisbane Heritage Walk starts by downloading the tour podcast (MP3) and accompanying map from the Department of Public Works' website.
Starting at Reddacliff Place at the top of the Queen Street Mall, the Colonial Brisbane Heritage Walk winds it way down George and William Streets to its finish at Old Government House in the QUT Gardens Point campus. The first destination on the tour is the old Treasury Building, now known to many Brisbane residents and visitors as the Treasury Casino.
The walk then follows George Street to the intersection of Elizabeth Street where you can see the State Government Insurance Office, a statue of the woman who chose the state's name, Queen Victoria, a field gun outside the Land Administration Building and the home of Brisbane's first newspaper, the Moreton Bay Courier.
As the walk continues across Queens Gardens and into William Street, you have the chance to see the original State Library of Queensland, the Commissariat Store, which has the
distinction of being one of Brisbane's oldest buildings and the Immigration Depot.
After the Immigration Depot, the tour meanders through the Government Printing Office and the Executive Building in order to return to George Street to view Harris Terrace and The Mansions. After the Mansions visit the site of the former Bellevue Hotel, a Brisbane icon controversially demolished by the Bjelke-Petersen Government in 1979, which shares an intersection with other tour hotspots, the Queensland Club and Parliament House. Free guided tours of Parliament House take place on weekends between 10am and 2pm.
Heading towards its final destination, the Colonial Brisbane Heritage Walk, takes time to stop and smell the flowers at the Brisbane City Botanical Gardens before arriving at Old Government House. Built in 1862, it remained the home of a succession of Queensland governors until 1910 and in 1978, Old Government House became the first building in Queensland to obtain heritage listing. Members of the public can view the interior of Old Government House daily between Sunday to Friday and can wind down after completing the Colonial Brisbane Heritage Walk at the Old Government House Tea Room which serves a variety of sandwiches, nibbles and drinks, including homemade lamingtons (at the former home of the lamington's namesake, Lord Lamington who was Queensland governor between 1896 -1901).