I am the sort of person who loves to walk around any city that I visit. Where you choose to walk can create very different impressions of the same place. In Brisbane most people walk through Queen Street Mall and South Bank. However if you want the best and most amazing walk in Brisbane, then follow me.
The starting point for this walk in Central Station. If you arrive by train you won't be that impressed because it is now a modern and highly functional train station with large numbers of passengers passing through every day. You need to get outside to really see the train station.
Opposite Central Station is ANZAC square. It is worth crossing the street rather than taking the tunnel to visit this square. This way you can view the station and enter ANZAC square down the main stairs.
Post Office Square is opposite the Post Office which is in a little laneway through an arch. You can feel yourself entering a different time as you walk past the old women's factory. When you emerge down the far end of this laneway you find St Stephen's Cathedral and Chapel. With a policy of trying to keep the doors of the cathedral and chapel open as much as possible to the public, the only restrictions during the day will be when there are services or weddings in the Cathedral.
If you are doing the walk on a Sunday you will find the lovely Eagle Street Markets operating. This little market focuses on handmade and local products. While there is a tourist focus for some of the products there is a lot that would interest locals as well.
The plan is to cross the river, however you could easily follow the path by the river in either direction as well. East will take you in the direction of the Story Bridge, Riverwalk and New Farm. Heading west you pass through the City Botanic Gardens.
Across the river
But it is time to jump on a ferry and cross the river. I like to wait for the little red tourist ferries, because they are both free and have an open air viewing deck at the top. You are looking for the one that goes directly across the river to Thorton Street Wharf.
The free red ferry is a great way to see the sites from Brisbane River
If you have time and inclination you can take the ferry either up or down river to get some views and then jump on a return ferry to Thorton Street.
Up Kangaroo Point Cliffs
At Kangaroo Point you have arrived in a different world. Behind you is the modern glass facade of Eagle Street where the top law, financial and accounting businesses in Brisbane make their home. This is a view of a modern growing city, different from the historical walk we started with.
View of the office buildings at Eagle Street Pier from Kangaroo Point Cliffs
But Kangaroo Point hides most of the buildings on its side behind the cliffs. Instead you have walking and cycle paths with plenty of greenery and as many art works. In a short ferry ride we have left the city and are now in nature.
Walking in the direction of South Bank (away from the Story Bridge) you will come to River Life. Here you can sign up for rock climbing, kayaking and segway tours. Yes - adventure in the heart of the city.
After this look out for the stairs running up the cliffs. This take us to the top for the best view in Brisbane. Better yet, there is a lovely little cafe here you can have some cake and coffee while enjoying the view.
The stairs at Kangaroo Point Cliffs is a popular location for exercise
Most people by this time are pretty tired. But you can walk a lot further if you want. A good choice is to head on to South Bank or to walk down the road and cross the Story Bridge. You can then either head to Fortitude Valley or take the Riverwalk to New Farm.
Don't forget that Wilson Outlook Reserve directly above the start of the river walk gives you the best vantage point for photos of the Story Bridge and Brisbane.