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New Farm to Northshore - A Day on the Brisbane River

Home > Brisbane > Fun Things To Do | Festivals | Cafes | Outdoor
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 like, share and subscribe if you enjoy the articles.
Published June 18th 2022
See and experience Brisbane from the water
With many of the ferry terminals now repaired and re-opened after the recent South East Coast floods, the Brisbane River is again a buzz with watercraft - none more than the fleet of City Cats ready to once again transport visitors and residents across the city.

I took a long overdue trip by water from New Farm to North Shore Hamilton to check out the southern end of the river and enjoy arguably 2 of Brisbane's best and oldest riverside locations.

Here are some of the highlights of our visit.

Our journey started at New Farm Park where, after stepping past The Powerhouse, the park's rose gardens and jacaranda trees you will find the ferry terminal by the waters' edge. Go-card electronic tickets are a must for entry onto the boats. A little pre-planning is needed to buy and top up your card so you can swipe on and off to start and conclude your trip. The ferry from New Farm Park to Northshore passes by approximately every 15-30 minutes.

We were fortunate to have one of the newer double-decker Cats take us to Northshore and of course, we couldn't resist sitting on the higher point of the upper deck. The 30-minute water ride took in stops of some of Brisbane's most exclusive riverside suburbs and their bold and unmissable residences including Hawthorne, Bulimba, Apollo Road Balmoral, Bretts Wharf, and past the historic red brick Woolstores of Teneriffe before arriving at Northshore Harbour.

The views were sublime and with the breeze blowing on your face gives a very cruisey experience. Of course, there is also very comfortable indoor seating if you prefer.

City Cats have also recently added shade clothes to the upper decks on some vessels making them even more comfortable, especially in summer.

On arriving at Northshore Harbour we disembarked to explore some more of this riverside development.

Northshore Harbour Cafe
We stopped for a Merlo coffee ($6.00) and some cake at the very convenient Northshore Harbour Cafe which is located directly beside the ferry stop. The modern cafe takes advantage of its sensational waterfront location with indoor and outdoor dining and lots of windows and tables with white woven french wicker chairs facing the river.

A menu boasts eat-in and take-away food and beverages as well as hosting special events and functions such as weddings.

A very simple but unique and signature offering at the cafe is the bespoke water jugs. known as gurgle pots. What is a gurgle pot? Well, it is a fish-shaped water pitcher that gurgles as you pour the water. It's true. It really does make a gurgling sound. Gurgle pots are also on sale in the coffee if you want to take home a ceramic souvenir from your visit.

The cafe is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 7am to 3pm.

Northshore Beach
Right beside the cafe is a small, sandy beach where we were able to slip off our shoes and put our toes in the sand. Taking off your shoes and strolling along the beach wasn't something I was expecting but something I appreciated. Evidence of the floods was still obvious with litter and debris washed up onto the bank, months after the event. But that doesn't overshadow just how pretty this secret and secluded part of the city is.

Children's Playground
On the other side of the cafe' is a small playground area to help occupy and amuse the kids to slide, climb and crawl their way through their visit.

Northshore and its green space are connected through walkways some paying tribute to the area's past.

As it continues to develop and change, Northshore will also play a significant role when Brisbane hosts the Olympic Games. Northshore has been identified as the home of the Brisbane Athletes' Village for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. So make sure you watch this space.

As we boarded our ferry for our homeward-bound journey, we left feeling that the City Cat trip from New Farm to Northshore was a beautiful way to experience the river

If you are keen to experience it for yourself, Northshore is located at 285 Macarthur Avenue Central, Eagle Farm, Hamilton, QLD, Australia, 6 kilometres from the Brisbane Central Business District and New Farm is an easy 3 kilometres from the same.

The New Farm ferry terminal can be found at the bottom of Brunswick Street (beside the park). Ferry fare costs were $3.95 each way during off-peak. Free ferry travel is available to Seniors under some conditions.

Whether you are a tourist, have visiting friends or want to see your city from another angle, a City Cat trip from New Farm to Northshore is a must.
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Why? See and experience Brisbanes' riverfront suburbs
When: Ferries run from 5:25 am to midnight
Where: New Farm Park and Northshore Hamilton
Cost: Free, Ferry tickets free to $3.95
Your Comment
A must-do experience for out-of-town visitors, Gillian - we loved taking our guests on the city cat when we lived in Brissie. Congrats on the award!
by Elaine (score: 3|8885) 7 days ago
Great article Gillian. I love the idea of the 'gurgle pot'. Congrats on the award too.
by Maria-MPG Narratives (score: 2|970) 2 days ago
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