A freelance writer living by Moreton Bay. Visit my website at www.traceylloyd.com.
Published November 22nd 2010
Boats have played a crucial role in Australian history, the First Fleet arrived by boat, the navy has defended the shores from attack, the 1983 America's Cup win announced Australia on the world stage and every year Boxing Day is marked not by the start of the sales but rather the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
As well as all these adventures, endless supplies of food, cars, whitegoods, metals and minerals are shipped into and out of Australia via the sea. The Port of Brisbane is home to Brisbane's shipping activities and its visitors' centre at Fisherman Island gives people an opportunity to understand how a busy port operates in the environmentally conscious 21st Century.
The Port of Brisbane Visitor's Centre is set on a lakefront and is surrounded by wetlands and a migatory shorebird roosting area. As well as the interactive displays that describe the port and its operations which include imports and exports of goods, the building itself is spectacular to look at and mirrors its natural environment. The architecture has received industry commendations, including commendations for its sustainability efforts which include a design that incorporates generous amounts of natural light (which limits the need for artificial lighting) and the ability to use natural air for cooling purposes.
Over 15,000 migatory and resident shorebirds make their home at the Port of Brisbane including ibis, herons, pelicans and black swans and the port has developed a 12 hectare habitat for the birds. Birdwatchers can access the Shorebird Roost via the Port of Brisbane Visitor's Centre. Many birds including black swans and if you're lucky cygnets can be seen swimming in the lake that surrounds the visitor's centre.
The Port of Brisbane Visitor's Centre is located at 1 Whimbrel Street, Fisherman Island and is open Sunday – Friday.