Ever wanted to take a stroll on the Gateway Bridge without paying a $4.29 (recently increased from $4.25) toll charge? Well, you've found the right starting point! Queensport Rocks Park is located under the Gateway Bridge, otherwise known as the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges.
This amazing view is made even better by the fact that it is dog friendly!
Queensport Rocks Parks is one of Brisbane's best kept secrets - despite having lived in Brisbane for 5 years now, I only found out about this place a few days ago. Of course, I had to pay it a visit the very next day - typical me! It was officially opened by The Honourable Craig Wallace on 26th June 2011, meaning that it is a relatively young park that has yet to become common knowledge to Brisbaneites. In contrast, the Gateway Bridge was officially opened back in 1986, making it a whopping 25 years older than the park.
Prior to becoming a beautiful park, the land that encompasses Queensport Rocks Park was originally home to Queensport Meatworks, circa 1881. Around this time, Brisbane's river was lined with industry, and to some extent, still is today, with many offices surrounding the park on nearby Metroplex Avenue. It was also originally home to Queensland's oldest theme park, Queensport Aquarium, circa 1889. Back in the day, it was the place to go to on the weekend, with the aquarium boasted an impressive array of sea creatures, including seals and sharks. It also had a huge concert hall - not too shabby for the 1800s!
To start the walk through Queensport Rocks Park to the Gateway Bridge, park along Metroplex Avenue or Riverview Place. Please note that as the area has lots (and lots) of offices, it may be hard to find a park during the work week - however, finding a park on the weekend is no problem at all.
Near where we parked - perfect view of the Gateway Bridge.
There is a sneaky little entrance to the walk near the shuttle bus stop for Metroplex workers, which cuts back your walking time by approximately 10 minutes. However, by doing so, you end up missing a beautiful path flanked by luscious green trees, as well as an electric BBQ with a shady gazebo to match. This more scenic route starts further down the road, where there is a sign pointing you in the direction of the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge Bikeway.
Near the gazebo, there is a map which is always handy - I am very prone to getting lost, and when I do, Eddy is of no help to me! Follow the bikeway, and very soon you will come to a viewing platform with stunning views of the Brisbane River as well as the Gateway Bridge. Seeing the Gateway Bridge from below as opposed to travelling on it really makes me appreciate it's infrastructure - you don't have the luxury to do so while driving.
It's pretty hard to get lost while following a bikeway, but having a squizz at the map can't hurt!
Continue following the path, and you will end up directly under the Gateway Bridge. Here, you will be able to see many airplanes from up close - some might even consider them to be too up close and personal for their liking!
Which airline is this, can you see? Also, congratulations to my Dad for making his first appearance on WeekendNotes!
Keep going, and this changes once you reach the small bridge leading to the Gateway Bridge - the path you should travel on now depends on whether you are walking (left) or cycling (right). Remember to keep on the side of the path that you are supposed to be on - they are in place to keep both pedestrians and cyclists safe.
We didn't venture far on the Gateway Bridge, as Eddy, being a pug, was getting pretty tired at this point - it was a very hot day. However, the view from where we were was stunning, involving views of the surrounding industrial buildings in the foreground, with the Brisbane River in the background.
From start to finish, we walked approximately 5km, although it felt a lot shorter - the walk was relatively easy, mostly on flat terrain with only several slightly uphill increments. For those with mobility issues or perhaps are short on time, there is a carpark closer to the Gateway Bridge, approximately 5 minutes away if you walk at a steady pace. There are disability parking spots there too. However, I have no idea how to get to this car park - if anyone could let me know, it would be much appreciated!
The walk provided many beautiful views, and I would not hesitate to make another trip out there in the near future, although perhaps on a cooler day! Keep your eye out for this little gem on the ground... without missing the beauty of the Gateway Bridge, of course.
Yes, it is, but luckily the Gateway Bridge looks good no matter which perspective you take.