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Driving along the Redcliffe Peninsula in the seaside suburb of the same name and looking out across the crystal waters, it's hard to miss the Redcliffe Jetty sprawling across the water.
While some of Redcliffe has changed over recent years as part of undergoing a renewal program, the Redcliffe Jetty has endured and remains a key focal point of this scenic, seaside suburb.
If, like me, you decide to Redcliffe and the jetty, here are a couple of landmarks that you might like to look out for and facts to keep in mind.
The Redcliffe Jetty was first built in 1885 as the gateway to Moreton Bay and a place to dock for those arriving into Redcliffe by sea. The jetty was only approachable at certain times of the tides since the water was too shallow for most boats to land their passengers.
The Pavillion After walking along the promenade walkway, I reached the entrance to the jetty. The first structure to look out for is the original cream Pavillion, which now serves as a tourist information centre. This is a great place to start your adventure since the Centre offers brochures and friendly, helpful advice on activities and services in the area.
The Centre is staffed by a team of over 35 enthusiastic local volunteers who offer free heritage walks to highlight the historical background of Redcliffe as Queensland's first European Settlement.
Visitors to the Centre can also access free Wi-Fi and bus groups can book free guided tours of the Redcliffe area through the Centre.
But that's not all. Beyond its informative role, the Centre is also used for arts and craft demonstrations including spinning and weaving, pottery, and art displays.
On a hot day, look out for the free cold water dispensing machine located at the entrance to the Centre. There is also a cardboard photo-board for the kids of a pelican and turtle which they can pose beside to provide a lasting memory of your visit. Insert smiling face here. It's a nice and fun touch.
The Rotunda Once you've got all your brochures from the Centre, it time to take a gentle stroll along the flat walking path of the jetty to take in the stunning views of Moreton Bay.
Today, a heritage style rotunda sits in the middle of the jetty offering seats and beautiful views back onto the sandy shoreline. As well as being a place to rest and take in the views, the jetty is also a popular fishing spot. While I was there, a grandfather was teaching his young granddaughter to fish off the jetty and to her delight, she caught what appeared to be two small whiting. It was photos all round.
In the middle of the rotunda is a historic timeline, where visitors can learn about the major highlights in the life of the jetty. Bench seats offer a place to rest tired legs.
During whale watching season (June to November), charter cruises leave from the jetty to cruise through Moreton Bay to catch a glimpse of the southern humpback whales playing in the warm water as they migrate to and from Antarctica. Even if you don't take a cruise, whale watching from the shoreline, the jetty's rotunda or the neighbouring parks and lookouts could be just as enjoyable.
The Redcliffe Jetty is currently being upgraded with improvements to its pontoon infrastructure. A dedicated carpark and free parking areas adjourn the jetty. Being free and open all hours, there's really no excuse not to check it out. It's a magical backdrop to your sunrise and sunset photos which will be the envy of Instagram addicts everywhere.
Redcliffe is located 28km from the Brisbane CBD and is now connected by train from Central and Roma Street stations.