Freelance writer and blogger living in Brisbane's inner city. Follow my social media, photography, technology and food blogs at www.acarrick.com
Published April 17th 2016
Take time out for yourself and relax even in the CBD
Relaxing Spots in Brisbane City
Brisbane City is home to a good number of little green spaces, inner city parks other and surprising places to relax in the CBD during your lunch break; or of course for an even longer spell if you have a few hours spare. I think it's important to be able to get away from the office or out of the house and relax and unwind, clear your mind and get some sunlight.
Following are my favourite places for relaxing in the CBD or inner city, by approximate quadrant.
Relaxing at Post Office Square
Heading north of the CBD towards Wickham Terrace up Edward Street brings us to King Edward Park. This is a delightful little park directly up the hill. Here you will find a few statues and other art and some nice views of the city. There are benches scattered around the park at various inclines heading up towards Spring Hill. If you're wanting some more exercise, the coloured steps up the hill are perfect for getting your blood pumping. King Edward Park is located at 224 Turbot St, Brisbane QLD 4000
Following on from King Edward Park roughly north west are the famous and expansive Roma Street Parklands. Due to the Parklands' size I'd suggest allowing an afternoon off, rather than trying to fit them in during a lunch break (even a long lunch). From the Roma Street/George Street side the Parklands are most accessible via Roma Street Railway Station - go all the way through to the long distance rail platform and across the car park driveway and up the escalator.
You can also come up from Albert Street - walk up Albert Street past the UQ Dental School on the right and you will overlook the railway on left going up the hill. You'll end up at the cafe and down to the Celebration Lawn also. There also many entrances along Wickham Terrace too.
Roma Street Parklands Train Station Entrance
Just after the cafe you'll be able to see Celebration Lawn. Past Celebration Lawn and the waterfall there are picnic areas with barbecue facilities. Beyond that there are lakes, light forest areas, flower gardens, Asian inspired gardens and even places to lie on the grass and designated areas for light sports. The official address for Roma Street Parklands is 1 Parkland Blvd, Brisbane QLD 4000.
Roma Street Parklands - Celebration Lawn
Queen's Park on George Street is the small piece of parkland between the two casino buildings - behind the Treasury Casino itself and in front of the Treasury hotel building. Queen's Park is often home to public gatherings and or official events. During the Brisbane Festival in 2015 a light and projection show took place here. In late 2015 Queen's Park was the meeting place for a climate change walk one Saturday morning.
Queen's Park would make a good relaxation spot due its proximity to George Street and the Brisbane River. There are park benches around the edges of the park, a few in the middle and some statues to look at and a few small trees. If you had a bit longer, this park would make a good stop for a sun and air break or rest after a good meal at one of the many nearby restaurants. Queens Park is located on the corner of George and Elizabeth Street or William and Elizabeth Street.
Queens Park in Brisbane, a nice place to relax between the Casino buildings.
If you like water and aren't interested in venturing up to Eagle Street and Riverside, pop down to the North Quay Ferry Terminal from the Victoria Bridge by the Treasury Casino. The stairs down to the ferry terminal (just above the river bank of course) have been recently rebuilt and are much easier to traverse and there is an elevator too for inclusive access.
The Bicentennial Bikeway which runs along the river level on the north side of the river, accessible from North Quay, actually extends west all the way to Toowong and east past QUT Garden's Point to the City Botanic Gardens. Of course you wouldn't necessarily walk the whole distance, but even taking the section from North Quay to QUT makes for a nice walk. Be mindful of the tides around the QUT section though, while it not known to flood at high tide the water will lap at the path. You can even take the CityCat back to North Quay from QUT Garden's Point Ferry Terminal or take the ferry across the river to South Bank. If you didn't have time for a walk, just hang around North Quay and watch the river traffic in the newly rebuilt terminal. North Quay Ferry Terminal is located at southern end of North Quay itself (the actual street), and is just under the Victoria Bridge.
A Nice Spot to Relax near the river and watch the river.
Toward the lower end of Albert, Edward, and George Streets, along Alice Street you'll find the City Botanic Gardens. When I used to work on Margaret Street, sometimes I'd come down here during my lunch break, or just for a quick walk if I needed a break from the office. There are plenty of park benches and grass where you may like to bring lunch, and of course being a botanic gardens, there are many opportunities for just taking a relaxing stroll through the gardens, or enjoying the ponds and wetlands animals. You can come and look at the flower gardens while contemplating the juxtaposition of the gardens and the city in the background. The gardens are well maintained and accessible with good footpaths. Brisbane City Botanic Gardens address is 147 Alice St, Brisbane City QLD 4000
Relax at the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
East of the city there tends to be fewer parks as you begin to head toward Fortitude Valley but there are still places to clear your mind. The Riverside and 'The Golden Triangle' area, whilst not providing much green space, certainly provides a nice view of the river. There are a few places around the area to sit and watch the river or ferries. You can hang around by the Riverside Centre and enjoy the small water feature or walk south along the river and people watch around the restaurants in this area. Walking back north along the river just past the CityCat terminal, you'll arrive at Customs House, a restaurant and event space owned by the University of Queensland. Here there is also a nice large tree. The Riverside precinct is located off Eagle Street.
Nice views of the Brisbane River with food and drink nearby.
Further east of Central is Cathedral Square, bordering Turbot Street and Ann Street. Cathedral Square has views views of St John's Cathedral and some nice trees to admire. The park features some umbrella style shade coverings.
Nice views of St John's Cathedral
Interesting Shade Covers at Cathedral Square in Brisbane
Quite centrally located between the GPO and Central Railway Station are the green spaces Post Office Square and ANZAC Square. These two spaces are linked via a pedestrian overpass on either side and one underpass in the middle.
Post Office Square is located directly on top of the Post Office Square arcade and food court and is a popular place for city workers to eat lunch on the grass or relax in between activities. In recent months Brisbane City Council and Post Office Square have placed outdoor wooden recliner chairs around on the grass for the public's own enjoyment. While the ibis have been less of a problem in recent months, I'd advise lunch visitors to be mindful of the birds, especially if you have food, as they can be quite sneaky. Post Office Square is located at 280 Queen St, Brisbane QLD 4000 but is accessible from either Queen Street or Adelaide Street.
Relaxing at Post Office Square on Deck Chairs
ANZAC Square is of course located directly behind the ANZAC War Memorial on Ann Street. ANZAC Square park borders The ANZAC Square Arcade and is directly accessible from the food court. From ground level in the park the Central Station pedestrian subway and war memorial museum are accessible from under the memorial stairs near the fountains. There is plenty of seating available on the edges of the park, and several trees to lie under. The grass is well maintained and I haven't noticed an ibis problem in this park. The war memorial museum is just under the stairs and in the subway a few metres. It would make a nice, short educational visit even if you just have a short time available. ANZAC Square is located at 228 Adelaide Street but is accessible from either Adelaide Street or Ann Street.
ANZAC Square is a nice inner city park to relax in near Central Station
My pick after spending every weekend in the city for the past six months walking? Southbank, but at the far Eastern end at River Quay Green, under the shady trees at the Epicurious gardens end of the green. Perfect spot to relax, read a good book ,have a bite for lunch, and sometimes nod off!