Clock Tower Tours

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Posted 2020-12-23 by Gillian Chingfollow
Are you looking for a unique vantage point to view the impressive and expansive Brisbane skyline? Why not take a tour of the City Hall clock tower and see Brisbane from a different angle.

About Brisbane City Hall
Brisbane City Hall was opened in 1930 after a 10-year build costing the princely sum of some 920,000 pounds.

Nine decades later, City Hall remains one of Brisbane's most significant landmarks as the place where important local Council decisions are made, creative art exhibitions and events are held and is a centrepiece of the city's architectural history.

The Clock Tower Tour**
The clock tower of this heritage-listed building offers free sightseeing tours where you can get up close with the bells and clock face, while also enjoying the dazzling panoramic view. The tower remains just as impressive as it was at the time it was built. Standing 92 metres above the ground it has continued to watch over Brisbane's' modern transformation, now sharing the city landscape with tall skyscrapers.

How it works and what you can see
Tours of the clock tower leave from the Museum of Brisbane housed within City Hall. Simply step off King George Square, walk through the main entrance and take the lift to the third floor.

Be sure to book your tour spot online here . When you arrive, complete your COVID check-in, present at the front counter at the entrance to the museum and get ready to start your clock tower adventure.

Each guided tour is led by a staff member from the Museum who starts by taking you through a narrow hallway behind the Museum reception desk to the clock tower lift. The open caged lift is one of only two remaining in Brisbane.

With a turn of the control lift handle, we are on our way. After a 15 second ride, the doors open, you step out of the lift. An information board displays more historical facts and pictures of the clock tower. Then it's up another narrow flight of steps and then voila – you reach the observation balcony to take in the magnificent view.

From here, you can catch glimpses of the landmarks such as the winding Brisbane River, and recreational playground, South Bank. Our guide points out historical facts and buildings of interest including

- the Ann Street Presbyterian Church
- the first 'prison' for women built in Queen Street in 1829 on the site of the present GPO, and was called the 'Female Factory'
- the one time Brisbane Dental Hospital which featured in the ABC drama Harrow and
- the expansive, manicured gardens of Roma Street Parklands

Of course, glancing downwards and you see the concourse of King George Square.

The Standout
The standout for me was seeing the clock face and the enormous bells which chime every 15 minutes.

Research tells me that:

• the clock face is almost five metres in diameter
• the minute hands of the clock are three metres long
• the clock chimes are known as Westminster or Cambridge and consist of four bells weighing over three tonnes that chime every 15 minutes and a 4.3-tonne striking bell that marks the hour

Avid readers would also know that City Hall is a major location in the highly popular Brisbane-based novel, Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton, so while taking the tour, I couldn't help but feel like I was living the experience of brave, young, Eli Bell as he scrambled through its corridors.

I would highly recommend the tour. It's fun, it's fast and it's free. As Brisbane has changed and grown and our world becomes more and more unpredictable, one thing remains the same - the City Hall and its Clock Tower. Enjoy this wonderful treasure this weekend.

117444 - 2023-06-12 19:56:04


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