Search This Blog

Loading...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Some homes along the banks of the Brisbane River; more of our Bremer River cruise.

Have you ever noticed that the people with money (well lots of money not JUST money) often live along waterways and coastlines? Our cruise on the river gave us an excellent chance to have a 'sticky beak' at some of these prestigious looking  homes along the banks of the Brisbane river.
Some homeowners had surrounded their homes with lots of trees and shrubs to maintain their privacy...like this home almost opposite where the Bremer 'met' the Brisbane River...

Or what about this one with a stand of trees to protect from prying eyes?

Others were a bit more 'loud and proud' like this pink one which was built for Keith Lloyd ( described as a Brisbane entrepeneur) at Norman Park...


And this one upstream in the general area of Mt Ommaney...


I mentioned Keith Lloyd before; he is also associated with another beautiful home on the banks of the river...an historic home known as Shafston. The house has had a number of incarnations/uses but in the mid 1990s Lloyd restored it as part of the Shafston International College Campus.

The gracious big old house is 'overlooked' by the tower block of the college campus...

Talking of history, I must mention Newstead House which is high on a hill surrounded by beautiful Newstead Park. This grand house is described as the oldest residence still standing in Brisbane, with it being completed in 1846. 'Newstead House is an established house museum, decorated and furnished to reflect the late Victorian period and is a significant part of Brisbane history.'

Just glimpses through the trees of this house...


Here is a photo of Newstead House from the Internet...


In the previous post I showed photos of the blocks of units that dot the hill at Hamilton, just near Brett's Wharf...but there are also some grand houses...
I've always loved this house sitting high up on the hill...the land in front of the house stretches down the hill to the road below...no chance at the moment of having another house built in front to spoil the views...

Some houses on the south side of the river in the older suburbs not far upstream from Brett's Wharf (Hamilton) seem to cling precariously to the steep riverside streets...
Just a brief glimpse through those trees...

A better look with the 'zoom' on the camera...just imagine the views from those verandah...and that 'tower' structure on the right?

The next photo is also Hamilton Hill...there is a rather large 'fixer upper' on the extreme left...verandahs clad in fibro sheeting and rusty old roof...but it would be worth a fortune! 

The next 2 are not houses per se but some rather swish old apartment blocks which overlook the river...
 This brick 1930s block of flats used to stand out on its perch high above the river not far from Kangaroo Point; now it's dwarfed a bit by new apartment blocks...but the old block still has spectacular views...
Another gracious old house beside the river...
 And old wooden landing stage...

More grand homes...


Out along the river to the suburb of Tennyson was another lot of big homes...but I only really took photos of this one, known as 'Tintagel'. Obviously I didn't get to see inside this house, but over the years I've read a number of articles about the building of it. 


This house was built by the Garms' family who were well known for rescuing old buildings and restoring what they could. So...Tintagel is built from blocks of granite that were from the Brisbane Bank of Australasia built in 1835 and demolished to make way for newer buildings in the city. In the house are some handpainted glass doors which came from the savoy Hotel in London, ornate plaster ceilings rescued from the demolition of Her majesty's Theatre and the Regent Theatre, both in Brisbane. There are also carved timbers and stain glass windows from Euros Church in London. The Garms family must have had a big storage facility to store all this stuff while they planned and got permits to build their dream home high above the sandstone cliffs of the river. 

Another house high up...


A rather large home beside the river...

The higher upstream we went, the more mooring pontoons in front of homes we found...
 The crew member doing the commentary on the cruise said that during the floods, all these jetties were washed away and ended up downstream in a big jumble...hundreds of them and no way of identifying the owners. So the ones we saw on the trip that day are all new since the 2011 flood.
 At one stage, as far as the eye could see upstream, all the houses had mooring jetties/pontoons.
 Old and new riverside homes...

I love those TV shows on the Lifestyle Channel like Grand Designs, Homes Under the Hammer, Escape to the Country etc where the viewer can have a bit of a stickybeak at other people's homes...and so it was,on this cruise I was able to view from afar how some of the more wealthier citizens of my city live... :-) But I also saw how vulnerable such homes are in the advent of a flood...my modest home on a hill in the 'burbs' seems a good deal safer somehow! lol
One more house...
It is at New Farm...on the river bank and is nestled between high rise apartment blocks...

You may wonder about this little house's inclusion in this posts as it is quite unlike the other grand homes featured...but it is special to DH...
You see it was the share house where DH moved to when he left home in his early 20s...he had a succession of flatmates and parties as young men do...eventually the housemates left so that DH and his first wife could live there as a couple...

DH loved this house...and the owner even offered to sell it to him and Mrs First Wife for $27000...they said no...
It would be worth a mint now due to its position beside the river and being in New Farm...oh well it wasn't meant to be! 
DH took a heap of photos both heading upstream, then again when we were heading back in the afternoon!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cruising up the river...

At the beginning of October, DH looked at our calendar with all its scribbled in notations, and commented that we were in for a very busy month! And so it was that the day after our Brewery Tour, we headed off to Brett's Wharf at Hamilton, to board the boat doing the Bremer River Cruise. As the name suggests, this cruise goes up the Brisbane River to where the Bremer River joins it. The city of Ipswich is located on the Bremer river and in the early days of the then colony, ships were able to navigate from the mouth of the Brisbane River, all the way to Ipswich...not any more. It's a cruise that I've wanted to do for a while but the number of trips available each year is very limited due to tide heights I believe, and often we were away on those dates or cruises were cancelled due to a low number of bookings.
So we had missed the April cruises but the 2 October ones were good for us.
We arrived quite early but a few people were even earlier...
 The Lady Brisbane was waiting at the wharf too...


It wasn't long before lots more people arrived and it was time to board. Because this time last year when the trip we were booked on was cancelled due to lack of numbers, we were thrilled to hear that just over a 100 people were booked on this cruise. During the day talking to our fellow travellers we found that one group were on a Cross Country Bus Tours excursion, another group were from a Probus Club and the third group were from the Men's Shed of Stafford and they all came and sat out on the front deck where we were sitting.
DH commented that the boat was full of old people...hmmm? Sayings like 'pot calling the kettle black' sprang to mind.

The Brisbane River meanders in deep loops, so our journey up the river was rather leisurely...and DH and I took lots of photos. I've decided to write more than one post, showcasing different aspects of the river in each. This post will just be like an overview...but other posts will cover bridges, large homes, historical buildings, especially those repurposed, and probably a post about other vessels and facilities of the river. 
We selected our 'spot' on the top deck, seated at a table. For a while, the blue chairs in the photo below, were empty, so a perfect spot for taking photos...for a while anyway :-)
Starting our cruise upstream...chugging past the hill at Hamilton...watch out DH...more 'old people'! lol

The next photo is still of the hill above Kingsford-Smith Drive...older unit blocks...some of which would have magnificent views...

Our beautiful wide river...

The river has a number of tributaries...here's where Norman Creek flows in...


On the northern banks of the river we go past the where Breakfast Creek flows into the Brisbane River...we see glimpses through the trees of the historic Newstead House there...but more in a future post.
We continue on our winding way and notice beautiful New Farm Park on the northern bank...

Here we are as the city buildings in the distance, seem to emerge from the water...old people again huh?

The cliffs of Kangaroo Point...

On the opposite bank to Kangaroo Point are the historic City Botanical Gardens...complete with boat moorings...hence the name 'The Garden's Reach'...


A bit farther on and the Gardens are just a glimpse here on the left hand side. Looking back now, because of those deep meanders, the buildings really do look like they are emerging from the water. 


The photo below...
Looking towards the Queensland Performing Arts Complex QPAC, and the Eye of Brisbane. On the left hand side of the photo is a small section of the Southbank Parklands...


Leaving the city reach of the river, we sail past the suburb of West End on one side and Milton on the north bank...
West End still has a percentage of industry, as well as parts that have been gentrified into quite elite residential...
Is DH being cheeky here? Did I mention his comment about 'old people' again at this point?

We meandered through the Toowong Reach, sailed past St Lucia (the last stop for the City Cat ferry) on one side and Brisbane Corso on the other. The scenery alternated between big homes and bushland...


From St Lucia we soon headed to Tennyson...this photo is of the new Tennis Centre...built on the site of the old Tennyson Power House.

We even spotted some kangaroos near the jail out Wolston Park way...

Readers with a knowledge of Brisbane will realise that I've omitted a lot of suburbs that we sailed past (such as Dutton Park, Yeronga, Yeerongpilly, Indooroopilly, Chelmer, Fig Tree Pocket, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Jindalee, Westlake, Pinjarra Hills, Bellbowrie to name some), but we don't want 'War and Peace' here now do we?
At Moggill we had a little stop...

 The Moggill Ferry is a vehicular ferry which is pulled across the river by strong cables just under the surface of the water...
Now that causes a bit of a problem for our river cruise boat...
But our captain has been in radio contact with the captain of the ferry (my people talking to your people type of situation), and when the load of cars/trucks had been taken across and unloaded, the ferry stayed put and the cables were lowered...it took a little while but soon we were continuing upstream.
But not much farther...suddenly we noticed a tributary to the left...look how smooth the surface is...


The Bremer River joining the Brisbane River...the scenery was so pretty...
The Brisbane river continues upstream for many many miles...but we had reached the point where we would not travel any farther upstream...
More photos of this beautiful country before our boat turned around...


It was only about 15-20 minutes since we had gone over the lowered cables at the ferry...and we were back again...and the whole procedure was repeated. Bet the ferry operator is glad only a few of these cruises operate per year! lol
Our trip back was just a little faster and as we neared the vicinity of Brett's Wharf, it became obvious that we weren't stopping there...the boat cruised downstream to the Gateway Bridge, past lots of redeveloped wharves and docks...then it turned around and headed back to Brett's Wharf.
It had been a great day, so stayed tuned for some more posts about what we saw. You get a different perspective from the river, especially looking at some of those palatial homes...I thought I was cruising Sydney Harbour when I saw some of them! :-)