Travel Pics Theme: A for Australia

Brisbane morning

Brisbane morning

This week, we are restarting our alphabet of travel pics.

After six months (and a few extra days) we’ve been through an A-to-Z, and so we are starting again – with different themes.

We won’t get all the way to Z until Mid February – because our plan is to change to ‘daily highlights’ as we travel around the western states of the US later this year.

But in the meantime, lets get started again – this time, it’s A for Australia.

The first pic in the series isn’t really a travel pic for us – but it would be for anyone who didn’t live here 🙂

It’s Brisbane – our home town.

Derided as BrisVegas or Brisneyland, even by locals, Brisbane’s not slated for international fame, despite the local council’s attempts to describe it as a “New World City” whatever that means.

But it is a lovely spot – with lots of hidden gems like this view from Southbank, as the sun is rising.

Southbank is interesting: it’s where the city staged Expo 88 – the world exposition which showcased the city to the world.

It plays host to an estimated 11 MILLION visitors each year – that’s five times the population of the city – and its history as a parklands precinct is pretty much the story of Brisbane writ large.

For decades, the South Brisbane area was depressed – home to wharves, and warehouses, and a not-very-safe series of walks. The rise of the CBD on the opposite side of the river consigned South Brisbane to ‘also-ran’ status .. until, in the 1970s, work began on the city’s new art gallery, museum, and performing arts centre at one end of the ‘south bank’ of the river – and clearance works on the rest in preparation for Expo.

After Expo, the plan was always to turn the area into yet another commercial centre – effectively spreading the CBD to both sides of the Brisbane River.

And if the conservative, construction-at-all-cost government of Premier Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen had remained in power, it’s likely that would have happened.

Instead, there was a public campaign to turn the area into parklands, instead – and Southbank was reborn as a leisure arts and entertainment precinct.

Home to an artificial beach that attracts thousands of people almost all year round, plus some of the city’s best eateries, a Nepalese temple (left over from Expo) and the Wheel of Brisbane Ferris Wheel, the 16 hectares of parklands spread along a two kilometre stretch of riverbank, from the Griffith University campus and Maritime Museum, past the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Queensland headquarters in a 5-star eco-building, and via the city’s Convention Centre, Museum, Art Gallery, and Museum of Modern Art.

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