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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! :-)


6 comments:

allotmentadventureswithjean said...

Maria, what a fantastic post. I can't wait for the ones you will be following with. I find out more about my Brisbane sights reading your blog than actually walking round the streets!
I had to laugh at DH's comment. So true. My girlfriend and I like daytime concerts. I've been known to comment on the place being full of 'old people' and wonder what WE are doing there. I might add we are both in our 70's and with plenty of grey on the top. But we still think we are 18!

angela said...

Thank you for an amazing post. I've never heard of this cruise and I'll definitely but it on my todo list. Can't wait to see more xx

angela said...

Thank you for an amazing post. I've never heard of this cruise and I'll definitely but it on my todo list. Can't wait to see more xx

Bev C said...

Hello Maria,

It all looks so peaceful and relaxing, a great day on the river.

Happy days.
Bev.

Vicki Boster said...

Maria-- thank you for this beautiful post-- sharing this lovely river cruise. The photos and scenery are totally stunning-- I can only imagine what a wonderful day you had.

Thank you for your visit--- your lovely words of support--
Love,love
Vicki

Cynthia said...

Interesting views of the city from the water. It looks like you had a fun trip.