December 2016 – Micah and Aida have arrived in Brisbane. It is Monday, Ed is at work and I’m showing them around Brisbane. We are proud to be living in this beautiful and interesting city. Of course, the tour must start with a ride on the City Cat Ferry.
We arrive at the city.
Disembarking at Eagle Street/Riverside, on the east side of the CBD, is a great place to start. With fountains, restaurants, and open places to sit and relax, it is easy to ease into the business of office work.
If you look closely at the palm trees to the right and just behind Micah you will see that they are secured with ropes. It just so happens that I was here a couple of weeks earlier and they were planting these trees. I was quite amazed that they were able to plant such large trees.
From here we walk toward the Brisbane Botanical Gardens on the southern tip of the CBD “peninsula.” The CBD is only about 1 km at its widest, so it isn’t an overly long walk.
Within minutes the Gardens are already in view.
City Botanical Gardens
The Gardens are amazing. Tall trees and grassy areas to relax, flowers, pathways, and ponds. Yet the city is always always present, but never intruding. In this way, Brisbane is successful in integrating an outdoor lifestyle within a city structure.
Bush Thick-Knee – also known as Bush Stone-curlew are “near threatened” species. During the day, Bush Thick-knees roost on the ground, relying on their cryptic plumage to protect them from predators. When disturbed, they freeze motionless, often in odd-looking postures. (These birds have long legs. Notice how he is resting on his “knees.” )
Moreton Bay Fig
The most interesting thing that we saw was this immense Ficus macrophylla, more commonly known as Moreton Bay Fig, or Australian Banyan. Although quite common here, this is the largest one that I have ever seen.
This evergreen is a native of most of the eastern coast of Australia, best known for its imposing buttress roots. Individuals may reach 60 m (200 ft) in height. The characteristic “melting” appearance of the Moreton Bay fig is due to its habit of dropping aerial roots from its branches, which upon reaching the ground, thicken into supplementary trunks which help to support the weight of its crown.
It is a rainforest plant and in this environment more often grows in the form of an epiphytic strangler vine than that of a tree. When its seeds land in the branch of a host tree it sends aerial, “strangler” roots down the host trunk, eventually killing the host and standing as tree by itself.
QUT (Queensland University of Technology) Garden Point
After we meander through these beautiful gardens and explored a bit of QUT Art Museum (above), we cross the Goodwill bridge toward beautiful Southbank.
I have featured this large pedestrian bridge in another blog post. Today we stopped to take some pictures of the City Cat ferries passing beneath us, for a unique perspective.
Some more Southbank
I have featured Southbank in previous posts, but its fascinating mix of gardens, pathways, restaurants, bars, and cafe’s, rainforest, Arbor Lane, a beach, another university (lucky students), museums, Performing Arts, and more – draws us back again and again, always with a fresh experience.
Although overcast today, Streets Beach is still humming with activity.
We are in need of refreshment, so we find our way to some beer (see “Having a Great Time in Brisbane“) and then with a final look back at Southbank, we cross the river over the Victoria Bridge and head back into the city from the west.
The best flower of all is the one that someone special wears.