After over 20 years of living in Brisbane I thought it was time that I learned some more about my city. Although I have been in to the city many times I have never actually taken the time to explore it.
So, I booked a tour with Brisbane Greeters. It was by accident that I recently learnt of this wonderful program here in Brisbane. I contacted them and organized to do a walking tour of Brisbane precinct. I met with my guide Bruce, at King George Square outside Brisbane city hall. I was excited to do this tour however I was not prepared for how good it was.
Lucky me, I was the only “tourist” for this guided tour of our city. We started our tour in the square discussing Bruce’s plans for the tour. He made some suggestions and then with my input he customised the tour to fully suit me. Bruce gave me a brief overview of the history of Brisbane before we headed off.
We started our tour in the City Hall. City Hall is considered to be one of Brisbane’s finest buildings. The building has been used for royal receptions, pageants, orchestral concerts, civic greetings, flower shows, school graduations and political meetings.
City Hall does offer its own guided tours of this lovely building so my visit with Bruce was certainly enough to whet my appetite to return one day for a tour. In the meantime, from Bruce, I learned that the white marble staircase in the entrance is made using marble from Carrara in Italy, the bell tower was inspired by St Mark’s in Venice and the dome was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.
From the city hall we walked over to the Brisbane Arcade which is a heritage listed shopping arcade and was built in 1923. Definitely one of if not the nicest shopping arcade in Brisbane consisting of beautifully designed shops offering high-end jewellery, clothing, antiques and much more.
Our tour continued up Queen St to North Quay to the heritage listed Treasury building, which now houses Brisbane’s Casino.
The tour included many of Brisbane’s original buildings – the commissary which is home to the Royal Historical Society of Brisbane, and Old Government house which is located on the grounds of Queensland University of Technology at Gardens Point.
The QUT campus is home to public arts venues, museums, top fitness facilities, and our state-of-the-art Science and Engineering Centre.
We stopped at the Pantry café on campus for our well-earned lunch and coffee. After our small rest we headed off through the botanical gardens which is on the river and which Qut is attached to.
We had many stops along the way to our destination of St Stephens Cathedral the heritage listed cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of the city of Brisbane.
I learned from Bruce that part of the stone used in the construction of this magnificent building was taken from Kangaroo point just across the river.
Bruce’s wealth of information was fantastic. He is very passionate about Brisbane and was so informative the entire time.
I have been on many walking tours around the world but this would definitely be the best guided walking tour I have ever done, and, it was free. Bruce informed me that there are many cities around the world offering this personalized free service.
I later googled Greeters Organisation and discovered there are in excess of 90 cities world-wide offering this fabulous service including several cities in Italy.