Walk Gateway Bridge Brisbane, Queensland. Australia
Have you ever wanted to take a stroll on the Gateway Bridge without paying an expensive toll charge? Well, we have stumbled upon the right starting point. Queensport Rocks Park is located under the Gateway Bridge, otherwise known as the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges.
Brisbane’s Gateway Bridge and its duplicate was renamed the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge in 2010 after Sir Leo who joined the public service in 1942 and will soon retire as chairman of the Queensland Treasury Corporation. The bridges are the most eastern crossing of the Brisbane River and run between Eagle Farm and Muarrie. The original bridge was finished in 1986 and the new duplicate built in 2010.
This 5 km return medium level walk-ride begins in The Queensport Rocks Park vicinity, on the site of an old meatworks and nearby what was once the Queensport Aquarium and follows the designated path up and over the replicated Gateway (Sir Leo Hielscher) Bridge before returning. There are several shelters with seats and water at intervals on the bridge. In summer this highly exposed walk is best done early morning or late afternoon.
The Queensport Rocks Park is backed by rock cliffs which provided grey freestone from the Black Ball Quarry in the early days of the colony, and there was also rockblasting here when the river mouth was widened and deepened.
Then along came the Queensport Freezing and Food Export Company which opened the Queensport Meatworks in 1881. Some footings and stairs from the original meatworks buildings have been incorporated into the design of the park.
The park is near the location of Queensland’s first theme park, the Queensport Aquarium and Zoological Garden which opened in August 1889. It was washed away by a flood in February 1893, never to be rebuilt. There were all sorts of sea creatures, a black panther, cheetah, bears, monkeys, birds and reptiles as well as a huge concert hall which could seat up to 1400 people. Electric lights were connected in 1889, and an electric organ organist and the Aquarium Band with “the best singers to be found in Brisbane” entertained the eager crowds on weekend afternoons.
We followed the path gradually up the hill until it we arrived at the designated bridge walk car park and from here there’s a further hike up hill to the pedestrian and bike entrance to the bridge. The incline to the peak of the bridge has a halfway shelter with bench, water fountain and Perspex window to view the working river and Port of Brisbane and beyond to the bay. Another of these is situated at the top and another half way down the other side.
We took the option of returning once the peak was reached and headed back the way we came. We spent a little time taking mutable photos of the bridges. It’s an important part of digital photography to try and take multiple composition of the same subject with multiple settings because you may never return to that location, and of course you can just delete any unwanted images at a later date. A big part of photography is being in the right spot at the right time and you may have to wait hours for elements to combine, spend hours in travel and time working the scene.
Happen to stumbled across this little creature on the path just before heading up the Bridge path. Not poisons’, and moved on before I moved on.