Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

2009/07/14 UQ St. Lucia, Brisbane River, Customs House, Mount Coot-tha

As part of the ISSS Brisbane 2009 meeting, a field trip had been arranged.  We had to arrive early, parking at the edge of the campus to walk up Campbell Road in the University of Queensland St. Lucia campus.

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We encountered our group walking down Union Road towards the ferry dock.

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There’s regular City Cat ferry service from UQ to the city centre.

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The structure of the dock suggests the riverbanks are shallow.

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In the warm Brisbane winter, we stood on the back deck and watched the ferry’s wake.

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The route took us under bridges in a variety of shapes.

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The north bank of the river had construction cranes, underscoring Brisbane’s growth.

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On the south bank, the Wheel of Brisbane is prominent.

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The ferry docked at the Customs House, and we climbed up the steps.

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The plaza facing the river is below the level of the street at the front door.

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From the customs house, the view southeast of the Brisbane River has a majestic view of a bridge.

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Looking southwest down the Brisbane River, towers line the shore.

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After we had finished our meeting inside the Customs House, we stepped out onto Queen Street.

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In the distance, at the top of the hill, we could see the Cathedral of St. Stephen.

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We boarded the bus for a drive through the city.

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Our next destination was the Botanic Garden atop Mount Coot-tha.  The sundial must cast a shadow beyond its platform.

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Wandering around the gardens, we saw ducks in the pond.

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The pond follow a Japanese style.

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The arid zone has a cactus house.

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While enjoyed the display, the cactus family is not indigenous to Australia, and was brought over from America.

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From the lookout facing north, we could see the river.

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The towers of the city centre are northeast from Mount Coot-tha.

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Looking east, the river takes a bend to the south.

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A map marker helped us sort out the directions.

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Returning to the UQ St. Lucia campus via bus, the terminus let us on the side away from the ferries.  We walked past Mansfield Place.

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The Forgan Smith building was named after a Queensland premier in the 1930s.

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The Great Court on the St. Lucia campus is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.

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We found our way back to the Abel Smith building, where we finished the day with a few closing lectures.

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It’s refreshing to be at a conference where sightseeing can be built into the program.  While it’s good to be focused on content for a few days, a group trip around the city presents the opportunity for people to get to know each other.

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