Picture your daily commute. It must be frought with traffic, delays
of many sorts and maybe an incapable driver or two. The tropical
city of Brisbane, Queensland has this same drama that occurs twice
a day, with constant tunnel- and bridge-building to boot. But with
a river splitting the city's downtown conveniently in two, many
residents make ferries an important part of their commute.
During a warm morning that lead to an ever warmer day in November,
I had reached the Thornton Street ferry stop by foot from a relative's
house in nearby Kangaroo Point. The "river city" is blessed with a
long strip of parkland around this area, with footpaths that lead
you downtown along the river. As I was too lazy and could not handle
such a heavy exercise in the sweltering sun, the City Ferry seemed to
be a smarter and less costly option.
I had a mission that day - Brisbane devoted a large section of its
land to showcase itself during World Expo '88. This area (known as
South Bank) has become a lively district with cultural attractions
like the State Library of Queensland. I wanted to visit this place
and the conveniently placed ferry route had helped this journey.
The ride was mostly smooth and the breeze was gentle. Some ferries
(the "City Cats") are speedy and efficiently run but for the couple
weeks I was in Brisbane, I rode a ferry with a similar likeness to
An interesting ride for a one-way fare of $1.60 (Canadian,
approximately). There is little traffic to speak of on the Brisbane
River but the runoff from typically treacherous thunderstorms may shut
down the ferry system. Buses run in their place whenever the
river becomes unsafe due to debris.
This section of the Travel Guide presents an interesting view of
the "land down under" by a traveller from north of Toronto. Thanks to
some great weather and experiences, we can present you this special
section and associated photo gallery.