Ok, so far we’ve covered the following bridges in Brisbane: Go-Between (modern and functional), William Jolly (classic, sturdy dependable), Kurilpa (light, strong and futuristic), Sir Leo Hielscher (massive, imposing, minimalistic) and Story (beautiful yet sadly tragic). Before you decide which bridge you are, I should tell you about this week’s two additions: the Victoria Bridge and the Good Will Bridge. Both link Southbank with Brisbane’s Central Business District.
The Victoria Bridge, like the William Jolly Bridge, is an old timer in a modern world. Other bridges used to exist at its site but the current bridge is one built in 1969. It services pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. At any time of the day, there’s bound to be someone walking its length. On special occasions like New Year’s Eve or Australia Day, hordes will claim a spot on it from which to watch celebratory fireworks launched nearby.
What I like about the bridge, other than a gentle breeze coming off the waters of the Brisbane River at all times of the day, is that it is one of the few places you can see “Green Taxis” moving alongside regular traffic. The Green Taxis are bicycle-pulled rickshaws, so named because their drivers wear green; it’s also a play of words based on the idea of being non-polluting, hence green, and ferrying people, like regular taxis do.
Even though Brisbane has 15 major bridges, I would consider the Victoria Bridge the “flagship bridge” of Brisbane because you can know whatever festival or event is going on simply by taking note of the changing signs or decorations on the Victoria Bridge. For instance, when we visited the bridge, there were flags to publicise the Brisbane Festival.
From the Victoria Bridge, His Royal Highness and I cut through the Southbank parklands to get to the Goodwill Bridge. In line with the Brisbane Festival, the parklands were decorated with rows of hung paper lanterns, each curiously, bearing Chinese characters.
Being a Saturday, the Southbank parklands were teeming with people. Amanda harangued her father for an ice cream from one of the two vans we saw entering the parklands and enjoyed hers while I took a couple of snaps of the city.
After much walking, we arrived at the Goodwill Bridge. The Goodwill Bridge is like the Kurilpa Bridge in that it is only used by pedestrians and cyclists. From afar, it looks similar to the Storey Bridge, except that since presumably no one suicides from it, it is a more cheerful structure. I caught sight of old boats parked in the Maritime Museum from it.
We went back the same way we came and finished our bridge discovery excursion with a couple of cold drinks at a cafe on Grey Street.