The Story Bridge is a heritage-listed steel cantilever bridge spanning the Brisbane River. It is the longest cantilever bridge in Australia and carries vehicular and pedestrian traffic between the northern and the southern suburbs of Brisbane. The Story Bridge opened in 1940 and was tolled until 1947. Bridge climbs began in 2005 and have become a popular tourist attraction. Directly under the bridge is the iconic Story Bridge Hotel and Yungaba.
Yungaba, situated alongside the Brisbane River on the eastern side of the point, was designed as an immigrant hostel in 1885 to provide for new migrants. The name “Yungaba” means ‘place of sunshine’ and derives from the Gubbi Gubbi Aboriginal language from the Maroochy area. The use of Yungaba for immigration ceased in 1995 and in 2008, the Queensland Government sold Yungaba to developers, Australand. Australand restored the building and converted it into apartments and constructed three other apartment buildings alongside the original building.
Kangaroo Point cliffs
The Kangaroo Point cliffs are heritage-listed cliffs located at Kangaroo Point just across the Brisbane River from the Brisbane CBD. For residents of Moreton View Tower and Villas, they are just a short walk away. The cliffs were formed after stone was quarried from the site and used in the construction of a number of local structures. They are a popular spot for picnics, abseiling, rock climbing and exercising. Walking and cycling paths are found along the base of the cliffs, providing good access to the Maritime Museum, SouthBank Parklands and the Queensland Cultural Precinct where theatres, museums and the art gallery are found. As you walk or ride along the path, you will see many art sculptures which were moved there from the World Expo site in Brisbane in 1988. For those wishing to relax, there is a café at the top of the cliffs providing a beautiful vista across the river to the Botanical Gardens and CBD. Also at the top of the cliffs is the Kangaroo Point lookout and many BBQ areas.
Kangaroo Point Park
Kangaroo Point Park is located atop the Kangaroo Point cliffs on the former site of the Kangaroo Point TAFE and just south of the historic St Mary’s Anglican Church. The Cliffs Café is at the southern end of the park and a popular spot for coffee and refreshments.
Riverlife Adventure Centre
Housed in the former Naval Stores, Riverlife Adventure Centre is at the base of the Kangaroo Point cliffs and is a popular place for hiring equipment and instruction for activities such as abseiling and kayaking. It is also a popular function centre for weddings and other celebrations.
Story Bridge Hotel
It is believed that the hotel was originally called the Logan Hotel, but after a reconstruction in 1886 it became known as the Kangaroo Point Hotel. Then, when the Story Bridge was opened in 1940, it was renamed the Story Bridge Hotel, the name it is still known as today. It is one of only seven, three-story hotels in Queensland from that period.
After years of serving both the local community and the many workers in the local heavy industries, the hotel was bought by the Deery family in 1967 and restored in 1978 to its former glory, a process that took over a decade. In August 1994, the newly refurbished hotel was officially opened by the Lord Mayor, Cr. Jim Soorley. In the meantime, the hotel established itself as one of the most original and well-known pubs in town. Since the Deery’s took ownership, the pub has developed a reputation for entertainment, special events such as The Australia Day Cockroach Races and The National Festival of Beers. More recently three new contemporary areas have been added. ‘The bridge’ has gained a reputation for its fine food, extensive range of beers, and quality wines and spirits. As the website boasts: “Come join us for a quiet drink, a great meal, good company, and lots of fun!”
Captain Burke Park
Captain Burke Park is located under the Story Bridge. The children’s playground and BBQ areas, coupled with the lovely views along the river and across to the city, make it a popular spot for local families and visitors alike. At the beginning of the 20th century, much of the park was occupied by an engineering company to build steam locomotives. The large four-sided sculpture in the park, entitled ‘The Rock’ was commissioned the 1988 World Expo held in Brisbane and relocated to Captain Burke Park in 1989. The Kangaroo Point Heritage Walk notes that the images are, according to the artist Stephen Killick, ‘comments on greed, political deception, consumerism, war and innocence’.
The site of the murder of Robert Cox
To get an idea of some of the area’s earlier history, a read of The Mayne Inheritance by Rosamond Siemon will reveal some of the seedier times in the 1800s. It tells the non-fiction story of Patrick Mayne, who migrated to Brisbane from Ireland in 1841 and worked as a butcher. The legend goes that in 1848 he murdered miner Robert Cox after a night drinking at the Sutton’s Bush Commercial Hotel at the corner of Holman and Mains Streets in Kangaroo Point. Cox’s body was left in pieces near the river’s edge. A year later Mayne purchased land in Queen Street and opened his own butcher’s shop – reportedly with the considerable fortune he had stolen from Cox. Mayne went on to be a respected businessman and city alderman, until his supposed deathbed confession in 1865. His children, James and Mary, bought the St Lucia site for the University of Queensland and the family left a considerable legacy to the University of Queensland.
Cairns Street cottages
The four cottages are located at the Main Street end of Cairns Street. The larger cottage on the corner of Lambert Street was built in 1876 and is considered to be the oldest freestanding house in Kangaroo Point. The other three cottages were built in 1885. With the decline of the area when the shipyards closed down in the 1970s, the cottages became very run down. However, in 1979 they were purchased and restored by Clive Chatwood, an electrician who had worked in the shipyards.
Other sites of interest
Kangaroo Point is also home to one of less than 200 Mormon temples in the world (as of August 2015) and to the more-than-160-year-old St Mary’s Anglican Church. A heritage trail through the CT White and James Warner parks reveals a series of signs and sculptures to commemorate the lives and work of prominent Kangaroo Point people such as Cyril Tenison White (government botanist), Frederick Manson Bailey (colonial botanist), Silvester Diggles (naturalist), Oscar Werner Tiegs (entomologist and zoologist), James Warner (surveyor), and Harry Oakman (landscape artist).
Kangaroo Point has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:
- 34 Amesbury Street: former Naval Stores
- 94 Baines Street: Raymond Park (West) Air Raid Shelter
- 23 Castlebar Street: Shafston House
- 116 Holman Street: Holman Street Ferry Terminal
- 9 Leopard Street: Lamb House
- Lower River Terrace: Kangaroo Point Cliffs
- 76 Lower River Terrace: Cliffside Apartments
- 102 Main Street: Yungaba Immigration Centre
- 255 Main Street: Sunnyside
- 261 – 267 Main Street: Silverwells
- 433, 447 & 449 Main Street: St Mary’s Anglican Church
- 2 Scott Street: Scott Street Flats
- 69 Shafston Avenue: Leckhampton
- 330-334B Vulture Street: St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral
- 184 Wellington Road: Raymond Park (East) Air Raid Shelter