Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Our wonderful Aussie Adventure holiday is winding down, and we did a little more exploring here in Brisbane – a very, bustling, diverse city indeed. Our first stop today was at the imposing City Hall. The building was officially opened on 8 April 1930 by Lord Mayor of Brisbane William Jolly. Brisbane City Hall was built on swampy ground - this has caused the iconic building to start sinking. The Brisbane City Hall closed on 31 December 2009, for the three-year restoration project which cost $215 million.
Frontage of City Hall
There is a glorious pipe organ in the auditorium. The 4,600 pipes organ was built in 1892 by Henry Willis & Sons Organ Builders in Liverpool, UK, for the Brisbane Exhibition Building at Bowen Park. It remained in the Exhibition Concert Hall until it was moved to the Brisbane City Hall in 1927. When City Hall closed for restoration, the organ was totally dismantled and now is back in all it’s splendour.
Pipe Organ at City Hall
The auditorium is a large circular hall that can seat up to 2,500 people and is covered by a large copper dome.
Dome in the auditorium
Outside of the dome viewed through the museum shop
After checking out the City of Museum, we went downstairs to lunch at the lovely Shingle Inn, which looks for all like a little slice of England. The original fixtures had been donated by the Bellchambers Family and installed into the City Hall by the Brisbane City Council. Full of beautiful golden paneling, chandeliers, and old English style pottery and decorations, it was a lovely lunch experience indeed. The table was set with engraved silver, together with the named crockery – so we enjoyed playing ladies and gents for a while, not slurp our coffee or spill lunch down our fronts! We ordered waffles (with berries for her and bananas for him) and coffee and enjoyed every mouthful.
Lunch at the Shingle Inn
After lunch we walked the short distance to Anzac Square dedicated to Australia’s military heritage.
The Shrine of Remembrance, with its Eternal Flame, forms the focal point.
Memorials to South West pacific Campaign and Vietnam Memorial
Memorial to Korea, Malaya and Borneo conflicts
As we wandered back to the hotel we noticed that the city of Brisbane has been taking steps to protect pedestrians. With cars being used as weapons overseas, concrete bollards have now been placed across the entrance to pedestrian malls. Most of the concrete blocks seem to have colourful covers.
Protection for pedestrians from vehicle attacks
Today is the last day of our holiday so it will be another indecently early morning wake-up call tomorrow. We have a shuttle booked to get us to the airport for our trip home. It goes without saying that we’ve had a great time, experienced all sorts of adventures and seen some interesting places in this huge country. But like all travelers, it will be great to return home to our own beds again.