The Story Bridge – Brisbane’s most iconic landmark is probably one of the most photographed places in Brisbane.
This heritage-listed steel cantilever bridge spanning the Brisbane River carries vehicles from Fortitude Valley to Kangaroo Point. The bridge also has walkways along both sides suitable for walkers and cyclists.
The bridge opened in 1940 (My mother always told me the story of how she danced on the bridge the day it opened. Then my son was able to join in the celebrations almost 75 years to the day for its anniversary).
The bridge has only one pier on the northern bank but two piers on the lower southern bank, one to bear the weight of the main pier and one to prevent the bridge from twisting. (the anchor pier). There was no need for an anchor pier on the northern bank as the bridge was anchored into the cliff face.
The bridge was designed by John Bradfield (the Story Bridge is part of the Bradfield Highway) and named after John Story, a prominent public servant who advocated the bridge’s construction.
There are many ways to see and experience the Story Bridge.
Take a ferry ride or a cruise boat and pass under the bridge. At sunset, or even during the evening is a great time.
Walk or cycle across the bridge – this is busy with both tourists and commuters. There are paths on both sides of the bridge.
Kangaroo Point Reserve – after walking across the bridge, head towards the park area and take photos of the bridge and across to the Howard Smith Wharves.
Climb the Bridge – join the many adventurers willing to climb over 1,000 steps for spectacular views across the city. The tour takes approximately 2 hours.
Vantage points – from Riverside, you can usually capture the entire bridge. Try an early morning walk here to watch the sun rise behind the bridge.
New Farm Boardwalk – a popular spot for walkers and cyclists at sunrise and sunset. Both times are great for views of the bridge.
Wilson Outlook Reserve. Head up the elevators (there are two) to Bowen Terrace.
Anywhere along the top of the cliffs to the Reserve will give you magical views of the bridge.
Each evening, the bridge is lit up in different colours. Sometimes with themes, other times just random colours.
The Story Bridge features prominently in the annual event, Riverfire. Find a restaurant, riverside vantage point or hop on a boat cruise to see the spectacular fireworks display.
The place place to be seen these days is the latest development of the Howard Smith Wharves at the northern end of the bridge.
Construction of the wharves in the 1930’s offered work to locals during the depression.
Abandoned since the 1960’s the old offices, sheds and wharves have now been transformed into this entertainment precinct that is so popular today.
All heritage buildings have been retained and are central to the charm of the site.
During busy times, you could be caught up with cyclists, runners, walkers, families and young people gathering for a drink or meal on the balconies overlooking the river. There are green spaces for relaxing and tiered seating at the water’s edge. Something for everyone here.
You can even stay overnight at the Fantauzzo Hotel tucked in under the bridge.
As I was staying just across the road from this complex, I had many opportunities to photograph the area, especially in the early morning.
One of the more iconic buildings seems to be Mr Percivals jutting out into the river from the old wharves.
Everyone seems to take this photo looking through the bridge pylon.
There is also a brewery (Felons) and several restaurants and event spaces.
HSW is also a popular space for families on Friday nights and weekends. There are a couple of playgrounds for the children as well.
A great addition to the culture of Brisbane and definitely worth a visit.
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