The Brisbane River is what determined the city's foundation. It is like one of its principal streets, as CityCats and ferries take commuters to work every day.
Maps show the course of the river from the mountains to the sea, but the best place to get a sense of it is from Mt. Coot-tha.
Mt. Coot-tha lookout, is an excellent place to get a feel for Brisbane, as it has an excellent view over the city. On a clear day you can get a wonderful view of the way the river winds through the city.
© Tatters | Flickr.com - View of Brisbane from Mt Coot-tha Lookout
The view lets you see across the river as it wends its way through the city. And you can do all this over lunch! The Summit Restaurant on Mt. Coot-Tha features an outdoor floor mosaic that shows the river route.
At this end, the river is still almost pastoral and home to wildlife, like the colony of Flying Foxes at Indooroopilly Island.
© Heidi Kaldahl | Flickr.com - Flying fox at Indooroopilly
The river continues to meander through the city, broadening as it continues. It goes under the Eleanor Schonell bridge, and on past the lovely honey colored colonnades of the University of Queensland.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is a very well known tourist attraction, located on the river at Fig Tree Pocket. This is an attraction that is worth a visit, as you will see a range of different types of Australian wildlife and birds there.
Many people live along the river, as they enjoy the views from their homes which look out over the river.
© Igomak | Flickr.com - Colonial Style House on the Brisbane River
As it approaches the city, it passes under the elegant William Jolly bridge, before reaching the Central Business District. Built in the art deco style, this interesting steel frame arch bridge provides both vehicular and pedestrian access.
© Rae Allen | Flickr.com - William Jolly Bridge Brisbane
For anyone with an interest in ships or the sea, one of Brisbane's premier attractions is the Queensland Maritime Museum. Located right on the river, this museum is accessible from the South Bank CityCat station.
The picture is taken from the sunny rear deck of a CityCat. A trip on one of these river boats is an excellent way to explore the river. The picture could just as easily have been taken from one of the many boats that you can take a trip on... as there are a number of companies providing river cruises.
© Andrew Sutherland | Flickr.com - Story Bridge Brisbane
As the Brisbane River leaves the city, it passes under the Story Bridge. If you look very, very closely at the picture above, you can see climbers near the top of the left summit.
Down river of Story Bridge, the river enters the old harbor area where the wool companies' prepared and stored their wool in grand warehouses before its long voyage to the woolen mills of Britain and elsewhere.
Although the river continues to the Pacific Ocean, the CityCat's last stop is at Apollo Road, before the river becomes a modern working harbour with really big ships carrying Australia's natural resources, such as coal and iron ore, out to the industrial world, which today means China.