Swanson Street In Melbourne

Painted Vinyl on Swanson Street

I spent a pleasant afternoon in Melbourne, wandering its busy streets and narrow alleyways before and after lunch, admiring the Yarra River, its modern skyscrapers, historic architecture, bustling laneways and looking forward very much to seeing it in the evening. I like Melborune, partly because it is very walkable and easy to navigate thanks to all the bridges across the river, but mostly because of the trams.

Melbourne’s Evan Walker Bridge

The Evan Walker Bridge in Melbourne

Walking across the Evan Walker Bridge in Melbourne felt like stepping into a postcard where an urban landscape blends with a sense of whimsical charm. The Yarra River ambling its way past the city’s modern heart. On one side, Southbank’s bustling promenade with cafés and street performers, their eclectic sounds mingling in the air. On the other, the historic Flinders Street Station stands as a monument  to yesteryears, its yellow facade glowing in the afternoon sun. As I strolled, I could help but marvel at Melbourne’s effortless fusion of old and new.

The Brisbane River

The Brisbane River

I was never aware that the European settlement history of Queensland dates back to a penal settlement. However, I shouldn’t be surprised. I had always assumed once Britain stopped sending convicts to Australia, people started emigrating and one of the locations they chose is now the city of Brisbane. It turns out, this wasn’t the case. It seems that Queensland’s European history as a settlement started when the location of Brisbane was selected in 1825 as the location for a penal settlement for the more difficult convicts in New South Wales. Thus we have a situation where Britain was sending its undesirables to New South Wales in Australia, and they sent the convicts they didn’t want to Brisbane. Maybe that’s why the rest of Australia looks at Queenslanders being a little backwards. 

The Kurilpa Bridge

The Kurilpa Bridge in Brisbane

When a name was needed for Brisbane’s new $63 million bridge, a competition was held. Local residents could submit suggestions which they did in their thousands. Among the suggestions were Aboriginal words, maritime suggestions  and names linking the bridge to its location between Tank Street and Kurilpa Park near the State Library. On 23 November 2008 it was announced that the winning entry was Kurilpa Bridge. The name Kurilpa reflects the Australian Aboriginal word for the South Brisbane area, and means “place for water rats”.