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”.

The Wheel of Brisbane

The Wheel of Brisbane – Buy 

My final stop of my night walk in Brisbane was ‘The Wheel of Brisbane’ located in Southbank Parklands. I had started out before dusk at the Brisbane Central Railway Station and spent the rest of the time simply wandering aimlessly from place to place, looking at nothing in particular. After a while, I made my way through King George Square, headed along Ann Street and crossed over the Brisbane River on the Kurilpa Bridge. From there, I made my way along the South Bank which was busy with cyclists who seemed to have no regard for anyone but themselves. So, I filled some time walking at annoying angles so they’d have to swerve to miss me. Eventually, with no more cyclists to irritate, I turned my attention back to my walk and the Wheel of Brisbane which was glowing in the distance.

Osteria Epoca In Brisbane

Osteria Epoca In BrisbaneBuy

Osteria Epoca can be found on Orontes Road, Yeronga in Brisbane. They are an amazing Cafe, Bar & Restaurant that does serious good Italian food. When I was there they let me set my camera up to take a few shots, the one I like best is this one of the front window. It’s definitely worth visit if your in Brisbane or the area . Oh, and the Porchetta, Crab linguni or Gamberi come highly recommended.



Brisbane City Hall

Brisbane City Hall – Buy

On one of my evenings strolls through Brisbane I came across the City Hall which can be found in King George Square. The building is as elegant as it is grand. Yet, not without controversy, and I do like a bit of controversy when it comes to local government buildings. 

In the early 1900’s after it was decided that the current City Hall was inadequate, and after many years of debate over where the new site for the building should be, a possibility of two locations was decided upon. However, Mayor Charles Jenkinson then sold one of the two sites to the Cathlolic Church, who promptly started construction of a Cathedral, leaving the City Hall to be built on the site which it stands today. 

Several years later the foundation stone for the City Hall was laid with a time capsule inside before construction started. However, the stone was discovered to be out of alignment, moved, then lost – along with the time capsule. 

Later, following the death of a construction worker who drowned while the swamp where the building was going to stand was drained, the Council began occupancy of the building in 1927. Nearly 20 years after the plans had been confirmed and the site was first chosen.

The Kurilpa Bridge In Brisbane

By The Brisbane River

This is what a $63 million (AU) hybrid tensegrity bridge looks like at night. It’s official name is the Kurilpa Bridge, opened in 2009 and it connects Kurilpa Point in South Brisbane to Tank Street in the Brisbane CBD. I’ve included all this information to try and disguise the fact I can’t explain what a tensegrity bridge is. I could have Googled it and included the definition (written in my own words), however there were two reasons why I didn’t. One, I didn’t want to sound condescending and assume other’s didn’t know what it might either. Two, I was more interested in finding out that the aboriginal word Kurilpa means ‘place of water rats.’

Want to get a print for your wall? Download the print price guide below, then email [email protected] with your details and we’ll get an order underway for you.

Print Price Guide 2021 – Download

Is It Irresponsible Chasing Rainbows?

Visions, Illusions & Me.

Recently I came across something interesting in Queenstown which has occupied my thoughts off and on since. It was a faint rainbow stretching out across Lake Wakatipu. 

It isn’t the location of the rainbow itself that is of interest to me, nor the question of how rainbows are created, what drew my attention was pondering the curve of a rainbow. Or to be more precise, do they always have the same angle? I keep imagining Kermit sitting on a schist stone dipping his toes in the water of Lake Wakatipu, bango in hand, singing rainbow connection. As a rule of thumb, I would like to suggest that if like me, Kermit the frog springs to mind when you think about the science behind rainbows, you’re probably not an expert on them. 

In this moment the contemplating thoughts in my mind went in two directions. The first was what other naturally occurring scientific concepts do I not understand. The second direction was understanding the mathematics behind rainbows. I decided that trying to understand the concepts of nuclear fusion, string theory, starling murmurations and Auckland traffic was far beyond my mental capacity at this point, so I went with exploring the latter. Plus, since I now had Kermit loaded into my Spotify playlist I felt I was committed. 

My curiosity aroused, I felt there was only one place that would provide me with the facts I needed, the one place that keeps me reliably informed and up to date with the latest world developments. Google.

I feel I should point out at this juncture that I’ve become suspicious about Google and our relationship. It has soured somewhat. The long held trust and mutual respect we once held I fear has been lost. What brought our relationship to this point? Well, I suspect that Google has been lying to me. I must confess that this realisation hurts. My suspicions were aroused when a recent trip to Ireland resulted in zero Leprechaun sightings. 

As it turns out I’m not the first person to become fascinated by a rainbow outside the window, in fact I’m in very good company. Greek philosopher Aristotle devoted serious attention to the study of rainbows as did Roman theorist Lucius Annaeus Seneca (who probably peeked at Aristotle’s study notes). This cycle of building off others’ study notes before adding their own thoughts then continued for some time, right through to Rene Descartes who started playing with light passing through a sphere of water. Throughout this lineage of rainbows, one person who does seem to stand out in a very understated way is Roger Bacon. 

Not only does Roger Bacon have a fabulous last name that makes me hungry, he can also tell you how to make gunpowder! It transpires that Roger Bacon was the first European to describe in detail the process of making gunpowder. He also proposed flying machines, motorized ships and carriages some time in the 1200’s. Now anyone who is suggesting motorized machines and can tell you how to make gunpowder in the 1200’s must have been fascinating after a few beers! Along with describing how to blow things up, he also first measured the angle through which light is bent to our eye by a rainbow as being 42 degrees.  

Having discovered that the arc of a rainbow is 42 degrees, that the length of rainbow is dependent on where it is viewed from, that everyone sees a rainbow differently, that they form perfect circles (which is why you never reach the end or the bottom) and that there are 12 types of rainbow, I naively thought my pursuit of had come to an end. Until, Google threw me a curve ball. It brought me back to Leprechauns. Now, I must confess that my curious nature got the better of me and no matter how distrusting of Google I was, I went in search of pots of gold. 

I had it in mind that there would be a fairly bright and easy yellow brick road that would lead me to the end of the rainbow, however unlike Dorthey I wasn’t lucky enough to have a glowing yellow road to follow.  My own search was filled with many no exit streets, detours and wrong turns that seemed to add neither confusion or clarity to my quest until I came across the Vikings! If you want to make a story interesting, just throw in an ill tempered Viking or two to jazz up the plot. Fortunately for me, the pot of gold myth that I liked the best, had loads of Vikings in it.  

It seems that back in the days of the Vikings – who weren’t really very nice people but had amazing beards – they spent much of their time raiding, plundering and looting Irish villages for money and gold before burying it all over the countryside. Upon leaving Ireland, the Vikings proved that despite having fabulous beards they were incredibly absentminded and forgot to take their treasure with them, which was promptly found by the underground dwelling and human mistrustings Leprechauns. Knowing the origins of this treasure and claiming it for themselves, they reburied the gold. Nowadays, whenever a rainbow appears it’ll end where the gold is buried.  But then again, can you trust a Leprechaun or a Viking for that matter? No matter how fabulous his beard is! 

Until a few days ago I thought that a rainbow was simply light reflecting and bending off water droplets in the atmosphere resulting in a colour appearing. But, it transpires that they are as complicated as they are beautiful.

From all this we can draw four important conclusions. Firstly, Aristotle was a science guy as well as being a philosopher dude. Secondly, Roger Bacon would have been a wonderful drinking companion. Thirdly, the Vikings had fabulous beards but were incredibly forgetful. Fourthly that a little green frog was the most insightful of all when he observed that ‘rainbows are visions and illusions and probably contain a little touch of magic.’It seems that pursuing rainbows isn’t a bad thing after all. 

Rainbow over Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown.