Reflections on the River Trail

The Reflections on the River heritage trail winds along the riverfront areas of Brisbane's Central Business District (CBD). It celebrates the role the Brisbane River has played in our city's history, including:

  • the importance of shipping to the city's commercial heritage
  • the location of thriving wharves, warehouses and workshops
  • historic homes and government buildings
  • the impact of floods on the growing city. 

Download the:

Reflections on the River Heritage Trail map and table

There are 29 points of interest along the Reflections on the River Heritage Trail. The 3.8 kilometre trail begins at Customs House on Queen Street and follows the riverfront to the City Botanic Gardens. It then traverses Edward, Margaret, William and George Streets before crossing the Goodwill Bridge to the Kangaroo Point boardwalk.

For more information about each point of interest, download the Reflections on the River Heritage Trail brochure in your preferred format. The brochure map includes additional information such as the location of public transport, public toilets and access for people with limited mobility (gradient ranges).

Some sections of this trail may not be accessible for those with limited mobility.

Use the Google map and information boxes to navigate the heritage trail, or alternatively use the heritage trail table which includes the point of interest number, name, address and description. The starting point of the trail (on the map) is Customs House.

View a larger version of this map.

This table provides information about the places of interest along the Reflections on the River Heritage Trail including number, name, address and description.
Number Name Address Description
1 Customs House 427 Queen Street Opened in 1889, Customs House reflected the prosperity of Brisbane's early maritime trade.
2 Eagle Street Fountain and Brisbane fire fighters 118 Eagle Street Completed in 1880 as a city beautification project. A plaque added in 1988 honours Brisbane firefighters who have died in the line of duty.
3 On the waterfront and the view of the Story Bridge 123 Eagle Street (view the Story Bridge from the Riverside Ferry Terminal on the City Reach Boardwalk) Once home to wharves and warehouses, the shipping industry was vital to Queensland's development as it carried wealth into Queensland and Brisbane.
4 Naldham House 193 Mary Street Home to the Australian United Stream Navigation Company from 1888. Flood markers on the side of the building document the record 1893 high water mark.
5 Former Coal Board Building 169 Mary Street Designed by Richard Gailey in the late 1880s, the Queensland Government purchased this building in 1968 for offices of the Coal Board and other entities.
6 Former Spencers Building 47/51 Edward Street Built in 1890, this warehouse was inundated by flooding in its first year and again in 1893.
7 Former R Martin and Co. Warehouse 41 Edward Street This 1886 riverfront warehouse, named after its first tenants, housed a string of merchants and shipping agents for nearly 80 years.
8 Floods 264 Margaret Street Brisbane has been devastated by numerous floods. The worst recorded flood was in 1893 when the city was flooded three times within a fortnight.
9 Port Office Hotel 40 Edward Street Originally called the Shamrock Hotel, the building was renamed the Port Office Hotel in 1909 for its proximity to the nearby Port Office building.
10 Former Port Office 39 Edward Street Completed in 1880 at a cost of £8811 (over $1.1 million today), the building provided offices for the Marine Board and Shipping Office.
11 Smellie and Co. 32 Edward Street This attractive warehouse was constructed in 1895-96 for importers Smellie and Co.
12 Naval Offices 3 Edward Street The Naval Offices were constructed in 1900-01 as headquarters for the Queensland Marine Defence Force.
13 Former Smellie and Co. Warehouse 2 Edward Street (corner with Alice Street) Built in 1888 for Smellie and Co. and originally only three storeys high, another two storeys were added in 1895 making it then one of the tallest buildings in the city.
14 Former Britannia Foundary 210 Alice Street Much of the ironwork used during the Brisbane building boom of the 1880s was manufactured at this site.
15 City Botanic Gardens Alice Street entrance Originally set aside in 1828 to provide crops for the penal settlement, today they are Brisbane's most mature gardens featuring rare and unusual plants.
16 Former Watson Brothers Building 129 Margaret Street An interesting example of a late 19th Century commercial warehouse, this building was constructed in 1887 for Watson Brothers (prominent plumbers, gasfitters and metal workers).
17 Former HB Sales Building 125 Margaret Street Marine engineers and metal workers Smith and Ball constructed their Acme Engineering Works at this site in 1913.
18 The Brisbane Synagogue 98 Margaret Street Founded in 1865, the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation gathered at various locations until this building was constructed in 1886. Construction followed an architectural competition won by Arthur Morry.
19 The Mansions and Dr Lilian Cooper 40 George Street (corner of Margaret Street) Early residents of these terrace houses included Dr Lillian Cooper, Queensland's first female doctor and Australia's first female surgeon.
20 Harris Terrace 80 George Street Local businessman and parliamentarian George Harris built this row of houses in 1867. Lessees included professionals and members of the Queensland Parliament.
21 Former Immigration Depot 99 William Street The Immigration Depot, built in 1865-66, provided migrants with a staging point from which to begin their new life in the colony.
22 Commissariat Store 115 William Street The Commissariat Store, one of only two remaining convict-built structures, was erected in 1829 to secure the settlement's food, clothing and tools.
23 Parliament House and Queensland Legislative Council 69 Alice Street (view from George Street) The new Queensland Parliament building was opened in 1864, however financial constraints meant only the George Street frontage was erected. Other features were added in later years until its completion in 1889.
24 Queensland Club 19 George Street Established in 1859 for a membership of mostly landed gentry, politicians, and businessmen, this building was designed by prominent architect F.D.G. Stanley. It was built by J. Smith and Sons from 1882 and opened in 1884.
25 QUT Gardens Point Campus 2 George Street Established in 1909, this was The University of Queensland until 1945 when the site was then occupied by the Central Technical College. In 1965 it became the Queensland Institute of Technology and was recognised as Queensland University of Technology in 1989.
26 Old Government House Main Drive, 2B George Street (located within the QUT Campus) Completed in 1862, this building was designed by architect Charles Tiffin for the Queensland climate. It was the home to the first Governor, Sir George Bowen.
27 Loss of the Pearl Goodwill Bridge Brisbane's worst maritime disaster occurred during flooding in January 1896. 28 people perished after the capsizing of the Pearl as it ferried passengers across the river.
28 South Brisbane Dry Dock and Queensland Maritime Museum 412 Stanley Street Built between 1876 and 1881, the South Brisbane Dry Dock is one of the oldest Australia.
29 Coal Wharves The Cliffs Boardwalk, adjacent to Dock Street The foundations of steam cranes are all that remain of the former coal wharves which opened here in 1883.


Last updated: 9 January 2023

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.