Secrets of South Brisbane Heritage Trail

The Secrets of South Brisbane Heritage Trail highlights important historical sites, colourful stories and infamous events that shaped South Brisbane's history. The walk's highlights include:

  • the rivalry between the south and north sides of the river in the nineteenth century
  • South Brisbane's busy wharves
  • 'Pearl' ferry disaster of 1896
  • Trocadero Dansant and vaudeville theatrics at the Cremorne
  • US military presence on the south side of the river during World War II
  • Brisbane's 'coming of age' with World Expo '88

You can download:

Secrets of South Brisbane Heritage Trail map and table

There are 22 points of interest along the Secrets of South Brisbane Heritage Trail. The trail begins at the South Brisbane Dry Dock. From here, walk to Memorial Park and down Grey Street. Pass through South Bank to the Cultural Centre and along the Brisbane River to William Jolly Bridge. Walk from Montague Road to Peel and Merivale Streets. The walk ends at South Brisbane Railway Station.

For more information, download the Secrets of South Brisbane Heritage Trail brochure.

Use the Google map and information boxes to navigate the heritage trail. Alternatively, use the heritage trail table which includes the point of interest number, name, address and description.

View South Brisbane Heritage Trail in a larger map

Secrets of South Brisbane Heritage Trail points of interest
Number Name Address Description
1.  South Brisbane Coal Wharves    This stretch of the Brisbane River was the site of the former South Brisbane Coal Wharves opened in 1884. 
2. South Brisbane Dry Dock  412 Vulture Street, South Brisbane  Built using the best materials, including Helidon stone, the dry dock was officially opened in December 1881. 
3. South Brisbane War Memorial Park 459 Stanley Street, South Brisbane Created in 1920 by the South Brisbane Municipal Council, the South Brisbane War Memorial Park honours those killed in World War I.
4. Former South Brisbane Municipal Library 472 Vulture Street, South Brisbane The South Brisbane Post Office was constructed in 1881. By 1897 it had become the South Brisbane Municipal Library and Technical Institute. It was the first free municipal library in Queensland.
5. South Brisbane Municipal Chambers 263 Vulture Street, South Brisbane Built in 1891-1892, the South Brisbane Municipal Chambers were designed to reflect South Brisbane's prosperity in this era.
6. Cumbooquepa 259 Vulture Street, South Brisbane This grand masonry house was built in 1890 for the Stephens family. It replaced an older timber house that had been home to important South Brisbane resident, Thomas Blacket Stephens MLA.
7. Byanda 271 Grey Street, South Brisbane This house was built in the 1890s when this part of Grey Street was characterised by a series of large houses on the rise of the hill. During Expo '88 it became the Collins Place Spaghetti House.
8. Allan & Stark Drapery 153 Stanley Street, South Brisbane Built as the Allan & Stark Drapery, this corner building was completed in 1885. After the devastating 1893 floods, the business was moved to Queen Street in Brisbane City. It became Queensland's foremost department store throughout the first half of the 20th Century.
9. Plough Inn 153 Stanley Street, South Brisbane There has been a hotel on this site since the early 1860s. The Plough Inn was rebuilt in the 1880s during South Brisbane's economic boom.
10. Nepalese Peace Pagoda 153 Stanley Street, South Brisbane The Nepalese Peace Pagoda was part of the Nepalese exhibit for Expo '88. It showcased wood carving as a traditional Nepalese craft.
11. The Pearl Ferry Disaster   On 13 February 1896, a disaster occurred on this reach of the Brisbane River. A passenger steamer capsized and passengers were thrown into the raging river. Many people lost their lives in the disaster.
12. Victoria Bridge Abutments 2 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane These stone abutments are the remnants of the steel bridge opened in 1897. The original 1874 steel bridge was destroyed by the 1893 floods.
13. Moreton Bay Penal Settlement's Farm   Several areas around the Moreton Bay penal settlement were chosen for agriculture including New Farm, Kangaroo Point and South Brisbane. Land on this side of the river was cleared and corn planted.
14. William Jolly Bridge   When first opened in 1932, the William Jolly Bridge was known as the Grey Street Bridge. It was built in response to the escalating traffic volumes across the Victoria Bridge.
15. Coronation Hotel 48 Montague Road, South Brisbane This hotel was originally called the Montague Hotel and was built in 1891. It was renamed the Coronation Hotel in 1953 after the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
16. Paul's Ice Cream and Milk Office 54 Montague Road, South Brisbane This attractive building was completed in 1944 and designed by local architects, Conrad and Gargett. It was built as offices for Paul's Ice Cream and Milk Ltd.
17. St Mary's Catholic Church 20 Merivale Street, South Brisbane This church was blessed and opened in 1893. From 1870, the Sisters of St Joseph, under the leadership of Mother Mary McKillop (Australia's first saint) taught at the parish school.
18. Site of the Red Flag Riots Corner of Melbourne and Merivale Streets, South Brisbane In March 1919, a angry mob of up to 8000 people (mainly returned servicemen) marched across Victoria Bridge. They moved along Melbourne Street toward the Russian Hall in Merivale Street. Known as the 'Red Flag Riots', this was a dramatic event in Brisbane's history.
19. Hotel Terminus 71 Melbourne Street, South Brisbane Completed in 1927, the Hotel Terminus replaced an older hotel onsite. Next door to the hotel was one of Brisbane's most popular night spots - the Trocadero Dansant. The night spot was open from 1923 until after World War II.
20. South Brisbane Railway Station 133 Grey Street, South Brisbane This commanding railway station building was constructed in 1891. The design is an expression of South Brisbane's prominence in this era.
21. Site of the 'Dr Carver Service Club' 74 Stanley Street, South Brisbane During World War II this was the location of the Dr Carver Club - an American Red Cross Services Club that provided service to African American troops. The club became famous for its jazz club.
22. Queensland Cultural Centre   The Queensland Cultural Centre includes the Performing Arts Centre, Art Gallery, State Library, Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). The first stage of the precinct was the Art Gallery which was completed in 1982.


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.