Friday, January 30, 2009

Bulimba Ferry Terminal

Once upon a time, back when it used to rain, Brisbane had its fair share of floods. In fact, we have just passed the 35th anniversary of one of our biggest, and possibly our last ever, Brisbane flood - the Australia Day flood of 1974, caused by the infamous Cyclone Wanda. Our local council claims that its flood mitigation work, done since 1974, will prevent further flooding; but Brisbane has been in a prolonged drought recently, so that claim has hardly been road tested.

I can remember quite vividly experiencing cyclones in Brisbane as a child. These days it's rather rare for one to appear this far south. This is no doubt due to global warming, which somehow is connected to my Foxtel box. In any case, the point about cyclones and flooding in Brisbane is that they used to occur rather more frequently. Have you also noticed that children are immediately attracted to any excess of surface water? It only has to rain for a minute and you'll find kids playing in overflowing gutters or riding bikes across flooded roads. Proof that there is nothing new under the sun (or even under a rain cloud!), this picture tells a story of kids, pets, floods and water.(State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #168355)

The building in the photo is the Bulimba Ferry Terminal, situated at the end of Oxford St. There is no date appended to this image, but the terminal was built in 1922, and there were a couple of flood events in Brisbane later in that decade, so I am guessing that it might have been taken in 1927 or 1929. Don't you love the dog in the foreground? And I notice that it is not only the boys who want to play in the water! The sensible adults are waiting patiently on dry ground inside the ferry terminal. This terminal was constructed in the Federation Queen Anne style, and there is a good deal of information about it here, on a State Government web page.

You'll not be surprised to learn that the Bulimba Terminal is not only alive and well, but still operating. Here is a more current photo of this marvellous little building.
(Photo: © 2009 the foto fanatic)

A rather tall pine tree has grown behind the terminal in the intervening years, and there is now a safety fence (a very ugly one, too!) along the river bank. The terminal still provides access to the cross-river ferry (pictured) and the CityCat calls in on its up- and down-river trips. In fact, ferry and CityCat usage, along with other forms of public transport, has increased in these carbon conscious times, so the terminal will be in service for a while yet.

Crikey, I've just taken a look at the sky, and it looks like it might rain! Better keep my camera dry - see ya!

Click here for a Google Map.


Next: Four Harley-Davidsons


  1. Campbell Newman is about to destroy the Bulimba Terminal forever -


  2. In regards the pine tree at Bulimba Ferry you speak of ... it didn't just grow there. It was planted by the owner at the time, a very good friend of mine. Just saying.


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