Brisbane, City Of Lagoons

What Brisbane lacks in ocean, it is slowly but surely making up for in lagoons, with whispers that there’s even a new slogan ‘Give Me Lagoons Any Day’ being bandied about. By lagoons, we mean those scenic bodies of calm bluish water beloved by pirates and mermaids in fairy tales and in Brisbane by locals on sweltering summer days and by northern Europeans and southern Australians in mid-winter. 

Just last week it was announced that Robelle Domain at Springfield* is gaining a lagoon of staggering proportions, verging on its own mini inland sea. This is a parkland lagoon to rival, and dare I say, even exceed, that of the famous South Bank Parklands lagoon, which some will be aware also has a sizable bayside cousin known as Settlement Cove in Redcliffe.

While many may scoff at the idea of building lagoons in lieu of moving to the seaside, the advantages of having a lagoon over having a sea are numerous: you can pretty much put a lagoon anywhere, it doesn’t erode beaches and swallow up property during high tides and cyclones, there’s no chance of a shark attack and when you’re tired of it you can drain it, fill it in and build a shopping centre.

The idea of Brisbane being Australia’s New Lagoon City is nothing new, of course, for before white settlers came in and farmed, drained and concreted everything in sight, there were picturesque natural lagoons full of bird life and native flowers in lower lying areas everywhere.

Indeed even prior to 1950 either side of Bulimba Creek boasted natural born lagoons and waterholes that the creators of South Bank could only have dreamed about, such as the Preston Lagoons in the vicinity of Rochedale North. Today all the remains of these once dime prevalent water features can be seen at south Karawatha Forest Reserve (part of the ex-Half Moon Lagoons) and Minnippi Parklands Reserve. And might I add both are really worth a visit.

Dennis Lake

The other type of lagoon that you’ll find dotted around Brisbane (not for swimming unless you’re a duck) are man-made but you’d swear were the real thing: the ethereal Dennis Lake in Underwood (a ballet-in-waiting if ever there was one) and Sandgate’s Einbunpin and Dowse Lagoons which you’d never guess arose out of a swamp.

*Yes, yes we know it’s officially Ipswich but it’s only 20 mins from Brisbane CBD.

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