West End River Walk
Walk or Cycle
This beautiful and varied walk takes you from magnificent fig-tree-lined Orleigh Park via a landscaped waterfront path all the way to GOMA - a level easy grade walk of approx 4km each way with plenty of rest stops.
Start at Orleigh Park ferry terminal, where you can either arrive by ferry or park in one of the surrounding streets. Then take the waterfront path past the century-old fig trees and the enchanting kids playgrounds and picnic areas around the bend to the West End Sailing Club. Across the river is St Lucia, where there's a landmark tudor style house on the opposite bank.
The path veers inland a little past the carparks and off leash dog park to reach the Cranbrook Place memorial stone and garden. A pictorial display depicts the history of this site, including the concrete stairs which are the only remnant of Cranbrook House, built in 1885. From 1900 to 1906 it was used by the government as an Aboriginal girls' home, where Aboriginal girls wee placed 'for their own protection' as they awaited placement domestic servants.
From Cranbrook Place you can either take the higher path above the grassy terraced slope or the riverfront path, which passes by sandstone tiered walls where you can sit and gaze across to Toowong and a handful of permanent public sun lounges (single and in pairs) where you can relax with a book under a shady tree right on the river.
Along the way you'll pass some of Brisbane's best public BBQ and picnic pavilions and an epic outdoor gym which includes bikes and cross trainers, while there is plenty of seating for rest stops too. Look out for the Regatta Hotel across the river as you pass by Toowong on the other side. You can keep to the river or join the wide path higher up that has been converted from a road to a state-of-the-art two lane bike highway with separate pedestrian lane.
When you get past the Brisbane Grammar School Rowing shed you'll come to Davies Park with the historic ornate Gas Stripping Tower on the right. Davies Park was established in 1901 and is the South Brisbane area’s oldest park. The 1912 cast iron gas stripping tower was used to remove tar and ammonia from raw coal gas and today iy is the only one remaining in Australia.
If you're here on a Saturday morning Davies Park will be bustling with its popular market and makes a perfect spot to grab a coffee and bite to eat under a fig tree near the river. There's also a waterfront off-leash dog park here for those who have pooches in tow. From Davies Park continue along until the Go Between Bridge and follow the signs to get around it. The last little sector is through Kurilpa Park, a pleasant green pocket under the William Jolly Bridge and from there you'll arrive at GOMA.
Good to know - From here you can either turn around and head back or cross the Kurilpa Bridge to join with the Mangrove Walk along the CBD's northern river bank or continue on along South Bank's promenade and beyond to Kangaroo Point.