Following a scenic river gum-shaded path of around 2 km return, this peaceful walk has a playground at each end as well as a quirky role in Brisbane’s convict history. It was here at the mouth of Oxley Creek that three lost convict castaways (who inadvertently discovered the Brisbane River whilst under the impression they were somewhere south of Sydney), crossed the river using one of two Aboriginal canoes that lay in the rushes for that purpose. One of them, Thomas Pamphlett, was ‘rescued’ out in Moreton Bay by explorer John Oxley, subsequently showed him the river and the rest was Brisbane’s history.
If arriving by car there’s a car park at Simpsons Playground and if taking the train either alight at Graceville Station and take Connors St then cross Oxley Rd to Graceville Avenue and follow for about 1km to its end. Alternatively alight at Tennyson Station opposite the Queensland Tennis Centre and head left until the roundabout then left onto King Arthur Terrace which is lined on its riverside by quirkily themed mansions. After about 1km, cross Pamphlett Bridge and Simpsons Playground is on the right.
1. Starting at Simpsons Playground (blessed with plenty of picnic and barbecue opportunities) follow the eucalypt scented path all the way along the riverfront to its end opposite Faulkner Park. Just outside the playground is a bronze canoe sculpture modelled on the one used by Pamphlett here around 180 years ago. On the way are beautiful vistas of the Walter Taylor ranges in the distance and across the river may as well be a desert island as the entire riverbank is shrouded in mangroves, with no sign of Indooroopilly Golf Club which lies behind.
2. The path crosses the road and enters Faulkner Park, a sizable green reserve to keep both the two and four legged happy, the former with a flying fox featured playground and the latter with a large exercise-equipped park. Motorists retrace their steps from here while train travellers can continue through to Park Drive and link via a short stretch of Waratah Avenue to the historical Graceville Memorial Park, which had a brief career as an aerodrome in the 1920’s and whose ornate cricket grandstand hails from the 1930’s Depression. Take the path which veers to the left onto Churchill St, turn right and head to Appel St. Graceville Station, itself a heritage listed Modernist building, is 100m to the let.
As this spot rarely attracts anything approaching a crowd it is a good ride for children on scooters and small children on bikes to practise although the paving can be a bit uneven.
Graceville River Walk