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Discovering Brisbane Part 1

`Rediscovering my own backyard: Our family’s Aabon Summer.

Moving out of home is often a big step in our lives, a time filled with learning new skills, exploring new areas and finding your feet in the world.
But what would happen if, as an adult, you found yourself moving back into your childhood home, back to your old stomping grounds, where everything was familiar, but slightly different as well?

This is exactly what happened to Helen, Aabon’s Manager, who took over the day to day running of the apartments and motel due to her parent’s ill health. In this month’s blog, Helen talks about returning to her childhood home after 30 years, and shares some great things to do, see and eat while staying at Aabon.

Due to the busy nature of my job as manager here, it’s not often that we get a lot of time to devote to sight-seeing and discovery in my old backyard. For the first time in a year, I finally got to have this experience.  This past Summer, my husband came down from the north and my nephew from even further away – England, and stayed over the Christmas break.

Having family staying with us was a great excuse to visit a wealth of amazing places, in Brisbane and beyond, and I have to say, ‘Wow!’ I was so privileged to be able to share it with my family, and now with you.

EXPLORING BRISBANE

We decided to show our nephew the local sights in Brisbane first.
His highlights were City Hall, where we did a tour of the great museum, and Southbank Parklands, a fantastic riverside location filled with beautifully maintained leisure spaces, fantastic eateries, and even a giant ferris wheel so you can take in all the city sights.
He also enjoyed the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), which have a wide range of exhibits running year round. GOMA is a short walk from Southbank, so you can really make a full day of it!
Parking costs are reasonable if you book online before your day out, or you can easily catch a train from Wooloowin Station.

Showing off our city made me proud. It is very pedestrian and cyclist friendly, and has a strong public transport system.
Our city is historically and culturally diverse.
A visit to the West End, Fortitude Valley or New Farm gives you just a taste of how Brisbane celebrates its differences, while at the same time bringing communities together through markets, festivals and other niche celebrations.

Summer in Australia is notoriously hot, and Brisbane is no exception.  After a big day exploring, it was back to Aabon for some time in the pool, and I’d be lying if I didn’t say I had more than a few relaxing hours in the spa!

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD!

When you’re on holidays, the very last thing you want to do is cook! It’s a time to discover new culinary delights, and all the better if they’re not too far from your accommodation!
In Wooloowin, where Aabon is located, we are very close to lots of great restaurants.
Possibly our favourite local is the Albion Hotel, a cool 10 minute walk from the apartments.
We shared many laughs here during our holiday, and would recommend it to anyone who asked.
I’ll let you in on a little secret here. If you’ve got a hankering for some authentic American BBQ delights, head to Hudson Corner BBQ & Alehouse. Again, a 10 minute walk from Aabon, it’s worth skipping lunch and working up a real hunger! I do believe, and this is a big call, that their Brisket and Blue Burger is the best I have ever had.  We went back the next night to have it again.

During our holiday, we also enjoyed meals from Sitar Indian Restaurant, Fiamme Trattoria and Thaiways. My husband and I also snuck away for a couple of cheeky breakfast dates at Chill Café and Little Corner Café that are just a short walk from Aabon as well.
I think my next local thing to explore will be the gym, to work off all of the delicious holiday indulgences!

Stay tuned for my next blog post, where I share our day trip stories from a little further afield!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sandgate Road and Railway Line

One hundred and fifty years ago the only road to the Village of Sandgate at the mouth of Cabbage Tree Creek was via German Station (now Nunda) and Bald Hills. A circuitous journey of 14 miles (about 20 KM), and this was by coach – including Cobb and Co Coaches at the cost of 5 shillings return fare. The return fare from the city took 9 1/2 hours.

The old Sandgate Road ran along what is now know as Bonney Ave, down Jackson St at Eagle Junction to Kalinga Park, fording the creek at Bage St and continuing along the present route of Sandgate Rd. Because of flooding problems of the very steep ascent and decent at Bage St, it was decided in the 1870s to reroute the Sandgate Rd through Clayfield on higher less flood prone land. The road was never meant to become a main access road to the Bruce Highway and Redcliffe or to the present airport. Hence, there are often problems with traffic congestion and slow progress in peak times through this winding, looping section of the Sandgate Road.

The Sandgate Railway Line was proposed in 1879s, the route chosen costing £66,102.00. The line was completed in April 1882, ending at Curlew Street, Sandgate. In 1881, the site of the Sandgate Station moved back to its present location, near Sandgate Village. Eight trains began service in May 1882, and provided 8 daily services – a vast improvement on one service a day by coach. Notable engineering feats achieved were cuttings through from Albion to Wooloowin and at Nundah, and bridges built over Breakfast Creek at Albion. Cabbage Tree Creek at Boondall Nth, in its heyday, the Sandgate trains carried thousands of day trippers each weekend to Sandgate to enjoy a seaside outing or go sailing on Morton Bay. This was when Sandgate was the closest seaside town to Brisbane, and before the Gold Coast became popular in the 1950s. Sandgate still attracts weekend visitors to enjoy picnicking, sailboarding, promenading along the foreshore, concerts in the parks or the old town hall, and swimming in a magnificent water park on Flinders Parade.

 

When the Sandgate Line opened, there were 3 stations adjacent: Hudson Road, Dickson St and Eagle Junction – Lutwyche Station Thorold town Station and Eagle Junction Lutwyche Station was at the end of Chalk St opposite Lisson Grove.
Thorold Station was opposite Thorold St (off Dickson St) and Eagle Junction in its present location. In 1888, a poll of passenger numbers revealed Thorold Town only attracted 2% so this station was closed and by 1890, Lutwyche Station was moved 300 yards north to its present location and renamed Wooloowin.

Wooloowin

The name Wooloowin is though to derive from a local aboriginal dialect for “pigeon “or “running water” or “fish” “Kalinga” was named by early German missionaries after a stream in the Middle East. Wooloowin has always been a sprawling suburban area encompassing 1.1 KM in radius and the local area of Kalinga, the home of Judge Lutioyche, first Judge of the Supreme Court in QLD.
The main subdivisions of rural holdings (pineapple, bananas and mango farms) occurred in the 1880s as public transport became much improved – particularly the extension of the Northern Railway to Wooloowin in 1882. Development of tramways in the 1890 also caused further settlement, and schools inevitably followed with the first High School – Kedron High School established in 1956.

In 1885, an Act of Parliament set a minimum size block in Brisbane at 16 perches (405 sqm) and roads and lanes were also given minimum dimensions. This explains the very different look that Brisbane has to some of the State Capitals in southern Australia. Detached houses and large blocks reduced the hazards if fire and diseases by overcrowding, especially when wood was favoured as the main building material in the late 19th century. This has given Wooloowin its suburb and character, which can be seen in the remaining colonial and federation style houses. Since the 1970s, increasing numbers of flats and home units have also been built, thus catering for about 6000 population of diverse age and background, who enjoy the convenience of Wooloowin’s location, proximity to the city and to local sporting, shopping, educational, hospital and social facilities.

Mornington House here at 45 Lisson Grove was built as a “town house” in 1888, and was used by a number of the Upper House, a Mr Frederick Lord as a town residence whilst attending parliament in the 1890s. Its style is colonial, incorporating wide verandas, with iron lace railings, large sash windows and high stumps to facilitate ventilation. The verandas originally surrounded all 4 sides of the house, but for the kitchen area, and stables were along the back fence.

LISSON GROVE

Lisson Grove was named after London’s Lisson Grove near Paddington. It is a relatively short street running from Bonney Avenue (the old Sandgate Road) and the railway line. It marked the boundary of the Maida Hill Estate which was established when the Joe A Adsett property was cut up in the 1880’s. It comprised an area bounded by Bonney Avenue, Stopford Street, the railway, and Lisson Grove. At one stage the name Wooloowin was the preferred option and Naida Hill disappeared.

This area, and in particular, Lisson Grove, has seen much change – in particular from the 1960’s onwards, roads were sealed from kerb to kerb instead of having a dirt strip either side of bitumen down the middle, the area became sewers rendering outdoor thunderbox toilets redundant, and two modern developments had a profound effect. These were the first flats that appeared on the corner of Miles Street and Lisson Grove, and Toombul Shopping Centre and Lutwyche Shopping Village signalled the demise of suburban shopping centres.
In Lisson Grove, three shops disappeared on the corner of Hudson Road, and the little shopping centre over the rail line in Dickson Street has all but disappeared. Gone were the grocery shop hairdresser, chemist, butcher and post office which could not compete with the newer shopping centres.

At the top of Lisson Grove was the old Ingarfield Hosiptal where many older residents were born, and it was replaced like many other residences by brick flats and units. Where once, residents knew one another, the area is now very multicultural, as residents appreciate the area for its closeness to the train and many other facilities. When the steam trains disappeared, the suburb became even more attractive to commuters.

The Aabon Apartments and Motel came about in the 1990s mainly as a response to Expo 88 which showed the family the direction of things to come. With good transport links, was well placed to cater for families on holidays looking for reasonably priced accommodation. When the little corner shop was rebuilt as the Lisson Grove Village in 1994, it created an ideal situation for a tourist venture. As well it ensured that at least one on the original colonial dwellings would survive, less than 50% of the original houses in Lisson Grove still survive and as the older residents move away, fewer will remember Lisson Grove as it was.

Where once the Maida Hill Estate was the domain of reasonably well-off residents, one thing has remained constant, that is the diversity of cultural backgrounds has continued over the years, because of the excellent location of this area.

Wooloowin

Wooloowin has always been a sprawling suburban area encompassing 1.1km in radius and the local area of Kalinga, the home of Judge Lutwyche, first judge of the Supreme Court in QLD.

The name “Wooloowin” is thought to be derived from a local aboriginal dialect for “pigeon”, “running water” or “fish”. “Kalinga” was named by early German missionaries after a stream in the middle east.

The main subdivision of rural holdings (pineapple, banana, and mango farms) occured in the 1880s as public transport became much improved – particularly the extension of the northern railway to Wooloowin in 1882. Development of tramways in the 1890 also caused further settlement and schools inevitably followed with the first High School – Kedron H. School established in 1956.

In 1885, an act of Parliament set a minimum size block in Brisbane at 16 perches (405m^2), and roads & lanes were also given minimum dimensions. This explains the very different look that Brisbane has to some of the State Capitals in Southern Australia. Detached houses & large blocks reduced the hazard of fire & diseases caused by overcrowding, especially when wood was used as the main building material in the late 19th century.

This has given Wooloowin its character, which can be seen in the remaining colonial & federation style houses. Since the 1970s increasing numbers of flats and home units have also been built, catering for about 6000 people of diverse age and background, who enjoy the convenience of Wooloowin’s location, proximity to the city and to local sporting, shopping, educational, hospital and social facilities.

Mornington House here at 45 Lisson Grove was built as a “town house” in 1888, and was used by a member of the Upper House, a Mr Frederick Lord as a town residence, whilst attending parliament in the 1890s. The style is colonial, incorporating wide verandahs with iron lace railings, large sash windows and high stumps to facilitate ventilation. The verandahs originally surrounded all four sides of the house, but for the kitchen area, and stables were along the back fence.