Changing ports

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Port of Brisbane
The busy Port of Brisbane at the river mouth. The final port of call.

THE Port of Brisbane on Fisherman Island is the final port of call for Brisbane’s port activities which have made their way back downstream from North Quay where the first supplies were unloaded for the new colony in 1825.

john Oxley Landing
John Oxley considered the curve in the river at the mouth of Breakfast Creek at Newstead ideal for spotting any invaders heading into the colony.

In a nutshell, the NSW surveyor-general John Oxley recommended the deep water anchorage at the mouth of Breakfast Creek in Newstead in 1823.  It was also considered a good spot at a turn in the river to see any invaders coming in from the bay.

But in 1825, the first commandant of the Moreton Bay penal settlement, Lt Henry Miller, sailed on by and ended up at what was first called King’s Wharf at North Quay. It was renamed Queen’s Wharf when Victoria took the throne and has stayed that way.

In 1828, convicts began building the Commissariat Store where food, clothing and other goods could be unloaded and stored. Our first port.

Commissariat Store
Food, clothing and other stores were offloaded at the Commissariat Store iin the 1820s.

Since then, shipping activity has gradually moved downstream.

The legendary British sailing ship Cutty Sark loaded a record 3100 bales of wool at South Brisbane in 1893.

Steamers came into wharves between Petrie Bight and Victoria Bridge, there was the Howard St Wharves, then it was New Farm, Teneriffe and Hamilton.

And now, 24km from the CBD right at the river mouth, we have the Port of Brisbane, and a new $160 million cruise terminal due to open on the north bank of the river in mid-2020.

Howard Smith Wharves
The Howard Smith Wharves at Story Bridge were another move downstream.