IT’S an idyllic coastal scene – a little boat lying on a sandy beach, driftwood, a pier and a few straggling mangroves.
The only thing is it’s not beside the sea but beside the river right under Story Bridge and smack bang in the middle of Brisbane.
The beach is an extension of Captain Burke Park under the bridge’s southern pylon at Kangaroo Point.
It’s best reached by taking the free CityHopper ferry to Holman Street wharf and wandering through the park to the steps leading down to the sand.
The river is not the best place for swimming but you could risk a paddle.
Sadly, the Brisbane River has never been a great swimming spot, the exception being at Oxley Point at Walter Taylor Bridge early last century.
Water quality was so poor due to settlement that even in 1928, the public baths had to stop using it as a source.
That hasn’t improved much since. In 2000, the Brisbane River estuary did not meet the national guidelines for environmental standards and the lower reaches had a very poor rating in the 2008 Healthy Waterways report.
Excess nutrients, hydrocarbons, pesticides and bacteria become concentrated and are the main cause of pollution.
However, despite the murky waters, the views are serene and the river, even with the noise from the bridge and the surrounding buildings, provides an appealing and unexpected little bit of beach in the city.