IT started out as a visit to the Brisbane Powerhouse, the arts and cultural hub on the river at New Farm, but it ended up as much more on a Brisbane day that was more like Melbourne – raining and cold one minute, hot and clear skies the next.
I will get back to the Powerhouse, which is brilliant, but first of all we have to get there and this is via a little park near the entrance which is on the river walk around the peninsula to Tenerife.
The pathway seems to be popular with joggers and cyclists, but walking is very pleasant too.
There’s not a lot to this little park – some big old trees, benches and an adjacent enclosure for dogs to run free.
However it’s worthy of a visit for too rather amusing components.
First of all a sign, which could readily be overlooked, standing in a garden near the footpath looking like any other “do not walk on the grass” notice.
But take notice and it is well worth the read. It makes me wonder whose great idea it was to erect such a notice but the humour is delightful and it’s worth the trip just to take a photograph, as you can see.
A little further along the river walk, beside the path, sits a little realistic-looking car sculpted from marble. According to the attached brass plaque, it was parked there in 2006 and is called Place of the Land Tortoise.
It also states: “New Farm was the focus of farmer’s markets for many years – selling produce from the back of their trucks. The title of the work reflects the Aboriginal heritage name for the area.”
The sculpture is by Alexander Seton and is typical of his signature work of realism in marble carving. A little research reveals he grew up in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales where a marble quarry down the road from his home shaped his early interest and he began carving marble while still in high school.
The marble in this instance, comes from Chillagoe, west of Cairns in Far North Queensland, which is said to have the most diverse geology in the world. (Useless trivia – the place got its name from the refrain of a sea shanty “Hikey, tikey, sikey, crikey, chillagoe, walabadorie”).
The riverside walk around the park has points of interest at both ends and on the opposite side of the river, some splendid homes built on steep cliff sites running down to the water, as well as the sprawling Lourdes Hill college built on one of the choicest sites in Brisbane in 1916. Archibshop Duhig said the site reminded him of Lourdes Hill in France.