THERE I was, just sauntering along the riverfront path at New Farm to see where it might take me, when I noticed a white picket fence that looked strangely out of place in this rather modern precinct.
Once I started to pay a bit more attention, I also noticed an old colonial building and beyond that, a large red brick industrial looking place that was a residential block but obviously had known a previous life.
My curiosity piqued, I looked around and soon found some plaques explaining all.
It was the old CSR sugar refinery that had ceased operations only in 1998. The area has quite a story to tell.
New Farm, it turns out, was named for very practical reasons – in 1839 it became the second farm area for Brisbane, Old Farm being in South Brisbane.
The area where I was standing in Teneriffe was low-lying and had been drained in the 1880s.
The Colonial Sugar Refinery, was built in 1893 and fitted out with machinery mainly imported from Scotland.
A wharf was built along the riverfront and sugar was exported around the world.
The whole area was industrial at the time but a new vision has seen Teneriffe and its old industrial buildings move into an upmarket residential precinct that has become something of a Millionaire’s Row.
The heritage-registered sugar refinery was converted into apartments called Cutter’s Landing and the old manager’s cottage is now a gym for its residents but from the outside, still evokes another era.
It’s definitely worth a visit, as there are plenty of signs attached to the riverside fencing telling the site’s history.
The new jetty has inlaid plaques with a timeline of events and, set in a garden, is a series of posts telling fascinating little yarns from the refinery’s heyday.
It value-adds a pleasant walk with lots of good yarns.