IT’S Queensland’s signature shopping precinct but you don’t need to even enter a shop to appreciate the Queen Street Mall. The place is always pumping.
One of the special aspects is that the facades of many of the original Victorian buildings have been retained and their magnificence is now enhanced by the tall leopard trees that have grown up towards them.
Another favourite is the colourful and clever façade of the Wintergarden Centre, especially at night when the lights are playing across it.
There are always buskers and usually a band or something else going on to entertain the crowds.
Queen Street was the site of the barracks for the convicts who were the first Brisbane residents when the penal colony was established in 1825. All other streets were planned around this, the largest building in the settlement.
It became the first Supreme Court in Parliament house when Queensland separated from New South Wales in 1859, and was eventually demolished in 1880.
Zip forward a century and in 1982, part of Brisbane City’s main street was closed to traffic between Albert and Edward Streets and the mall created in time for the Commonwealth Games. It was then extended to George Street for Expo in 1988.
Refurbishment in 1999 saw granite go down to replace the terracotta tiles.
A feature in the centre of the mall is a 15 metre steel structure for shade and cover. Water from the roof drains into a pond when it rains.
The bus station is underneath so it’s easy to get to. There are plenty of seats making it a perfect spot for watching the passing parade, and putting Brisbane up with the best of the world’s capitals when it comes to just hanging out in the city centre.