Project Description

The Turrbal Nation of Aboriginal people have inhabited the shores of the Brisbane River for up to 40,000 years. The Turrbal were friendly and accommodating people who were great fishermen, using the river as a resource for food which included many varieties of fish, shellfish, crabs and shrimps. It was also an important location for spiritual and recreational purposes, as the people had gatherings at the best fishing locations.

On March 21st 1823 ticket of leave convicts, Thomas Pamphlett, John Finnegan, Richard Parsons and John Thompson set sail south of Sydney for Illawarra on a timber finding expedition. However, the convicts were struck by a storm and were blown far north. They went 21 days without water resulting in the death of Thompson before landing on Moreton Island on April 16th of that same year. The three remaining convict’s sense of direction had been turned around by the storm and they believed that they were positioned south of Jervis Bay. They began to make the trek north back to Sydney when they discovered the mouth of the Brisbane River. The three survivors walked along by the river for a month before they stole an Aboriginal canoe at the Oxley Creek junction and made their first crossing of the river. The Turrbal people were known for being kind and forgiving and allowed Pamphlett and Finnegan to live with them for several months. Parsons had decided to make his way back to Sydney, however, he was never heard from again.

City Cats and Ferries are a popular and speedy way to travel the river. CityCats operate everyday and stop at the South Bank River Terminal on the Clem Jones Promenade. The inner-city ferry travels between the CBD, North Quay and Kangaroo Point, stopping at South Bank Terminal 1 and 2 on the Clem Jones Promenade. The CityHopper service allows you to rediscover Brisbane for free with ferries running every 30 minutes between 6am and midnight, seven days a week. The CityHopper travels along the Brisbane River, stopping at North Quay, South Bank 3, Maritime Museum, Thornton Street, Eagle Street Pier, Holman Street, Dockside and Sydney Street terminals. As the CityHopper is free, all you need to do is hop on and hop off and enjoy taking in the Brisbane River and city sights.