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 Centre from 'Goodwill Bridge'
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, with population 1.6 million, is lively, cosmopolitan city with a decent nightlife. The city began, as most other Australian cities, as a penal settlement in 1824. In 1842 the city was opened to free settlers and because of big agricultural potential in Queensland it successfully grew. Today, Brisbane is the third largest city in Australia.

The city is built along the Brisbane River, some 25km from the river mouth. In the inner city many historical buildings are located and mixed with new skyscrapers. Beautiful Botanic Gardens are situated next to the town centre on the bank of the river. On the edge of the gardens lies Parliament House built in French Renaissance style in 1868. If you cross waters of Brisbane River to the left bank you came next to Queensland Maritime Museum and South Bank Parklands.

 South Bank Parklands
South Bank has a wonderful riverside park with grass, streams and the Town Beach, an amazing swimming pool designed to resemble a lagoon with a white sandy beach. There are many restaurants, cafes and popular weekend market.

Interesting place is also Mt Coot-tha, with great views of Brisbane. There are nice walk paths and the beautiful Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens at the foot of the mountain. Gardens covers 52 hectares of land and includes more than 20.000 species of plants. In the area of gardens is the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium, which is the largest planetarium in Australia.

Queensland Maritime MuseumQueensland, Brisbane

 Diamantina in the Dry Dock
At the down river end of South Bank Parklands, next to the entrance to the Goodwill Bridge, lies the Queensland Maritime Museum. If you are a fan of ships, engines and maritime history it is something for you. On display in the grounds you can find wide variety of pieces of ships' machinery, a torpedo, pearling lugger from Torres Strait, navigation buoys and part of the bow of a Japanese yakatabune. On the other side of the dry dock you will see a diesel engine, gun and cannons. The biggest exhibits are a lighthouse, the unmanned lightship CLS 2, or 'Carpentaria', coal-burning tug 'Forceful' and the former Royal Australian Navy River-class frigate 'HMAS Diamantina'.

In the building is several galleries objected to different part of maritime history. In first gallery you can see display of Early navigators from the first Dutch to James Cook and his bark Endeavour. You'll read the story of the mutiny on the Bounty, see sailors' lampposts and admire wonderful models hand crafted by John McDonald and portray the finest of detail.

Gallery two showcase history of South Brisbane Dry Dock, which played an important role during the WW II as the servicing station of many US submarines. Through photographs you will trace the development of the dock from its opening in 1881 to its closure in 1973. In the gallery are also navigation instruments, history of a Queensland shipping company, diving display and wreck display with the wall map shows a couple of hundred of 1.500 vessels that have been lost in Queensland waters.

In the last part of the museum you can observe life in a cabins of some historical boats, display on oil tankers and a temporary display on Brisbane River ferries and bridges.

HMAS Diamantina is a River Class Frigate, designed in England. She was used during the WW II mainly as an Anti-Submarine vessel. Diamantina was named after a river in Queensland, which took its name after the wife of the first Governor of Queensland, Sir George Ferguson Bowen. The ship was launched in April 1944. It is 91 metres long with a tonnage of 2220 tone full load. Possible speed was 20 knots and it carries 2 x 4 in. H.A. Guns, 3 Bofors 40mm A.A and 10 x 20mm Oerlikon A.A.

Diamantina served in New Guinea and Solomon Island waters during the latter part of World War II. The surrender of Japanese forces at Nauru, Ocean and Bougainville Islands was signed on board. She was move to Reserve in August 1946 and recommissioned in June 1959 as a Survey and Oceanographic Research vessel. In September 1980, Diamantina was presented to the Queensland Maritime Museum and placed in the Dry Dock.

design, programming: Tomas Kucera (2002)
e-mail: sopta (at) post.cz, icq: 33297193
last change: 2005/01/29