Brisbane Heritage Locations Walk, Brisbane

Brisbane is home to many places where you can get a real sense of what the city was like in colonial times. Each of these exquisite buildings highlights different types of architecture, whether it be colonial, gothic or neo-classic. Used today for everything from cultural events to local administration, these sites are all must see attractions for any visitor to the city.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Brisbane Heritage Locations Walk Map

Guide Name: Brisbane Heritage Locations Walk
Guide Location: Australia » Brisbane (See other walking tours in Brisbane)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 km
Author: gene
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All Hallows School and Convent

1) All Hallows School and Convent

All Hallows School and Convent is a P-12 school that lies on three acres of landscaped gardens close to the Brisbane River at its Story Bridge crossing. Opened in 1861, the Catholic school is one of Queensland’s oldest formal education institutions and the oldest running secondary school in the state. It was opened the year after a law was passed in the state allowing religious and other non-state bodies to open secondary schools. Run by the Sisters of Mercy, the school was established to provide education to less fortunate, and often immigrant, young women living in the Fortitude Valley area. From humble beginnings the school is today considered one of the most prestigious schools in Queensland.

The school moved to its current site at the edge of Fortitude Valley on Duncan’s Hill in 1863. The church purchased a pre-existing building and grounds there known as Adderton House for the sum of 6000 pounds. The original building can still be seen to this day, forming part of the convent, and is one of Brisbane’s oldest surviving edifices. The building was extended in 1916 to meet the growing needs of the school. The All Hallows has several high profile Australian women alumni including: Miranda Kerr, model, Tracey Wickham, Olympic swimmer and Thea Astley, author.
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St. John's Cathedral

2) St. John's Cathedral (must see)

St. John’s Cathedral is one of the most impressive churches in Brisbane and is used for important Anglican occasions such as the ordination of priests or deacons. In addition, it is an important part of the Brisbane arts scene with its own orchestra that holds many events and concerts throughout the year. It is also home to the largest cathedral pipe organ in Australia and has an acclaimed choir. In the tradition of grand medieval cathedrals in Europe, St. John’s is the only Australian cathedral that has been completed over more than a century with stonemasons, architects and the diocese working together.

The work has resulted in a stunning Gothic revival cathedral designed by one of England’s most prestigious 19th century architects, John Loughborough Pearson. This was to be his final masterpiece and he died just prior to the final plans being approved. The project was taken over by his son Frank. The most recent additions to the cathedral have been the western spires clad in copper, which were hoisted into place in 2008. One of the highlights of the interior of the cathedral are the mosaics brought back from the “Holy Land” by WWI Australian light horsemen: you can see them in front of the cathedral altar.
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Customs House

3) Customs House

Customs House is one of Brisbane’s most beautiful colonial buildings and its location on the shores of the Brisbane River make it even more impressive. The building once played a key role in the city’s economics – it was built in 1886 to replace a humble custom’s house at Petrie Bight. It was designed by Charles McLay of the Colonial Architect’s Office and is a magnificent example of the Victorian Free Classical style. The exterior of the building is dominated by the impressive copper dome roof and its beautiful portico.

The building is now owned by the University of Queensland and is used for public and private functions – you can often find art exhibitions or music concerts being held inside. Some of the rooms are open to visitors to enjoy and take in the significant history of the building and remind us that Brisbane was once a great port city. Within Customs House, the Long Room is the grandest and there are historical displays inside showing the building as it was in its heyday. There is also a charming restaurant that can be visited by the public and provides the perfect chance to imagine Brisbane as it was in Victorian times.
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St. Andrews Church

4) St. Andrews Church

St. Andrews Church is one of Brisbane’s grandest churches, built in Romanesque style; it is well known for its grand pipe organ. The church was built in 1905 as Presbyterian, but became a Uniting Church when the non-conformist denominations merged in 1977. Originally the congregation met on Wickham Terrace, but when their space was needed for railways a competition was held for the design of the proposed church on the corner of Ann and Creek Streets. It was won by George Payne who presented plans for a Neo-Romanesque style and bagged the 100 pounds reward. Although it was originally viewed with some trepidation by Brisbane residents who were expecting a grand Gothic design, it is now heavily regarded as the finest example of Neo-Romanesque in the Southern Hemisphere.

In the 1920s the St. Andrews underwent extensive renovations with a more ornate entrance from Ann Street into the sanctuary and from Creek Street into the Hall added. In this same period the stunning stained glass windows of the church were finally completed. The church was most recently refurbished in 1999. One of the main features of the façade is the bell tower, which is still used to call the congregation to church on Sundays.
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The Old Windmill

5) The Old Windmill (must see)

The Old Windmill is Queensland’s oldest surviving building and one of the very few convict built buildings to remain in the city. It was constructed in 1824 to grind maize and wheat to feed the convict population of the colony. Originally a treadmill the mill, but the cloth sails were added a couple of months after its inauguration; however the treadmill was still put to use as a form of punishment. In 1841 two aboriginal men were hung from the windmill after they were deemed to have been guilty of murdering two members of a surveying party at Mount Lindsay.

Around 1849 the windmill was decommissioned and was put to use as Queensland’s first museum and during the 1930s and 1940s it was used as a broadcasting tower. In fact, it is thought that this was the site of the very first TV broadcast in Australia in 1934. In 1866 a cannon was installed at the windmill and was fired each day at precisely 1pm for the residents of the colony to set their watches by.
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Brisbane City Hall

6) Brisbane City Hall (must see)

Brisbane City Hall is located in King George Square in city’s CBD and is the center of the Brisbane City Council. The building is widely considered to be one of Brisbane’s best and one of the most ornate and beautiful of Australia’s city halls. The foundation stone of the building was laid in 1920 and construction was completed by 1930. For many years the hall was Brisbane’s tallest building and to this day you can take the elevator to the top of the clock tower and get an impressive panoramic view over the city. The viewing platform is open 10am to 3pm every day for free. The clock tower is 91 meters above the ground and was inspired by St. Mark’s Campanile in Venice, Italy.

Built in the Italian Renaissance style, there is much of interest to see in the building. Above the Corinthian columns at the entrance to the building is the ornately carved tympanum, which was carved by Sculptor Daphne Mayo in the 1930s. It features scenes of the settlement of Queensland with cattle drovers extending out into the lands filled with kangaroos. Inside there are many beautiful rooms, but the highlight is the main auditorium inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.
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Brisbane Parliament House

7) Brisbane Parliament House

Brisbane Parliament House is the seat of the Queensland State Parliament, which is a unicameral institution and the only parliament of its kind in Australia. Following the separation of Queensland from New South Wales in 1859, a grand building was ordered to be built. Robert Tiffin’s design was selected in 1863 following an Australia wide competition. The French Renaissance style construction was inaugurated in 1868 although additions such as the colonnades were not completed until 1878.

When you enter the main entrance you are greeted by a Minton tile European imported foyer and grand staircase, which leads up to the Chambers and the Reading Room. In the Red Chamber, which was the Upper House until it was abolished in 1922, you find Waterford crystal chandeliers, which were presented to the parliament by Queen Victoria. Stained glass in both the Green and Red Chambers depict the monarch. On a Parliament House tour you can view the mace, which is a stunning gold and silver creation one meter long and weighing 7.7 kilograms. It features many Queensland opals and sapphires and is placed in the Green Chamber when the Parliament is in session. There are guided tours held every Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 2pm.

Walking Tours in Brisbane, Australia

Create Your Own Walk in Brisbane

Create Your Own Walk in Brisbane

Creating your own self-guided walk in Brisbane is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
History Museums of Brisbane Walk

History Museums of Brisbane Walk

Brisbane is a city that's proud to share its part of Australian heritage with visitors. Its best known museums offer a fascinating glimpse into both the national history and natural history of Australia. Take this tour to see the must-visit history museums of Brisbane on your trip through the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 km
Brisbane Remarkable Places of Worship Tour

Brisbane Remarkable Places of Worship Tour

Brisbane has an amazing collection of religious buildings. Renowned for their architectural beauty as well as cultural value, they attract a huge number of tourists. Take our tour to see the best of these stunning masterpieces, which will impress anyone with their skill, creativity and devotion.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 km
Art Galleries and Museum

Art Galleries and Museum

Brisbane is the perfect spot for visitors interested in cultural activities, and particularly for art lovers. Conveniently for visitors, all of the city's major art galleries are located close to one another. Take our Walk to see the most remarkable art galleries and the Queensland Museum in Brisbane.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.9 km
Brisbane Landmarks Walking Tour

Brisbane Landmarks Walking Tour

Brisbane can proudly boast of a number of breathtaking landmarks and monuments that will impress even the most well-travelled visitor. This huge city, rich in culture and history, offers marvelous scope for sightseeing. Here's our rundown of spots you should definitely visit during your time in Brisbane.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Brisbane Modern Architecture Walk

Brisbane Modern Architecture Walk

Apart from its beautiful colonial era buildings, Brisbane is also home to a number of notable contemporary structures, some of which are recognized worldwide for their design. Take our tour to see the best modern buildings in Brisbane.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km
Brisbane Nightlife Tour

Brisbane Nightlife Tour

Brisbane has a vibrant nightlife with plenty of top venues to suit all tastes. Whether you enjoy a laidback pub atmosphere, a delirious nightclub or some tremendous live music, Brisbane has it all. As an added bonus, many of the best nightclubs and lounges are located right next to each other in the Fortitude Valley district. Take our tour to discover the best nightlife in the city.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Brisbane for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Brisbane has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Brisbane, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.