Queensland is home to many amusing and insightful historical events. For history lovers, the state affords an effortless time-travel way back 19th century. For a weekend full of reminiscing and learning, here are the places to fit in the itinerary.
- Brisbane Tramway Museum
Located at the Ferny Grove, the transportation museum displays trams and trolleybuses operated in Brisbane from 1897 to 1969.
- Boggo Road Gaol
Boggo Road Gaol is Queensland’s oldest surviving prison. The prison closed in 1992 while Brisbane’s women correctional continued operating until 2002. It is now a museum, which conducts ghost tours.
Arthur “Slim” Halliday, the Houdini of Boggo Road, murderer and escape artist twice escaped from the prison. The first time he got off through the blindspot in the prison wall by rope, and the second was through the same wall, now called “Halliday’s Leap”. He was caught after manhunts and confined under strict watch.
- Newstead House
This Victorian house is the oldest residence on the Breakfast Creek bank. Originally a Colonial-Georgian cottage in 1846, it contains memories of political families and of World War II when it was occupied by American soldiers. It is now a museum managed by Newstead House Board of Trustees and Friends of Newstead.
- Samford District Historical Museum
The historical museum contains memorabilia, heirlooms and bulding styles of between 19th and 20th centuries. It also holds the Toy Museum and a rebuilt 1872 school room and other items showing the early Queensland life. The Samford Museum opened in 1986 and displays collections dating from 1977 and earlier.
- Museum of Brisbane
The museum displays a collection of over 5,000 artworks and artifacts from 1859 onwards. It is located in Brisbane City Hall, King George Square.
- The Regatta Hotel
To cap the night off, a heritage-listed hotel near the Brisbane River is the place to go. The Regatta Hotel, established in 1874, boasts a good view of the river and Toowong suburb. As it has been classified as Queensland Heritage Register and entered into the Register of the National Estate of Australian Heritage Commission, it preserves the 19th century Queenslander architecture while updating its features with modern bars and nightclubs.
In 1965, two women protested against Queensland’s restriction of public bars to men only. They chained themselves to the bar until they were served beers. Years later, Rosalie Bognor and Merle Thornton, mother of actress Sigrid Thornton , will inspire change of laws regarding women’s rights. In commemoration of this gallantry, one of Regatta’s bars is named after Merle.