The Brisbane Literary Trail

Who even knew there was such a thing as the Brisbane Literary Trail? Have you heard of this? Twenty five years living in Queensland and it’s new to me. Another pat on the back for Tourism Qld.

I stumbled across this by accident on the weekend when I was participating in an organised Scavenger Hunt. An epic fail. What should have taken two hours to complete took five and a half hours, and that was leaving out the last two challenges. A typical Gemini thing. As Bob Dylan, another Gemini, once said, “I change during the course of a day. I wake and I’m one person, and when I go to sleep I know for certain I’m somebody else.

Rather than focussing on the task at hand – trivia, challenges, deciphering maps and codes, puzzles and the hunt – I was waylaid at the casino, at a Suitcase Rummage ( where I picked up a brand new  Wizard of Oz jigsaw for $2), coffee in the Botanical Gardens, and an art and craft market. And lets be totally honest : a chocolate croissant – the eighth deadly sin.

So I’m sure you can appreciate my apprehension about next months adventure when I’m to be locked in an Escape Room.

Back to the Literary Trail that includes 32 plaques that were embedded in the pavement back in 1996 and start in Albert Street in the CBD. They are a little worse for wear but worth investigating. All include a quote by a Queensland writer with most Brisbane born and bred.

Brisbane is so sleepy, so slatternly, so sprawlingly unlovely! I have taken to wandering about after school looking for one simple object in it that might be romantic, or appalling even, but there is nothing. It is simply the most ordinary place in the world.

David Malouf, Johnno, St Lucia, UQP, 1975

The glow in the sky. Orange streetlights. Outlying suburbs. It was beautiful. The highway turned onto the six-lane arterial. We came in through Oxley and Annerley, flowing with the traffic. Then the city high rises were in view, alight, multicoloured. Brisbane. It was impossibly beautiful.

Andrew McGahan, 1988

At around two o’clock I walk up to Wee Willie Winkie’s on Waterworks Road […] and I buy a packet of Tim Tams. I stand outside the store eating them and watching the occasional cars speed past, heading out of town and down the hill into Ashgrove’

Nick Earls, Zig Zag Street.

There is development of a new public transport station underway in Albert Street so if you are interested I’de be following the Literary trail sooner rather than later. Public funding is going towards another Olympic bid, after all.

19 thoughts on “The Brisbane Literary Trail

  1. Interesting how the plaques were of the same place but with 2 opposite conclusions. It is always an adventure in a city of any size because there is constant change. Glad you were able to discover new things about the city!

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  2. A beautiful (reasonably lasting) tribute to our authors. I had a crush on Nick Earls and walked by his plaque many times.

    Have fun in the Escape Room! My team bitterly ran out of time but I enjoyed it once I got over the claustrophobia 🙂

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