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Take a step off the usual tourist paths, and discover a historic Brisbane precinct with heart and soul.

By Jac Taylor

Perched on a ridge between the increasingly cool neighbourhood of Newstead and the elegant, well-heeled New Farm, the riverside streets of Teneriffe are emerging as a destination in their own right. Teneriffe was previously the heart and soul of Australian wool exporting, the most profitable industry in the country at the turn of the 20th century. This industrial heritage is still visible in the many woolstores and the Teneriffe Wharves, the landmark around which the suburb is centred. A short walk from the nightlife of Fortitude Valley and the fun of Chinatown, Teneriffe is also home to ornate examples of Queenslander architecture and several great eateries.

Don't miss

  • Step back in time as you explore historic streets and boardwalks
  • Enjoy the waterfront, whether dining, cycling or attending a festival
  • Taste the best of local produce and craft beers at great eateries

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Walk through history

The shoreline of Teneriffe is made for walking, with the extensive timber deck along the river and the area's Victorian villas telling a thousand tales about one of Brisbane's oldest suburbs. Informative plaques along the riverfront walk, south from the ferry terminal, detail the area's history both as the country's primary submarine base in World War II and as an important wool trading area. Wool was Australia's greatest export in the late 1800s and early 1900s as the country rose to prosperity "off the sheep's back". Century-old bollards mark the old wool ship loading docks, while the giant brick-built Goldsbrough Mort and Elder Smith woolstore buildings (now apartments) are local landmarks. Delve through the bushland paths around Teneriffe Park, the highest point in the area, and enjoy the picnic spots and views of the historic storybook cottages below. You can also take a walk to admire the beautifully kept homesteads of Teneriffe Drive and Chester Street, including the grand Roseville estate and Teneriffe House.

Dine on the river

Few Brisbane dining destinations are as elegant as Teneriffe's waterfront. At Aqualinea enjoy local produce, especially seafood, in the pared back elegance of the Goldsborough Place complex, and enjoy a weekend breakfast at upmarket Eves on the River, a popular spot for weddings. As the sun goes down, the rustic Claret House in the old London Woolstores building serves up share plates, cheese and charcuterie boards, and local wines in the heart of this historic precinct.  

Cycle along the waterfront

The ride along the waterfront from Teneriffe down to New Farm Park is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in Brisbane. Join the CityCycle bike hire scheme online, then grab a bike from a bike station on the corner of Vernon Terrace, next to Teneriffe ferry stop. From there, head south along the water and enjoy river views to your left all the way down the bikeway boardwalk to Powerhouse Park and New Farm beyond that. You'll get good views across the water to the charming village-like suburbs of Bulimba and Hawthorne. In spring and summer there is plenty of colour thanks to Brisbane's famous purple jacaranda trees.

Join the party every July

The bricks and boardwalks of Teneriffe come alive every July when about 50,000 revellers descend on the neighbourhood to enjoy the Teneriffe Festival. As well as street performances and live music, there are food stalls from 40 eateries, and 60 market stalls selling toys, crafts and one-of-a-kind keepsakes. This is the day to catch small, local designer clothing stores alongside wild and wacky costumed characters, family-friendly rides and play areas, artisan sweet treats and local microbrews, all in the one bustling celebration.  

Shop for fashion and good times at Gasworks

Straddling the border between Teneriffe and Newstead, and a stone's throw from Fortitude Valley, is the hip new retail centre, Gasworks Plaza. Tapping into the industrial warehouse chic of the area, the foodie side of Gasworks houses the funky slow food, communal dining Hatch & Co, and a casual breezy bar at Buzz. Eat the freshest of sushi and sashimi at Reef Seafood & Sushi, where you can also enjoy oysters opened as you wait, and stay for the sound and light show as the old Gasometer structure in the complex springs to life every Friday and Saturday night, at 6pm and 8pm.  

Try a local brew or two

There is no missing Brisbane's love affair with craft beer. Microbreweries have become an important part of the fabric of city life. In Teneriffe, Green Beacon Brewing Co has become a much loved institution, with every preservative-free beer handmade on the premises. The food here goes way beyond the usual brewery fare, with luxurious platters of Moreton Bay bugs, king prawns and oysters served up fresh beneath the beer tanks. Take a backlot tour on Monday evenings to see behind the scenes in the brewhouse, or have a tasting adventure by also trying the 12 renowned lagers, ales and ciders in the nearby brewery of Newstead Brewing Co.

How to get there

The 199 bus takes just 20 minutes to get to Teneriffe from Brisbane's City Hall, or you can take a 40 minute walk north-east from the city via the neighbourhood of Fortitude Valley. You can also take a picturesque CityCat ferry ride from the city's Riverside ferry terminal to Teneriffe’s Commercial Road wharf. The ferry takes about 30 minutes and stops by the suburbs of New Farm and Bulimba along the way.

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