Queensport Aquarium

Queensport Aquarium

Stage Number: MBSH.04.01.07

Group: Eastern & Bay

Local Study Area: Hemmant-Lytton-Port of Brisbane

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Street Address: Riverside, Hemmant

Latitude & Longitude: -27.44461111,153.11247222

Time Link: 1889

Map Link: TBA

Image Time Point: TBA

Suggest An Edit
View Your Faviourties


The Queensport Aquarium & Zoological Garden opened with much fanfare in August 1889. This suburban resort was set in 11 acres of landscaped grounds, the centrepiece being a two-storey aquarium with six large fish tanks. Other attractions included a seal pond, a small zoo, fairground rides, a fernery, fountains, and a 1,400-seat concert hall and stage that hosted concerts, theatre and opera. There was also a sports field mostly used for cricket and picnics, and the grounds were illuminated by electric lights. The fairground rides included flying foxes, swing boats, donkey rides, a merry-go-round, and an early form of roller coaster known as a ‘switchback railway’. Other animal attractions were monkeys, apes, snakes, emus, panthers, cheetahs, and four Bengal tigers. The Queensport venture was initially a huge success, with the public flocking to the aquarium in their thousands. The aquarium suffered damage in the Brisbane River floods of 1890 and 1893, and during a gale in March 1892. The aquarium seems to have become less popular by the mid-1890s, and in late 1897 most of the content and structures were advertised for sale. The pavilion was sold in 1901 prior to the land being subdivided as the ‘Queensport Aquarium Estate’.


Chris Dawson, ‘Tigers, Roller-Coasters and Special Effects: Brisbane’s 19th-Century Dreamworld’ (http://boggoroad.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/tigers-roller-coasters-special-effects.html), sighted 19 July 2017.

Image Citations

Queensport Aquarium Estate Map at Hemmant, Brisbane, Queensland, 1889. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

Map References

Currently Searching