Guest blogger: Kookaburra River Queens
2013 marks the 25th Anniversary of not only World Expo ’88, but also the Kookaburra Queen II, which was officially launched on the Brisbane River on the first day of Expo. Currently moored at Eagle St Pier, the Kookaburra Queens witnessed Brisbane’s transformation from country town to city over the last 25 years..
Brisbane entrepreneur Gary Balkin, former owner of the Broncos, was the original owner of the paddle wheelers. While travelling, he saw overseas cities host World Expos and began to look forward to Brisbane’s turn to host the event. Inspired by the Mississippi River Queens in America, he envisioned something nostalgic and old-fashioned for the Brisbane River. And so, in this entrepreneurial spirit, he commissioned Millkraft Thompson Shipyards in Bulimba to build the Kookaburra River Queens in 1986 and 1988.
In celebration of Kookaburra Queen II’s 25th birthday, the current business owners have commenced a community participation program. We are asking Brisbane and beyond to submit their experiences and memories of these iconic vessels to the Kookaburra Queens Facebook page.
Can you help capture the history of these two great ladies of the Brisbane River? If you had your high school formal, first date, a family outing or sailed on the paddle wheelers during World Expo 88, please submit your photo or story to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively post it on our Facebook page.
Images of the vessels cruising on the Brisbane River are acceptable as well.