Hawthorne Ferry Terminal, Hardcastle Park


The Hawthorne Ferry Terminal is located in Hardcastle Park along the banks of the

Brisbane River. Together with the Bulimba Ferry Terminal, they are the largest ferry

terminals made for Brisbane ferries in the early 20th century. They are valuable heritage structures that preserve the design from that period. They also link the present to how

valued the ferry system was in the past and the effort of the people behind their construction.

These timber structures were the design product of GMH Addison and Son, an

architectural firm based in Queensland. For buildings with such an everyday function,

great effort was placed in their design details.


They showcase the Federation Queen Anne architectural style, while incorporating features that are seen in ordinary ferry terminals, like a pontoon and landing and waiting areas. It is said that the Hawthorne Ferry Terminal design is a modification of the Bulimba design.

Its designer, George Henry Male Addison was a founding member of the Melbourne Art Society aside from being an architect. He reaped achievements in both creative areas and

put up his own architectural firm in 1892. He was joined by his son, George Frederick

Addison, in 1919. Their firm became well-recognized and the elder Addison continued to design churches, public and private buildings until 1940.

The selection of GMH Addison and Son, more recognized for designing bigger structures, underscores the importance of ferry terminals to the residents of the area. It was a time when the ownership of a car was not yet prevalent, and the public transport system and infrastructure were not yet well-developed. Ferries were an important link to the city.

hawthorne ferry terminal, hardcastle park

The residents wanted to give value to the terminals’ purpose in their everyday life and economy by making the structure not only practical but beautiful

as well. This move in turn resulted to the creation of landmarks that lent more aesthetic value to their community.


This dedication to beauty and function can be attributed to the Balmoral Shire Council. For after the Brisbane district councils were merged to create

the Brisbane City Council in 1925, the succeeding ferry terminals that were commissioned no longer showed the artistry of design as Hawthorne and Bulimba’s.

Visitors to Hardcastle Park today will still be able to see the Hawthorne Ferry Terminal. It is still a lovely structure framed by the greenery that abounds

in the park. A functioning ferry terminal, the Hawthorne Ferry Terminal has endured some changes to its tower over the years.