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There was an Amphibious Training centre established by the Military during WWII on the banks of the Brisbane River, near the Mandalay Picnic Grounds at Fig Tree Pocket. It is believed it may have been a US Army unit.

Richard Cooper advised in February 2015 that he could still see evidence of the camp with two old slipways (one with wide tracks) on public land both of which are showing the signs of age.  They are roughly adjacent to house numbers 46 to 50 in Botticelli Street, Fig Tree Pocket. These are not located at the Mandalay Picnic Grounds from the 1950's but nearby. The upstream slipway has the wide gauge rails, and is larger than the other slipway.


Photo:- BCC 1946 Aerial Photo

Location of Amphibious Training Grounds near Mandalay Picnic Grounds

In November 2013, Russell Miller told me that the AWAS stationed at Davies Park, South Brisbane on the searchlights there, told Russell about US barges going right up the river past Davies Park. They built a small landing at Davies Park which was used for the AWAS to fraternize with the Yanks. When their officer at Davies Park found out about it, he hit the roof and made them knock it down. Russell believes the US Barges may have been going to Mandalay.

The 1946 aerial photos of the area shows a farmhouse some short distance from the river behind the slipways. The farmhouse may have been used by the military camped at that location.

After the war the Mandalay picnic area of the Brisbane River was used every year for the "Worker" staff annual picnics. The "Worker" was the Pioneer Co-operative Labor Journal (Newspaper) published by the Australian Labor Party in Queensland. There was apparently a kiosk and dance hall located at Mandalay. In the 1950s Hayles Cruises may have run show boat trips up to Mandalay for dances/parties. Hayles boats also visited Mandalay as part of their Lone Pine Sanctuary cruises.



I'd like to thank Richard Cooper and Russell Miller for their assistance with this web page.


Can anyone help me with more information?


"Australia @ War" Research Products

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 Peter Dunn 2015


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This page first produced 22 February 2015

This page last updated 01 September 2018