As you prime your camera to capture the spectacular view of the Storey Bridge and the city backdrop, it is a sobering thought that delightful New Farm Park where roses grow and children play was once a swamp where convicts were chained and flogged if they fell behind in the back-breaking work of converting the marsh into gardens to feed the penal settlement from which Brisbane grew. As a reward for their labours, some of the convicts were given their tickets-of-leave to till the land they’d broken. It wasn’t long, however, before New Farm became the domain of the landed gentry, and from the 1850s the 94ha of land from Merthyr Road to the city was owned by a handful of families who held regular race meetings on an exclusive track. One of the few manor houses to survive the subsequent sub-division, Trilogy House, is now an art museum. New Farm and neighbouring Fortitude Valley teem with art galleries, cafes, restaurants, bars and heritage buildings. The Brisbane version of Chinatown adds to the colour of these inner suburbs.