24/10/2011 03:13 BST | Updated 23/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Queen Visits Flood-Devastated Brisbane (PHOTOS)

The Queen has heard first hand about the devastating floods that deluged Brisbane as she took a trip up the river that wreaked havoc on the city.

The monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh were taken along the course of the River Brisbane and shown points where the rising waters burst their banks in January.

Thousands were forced to flee their homes during the natural disaster which saw the worst floods in the region for almost 40 years.

A rising tide of brown murky water swamped suburbs deluging homes and businesses and forcing people to seek refuge in sports stadiums.

At the height of the flooding three-quarters of the state of Queensland was declared a disaster area, more than 20 were left dead and damage across the region has been estimated at hundreds of millions of Australian dollars.

The royal couple boarded Pure Adrenalin - a wave piercing chartered catamaran - in the south of the city for their six-mile journey that took around an hour.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the river bank at Bretts Wharf to welcome the Queen and she went on a brief impromptu walkabout to meet some of them.

The vessel set off down the middle of the river and almost immediately the Queen was spotted by day trippers on a paddle steamer who waved at the monarch who acknowledged their cheers.

Dressed in a pistachio green wool coat and silk floral dress with matching straw hat, the Queen was easily recognised by the people who lined jetties and wharves as she stood on the vessel's top deck talking to Anna Bligh, premier of Queensland.

As the royals travelled into the heart of Brisbane more spectators lined the river bank and at Eagle Street pier thousands were waiting.