We drove to Brisbane about a 3 hour journey. A short stop produced our 1st “sign” of the dangers lurking in Australia. Andy went in search but was unlucky or lucky depending how you look at it.
We arrived in Brisbane, a sunny modern city with lots of construction ongoing as preparation for the 2032 Olympics. Tali’s flat is a 3 floor Art Deco building, dwarfed in its surroundings by skyscrapers either already built or in the process of construction. She has coped with the constant noise and dust for most of the last year as it is in such a great location. Dark wood inside, it is always cool. A nice place to live but I’m sure she’ll be glad to move out and hopefully get a bit of peace!
Tali has lived in Brisbane since Jan 2022 and has got to know the city well. Her flat is right in the centre of South Brisbane, giving her easy access to all the central parts of the city. Day 1 she took us out to breakfast at one of the many pavement cafes in the city, many of which cater for those with more eclectic tastes in food. The people on the table next to us were having a hissy fit as an Australian ibis poked around their feet looking for scraps.
This was followed by a bus ride, always Helen’s favoured means of transport, and a tour round the University of Queensland campus, a beautiful space which was much damaged by the flooding that occurred soon after she moved in. This particular week was one for graduations so each day we came across parties of students, clutching flowers, dressed in their gowns, being escorted by proud parents. Hopefully we’ll be back in exactly 2 years to be those proud parents!
It was very hot, so to cool down we’d go into one of the university buildings which are all very well air-conditioned.
Returning to the city we wandered around the South Bank and main theatre and sampling one of the witty-named local beers.
Brisbane seems to have a young population: every space, bar, cafe and restaurant is buzzing, full of people enjoying the outdoor lifestyle. Plans for the city include many more complexes with yet more restaurants and bars, all built in a very sympathetic way, with lots of trees and shade to protect from the searing sun. Yet try and get a late dinner and you run into trouble as many restaurants close at 8 or 9, so advance planning is a useful technique.
Day 2 was car buying day so nothing to report except that it was very hot and we got one, so Tali can safely embark on her rural studies
Day 3 Tali took me to one of, if not the poshest bakeries in town, Lune
This was followed by a trek over the river to the CBD to obtain a Queensland driving licence for Tali and then a gentle stroll round the whole of the South Bank, a truly remarkable area set aside for Brisbane residents and tourists, perhaps because the area is very prone to flooding and also it keeps people out of the river, home to Bull sharks, not one of the most benevolent of the shark species. Highlights include the river walk and massive building projects.
The artificial beach
Shaded areas set aside where people can congregate and use free BBQ facilities
And gardens growing herbs and vegetables, some of which are made available for people to use
That evening we caught the bus up river to Felons brewery, a huge area set aside for the pursuit of outdoor beer drinking and then on to our 1st steak in an old style pub, which was good. Finished the evening with a walk back along the south bank to our hotel.
One of the reasons to be in Brisbane was so Tali could finish packing to move to Rockhampton for the next year and to do boring stuff such as getting rid of unwanted items. To supplement this, we decided to go to the theatre, something a student can’t really afford, so Tali and I went to a matinee of Mary Poppins the musical, leaving Andy to do his own boring admin! Not an Aussie accent in the cast, it was a great performance. We have booked to see another show in early January when we come back to finish her packing.
On the last evening, we left her to meet with one of her friends and we ate at our hotel whose restaurant was no5 on trip advisor out of over 3,000+ but not sure why!