Brisbane, Australia – Contacting family, boating, botanic gardens, comedy and bars

Our first impressions were not all positive. Our immediate neighbourhood seemed, initially, a little drab and uninspiring. You know, lots of workman, sitting outside cafes and closed shops.

Thankfully, this impression soon changed. The shops came alive and we managed to find a decent cafe and ate a great breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, tomato and toast for $6. We wandered back, settled into our Airbnb apartment and just had a day of recuperating in the serene, warm Aussie ambiance.

The next day, we spoke to our family over WhatsApp by video call. I’ve never done this before, and it is brilliant and so easy. Just go to the relevant contact and press on the camera icon at the top. Wait for them to answer and it is that simple. Couldn’t believe it actually worked from Australia to the UK!

After this joyous catch up, with our family, off we set towards to city. We went on the train one stop and upon arrival became immediately immersed into the vibrant atmosphere of Brisbane. The Tourist Information Centre is a great place to accumulate all the info you need and the staff are proactive in helping you. We looked around the shopping area and then caught the FREE, yes Free, CityHopper. This takes you up the Brisbane River and is a wonderful way to see the city. This includes sights such as the beautiful parks, gardens, historic architecture juxtaposed with the Brisbane skyline.

The dynamic city of Brisbane, Queensland’s capital, has a diverse range of restaurants and attractions appealing to all. The city is very well set out and has areas of gardens, parks and also shopping, cafes and a trendy bar culture.

The trendy bar culture, is in the Fortitude Valley area and we soon discovered the area may be a little sleepy during the day, but comes alive at night.

We then went to saunter around the Botanic Gardens which are lovely and very relaxing. This is also free and has a wide array of plants, trees and animals. We spotted some large lizards and the birds certainly make different squawking noises from the UK birds, at home.

Hubby had discovered, online, a free Comedy Hour at the local Brisbane arts and culture centre, so off we ventured to see what the Aussies are like at comedy. Very good actually, if a little over sweary. This was an interesting experience because we walked from the CityHopper to the theatre, through the suburbs and I was able to nose at the houses and gardens. Love wandering around the local suburbs to see how the locals live. The housing in Brisbane seems to be rather contained but very smart, as are the pavement, road areas and general infrastructure.

After a great hour of comedy, we walked back through the now dark suburbs, towards our apartment building. On the way back, we stopped at our new ‘local’ the splendid, Tippler’s Tap, for a swift beer or two.

Brisbane is an impressive city and another great location which is well designed and has lots to do.

We are off for a drive out tomorrow so that should be interesting…

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