Visiting South Bank, Brisbane and musings…

Botanic Gardens in Mount Coot-tha and musings

Yesterday, we visited the Botanic Gardens in Mount Coot-tha and it was very hot. Lots of water was drunk as we wandered around the woodlands, lakes and Japanese garden. For some reason, probably because of the heat, couldn’t really enjoy the area as much as the gardens in Brisbane (centre). However, did appreciate the picnic areas by the lake which are truly beautiful.

After this, we went home to our flat and enjoyed some relaxation by the pool. Felt very tired, which annoys me because one shouldn’t be tired on holiday or ‘travelling’, as I’ve labelled it. Travel and sightseeing can make you weary with all the planning, walking and seeing stuff. Wonderful though, and I am thoroughly enjoying the whole experience.

Back to the City…

We decided to visit the city centre as we needed some advice about travelling north and the Great Barrier Reef. One thing that we realised is it is as quick to walk, rather than catch a train for one stop.

Brisbane has become very hot, which apparently is unexpected. Usually the temperatures soar in January and February. The walk towards the river is hot and luckily, quite breezy. We booked our visit up North with accommodation after taking advice in the very ornate Brisbane Tourist Office on Queen’s Street.

After this visit, we walked across the bridge towards South Bank and went in the Queensland Art Gallery. This is an innovative facility full of ancient and modern art of Australia, Asia and the Pacific. The focus is on indigenous art and an extraordinary light and airy WaterMall. Yes, it is water (above)! This fosters a historical impression with paintings, sculpture, film, photography and obscure installations using materials of Australian fibre art to indicate old and new stories, themes and traditions.

Then we visited the Gallery of Modern Art which has a contemporary take relating to current themes and some colourful art on a larger scale. This isn’t as prolific as the Queensland Art Gallery and couldn’t help wondering if the best things about this gallery, are the spectacular views out of the window.

We strolled along and consumed an over large ice cream, admired views of the parkland, Brisbane Wheel and city vistas. Then, for me, surprise, surprise we turn a corner and there is the most beautifully landscaped pool with beach. Flipping heck, is this the Utopian City or what? Absolutely, unprecedented sight and quite phenomenal. The area is well used by the community and even the childrens’ pool is beautifully landscaped with a pebble type stream with crane/wheel-like toys in. The sparkling lagoon is surrounded by tropical plants, sandy beaches and picnic areas. Truly wonderful.

Final thoughts on Brisbane…

We loved Brisbane. Well designed and presented, clean, tidy, attractive, vibrant and lots to do. Also, it is worth making a point that a lot of the things are FREE, including the galleries, live music venues and the wide variety of cultural activities on offer.

The CityHopper is a great way to discover the city, parks and outdoor areas whilst observing the city metropolis, skyscrapers and busy workers. You can also enjoy a variety of performing arts, internationally acclaimed cultural exhilbitions and events. The bars are friendly with a wide variety of craft beers, gins, whiskies and wines. Queen Street is fabulous for shopping and basically you have everything you need here. I can highly recommend it as a place to visit and discover all that it has to offer.

 

 

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…