Like I mentioned in the general info about Australia post, I went to Brisbane for work but I managed to visit the city during the weekends. So, here is what you can do while being in Brisbane…
From-to the Airport
There is a train from the Airport (International and Domestic) that takes you to the Central Station for 17.5AUD (one way) and 40minutes. It is very easy to find it in the airport and you can pay by credit card or cash in their machines at the station.
I started my day walking down to the river from my hotel (Mantra Midtown). I crossed the Victoria Bridge to take the Mirimar Cruise tour to Lone Pine that I booked the night before for 73AU$ (return and entry included). Before taking the boat at 9:30am, I stopped at Brisbane Wheel to take some panoramic pics of the city.
Sadly it was a cold and rainy day (around 15 degrees Celsius), so I had to stay inside the boat and although it has windows, probably I missed some spots while navigating up the river for 1 hour and 10 minutes till we got to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
I thought the park was more like an open space for the animals, but it turns out it´s more like a zoo (I´m not a big fan of it). You can visit (and hold) Koalas (18AUD$ if you want to hold them), you can give food (2AUD$ per bag of food) and get as close as you want to the kangaroos, there are also birds, Tasmania devil, crocodile, etc. After arriving, you have around 3 hours in the Sanctuary, which was too much for a rainy day, and then I took the boat to get back to Brisbane (I paid for it when I booked the tour) but you can also go back by bus.
I was back on the pier at 15:00, just in front of the Queensland Museum & Science Centre. So I went for a quick visit to the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), Queensland Art Gallery, the State Library and the Science Museum. All of them free and beautiful, especially the GOMA.
Next day, I woke up a little late since they cancel my whale watching tour the night before due to bad weather. So I walked from my hotel to Anzac Square, the Casino, St Stephens Church and the City hall / Brisbane Museum. Visited some book stores and had an ice-cream while enjoying the city environment in Queen St.
In the afternoon, i went to the Botanical Garden to enjoy a picnic with some of my offices mates.
On my way back to the hotel, I stopped by the Nepalese temple to take some pics.
An exciting day!! One of my local friend invited me to go with her by car to Maleny and Montville towns, in the Sunshine Coast. They are around 1hr and 20min by car from Brisbane.
We first stopped at Mary Cairnscross Scenic Reserve, where you can walk in their subtropical rainforest, if you are lucky you can enjoy the company of the wallabies, as we did, and also overlook the Glass House Mountains National Landscape.
By the way, I had the best coffee of this trip in that little black truck.
After this short and easy walk, we went to Flame Hill Vineyard to have lunch. If you have an extra day in Brisbane I totally recommend you to go to this place. It is a farm and vineyard with ocean view and an award-winning restaurant. They offer you a 3 wine tasting for free or 6 wines tasting for 6 AUD. Also they offer to prepare you a picnic to take it to the field. We paid around 60 AUD per person.
Next stop was supposed to be the Kondalilla Waterfalls but in our way we found this beautiful street full of local stores selling antiques, chocolate, wood, etc., so we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon walking down the street, to then go back to Brisbane before noon.
Where to eat?
- New Shanghai. I went there my first night in town cause a friend told me they have Xiao Long Baos (Chinese food that we loved during our trip to China last summer). 25 AUD per person
- Fat Noodle. Located in the Treasury Casino Building, which is already a must in Brisbane, but also has one amazing chef from Vietnam. 45 AUD per person
- Mehfil Indian Restaurant. Very nice indian in the heart of Brisbane. 25 AUD per person. 25 AUD per person
- River Bar and drinks for a nice healthy lunch by the river. 35 AUD per person.
- Bavarian Bier Cafe, for a german meal also by the river (nice view). 40 AUD per person
- Jan Powers Farmers Market is every Wednesday from 8:00am to 6:00pm just in front of the Casino, at the end of Queen St. You can find a lot of fresh local products there and also get some lunch (spanish paella, brazilian food, german sausages, different deserts, etc.)
- Jellyfish. It´s by the river. The food is really nice and fancy, but it could be twice the price than other restaurants in this list. The service was not the best, all the waitresses treated us as they were doing us a favor, but I feel this is common in Australia (sorry Aussie friends, it´s in general). I ordered the Barramundi fish (common fish in Australia) and my friend ordered the Tuna, they were both delicious.60 AUD per person
- Comuna Cantina. This was an interesting place, the menu is latin (Arepas, plantain, tacos, etc.), the music was amazing (no latin), the service was good and the food is an Aussie style of the latin food. I mean, I had this chicken arepa that was delicious (really!) but it has nothing to do with a Venezuelan (or Colombian) arepa, same with the tacos. 25 AUD per person
- Aria Restaurant. Very posh, very nice food and service. It is also by the river, with a nice view to it. We ordered the salmon and the porcini risotto with truffles, both of them delicious. They also offer a small complimentary dessert that was out of the world. 85 AUD per person
- Bochinche´s Lounge. If you are Venezuelan and feeling homesick, or you just want to try Venezuelan food, this is a very good place to have it
- Bird´s nest. Yakitori and bar, and one of the top 5 meals I have ever had
Here is a map I created with my maps:
What did I missed?
- Australian Zoo. This is one of the recommendations from the local people, because is owned by Terri Irwin, the widow of Steve Irwin, also known as the Crocodile Hunter. But it´s a zoo and you know how I feel about it. Also is 1 hour driving from Brisbane
- Roma Park
- Mount cook-tha
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