Landed in Brisbane at 1am on a Monday morning. We had booked a hotel for the first night as we wanted something close to the airport so that the annoyingly necessary cab fare was as low as possible. As it turns out it’s really easy to get an Uber.
Hotel was clean but a bit meh, not that we noticed as we got our heads down for a nights kip. A big thunderstorm had other ideas.
Morning introduced the first revelation about Oz, our antipodean cousins are in the main super friendly people. At first you just think you have run into a few nice folk, but then you realise that everyone just seems….happier than you are used to. It’s a genuine surprise and a welcome one.
We hopped on the bus to downtown Brisbane and grabbed a spot of brunch before checking into our Airbnb in the west side of town. It was a cute place, not the cleanest we have stayed in, and it had an odd smell in the kitchen, but the host was nice and the location was decent enough.
We also did our first shop, food here is expensive, like really expensive. It’s still a lot cheaper to cook than eat out, and some random things like bell peppers are crazy money.
As for alcohol, try to forget beer. Wine can be stupidly cheap though. This has something to do with duty apparently, but quite why ale has got it in the neck so badly is a bit of a mystery.
The following day we took an early walking tour of the city with one of Brisbane’s greeters. These knowledgeable folk will take you around the city for a few hours, showing you things that you would almost certainly miss if you tried doing it self guided. They are also totally free.
We got to learn about the battle of Brisbane, which was a massive bar fight between the Aussies and Americans. Saw a whole bunch of street art (much like Singapore, it’s highly encouraged here), found a free herb garden, a free beach and outdoor pool built next to the river. We also got to take a free boat ride along the river, something anyone can do provided they know about it!
After lunch we took a long walk back to our accommodation and grabbed an early night.
We had a rest day on the following day, took a walk down to the public “beach” and had lunch on the grass before diving in for a swim. It’s a little on the cold side but not too bad this time of year, I imagine that it get very very busy in the summer months.
Ambled back in the late afternoon and went out for pizza and beer just down the road from our digs.
Three nights over all too soon! Brissy is a fantastic city with a very friendly population, great public transport and amenities and a top climate.
Tomorrow we pick up our hire car and head up to Bundaberg and the southern barrier reef.