Pulling to Brisbane in the evening was so pretty, with lights from the skyscrapers and from the wheel of Brisbane (a knock off London eye). I moaned all the way to our hostel as it was uphill from the bus station and my luggage is heavy for such a tiny girl, along with the addition of the addition of the cool bag carrying all our food and Jack’s precious peanut butter. I still will not admit that I overpacked and continue to blame my backpack.
Our hostel was in Petrie Terrace which is north of the city and home to some really cool bars/ restaurants (and we managed to both get a bottom bunk – which is basically unheard of). We tried a bar called Fritzenberger after wandering out of our hostel and decided to stop there for a beer and a bite to eat (yes I am now a beer convert, mainly due to cost). After stuffing our faces with lunch at KFC in Surfers Paradise we shared a loaded fries and vowed to eat healthier the next day. The atmosphere in the place was so nice, the craft beer satisfied Jack and the food was good.
The next day, fed, watered and refreshed, we headed out into the centre of Brisbane to do some slight seeing and ended up doing a loop of the city. We started in GOMA (Queensland Gallery of Modern Art) and saw some interesting sculptures. Sadly, many were being created and were not open. They were also constructing a slide which linked two floors – I would’ve loved to have a go! After a drink in the cafe, we headed along Southbank (another copy of London) which had the wheel, parklands, lots of restaurants/shops/bars and more importantly a man made Beach – more on that later. We stopped a few times to admire the view and then crossed the river to the Botanic Gardens to stop for a picnic and relax. The gardens were such a contrast to the busy city and clearly an escape for all who used them. After a couple of hours chilling, we headed back up through the city to get our bearings and back to our hostel around sunset. The road our hostel was on really fell away so the views at sunset were so pretty. That evening, in a attempt to save money, we made fajitas and then went out for a drink in another of the local bar- another lover of craft beer called Brewski.
On our second full day we fancied some sun so headed to the the man made Beach. The idea of this is just brilliant, however I wouldn’t want to be in the office block overlooking it! The beach/pool caters for everyone and is surrounded by restaurants/bars so you can get out of the heat (and spend a fortune). We sunbathed and cooled off in the water for the majority of the day. We spent the evening having a “date night” which consisted of a film – Fantastic Beasts- and sushi. The sushi restaurant was cool as you ordered on an iPad and each dish was only $3.50 – result! The film was good, but was no where near Harry Potter and Eddie Redmayne had an annoying accent.
After leaving Brisbane on the 7.45am bus, we headed to Australia Zoo which is Steve Irwin’s legacy. The zoo was amazing and so much better than anything I’ve been to before. They had shows/ demonstrations/ chances to hold and touch the animals. There were open enclosures where you could feed the kangaroos. It’s not cheap (about £30 each for a student) but definitely worth it! Jack was able to see the Otter demonstration (his fave animal) and I cuddled a Koala – so a good day all round. Note – the food is extortionate prices so pack a picnic!!!
The greyhound took us on to Noosa where we spent 2 nights in a 16 bed dorm – actually wasn’t as bad as it sounds! Noosa is a really lovely beach resort and popular with surfers. The mix of expensive restaurants and bars made me a tiny bit sad that we couldn’t go and blow $100 on dinner – but hey, there’s so much more to our trip! The beach at Noosa was beautiful and the sunsets even better. We spent the first evening finding our way around and walking up the massive hill to the beach. We found a cheapish burger bar and chilled for the evening. Our second day was on the beach. The sea was a little choppy to swim in but not enough to surf so we topped up our tans on the sand – still haven’t quite got to grips with the lack of sun loungers. That evening we splashed out and had a glass of wine in one of the fancy bars, then pizza in one of the beach restaurants. It was such a perfect way to spend the day before starting on an action packed tour of Fraser Island (watch out for my next post for more about that).