Brisbane 11-15th October

I have a friend who used to live in Brisbane and I’d always said that I’d come and visit after I finished university. However, that took longer than expected and in the end her family moved. Never mind, I’m here anyway! However, I’m pretty ill and so most of my days, I wasn’t out of the hostel for more than 4/5 hours at best before feeling too exhausted so I didn’t do a huge amount each day.

On my first night here, I met someone in my hostel dorm also called Jess and we hit it of quite well. I’m really glad I met her as if I hadn’t had someone with me, I might have just stayed in the hostel all day feeling sorry for myself in the classic illness related sadness/complete lack of energy.

The first full day in Brisbane, it was raining so Jess and I went to the museum of Brisbane and the museum of Queensland. The Brisbane museum was in the town hall and we did the two free tours, one up the clock tower, and one around the building. Amusingly, the clock tower which is only about 85 meters tall was once the tallest building in Brisbane. Now, the town hall is surrounded by high rise buildings on all sides, making it look very small indeed.

The clock tower in among the high rise buildings

The museum of Brisbane had quite a bit of information about how Brisbane city came to be. As a Brit, I find it amusing and interesting how young cities like Brisbane are, given that comparable cities in the UK like London, Bristol, or Oxford are so much older. However, despite its young age, Brisbane still has lots of interesting history about its melting pot of cultures.

The Queensland museum was more of a natural history museum of Australian species. Unfortunately, we missed a special exhibition on space by 2 days and the next exhibition on spiders didn’t start for a few weeks.

After walking around 2 museums, I was done for the day and went back to sleep while Jess continued exploring the city.

Top of the Brisbane Anzac memorial

I had been planning on going to the Koala sanctuary on my second day however, someone in my dorm mentioned that there were markets on that day and I love going to markets in different cities and you can often find little trinkets and jewelry (read: earrings!) while talking to locals who can have some useful information for me as a visitor to the city. So my plans changed for the day and Jess joined me as we went out to the markets. But first, pancakes for breakfast at Pancake Manor which is in an old church. They were really good pancakes and definitely worth a little bit of a wait (which I think just shows it’s a well known and highly regarded place).

The first market we went to was in the Botanical gardens. It was a great location for them within the trees and ponds. In one pond, there was an eel just staring at us which was really quite creepy. There are also lizards everywhere, I saw almost as many lizards as I would see pigeons in London. Jess bought some things (despite assuring me she wasn’t going to buy anything, she’d bought 5 things before I’d bought 1!) but I didn’t find anything that I liked that was also within my price range. We got a ferry across the river to another market. This one had many more things that I wanted to buy. I had to limit my earring purchases to just one pair of wooden ones with a koala etching burnt into the wood. I also bought some more iron-on patches for the collection I’m creating from this trip. Any and all ideas of what to do with them are welcome! I’m currently thinking a T-shirt or perhaps a duvet cover if I get enough… (challenge accepted)

spot the eel
A bin chicken in flight from the gardens. Complete with a Toronto style building that I love in the background.
Big lizard with food. Little lizards thinks he has a chance…
View from the ferry pier

My third and final full day in Brisbane, I went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. As I got there, they had a koala out in a ranger’s arm and you could come and say hi/stroke it. After I did this and was wandering around the rest of the park, I was trying to talk myself out of paying to hold one. Having done some research and asked around, I didn’t think there was anything unethical about it, I just thought it was a little bit steep for not very long with a koala…. but I just had to do it! I couldn’t imagine leaving the park without having done it and who knows when I might next have the chance to do such a thing. It was the absolutely highlight of my time in Brisbane! I think koalas have just become my new favorite wild animal (sorry penguins, I still think you’re hilarious, adorable, amazing, and generally great creatures!)

The best day!
They’re such happy little fellows

The sanctuary also had other classic Australian animals to see and meet. The kangaroos and wallabies were very calm and friendly (read: looking for food) and just as I was leaving the park, I saw a koala that looked like it wanted to jump to the next branch. It was very sweet, wiggling it’s bum in anticipation but couldn’t quite do it. I started filming as I wanted to capture the bum-wiggle but I didn’t get that but what I got instead was so much better! See the video on YouTube here.

Kangaroo selfie from the sanctuary
“Paint me like one of your French girls”
These guys are a lot softer than I thought they would be – almost as soft as my cats!

1 Comment

  1. Victoria Hellyer

    You can come a stroke a wallaby at Boomerang any time! x

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