Our escape from the bad weather in Cairns led us to Brisbane, our first major city in Australia with a population of more than 2 million. We visited the city center, tried many good restaurants, visited museums, and last but not least had a great time with our Airbnb hosts Barry and Susi during our stay.
As Ilinca and I both love food, one of the first things we check when moving to a new city is where to eat. Ilinca is more the breakfast and café type, for me the most important meal during a day is dinner. And Brisbane has plenty of food options. Ilinca made sure we had an extensive breakfast every morning, and my sushi addiction also was taken care of twice for lunch. The price of the Sushi is about half of what we pay in Switzerland. In addition we also had good Thai, Indian and even Turkish food one night.
Atmosphere in Brisbane
Brisbane is a very beautiful city. There are any peninsulas formed by the meandering Brisbane River, on one of them lies the CBD (Central Business District), or in non-Australian terms, downtown. In this area are the historic city hall and the treasury, and there are also many shops, hotels, and restaurants. As some streets are closed to traffic and in general, traffic is very easy going in Brisbane, it is very inviting to discover the CBD on foot.
On the southern tip of the CBD peninsula is a nice botanical garden. While the trees and plants are really beautiful, for me the main attraction there were the countless water dragons roaming around freely in the park, not showing much fear from humans at all. Some of them were almost one meter long.
Across the river from CBD is the South Bank, a modern area with the most famous museums and concert hall and a city beach incl. swimming pool that is open to the public. Even though I am not really a museum person, I enjoyed the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA), first because of the buildings beautiful architecture, second because it was raining outside, and third also because of the exhibition.
We have also visited some of the residential areas in Brisbane, and all of them were very clean and quiet. I guess life here in Brisbane must be nice.
Our Accommodation in Brisbane
Not for the first time on our travels we stayed at a local couple’s home that we found through Airbnb. Whenever we book such an accommodation we hope that we are actually living in the same house as the host, and not just in some apartment where we get handed over the keys on our arrival and there is no sign of our host for the whole duration of our stay (as it was e.g. the case in Kuala Lumpur and Cairns).
In Brisbane we were lucky, we could stay in the guest room of a beautifully renovated Queenslander (typical wooden house from this area). As Barry was working from home, we talked a lot with him about his children who live in France, his occupation as an interior designer, and about our and his travels. Also, we had a nice dinner together with Susi and Barry at their home and watched a bad movie together afterwards. I hope to get many more such encounters here in Australia.
Next Stop: Byron Bay
Tomorrow we will pick up a new rental car and head south to Byron Bay, a nice beach town with good waves for surfing. Time to refresh my surfing skills that I gained in Brazil 11 years ago.