One of my favourite Australian cities!
Brisbane is a vibrant Australian city where I met Matt and Freya, two of my favourite couchsurfing hosts so far, during my solo Australian journey. Today I decided to dust off these photos from 2017, because Matt helped me with my podcast, so there will be a new Erratic hat video out this week. 🙂
Anyhow, Brisbane, or often affectionately named Brisvegas, was one of those places that I instantly liked. Although it’s actually Australia‘s third largest city, the central part of it didn’t feel overwhelming, and I loved all the greenery, street art and the quirky little details everywhere. Another great thing is that a lot of the things worth seeing in Brisbane are actually free.
There’s the iconic Story bridge, which you can climb and abseil from, the Kangaroo point district with microbreweries and a cliffs park, which is a popular climbing spot with impressive natural rock formations, the South Bank Parklands with the Brisbane panoramic wheel, Nepalese Peace pagoda, the Queensland Maritime museum and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, a hybrid of two galleries, which often has free exhibitions. Another, rather interesting South Bank sight is the iconic Streets Beach, a man-made lagoon, which is essentially a shallow public pool in the middle of the city where locals like to cool off during the summer.
On the other side of the river, there’s the downtown Brisbane with Victorian buildings, as well as the gorgeous and Brisbane City Botanical Gardens (not to be confused with the Brisbane Botanical Gardens at Mt. Coot-tha that I didn’t visit). You can walk from one end to the other between all these sights following a city trail along the river on a sunny day, because Brisbane gets an average of 283 sunny days in a year, which for me is a total overkill. Also, if people watching is your thing, then the South Bank Parklands are the place to be. I ended up chilling and listening to a guy with a guitar from underneath a nearby tree like a creep, but I think he knew and didn’t mind. 🙂
Impressions of Brisbane
Most of these city sights are located between the South Bank and New Farm districts along the river, and you can also hop around for free by taking the CityHopper boat if you don’t feel like walking. Be careful though, because there are many different boats on the river and not all of them are free. Here‘s a complete list of free things to do if you ever find yourself there.
I spent a couple of days in Brisbane and did all the touristy things, including having coffee on the Story bridge with a random German tourist I met there. I also ate sushi – I ate sushi everywhere in Australia, because unlike in Slovenia, it was reasonably affordable and I was in heaven. In fact, the Australian food courts with all their Asian food were my food heaven and I’m still dreaming of the ramen I had there.
On the day I arrived, I also got to experience one of Brisbane’s cool local events, the Boundary street markets, a weekend food, fashion, artisan and farmers’ market with lots of interesting stalls. I tried all sorts of different foods and even got to watch my host Matt and his band the Mouldy Lovers perform in the evening, which was awesome. They had great energy on the stage and I also met some of their friends, so it was a great night out all around.
Boundary street markets
Even though the attractions in Brisbane may not be as spectacular as in some of the other Australian cities, its laid back, colourful sunny vibe is something that just has to be experienced. I also loved that Brisbane has lots of community gardens, like the Epicurious garden in the heart of South Bank, which is full of exotic plants, edible herbs and produce that people can take from the harvest cart during the week. I only wish we’d have such a community garden back home too – do you have one in your city?
The details of Brisbane
To wrap it up, Brisbane is also the perfect gateway for visiting other nearby attractions like Noosa, Cedar creek falls, the Glass house mountains, Whitsundays, Moreton island etc.. While I was there, I visited Moreton island and its shipwrecks with a fellow couchsurfer, which obviously deserved a separate post (coming soon!), although I didn’t have the time to visit another one of Brisbane’s island attractions – the King island.
King island is a tiny island off the coast, which is accessible by walking on a sandy trail during low tide and makes for a rather unique sea walk. Guess I’ll have to go back at some point to visit my host friends, right? Also, here’s another very solid reason to go back: Brisbane now has a restaurant that serves pasta in a cheese wheel, which is literally the ultimate meal for a cheese lover like me.