Spoiler alert : the wildlife in Australia are not upside down, much to my disappointment.
I have yet to get over the post-holiday blues from my recent getaway in Brisbane during late spring this year. Fun fact; for the people living in the Northern Hemisphere, did you know that the seasons are switched for those in the Southern Hemisphere ?
I could have not visited Brisbane at a better time, for I had 6 out of 7 days where the Sun was blessing us with warmth and shine, pure bliss for a boy who has difficulties acclimatizing to cold temperatures. 7 days were not enough to truly bask in the wonders and marvels this city has to offer, so I made the most out of this reasonably short trip and here’s what I did:
Kookaburra Showboat Lunch Cruise
The lunch cruise I went on was the highlight of my first day in Brisbane. I believe the ticket price was $AU60, per adult. I was delighted by the service of my French waitress, who managed to keep my glass of prosecco full at all times.
Their food menu was great and they even cater to people with specific dietary requirements. My favorite was definitely the braised pork belly & the potato salad. The ambiance on board this wooden boat was truly unique. If you are into rustic, antique & aesthetically-pleasing interior designing, don’t miss out on this cruise! They even had a jazz trio on board, serenading the passengers with some heartwarming classics.
The view along the Brisbane River was remarkable. Contemporary and classic Victorian houses dot the riverbank and hillside, contrasting well against the city’s modern skyline. The cruise lasted for 4 hours and by the time we got back to the jetty – the sky was clear and the air was crisp.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
Visiting Brisbane would not be complete if you did not scoot over to catch some koalas and kangaroos frolicking around. I took the Miramar Cruise from the Cultural Pontoon and the journey took about 2 hours before we arrived at Lone Pine. The skipper gave us some insight on a little bit of the city’s history during the cruise and it made the 2 hour ride interesting.
I spent about 2 hours in the sanctuary, walking around at my own pace seeing and admiring the endemic Australian wildlife. I patted a kangaroo on its head and I never knew they were so docile (but I heard they could get quite aggressive when taunted). I had the opportunity to see living koala bears too, and that was scratched off of my bucket list. I was not brave enough to cuddle one, although you can because I heard you could catch chlamydia from them. Yikes!
Moreton Island Day Trip
While planning my Brisbane itinerary, I stumbled upon a video in my recommendation list in YouTube (Google Ads analytic does work hard) and it was about Moreton Island. At first, for a boy who has lived 99% of his life on a tropical island; non-tropical islands hardly ever impress me. Why? The waters are usually too cold for me to even dip my foot in it.
I am glad I did the exact opposite and booked a cruise to Moreton Island because I was in awe the whole time. I spent my morning drinking wine and had a decent lunch in one of the restaurants, then for the rest of the day I just laid down on the sand and soaked in the sun. Occasionally, I would sit in the water just along the coast, because the seawater was still too cold to my liking but apart from that – it was truly paradise.
Surfers’ Paradise, Gold Coast
On my second last day, I took a 2 hour train ride from Roma St. Station, which was just in front of my hotel in Brisbane, all the way down to Gold Coast.
I have to admit, Gold Coast was a beautiful city but it is very much designed to cater to tourists and the busyness of the city was too much for me to bear. I decided to lodge in a bar just along the avenue and spent the next few hours, drinking and people watching.
I had an amazing week in Brisbane, and met a lot of interesting individuals for coffee, sharing our travel & life experiences. Traveling at the age of 21 can be daunting and intimidating because it is true. You are basing your expectations off of reviews and experiences you managed to find on the net, so it is natural that we all have our worries and doubts.
But trust me, one of the best things you could do in your 20s is to actually get out there and experience the world, first hand. I have a tight-knit circle of friends who are currently doing the same, and they are telling me the same thing – traveling changes your perspective. You see things differently as you experience different cultures.
You do it your way, be it budget-friendly or ludicrously luxurious – it is up to you ! I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a little bit more for extra comfort during my travels but that does not mean you get to skimp on yours just because you are on a budget.
Just remember, never cut back on the planning process. Better plans lead to better times, no matter how spontaneous your trips are.
Stay hydrated and blessed !