Brisbane, or ‘Brissy‘ as the Brisbanites lovingly call it, has been our home for almost two weeks now. We heard mixed stories about this city: people either love it or hate it. Time to find out ourselves!
Our home for the next few weeks: Tarragindi!
Our first encounter with Brisbane and its Brisbanites was nothing but positive: the lovely Sam and Scott gladly invited us to stay with them in their house in Tarragindi for a while, because they know how expensive traveling (especially in Australia) can be. Tarragindi is a nice and quiet suburb about 15 minutes (biking) from the city. You’ll find an occasional coffee shop (tip: go to Gindi!) and some beautiful parks in the surroundings.
I’m Dutch so I ride bikes!
Dutchies (especially Amsterdammers) know the easiest and probably the fastest way to get from point A to B in a city is by bike. Sam and Scott have a few bikes we can use, so off we went! The first day we drove through a gorgeous green park to a lovely little coffee place, Lady Marmelade, a tip from Sam. The days to follow we drove to the city, to the park, to the pool, and just around the neighborhood. Man, I love riding bikes again!
Koala’s aren’t teddy bears
One of the things I really really really wanted to do in Brisbane was to go the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary to meet some of those grey furry creatures up close. I looked forward to seeing these cute koalas nibble on some eucalyptus, and to see a few kangaroos jumping around. Unfortunately, this santcuary was nothing more than a terrible zoo. Tens of koalas were living in little 2×2 reserves, where the highlight of their day was getting a few new eucalyptus leafs for them to chew on. Some of these poor animals were dragged to the picture-cue, where they were handed from one tourist to the other, taking photo after photo. I stood there and observed them for a while, and even if the koalas showed clear signs of not wanting to be handed to yet another tourist, they were forced to. Heart-breaking. The kangaroos I was expecting to see jumping around were not as cheeky and cute as the ones I met in Tasmania – where they truly jumped around freely. Some of the kangaroos at Lone Pine were so heavily sedated that they could do nothing but lie on the ground. Sad. If you ever visit Brissy, please don’t pay a visit to this animal abuse center.
Brissy’s man-made beach: South Bank
Brisbane is, unlike other big Australian cities, not located on the coast. The climate is hot hot hot (it’s winter now and it is 27 degrees today), so a beach is more than welcome. What did they do? Create one! On South Bank you’ll find Streets Beach, a pretty place where you get the illusion of being on a tropical island. Amazing! You can either go for some tanning or a swim at streets beach or walk along the water to gaze at Brisbane’s skyline. Around Streets beach you’ll find plenty of shops to go for a coffee or a snack. Tip: walk or cycle to the Goodwill bridge. Halfway you’ll find a cosy little coffee stand where you can enjoy your latte or flat white while taking in a fantastic view. I’ve been told this place is also perfect for beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but I have yet to find that out for myself (thanks Scott :))
The conclusion: I love Brisbane! It is a lot smaller than Sydney, has a cute coffee cafe on every corner and because the weather is great there’s just this really relaxing vibe all over the city. So if you’re travelling up or down the east coast of Australia, I would highly recommend paying a visit to the capital of Queensland.