I was lucky to get a flight out of Cairns on Sunday and although the flight to Brisbane was seriously turbulent, I arrived safely in the afternoon. There is a great train straight into the city, so it was easy to get to my home for the week.
To be honest, I have had enough of hostels now and let’s face it, I’m not great at backpacking anyway – I overpack, have no patience for long bus rides and I love hotels. So, I checked in to not a hotel, but a serviced apartment. It is amazing! One of the things I miss is being able to cook dinner and just chill in front of the TV. This apartment has a kitchen, lounge, bedroom, bathroom and laundry room. I love it!
On Monday I did a long walk around the city starting at Central station, strolling through the various squares in the CBD (central business district), through to Brisbane River and the Eagle St Pier. I meandered down through the City Botanic Gardens, over the footbridge and then up through the Southbank Parklands.
The parklands are beautifully manicured gardens on the banks of the river and there is a beach area, lots of picnic spots and play areas. Walking further, you pass what looks like the London Eye, then onwards to the cultural centre. The state library, art gallery of Queensland and the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) are all in one section of the parklands, and there are some wonderful cafes and shops.
I went into GOMA for a walk around and then walked back down to Victoria Bridge, through the Queen St Mall and back home. I had a lovely night in, made dinner and watched some TV.
The weather today was much better as Cyclone Ita is moving further and further away out to sea. It was bright and clear this morning, but got cloudy later on – regardless though, it was the perfect day to go up to the lookout at Mount Coot-tha.
Mount Coot-tha is a 30-minute bus ride out of the city and through the suburbs up to the lookout over Brisbane. It’s a fabulous panoramic view of the city and I was lucky to be able to see quite far considering the cloud for the past couple of days. From the top, there is a 2km track down to the bottom. I took the Summit Track, a beautifully quiet path down through the forest, over little brooks and past the JC Slaughter Waterfalls back to the bus stop.
It’s easy to see how Brisbane is one of the most liveable cities in the world, it’s not too busy and it is really well laid out. However, so far Queensland has been less ‘Sunshine State’, more ‘Overcast State’ so come on QLD – you have two days left to impress!