From the first couple of days in Brisbane I immediately knew that I would love this city. It's not only super clean everywhere (especially if you're used to European cities), but also has a lot of different aspects to it. You can go shopping in Queen Street Mall, you can go for a pretty awesome walk along the Brisbane River at Southbank, by the way my favourite spot in the city, or for another cool walk in the city botanic gardens. If you've never been to Brisbane you might think: “This sounds awesome!” But wait until I tell you that all those things are in a walking distance of about half an hour from each other.
Now you might wonder why Southbank is my favourite part about this city. Well, if you've been to Brisbane you might have an idea, if not let me explain: Not only is this district beautiful on its own, but you can chill in the sun, read a book, have a “barbie” with your newly made friends from all around the world and if it gets too hot, you can just jump into the lagoon, a man made beach. Besides that it's the place to be on special occasions: There are magnificent fireworks to watch at Southbank at Christmas, New Years and on Australia Day. Around Christmas you could jump into the lagoon and watch a movie on the big screen, that's right an outdoor cinema at the beach, a must do for a cinephile like me. How awesome is that?
By Brisbane Marketing and BCEC [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
When you've had enough of walking, you can also do some fun cultural stuff, for example you can visit plenty of different museums around the city, the Art Gallery at Southbank, going to the movies or visit a sports event. Now, being from Europe, especially Germany, what sport do you think will I be in to? You guessed that right: Football (or Soccer, whatever you want to call it).
A must see for me therefore was how the Australians celebrate this awesome game. Therefore I went to see the local football team Brisbane Roar at the Suncorp Stadium, and what can I say, it's still the same game, but it's also so different from seeing a game back in Europe. The main reason for that being, that it's sport number ONE back home, whereas Australians are more into Rugby and Cricket. Unfortunately the Rugby season starts only in March, when I will be back home in Germany, and since I don't understand Cricket, I skipped this sport (I mean seriously, who watches this?)
When the city of Brisbane itself is not enough for you, you always have the opportunity to go a little bit outside of the city to experience some other awesome stuff:
There is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary with not only the opportunity to see various local wildlife, but also interacting with them, whether it is feeding wild lorikeets, feeding the kangaroos or even holding and cuddling a koala. Just an unreal experience!
If this is not enough wildlife for you, you might think of visiting Australia Zoo, home of the legendary crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. Yep, you've heard that right. You get the opportunity, to go and see some of their staff hand-feeding their crocodiles in the “Crocoseum”, almost exactly like Steve Irwin (as one of their staff told me Mr. Irwin would usually get a little bit closer, but that was just the way he was, and why we all love him and what we'll remember him for).
Not enough yet? Don't you worry, plenty of more to do. If you follow the Brisbane River to the sea, you'll get to Moreton Bay with two beautiful islands called North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island, the latter of which I haven't seen YET. But my tour there is already booked, and this tour can't disappoint. You can choose between different activities on the island, like snorkelling, kayaking etc, before you get to the highlight of the day: Seeing wild dolphins!
North Stradbroke Island is the other beautiful island, on my tour there I saw wild dolphins, wild koalas, wild turtles and wild manta rays. What a tour, am I right? But besides the wildlife there is still more to see on this island, for example the awesome beaches, the Tea-Tree-Lake, also known as the Brown Lake.
Just another hour with public transport from Brissie lies Redcliffe, where one of the best bands in the world was founded (at least according to my dad and me): The Bee Gees. A must do, if you love them as much as I do, is the Bee Gee Walk in Redcliffe where you can go and relive their awesome band history, get some insights from the last remaining Bee Gee, Barry Gibb, or just take some photos with two life-sized bronze statues (with them as kids, or with them during their “One Night Only” era). Other than that you can just chill and listen to their awesome music all day. Besides the Bee Gee Walk, you should definitely go for a nice walk on the beach at Redcliffe, as it is just beautiful to look across Moreton Bay, and Redcliffe has some awesome red sand, who would have guessed that?
In the opposite direction of Redcliffe lies the Gold Coast, with Surfers Paradise. A cool place with a great city and a great beach with the some of the best waves I experienced in my life. So if you're looking for some awesome days on the beach, I highly recommend this place. I was also told that there a couple of cool parties, but I haven't experienced that myself.
Speaking of parties, each of the hostels I worked for, also had a pretty cool bar. They're different though. If you're looking for a cool night out with your friends, I highly recommend The Guilty Rogue at Base Brisbane Uptown, they have some cool activities going on every single day, for example Karaoke on Mondays or a fun musical bingo on Tuesday. If you just want to party, go to the Down Under Bar at Nomads Brisbane Hostel, there is always a great atmosphere, and you can get way too drunk way too fast.
Now that my time here is almost over, I've already started missing this place. The awesome people I met over this 3 month period, the weather (even though it sometimes gets way too hot), or just the unreal experiences I had over the last couple of months and of course this awesome city itself.
I still have some weeks left in this awesome city and this unreal experience, in which I, amongst other things, will take part in a surf course. And after that I unfortunately will have to leave :(. On the bright side, I will see my family and friends back home again, which is not too bad either.
If you've ever had a doubt that Brisbane might just not be the right place for you, just let me tell you it is!
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