Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
04.10.2010 - 07.10.2010 27 °C
Half a day on a Greyhound bus down the East coast from Hervey bay brings me to Brisbane. It was fantastic to catch up with Laura and Ville, friends from England who had made a new life for themselves in this lovely city. Ville met me off the train and we had an evening of food, wine, sauna and pool, ahhhh bliss. Laura and Ville had designed their own house and it was absolutely beautiful, i felt rather jealous me living out of my backpack and there they are living in my dream house. After dinner, Ville fired up the sauna and we alternated between getting toasty and cooling off in the pool. Laura was always the first one to crack from the heat of the sauna hehe! I figured with Ville’s Finnish routes he was the sauna king and I had recently acclimatised to the Asian humidity. It was just great to have a good ‘ol chat. I am so missing friends from home so this made me feel like i was doing something ‘normal’ in amongst the craziness of long-term adventure. Thanks so much guys
One day I hopped on a boat in the centre of Brisbane for a cruise down the river to the lone pine koala sanctuary. This was a great way to see the city and it’s suburbs as well as enjoying the commentary describing some history of the city and life around the river itself. Some of the houses built along the river were incredible, huge mansions all with their own jetties into the river. Many of the houses were obviously new and it turns out that before the river was dammed in 1985, the city was extremely prone to flooding and no insurance company would cover the houses near the river. Construction of the Wivenhoe dam has sparked a house building boom as the residents can now get their properties insured. Although quite a way from the ocean, the river is pretty salty and able to sustain bull sharks, hence it is not advisable to swim here. It has also been dredged pretty extensively and is quite murky, still quite a pleasant cruise though. We passed by beautiful gardens, bridges and the university as well as a rather interesting pub, The Regatta. This pub is fondly remembered as being the starting point for women’s lib in Brisbane, when two ladies chained themselves to the bar in protest of the ban on serving beers to females!
I jumped off the boat at the Koala sanctuary and spent a few hours with some Australian native wildlife. I did the touristy things, hand fed kangaroos and cuddled a koala! It was great fun! The koalas did smell very strange and were very dopey as they sleep for 19 hours a day on the top of trees but were very cute and entertaining. The park was really well laid out with many of the animals free to roam around. A lovely few days in Bris Vegas, now ready for my final stop in Oz, the iconic city of Sydney...