I had not really been into the heart of Brisbane much before, even though I lived in one of the southern suburbs of Brisbane for a few months back in the 1980’s.
When I had the hire car I did a trip to Bribie Island and drove along the northern beaches. Some stunning old Queenslander homes along the coast, especially around Sandgate.
Other days I went in by train, either from the north or later from the south and wandered around the city. The CBD is much like any other city. A concrete jungle and overcrowded. One day when it was wet I caught the free city loop buses for several trips which helps to get ones bearings and familiarise with the city layout.
I enjoyed walking the Southbank area. It gives a greater perspective of the size of the CBD from the south side of the Brisbane River. The City Council have done well with the beautification of this area. The design and layout is great. They even have a year round beach which is manned by lifesavers from 7am until midnight every day. I took a boat cruise that went up river to The Breakfast Creek Hotel where I had lunch before boarding the afternoon cruise back to Southbank. It was a most enjoyable and relaxing way to see the suburbs that line the banks of the river. Although the river is a constant browny colour all the time, it is a very large river with plenty of life on and around the water. It was a relaxing way to spend a day. Brisbane use their waterway to their advantage with an abundance of ferries. Perth could do well to capitalise better on the beautiful Swan River and put in more infrastructure to attract not only tourists but locals as well.
I was able to catch up with a few old friends in Brisbane as well. It was great to share stories and pick up where we left off so many years ago.
I spent a few nights on and off at a 72 hour stop on the south side of Brisbane. Whilst it is always popular with backpackers, what amazed me was the amount of people that sleep in their sedan cars. Some appeared to work during the day and sleep in the park at night while others just “hung out” all day everyday. I live this way by choice, and I love it, but it is sad when people don’t have a choice and don’t have anywhere near the “mod cons” or comfort level that I have. It was an eye opener for me. Although tents were not allowed at this site, there was always at least one tent set up each night.
I spent an afternoon out at Wellington Point Reserve. It was a good spot to while away a few hours and the sea breeze was welcome relief. A beautiful part of greater Brisbane.
I came away from Brisbane with a better understanding of its workings and with a better view of this city on the river. The transport infrastructure is very good in Brisbane and catching trains and buses was easy and relatively cheap with their “Go Card”.