oz recap part 5: brisbane
we’re nearing the end of my trip to australia [can’t believe it’s been almost four months since i was there] and i’m really excited to share some pictures and a little bit about my experience in brisbane with you guys!
this wasn’t a city that got raving reviews from many people, but ended up on my itinerary anyway [long story], and i have to say, i’m so glad it did … i actually really loved this city. by the time i reached brisbane, i was traveling solo, which i had never done before, so i was really able to just do me.
after plans with a distant relative fell through [see: “long story” above] i ended up reserving an airbnb in the new farm area super last minute. it was truly a “basic” room in a small apartment, but was right by the river and had some cute restaurants and shops nearby, so it was all good.
because i don’t mind walking, i committed to exploring brisbane on foot … i think one day i walked close to 10 miles total, which was awesome. when i’m traveling with other people, they always want to take cabs or public transportation for anything farther than a 10-minute walk away, which bugs the sh*t out of me. the weather was awesome, there was so much to see and i wasn’t on a schedule … so i walked my ass off and love, love, loved every minute of it.
day 1: after dropping my things off at my airbnb, i immediately headed to the west end … on foot, of course. the brisbane river weaves through the city, which requires there to be a lot of bridges, including many that are pedestrian only. the weather was perfect [again, winter temperatures in the 60s and low 70s] and the city was just beautiful … saw lots of amazing architecture along the way.
[st. john’s cathedral … this felt very game of thrones to me!]
[king john’s square]
the main reason i wanted to check out the west end was because i was told it’s essentially the brooklyn of brisbane … and those reports were accurate. i wandered in and out of some awesome, funky shops and through a farmer’s market on boundary st. [one of the main drags in the west end] and had lunch [and a beer] at lock ‘n’ load bistro [all of my culinary adventure in australia can be found here]. there was a lot of cool street art in the west end also, which i think was my favorite thing about this neighborhood.
[grafitti in the west end]
after lunch, i walked over to the south bank along the water and through an amazing park, the rainforest green, before making my way into the queensland gallery of modern art, which was totally free to go into!
[flower arches along the river in the south bank]
i ended my day with a walk through city center and over to chinatown where i had an amazing thai dinner [huge asian influence in australia] before heading in for the night and catching an awesome view of the story bridge all lit up on the way.
[story bridge + brisbane skyline by night]
day 2: i started my second day in brisbane off with a run across the story bridge and along the water [the view was insane], ate lunch at the little larder in new farm, right around the corner from where i was staying and then, once again, started walking.
[morning run along the brisbane river]
i walked all along the river from new farm to the brisbane city botanical gardens, then across the goodwill bridge to kangaroo point, where you get an awesome view of the city and all of the cliffs lining the river, and finally, headed to the south bank again to check out the street beach and eat some ice cream for dinner … #vacation.
[brisbane botanical gardens]
[cliffs along kangaroo point]
[selfies are a necessary part of solo travel … at kangaroo point.]
day 3: my last day in brisbane was definitely legendary. i woke up super early so that i could eat two breakfasts [donut time + cocobliss … again #vacation … and also #balance]. after breakfasts, i boarded the mirimar ii for a river cruise headed to lone pine koala sanctuary, which a friend had recommended to me.
[view of the city from the mirimar ii]
the cruise was about an hour long, and there were some seriously envy worthy homes along the way. when we docked at lone pine, i was so effing excited i could barely control myself … we were given two and a half hours to explore … and i was on a mission. lone pine is one of the world’s most famous “zoos” … but it’s truly more of an animal sanctuary with an amazing history than a zoo.
[docked at lone pine koala sanctuary]
first thing was first: purchase kangaroo snacks and head to the kangaroo enclosure to play with some kangaroos. the kangaroos live in a huge open area [with some other animals, including emus, which kinda freaked me out] that you can just wander into … no cages, nothing! the kangaroos are so friendly, you can walk up to them, hold some food out and they’ll come right up and eat directly from the palm of your hand. i had way too much fun … and obviously had to take a few kangaroo selfies because , you know, when in rome.
[literally, in love with these guys.]
after some serious quality time with the kangaroos, i got in line for the moment i had been waiting for literally my whole life … holding a koala. i think the picture sums it up. his name was arinokoo [ari for short] and he was heavy, but so soft and sweet!
[top 3 moments of life? probably.]
i walked around the sanctuary and saw more koalas [once they get to a certain age they are retired and no longer able to be held by visitors], wombats, tazmanian devils and dingos. it was such a cool experience and for someone who hates zoos, this place was truly magical. you can see the care that goes into the animals and they aren’t cooped up in cages, it’s mostly open air enclosures and large fenced off areas, which was so nice to see. the koalas are also on strict schedules for the photo ops to make sure they never get worn out!
[wombat … how cute?!]
[tasmanian devils, just livin’ the life]
finally, i had a really nice surprise for my last night in brisbane … the bride and groom whose wedding i was in australia for in the first place got stuck in brisbane for a few days en route to their honeymoon … so i was able to grab dinner and a few drinks with them … seriously, best surprise ever, considering i left broome not knowing when i would see my soul sister again. all the feels.
[honeymoon crashing snapchat selfies…SO MUCH LOVE.]
overall, i think brisbane is pretty underrated … so don’t listen to the haters. if you make it down under, add it to your itinerary. even if it’s just for a day trip to lone pine!
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