After our initial pitstop in Melbourne , it was time to move towards a more permanent home i.e. Brisbane. Australia as a whole is known all over as a laid back country and when we moved to a place which was even more laid back than Melbourne, it definitely took some time to get used to. In an Indian context, if Sydney is comparable to Mumbai, Melbourne to Bangalore , then Brisbane is often compared to Mysore, a city having its own charm and not exactly in a rat race , taking life as it comes. The tag of laid back doesn't infer in any negative sense. Brisbane has some of best infrastructure in the world, great outdoor places to visit in its surrounding including the Great Barrier reef and the UNESCO world heritage rain-forests and last but not the least the party capital of Australia , the Gold Coast just an hour drive from here. Even though there are very few tourist attractions within the city that would be considered great, I would still try to list a few worthy of mentioning in this blog.
The best way to enjoy the city would be to head towards South Bank and then take a free for tourists ferry known as Cityhopper (with bright red highlights unlike the blue ones for the CityCats) that snakes along the mighty Brisbane river giving some great views of the skyscrapers and the iconic Story bridge. South bank is another place to hang out on a weekend. It has got a pool and the a artificial beach accessible for free to the public !!! Why an artificial beach you ask, well it is because the nearest beach is a good 30 kms from the city, so they build a artificial one for those who cant go there regularly. Also a great place to catch some jaw-dropping pyrotechnics on new year's eve and Australia day.
The other interesting places to visit in the city centre include the heritage structures in the King George square and the shopping precincts in the surrounding areas. There is queen street which is the shoppers paradise. You can expect some sort of weekend markets in these areas wherein hundreds of people would be selling their used products at dirt cheap price. Kinda like a giant garage sale.
The nearest park or zoo within the city to experience local wildlife of Queensland is the Lone Pine Koala Santuary. Its not like extensive place, but has a pretty open concept for interaction with the local wildlife like koala bears, kangaroos and so on. They even have a barn where the sheep dogs have their own show, which was the best part. Overall an ok place especially for small kids who would have never have any interaction with any wildlife elsewhere.
And finally the best place to view the entire city from a completely different perspective would be from the lookout from Mount Cootha. Its best to visit this place just before sunset and enjoy both the day and night views. We went to this place on the occasion of Australia day and were to witness the wonderful fireworks show from a totally different perspective. Overall a good place to visit and chill.