If you have followed my previous blog on Gold Coast, you should have known how Queenland's transportation works. Yes, Brisbane is in zone 1 and to travel to Brisbane from Gold Coast, you need travel pass that covers zone 14 to zone 1 (Single = $10.20; Daily = $20.40; Offpeak daily = $15.30). From Surfers Paradise, I boarded Bus 745 in front of the bus station situated next to Cosmopolitan Resort in Surfers Paradise to Nerang train station. Then, took north-bound train towards Brisbane.
Looking for good accomodation deals in Brisbane is challenging as it is commerce centre of Queensland. Luckily, a friend recommended me a great online tool ( http://www.hotelscombined.com/ ) that has helped me in landing on a great deal. In fact this site has served me right so much so that I want to point a cool feature that I really like to see is the "progress bar that increases from 0% to 100%. What I really give thumb-up is this tool looks up all the available accomodation deals on Internet and summarizes all these deals for me!!!
A Glance of Brisbane City
Brisbane is a beautiful river-side city with much to offer. I like the cleanliness of the city and her harmonious coexistence of urban life and greenish gardens. If London has the famous Hyde Park, Brisbane's answer is Roma Street Parkland.
First of all, don't be deceived by the name of the park. Ha ha.. The park has nothing to do with Rome... :) However, it has everything to do with sub-tropical garden. In fact, Roma Street Parkland is the world's largest sub-tropical garden in an urban environment. The park is within 5 minutes from Roma Street Station. The picture below outlines how I strolled around the garden. Frankly speaking, I wasn't impressed by this park until I reached Point A & B. These two areas offer vast variety of sub-tropic plants with scientific names for brainy ones. Recently, I found out that I miss an important section of Roma Street Parkland - Spectacle Garden at the centre of the park (Point G). In fact, I would recommend my reader to spend more time in Spectacle Garden. Check out http://www.carlngray.com.au/panorama/rsp_spectacle/index.htm and you will know why I said so.
Next destination is Brisbane Museum at the west side of the Brisbane City and is accessible by using train. Just board on a train from Roma Street Station to South Brisbane Station. Of course, Brisbane Museum is not as famous as Louvre Museum of Paris or Bristish Museum of London, but it is worth a stroll to understand more about the early day and development of Australian both white people and aborgines. At the entrance of Museum is a huge dinosour. The museum lives up to Australia's reputation of having a land blessed with exquiste range of animals by exhibiting animals and creature from various species in evolution manner as proposed by Mr Darwin. Truly it is a just a theory with many flaws if you are too examine it closely. :)
What drew my attention is a small boat called "Acrohc Australis" that circumnavigate the globe starting from Brisbane to Brisbane in 1987. Check it out http://www.acrohc.com/
Strolling Along Brisbane South Bank (2hr)
If London has Thames River then Brisbane has a much cleaner and beautiful Brisbane River. Yes, a stroll along the south bank of Brisbane River is simply splendid and relaxing. Brisbane Skyline is beautiful in the summer with the reflection of the sunshine from the glassy windows of skyscrappers. Next to the museum connecting south bank to north bank is Victoria Bridge. It serves as the main bridge entering the city from the south-west. It is recommended to stroll along the south bank of Brisbane River from Victoria Bridge to Goodwill Bridge. Along this route you will be pleasantly surprised by the greenish and flowery archway near Griffith University. Yes, Brisbane South Bank is home to Griffith University city campus. One can also notices that metro boat makes multiple stops at small piers along the river just like what the motorized boat of Venice does along the Grand Canal. One day I would like to go to Venice with you....
What really impresses me is the man-made South Bank Beach. The pool is nicely maintained with life-guard support. Although I didn't swim in it, I would imagine that swimming in the pool will give the horizon that the pool extends towards the Brisbane River. Cool!!! Being hungry from a day-walk, Juan and I decided to pick up Kebab. We go for South Bank Kebab! Haha..
Be watchful for artistic boxes
The museum is visible from Good Will Bridge that was built in commeration of 2000. Unless you are really a big fan of warcraft, you may just took a pictures of them from the Good Will Bridge.
Walking across Goodwill Bridge gave a feeling of crossing the Millenium Bridge of Thames River. Yup, both of these bridges were constructed to commerate Y2K. Wow, time really flies and it is already 8 years since then. Beware that the traffic of the bridge is splitted into 2 halves and make sure you are at the right lane. I mean left lane i.e. right=correct. :p Just playing with words here... :p
This garden is something like a miniature garden of London Hyde Park. I guess I shouldn't use miniature. Smaller is more appropriate. Yup, this botanical garden reminds me of Hyde Park because of those monuments there. Wait a minute, the fact that this garden has extensive Mangrove Broadwalk makes it more "botanical" than Hyde Park. Haha... ya, for those who have not seen Mangrove, probably it is worth a walk to look at huge mangrove trees with wide-spread roots plunged vertically onto the ground. Frankly, Mangrove farm in Sepetang, Perak will have much more to offer. :)
Central Business Districts (CBD) is a collection of Modern Skyscrappers offering business lots and luxurious hotel accomodation for business travellers. The southern most tip of CBD is City Botanic Garden mentioned earlier. If every city has a famous bridge, then, Brisbane has more story to tell because she has Story Bridge. As I was running along the Story Bridge during my stay there, I noticed runners are found along Story Bridge and South Bank which offers excellent runner lane. My running friends, don't forget to bring your gear. The run along South Bank from Story Bridge towards Good Will Bridge offers excellent golden view of Brisbane skyline in the evening. 2008 Valentine's Day, I ran along this route and saw lovey dovey couple laying down on fields along the river bank enjoying wine in laughters with roses. How romantic!!!
Places for shopping and souvenirs in Brisbane would be the famous Queen Street. Don't miss the bargain!