The next stop in Fran The Van was Brisbane, a city we didn’t have high expectations for, but which we left absolutely loving. We stayed at the Brisbane Backpackers Resort in South Bank, Brisbane’s cultural heart. There’s so much to do around this area, including Australia’s only man-made inner city beach, ‘Streets Beach’ (typical us: goes to city for one day, still manages to find a beach.)
There’s the big wheel which has lots of delicious cafe’s and restaurants alongside it. We also discovered that every Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday, South Bank Collective Markets open, offering everything from arts and crafts, to clothes, to home baking. South Bank also has loads of free picnic and BBQ spots for sunny days; if you’re there on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 7am to 2pm be sure to check out the Epicurious Garden where you can free produce from the garden’s harvest cart. It’s safe to say after spending almost a week in Brisbane, we were so glad we picked this area to stay.
One of the top days so far was our day trip to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. It’s only about a half hour drive from Brisbane, and you get the chance to have a koala cuddle! It costs $25 entry and another $25 to hold the koala’s, and it was absolutely worth every penny. There are also kangaroo’s which you can feed, but with the amount of tourists offering them food, I’m pretty sure they were full and extremely uninterested. It was a great day out and the animals there are truly cared for and have plenty of space.
Brisbane is super easy to get around by bike or even walking, Bradie and I spent an afternoon wandering around the city and across the many bridges. We visited the Botanical Gardens in the middle of the city which were seriously impressive, and we also accidentally stumbled upon the Brisbane Uni campus. Both of us decided we could easily have done university over here, the buildings were beautiful and seeing all the students sat on their laptops outside in the sun looked way more appealing than the British alternative.
Our time in Brisbane fell on a weekend and so we headed into Fortitude Valley to see how the Aussie’s up here partied. We ended up in a club called Capsulet watching a techno DJ from London. The club itself was amazing, as night fell the roof was rolled down and so as you looked up you could see all the stars.
Other fun things to do in Brisbane are hike up Mount Coot-tha which has 360 degree views of the whole city. We went up in the afternoon, but heard that if you know it’s going to be clear the sunrises are amazing! You can also drive to the lookout at the top if you aren’t up for the walk. The CityHopper is a ferry along the river which is totally free, and you get incredible views along the way. However we do recommend bringing a couple of jumpers as we were absolutely freezing by the time we got off!