We squeezed in a quick visit to Brisbane after New Zealand and before returning to Sydney, and I’ve got a couple really great places to tell you about.
We had a relatively painless flight from Queenstown, NZ to Brisbane on Qantas airlines; however, waiting in the customs line in Brisbane was kind of awful, as things like that can be. Sometimes there are family lines, or exceptions made because they see you have little kids, but not this time. No big deal, though it’s a treat when you can get through a little faster with a toddler who has no concept of patience 😉
We rented a car, retrieved it, and set off in the evening to find our Airbnb place…also known as: the place we want to move in and live forever. Such a great apartment! The building was mid-century modern, and the apartment had been updated beautifully. We stayed in a very nice area of Brisbane, Ascot, and could walk to plenty of local cafes and restaurants, and there was a grocery store, discount pharmacy-type store, and barber shop across the street – all utilized in the couple of days we were there. Rather convenient.
The main reason we made plans to stop in Brisbane was because we have a friend who lives there with her family. We figured, if we can meet up, Awesome! If not, then we see a little bit more of Australia – win/win. There is also a Sikorsky presence there, so why not check it out? Just in case someday a position comes along and they try to twist Matt’s arm to work there (YES, PLEASE).
Our first day in town we took off early to go to the Lone Pines Koala Sanctuary. I cannot recommend this place enough! Such a great place to go see and interact (!!!) with a bunch of Australian wildlife! We definitely took a picture with a koala and spent some time feeding the kangaroos and wallabies that wander “free-range” around a large park-like area.
It is laid out kind of like a smaller zoo, with meandering walking paths around where the animals hang out. It’s nestled into the natural surroundings where it’s quite lush. They have tons of koalas, obviously, who are incredibly adorable and fun to observe. You can also see some dingoes, Tasmanian devils, kookaburra, cockatoos and other native birds, owls, platypus, wombats, bats, possums, and crocodiles – all very cool to learn more about and see up close. They also have a barn with guinea pigs and goats that you can get up close with.
Check out the website, there is a lot to do and see there, including shows and presentations – and worth a mention, there is free wifi at the park.
It was really, really, nice to be outside in nature to walk and let the toddler run around and explore, and we all learned a little bit more that day. Really cool place, great for families of course, but I would tell anyone to go there.
Later on, we made plans to meet up with our friend and her family at something called Eat Street Market – sounded fun (duh, food!), and was super close to where we were staying. Cool.
Um…ok, so, Eat Street Market is basically a big park filled with food truck-type of vendors, serving up every kind of dish and treat you can imagine, and then some. Plus drinks! There are lights strung about the entire setting, live music, seating throughout, and a giant green space for letting kids run amok. And dogs are allowed! It’s cheap to get in, but be prepared to drop some dollars to try all the food that tempts you. It’s basically heaven. At least for us.
Especially with such great company! Being able to see our friend and meet her little family was such a highlight of the entire trip. We all stayed out late, sitting and chatting and laughing. We moved from a table, to the green space for a while, then parked it on a bench, and then decided we should probably go…and then stood around in the parking lot for a while chatting some more. Kids asleep in strollers and all. I wish we had more time to hang out with all of our friends in country, so the consensus as usual except WAY MORE, is to just move to Australia. Has to happen.
Sorry, I didn’t get any photos there because it was more fun to enjoy the time with friends – though we should’ve at least gotten a picture together! Whoops.
Other than that, we stayed really low-key in Brisbane. We grabbed breakfast at a local place down the street from our Airbnb. Like a lot of places there, it was an indoor/outdoor space, so we sat and people watched, enjoyed some great food and coffee, and soaked up the perfect weather. Reminded me so much of the Bay Area and parts of California, so it kind of felt like home, as well.
It was only a couple of days in Brisbane which is definitely not enough, but it was really nice to unwind and take it slow after spending the previous week in a motor home driving somewhere new everyday. Just a different kind of vacation. Up next, we took off for Sydney again, to spend the remaining few days at Coogee Beach!