Friday, 12 July 2013

and Brisbane, Australia - Part 1

Brisbane, Australia

A few months ago I headed off on my own little holiday to visit my best friend, who had recently moved to Brisbane. I don't often fly and this was only my second time flying by myself. Because she had only recently started a job, she couldn't take any time off. Due to my own work commitments, I couldn't delay my holiday until a time when she could take days off. But I didn't mind. We made the most of it all and I, luckily, love playing the tourist and don't mind travelling alone. So in the weeks before I left, I did a fair bit of googling to find some things to do to occupy myself and to do with my friend and her boyfriend when we could.

Day 1: Fly out!
The view from my seat as we flew over Queensland.

After I arrived we went for sushi at a sushi train near there house. We got back to theirs and I unpacked. then my friend took me to her favourite restaurant, Sultans, for a little girl time and to do some catching up.

We shared a mix grill for dinner. Chicken, beef and 
Adana kebabs with salad, rice and the 
yummiest, creamiest mashed potato.

While we were eating the owner played traditional music on his keyboard and a beautiful lady belly danced around the room, picking out guests to try a little dancing with her. Next was dessert and we kept with the mixed plate to share.

Creme caramel, Turkish delight, baklava and stuffed 
dates with the best Turkish apple tea I have ever tasted.

Ceiling detail

Before heading home we went to the waters edge of Moreton Bay to have a quick look around. There was a full moon and we could hear drumming in the distance. We followed the noise and came upon some fire twirlers and other people enjoying the moon phase. The walk was a perfect way to finish the night and let our full bellies settle a little.

Fire twirler.

Me on the play equipment at Moora Park.

Moreton Bay figs.

Day 2: Mt Tamborine.

We headed off early Sunday morning for a drive through the city and out the other side. We headed in to the mountains and towards Cedar Creek Estate for morning tea.

Driving across Story Bridge.

Me eagerly awaiting the chance to dig in.

Devonshire Tea. My friend knows me to well. 

The scones where cooked to perfection and the cream had a nice little surprise. The colour of the cream had a beige tinge to it and we asked the waiter what type of cream it was. She told us that the chef mixes a little bit of raspberry into it for a little bit of oomph.

After morning tea we had a little wander around enjoying the scenery before we hopped back into the car and headed back down the mountain a little.

The lake.

A couple of ducks.

The next stop on our little outing was the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. It hadn't occurred to me that there were rainforests so far south in Queensland. But the view was beautiful and I wasn't scared about walking on the suspended raised path. 

View from the skywalk.

Me standing out on the cantilevered walk.
This moved a bit when people walked on it.

The skywalk.

The vines were amazing.

This tree was shaped into a spiral by a vine curling up around it.
As the tree grew the vine squeezed it into shape.

View below.

The skywalk was a beautiful place to visit. A stream runs down below and most of the trail is very easy to walk. Once you leave the skywalk, you continue on a path and loop down to meet the stream then back towards the reception area. It is here that the cantilever extends out over the side of the hill.

definitely recommend the skywalk to visitors to the area. Especially if, like me, you are unable to head north to the tropics. One day I hope to visit the Daintree Rainforest.

The next stop was Mt Tamborine (town) itself. I had no idea what Mt Tamborine would be like. Little did I know that it was set up as a major tourism draw card. Mt Tamborine is about 45mins from the Gold Coast and just over an hour from the centre of Brisbane. So it is very popular for tourists and weekenders.

Clydesdale rides down the main street in a pumpkin carriage.

Cuckoo shop.

With more cuckoo clocks then you could ever dream of.

Aimee gesturing (posing) for us to enter an adorable little 
shop full of craft supplied and gift ware.

The drive home after a long day out in and around Mt Tamborine.

That's the Southbank over there. That's where I headed the very next day.

Day 3: Southbank and the CBD.

The next day was a Monday and I woke up at a ridicuoulsy early hour, in holiday terms, to catch the train with my friend into the city. She was off to work and I was heading in to have a walk around the Southbank and the city.

After walking with my friend to her office, I headed to the RiverCat terminal to catch the boat to The Southbank. I absolutely loved the Southbank. I think it's an amazing public space full of cafes, gardens and even a beach. Later on in the week we even headed back to visit a market.

Anzac Square. Walking from the train station to the office.

The flame.

The cathedral of St Stephan.

Brisbane from the RiverCat.

Water play ground at Southbank.

Formal gardens, Southbank.

Walkway. This winds most of the way along the Southbank.

View of the CBD from Southbank.

Sculpture outside the Art Gallery.

After trekking up and down the Southbank, I hopped on the Wheel of Brisbane for a even better view of the city and the surrounding area.

The view from my gondola as I headed upwards.

The view from the top.

I was quite please with this selfie. It has that rare look about it.
The look which makes it look like someone else took it.

The reason the Southbank exists started back in 1988, when the world fair come to Brisbane. After it left they kept the area as public open space. The only reminder of the fair is the Nepalese pagoda.

The pagoda with the wheel in the background.

Time to head back to the city to meet my friend for lunch.

After lunch I headed off on the second part of my walking tour of Brisbane. This time the CBD. I am a fan of historical architecture, and I apologise in advance, there are a lot of photos of old buildings coming up. I even culled quite a few from this blog.

Brisbane Town Hall

Brisbane Treasury hotel.

Stunning red terrace houses.

Parliament House

Old commercial buildings.

I had a quick wander through St John's Anglican Cathedral. The sun was starting to set and the light flooded in through the stain glass windows and it was absolutely beautiful.

St John's Anglican Cathedral.

Old Custom's House

Me, after a long day of walking.

I met up with my friend and we headed off back to her house. My feet were a bit sore and I was a little tired from all of my exploring. I had a lot more planned for the up coming days as well as a few last minute adventuring choices, so a good rest and a sleep was in order.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

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