After grey and cloudy Byron Bay, Brisbane was quite literally a ray of sunshine. We arrived at the city’s main Transit Centre one late afternoon. The information desk there helped us book in at a good hostel which was only a short walk away so off we headed. City Backpackers in Brisbane was a very well-run and friendly hostel. It was also very clean. The kitchen was well equipped, but unfortunately as the hostel was so busy, so too was the kitchen. We didn’t get chance to really cook in there other than to use the microwave, toaster and kettle! We did make use of their lovely roof top garden overlooking the city and their movie room for the evening entertainment however.
The next day, we spent a full day sight-seeing around Brisbane’s city centre. Taking in the Treasury Building, City Hall (closed for refurbishment so we couldn’t visit the museum inside), Queen Street Mall (obstacle course of building work), Anzac Square, Central Station, Post Office Square (packed with office workers on their lunch break), King George Square, Parliament House, City Botanic Gardens and Old Government House. There seemed to be building works going on all over town which reminded me of back home how every year Chester becomes a building site during peak season, ruining all the tourists’ photographs.
Our walk took us over the Brisbane River via the Goodwill Bridge away from the CBD and onto Southbank. Is this sounding like a tour of London yet? You’d be forgiven for thinking this. Along the river banks we walked through the park until we came to the artificial beach called Streets Beach. Here I learned from Mark that Streets is a Unilever owned band - the Walls logo confirmed this.
View of the CBD from Southbank, Brisbane, AustraliaThe man-made lagoon at Streets Beach is deep enough for swimming. The lifeguard was on duty. Again, along Southbank there were sections closed off for building work, but it didn’t ruin the laid-back feel of the area which was welcome after the busy hustling bustling CBD we had just visited. Last on our itinerary that day was the Queensland Museum, which was open and was free admission – bonus!
The day’s circuit brought us back to the William Jolly Bridge where we could see our hostel across the river. So off we went in search of dinner after a good day out of sunshine and walking.
I really enjoyed our short time in Brisbane. After 3 weeks of East Coast beaches, it was nice to break up the trip with a city that did not sell itself for it’s beaches. It came across as a city for business and fun too. Though judging by the prices of restaurant food and drinks, I think you need to be working to be able to afford the fun!