Somehow every time we visit QLD, we seem to race through Brisbane without ever exploring any of its highlights. This time I was determined to tick a couple of things off our list, and a stay at Novotel Brisbane provided the perfect opportunity to spend a full day in this busy city.
Really, we barely scratched the surface of what Brisbane has going on. The day was ridiculously, claustrophobically hot, so we headed directly towards South Bank to cool off.
During our last visit to Brisbane, we caught a ferry up the river and back, which was a really cool perspective to visit the city from. This time we walked the waterfront, stopping in at the Wheel of Brisbane (I'll tell you about that one another time) and buying a couple of balloon animals from a city vendor. Brisbane is a far prettier city than I've ever given it credit for, and South Bank was especially so. The bougainvillaea entwined archways formed a perfect sun shelter, for our slow meander towards the water.
South Bank's Streets Beach has an element of the surreal. Entirely city, with skyscrapers towering and suits lunching. And yet here in the heart of South Bank there were bikinis and floaties and families picnicking on its imported sands. It was fun, and it was also frickin hot, so splashing our feet in a the salty chlorine of a pretend beach was pretty much ideal.
Afterwards we grabbed burgers from Burger Urge on Stanley St Plaza (I ordered kids meals because dang, Aus food prices are something else). They were delicious, the perfect energy boost before we made our way across the river to Novotel.
This little walk across Victoria Bridge and through Queen St was an unexpected highlight. The streets were busy, and very green! Once again I was surprised by how pretty it was. How cool to have a village green right in the CBD! Yet another cool community space :-) Brisbane, you are winning.
I know we missed many of Brisbane's top attractions (the Museum of Modern Art, for example). We still enjoyed a beautiful day in the heart of the city, and would love to hear your suggestions for what to put at the top of the list for our next visit. I personally love the sound of Friday Nights on the Green.
Cost: Mostly free - other than the Wheel of Brisbane
Highlights: Streets Beach and our walk through the city
Lowlights: The heat was pretty much up there, and the Wheel turned out to not be my thing :-P
Expectation vs. Reality: So much prettier than expected, so much more to explore
Worth repeating: Definitely!
What we'd do differently: We'll try and spend longer next time and cover a bit more ground