Published: September 3rd 2012September 29th 2011
This has been a whirlwind trip to Australia, so it's been great to spend the last few days staying with friends in Brisbane. I met Krista and Kris during undergrad in Canada, but for the last several years they've been expats-first in the UK (where their son was born) and now in Australia. After two weeks of backpacking, it's so relaxing to be with friends in their home. Krista and Kris have been amazing hosts, and I'm so glad we've had a chance to catch up again!
On the day I flew in from Cairns, we took the CityCat to spend a bit of time exploring the South Bank, including the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art
. My friends moved here right around the time of the floods, so they've been able to point out what's being rebuilt (and what isn't). I love the way the Brisbane River winds through the city, and that it is used for transit-I think I'd be just as happy taking a boat to work as I would be a train.
I've already posted a blog about our visit to the Australia Zoo, where we got Up Close and Personal
with kangaroos and koalas.
On the way back to the city, we took a minor scenic detour to check out the Glass House Mountains
(both of my friends are geologists too), remnants of volcanos that were active about 26-27 million years ago. It was the perfect time to go--the mountains were lit up by the late afternoon light. There was a kangaroo/wallaby family there, and some other people who were stopped said a snake had been seen just before we arrived. We stuck close to the paths to avoid the snake (and any others that were hanging about), but still got great views of the bizarre landscape.
The next day we drove up to Noosa for some beach time. We went for a walk along the Coastal Track which had the perfect combination of shade and views. When we got back to town, we found a great Mexican restaurant for lunch before we hit the beach for the afternoon. It was a bit cool for swimming, but it was great to relax in the sun and play in the sand with my friends' son.
My third (and final day) in Brisbane was a rainy day, but we had decided to spend the
day close to Brisbane anyway. We drove up to Mount Coot-Tha for wet views of Brisbane, and then a bit of a drive through D'Aguilar National park. It's a beautiful forested area on the edge of the city, and if it wasn't rainy the valleys have lovely spots for picnics. As it was, the sound of the rain filtering through the trees was very calming. We wrapped up the afternoon with lunch and a bit of shopping before going home to get ready for dinner. We were going out with friends of my hosts, all expats too, for an Oktoberfest dinner at a great German restaurant in Brisbane. And so it was that I spent my last night in Australia - with expats, in a German restaurant...
I can't thank Krista and Kris and Jacob enough for hosting me in Brisbane - I really enjoyed my visit and the time we were able to spend together!
There are more photos below