So 14 hours on a train took us over the boarder and into Queensland and Brisbane. The LP says that Brisbane is the sunniest state capital in Australia and that Queensland has 300 days of sunshine a year: we were feeling hopeful - surely it's not called the Sunshine Coast for nothing.
Preconceptions and first impressions were soon shattered as, after a few hours of warm sunshine, clouds rolled in and blotted out the sun. The next two days were decidedly wet and it was only on our final day that we got to see why this area got it's name! (of course we're not going to begrudge the Ozzie's a bit of rain - they are
in a drought after all and we're Brits, we're used to the wet!)
Brisbane is a lot smaller than Sydney and has nowhere near the same number of high rise buildings or iconic pieces of architecture. Nevertheless, it is very pretty with a river that meanders through the centre and provides an excellent vantage point. We spent the first day walking around the South Bank area, following parts of the LP walking tour and riding the City Cat ferry to the end
of the line and back again. All this was interspersed with coffee to keep us from flagging as it is next to impossible to sleep in an economy train seat!
Not ones to let the rain ruin our plans we headed out on Wednesday morning and caught the City Sights bus, a hop-on-hop-off service that goes round the main places of interest. However we quickly decided we weren't going to do any hopping off apart from 5 minutes at Mt Coo-tha for the view. We retreated to indoor activities for the rest of the day and crossed our fingers for some sunshine before we had to leave.
Thursday saw us heading 35km north out of Brisbane to Redcliffe Peninsular to stay with my Uncle Peter for a couple of days. He took us out in the car all round the Sunshine Coast and Hinterland, taking in the Glass-House Mountains, a walk through some rainforest where we saw a Pademelon (small kangaroo), and the coastal towns of Mooloolaba and Caloundra. Although the sun didn't quite make it out it did at least dry up for us!
Finally on Saturday we woke to clear blue skies and a big
warm sun so we managed to do the outdoor bits of the city that we had hoped to get to. We also finally understood why Brisbane and Queensland has the reputation it does - rain is rare and the sunshine is brilliant!
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