Brisbane reminded us of Florida – the city is relatively close to many beaches, it’s clean and quiet, there are a lot of waterfront condo buildings, and the public transportation is horrible.
We spent our first day wandering the northern part of the city. The on-river walking path provided pleasant views of the downtown core. We checked out a couple breweries in the Fortitude Valley neighbourhood. Our lunch stop at Soapbox Beer helped us discover that Australia has amazing fish n’ chips – especially when done with barramundi.
The next day we walked through the Roma Street Parklands, which included a “fern gully” and at least one Australia-sized spider. We briefly stopped at the Queensland Museum and were impressed by the strangely large collection of taxidermy. We didn’t last long at the museum partly due to the overwhelming number of children on school holidays.
That night we witnessed our very first Aussie Rules football game. The sport is similar to rugby but involves a lot more kicking. Thankfully we watched a video before the match to help us understand the rules. The Collingwood Magpies absolutely obliterated the Brisbane Lions to a sold-out crowd of 34,000. Following the match we joined many other fans on the field to kick a football around with Wendy’s friend Gerry and her family.
The weekend was quite rainy so we aimed to stay indoors most of the time. Unfortunately on Good Friday that meant staying inside the hostel because everything was closed for the holiday. On Saturday we visited the Gallery of Modern Art which was hosting the Asia Pacific Triennial. There were some very impressive works by artists from Australia, New Zealand, and a handful of Asian countries, and we were pleasantly surprised that free access is given to such a large collection.
Finally we met up with Dan’s friend Liz and her partner Clint for a couple beers in the West End neighbourhood, strolling between watering holes in between sporadic downpours.