A night cruise on the Brisbane River

I wanted to do it since I moved to Brisbane and last night we finally found a good opportunity to do a night cruise on the Brisbane River. Travelling on water is undoubtedly the best way to soak in the city skyline and doing it at night when all the buildings are colourfully shining makes it even more beautiful. Also most of Brisbane’s sights can be seen from the river, such as the Story and the Kurilpa- Bridge, the Brisbane Wheel, the Treasury Casino and the impressive Kangaroo Point Cliffs. Another good news is, that there are ferries run by the Brisbane City Council called CityHopper that are going every 30 minutes and are absolutely for free. The ideal stops for a fun cruise on the river are in my opinion the Eagle Street Pier at Fortitude Valley and Southbank.

11847696_1041680562522342_1039697823_o

We got on the ferry at Sydney Street last night and disembarked about 40 minutes later at South Bank, which is a beautiful location to get dinner at one of the plenty international restaurants or just go for a romantic walk.

Show me the CityHopper departure times!

The Brisbane French Festival

One thing that I really enjoy about Brisbane is it’s numerous cultural festivals. Held annually they allow people with foreign origins to come together and celebrate their culture, but also they make it possible for others to experience the authentic music, cuisine, culture, entertainment and products of their background. The most popular cultural festivals are taking place at the Southbank Parklands and stretch over a couple of days or even longer, such as the French Festival, the Greek Festival and the asian Night Noodle Markets. But then there are also heaps of smaller ones to be found in different areas of the city, like the Mexican Festival and the Latin Market at West End. And not to forget the Oktoberfest, that has evolved to one of the main annual events for young people in Brisbane.

This afternoon we have been at the Brisbane French Festival. There was some romantic french live music on when we arrived and later in the day they showcased a fashion walk of a parisian designer, but the focus was clearly on the food. From Creme Brulée and Quiche to snails, they had all the french delicacies I could think of, making decisions hard. We eventually ended up getting a Ratatouille Quiche, a tarte flambée, a baguette with soucisson and camembert and a chocolate eclair. And some red wine, bien sûr! It was soo delicious!

 

Watching AFL at the Gold Coast

Yay! I’ve seen my first live AFL match at the Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium today!

Australian Rules Football is Australia’s national sport. It’s very different to any other sport in the world with 4 big posts at each end of an oval field with the aim to score as many points kicking the ball through the middle two posts. It’s very unusual to watch for the first time but despite not knowing much it is very entertaining to watch live. With 18 teams all across Australia its the most popular sport in the country and it requires a combination of fitness, skill and strength.

11950874_1048270955196636_1964727600_n

We watched a game at Metricon stadium which is Gold Coasts home ground and only an hour from Brisbane. They were playing against the Fremantle Dockers a team from Perth who are Jared’s favourite team and he didn’t want to miss the chance to see them live considering they don’t come to Brisbane very often. There is not much parking available near the stadium so its important to get public transport to the there or come early to give yourself plenty of time to find a park, we found this out the hard way!

Unfortunately it was a cold and rainy day for the game so Jared and I were forced to huddle in our seats to stay warm, dressed as if we were preparing for a summer day at Gold Coasts sunny beaches. However we forgot about this as the game went on and the energy in the stadium began to grow with the scores being really close for the whole game, looking like either team could win. In the rain players were throwing themselves at the ball to get it for their team and it came down to the last minute for Fremantle to kick a final goal and secure the win (much to Jared’s excitement).

Fortunately the rain had settled by the end of the game for us to make our way back to the car. For only $35 it’s an extremely fun way to spend an afternoon and I have heard watching a game in Melbourne is a must!

What AFL games are on during my stay?

 

Date night at Mecca Bah

We had a beautiful evening with the most delicious dinner at Mecca Bah. The restaurant is serving Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine in a perfectly matching warm and comfortable atmosphere. We had turkish bread with an assortment of middle eastern dips as a starter and then shared a Spicy Moroccan Seafood Tagine and a Turkish Pizza topped with roast zucchini, middle eastern cheeses, lemon and mint. We really enjoyed the exotic freshness, the mix of sweet and savoury and the bright herbs and spices and will definitely go back to try more dishes on their menu.

 

The Australian Ballet at the Riverstage -Giselle

The Riverstage, situated in the City Botanic Gardens of Brisbane is one of the main entertainment venues of the city. Surrounded by nature it is a beautiful place and it hosts many local, national and international concerts and events each year. And the awesome thing is, besides the paid shows Riverstage also hosts a big number of free events, of which some are real gems. Like the one we have been to today. The Australian Ballet has performed Giselle. The area around the stage was pretty crowded during the show, but it didn’t bother me too much. We managed to get a good space and enjoyed the performance, which was absolutely awesome.

To see what’s coming on at the Riverstage click here!

Mount Tambourine

We have been at the Eagle Heights Mountain Resort on Mount Tambourine for the last couple of days to attend the wedding of Jared’s uncle. It’s such a beautiful place and the wedding ceremony in the garden, with this spectacular view over the ocean and the Gold Coast skyline in the background was absolutely amazing. The hotel, which is only about an hour from Brisbane is an awesome place to get away from all the rush and recharge your batteries and maybe explore one of the nearby bush walks. For those wanting to enjoy the view, without staying overnight, the resort also has a public beergarden from where you can also access their nice garden area.

Show me more about the hotel!

A day at the beach

We spend a very nice day at Kings Beach/ Caloundra at the Sunshine Coast today. Only about 40 minutes from Brisbane it’s a beautiful beach that is usually not too crowded. Today we ended up having a long stretch of  it pretty much for ourselves. del1

Jared even tried to teach me surfing. But despite all the optimism I had on the drive there, I soon had to realise that it just doesn’t quite seem to be my thing. It was just so exhausting. For everyone who has never tried it before, imagine it like sledding. It’s fun and good times while you are sliding down the hill, but it get’s nasty when you have to pull your sled up the hill afterwards, at least if you’re just starting to learn. And well, what should I say.. in that case i just prefer relaxing on the beach and watching Jared doing it.

Hello new home! -Back in Australia

Finally! After spending the last 24 hours killing time on planes and at airports, just to be hold back for another 2 hours at the Brisbane airport, due to increased safety measures because of my last stop being Africa, I eventually made it. I am back in Australia, this time on a working holiday visa allowing me to search for a job and to stay for the next 12 months. And I am really looking forward to what is coming, even though this most likely means the temporary end of my time as a backpacker. It has been an indescribable time but for now I am excited to start this new adventure and make Australia my new home.

I have been absolutely jet lagged and exhausted today, so Jared and I just spent the whole day sunbathing at the pool. Good times!

Hello Brisbane!

We have arrived in the capital of Queensland this morning and for the next 3 days we have pre-booked our accommodation through Airbnb again. It’s our second time using it and last time in Hong Kong we were absolutely satisfied. This time we are staying at the apartment of a lovely Australian surf teacher that seems to life a pretty alternative lifestyle and does not quite like to wear clothes. This could be interesting. Apart from that his apartment is in a perfect spot, right in Fortitude Valley, a very central area of the city were most of the nightlife is going on.

11913026_1045869042103494_417078143_n

Anyway, back to Brisbane. The impressions we have heard from other backpackers that have been staying here have not been sounding too exciting. Many of them described Brisbane as boring and “not worth a stay” but just from what we could see on our drive in it is a beautiful city and we really liked it already. So we were looking forward to go exploring the city today and were even more surprised. We discovered a beautiful walk along the Brisbane river, leading from Fortitude Valley, through the Botanic Gardens, past the city center to a place called Southbank. The whole walk was pretty awesome, with great views of the river, the skyline and big cliffs and Southbank, which is a huge park with a Lagoon (a public pool with sand beaches) overlooking the river, has been the perfect place to chill out on a hot summer day like it was today. And in case you should forget where you are for a moment, all the huge birds and lizards constantly crossing your paths will make sure to remind you.

thbjk

We are back at the apartment now, getting ready for a night out.

A last night out with the Fraser Crew

Last night was so much fun! After returning from Fraser Island in the afternoon, everyone just quickly disappeared into their rooms to have a eagerly awaited shower and get all that sand off their bodies (that’s the downside of camping on a island consisting of nothing but sand -it literally gets everywhere!) followed by a much needed nap. But just in time for dinner everyone came back down in the living area and we all cooked a big dinner out of whatever was left from the last few days. As one night of accommodation at Next Backpackers both pre and post the Fraser trip were included in all our bookings, pretty much everyone was staying another night and so we decided to go out and party together one last night. So we got all our leftover goon bags and other drinks from our rooms and started playing the most ridiculous drinking games, as known from the last days at Fraser. Much to the amusement (but probably also jealousy) of the people watching. When we finally got kicked out of the hostel at around 10 pm we made our way to a local club were we partied until early next morning. What a good time!