Journey to Down Under – 5. Stage Brisbane

We arrived in Brisbane around noon and I remember that the highway section from Byron Bay to Brisbane was very green. It became clearer and clearer that we were approaching the equator as it got hotter and greener as we travelled. But I also remember that the section is full of potholes and that’s exactly why I couldn’t sleep, so I simply looked out of the window and admired nature.

Once I arrived in Brisbane I was speechless. Brisbane is a huge city and wherever you look, you only see skyscrapers. At first I thought: “Am I in New York?” When we found some orientation, we looked for our apartment. Finally we had an apartment in the middle of the city and didn’t have to walk half an hour to the center. I advise you to look for an apartment in the CBD (Central Business District) of Brisbane, because then everything is nearby. After we found the apartment and set us up, we went to the tourist information center to get an overview of what you can do in Brisbane. We walked through King George Square, Brisbane’s main square, and funnily enough there was a party taking place. I don’t know exactly what it was about, but almost only Indonesians were there. There was Indonesian music and Indonesian food. I found it a funny coincidence, since I am a quarter Indonesian myself. A little later we found the tourist information center and just nearby a bar. So we had another drink and toasted our holiday again. After that the day was over.

Where are we?

The next morning we decided to walk first to the Farmers Market, which is located right in front of the Botanical Garden. First we walked through the Roma Street Parklands. Perhaps the most beautiful park in Brisbane and perhaps even the most beautiful I have ever seen. The Roma Street Parklands is huge. You can easily spend a day there without getting bored. I will describe the impressions to you in the following article “Personal impressions of Brisbane“. Arrived at the market we looked at the stands and finally a market which was like we had imagined it to be. One part of the stalls sold only jewellery, clothes, toys etc. and the other part sold fruits and vegetables from the region and delicious street food. Since it was still early, we didn’t eat anything, but walked directly into the botanical garden. Already at the gate of the Botanical Garden we heard another live concert. We strolled comfortably through the garden and looked at the special flowers and trees. I was really enthusiastic about a certain tree species.

Can someone tell me what this tree is called?

As we had read that it is absolutely necessary to visit the old parliament house and that it is also located next to the botanical garden, we made a little detour to the old parliament house. Well, what can I say… You don’t necessarily have to have seen it. After the side trip we walked into the botanical garden again and strolled along the river that runs right through Brisbane.

Brisbane River

Finally, we went to the Farmers Market to get some food. We both ate Gozlems, a Turkish dish that resembles an Italian piadina, but is filled with spinach and feta, if I’m not mistaken. Then we used the afternoon to swim in our swimming pool and after a long time to do some sports again.

On the third day in Brisbane we did something I had been looking forward to the whole trip: We visited the famous Australia Zoo, which is located in Beerwah. The Australia Zoo is perhaps one of the most famous zoos in the world, mainly because of a grandiose person. It’s the zoo of Steve Irwin, a documentary filmmaker, adventurer and zoo director, and more importantly, someone who was committed to the animals and wanted to protect them. Surely you know him by the name of “The Crocodile Hunter”. For me this visit was especially important, because Steve Irwin is a great idol for me and he showed me how wonderful animals can be. I urge you to watch one of his documentaries! For the Australians Steve Irwin was an idol and the whole country mourned when he died in 2006. During the trip I talked to an Australian woman and she told me that everyone she knew had to cry that day. You see Steve Irwin is not only important to me, but also to millions of Australians. That’s why I had to visit this zoo.

Steve Irwin with his family

The visit in the zoo was very expensive ($60), but it was definitely worth it. We saw so many different animals. But most of all we saw a lot of different crocodile species from very close. Also here the saltwater crocodiles got a name and their very own story was told how they landed in the Australia Zoo. I found a story particularly funny. A saltwater crocodile hated the noise of lawnmowers and attacked the lawnmowers in the neighbourhood. At some point this became so problematic that Steve had to catch it.

Salt water crocodile on lazy

Of course there is also a kangaroo enclosure where you can run in and try to feed or pet the animals. This enclosure was huge and there were several types of kangaroos and wallabies. Wallabies are like small kangaroos. I also mega nice was to see that there were several kangaroo mothers with their Joey in their belly. You’re probably wondering why I call the babies Joey’s. I learned there that the kangaroo babies are called Joey. Those who know me well know that I am not satisfied with stroking and feeding. And so the following photo was taken:

My Bro and I

We also saw many colorful birds, dingos, various lizards and turtles. I advise you to take a look at the Picture gallery to see all the animals I have photographed. Around noon we went into the huge saltwater crocodile arena to watch the crocodile show. It was very informative but also very, how shall I say it… cringy. For example, did you know that saltwater crocodiles can grow up to 12 meters tall if you didn’t destroy their habitat and give them enough food? However, the largest crocodile in captivity is just six to seven meters long. As a small comparison:

12 Meter saltwater crocodile (I look very small with my 1.80m)

After a very long day in the zoo, we took the train back to Brisbane in the evening.

The next day we decided to walk to South Bank, the quarter of art galleries and museums. Since both of us were not so interested in art and museums, we walked on the river promenade. We passed a big wheel, The Wheel of Brisbane. We wanted to go for a ride on the Ferris Wheel, but when we saw the price for a ride, we both agreed that it was to expensive. Then we passed the Streets Beach. This is an artificially created sandy beach with a huge basin in the middle. You really get the feeling as if you were at the sea. Unfortunately the water was just cleaned when we were there, so we couldn’t take a bath.

Streets Beach

Later we passed the Epicurious Garden. I thought the concept of Epicurious Garden was simply fantastic and I would like every city to have one. It’s a huge garden where various fruits, vegetables, salads & spices are voluntarily grown and harvested by pensioners. At the same time, the pensioners tell you everything you need to know about cultivation and the flower pots have recipes so you can get an idea of what you can do with them. I also thought it was cool that there was a small stand that offered the harvested produce for free. Unfortunately the stand was already empty. But the concept is simply brilliant and the idea is that people prepare more fresh food instead of ready meals.

Epicurious, perhaps the world’s most ingenious garden

Then we took the river ferry to the Eagle Street Pier Ferry Terminal to walk to Chinatown. Chinatown was very small and in my eyes a complete disappointment. In the late afternoon we swam again in the swimming pool and enjoyed the warm sun. In the evening we walked back to South Bank for dinner and a cocktail. At the end we walked along the promenade again and I took one to two photos.

The next day we had to take the Greyhound towards Noosa at about 14 o’clock noon, so we decided to grill on the public grills in the Roma Street Park. We slept for another hour on a meadow and enjoyed the warm sun and the great weather before we had to catch our bus.

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