07 June 2012


The view from Kangaroo Point

I don't know what it is, but there's something about Brisbane that I really like. Maybe it's the remarkably efficient public transportation system and free museums, or maybe it's just the way the river snakes through the city, making it curvy and beautiful.


Sleepy drop bear The sleeping koalas

Our first host, Chad, is very active in the Brisbane CouchSurfing community. On his profile, he has a multiple choice question that prospective surfers must answer: Which of the following activities interest you most?

A) A Citycycle Ride along the River!
B) CityCat Ferries and Chocolate Dessert!
C) BBQ on a cliff!
D) Koalas! I love koalas.
E) Something new to me!

I told him I was torn between chocolate and koalas, but in the interest of saving calories, I would opt for koalas. Even though I'd seen them in Rockhampton, I couldn't resist. Chad took us to the Daisy Hill Koala Centre, which was established both to rescue koalas and to educate people on how better to share a habitat with these sensitive marsupials. Chad also baked brownies while we were there, so I got my chocolate fix -and the calories!- after all.

Noms The only awake koala

Brisbane rainbow

We didn't see everything in Brisbane, but we really enjoyed the areas we saw. We took a lot of long walks and saw a lot of urban scenery. From the manmade to the natural, there was always something interesting to look at.

South Bank walkway
South Bank walkway
Climbing the fig tree
Amazing fig tree in a kid's playground

Fig tree

Post boxes
I liked the graphics on these post boxes

After saying farewell to Chad, we stayed with Rossman and John on the other side of the river. We felt so at home with them, and every evening we shared a tasty meal. Rossman is originally from Indonesia, but he cooks a lot of Thai food and we were most impressed by his fried rice and stir fry dishes. In return, we shared some distinctly American recipes: New York style pizza and bagels. Thank goodness no one was on a gluten free diet in that house.

We woke up to amazing bird songs every day, because three Pied Butcherbirds like to perch outside the kitchen window at breakfast time begging for a snack. We offered them a bit of muesli, but they turned their nose up at it. Later, Rossman told me they prefer raw beef. They seem very clever and tame, and their song reminds me of the beauty of a tui or a bellbird song.

Begging butcherbird

Overall, we felt really comfortable in Brisbane. It's the type of city we wouldn't mind living in if we return to Australia for a working holiday.

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