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From the Indian to the Pacific: A Trip Across the Australian Continent

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Nov 28th, 2018, 04:36 PM
  #21
 
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Enjoying your report . You're right about the Adelaide market it's no where the size of Queen Vic market in Melbourne .
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Nov 29th, 2018, 01:42 AM
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Thanks for your interesting & insightful reports Tripplanner. It’s always interesting to see our country through the eyes of visitors, particularly returning visitors.

Adelaide is such a pretty city. I love the bluestone houses & gorgeous gardens in the older areas. And it’s so close to the wine valleys. In a previous life, I used to spend about 2 months a year there for work.

They’re very proud of being our only city not founded by convicts - and if you have a good ear, you can discern the slightly clipped “Adelaidian” accent & use of terms not used elsewhere for some items.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/w/index.p...ed+by+convicts
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Nov 29th, 2018, 06:32 AM
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Bokhara, where would we find the bluestone houses and gardens? Sounds like wandering we would enjoy during our upcoming trip in early March.
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Nov 30th, 2018, 12:32 AM
  #24
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Northie, thanks for letting me know you're reading. I love the Queen Victoria Markets.

Bokhara2, you're welcome. Adelaide does have a lot of nice green spaces. There seems to be at least a nice big garden in each of your capital cities, although Adelaide feels like a city in a garden in some parts.

Kangaroo Island Beautiful and Wild

Having spent six nights in the big cities, we were off to Kangaroo Island just off the coast of mainland South Australia for three nights. We booked our travel through Kangaroo Island Wilderness Tours. KIWT was the most responsive of the companies we contacted and answered all of our questions. We would be on tour with KIWT over the next three days. KIWT also helped arrange our accommodations at Molly's Run, a charming European villa that serves as a bed and breakfast for visiting guests.

We awoke early this morning to head to Adelaide Airport for our 20-minute flight to Kangaroo Island. We could have also travelled via bus and ferry, although we wanted to maximize the limited time we had and thought the plane ride was a good investment. There are three flights a day operating to and from Adelaide and Kangaroo Island. We took the first flight, operated by Regional Express. Our flight was delayed for an hour due to mechanical issues. Eventually our plane was swapped and we were on our way to the island.

Jim was to be our guide and driver for the day. Jim met us at the airport and took us sightseeing for the day. Our first stop was Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, about a two-hour drive from the airport on the northeastern side of the island. We were greeted with about a dozen or so wild koalas sleeping and playing in the trees. Even though we booked a group tour, which could cater to six passengers, we had the vehicle to ourselves for the day. Jim was excellent - and funny too. We spent just under an hour searching the trees for koalas and were gazing at them.

From Hanson Bay it is a short drive to Rocky River, a recreational area inside Flinders Chase National Park set up by the Australian government. At the Rocky River Visitors Center, we took a look at the exhibits explaining the island's past. Rocky River was also were our driver turned into a gourmet chef and cooked lunch for us. We enjoyed grilled steak, salads, and even dessert in a picnic area of the park. Following lunch we visited two limestone rock formations turned tourist attractions. Our first stop inside Flinders Chase was Admiral Arch, a limestone cave with a collapsed ceiling. In addition to walking amount the formations, we also admired New Zealand fur seals as well as a handful of Australian sea lions. Our second stop inside the park was at Remarkable Rocks, a series of limestone rock formations carved by wind, rain, and water for several thowsand years. Wandering among the shapes, I could not help but noticed resemblance to some of Picasso's artworks.

Our last stop of the day was a late afternoon drive through what is known on the island as kangaroo activity country. We went offroading on our 4X4 among the bush. The drive very much reminded me of going on safari in Africa. We saw a couple of dozen kangaroos of varying ages.

From here it was another couple-hour drive to Molly's Run, located on the north coast of the island. The bed and breakfast is home to three guests rooms, of which we would occupy two. The owners of the home were away for a short period of time, so we were welcomed by another couple who runs the property in their stead. The home oozes with character. The rooms are spacious and comfortable as well as the bathrooms. The couple also cooked dinner for us, which was simply amazing. We enjoyed our evening with another couple also visiting from the United States. Similar to dinner, the couple cooked us a very delicious breakfast - a perfect way to start the day.
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Nov 30th, 2018, 12:39 AM
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not worth going out of your way for it.

I keep telling people this, but no one listens

Glad you enjoyed Kings Park - I spent countless hours there when I Iived in Perth and miss it tremendously.
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Nov 30th, 2018, 06:12 AM
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Sounds great!
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Dec 1st, 2018, 03:35 AM
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Ooh, just found this TP and so pleased you’re enjoying time in Oz again. I grew up in Adelaide and visited Kangaroo Island in 1968, have some great childhood memories. Let me know if there’s a GTG on in Brissie, I’ll make my best effort to get there.
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Dec 1st, 2018, 04:46 AM
  #28
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Melnq8, thanks for reading and commenting. I recall you had asked a question about Elizabeth Quay. Most of the work around the quay is completed except for three buildings that are still going up. One is supposed to be a Ritz Carlton hotel, another an apartment building, and the third I'm unsure about.

Sartoric, welcome and welcome home from India. I am very much enjoying reading about your travel with India as well as your photos.

Coastal Kangaroo Island

We awoke to the sight of a beautiful koala sleeping on one of the trees on the property as well as an amazing breakfast cooked by one of our hosts, Narelle. Soon after breakfast we were picked up by tour guide Gavin for our second day of touring on the island. Unlike Jim, a retired school teacher who only shows visitors around the island a couple of times a week, Gavin takes guests on tours more regularly. While we explored the southwest of Kangaroo Island yesterday, today was mostly devoted to its central part. We were treated to some of the island's most pristine coastline.

Our first stop was Seal Bay, home of a fairly large colony of New Zealand fur seals. Located on the south shore of Kangaroo Island, where the land brushes up against the Southern Ocean, the site is home to a visitors center and a long sandy beach accessible by foot on a relatively-new boardwalk. We spent a good amount of time on the beach, just enjoying the playful seals do what seals do - play with one another, swim, relax on the beach, etc.

We then travelled from Seal Bay to Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, located in the town of Parndana close to the geographic center of the island. Here we enjoyed hand-feeding kangaroos, patting koalas, and seeing several other beautiful animals including echidnas, emus, little penguins, snakes, etc. In addition to the kangaroos and the koalas, a big highlight was Stanley the cockatoo, who was interacting with us as much as we did him. We also enjoyed a nice lunch just a short distance away from the wildlife park.

Following lunch we headed to the north coast. We went for a drive out in Western River before moving on to Snellings Beach for a nice walk in the sand. We also visited Stokes Bay, probably my favorite beach on the island. The beach is hidden from the car park and accessible by scrambling in between fallen rocks and boulders scattered about the coastline. We also visited the beach at Emu Bay and enjoyed craft beer at the nearby Kangaroo Island Brewery.

We returned to the hotel at about 6:00 PM, on time for a quick refreshing shower before a second night of a lovely dinner served by our hosts Narelle and Peter. Peter also took us for a night drive following dinner. During the 30 to 40 minute drive, we saw dozens of kangaroos and wallabies, along with a possum. It was an incredible day capped by a perfect dinner and night outing.

We rinse, repeat, and do it all over again on our third and final day on Kangaroo Island.
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Dec 1st, 2018, 01:50 PM
  #29
 
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Brisbane GTG?

TP, you mentioned you thought you may be free this coming Wednesday or Thursday (5th/6th) for a little Fodorite GTG & would consult your friends. If you would like to meet a few of us, I’m sure we could put something together - just let us know which day/time you would prefer.

If you’re fully booked, we will all understand. We’re all travellers & know that, much as we might like to fit everything & everyone into a packed Itinerary, sometimes it’s just not possible.

Either day works for me. I’ll be coming up from the Gold Coast - but it’s only an hour’s drive, so not a big deal.
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Dec 1st, 2018, 03:16 PM
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Bokhara2, thank you for the reminder. With everything we have planned, the timing won't work anymore. One of us found out that a few of our friends will be in Brisbane the same time as we, so we'll be spending some time with them. I very much enjoy the opportunity to meet you as well as Sartoric. Perhaps next time though, as I plan on returning to Australia sometime in 2019.

It Gets Even Better

Most visitors to Kangaroo Island take a day trip from Adelaide or stay a night or two. We were among the ones that made a three-night stay - to give us the opportunity to enjoy the island a bit more and see some of the places that the big tour buses don't go.

After yet another phenomenal breakfast prepared for us by host and chef Narelle along with her husband Peter, we were off to explore the Dudley Peninsula located on the east side of the island. We first stopped at the airport to pick up a friendly coupled from Europe who would join us for the day and off we went. We traveled over a narrow isthmus that join the east to the main part of the island and visited Cape Hart, home to a colony of fur seals. Nearby were also some terns and a solitary sea lion. It was a warm morning, which made it easier to enjoy the seal action.

From there we traveled to Cape Willoughby to see the lighthouse and Devil's Kitchen, where we enjoyed beautiful orange-lichen covered hillsides. The waters were quite calm, so we did not see the massive waves crashing against the cliffs that were shared with me by other visitors. We enjoyed another nice lunch, this time along a peaceful water not too far from a beautiful white - sand beach.

Following lunch we went for an amazing afternoon safari drive to view the kangaroos. We saw a couple of kangaroos and then another three and then another two. Before we knew it there were kangaroos as far as the eye could see. The cooler temperatures in the afternoon and the overcast sky meant kangaroos were out and about in the open grasslands than they normally would. We never saw as many kangaroos anywhere on our travels across Australia. The numbers reminded me of the number of impala we saw on our safaris in South Africa and Botswana. This afternoon truly made our visit to Kangaroo Island. It's an experience we could never forget.

We ended our day with a relaxing visit to a winery on the island where we enjoyed the fruits of the land along with our guide and travelling companions. From there we dropped the couple off at their accommodations before continuing on to ours. The end was bittersweet as we truly enjoyed the company of our tour guide Gavin. On travels like these, the quality of a guide could make or break a visit and he's a real star. I hope he continues to bring joy to his visitors as he did with us.

Likewise it was equally difficult to say goodbye to our hosts Peter and Narelle back at Molly's Run. They were the quintessential hosts: warm, welcoming, caring, and fun. They did not treat us as visitors but guests in their own home. They not only cooked for us and looked after us, but we shared stories and many, many laughs. Narelle is one of the best cooks I've have had the pleasure of enjoying her creations, and Peter is contagious in his humor. They are the real ambassadors for Kangaroo Island.

This visit to a small island - not quite so small - has created so many wonderful memories for us. It's a place we will always remember. And if we are lucky, we hope to be back again someday.

With that, we're now on our way back to Adelaide and off to the Barossa Valley where we continue our journey across this amazing continent. Our plane from Kangaroo Island is about to take off; join me back on the other side of Gulf St. Vincent for the next chapter.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 03:16 AM
  #31
 
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Thanks TP - and an unexpected pleasure for you to catch up with your friends in Brisbane,

I’m very much enjoying your Reports, particularly Kangaroo Island, which has been on my radar for a while now.

Have fun & maybe our paths will cross next year somewhere.
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Dec 2nd, 2018, 04:17 AM
  #32
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You're welcome Bokhara2. Definitely go to Kangaroo Island if you have the opportunity, especially if you like to see wildlife in its natural habitat. And if you like beaches too as you're likely to find one to yourself. How long will you be on the Gold Coast? Here's hoping we'll meet soon. I'm grateful especially to you and to Melnq8 for all the great advice you've provided me over the years.

The Adelaide Hills

We travelled by plane from Kangaroo Island (I miss it already) to Adelaide Airport and arrived back on the mainland shortly after 11:00 AM. We were picked up at the airport by Scott Ninnis from Premium Wine Tours. Scott took us to the Barossa Valley, where we will stay for two nights. The journey to the Barossa went via the Adelaide Hills. We first stopped at Mount Lofty Lookout for views over Adelaide before continuing on to Hahndorf, a German settlement southeast of Adelaide founded shortly after the founding of South Australia's capital city. We enjoyed a wine tasting at Somerled Wines in Hahndorf upon arrival. The tasting consisted of an excellent sparkling wine and everything from whites to roses to reds - a great way to start our day. After the wine tasting, we strolled the main street of Hahndorf and did some shopping. We also enjoyed lunch at the German Arms, which featured good-quality German and German-inspired food. After three hours in Hahndorf, we were driven to Tanunda, our base in the Valley. Along the way we passed beautiful homes, vineyards, and a few cattle farms. We arrived at our accommodations, the Lanzerac Country Estate, shortly before 6:00 PM.

The Lanzerac recently opened to visitors after a local family bought the property, totally restored and rehabilitated it, and turned it into a small hotel of five rooms. The rooms were tastefully appointed and spacious. Some of the rooms have vineyard views. The family who owns the property is very kind and welcoming. We enjoyed spending some time with them upon arrival. Following their suggestion, we enjoyed a high-quality dinner at 1918, one of if not the Barossa Valley's first proper restaurant.

Tomorrow we will enjoy a full day touring some of the wineries in the Valley. Come along for the libation. Cheers!
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Dec 3rd, 2018, 03:31 AM
  #33
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A Day Among the Vines

Today was a lazier day than usual for us. We woke up late and enjoyed a great cooked-to-order breakfast at the Lanzerac. Don’t know what it is about food in Australia, but the meals keep on getting better and better. We did not get going until 10:15 AM, when we were picked up by Scott for a full day of wine tasting.

We first called at Lindsay Wine Estate where we enjoyed barrel tastings of several merlots, cabernet sauvignons, and shirazes before tasting their barreled products. Our second stop was at Langmeil, one of the oldest wineries in Australia. We enjoyed 19 different types of wines including two of what were among the day’s best shirazes. Lunch was at Saltram, also a cellar door. We dined on a chacuterie plate and several delicious pizzas. We called at two more cellar doors in the afternoon – at Tscharke and at Ballycroft. Ballycroff is owned and operated by a lone winemaker who is very passionate about his wines and sells directly to his customers in Australia and abroad. Most of the wines we tasted were not available for sale retail in the United States with the exceptional of a couple of wines from Langmeil. We completed our tour at about 3:15 PM and took an afternoon stroll down the main street in Tanunda before returning our hotel.

While we enjoyed a few wines we tasted today and enjoyed some of the stories behind them, the places we visited did not have gardens or other things to keep visitors such as ourselves more occupied. Similarly, Tanunda did not have any shops of interest to us unlike some of the other wine regions we’ve visited. For these reasons, the Barossa did not offer the same well-rounded visitor experience than other wine regions such as my favorite – the Franschhoek Valley. We felt two nights were enough and could probably have been satisfied with a day trip from Adelaide.

Dinner tonight was at Vintners, where we enjoyed a variety of Asian-inspired dishes ranging from fried pig ears and an Asian salad of wood ear mushrooms, bean sprouts, and enoki mushrooms to Sichuan pepper chicken and spiced kangaroo filet. Yet another fabulous meal.

Before I wrap up about our time in the Barossa Valley, it is worth mentioning our accommodation, the Lanzerac Country Estate, once again. Owned and operated by a young couple alongside both of their parents, it is truly a family affair. The care they provide to make sure their guests are happy and comfortable during their stay is apparent from the moment we stepped foot on the property to nearly the time we are leaving. The rooms are simple yet elegant and complete with everything you need. The breakfasts, I must say again, were phenomenal. They help arrange reservations for dinner, and provide transportation to and from the area’s restaurants. I would definitely recommend it to others and would happily stay here again.

We’re off to Southeast Queensland tomorrow for the final leg of our journey across Australia. See you in Brisbane.
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Dec 4th, 2018, 01:45 PM
  #34
 
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I was thinking you’d need a substantial breakfast with a long day of wine tasting ahead, TP

Thanks for another interesting look around through your eyes.
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Dec 5th, 2018, 12:51 AM
  #35
 
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Hi FromDC
I live in Adelaide - having grown up in Perth - and the bluestones you might enjoy are scattered in near city suburbs.
A walk around North Adelaide will allow you a chance to see quite a few - and going out further into the eastern suburbs you will find plenty.
You can easily get to North Adelaide on the free city bus - I will have a look and see if anyone has produced a walking map that guides you in this area.
Lots of the older bluestones have little plaques given a brief history as well.
When are you planning to be in Adelaide - we call it Mad March with the Festival, the Fringe festival and so much going on!
Maybe get in touch closer to the time and we can meet up and I can show you some of what you are looking for?

Hi Mel - ah yes Rottnest!
It was a rite of passage to spend a summer week there as young uni students - wonderful places to swim but not quite a touristic expecierne then and sounds not quite one now.
The ferry ride over used to be dreadfully rough too.

Enjoying reading about my now hometown tripplanner001.
Sorry I missed you - just back from sunny London and Edinburgh and I don't often look at this forum
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Dec 5th, 2018, 04:28 AM
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Bokhara2, you're welcome. Hoping you're having a good time along the Gold Coast or wherever you may be.

love_travel_Aus, glad you enjoyed the report and welcome back home. Hope you enjoyed your time in the UK.

City Sights

Our travels have taken us to Brisbane, the third largest city in Australia after Sydney and Melbourne. After an on-time arrival from Adelaide via Qantas, we checked into our hotel, the Westin, a brand new property having opened just under one month ago and our home for the next three nights. We quickly dropped our bags in our rooms, freshened up, and out we went - making the most out of our time in the city.

For our first day, we stuck in the city center. Usually, with major cities, we'd like to take a walk, to get a feel for the place, and this we did. Using the Lonely Planet's self-guided walking tour (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/austral...def8b5/1336826) as a guide, we headed towards ANZAC Square. Along the way, we came upon Queen Street Mall and were distracted by the Christmas decorations lining the streets. We ambled along Queen Street Mall, saw the Christmas tree at King George Square, and took a detour. At King George Square our eyes were led to the CIty Hall building. Being open, we peeked inside and snagged tickets for a tour of the building as well as a trip up its clock tower. There was a Christmas party hosted for seniors hosted by the Mayor in the building's auditorium so there were more people moving around the foyer than what I assumed was typical. The free tour gave us a good understanding of the building as well as an overview of the history of the city. The clock tower rewarded us with good views of the city. We also took a look at the museum on the third floor of the building in between the tour and the visit to the clock tower.

By now it was 1:30 PM and we were somewhat hungry. Pig 'n Whistle, an open-air British-style pub on King George Square, looked appealing and we sat down for lunch. Fueled, we decided to resume our walk in the city center using Lonely Planet's suggested walk. From King George Square, we walked to ANZAC Square, which was under reconstruction, and onwards to Post Office Square. Next up was St. Stephen's Cathedral. We took a quick look before continuing on to Eagle Street Pier and the waterfront promenade. I enjoyed the hopping vibe of the pier area as well as the walkway that hugged the rather-silted-looking river. Along the way were incredible views of the city skyline as well as the rugged cliffs across the water at Kangaroo Point. The promenade led into the City Botanic Gardens, where we made several stops to enjoy the flowers. From the Botanic Gardens, we crossed the Goodwill Bridge on foot to the South Bank.

Fairly recently developed, the South Bank faces the Central Business District and offers a couple of promenades dotted by shops, restaurants, museums, and even a sandy beach and pool. Pedestrians are able to walk the South Bank via a riverfront promenade or a parkway lined with plants and jacaranda flowers. We chose the parkway route and stopped to smell the flowers along the way. We enjoyed a few minutes people-watching on the beach about midpoint along our South Bank walk. We concluded our South Bank walk at Victoria Bridge and returned to the CBD.

By now, it was 6:00 PM and it began to drizzle. We returned to Queen Street Mall to grab a quick dinner in one of the food courts before returning to our hotel.

A Day with Friends

One of the joys of travel to meet other travelers, especially those with common interests with whom you stay in touch with over time. One of my travelling companions recently learned that a group of six from Norway that we met on another trip was vacationing Down Under as well as would be visiting Brisbane the same time we were. They would be arriving in Brisbane from a three-week tour around Australia before heading to New Zealand. How fun!

We began this morning with a delicious breakfast of French pastries, a baguette, and coffee at Le Bon Choix (thank you for the recommendation, KayF, along with several others that we are using during our time here), a block away from our hotel. From here, we made our way to Adelaide Street to catch a city bus bound for the summit of Mount Coot-tha, where we would meet our Norwegian friends. We spent a good couple of hours at the cafe overlooking the city enjoying one another and the outstanding views. From here, our combined group of ten hiked down the mountain and into the botanic gardens found at the bottom. We enjoyed nearly two hours wandering from the Australian collection to the Japanese and the succulents and lunch at the garden restaurant before returning to the city for more foot action. From Mount Coot-tha Botanic Garden we travelled by bus and train to Fortitude Valley from where we would take a walk across Story Bridge and down the promenade along Kangaroo Point Cliffs for more incredible views of downtown Brisbane. We parted ways, temporarily, at the foot of Goodwill Bridge. We each returned to our respective hotels to freshen up before meeting again at Corbett & Claude, an Italian place for dinner. What a perfect day!

Tomorrow we will travel out of the city to meet our adopted children - for the first time. Stay tuned...
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Dec 5th, 2018, 01:58 PM
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Lovely day, TP! I hope you’ll have time for a trip on one of the river ferries.

And for a visit to the wonderful Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art. https://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au/
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Dec 5th, 2018, 05:04 PM
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So glad you enjoyed Brisbane, our new home. We love it here. I heard on the radio this morning the CityCat and CityHopper ferries are striking so hope that has not affected you too much.

Enjoying reading about our country from a visitor's perspective.

Kay
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Dec 6th, 2018, 07:05 PM
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Bokhara2, thank you. We did enjoy a ferry ride getting from Kangaroo Point back to our hotel yesterday afternoon. Very much enjoyed the perspective from the water. The Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art were on our list but unfortunately we didn’t have time on this trip; just have to come back I suppose.

KayF, we liked Brisbane much more than we expected. It has become our second-favorite Australian city, after Sydney. We were not impacted by the ferry strike; only aware of it from the posters at the ferry docks yesterday.

A Day with the Kids

We support a handful of causes in Australia including efforts to protect the koalas and its habitat. Our donations include sponsoring several koalas around the country, among them a handful currently living at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

Our primary objective today was a visit to the sanctuary, to meet our kids for the first time. We’ve also met our adopted koalas on previous trips around Australia.

The trip from downtown Brisbane to the sanctuary took about 45 minutes by bus. Once there, we spent several hours visiting the park, a small one primarily focused on the koalas although all the iconic animals of Australia could be found here. We met with several of the wildlife staff at the sanctuary - to learn about the animals, learn about their environments, and just chat with the good people who we’ve only met digitally. We also spent some time hanging out with the kangaroos, as well as the Tasmanian devils and the cockatoos.

We left the park around 2pm and returned to the city for some last minute shopping and dinner. Craving good Cantonese seafood, we travelled to Sunnybank, home to a large Asian population for our final meal in town. After reading reviews we selected Landmark Restaurant, located in one of the shopping malls in the area. The food was very good, although not at the level of Golden Century in Sydney’s Chinatown.

Tomorrow we head up to Noosa for our remaining two nights before heading home. Cannot believe our trip is about to come to a close.
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Dec 6th, 2018, 07:39 PM
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I’m so glad you enjoyed Brisbane, - and the ferry from Kangaroo Point, TP. Brisbane is utterly charming isn’t it?

A lifetime ago, in the year that Maggie Thatcher was fighting the Argentinians in the Falklands, a friend & I went to Brisbane to open up a division of the company we worked with.

We lived in a flat in Taringa which, whilst not quite St Lucia, was quite a “good” place to be. Kangaroo Point & that side of the river was definitely on the “wrong side of the tracks” in a city which, along with the rest of Australia, thought of itself as a big old country town.

And then it suddenly grew up. Saw itself in a new light. And so did the world & anyone else with eyes & a heart. What happened?

Expo! https://www.google.com/search?q=expo%20brisbane%201988

In 1988, as part of Australia’s 200 year celebrations of white settlement, Brisbane put on its party frock & threw the doors open to a vibrant, beautiful city. Re-vamped for the occasion, the locals saw what international & local visitors saw - an absolute gem of a place! And they haven’t looked back.

Part of that & subsequent regeneration, has been the (mostly ) sympatheticdevelopment along both sides of the river - and the formerly “ wrong side of the tracks”, Kangaroo Point has emerged as a stunning place to live & visit. I often see people recommending visitors by-pass Brisbane ( and Alice Springs). Their loss, I think.



Im looking forward to getting g to know Brisbane a lot better, now that I’m living less than an hour south for a while.

Last edited by Bokhara2; Dec 6th, 2018 at 07:41 PM.
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