What We Did in Brisbane
Oh yes, the weather was very nice when we were in Brisbane, as you can see from the photo that I took with my DSLR, forgive me if it does not look very professional, I am not good at this at all. The photo was taken across the river, where we were waiting for a boat to take us across to the South Quay. For our trip, we did not rent a car, preferring to go all budget on travelling. Which means, we took public transport and walk.
Brisbane has a superb public transport system, because with a Go Card, which you can buy from the airport, takes you from the airport to city or Gold Coast via the Aerotrain. The same card is accepted in ALL modes of transportation: bus, train and boat. Not to mention, if you have the card, it is cheaper than paying single fare ticket. For example, we were going to Sea Life (pics later), it was a 1.5 hours train ride, and it cost Aud 8.46, instead AUD 19 if we bought single trip tickets. Not to mention that you get continuation mode, which means within the hour you can hop onto a different transport for free.
This is a very young family friendly city, ramps and lifts everywhere, people are friendly. Food is abundant, have no fear about that. There are food courts every where, 7- 11 is like right around the corner. The only problem I have, is that bottle shops (as in liquor store) are everywhere! Strangely enough, didn’t see a lot of drunk people.
There is not much congestion in the city, because everyone uses the public system, which is very convenient. But if you are driving, be careful as the city has a lot of One Way Streets, which means getting around might not be as easy. We walk a lot in Brisbane, it is a good exercise to work off all the junk food we have been chowing down. We also had a decent Ramen in the food court near the Queen Street Mall bus depot. Whether you are into cheap eats, or expensive digs, there is one around the corner.
You Should Definitely Visit: Wheel of Brisbane
The Wheel of Brisbane, you can see the size of it from the first photo. The view from the wheel on a good day is spectacular, and I can imagine how beautiful it will be at night. It closes at 10pm I think, so it is worth while checking it out. The tickets you can buy there, or watch out at Groupon or those group buy places for a good deal if you are already planning a trip. We got 45% our tickets, since the kids are free, it is worth the AUD 20.
It takes around 10 rounds, if you are afraid of heights this is a no- go. The view is great, but you kinda have to keep your eyes open to marvel at the wonders.
Museums are Cool!
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Here we have a photo of the Brat and a fossil, he is enjoying the place. The Museum has four levels, and features a touch experience for young children. Not only it has awesome displays, it also has coffee. If the free part is too boring, there is a science part which you have to pay $14.95 to get in, children under 3 is free.
For the Love of Science, the science part has three main theme. It takes around 30 minutes to whiz through, but allow one hour or more to fully experience all the quizzes and “toys” the department has to offer. You can see that they are school children having their excursion at the background. I think that this is cool, because when I was growing up, these places are hard to get to. Do make the museum a place you must visit while you are in Brisbane, it is worth the fun.
It is amazing what a good camera can do. This is a photo without flash (not that they allow that) in one of the exhibits. Sea Life is in Mooloolaba (pronounce as Moo-La-La Ba) and it is a must go if you have a young family. To get there is torture without a car, you have to take a train to Landsborough, where the Australia Zoo is, and then take a 615 bus to Mooloolaba. The easier way of course is to drive.
If Noosa (a great beach place up north in Sunshine Coast) is on your go- to list, then stop by since it is on your way anyway. Australia Zoo is another attraction, where the Irwin family resides. Aussie World is a theme park more for family if Gold Coast is not on your trip list. We found a coupon for buy on free one, so we paid $39 for the family. By now I think you know that we are going cheap. It is expensive without it, hence I understand your hesitation.
Tips and Tricks
The most important thing you can do when you land in Australia, is visit the Information Centres. They have a distinctive yellow “i” logo, and they have friendly and professional staff. Even if you do not want to say hello, the booklets/ maps and brochures have good deals, like our buy one free one in Sea Life. Sometimes they even have deals, hence just pop in and ask. Most of the time, we go in to ask if it is a good time to do some activities.
We missed the Whale Watching season by a week, which, if we were to book online ourselves, we might not have known. Other things to ask include markets, good places to eat and what hidden gems around the city. The service is free, provided for by the State Government. I strongly recommend you visit the information centre when you are Down Under.
In Australia, Coles and Woolworth have bakeries and food, and they are easy to find. We save money by having breakfast in the hotel before we venture out for brunch, with kids anything is possible. Also, avoid Brisbane Chinatown.
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