Exploring Brisbane, and My First New Friend

Brisbane Travel Blog

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Queens Street Mall

I awoke at 10.30am after the first good night's sleep for a while. I have felt a bit like a fish out of water so far but with a bit of closure I took a deep breath, got my head together, grabbed the hotel map and set off to do the walk it suggests around the city. I started with the Queens Street Mall where I had my first good experience with Australian service. I don't mean to generalise, but so far retail and service have been at best useless and at worst rude and sarcastic! (Sarcastic hotel staff, ill-informed drunk hotel staff, long hold times and no knowledgeable staff at Virgin, vague staff at AllPhones.) If you need anything doing to your computer in Brisbane, go to Shane in Harvey Norman in the Queens Street Mall!

Map suggestion B was the Conrad Hotel on George Street; a striking sandstone building dating back to 1886 in the city's old Treasury Building which is now a bustling casino open 24/7.

Then on to the Old Commissariat Store which is a museum built by convicts in 1829 when Brisbane was a closed penal colony, and now the Royal Historical Society of Queensland's HQ. I didn't go in, as I will save this for when I return in the new year. I then walked on to 'The Mansions'; 6 elegant townhouses with deep arched verandas built in the 1890s and an example of 19th century ornateness. Before them stood a bronze statue if HRH Queen Liz II.

The Parliament House and old Government Building sit amongst the campus of the Queensland University of Technology and beside the city's botanical garden. Lucky students! I missed the Goodwill Bridge, as I was desperate to walk amongst the trees and grass in the gardens, but will have to return to this area as there is a free art gallery as part of 'QUT'.

It was here I made a new friend, Nadine, who was also circling a commemorative water fountain and reading the blurb that accompanied it. We talked for about 10 minutes before I suggested we sit down for a drink, so we wandered across the park to the waterfront and took a seat in a restaurant looking over the Brisbane River towards Story Bridge.

She is a Kiwi nurse from South Auckland who likes to spend about 3 months travelling round Australia when things at home get tedious. She works for an agency that sends her to rural places around Australia so she sees another side of the country and gets new experiences before returning home. Apparently Aussie doctors here can hire camper vans and do roaming work; perhaps Adam and George could do it!? We talked for about an hour till I had to return to our hotel to get ready to meet Adam, so we swapped numbers and I let her know later that we were meeting at the Jade Buddha Bar on Eagle Street Pier.

The Old Government Building
Here the 4 of us had lively and interesting chat overlooking the river and the sparkly bridge very close to where we'd been sat earlier that afternoon. It was great to see Adam and we enjoyed some really good wine, even if my new friend got a little strange at times. I guess that's the thing with meeting new people but still I'm glad to have met someone new!

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Queens Street Mall
Queens Street Mall
The Old Government Building
The Old Government Building
City Botanic Garden
City Botanic Garden
Banyan Fig Tree
Banyan Fig Tree
Story Bridge over Brisbane River
Story Bridge over Brisbane River
Story Bridge over Brisbane River
Story Bridge over Brisbane River
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photo by: Mezmerized