The Bright Lights of Brizvegas
Brisbane Travel Blog› entry 38 of 45 › view all entries
I came to Brisbane and the Gold Coast hoping for some last minute sun after seeing out the winter in Melbourne and to catch up with friends both old and new, sadly one day of hot weather was all I got and the floods followed me once more - damn you global warming!
I arrived into Brisbane late on Wednesday evening and then got the train out to the Valley to meet Wayne and Sarah who I'd met in Bolivia (as it bizarrely turns out Sarah is a cousin of a friend of mine back in the UK). They're currently renting an amazing apartment close to the bridge overlooking Kangaroo Point, the place is awesome and resembles a hotel more than an apartment complex.
Sarah & Wayne were both working the next day so I headed out with a map to reacquaint myself with a city I'd visited briefly back on my first trip to Oz back in 2005. In true backpacker fashion I headed off to explore on foot, thankfully it was a nice day and I headed straight for the trail that winds its way around the river. On my way down there I ran into a group of Iguanas...man I just love the interesting wildlife that you stumble across in Oz, beats squirrels and foxes that's for sure! As I was taking pictures a guy wandered past and told me that he walked the same way to work every day and always passed these guys, he'd become so familiar with them he'd given them all nicknames, my favourite of which was Dirty Harry.
It was nice to feel the sunshine on my face after the rain of Melbourne and I soon hit the mangrove boardwalk at the botanical gardens and walked around there before getting to the familiar stretch of the South Bank Parklands. The landscape and artificial beach here (Streets Beach) is pretty amazing and it was to see the 'beach' so well used. Also around this area is the Nepalese Pavilion donated to Australia after a World Exo in the 1980's, it's a beautiful crafted pavilion well worth a view as you make you way along the river.
After a quick sushi and smoothie pit stop I made it around to the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art; to get here you can make you way through a complex of interesting modern buildings and sculptures, and past the Queensland museum. Life size replicas of two blue whales are suspended from the ceiling as you past the museum and whale song plays as you walk through the tunnel towards the modern art gallery.
The main attraction at the gallery was a special exhibition of the fashion designer Valentino, after being blown away by a Vivienne Westwood exhibition I'd been to see previously in the UK I hoped this one would be equally as good. Sadly I was as little disappointed; I didn't feel the exhibition justified the ticket cost as it was pretty expensive for a pretty small exhibition, also I found I wasn't as big a fan of Valentino as I was of Vivienne Westwood, but hey there's no accounting for taste.
After overdoing on culture by exploring the rest of the gallery I decide it was a good idea to drag my weary legs and brain back to Sarah and Wayne's place to meet them after work and get ready to head out, taking a slightly different route back along through the CBD rather than back along the river the way I came.
Sarah and Wayne then treated me to a night out at the amazing Cloudland in Fortitude Valley where after we'd chowed down on great food, started knocking back the cocktails while we were treated to live music.
The following morning with a slightly fuzzy head it was time to pack up my rucksack again before heading to the Roma Street bus station to head to Hervey Bay for a reunion with an old friend.