Brissy was the last major stop on my scouting of East Coast cities to eventually (potentially) settle down in for longer than just a couple of weeks. Whenever you talk to anyone who lives in Australia they present mixed views of Brisbane. Most will say don’t waste your time and others tell you that you’ll love it. So I didn’t know what to expect. After spending just a couple of days here I also have mixed feelings towards the city. It’s not as crowded as Melbourne or Sydney, but it’s bustling and growing so you feel the potential. The major negative for me about Brisbane is that there isn’t a beach close by, but they fixed that with creating an urban beach called South Bank.
During my full day in Brisbane I took the free ferry (City Hopper) from South Bank to Sydney Street. I then walked back making stops along the way (including lunch and a little bit of shopping). For lunch I stopped at Felons Brewing Co., this was recommended to me by a group I had met in Byron Bay and it was right on the water. I’m so glad that I stopped here and was really impressed with the recommendation. It was exactly what I needed before continuing exploring.
That evening I took a HIIT Australia class. I was so excited to finally take one of these classes because I’ve been following the company/founders on Instagram for years. For dinner that evening I tried Vietnamese food for the first time at Viet de Lites.
The highlight of my time in Brissy was going to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. I’m a total sucker for animals and I had loved visiting Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in the Gold Coast when I visited last. I arrived early in the morning to get the most of the programming (and I was also flying out that evening so I was limited on time). The first thing on the agenda was the lorikeet feeding. It was so loud and hectic, but awesome to experience. One even landed on my head, but thankfully I didn’t get pooped on. Then I went over to the kangaroo and wallaby enclosure to feed and pet them. Afterwards, I attended the free flight raptor bird show. They are actually tremendous (and scary). I spent the rest of the time walking around and saw other animals/exhibits, before ending the experience with holding a koala. Trust me this doesn’t get old. Koalas to me seem kind of majestic and seeing/holding one feels surreal. If you go to Brisbane make sure to take at least half a day to go to Lone Pine.
Before heading out to the airport I wanted to check out the West End. I didn’t have too much time to explore, but I walked around a bit and then grabbed some roti.
My overall impression of Brisbane was positive and I definitely didn’t have enough time here, but I’m not sure I would want to live here long term – maybe a couple of months would suffice.