Posts Tagged With: Brisbane

Koalas and Kangaroos in Brisbane, oh my!

Today will go down as one of the most fun and memorable of my trip.  I did so much!  I was up bright and early to catch the shuttle bus to the the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, a service provided by my awesome hostel in Brisbane, Bunk Backpackers.  We even stopped at another tourist attraction along the way, Mount Coot-tha, where we got to hop out and take scenic pics of the city below us and check out the view.  Bonus!

The Koala Sanctuary was next up.  I signed up for the “cuddle a koala” package which cost a little bit more but gave me the opportunity to take pics while holding a Koala!  This being the sole reason I was in Australia in the first place, I didn’t mind the extra $16.  Our group was dropped off and we headed inside the sanctuary to check out the animals and get our pics.  I did the photo opp first before checking out the rest of the sanctuary, and got to hold a one year old girl named Tifffin, she stayed very calm and posed for a gorgeous picture with me!  The encounter lasted all of five minutes but I was stoked!  After that there was a show about the koalas at the enclosure next to the photo booth, and I sat down and learned about the sanctuary, which was created in 1927, and now has over 100 different koalas and a successful breeding program.  These little guys are actually not bears, contrary to popular belief, but belong to the same group of mammal as the kangaroo. who knew?
After the show I walked around and checked out the rest of the koalas, who were hanging out in comfy eye level open air habitats, looking as cute and cuddly as can be!  There were also Tasmanian devils, platypus’ (platypi??), emus, and kangaroos!  In the kangaroo and emu enclosure, you could walk right up to them and even purchase kangaroo food and they would eat directly from your hand, much to the kids at the parks’ delight!  Most of them were well fed and super lazy, lying around in the sun, so I plopped down next to one of them and started taking selfies with one.  Aside from my koala photo I think I like these ones the best!  The sanctuary trip was the highlight of my time in Australia so far, and the day was only half over.  At the recommendation of the hostel staff, I took the river trip back to Brisbane on a slow boat, checking out the beautiful houses along the way.
After the meandering boat ride, we were dropped off on the South Bank of Brisbane, which is the cultural heart of the city.  Since all the art galleries and museums are free, I decided to take a wander around and took in some great art at the gallery and learned about the Aboriginal history of the region at the Museum. They were both kind of small but hey, free is free and it was a nice change from the rest of my trip to Aus so far. Not that I’m complaining about endless beaches and great weather but hey, I’ve seen a lot of beaches on this trip!
My next trip brought me across the Victoria Bridge into downtown Brisbane, along the Queen Street Mall, which is a pedestrian street with not access for cars, lots of shops and overpriced restaurants, so I browsed and window-shopped my way along the street, getting sidetracked by a cute little art market in Kings Cross square and successfully walking most of the city while finding my way back to my hostel.  My dorm room is now full after a blissful almost-empty evening last night, so I escaped to an overpriced coffee shop ($3 for a tea?? whats it made of, gold??) and am now typing to my little hearts content.  Tomorrow morning I get on the bus for Noosa, to join some English friends who I met last night and hopefully spend my Saturday night partying on the beach! Farewell Brisbane, you are a cute artsy little city and I really enjoyed my time here 🙂
Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sun and Sand in Surfers Paradise

Wahoo!  I’m in Paradise!  Surfers Paradise, that is.  I had hoped it would be a little warmer when I arrived here, and while 24 degrees Celsius in the winter here aint bad, I’ve had to put on extra layers at night since I am used to the sweltering heat of Asia!  The tepid temperatures haven’t stopped me from getting my tan on, though.  I arrived here from Coolangatta in the afternoon, and had no problem finding my cosy, if not well worn hostel, Sleeping Inn.  The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the full kitchen.  Nice! Time to do some grocery shopping, cause the Aussie prices were killin’ me.  I settled in and met some of my bunk mates, including a surly 50-year-old woman wearing ( I kid you not) a Tilley hat and matching vest with a zillion pouches, who ended up snoring all night after glaring at anyone who dared come into the room after she went to bed at nine.  Also, she managed to lock herself out of the dorm the next morning at, oh, 5am, and then banged loudly on the locked door outside until some poor German girl went to let her in.  Yayyyyy bunk-mates!  Lady. Get a hotel.

I wasn’t too concerned with all of this, because I had to check out the beach!  I had my bikini ready, and walked through the small but impressive downtown to the beachfront, which resembled one big expensive tourist trap, complete with a wax museum, Aquaduck tour and Laser Tag center.  I wasn’t interested in any of this, because when I saw the beach it was OVER for me.  What an incredible stretch of sand!  It went on for miles, and the sky was clear and blue, although it was a WEE bit cold in the shade, I plopped down in a sunny spot and took advantage of what sun there was.  I laid there for a few hours until I was actually too cold to stay, and then explored the shopping area a bit, found a grocery store, and headed home to cook myself dinner in our cute kitchenette.  That night at the hostel was trivia night, and I met some of the travelers in my hostel, and won third prize in the contest.  Which was – nothing. lol.  After finishing my ciders and wrestling with the shitty internet for a bit, I called it an early night.
The next day was my only full day in Surfers, so I made sure to get to the beach early and catch as many rays as I could! This got old at around two o clock and I shopped around the town a bit, finding a $5 sweater that cost less than my lunch, and some cute souvenirs for myself and my friends (i cant. resist. the. shopping. gah)  My rationale was that since I’m saving so much money on food by cooking most of my meals at the hostel, there’s some extra money for little things to help me remember my trip!  That night was the pub crawl, and $20 got you into four bars with four drinks so I decided why not? me and some fellow travelers boarded the giant party bus and picked up people from all over the city.  It was cool because I got to know so many people in such a short amount of time, the drinks were flowing and every time we got tired of one place we were off to the next.  I made friends with my bunk-mate Johanna, a Californian and a lot of English people! It was a great night out and the last club was within walking distance back to our place. Yes!
The next morning was a bit rough but i finally won the war with the internet and was able to chat with my family for a bit and get ready for my next adventure.  By 2pm I was off to Brisbane on a Greyhound to hug some Koalas!
Categories: Australia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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