Brisbane, Sydney and Beyond
Updated: Nov 13, 2018
20 Apr 2002 - Balmy Brisbane
Another pleasant and uneventful Virgin Blue flight and here we are in Brisbane, in the far south east corner, and capital of, Queensland, Australia's sunshine state. This state is the home of the Great Barrier Reef, tropical rain forests, surfer dudes, gold mines and the Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter).
And a future home for Nick & Lynn, perhaps?
What can I say about this place? Well, for starters it's warm. Even though we're two months shy of the coldest part of the year, it still feels very warm and tropical - day and night. Downtown is very compact, even more so that Adelaide, occupying a small curve in the river. It's quite picturesque though, with a number of older stone Victorian style buildings, and a few newer look-alikes.
We spend the rest of the day furiously scoping out out the nicer suburbs for housing opportunities and quickly discover that close in to the city, housing is much cheaper here than Adelaide, much to our surprise. Fifteen minutes drive from downtown the city abruptly transitions into 'bush' and there are large (2 to 10 acre) plots of land to be had for very reasonable prices. After the stick shock we received in Adelaide, this is encouraging.
Having never been to Brisbane before, and knowing little about it other than it's juxtaposition to the Gold Coast (surfer paradise), I for one assumed that this city was going to be full of laidback surfer dudes, cheap bars and the grunge crowd. Not so. It turns out to be a very pleasant city with a beautiful riverfront, lots of gardens and greenery and some great places to eat out.
We leave this place more confused and conflicted than when we arrived. We had hoped to eliminate this town as a possible place to live and confirm our wisdom in picking Adelaide, but it wasn't to be. Brisbane is much warmer, has cheaper housing, better job opportunities and is right night to some of the best diving in the world!
We spend our last 24 hours back in Sydney, and decide to splurge a bit and stay at the Inter-Continental near the waterfront. Our patronage is rewarded with a double upgrade to a very nice room with gorgeous views and wonderfully obsequious service. It's a a beautiful in the city and we have a great time strolling through the botanical gardens, taking a lazy meal out at the local wine bar and generally making the most of the hotel facilities (including the club lounge with free bar!). It's been a wonderful 3 weeks down here and we know we'll be back for more. We just need to work out where exactly..