We travelled up from Wollongong and met the rest of the group at Sydney Airport before we all boarded our plane together and jetted off to start our fantastic Brisbane holiday.
Brisbane is a wonderful, leafy city bursting with beautiful plants and gardens. The traditional name for Brisbane is Meeanjin which means the place of the blue water lilies.
After arriving at our hotel, we checked out our rooms, the facilities like the gym and pool, before heading to the restaurant for a great dinner.
Our second day was full of activity starting with a guided Brisbane River tour exploring the city by water, and seeing buildings ranging from modern skyscrapers, ornate sandstone colonial buildings, old factories and a spectacular range of waterfront properties many with their own private jetties. We could also see some of the scars from the Brisbane floods not that long ago.
After the cruise we stayed in Southbank where the brave among us tried the motorised scooters before we all explored stunning hand-crafted Nepalese peace pagoda, one of only three outside Nepal.
After lunch we decided to do a few laps of the wheel of Brisbane, withs it’s 60-metre-high scenic rotations and breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of Brisbane city.
Walking around the city it was good to see all the preparations and exhibits ahead of the women’s world cup which was about to start.
Day 3 was highlight with a visit to the awesome Lone Pine Koala sanctuary. This is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary and also hosts around 80 other animal species including some platypus, dingo’s, wombats, turtles and many others.
Here we were treated to shows such as the Free Flight Raptor show were birds of prey dived around and above us, and the Sheep Dog show where we were shown the focus and skill of these animals. We also enjoyed the Crocodile talk, Koala talk, and some got their photos taken holding a Koala.
Our fourth day started at the Brisbane botanic gardens, recognised as Queensland’s premier subtropical botanic gardens. We enjoyed walking and exploring some of the vast range of flora and fauna including the tropical display dome, the sculptures at the Platform, the Fern house, the Bonsai House and the Japanese garden. However, at 56 hectares it was too much to walk it all even for the fittest of us, so luckily during the week you can also drive around the gardens.
Next we went to Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium housed inside the gigantic Cosmic Skydome. The educational and entertaining displays included all manor of space travel vehicles, full size astronauts, lots of fun facts including how local Aboriginals used stars to navigate to other locations.
After spending some time shopping in Brisbane we finished off the day at the scrumptious PanCake manor set in a historic Anglican church with an awesome theme including medieval knights. The pancakes weren’t too bad either!
And just like that it was our last day, another great final breakfast together, packing of our bags and checking out our hotel.
A drive around Brisbane then off to the airport for a final lunch and some virtual reality soccer games before flying home to Sydney.
We said our goodbyes to one friend and the rest of returned to Wollongong and made our ways home, exhausted but satisfied after an awesome trip.