Brisbane is a large village with a business center
Before you visit, read some useful information on Australia. At first glance it may seem that Brisbane is a megalopolis with high-rises, but in fact - in the center of the city a piece of high-rises, and the whole city radially "sprawls" in the form of private 1-2 story houses. Only newcomers live in the business center. There are no special attractions here. Arriving for the first time in Australia, in Brisbane, it is not necessary to wait for the Wow effect, it will not happen). The time to visit all the beauties of Brisbane is a real week, but taking into account the adaptation, it may take 2 weeks... The nearby town of Gold Coast - you can go there (2 hours one way by public transport), or you can go there for 3-4 days of walking. It's true that you'll need to walk in the national parks, of which there are many near the Gold Coast, as opposed to Brisbane. Then it's worth changing the location to Cairns for diving, it's another 3-4 days with flights. And then it's on to Sydney. In Brisbane, you can choose to explore the zoos, parks, promenade and, to a stretch, shopping malls. Often, when you take a photo for Instagram, as the photo of Brisbane show a photo near the pool in the South Bank Parklands region or even the Gold Coast - it's misleading) When you arrive, but in fact Brisbane is not so beautiful)
Brisbane what to see
- Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Brisbane's Koala Park is the best place for a European) Emotions guaranteed!
- Brisbane Botanic Gardens (Botanic Gardens Hidden Lake) near Mount Coot-Tha ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - the "rain forest" is a real jungle within the city limits!!!
- The Australian Zoo in the city of Birwa ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Europeans should visit, the emotions are guaranteed. But you can choose one or the other - the koala park or the zoo.
- Roma Street Parkland ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - compact park with super beautiful landscaping.
- South Bank Parklands Promenade - Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park - Story Bridge - New Farm River Walk ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - walk route below on map. Walk time from 3 hours or more. Allows you to see the best places to relax in the city.
- Queen Street Mall ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - a shopping street with a couple of small malls in a business center. There's more food and "movement" than shopping. It's next to the City Botanic Garden, which you can visit together)
- Brisbane City Botanic Gardens ⭐⭐ - can only be visited together with the business center, the most interesting were only morays in the pond)
- Gold Coast - it's not Brisbane, but it's definitely Queensland and a must visit, even from Brisbane)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
- Springbrook National Park and Tamborine National Park ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - better to see them from the Gold Coast. The tropical forests are beautiful, but there aren't any attractions.
- Bigger barrier reef from Cairns ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Public transport in Brisbane and Australia is described here, below is a map of Brisbane's bus lines.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or Koala Park in Brisbane is the first attraction worth visiting. You can get here by public transport, the bus stop is right at the entrance to the park. The visit time is at least 3 hours!!! Although the park is not big and there are not many animals, but the number of koalas and kangaroos is really overwhelming. You can have coffee with the koalas in the "sleeping cafe" while watching them eat their eucalyptus and sleep). Kangaroos can be fed, squeezed freely and not limited!!! Admission fee for an adult is about 50 c.u. Here you can pay for the opportunity to hold and pet a koala (about 20 c.u. per person), a bonus to this service is a professional photo, which you will print right there. But please note, you can pet and take pictures with koalas only during the time indicated in the ticket. There are two time intervals for which these tickets are issued: 11-12/30 and 14-15/30. If your ticket says, for example, the photo at 15 o'clock, then you can stand in a queue for the photo at 14/30-14/40, as the time is indicative of the ticket and the queue is "live" - approximately 2-3 minutes per person. There is a map of the park at the entrance and on the website. The most valuable locations - "sleeping cafe" - 27, pavilion for photos with koalas - 24, paddock with kangaroos - 22-23, where they and people walk freely) Park generally works from 9 to 17, but after closing photos with koalas in the park is almost no one) Detailed information on the site https://lonepinekoalasanctuary.com. The park also has free shows with birds of prey and Ding's dog on time. These shows are not particularly exciting, but it is interesting to watch a dog drive a sheep into a stall).
After visiting the park, unwittingly begin to seek information about the "brains" of koalas and kangaroos - they really look stupid (as it turns out so - the brain of a koala is 0.2% of its body weight. By comparison, the human brain is 20%. But it's also interesting to learn that Australia has mostly marsupials, which are dumb in their own right. A koala cub lives with a pouch for half a year without going outside, then rides on its mother for another half year and eats her ...poop)) Eating excrement is necessary to obtain enzyme systems, in order to digest the poisonous eucalyptus. By the way there is a smell of eucalyptus with a mixture of poo around the koalas, very different from normal zoos)))
Roma Street Parkland is not big, but it's the best public free park in Brisbane!
You can enter 24 hours a day, and it takes no more than 40 minutes to walk. The park is organized like a mini maze, with very nice landscaping. There's a central Roma Street station for buses and trains, but no parking. It's easy to take public transportation. It is worth a visit. In fact, there are no other such parks in Brisbane.
Brisbane Botanic Gardens (Botanic Gardens Hidden Lake) near Mount Coot-Tha is a botanic park of enormous size and completely free!
Visiting time is at least 2 hours, if you want to go through all the trails, it will take 4-5 hours. Admission is from 8 to 5. The botanical garden is divided into regions, which are numbered. The most interesting is region 1, basically once you look at it, you will see all the basics. Regions 3,4,6 - lots to walk around, nothing to see!!! The botanical garden (route 1) has a bonsai garden from the 1950s!!!, rain forest or real jungle, etc. There is a bus stop near the park entrance. The main thing is not to confuse this botanic garden with the usual park in Brisbane's business center, where the only interesting thing is moray eels in the lake).
The botanical gardens themselves (Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens Lookout) and nearby (Mount Coot-Tha Summit Lookout) have lookouts from Mount Coot-Tha over Brisbane. But from the botanical gardens views are not what, and to the site next to walk about 2.5 km... we did not go, because the reviews from the Internet is not very positive).
Australia Zoo in Beerwah - a "must see" for Europeans
The zoo is a 30-minute drive from Brisbane. There is a bus stop just outside the entrance to the zoo. Adult admission ticket is about 50 c.u. Visiting time is 2-3 hours. There are far fewer koalas and kangaroos than at the Lon Pine Koala Sanctuary, but you can touch them here too. But the zoo has a lot of other very interesting Australian animals, such as crocodiles, snakes, turtles, lizards, etc. In other words, the parks are similar, but you can recommend visiting both) At the entrance, be sure to get a map that you will walk around. Here at arm's length there will be lemurs and huge turtles, which can come up to you if you want) But they have one wish, like everything in the zoo - to sleep) Also in the zoo there are many other animals: giraffes, tiger, elephants, rhinoceroses, etc.
Brisbane's waterfront - river or sea?
There is no sea/ocean promenade in the city, but the river of the same name, which runs through the city, allowed to allocate sections for the promenade.
To be honest, all areas of the embankment are the same and the walk is boring. Walking along the route South Bank Parklands - Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park - Story Bridge - New Farm River Walk on the map below, you can cover most of the touted parks in Brisbane. That's one name, not the parks.
- South Bank Parklands is considered Brisbane's best walking and recreational part. But the fact is there's a free public swimming pool where the whole city swims, as you can't swim in the river and the sea... There's a Ferris wheel - it's not tall, spins fast and has tinted windows and costs about 20 c.u. per person...
- Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park is more of a luxury housing area along the river than a park... Nothing to see at all.
- Story Bridge - Just a bridge, nothing fancy, and the views are average...) It's a breeze and sunny, but you don't get much pleasure walking across it.
- New Farm River Walk - less of a curiosity for a European, as it is a remote promenade - the trail goes directly over the water, but the views are the same and its length is about 700 meters.
The section crossed out on the map is the promenade that runs from the Botanic City Garden to Story Bridge, where another bridge is under construction in 2022 and there's nothing to do. Yes, the views here are the worst of the entire promenade described above. The second section crossed out is across from the New Farm River Wolf - once you walk on one side, there's no point in walking on the other.
In total, the walking route South Bank Parklands - Kangaroo Point Cliffs Park - Story Bridge - New Farm River Walk allows to see the main locations in Brisbane for 2-3 hours and transport will not help, you need to walk on foot) There are ferries, which even free (CityHopper, every half hour) - well, this is for lazy tourists, not travelers! Read more about Brisbane's ferries and transport in general on the city's official website https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au.
Gold Coast is the beauty of the real beaches of the Pacific Ocean!!!
Gold Coast is 1.5-2 hours from Brisbane by public transport. We take the express train first and then the streetcar and it's about 15 c.u. one way per person. Theoretically you could rent a car for the trip. But then you need to combine a visit to the Gold Coast with a visit to the national parks nearby, namely Lamington National Park, Springbrook National Park and Tamborine National Park. Important: The Gold Coast is always windy!!! We have been here several times in November and it is not very comfortable to be outside - the sun is bright and the wind is blowing, which is very "fresh" for the summer season).
In the city itself we look at
- SkyPoint Observation Deck is the top observation deck. It is located on the 77th floor of the Q1 Tower building with an entrance fee of about $25 c.u. per person. At the top you can eat or drink coffee, but you have to pay separately. The views are amazing. Not worse than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai) There is a stop on the streetcar "Surfers Paradise". After visiting the viewpoint just go to the beach)
- Surfers Paradise Beach is the real Pacific Beach. The views are 5 minutes, but the wind is guaranteed)
Springbrook National Park и Tamborine National Park - The usual "tourist trap"
These national parks are only worth visiting by car and only if you are staying in the Gold Coast. It makes no sense to drive here from Brisbane!!! It is impossible to get to these parks by public transport, because the locations to visit are scattered from each other for dozens of kilometers. And most importantly understand what a national park is... it's not a normal park where you can walk along a path for a couple of hours and that's it. A national park is a huge area and it includes forests, villages and locations with landmarks. We took an excursion here through the booking site - the cost for an adult is about 110 c.u. The organizer of these tours is Queensland Day Tours. If you want to repeat our route below, you can take advantage of a 20% discount (available to everyone without any restrictions), with promo code Happy01, when you book via their website.
The tour program is "Springbrook and Tamborine Tropical Forest - a full day excursion":
This activity will take 7-17 hours! Of those all hours, you will be on a walk in the woods for a total of no more than 1 hour!!! The rest of the time you'll be hanging out in the car, luckily the roads in Australia are good) The views are rather monotonous and for a sophisticated traveler will be very tedious and sleepy)
Tamborine Park, specifically a walk through the rainforest to Curtis Falls and a guided tour of the Cedar Creek caves with fireflies. In fact, it looks as follows. After 1-1.5 you will be taken to a trail in Tamborine Park that leads through the rainforest to the waterfall. In fact, the walk along this trail takes no more than 15 minutes both ways! But you will be stopped at every tree and told something. The information is interesting enough, but when there are 20 other people crowding around, you can't hear the forest or the sounds of the forest( The waterfall is another scam! Any falling water can be called a waterfall, this is just about Curtis Falls. Next, you will be taken in 15 minutes to Glow Worm Caves. Here you can only enter in groups, so if you come by yourself, you will be assigned to which group. But you won't have to wait long, there is a conveyor belt of course. On the way you will be brought to the observation deck with views of the Canunga valley. Time in stuffy cave will be 10 minutes, but they will last a long time) Although the sight is beautiful and the story interesting, but the people around, screaming children... And so really in the cave all the glow like the night sky! And it's not bugs as you expect, and endemics mushroom gnats arachnocampa flava) Repeat is clear, that you do not want, but once is worth seeing it).
After that, you will be taken for lunch to the Galerie Walk art district... In fact, it's just an ordinary street with stores and cafes, without anything interesting at all! And you have to stay there for almost 1.5 hours... Nothing to do here at all - the street of "hamster tourists from the bus"...
Bottom line, you can visit Tamborine, but only with your car! What follows is a long drive of 1.5-2 hours between the parks... There are no views along the way. The crossing is long, as the exit goes on the road to the Gold Coast. Further confirmation that you should settle in the Gold Coast for a couple of days and visit the parks separately.
Springbrook Tropical Forest and Natural Bridge is the best location for the tour)
There is at least a trail with a circular route for 30 minutes))) The main thing here is to get away from the group and walk on your own. So the conclusion is one - go by your car! And again, if you have seen Chudnite Mostove in Bulgaria, you can not go here))
Springbrook National Park and Tamborine National Park are beautiful woodlands. Springbrook is foliage all over the forest and plenty of light inside, Tamborine is a rain forest with no light, all the crown is only on the treetops. But to spend a whole day and 200 c.u. for two people on it... It is easier to go to the Botanic Gardens in Brisbane and look at the rain forest there - it is enough)
Brisbane Shopping Mall Rating:
- Queen Street Mall ⭐⭐⭐⭐ is a commercial little street with small malls. More for walking than shopping. Located in the heart of downtown Brisbane.
- Westfield Mt Gravatt ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - The mall is big, but no good clothes. There are 3 huge supermarkets and a fruit stand. There is a lot of prepared food and cafes. The bus goes right to the center. It's about a 30 minute drive from the center.
- Indooroopilly Shopping Centre - ⭐⭐⭐⭐ - Same as above (by Westfield Gravat), except there's good brand name clothing.
- Westfield Chermside ⭐⭐⭐
- Westfield Carindale ⭐⭐⭐⭐
While in the Gold Coast, you can visit the Pacific Fair Shopping Centre ⭐⭐⭐⭐, but you shouldn't even visit - Harbour Town Premium Outlets ⭐⭐⭐ - it's not an outlet and not convenient to get here.
All of Australia is directly dependent on the climate. (To be honest there's not much to see in Brisbane.) But it's worth coming here for at least a week and it's November. The sun shines but it's not hot, there's almost no wind, no rain, no clouds... The main thing is to visit other Queensland towns like Cairns and the Gold Coast. Ideal itinerary for Queensland: Brisbane - 6 days (2 days for adaptation - they can be excluded, then - 4 days - zoo and koala park, botgarden, promenade 1 day each), Gold Coast - 3 days (promenade, Tamborine and Lamington National Parks - 1 day, Sprinsbrook - 1 day). Then fly to Cairns for 3 days, one of which is all diving. It is not by train, as Brisbane - Cairns train takes more than 32 hours, by car it is a bit far too, and plane 1.5 hours - just right) Next logical flight is Cairns - Sydney.
Note, the rainy season starts in Brisbane in the last week of November! Brisbane's rainy season lasts for 3 months - December, January and February. It doesn't rain all day, but it's a couple of hours in the afternoon when it rains, even by car, making walking around the city uncomfortable) Visibility is low and it pours down like a bucket... But spectacular, nothing to say)
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