A serendipitous day in Brisbane
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the capital of Queensland (except for perhaps a day trip to Gold Coast). As it turns out, the city was quite charming, and wonderful for a 3-day stay.
Blessed with a day of gorgeous early-spring weather, our first destination (after some much-needed R&R to recover from the 9-hour flight) was South Bank Parklands.
Seemingly very popular with locals, the area has a lot to offer tourists too, including the Brisbane Observation Wheel, the Gallery of Modern Art, The Maritime museum, a weekend street market, etc. We skipped all of that and simply got some takeout and spent an idyllic afternoon soaking in the weekend merriment – toddlers chasing birds on the grassy lawns, families enjoying freshly cooked BBQ meals, groups of friends chilling out by the river bank with some beers, and folks splashing around in the “beach”-lined lagoon.
Sated, we walked across the Goodwill Bridge to Gardens Point and re-boarded a CityCat, to continue our tour of the city.
Our $5.20pp ticket meant that we could ride up and down the river, hopping-on-hopping-off as we pleased over a two-hour period, and we had decided to make the most of it.
Standing up front with the cool breeze on our faces, gliding over the Brisbane River and watching the city changing colours as the sun lowered in the horizon, made for a perfect evening.
If there were just one thing I could recommend doing in Brisbane, this would be it. (As you can judge from the price, these ferries are not tourist-trap operations, but used by locals as public transportation. You could even take a free ride on one of the red-coloured CityHoppers).
After a loop of the river, we alighted again at Southbank Parklands, hoping to get some dinner and drinks at one of the many promising-looking bars and restaurants that we’d seen earlier.
Instead, on a lark, we ended up heading to the box office of the Queensland Performing Arts Center, to try our luck with tickets for that evening’s performance of Grease.
A last minute-cancellation meant that we got lucky enough to get great seats to catch the extremely energetic and entertaining show, and even witness a surprise marriage proposal!
Certainly, a day of wonderful serendipity.