Our second day in Brisbane started with a leisurely breakfast at a cafe situated near the hotel. Erika had booked a walking tour with Brisbane Greeters Free Tours where enthusiastic local volunteers with bucket loads of historical information are excited about showing their city to both locals and visitors. The three of us joined three other tourists at 10:30 and with our guide set out on a very hot, humid morning. At each point of interest we stopped, often in full sun, while information was given. At one of these stops I asked a question and immediately knew that I must not do that again as I proved that the information did come in bucket loads – actually the bucket was overflowing! Very interesting, BUT … After 2 hours there were just three of the group left. Nadine had gone to the shops and an Asian couple departed leaving a gentleman from Holland and the two of us. We continued but indicated that we would have to leave soon and it still took another half hour before we felt it appropriate to make the break. Places of Interest –

Brisbane City Hall is truly one of the symbols of the city. The original building, designed in the Classical style, was built between 1920 and 1930. After closing for extensive renovation (worth $215 million) in 2010 Brisbane’s grand old dame re-opened for business in 2013 in all her restored glory. King George Square is Brisbane’s premier public square located in front of City Hall. The Clock Tower has been in operation since the opening of City Hall in 1930 and is 87.47 meters high.

Albert Street Uniting Church at the corner of Albert and Ann Streets is heritage listed. It was built from 1888 to 1889. In 1907 the church became known as the Central Methodist Mission in recognition of its wider responsibilities as the main Methodist church in the city. St. John’s Cathedral of Neo-Gothic ‘grand design’ is in the Anglican diocese of Brisbane. The Cathedral itself is a renowned Brisbane landmark where diverse people gather to worship, celebrate, seek solace, converse and learn. With Christmas only a few days away the church was dressed with an amazing Nativity scene which was totally constructed using cardboard.

Hoyts Regent Building – Regent Theatre was a heritage listed cinema at 167 Queen Street (on Queen Street Mall). The Regent Theatre was constructed as the first and only American-style picture palace to be built in Queensland. It reflects the opulence and grandeur of the great Hollywood era and was one of many operated by Hoyts in Australia. It has been restored and now houses the Visitor Information Centre. Brisbane Arcade is a heritage listed shopping Arcade at 160 Queen Street through to Adelaide Street. It was built in 1923 on the site of notorious confessed murderer Patrick Mayne’s butcher shop. It is a splendid Edwardian baroque alley of shops.

After making contact with Nadine and enjoying a late lunch we were on our way to Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mount Coot-tha, Queensland’s premier subtropical botanic gardens. The 52 hectare gardens, located at Toowong are open every day of the year and entry is free. We decided that an Uber would be our transport to the gardens as we wanted to make the most of the time we had there. We both love to be in a garden and this was certainly a beautiful, tranquil place.

Another Uber ride and we were at Mt. Coot-tha Lookout and Kiosk which was listed on the Queensland Heritage Register in l995. It was built from 1918-c.1950. It is also known as One-Tree-Hill. Panoramic views over the CBD stretch as far as Moreton Bay. We sat, relaxed and took in the view back over the city as we had our evening meal.Sunset saw us calling another Uber to take us back to our accommodation in central Brisbane.

A most informative, enjoyable day – DAY THREE will follow




On 19 December 2018 I flew from Adelaide to Brisbane to meet friends who were holidaying in Australia from Switzerland. Erika and Nadine flew from Melbourne to Brisbane and both flights arrived soon after mid-day. Erika booked an Uber that would cope with the 3 of us and all of the luggage for transport to the Hotel in the centre of Brisbane where we would stay for two nights. Check in was quick and easy with 2 rooms on the same floor and we were soon on our way to explore the city.

Brisbane’s recorded History dates from 1799, when Matthew Flinders explored Moreton Bay on an expedition from Port Jackson, although the region had long been occupied by the Jagera and Turrbal aboriginal tribes. The town was conceived initially as a penal colony for British convicts sent from Sydney….. Wikipedia

Brisbane is the capital city of Queensland -Australia’s second largest State by area. In addition to being the third most populous city in Australia, Brisbane is the largest of Australia’s six capital cities by geographic area and the third largest in the world. It is a green city with a subtropical climate. A river curving and curling its way around the landscape makes Brisbane one of the most unique capital cities in Australia.

The Brisbane River was named after the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Thomas Brisbane. The river is 344 km long and there are 15 major bridges. Traffic on the Brisbane River isn’t all about the modern City Cats. The city can be enjoyed from the river on Brisbane’s quaint old-style ferries. The Ferries Criss-cross the river upstream and downstream between Sydney Street and North Quay. This was our choice of transport on our first afternoon in Brisbane as we went to explore the South Bank precinct.                                      The  Story Bridge is the longest steel cantilever bridge in Australia. Its construction began in 1935 and it opened, initially as a toll bridge in 1940. The bridge connects Fortitude Valley to Kangaroo Point.

South Bank is Brisbane’s premier lifestyle and cultural destination. Located on the southern banks of the Brisbane River, the 17 hectares  of lush parklands with world-class eateries, beautiful gardens, stunning river views and events all year round bring locals and visitors to explore, unwind and relax. After strolling through the area where families were enjoying activities in and out of the water and a Christmas Market was in full swing Erika and I enjoyed a tasty meal outdoors in a great setting. The city was bedecked with coloured lights in celebration of the Christmas season.

More about Brisbane in DAY TWO post ……..