Ten days in and I’m really starting to settle in to life on the road. We’ve covered over 1000km and seen some pretty amazing things. I’ve realised the car really was the best choice to see the country as we’ve been able to veer off the beaten track when we want.
The only hiccup we’ve experienced with our car was when we arrived in Brisbane. We rolled up in our 4WD, covered in mud, sand, and god knows what else, painfully aware of how out of place we were in a city full of suits and ties.
We booked into a hostel uptown and we’re delighted when we told we’d been upgraded to a private room. Then the problem arrised of where we were going to store the car for two days. We were informed that no hostel in the city provides parking like we’ve experienced in other hostels. The cheapest parking we were told was around the corner for $10 an hour!
After giving my best “sad eyes” to the receptionist, he finally gave in and led us round back to a loading bay for the hostel. We can park here, he told us, but we had to move at 7am next morning, as there was a keg delivery to the hostel.
With literally no other option, we parked up and hit the pavement to do some sightseeing. My tan was topped up from all the time at the beach, I’d a wool braid in my hair and some bangles on my arm that I’d bought off a monk at some markets. My nose was sunburnt and my hair a tangled mess. As we set off with our camera strewn around our necks, I started to feel the stares. We must have looked a little on the touristy side in a sea full of suit and smart heels!
I already wasn’t feeling Brisbane and couldn’t wait to get out of the city. I’d heard from other backpackers Brisbane was marmite; you either love it or hate it, so I decided not to give up on the city just yet.
What To Do With One Day in Brisbane
A quick twenty minute drive out of the heart of the city and we came to Mount Coot-tha Lookout, the highest point in Brisbane. Here you can see the most gorgeous views of Brisbane city as well as beautiful bike trails, parks and a waterfall. If you have your own car it’s well worth taking the spin up here. There’s also plenty of bus tours the come up daily to see the 360 view of Brisbane city.
While strolling around the city, we stumbled upon Streets Beach, the only beach in Brisbane. I know what you’re thinking, another beach! But this one is definitely worth a visit, as it’s a man-made beach situated right in the heart of the city. With white sands and clear blue water it’s a little bit surreal to look up and see towering skyscrapers above you! The day we visited it was overcast but was still nice to grab a coffee and stretch out on the sand in peace!
Close to Streets Beach, is the famous Brisbane sign. I wasn’t that pushed on seeing this sign and I thought “It’s just letters, who cares?”. But I somehow felt the pull of the sign and soon was whipping out the camera and joining the other tourists trying to take the best angle possible!
The Australian Zoo
The following morning we were up bright and early for our trip to the Australia Zoo. I have to say I’ve been excited about this trip since I booked my plane ticket to Australia! My boyfriend and I are unashamedly massive fans of zoos! Every country we visit we take a day out to visit one and often go to the Dublin Zoo just for a stroll around! Oz was no different and this was our second time to a zoo in two months!
We previously visited the Sydney Zoo and while it was good, if you have to choose or budget only one zoo on your trip, I would 100% pick the Australia Zoo. This zoo was home to Steve Irwin and his crocs and the whole park is dedicated to him and his passion for conservation and respect for animals.They do a brilliant croc show which is not just entertaining but teach the audience how to respect the animals and keep out of danger while in croc territory. They also teach people about the illegal trade industry and to stay away from crocodile-skin products like handbags and belts.
The Australian Zoo is much more interactive zoo, which is great for kids (and childish backpackers like us!). Zoo keepers wander around with parrots, owls, lizards and more to get your picture taken with and give you a little information on them too. There’s a free petting area with the koalas and ring-railed lemurs roam freely around the grounds.
The highlight of our trip to the zoo had to be the kangaroos! I think every backpacker in Australia has the classic “kangaroo selfie” and of course I was no different! We must have spent at least an hour chilling with the kangaroos, just sunbathing on the grass with them, occasionally giving them a pat and feeding them handfuls of grass and snapping a selfie.
Australia has so many zoos and they’re one of Down Under’s main source of tourism. They are all hugely involved in conservation of Australian wildlife and try their hardest to inform and educate tourists on Australian animals, how to protect them and how to stay safe around them. I’d highly recommend visiting at least one zoo in Australia, I promise it’s a great day out and a selfie with a kangaroo is totally worth it!
Here’s some more pictures of my time in the Sunshine Coast for you to enjoy!