Travelling Your Own Backyard: Spotlight on Brisbane

Brisbane, the capital of Queensland and a city I’ve never been particularly interested by (sorry Brisbane). Until several of my closest friends moved there. Then I was slightly more intrigued. I began doing my research and found some return flights from Sydney over the ANZAC day long weekend for $120. My intrigue grew. Then I came to the realisation that if I don’t return to Australia until February next year, I’ll go over a year without seeing my closest friends. And that’s just not OK. So I closed my eyes, pressed confirm, threw some clothes in a carry-on bag and was on my way to Brisbane for the first time.

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Getting There

Brisbane’s public transport is fantastic! Easy to understand and easy to work your way around. As soon as you land at the domestic airport, you simply exit the airport, cross the road and follow the signs to ‘AirTrain.’ I would strongly recommend purchasing a Go Card (the equivalent to a MiKi Card in Melbourne or an Opal Card in Sydney). They cost $10 to purchase, plus whatever credit you want to put on. I put $50 credit on it which was the perfect amount. And the best part is that when you leave again, you can return it and get your $10 back (perfect for an airport coffee). The train heads into the city and from there you can basically get anywhere.

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Tigerair do super cheap deals from Sydney to Brisbane. Just make sure you stick to your baggage limit!

Where To Stay

This is a bit of a trick question because I was lucky enough to stay with my friend in the North of Brisbane. Of course, if you don’t happen to have friends in a city – I would always opt for a centrally located hostel or if you’re travelling with friends, AirBnb!

What To See & Do 

If you’re new to a city, what else is there to do but aimlessly explore?! My sister spent a whole day doing that, so lucky for me, when we went exploring, she knew exactly where to go. But these are definitely my top recommendations!

The BRISBANE sign. A bright and colourful sign on the river overlooking the city. A MUST have shot!

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Go to the beach. OK, for those of you that are good at geography, you’ll know that Brisbane doesn’t have any beaches. So when you don’t want to go to the beach, you bring the beach to you! On the South Bank, there’s a man made beach, complete with sand and lifeguards! A perfect way to spend a hot afternoon! There’s countless bars and cafes nearby as well! Is there anything better?!

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Eat & Drink

OK confession – this trip wasn’t really about the site seeing. Sure it’s a bonus! But what we were really here for was the food, coffee and drinks! And let me tell you, Brisbane delivered!

Barvarian Bier Cafe

We went here twice on our trip and I couldn’t recommend it enough! Not only am I a fan of the chain ‘Barvarian Bier Cafe,’ but this one really excels! It has a beautiful big balcony with stunning views of the bridge and the river. The espresso martini there is to die for, and you really can’t go too wrong with a stein of beer as well!

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My sister and I enjoying the views. 

Cowch

A dessert and cocktail bar… need I say more? The South Bank is where you can find this hidden treasure! We orderedthe bannoffee pizza with some churos which I would highly recommend. If I wasn’t already buzzing off of a sugar high and about to crash into a food baby coma, I could’ve definitely gone for one of their delightful looking martinis as well!

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Grub Street

This one is a bit out of the way (but conveniently down the road from my friends house). Just a short walk from the Gaythorne station is THE BEST BREAKFAST I’VE HAD IN A LONG TIME!!!! I really cannot emphasise how good the food there is! From the outside, it really doesn’t look like much at all. But the quality of their coffee and food was beyond all expectations! So much so, that I went there two days in a row for breakfast! I’d strongly recommend a latte with their carrot pancakes. I know it sounds weird, but just for proof, refer to the picture below. You won’t be sorry.

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Jimmy’s on the Mall

Quite fancy and quite pricy, this place is so charming and worth the extra money on your bill. Not only is the food and wine exceptional but the staff are super friendly and attentive. Hello wine refills. Upstairs is a nice bar where they had a guitarist playing some great music. It’s located right in the middle of Queen Street Mall so you feel like you’re in this gorgeous bubble among the hustle and bustle of the city.

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Morgan, my sister, Mack, Charline and Teagan being fancy at Jimmys. 

Et voilà! Not exactly a complete guide to Brisbane, but if you’re looking for some good food and coffee, this has got you covered! Do you have any recommendations for my next visit? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curing Wanderlust Whilst You’re Stuck At Home

So recently, my case of wanderlust has been beyond ridiculously strong. And to rub it all in, I’d say about 90% of my Facebook friends are in Europe at the moment and obviously have exceptional internet service because they seem to be instagramming every minute of their trip. And so I’ve spent my break working working working, with the wanderlust increasing. So here’s my guide to all of you who are also stuck working at home over the break, with their toes twitching for adventure.

Check out a local farmers markets and enjoy some local, tasty food with friends
Check out a local farmers markets and enjoy some local, tasty food with friends

Treat your tastebuds. One of my favourite parts of travelling is eating amazing food 24/7. So why not treat yourself to that expensive Italian restaurant that you’ve never been to before? Or that quaint little cafe you walk past on your way to work? Go out with a friend or two, eat lots of food and drink even more wine. If you drink enough wine, it’ll feel like you’re in Italy or any other country before you know it.

Banana and bacon french toast in Newtown, Sydney
Banana and bacon french toast in Newtown, Sydney

Snap away. When you’re in a new place and especially a different country, you can’t help but see everything as unique, different, beautiful and in need of being on your Instagram immediately. If you apply that mindset to you’re hometown, you’ll look at it in a completely different way and be quite astounded with how beautiful it can be. And your instagram will love you for it!

Be a tourist in your hometown. Sure you may roll your eyes at all the tourists taking photos of famous buildings or street signs or statues. But how about you join them for a day? Go to all of the hotspots and embrace how remarkable the place you live in is.

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Go away for a few nights. I recently booked a 4 night holiday to Melbourne and it was one of the best things I could’ve done. It’s true, 4 nights in a new city isn’t much, but it sure is enough to check out of reality and have some fun exploring somewhere new. You can read about all of my Melbourne adventures here.

Get on a train. Or a bus, or a car and head and go on a daytrip somewhere. A small trainstop that you’ve always been through but have no idea what’s there, a bus ride to the last stop and go for an adventure. The key is to look at everything as if it was the first time.

Stick with the classics, and your breath will be blown away
Stick with the classics, and your breath will be blown away

Watch a foreign film. You don’t even have to get out of your PJ’s for this one. Just explore some of the great foreign films on offer on Netlix and bam, you’re in another country. Les Intouchables, Samba, Amelie and Amour are some of my favourite French films which will leave you feeling as though you’re strolling through Paris.

If these ideas are not enough to cure your wanderlust until you’re next overseas holiday, then why haven’t you gone already?!

xxx A