The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

An Early Morning in Brisbane

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on March 13, 2010

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After we got out of the Brisbane Central Train Station, we went looking for a cab.  Finding a taxi, though, at the train station proved harder than it looked.  Our plan was to go to our hotel and drop off our bags while we went to explore the city for the day.  We were gross from the night before, and having not showered on the train, and would have preferred a shower, but we knew there way a room would be ready at 6:30 in the morning.  Also, we really had no idea where our hotel was, so just getting there might take quite awhile. 

We went looking for a taxi stand, which we were prepared to be quite the adventure.  As it turns out, there is a Holiday Inn directly adjacent to the train station, and there was a cab stand at the Holiday Inn.  While we were prepared to be looking for a half hour at 6:30 in the morning, it took us all of five minutes to find a cab.  We got in the cab, and told the driver where we were staying.  He didn’t say much, and tore out of the Holiday Inn’s parking lot.  As it turns out, our hotel was about five minutes from the train station, by cab.  We would eventually walk this path twice and drive it once more in our 36 hours in Brisbane, although, with luggage, it would have been quite a hike, as it involved climbing a large, large hill. 

As we got out of the cab, the driver grumbled that our meter was only $6.80, and that he only makes $3.25/hour.  I think he was upset that we took his "sweet” spot at the front of the line at the hotel, where he was hoping to get someone that needed to go to the airport or out of town, instead of four minutes away.  I sympathized with his problem, but didn’t care for his delivery.  Tipping is generally unnecessary for all services in Australia, but I tipped the guy $1.20 for his “trouble.” 

We headed inside and let the guy behind the counter know what we were hoping to do; drop our bags, and be on our way.  He said he could do us one better; take our bags, after we headed to the pool area to shower, get changed, and generally get cleaned up.   What a deal!  The only catch was that the pool was on the top floor, and the lift only went to the second to last floor, so we’d have to take a flight of stairs.  Not a problem we told him, and off we went.

Check out the view from the pool.

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We got changed, showered, and cleaned up, dropped our bags, and headed out on the town.  The guy behind the counter, who had so pleasantly given us a key to get up to the pool, had left at the end of his shift, so there was a new gentleman there to help us.  Paul Healy, the assistant manager, was nice enough to take our bags, give us some ideas about where to go and what to do in the city, and even gave us a map of the city.   

So off we went to see the city.  Across the street was a nice park, so we stopped and took a couple pictures.

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IMG_4135 After the park, we headed out to find some breakfast.  We found a great little sidewalk cafe to have something to eat.  Something I’ve been bummed about here in Australia is that they don’t really drink filtered coffee.  It’s either cappuccino, espresso, latte, etc., or it’s instant coffee.  To be fair, instant coffee has come a LONG way since when I first started drinking coffee when I was entirely too young to be drinking coffee (probably 15 years ago), but still… nothing beats a nice, warm cup of freshly-brewed, filtered, black coffee.

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This was the view from the cafe.

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IMG_4165 I actually took this picture sitting in my seat at the cafe.

From here, we were off to explore the city on foot.  We hiked all over, including the local mall, the botanical gardens, the riverfront, and the government district (Brisbane is the capital of Queensland).

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We decided to go see what the botanical gardens had to offer, and we were not disappointed.  While the gardens in Sydney had a lot of great trees and plants, the Brisbane gardens had a lot of wildlife, too.

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IMG_4227 This guy was remarkably photogenic, and really kept strutting around while I was taking his picture.

IMG_4232 Here are a couple ibis, hanging out on these movable barriers.  I was amazed at how intimidated we were by them as we walked right by them.  They were pretty big, and clearly ill-tempered.

IMG_4248 From here we went to the riverfront to snap a couple pictures.

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IMG_4288 It’s not exactly the Sydney bridge, but it is picturesque, I thought.

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IMG_4307 The river wasn’t the only picturesque thing on the riverfront, though.  There were all sorts of restaurants and shops to see, too. 

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From here, it was time to head back to the hotel.  We had walked around for nearly four hours, and we figured our room would probably be about ready.

IMG_4369After we got into the hotel room, we realized that our travel company was clearly going to take good care of us.  We had changed our mind on our hotel in the Blue Mountains.  We were happy with the Hunter Valley hotel.  We were very happy with this room at the Grand Chancellor. We’re excited to see what hotels are yet to come! 

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This was the view from our room.

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In the afternoon, we headed off to a local brewery to try some Australian beers!

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4 Responses to “An Early Morning in Brisbane”

  1. Heather said

    Did you see the man made beach in Brisbane??

  2. mrh said

    Excellent view from room!

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