After settling back home for the month of March, we packed our bags early April and headed off to Australia! Alan was able to join us for this trip, which surely meant more exciting adventures, so Bridge and I were quite ecstatic about that. 🙂
Our route looked like this:
San Francisco –> Brisbane // Brisbane –> Whitsundays // Whitsundays –> Sydney // Sydney –> Gold Coast // Gold Coast –> Brisbane // Brisbane –> San Francisco
From the routing above, you can see how much planning and logistics had to go into this trip! 5 flights, 4 different accommodations, and many, many activities.
Our first stop in Australia was Brisbane, where we spent 4 full days. We stayed at the Meriton Suites, which is a service apartment, and we loved how spacious it was. Even though there was not a need to use their kitchenette, we definitely made use of their washer and dryer in the suite!
Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, Australia, and felt like a lot of the metropolitan cities you’d find in the U.S. In fact, there were moments where I thought we never left San Francisco!
We decided to get around mostly by bike. CityCycle had a ton of bike stations all around Brisbane, making it very easy for us to rent/return bikes from one location to the next. We would buy a 24 hour pass each day for AUD $2, and as long as we keep our rides between locations to be under 30 minutes, we wouldn’t have to pay for any additional charges. Such a great deal!
The food in Brisbane was excellent! We didn’t do much research on this aspect before the trip, so we mainly relied on Instagram and TripAdvisor to seek yummy food each day. Here are some of our favorites:
B+C Lab Cafe— cute little cafe for an afternoon break, with refreshing matcha tea/lattes, and crepe cake!
NODO Donuts— this was, hands down, our most favorite eatery in Brisbane. It’s pronounced as “No Dough” and their gluten free, baked (not fried) donuts are amazingly delicious! They also have a great brunch menu, with items like Brioche Benedict, Kimchi Waffle, and Karaage Mushroom Burger.
The New Black— a small, cozy brunch place with a yummy hazelnut milkshake to go with dishes like mushroom risotto and mushroom potato rosti.
Men Ya Go Japanese Ramen— we stumbled across this place and seriously had the BEST cold ramen we’ve ever had. It was so good we actually went back again the next day!
Stanley Street Plaza in South Banks–this strip right by the popular South Banks has a number of cafes and restaurants which we tried out, from hot dogs to fried scallops to liquid nitrogen ice cream! Most of the places we tried there were pretty good. Not outstanding, but good.
George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant— this restaurant right by the pier had top reviews on numerous sites, so we made a point to “slightly” dress up for a nice dinner there one evening. However, I have to admit it was a bit disappointing. The food was very saucy, and the seafood tasted quite mediocre. The view was beautiful though, and the service was great, so that kind of made up for the disappointing food. Tip: If you are seated between 5:30pm-6:30pm your dinner is half price.
Cha Cha Char— we passed by this restaurant after dining at George’s Paragon Seafood Restaurant and thought the menu looked good, so we booked it for the next night and found ourself back at the pier. 🙂 Alan tried the Australian wagyu beef which we both found to be very delicious, but pricey.
MYLK + KO— we were craving for acai bowl one morning and I went on Instagram, determined to find one to fulfill my tummy. I came across the page for MYLK + KO and liked what I saw, so we biked nearly 30 minutes (with some uphill!) to get there! The acai bowl was indeed fantastic, but the other brunch items we ordered were pretty average.