One of our most favorite activities during our time in Brisbane was to hang out in the South Banks area. It is a beautiful area, full of culture and recreation, in the southern bank of the Brisbane River. On our first day there, we stumbled across the Collective Markets, which happens every weekend and is an outdoor marketplace full of unique items from local merchants and artists.
There’s also no shortage of delicious food and restaurants of every cuisine in the Stanley Street Plaza, as mentioned in Part I. of our post. Our very favorite activity in South Banks, however, was their iconic lagoon! Their “street beach” has enough water to fill 5 Olympic size pools, with sand beaches, subtropical trees, palm trees, and rock creeks. It’s such an unexpected sight in the middle of the city, kind of like San Francisco meets Hawaii.
Alan and Bridgette really enjoyed their time in the water for the afternoon, while I was perfectly content with my Kindle and ice cream nearby. 🙂
Another favorite activity in Brisbane was our visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the world’s oldest and largest koala sanctuary. We made our way there early in the morning and went straight to the General Store to purchase a ticket for the Koala Bear holding, and to purchase a bag of kangaroo food to feed the kangaroos.
The kangaroo area was pretty big, and when we first let ourselves in the gate, we were a little nervous as we weren’t sure if a mob of kangaroos would smell our food and come charging towards us. Fortunately, that did not happen. We made our way further into the area and began to see small groups of kangaroos congregated together. Most were just laying around, basking underneath the sunlight. Others were eagerly taking the food from tourists. They didn’t seem frighten by people at all.
Next stop was the most anticipated KOALA ENCOUNTER! We had to wait in line for roughly 30-45 minutes, but that was not an issue because even while in line, we had pretty close up views of the CUTEST koala bears! Most were wrapped around tree branches snoozing, and it seriously was the most adorable sight ever!
When it was our turn to hold the koala, we had literally 5 seconds to do so for a quick picture. The trainer would keep feeding the koala while we were holding it, to keep the koala from trying to move or get away. Even though the time was short, we still loved the experience of actually getting to hold a koala so closely!
After our koala encounter, we visited platypuses, bats, wombats, and tasmanian devils. We loved our time at the sanctuary and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves animals!
For the rest of our time in Brisbane, these were the other places we visited:
Brisbane Museum—this was a fun, engaging museum where we learned a lot about the history of Brisbane, as well as a lot of current facts about the city. It’s located inside Brisbane’s City Hall, at King George Square, where special art installations often take place.
Contemporary Art Museum–there were some cool exhibits at this museum, but we’re really not that into contemporary art, so we didn’t enjoy it as much. We did like the Selfies Exhibit though!
Kangaroo Point Cliffs— I found this place from Instagram, and we rode our bikes there on our last day. It’s a really beautiful, serene area by the Brisbane River. We saw lots of hikers, cyclists, and rock climbers. When you walk up to the cliffs, there’s an amazing view of Brisbane’s skyline, so we would definitely recommend going up there!
Lastly, you can take a ferry ride on the Brisbane river and also get some spectacular views! We went back to the Pier twice during our short stay because there are some great restaurants there.
Next up will be our second stop in Queensland, Australia….Airlie Beach!