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Old 3 Feb 09, 09:35 PM  
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Cannavar
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The long trip down under part 5

Another flight but no change of time zone this time. We take a JetStar flight from Townsville down to Brisbane. We booked into the Holiday Inn as its a chain I quite like and you know what you get with them. A hearty breakfast buffet for all of us included with the room is always a big plus Originally the hotel was chosen for its location on top of the transportation centre. This meant that we could have caught the train from the airport right to the hotel (and onward down the coast) and the coaches for sightseeing and Australia Zoo left from there too...it was perfect! However, as my sister had joined us we hired a big 8 seater again and decided to drive the coast.

We really liked Brisbane. It was the type of major city we could see ourselves living and working. It had lots of green and open places. The southbank has recently been redeveloped into a huge family park complete with artificial beach, swimming pools, play areas, performance areas, restaurants and even its own mini Brisbane Eye.

It was now just about a week before Xmas and coming up to the longest day. I still can't get my head round trying not to burn and dehydrate while the Salvation army are singing carols! Brisbane had more decorations than anywhere else we went in Oz. They just DON'T go with long sunny days...I'm sorry

We spent the first evening we arrived walking along the Southbank and has a meal in a restaurant along the waters edge. Cheap it was not...and you had to order at the bar! For the price I expected Kelly Brook (or my DW who is infinitely better looking! ) to be taking the orders at our table! Some pictures below as the sun was going down...





Brisbane's Mini Eye



Continued below...
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Old 3 Feb 09, 09:36 PM  
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The next day we were up early to head to Australia Zoo. Most of you will know of it thanks to Steve "Crikey" Irwin. We (and the boys) have enjoyed his programmes over the years so we were looking forward to seeing where it all started. Its just over an hours drive from Brisbane north up to the Sunshine coast. My sister explained on the way how Steve, who was loved by Aussies prior to his death, was turned into a saint afterwards! Apparently there was mourning akin to that which hit the UK following Dianas death! Not sure where they are with it but they were attempting to get an annual Steve Irwin public holiday last I heard.

The park itself surprised us... it was almost Disney in quality. The newer areas that had been added in more recent times were themed excellently. It was no longer just a reptile park but had Elephants, Tigers and other non native animals. Obviously the main area near the entrance was full of crocs as you would expect.



If you've watched any of the Crocodile Hunter series you will know that Steve built a big show area where lots of people can view birds, elephants, snakes and of course crocs in a single arena. The show in the Crocoseum (like it! lol) was brilliant. The training, especially of the birds was superb and the whole lot held together by lots of laughs and over enthusiastic presenters!

The empty seats in the picture are due to the heat and lack of shade, not becuase it was empty lol...





After lunch we headed off to see the elephants and tigers. The elephants have a great enclosure. Ok so its not quite Kilimanjaro Safari but it was very well done with plenty for them to do and a HUGE pool The whole "land" had an Asia design to it and it worked very well. Even the merchandise shops showed signs the managers had done their homework at universal or Disney.



The tigers were a weird one. As with another tiger exhibit we visited in Oz, the enclosure was beautiful, realistic etc but for some very weird reason... they had handlers in there with them. Now I know they were all hand reared and are kittens to their handlers, but it does kind of spoil the illusion with 3 blokes having a chat on a rock next to them. I found it strange, especially when we saw it again in another park.

After seeing the koalas, emus and feeding the roos, the park started to close. This is another complaint about Australian parks. They open at 10 and close at 5! What is that all about? It was pretty much the longest day of the year? None of the parks were cheap (more on that in another report! ) but weirdly they were empty by about 4! I guess its just customary to do that but we felt a bit short changed. DW got fed up of me reminding everyone that Disney sometimes opens at 8am and closes heading towards 2am lol. Its not like they haven't got the climate here!



Back in Brisbane and a visit to Krispy Kreme to keep the kids happy finishes of the evening.

A fairly quiet day follows when we take a walk around, looking at the sights and having a smoothie in the Botanical gardens. A quiet oasis (well when we were there) just off the central business district.



The afternoon is spent on the southbanks artificial beach with the boys swimming and us enjoying the rest. We had a nice outdoor dinner on the way back to the hotel and that was Brisbane. As I said, we really liked it there and would definitely stop there again on another trip.

On the next report its down to the Gold Coast and the themeparks!
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Old 4 Feb 09, 08:09 AM  
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Wow some lovely photos what a brill day thanks for sharing
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Old 4 Feb 09, 03:57 PM  
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Nice pics! I've only spent a day in Brisbane but it seemed really nice. I liked the market they had along the waterfront.

I think Aussies live by the rule 'work to live, not live to work'! Hence all the early closings!
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Old 4 Feb 09, 09:21 PM  
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hi

I last visited Brisbane about 2004 with my family but we droved past and went to Surfer Paradise...

I visited Brisbane at 1988 for Expo and had been shopping too...

I like it...

You all were brave to visited the zoo, as I am really phobia of snakes...

looking forward your next story of gold coast, we love it ...

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Old 6 Feb 09, 12:55 PM  
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Love the photos, agree with UK Diva - the Aussies would probably be horrified at the thought of working until 2am
Did you see any lorikeets flying around in Brisbane ? I only had a day there, but I remember rainbow lorikeets flying around the pedestrian shopping area, I was standing gawping while all the Aussies were ignoring them like pigeons !
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Old 6 Feb 09, 01:18 PM  
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Originally Posted by ali-s View Post
Love the photos, agree with UK Diva - the Aussies would probably be horrified at the thought of working until 2am
Did you see any lorikeets flying around in Brisbane ? I only had a day there, but I remember rainbow lorikeets flying around the pedestrian shopping area, I was standing gawping while all the Aussies were ignoring them like pigeons !
We saw them and the fruitbats. The boys and DW were at the hotel window watching them flying past. They're massive!
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Old 6 Feb 09, 03:37 PM  
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We went to Brisbane for Expo88 for 3 days then again 2 days and wonder if you had been in shopping called ME as it was huge shopping centre with train on top also big wheel etc?

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Old 8 Feb 09, 11:21 AM  
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Another great report with lovely photos.
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Old 4 Aug 09, 10:06 PM  
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Another great day with amazing pictures.
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