Oct 26 – Brisbane
It’s another unpredictable day in terms of weather. It’s overcast, warm and breezy. Looks like it could rain, but hard to know what the day may look like. We’ve decided not to do an excursion since most are tailored to sightseeing only or a visit to the Australia Zoo. Since the drive to the zoo is over 2 hours and the time at the zoo is only 2 ½ hours, we decide to rent bikes and cycle around Brisbane.
After an early breakfast, we head off for the 40 minute shuttle to Brisbane. We dock in an industrial area and travel along uninteresting highways to the heart of Brisbane. Downtown Brisbane is easy to manoeuvre and only 5 blocks to the bike rental spot. Bike rentals are $25 AUD for three hours which we think will be quite nought. It’s 10:00 when we head off and the overcast sky is looking better with glimpses of blue peaking through.
Altogether, we cycled 20 km in 3 hours along Brisbane’s almost endless River Walk on both the north and south banks. The paths are well maintained and without any vehicles to dodge. Along the way there were water parks, a swimming lagoon, a Chinese pavilion from an Expo, gardens, sculptures, kayak lessons and rentals.
After our bike ride, we wandered up Albert Street (lots of British reminders as the streets are Elizabeth, George, Margaret, Anne) to have lunch and do some shopping. As usual, we find that prices are extremely high. So, we settle on a simple Panini sandwich instead of the $22 lunch special. A wander through the shopping mall after lunch was equally disappointing as all prices at least 25% higher than at home, even considering that there is no additional tax here.
Brisbane is a lovely city but not one that we would likely want to visit again. The cycling was lots of fun and gave us a great view of the city, but the waterfront doesn’t have the same restaurants, shops and galleries that are plentiful in other Australian cities.