We had just arrived from Fiji, and the day after were due to do a camper van relocation from Brisbane to Sydney. That meant we just had this one day in Brisbane, and as a couple we had met in Fiji had recommended the Australia Zoo to us we had decided that that should be the activity of the day. However, once we got there and were able to look through some brochures we learnt that not only was Australia Zoo very expensive, it was also situated almost an hour’s drive outside of the city – not exactly what we felt like doing. Plans were changed, and instead we went to the more locally based Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary which was exactly half the price of Australia Zoo.
We enjoyed the afternoon we spent in the zoo very much. Of course the biggest attraction was the koalas, but there was so much else, my favourite being the big enclosure with kangaroos and emus. We also saw dingos and Tasmanian devils, native birds (some in cages and others, being native, flying freely around).
Now, it is nigh on impossible to not have read something about all the dangerous animals wanting to kill you in Australia. I have to admit I spent the entire week there not being able to completely shake off the worry of encountering.. something. That meant that every time I had to enter a small room like a toilet or a shower, I would be checking all corners and the ceiling, eyes slightly wide from fear that something would jump at me. Living in a campervan for a couple of days driving to Sydney, bed time ritual would be to practically hose down the inside of the van with Insect-Away spray, checking for snakes in my sleeping bag, always expecting there to be a huntsman spider hiding in the curtains. Even writing this gives me shivers. I actually liked Australia, I thought the people there were nice and there are so many things I would like to see and do there – but before I return I will have to do some sort of mental gymnastics to properly enjoy my stay there. How do Australians do it?!
How many birds can you spot?!
We saw wombats, snakes and cassowaries, and all over the park you would be dodging large lizards sitting in the middle of the street, just chilling.
You could buy kangaroo food in the shop, and they were very tame. If you paid a little extra you could get to hold one of the koalas and get a professional photo taken of you. I got to hold one named Tally which was one year old. Absolutely adorable – it turned its head and stared right up at me, of course when noone at all was taking pictures..
We ended the night in a restaurant called Delfina’s Bistro. They had a Sunday offering where, for 70 dollars, you would get a drink each and a starter, a main course and a dessert to share. This was pre-blogging days so excuse the terrible food photography and the complete lack of location ditto. I will describe it to you – a round building with huge windows. Sofas all along the wall with lots of pillows. Beautiful lighting from many clear round lightbulbs in the ceiling. Really beautiful setting, wonderful service and the food was just fantastic. It was probably one of the most vexing meals I’ve ever had, because I was having a fever at the moment (was actually feeling pretty terrible) and I couldn’t eat much more than a few bites of each dish. But it was so delicious, and my partner didn’t mind having most of it to himself. Luckily we could bring the remains with us home, and the next day I felt a lot better and could enjoy the food.
We had Spiced Goat Loin with mashed cauliflower and pomegranate as a starter.
For the main course we got the Wagyu Beef Brisket with smoked tomato and jus, and twice baked potatoes with chorizo and thyme as a side. Oh my that was good. It was reheated and almost as delicious the day after, being eaten in the slightly less posh setting of our camper van, parked next to the Gold Coast.
For dessert we got the Goat Cheese Cheesecake with burnt figs and balsamic ice cream. That is hands down the best cheesecake I have ever had – and I only got two mouthfuls. Man I feel sorry for myself.
My partner also had an extra drink there, the Maple Bacon Bourbon Smash. I didn’t dare try it, what with my fever and already feeling the negative effects of the starter drink, but he said it was the best drink he’d ever had, and he has bartender school under his belt.
We stayed at a hostel called Somewhere to Stay a little outside downtown. Very nice place with a resident cat (you had me at hello).
As both my partner and I have a strong interest in all things aviation, we couldn’t leave Brisbane before visiting the plane of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith which lies just outside the Brisbane Airport. Really cool to see if you have any interest in planes – all around the exhibition there were displays with excerpts from the logs from when they were crossing the oceans.
Have you been to Brisbane, or had an unfortunate Australian animal encounter? Share your stories below!