To Down Under and Back Over travel blog

View of Brisbane from the Bell Tower

Brisbane's Bell Tower

Riverboat Shuffle!

Sophy and a Bridge!

Botanic Gardens

Parliament House

Our cool B&B style Hostel - "Aussie Way Backpackers"

Sophy and John Skull (work colleague)

Sophy and John's partner - Sabina

John, Paul and Justin Hodges (plays for Brisbane Broncos)

The bus to Brisbane only took 6 hours from Hervey Bay, which just grand in comparison to the previous 2 bus journeys (both over 12 hours each!). We checked into our hostel which was really nice friendly hostel and more like a B&B than a backpackers hostel. Plus it was only a 10min walk from centre of town and the notorious Queen Street shopping. Brisbane was the first real Australian city we had seen, impressed with how clean it was, loads of really old buildings as well as the tall skyscrapers and hotels (Sophy spotted some of her customers!). We went up the clock/bell tower of City Hall where we waited for the 3 o'clock bell to toll and it was great to have a gaze out onto the city and figure out what was where. Had a mooch around the shops (and surprise, Sophy came back with no bags!!) and a walk along the Brisbane River with some really cool bars and restaurants. We alkso saw Customs House, Parliament House, the Botanic Gardens and the CBD pretty much like Canary Wharf. Later that evening, we met up with a colleague of Sophy's (John Skull) and his partner (Sabina) that are based in Brisbane and went out for a drink and meal in the busy Fortitude Valley area. The Chinese restaurant we went to was BYO, yes that's Bring Your Own Alcohol! Seems like that it is quiet common in Australia and we think they should do more of that in the UK! Then had several drinks afterwards in a cool bar called R32's. Funny thing happened in there.... as Paul decided to have a little dance at the bar and caught the eye of a couple of ladies and as he thought they were staring at him, he was in his element! BUT he failed to notice that there were 2 famous Brisbane Broncos (Rugby League Team) behind him and in fact the young ladies were drolling over them and not Paul. John introduced us to them and we had a quick photo as they were very popular and far too busy necking beers and Bourbon. The players for the record were pretty good I'm told (The David Beckham and Michael Owen of Brisbane). They were Justin Hodges and Karmichael Hunt. Really good evening, thanks John!

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