A Travellerspoint blog

Brisbane

What a wonderful city.
Lively exciting so much going on and so much future development in the pipeline.
We took a very relaxing boat trip up the Brisbane River to visit The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. The boat ride gives a glimpse of the city and the commentary on board was excellent. Some fantastic luxurious dwelling houses on the left bank, each with their own jetty. The other side we passed Hospitals, sports stadium, 2 golf courses, a bat sanctuary and much more.
Got up close to the Koala, the kangaroo, and even handled a snake.
Took an hour or so to visit the Cultural Centre, the museum, modern art museum, expressive arts museum, there really is so much to do here. We only saw a fraction of what's on offer.
Purchased s new case on Queen Street Mall, an excellent shopping centre. Nick loves his new 4 wheel case So much I'll never get him home.
Ate a lovely steak overlooking the river, served by a really nice lady Angela from Columbia, she told us of her life and how she is sad that she had to leave Columbia as is not safe anymore.

Posted by helencosgrave 13:57 Comments (0)

Brisbane

We had a non eventful last day on the islands. Arrived in Brisbane, really helpful German lady at the airport information desk, train to the city centre, fumbled with the map, another helpful lady advised us to walk to our hotel rather than taxi due to bad traffic. Nick's bag had lost a wheel so it was an ordeal but we made it to the Royal on the Park hotel. Another great location across the road from the Botanical Gardens and a 2 minute walk to the river where there's a huge selection of bars and restaurants.
A lively city it would appear.

Posted by helencosgrave 13:10 Comments (0)

Day 2 on the Whitsundays

Another early start today as we took a catamaran to Whitehaven Beach, so named because of the very fine white silica sand on this part of the Island.
A nice 40 minutes trip in calm seas, for the most part, we somehow had superior tickets on this trip so got some nice VIP treatment. (Thanks Trailfinders). A small motorboat took us a further short trip to a snorkling beach with a coral reef. What followed was an hour of pure bliss, just floating around watching the fish at close quarters, swimming beside them. Loved it.
Jellyfish are a big problem in the seas around the Whitsundays so it is advisable ( and compulsory when you are part of a tour) to wear
The unflattering lycra stinger suits provided which cover you completely from head to toe including hands as protection.
A really nice lunch was served on the beach, a barbecue of sorts and then we headed off again on another motorboat to the west side of the Island for a spot of sightseeing.
The weather had different ideas though, the rain came, but not before we had the opportunity to hike to the highest point of the Island which afforded us spectacular views. Alas we all got soaked so we took an early ferry back to Hamilton. We took advantage of our earlier than expected return to chill by the hotel pool, it is a very fine 50 metre pool. A spectacular thunderstorm lit up the sky for the resmainder of the evening.

Posted by helencosgrave 13:55 Comments (0)

Great Barrier Reef

sunny 35 °C

The day we have been looking forward is here, the trip to the Great Barrier Reef.
Assembled with a group of about 300 people, 90% of whom were Chineese, all on the Island to celebrate Chineese New Year.
The catamaran trip out past the islands on to the open sea took just 2 hours. Really pretty scenery as we passed the many islands, turned a little bumpy as we hit the choppy sea but levelled off again as we approached the Reef.
We docked beside the relatively small pontoon at a guess 100 metres long by 25 metres wide.
i signed up for the guided snorkelling trip which I thoroughly enjoyed, to see the colourful coral and fish of all shapes, colours and sizes was truly amazing. The varying colours of the sea was spectacular, from grey to green to blue depending on depth and sunlight.
The current was quite strong so I clung for dear life to the guide. Nick and I then took a 30 minute trip on the semi submersible glass sided boat and once again to see what is just below the surface at the Reef was really extraordinary.
A very tasty buffet lunch and following a beer and some relaxation time we headed for home. The adventure did not disappoint, it was really special and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to tick this one off my bucket list.
We took the bus to One Tree Hill which is the highest point of the Island and affords wonderful of the surrounding islands.
I would highly Romanos Restaurant on the Marina for very fresh and tasty Italian fare.

Posted by helencosgrave 10:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Hamilton Island

A very pleasant 2 hour flight took us to the beautiful Hamilton Island and the Reef View Hotel. A tiny airport with very basic facilities.
There are no cars here, public transport (1o or 12 seater mini busses) is free but the main mode of transport on the island is golf buggies which are available for hire at a cost of $85 per day or $ 45 per hour.
There a several walking trails around the Island but with the weather so hot and humid we opted for a short stroll down to the marina which is the main centre of activity.
iPalm trees and very beautiful colourful trees and flowering plants native to the area surround our hotel.
Many magnificent birds and the odd kangaroo and Koala make this place a real tropical paradise.
We dined in the Coca Chu restaurant very well situated on the beach.

Posted by helencosgrave 14:05 Comments (0)

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