Things to know about Brisbane
- What is there to do in Brisbane?
- What is the speed limit in Queensland?
- Where is good for eating out in Brisbane?
Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, is a large sprawling city with a population of approx. 2m people. The city is young and vibrant with an outdoor focus given its warm weather all year round. The state of Queensland is very large with a land mass more than 3 times larger than Europe with Brisbane being the commercial and political centre. Therefore the decisions and funding for the health, education and infrastructure are made in Brisbane with much of the state relying on tourism, mining and farming as the main economic drivers.
As with most of Australia there is a multicultural thread running through Brisbane with loads of migration. There are those from the southern states chasing the warmer, less hectic lifestyle as well as the lower cost of housing. Other migration is from the UK and Ireland as well as southern Europe plus more recently a large influx from New Zealand and Asia.
Highlights for tourists include the meandering Brisbane River, the iconic Storey Bridge made in a Victorian style mecano type construction then onto the south side of the river. Here only 2kms from the city centre is the renowned cricket ground called the “Gabba”. The name is taken from the suburb Woolloongabba which in Aboriginal means fighting place. Aboriginals are the indigenous people, the traditional owners of all the land and the first Australians arriving from parts of Asia 40000 years ago.
Nearby to the “Gabba” is the most prestigious suburb in inner Brisbane, Kangaroo Point. Kangaroo Point is on the shores of the Brisbane River and has wonderful views of the city and there are old colonial style mansions as well as new millennium high rise luxury apartments.
Things to do in the Brisbane
Within Brisbane there is a major museum and library nicely complemented by historical walks hosted by enthusiastic volunteers which collectively provides a real insight to the makings of this northern tropical capital. Possibly the largest historical highlight of Brisbane is the Lamington. What is a Lamington? Well it’s a bit size sponge filled with slithers of raspberry jam then coated with chocolate and desiccated coconut. It’s an Australian institution and was named after an early twentieth century Governor’s wife Lady Lamington. As folk lore has it the kitchen was called upon to hastily make some afternoon tea for unexpected guests at Government House and voila. Anyhow the best place for genuine top notch “Lamis” is Jocelyns Provisions in Fortitude Valley not far from the city centre.
Enough of the excitement. There are also day trips to tourist destinations less than a two hour drive from Brisbane. Down south on the Gold Coast there are the “worlds” all within a reasonable driving distance of each other. The “worlds” consist of the main theme parks of Movie World, Dream World, Sea World and Water World plus there are a myriad of other smaller venues providing good fun times. From a wide life perspective there is a bird sanctuary and a national park with great walks. Heading north, in the other direction from the Gold Coast, to the Sunshine Coast there is the Australian Zoo which was started many year ago by the self-proclaimed crocodile hunter Steve Irwin. Here there are plenty of things, crocodiles and snakes for example, that could kill however they are well managed and are exciting to get up close and personal with. Unfortunately in 2006 Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray, not within the zoo but over a 1000kms north on the Great Barrier Reef where he was filming a documentary.
Eating out in Brisbane
Hellenika at The Calile provides an exceptional Greek experience with a focus on as you would expect seafood and lamb both of which are found in abundance in Queensland.
The Treasury Casino has a wide selection of restaurants to satisfy any budget so there is one there that is sure to work.
Arc Dining is an incredible culinary explosion with loads of local produce with the feel that its from paddock to plate almost immediately as the ingredients and atmosphere exude freshness. Pork, peach and Melba cake all deliver a particular local credibility.