Busy in Brisbane

Trip Start Jul 15, 2011
Trip End Nov 02, 2011

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Brisbane River Cruise

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today is our first full day in Brisbane and we couldn't wait any longer to go to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and get the chance to actually cuddle a koala.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is set in parklands beside the river and is home to 130 koalas, as well as kangaroos, possums and wombats.

The best way to get to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is aboard a river cruise along the Brisbane River; we headed off from South Bank at 10am for the hour-long cruise. We made sure we got to the boat early so that we could have a seat at the top of the boat outside in order to get the best view. Ok so maybe this wasn’t a great plan, we did have a really nice view but it was so windy and cold up there that by the end of the cruise we were well and truly frozen and shaking with the cold! It was really nice cruising down the river and seeing the many amazing mansions that lined the riverfront, Bobby was also really happy to see the numerous golf courses! :-)

Once we arrived at the sanctuary Bobby and I headed straight to the koala cuddling area to beat the crowds and have our photo taken with a koala. As you entered the huge koala area you were hit with this horrible smell, I never realised how badly koalas smelt!!! I’ll forgive them as they are soooo cute, but my goodness it was bad! They also make this really weird noise a bit like a pig grunting, they are definitely a bit cuter from afar when you can’t smell or hear them!! :-)

Anyway Bobby and I queued up to have our photo taken – it was really funny – we were so cold from being on the boat that both of us were shaking uncontrollably, it must have looked like we were really nervous and scared to hold the koala and that’s why we were shaking. Hehe, well it made us laugh!

It was really nice being that close to a koala, apart from the smell, it was really soft and surprisingly heavy. It was great to be able to touch one. Koalas are only awake for about 4 hours of the day and so the koalas are rotated so that each one is never out in the photo area for more than half an hour at a time. I guess any longer than that would be a big chunk out of their time awake!!

After a quick hot chocolate to warm us both up and finally stop us from shaking we walked around the numerous koala habitats, looking at all the cute koalas and taking far too many photos! It was brilliant to see so many of them awake and playing in the trees or eating, as before when I have seen them they have always been asleep!

After finally leaving the koalas behind we walked onto the kangaroo reserve (after passing some wombats which definitely are not as cute as the koalas!). The reserve is a really large piece of land where emu’s and kangaroos are roaming free and you can just walk up to them, touch them and feed them if you like. There have been a few news stories out here recently about an old woman and a young family who were attacked by wild kangaroos and it seems a bit odd that we are able to just wonder up to these large animals and stroke them. It was quite amazing to be able to do this though and they seemed very uninterested by us all being there and most of them looked more concerned about catching some rays in the sun.

All too soon it was time for the boat to depart and we had to say goodbye to Lone Pine. Needless to say that on the way back Bobby and I sat inside the boat with a nice cup of tea!!

Once we were back at South Bank we visited a couple of the museums which are housed in the Queensland Cultural Centre, where the boat docked. First we went to the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art; the exhibitions were a mix of videos, sculptures and paintings and depicted Australian art from the 1970’s to modern times. I must say I don’t really get the videos but some of the paintings were just amazing, the tribal art being some of my favourites. There was even a sculpture of a misty shark! (Mum that one’s for you!! :-))

After the gallery we walked over to the Queensland Museum for a bit of a wander. This museum contains exhibits relating to Queensland’s history and includes a skeleton of Queensland’s own dinosaur. It was nice to have a look around and read a little about Queensland’s past and to see the type of animals that live here (although I didn’t enjoy the tarantula poised in a rainforest tree!).

Once we felt like we had absorbed all the culture we could for one day we walked over the bridge back into Brisbane’s CBD to finish the day off with a bit of shopping, then onto a bar for some beers and dinner.

A great end to a hectic but very enjoyable day in Brisbane.
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