Brisbane – what a busy, bustling city it certainly is. We arrived last night, after a 3 1/2 hour flight from Darwin. The plane was full – those in the first class seats had room to spread out, while the rest of us in cattle class were packed in tight.
Our plane to Brisbane
On disembarking, we collected our cases and went to get our hire car. What a comedy of errors that turned our to be. According to our information we had been booked through Hertz. Not so – they didn’t have our booking. Perhaps we were mistaken, and it should have been Avis? No again. So the staff on the downstairs desks sent us upstairs to the main offices, so up we went on the escalators, tiredly towing our cases behind up.
The young woman on the upstairs counter at Hertz was very helpful, and when we carefully inspected the voucher in our little hot hands it had the name 'Sixt', who we had never heard of. She kindly contacted them for us and showed us where to wait for a minibus to take us out to their office which was some distance from the airport. 'Sixt' had a record of our booking but insisted that we had not paid in advance so we had to pay another AUD$380.62 before we could get the car. And we had to renegotiate our drop off time, pay extra to drop the car off at an adjacent business, and then for a shuttle to take us to our early morning flight. Needless to say, Robin has sent a rather strongly worded email to our travel consultant, and we will be looking for a reimbursment of these extra costs on our return home. And you really don’t want to know the trouble we had trying to find our way into a strange city in the dark, even with the help of a GPS. We were definitely not Happy Campers at all.
But today’s another day, and after a good night’s sleep, things are better. Our apartment in the central city is rather swish, and we have a rather nice dining area surrounded by glass on three sides. It’s a bit like dining up in the clouds.
We are on the 22nd floor
Our adventure today started with a walk down through the busy Queen Street Mall. It was full of music and buskers, and crowded with people walking by, or just sitting and enjoying the music. We continued on our way and walked over the Victoria Bridge across the Brisbane River to Southbank.
On the way to Victoria Bridge
A large fireworks display was planned for the evening, and many people had already secured their places on the riverbank, setting out their blankets, camping chairs, and chilly bins full of food. Our goal was to go for a ride on the City Hopper, the free inner city ferry. And there it was, coming towards us.
The City Hopper Red Ferry
The free red ferry criss-crosses the river from Victoria Bridge, around Kangaroo Point and all the way up-river to Sydney Street. Crowds of people got on and off at each stop, and we sat in the back and enjoyed the journey. The journey took us past some very expensive real estate, lots of rather posh waterside restaurants, a museum, and a hospital, and under several bridges.
On the Brisbane River
Oh yes, we remember that bridge we just passed under. It’s the one we drove over by mistake when we took the wrong lane in the dark while trying to find our apartment block. “Do a U turn”, the GPS repeated, time and again, hardly an option while driving on a busy bridge, is it?
The little red ferry took us back to where we wanted to go, and instead of climbing up a whole lot of steep steps, we boarded the glass fronted lift which whisked us up to the street in no time at all.
A trip in the lift saves our tired legs
That was certainly a fun day, chugging about on the river. We are not returning in the evening to join the crowds and see the fireworks, and hopefully will be able to catch a glimpse of all the excitement from our 22nd story window which looks down onto the river.