A Pomme’s Perspective of: BRISBANE

When I first reached Australia, I landed in a very wet Brisbane. I understood that it was winter, but I’d been told that Australia was blue skies and sunshine most of the year ‘round. I very quickly learnt that this was not the case. As I unpacked my bikinis and shorts, I questioned whether I’d chosen the right time of year to visit this amazing country.

After that ominous day, there were no more clouds in the sky, and I could finally see the huge blue I’d been told about. I felt like it stretched on forever. In the suburbs of Capalaba, my cousin drove me to an estate that had been made especially for the homeowners and nature to exist as one. They were made to integrate with the forest around them, and didn’t have fences around their land. This meant that every evening wallabies and kangaroos would come out of the bushes and feed from the road side. We were able to drive around the area slowly and get up close to the true Aussie animals from the comfort of the car.

As for Brisbane city centre, I got a train into Roma St Parkland and took a walk around. I told myself to slow walk, something I never did in London. I changed my pace, for a more leisurely walk and stopped to take pictures when I felt the need. As I got into the rainforest area, a wild turkey jumped out at me from the bushes! Seeing a turkey just roaming wild was a new thing for me – I thought it must’ve gotten away from somewhere!

The parkland is great for a chilled afternoon with friends or family, or just for a good walk. It has many different paths you can choose from, and there are maps at the train station and info centre in the park. It was great walking from a lake with fountains, watching people playing Frisbee, to a beautifully tended garden in honour of Colin Campbell who was a gardening presenter on Aussie TV. It’s clearly somewhere you can go any time of the year for a relaxed day out.

Later I walked through the city centre and found Archives Fine Books. It was written in my Lonely Planet guide of the East Coast that this was the place to go if you’re a book lover. It has a big board outside boasting about how it contains over 1 million books, and when you walk in you’re surrounded. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, bookshelves are filled with books from antiques to current chart-toppers. They’re organised into all sorts of different categories. I spent over an hour flicking through such categories as autobiographies, crime fiction, and local books. In the end I settled on a Western from the ‘70s.

This place has some incredible antique books dating from as early as the 16th century lining the top shelves, and people come in all the time to drop off any books they no longer want. Everything in the store is catalogued, so the staff will be able to find what you’re looking for if they have it in the store.

As the sun came down I walked across the river and along the side of the south bank to look back at a city skyline. As soon as the photos were taken, it had already gone dark! Aussie sunsets last about a second! I quickly walked through South Bank parklands and found my way to the train station for the long journey back to Capalaba.

Oz DinosOn another trip into Brisbane I was a typical tourist. I went to see the GOMA (Gallery Of Modern Art), and Queensland Museum. Both came across as quite small to me, but I am used to the Natural History Museum of London which I’ve frequented many a time. The good news is they’re both free, so I took my time walking around and saw many stuffed Australian animals, and dinosaur bones.

Oz Dinos 2Outside these museums are the South Bank Parklands which have a beautiful false beach and kid’s pool play area. Even on a Winter’s day people are lying out sun-baking, as the Aussies call it.

Before leaving Queensland, I also got to walk around Wellington Point and did a swamp walk around the mangroves. I was impressed by the massive trees with their thick exposed roots which are home to so much wildlife like skinks and crabs.

Stuffed Platypus

But for now, my time in Brisbane is over. I’ll be back with my boyfriend in December where we’ll be visiting Lone Pine Sanctuary, a place that’s been running for over 88 years!

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A Pomme’s Perspective

Over the last few months I’ve seen so many new and different things to what I’ve been used to back in the UK, that I’ve decided to create a recurring feature of ‘A Pomme’s Perspective’.

Some things I’ve seen have come across as backwards, whilst others seem forward thinking, and some things just downright amuse me.

So with each destination, I’ll write up a bit about my findings and what I got up to while I was there. I’m hoping to give people a different view of a Brit in Oz.

#JustDoIt

I’ve been told that I try to do everything now, that I need to slow down, and to hold off things until I’m older. But what I’ve always thought was…

‘What if I don’t get any older?

People try to save money all their life, intending to use it when they’re retired, then they find they’re not as nimble as they once were and can’t visit places they’ve been waiting to go to all their life.

Then there are the ‘off-putters’. The ones who say that now isn’t quite the right time for them. They may be waiting on a raise at work, or trying to raise a family. Either way they feel that whilst they’re doing one of those things, they can’t do much else. These people will never find the right time.

I was one of those people, and it was while I was walking around The Forum in Rome that I realised my mother was already at a point in her life where some traverses may be too difficult for her. As I scaled hills and hopped over relics in the sweltering heat, I could imagine my mother asking for a coffee break whilst trying to find a nice shady tree. She’s been retired for nine years, and in that time has taken every opportunity to travel. Most destinations aren’t too laborious, but she now has her sights set on Machu Picchu, a tricky place to:

a) Get to

b) Breathe at

I’m a firm believer that you can do anything if you set your mind to it. I’m also a firm believer of thinking outside of the box, and when people tell me you can’t just go off travelling the world after spending so many years forging a career path, I say yes you can! It’s difficult, and it certainly takes guts, but if it builds you more as a person, then it’s worthwhile.