We stayed in a great little B&B in the New Farm neighborhood of Brissie called Cream Gables. While I don't care for the name, I highly recommend the B&B. It's run by a hilarious lady named Anne and I'm pretty sure the name of the B&B is based on the book Anne of Green Gables. Anne has spent the last decade renovating the house into a very comfortable B&B. It was really convenient, with parking in front, a grocery around the corner and a nice stroll to the downtown area or the water taxi. Anne serves a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, mushrooms, toast, fruit & cereal on her backyard terrace each morning. She was incredibly helpful providing us with tips on places to visit and Aussie culture. She was quite funny, especially when she came around the breakfast table and did a little cha cha dance while putting fresh pepper on our eggs.
River Walk and South Bank
On our first afternoon in town we were tired, but we forced ourselves to stay active till nightfall. We took a walk through town, down Brisbane's beautiful riverfront and across the river into the South Bank neighborhood, completing a big loop and heading back through the main downtown area.
The next day, after a few hours of online SCUBA lessons, we walked over to a neighborhood called Bulimba located across the river just east of New Farm. While small, this neighborhood is full of cute boutiques and cafes. We had a great coffee at Mugged.
South of Brisbane is one of Australia's most famous Koala habitats, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. While it's called a sanctuary, it's really more of a zoo focused on animals native to Australia. In particular, they have over a hundred koalas and even more kangaroos. You can walk through the kangaroo area, petting, feeding and chilling out with kangaroos and wallabies to your heart's content. But the best part was the koalas. This is one of the few places where you can pet, hold and hug koalas. Other local animals on offer included dingoes, wombats, platypus (platypi?), Tasmanian devils, and lots of colorful birds.
This is the main lookout point over the city of Brisbane. If you know nothing more about us from reading our blog posts thus far, you know we can never resist a good lookout point shot.
One day, we drove down to the Gold Coast, which starts about an hour south of Brissie. The area is anchored by the city of Surfer's Paradise, which is, obviously, the epicenter of the surfer coastline. This town boasts numerous glitzy beachfront high-rises slightly reminiscent of Miami Beach.
A short drive further down the coast brings you to the small town of Currumbin, where we stopped to admire the beautiful beach, featuring sand that squeaks when you walk on it!
We next headed a bit inland through a scenic bit of Australian countryside, passing through the hippie enclave of Nimbin. Anne, our B&B hostess, thought we'd get a kick out of this town with its 'old hippies' and 'commie vans'. Nimbin consists of one main drag with lots of hemp-themed shops and a host of inhabitants who seem to have been forgotten by time. And of course, commie vans.
Our last stop was Byron Bay, where we arrived in time to watch the sunset. This was a really cool little beach town with a laid back culture and lots of fun looking little shops and restaurants. We wish we could have spent a night or two here. As an added bonus, Anne told us that Paul Hogan (that's Crocodile Dundee to you and me) now lives here 'with his mates and his facelift'. Good ol' Anne. Nevertheless, Mr. Dundee chose a nice place to hang it up.
Click here to see the day drive we took along the Gold Coast & through the countryside.