24 hours in Brisbane

Our Australian adventure ends in Brisbane, where we had just about 24 hours to spend enjoying the city.  And with 24 hours, we accomplished a lot.  Brisbane is easily a city that I could picture myself living in, very similar to that of Chicago.  The Brisbane River is the life blood of the city with so much carved into the riverbeds, be it homes, museums, restaurants, businesses, or boardwalks.  Taking a boat tour of the river is an absolute must.  From the South Bank of Brisbane, tours run frequently, and you can just book your ticket day of, as we did.  The tour is not to be missed.  For two hours we ambled up and down the river, intaking so much information and admiring the stunning architecture and views.  Again, so similar to that of the Chicago Architecture Tours.

After our tour ended, we decided to explore the South Bank.  For a city nestled between the Gold and Sunshine Coasts of Australia, Brisbane has its own man made city beach.  Literally.  With sand.  After checking out the beach and the surrounding shops and restaurants for a snack, we waited in a short line for a whirl on the Wheel of Brisbane.  The wheel is fantastic!  A video plays during your ride pointing out landmarks and giving a brief history on the city itself.  For having only 24 hours in a place, we learned an awful lot about its history.

We then decided it was best to get a little lost.  We left the South Bank and just walked through their CBD, past beautiful museums, popped into the famous Oak Street Casino, and walked until we could not walk anymore, and still continued to press on.

We set out for dinner near Eagle Pier at Il Centro, an Italian restaurant on the waterfront.  We did not have a reservation and were fortunately seated outside with a view of the river and the beautiful Story Bridge, lit in purple on that evening.  After a relaxing meal we set out for our final Brisbane adventure, a ghost tour.  Kind of silly and touristy but no less fun.

On occasion we love a ghost tour (the one in Key West is fabulous), and decided it would be a fun way to get a different perspective on some of the city landmarks that we didn’t get a chance to enjoy.  The tour was really fun, and in true ghost tour fashion had an over-the-top tour guide.  The most chilling part for me was walking through the arcade in the CBD and through a stairwell and a hall.  With so much drama, he sent us one-by-one and mentioned a Shining Style sighting that comes out to scare most passersby.  I had no such sighting but still bristled on the walk.  After the 90 minute walk was over, we explored the city a bit more and then headed back to the hotel.  With a flight home to the states the next morning our last evening was bittersweet.

While we were excited to get home and watch the Sox win the World Series, we loved Australia and talk about going back all the time, heck, we almost stayed there.  Australia is a beautiful country with beautiful people, and Brisbane exudes that.

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Customs House
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High rises along the Brisbane River
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On the Wheel of Brisbane
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Walking through the city – I loved the beautiful and colorful archways
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Story Bridge at sunset
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Wheel of Brisbane
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Wheel of Brisbane up close

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