Brisbane and Surroundings
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Sightseeing of Brisbane and surroundings had to wait until I had worked through the last two points on my to-do list. But that was done in a day.
Buying a drone in the morning so that I can also take aerial photos. My son advised me to go to a branch of JB HI-FI, the leading electronics retailer in Australia. After half an hour I am a proud owner of a DJI Phantom 4 pro. And in the afternoon the appointment to remove the stone chip in the car window. But it was just as short. Fortunately the mechanic thought it didn’t need to be replaced completely but only repaired instead. And almost nothing more to see of the stone chip.
I wanted to spent a few days in Toowoomba, 130 km west of Brisbane. Nearby is the Crows Nest Nature Park with great waterfalls. And I wanted to see them. But unfortunately, because of the past hot summer everything had dried up here… Therefore I decided the next day to drive in a wide arc back to the coast to Fraser Island.
Less time in Queensland than planned
How good that I was always online! Because in Toowoomba I got an email from Colless Young. They informed me that the booked container ship for the car transport from Brisbane to Vladivostok was delayed by one week. That was not possible at all because I would lose a week in Russia. Because my Russian visa was issued for exactly 30 days. Valid from June 5, 2018 to July 4, 2018. Colless Young offered to rebook the container with my car to an earlier ship. That will surely arrive in Vladivostok before June 5th. However, this had the disadvantage that I now had much less time to travel around. Only 8 instead of 17 days.
That was the end of a visit to Fraser Island. What a pity, because I would have liked to visit this beautiful sand island again! But I now had to limit my radius clearly to the city of Brisbane and surroundings. Because already on May 1st I should hand over the car for shipping.
Brisbane and Surroundings
Because of the short time I limited my tours to check out the Glasshouse Mountains and a part of the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane.
The Glass House Mountains are 11 mountains of volcanic origin in the otherwise relatively flat plain 70km north of Brisbane in a nature park. For thousands of years they have had a special spiritual meaning for the Gubbi Gubbi Aborigines. Therefore – and because the area is a nature reserve – only two mountains are open to the public. But even the views from a distance are incredible!
Up to the Sunshine Coast
In the southernmost city of the Sunshine Coast Caloundra, located by the sea, and on Bribie Island, I wanted to try out my new drone and to practice flying. However, that turned out to be a total disaster.
At first I had forgotten to loosen any transport brackets at the camera mount (gimbel). That’s why it didn’t move when I wanted to take pictures. And for the camera itself I had not made any further settings. Because I thought iit would work automatically… Anyway, the pictures of the coast near Caloundra are (almost) all unusable 🙂
I also noticed that a smartphone as a display for a drone is quite unsuitable. Not because it’s too small. But it’s screen is simply not bright enough in the sunshine. You can’t see much on it. Maybe I should have invested 500 AUD more and bought a bright tablet from DJI…
I continued on to Noosa, one of the most northern places on the Sunshine Coast. With beautiful pacific beaches. And one third of the area is a nature reserve. Brisbane and surroundings have a lot to offer and this part of Australia would certainly be worth going to holidays.
Because the Sunshine Coast offers quite a stable climate all year round with lots of water sports activities and plenty of hiking trails in the nature parks. But unfortunately I only had 2 – 3 days time in both places.
Sightseeing in Brisbane
After I had handed over the Landcruiser for shipping, there was still some time left to do some sightseeing in Brisbane city. Because I wanted to stay there at least as long as the ship was on its way to Vladivostok. I didn’t know if I would be needed again. In any case, I found it unusual that I didn’t had to present anything else for the car. No registration, no insurance, no purchase contract, nothing. And even when the car was stowed in the container, no customs officer came.
Getting an overview of Brisbane is relatively easy. Most of the sights, shops, cultural, culinary and botanical highlights are in or near downtown. On the right and left side of the Brisbane River. Like all major cities, Brisbane (2.2 mio inhabitants) is growing upwards. And with that, old buildings are slowly disappearing from the cityscape.
The Central Business District is dominated by high-rise buildings. Beautiful ones like the newer ones made of glass and steel and rather ugly ones made of concrete from the past decades. Old buildings are most likely to be found as churches or public buildings.
It’s quite nice overall, little parks and green spaces everywhere between the high-rise buildings. And the botanical garden near the university. On the South Bank, there is even a large public pool with a sandy beach (Streets Beach) – for free.
One evening an Australian contacted me on Facebook who had read my story there. The next day he invited me for a coffee and afterwards he showed me many rather unknown places in Brisbane. My first contact with a ‘follower’ 🙂
My further travel planning
On a rainy day I planned my further trip. The time until my arrival in Vladivostok. While the Landcruiser was on the ship I had almost exactly four weeks time. Actually I would have loved to fly to the Cook Islands and to French Polynesia. But that was just too far out in the Pacific for me. Besides, there wasn’t a daily flight connection from Brisbane to the Cook Islands.
So I chose Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand (Auckland) and New Caledonia instead. And later from there I decided for a flight to Seoul (South Korea) via Brisbane and Taipei (Taiwan). The last flight then on the route from Seoul to Vladivostok.
Overall, I booked 9 flights and 6 hotels online in 10 hours on this rainy day … Because I don’t like travel agencies very much. I prefer to organize travels by myself. Now I just hope that no airline goes on strike or anything else unexpected happens. Because the schedule is pretty tight, everything has to work out!
Time to say goodbye Australia – the South Pacific is waiting. Stay tuned!
Cheers, Rüdiger 😎