Much LAZIER than your average blogger  
  LZ's info | past | photos
4.26.2008 - 26 comments 

I took this shot while we were touring the city. It shows what a real metropolitan area Brisbane is. It also shows the river that the city is named after. As you can see from my photo, the city was very metropolitan, but yet not as large as Sydney. There was also a bridge (the Story Bridge) there, that was designed by the same man who designed the world Famous Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Brisbane is actually the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Queensland, and it is the third largest city in Australia. It has a population of just fewer than 2.0 million and an urban agglomeration of over 2.4 million people. It is a city set close to the Pacific Ocean, and is situated beside the Brisbane River on plains between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range in south-eastern Queensland. (Ask me about Moreton Bay bugs sometime!) They aren't really bugs at all, but rather they are small little lobsters. The flesh of the Moreton Bay bug is reported to be unusually versatile, and can be cooked in a variety of ways, both sweet and savory.

The city of Brisbane was named in honor of Sir Thomas Brisbane; the city grew from a harsh penal colony established in 1824 at Redcliffe, 40 km to the north. The colony was moved to Brisbane in 1825 and free settlers were permitted from 1842. It was chosen as the capital of Queensland when it was proclaimed a separate colony in 1859. The city developed slowly until after World War II, when it played a central role in the Allied campaign as the South West Pacific headquarters for General Douglas MacArthur.

When people visit Brisbane, there are the "must-see" places? Where are these places that give tourists a memorable view, an insight into the city, the history and the people of Brisbane. If time is your enemy when visiting Brisbane, try one or two or more of these top picks. Perhaps next time you’re here, you can explore the many other delights the city has to offer on a day trip around the Brisbane regions. One of the guided tour bus tours we decided to take included the Green Mountains and the rain forests there. It also included the Tamborine Mountain area.

Tamborine Mountain is certainly not a typical suburban community. The local population numbers about 6,000 people. The peace and beauty of this area has attracted many talented artisans and crafts. Keen gardeners consider it a perfect retirement spot where they can indulge their green thumbs to their heart's content and develop gardens straight out of Eden. Young families choose to live here because they consider it an ideal place to rear children away from the temptations of suburban life.

Mrs. LZ and I had a very nice morning tea at a small little restaurant here as part of our tour. It was a very nice open air dining area that we chose to eat in. As you can see from the photo, Mrs. LZ was enjoying herself while we were there. The photo of me outside of the place looks as though I was expecting to pay the bill for everyone on the tour bus.

Many professional and academic people also call Tamborine Mountain their home. They consider the daily trip to work is more than compensated for by the delights of coming home to the relaxed lifestyle and fresh clean air this Mountain plateau offers. Farming is still a way of life. Where once this fertile area produced commercial citrus fruits, vegetables and milk, it now produces mainly avocados, kiwifruit and rhubarb. It is also an excellent producer of cut flowers, many exported directly to overseas markets.

This small plateau is rich in animal and bird life. Bird feeding is a local hobby enjoyed by many residents. The most friendly and colorful birds are the parrots, especially the aptly named Rainbow Lorikeets. The beautiful red and green King Parrots, the pastel blue and yellow Pale Headed Rosellas and the red and purple Eastern Rosellas are all to be seen in most Mountain gardens. The music of the Mountain is provided by a less gaudy band of feathered creatures. Magpies, Butcher Birds and the shy Whip Bird harmonize from daybreak until sundown.

The Mountain is home to the first National Park declared in Queensland and now has a number of separate parks on the plateau and the shelves surrounding it. Six of these sections have walking paths in them of varying lengths and degree of difficulty. If you can find the time to walk through some of our National Parks you will hear many other bird songs and see an amazing range of Australia's bird life. The Brush Turkey inhabits the rainforest in this area and home gardens. The hen Turkey is the perfect female liberationist. The male builds huge mounds of leaf mulch then she lays her eggs in the mound and walks away leaving him to manage the entire incubation process.

Notice the cool bridges high in the air going from trees to other trees? I thought that they were very cool and something that you just don’t see much of in the states (at least that I am aware of). Also if you wonder what Mrs. LZ is looking at inside that tree, it is a tree that has actually been taken over by what they call a strangler vine, which basically "takes over" the tree from both the outside and the inside. It only keeps the tree alive for its own nourishment.

In fact the next shot after Mrs. LZ's picture looking up the inside of the tree, is actually the same thing that she saw looking up there. The bright areas in the center of the picture, are actually the top part of the tree (with the sun showing through) that the stangler vine has taken over from both the outside and the inside. Is that wierd or what?

I have put together this little "LZ's list" of major things not to be missed while you are there:

Mt Coot-tha Lookout ~ Even if you only have an hour or so to spare, you can take the drive up to the top of Mt Coot-tha to get a view of the whole of Brisbane city. You’ll see the curves of the river, the lines of the freeway, and the skyline of the CBD. Plus, on a clear day you can see south-west to the distant ranges, east towards Moreton Bay and miles in every other direction. Enjoy the facilities of a cafe, restaurant and lookout at the top.

South Bank ~ Where did people gather in Brisbane before South Bank was created? It’s hard to imagine the city without this destination. Every visitor to Brisbane will enjoy South Bank’s sandy beach, the open grassy picnic spots, the shops and dozens of eating places. There are the cinemas, regular free live entertainment and many festivals and fireworks throughout the year.

The Cultural Centre ~ From here you can enjoy Queensland’s arts and theatre at the Cultural Centre, South Bank. Spend time at the Queensland Art Gallery, Sciencentre (especially popular kids), State Library of Queensland and brand new Gallery of Modern Art . Get tickets to see a play, opera, ballet or dozens of other performances at the Cultural Centre.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary ~ Visitors from overseas will just love the abundant and easily seen Australian wildlife at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. You can hold a koala, feed a kangaroo, (or as Mrs. LZ did) pet a wallaby, hear a talk about our reptiles – it all makes for a great day out.

A trip on the river ~ Even the locals love to get out on the Brisbane River and it’s so easy and cheap to do with a journey on the CityCat. One of these shots I took looks out over the bow of one of theses as we were crusing the Brisbane River. For just a few dollars, you can take a cruise up and down the river, stopping where ever you like along the way – South Bank, University of Queensland, New Farm...The City Cats glide over the water and we saw million dollar houses. We travelled under the Story Bridge (that I mentioned above and have included a shot of here) and get a whole new perspective. The ferry guide gives you a lot of information about the city as you cruise along.

This boat trip up the river was actually very fun and helps you really see the city from many different perspectives. We stopped along the river and enjoyed a lunch with a couple who were vacationing here from New Zealand. It was very nice and at our tour guide's urging, I enjoyed their famous local beers "XXXX Gold" as it was called. Then we cruised back to where we had stated the boat ride. Brisbane is a very nice city and well worth the visit if you get up to Southern Queensland.

A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton