Brisbane, Reunions and the Glass House House Mountains
After spending 10 days on the road, it was nice to be stationary for a while! To finalise our trip in Australia we spent a week in Brisbane, my home away from home. I couldn’t leave Australia without introducing Steff to all the people I had grown to love whilst living there in 2016.
By the end of it, Brisbane stole a piece of Steff’s heart, just like it did mine. It was hard to see absolutely everyone, but we caught up with as many people as possible – as well as exploring that part of Queensland too! Here’s what we got up to during those 7 days in Brissy…
Unfortunately we didn’t get a picture with everyone that we met up with but the reunion itself meant enough to me and having the opportunity to introduce Steff to these guys!
On our first day we stayed with Jess and Luke, (who got engaged a few days later, congrats guys!!) and had a pirate pool party. I don’t mean dressing up as pirates, I just mean, we got in the pool and later drank rum. Because rum is our thang’. We continued to drink rum and sat there with a torch waiting for possums to join us. I guess not all of them got the memo, other than the one bushy tailed possum that arrived but departed soon after. In the morning, we did a bit of unintentional bird watching. The different species of birds that you see at their place was amazing and Jess knows her stuff about them too. Thanks for the nature experience guys – it was a pleasure to see you! ♥️
This place is so cool. It’s known as the cultural, social, educational and recreational precinct in Brisbane. If you’re looking for things to do here, you’re in luck. Here are some of my favourite things:
- South Bank Market – best at the weekend, you’ll find all kinds of quirky things at the markets here. When I visited in 2016 I bought a beautiful white dream catcher.
- Wheel of Brisbane – It’s one of those things you have to do if you’re there for a long period of time, hit up Groupon for a good deal on this too.
- Max Brenners – If you like chocolate, then you’ll love this place! Max Brenner is basically a bald Willy Wonka, he set this place up as well as a few other stores. Try the 80’s Milkshake and a Praline cigar. Mmmmm. Mouthwatering goodness.
- Street Beach – you can still sunbathe with the sand between your toes and have a dip in the water at this man-made beach in the middle of the city. Not bad for a lunch break idea!
- Walk through the Parklands – other than it’s obvious beauty, walking through the parklands of South Bank is a lush experience, regardless of the season!
After exploring South Bank (totally had Nando’s for breakfast) we headed to The Edge for the preparation of the official launch party for Rainbow Hub. This is an organisation set up by a very good friend of mine that I worked with when I lived in Australia. The purpose of the Rainbow Hub is to provided a safe space for LGBTQI international students in Brisbane. With the recent news of same-sex marriage being legalised in Australia there’s a sense of huge pride lingering in Aus at the moment.
The official launch was a success with lots of people attending. The venue, food and service were exceptional and best of all, the speeches made – especially by Louise – were inspiring, motivational and heart-felt. The event was set up by Louise and a few of her students and they did a brilliant job, each person with so much enthusiasm and passion for the organisation. It was a pleasure to meet you all – thank you for allowing us to be a part of it 🌈♥️
Glass House Mountains
Not in Brisbane, but only an hours drive north of the city – the Glass House Mountains are an awe-inspiring landscape, so definitely worth the trip! We were lucky enough to be staying at the Glass House Mountains for the week with Louise, Trudy and the girls.
The several mountains and rocky outcrops are actually remnants of volcanic activity that occurred about 25-27 million years ago! Named by Capt. James Cook (of course!) when he discovered the mountains in 1770, the Glass House Mountains are also central to the creation myths of the region and their spiritual and social importance and links to indigenous people continues to this day.
Staying right next to Mount Ngungun, we had the opportunity to get several fantastic shots of this natural attraction. And even enjoyed a beer with cheese and crackers up at the lookout with Louise, Trudy and the girls.
Recommend – we didn’t have the chance, but a lot of people recommend the Mount Ngungun walk. It’s the 6th tallest of the Glass House Mountains with a well maintained walking trail to the summit.
We spent a few of our days in Brisbane just catching up on ourselves after the road trip, each blogger needs an ‘edit day’ – especially if you’re running a business alongside that! In addition to that, and on a more serious side note – one of the days was spent with Steff being in bed followed by a couple of doctors appointments and a blood test. A few years ago, Steff suffered with an overactive thyroid condition and was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease. Most recently she has been showing symptoms of an under active thyroid and the blood test results proved that to be the diagnosis. But she soon bounced back after a few bad days and is now medicated with thyroxin and is sticking to a gluten-free diet. #trooper
What an experience! We got our tickets on Groupon, an on-going deal with a 10% discount! We’d seen kangaroos and cassowaries during our road trip but there was still so much more of Australia’s nature that we had not yet experienced. Steff was so excited to see a Koala in real life, and she even got to have a little cuddle with one too.
Home of the Crocodile Hunter, Australia Zoo has everything to offer. If the nature is not enough, then the history behind it should put a smile on your face.
Get there before 12:00pm to catch the big show – it’s ultimately catered for the children in the audience but you soon become one of them, with your mouth wide open in awe, the palms of your hands are sweating and you sit there watching a 7ft crocodile just inches away from the staff being fed. It’s amazing!
To talk about each animal, we’d need a separate blog. There is so much to rave about! But our favourite bit was probably seeing the koalas, having a cuddle and then chilling with the kangaroos on the grass and feeding them.
We’ve never been big fans of zoo’s and prefer the idea of a safari, but they look after the animals so well, they treat them like family. And with the ones they can, they aim to rehabilitate and release back into the wild once they are ready. Truly keeping Steve Irwin’s legacy alive 🙏🏽
During the week we also popped on to the university campus that I worked on when I lived there, introducing Steff to more people that have made an impact on me throughout my previous travels. It felt like I had never left! I even had a chance for a cheeky game of La’Briscola – an Italian card game I learned during my travels – surprisingly, I won.
A VIP experience – not something you can buy tickets to on Groupon. Lucky for us, Trudy’s family own a pineapple farm. And lucky for Steff – it’s her favourite fruit. One of our mornings were spent jumping in the car with Louise, Trudy and the girls and driving to the farm. We all hopped into the back of a truck with Trudy and Louise driving us along and had our own private tour of the Pineapple Farm.
The farm itself carries about 550,000 pineapples, all at different stages in the growth process. We were lucky enough to pick a couple of fresh ones.
Do pineapples grow on trees?
Nope. Even though pineapples are considered a fruit (and a fruit generally comes from trees — unless it’s a berry), pineapples actually grow on a plant close to the ground.
• Pineapples regenerate! You can plant pineapple leaves to grow a new plant.
• Pineapples contain the bromelain enzyme which can break down proteins, so you can use them to tenderise meat.
• Pineapples take about 18-20 months to become ready to harvest.
• One pineapple plant can produce one pineapple at a time.
• Pineapples ripen faster upside down.
For our last few days in Brisbane we caught up with as many people as possible.
Lisa and her two daughters invited us to their place for a BBQ lunch where we spent the afternoon laughing and catching up in general. The girls have grown up so much and into beautiful little human beings. Wish we could have spent more time with them but no doubt we will reunite again somewhere in this small world.
The last people we had time to catch up with was the family that I lived with for the first 6 months of being in Australia in 2016 – and the extended neighbour family of which I became best friends with their dog, Hoover. We all got together for dinner and drinks and it was amazing to see them after all this time, and again, having the opportunity to introduce Steff to the people that she had heard so much about! I first met baby Annalise when she was 10 months old, I witnessed her first steps and first few words and now she’s approaching her 3rd birthday, running around, stringing sentences along and still has the most adorable little smile. It was amazing to see you all, until next time. 💖
On our last day in Australia we did the inevitable, packed our backpacks, got some essentials for our next stop, and relaxed as much as possible. We played card games with the girls, had pizza, margaritas and sat by the fire pit with the stars above us. It was a beautiful end to a beautiful experience. Staying with Louise and Trudy for the week was amazing and they made us feel so at home. Can’t wait to catch up again with you guys – hopefully in Bali or Thailand! 🌴
If you read this blog in hopes to find it jam-packed with cool things to do in Brisbane and you’re disappointed because I only offered a few suggestions… well, sorry not sorry.
Although your top wonders of Australia may end up being the Great Barrier Reef, Twelve Apostles and Sydney Opera House, my top wonders are the amazing friends that I met during my time there. I wish the same for you!
ALTHOUGH – we won’t leave you in the dark…
If you really are stumped for ideas for your visit to Australia, there’s heaps I can recommend from my time spent there in 2016. Here are a few things, just feel free to get in touch with us for more advice!
• Brisbane to Adelaide Road Trip – Nimbin, Byron Bay, Sydney, Melbourne, Great Ocean Road, Adelaide
• Western Australia – Perth, Hamlin Bay, Rottnest Island
• Mount Coo-tha, Brisbane
• Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane
Thanks for reading guys. Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog in the next few weeks…
Next stop – BALI!
Peace and love