A TASTE OF BRISBANE
Updated: Mar 10
DAY 58 - 09 MARCH 2023
AT SEA - ENROUTE TO SYDNEY
Queen Mary 2 World Centenary Voyage
102 days, 31 ports, 18 countries.
Ellen Frazer-Jameson reporting from Queen Mary 2
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland. Brisbane was named after the river on which it sits, known locally as the Brown Snake river. The central business district cover 2.2km and is walkable and manageable for its 2.7m population.
The port of Brisbane is the third most important port in Australia for value of goods. Port facilities are built on reclaimed mangroves and wetlands.Arriving passengers are welcomed at an impressive new International Cruise Terminal in the commercial port area.
Built at a cost of 177mAUS $ - In contrast to the older terminal which was situated in the middle of a recreational area with parks and restaurants and shopping malls, the new building offers full customer services but being situated in an industrial shipping area, the city, is a 45-minute drive away. The decision to move the terminal; was taken because the larger cruise ships cannot pass under the Gateway Bridge. Only the second Australian bridge which offers an elevated Adventure Climb – the other one being Sydney Harbour – the Gateway Bridge has a spectacular view of the city and visitors are encouraged to
Walk the Plank or to do a Cantilever Lean Out high above the river. Brisbane have gone all out to entice back their tourist trade after the extensive lockdown period when Australia closed its borders to international travellers during the pandemic.
Australia was one of the last countries to re-open and even now a high proportion of the tourists in cities like Brisbane are native Australians visiting from other states.
The centre of Brisbane has undergone a huge amount of restoration and development and mixes modern, sleek, mirrored glass sky scrapers with older grand colonial buildings such as the Treasury Building, Customs House, City Hall, Old Government House and Parliament House; the city still feels European as it references its past Britishness with street names harking back to the old country; Queen’s Plaza and Mall, King George Square, Crown Street,
Highgate Hill, Brighton Road, Cambridge Street, Exeter Street, Bristol Street and from across the water, Paris Street.
These acknowledgements of past affiliations are also honoured in the naming of native landmarks of the city, such as Woolloongabba Bus station.
Focused on Cultural Experiences, Brisbane presents the story of its history in guided tours through local galleries, exhibitions and public art installations. Arts and Culture venues in the city centre include the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art, Queensland Museum, Maritime Museum and the State Library of Queensland.
Live performances take place at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and Riverstage. Brisbane has a rich and varied foodie culture and award-winning restaurants with an abundance of rooftop bars, craft breweries, including the famous XXXX brands, and wine blending workshops in the city, on the river’s wharves and in surrounding areas.
Historic buildings, modern architecture and lush inner-city parks overlooking the Brisbane River are dominated by its contemporary skyline and the ability to move with the times.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
There is always a great sense of achievement when you tick off an ambition on the Bucket List. Happily, a World Voyage presents opportunities to have these unique adventures and in Brisbane, I fulfilled a wish. To hold a koala.
Take a ride half an hour out of town and there you will find one of the most popular attractions in the whole of Brisbane. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary opened in 1927 as a safe refuge for sick, injured and orphaned koalas, at a time when the animals were being culled for the fur trade. Founder Claude Reid, recognised that something had to be done to help protect one of Australia’s most iconic species. His first two koala residents were called Jack and Jill.
Lone Pine is now home to over 130 koalas, and they are all known by name and loved by staff and visitors. Koalas are not bears. They are marsupials – meeting the two criteria of being born live and having a pouch.
The koalas could not be more adorable. Furry, cuddly, doe-eyed creatures clinging on to the lush greenery and eating eucalyptus leaves. Sanctuary workers harvest and prepare half a ton of the leaves a day but unfortunately being the koala’s only diet, the leaves alone do not deliver enough nutrients for animals to have a high energy level.
This means they fall asleep at the drop of a hat and stay that way for up to 18/20 hours at a time. Often snuggled up alongside another koala. They are social creatures and live in family groups. The koalas hang on to the trunks of the eucalyptus trees with hands that have two thumbs and three fingers. When born the koalas babies are just 2cms long – and look like jelly bean joeys.
The joeys live and grow in their mother’s pouch and at eight months have developed fur and are ready to move independently and explore away from the security of their mother.
Lone Pine Sanctuary’s wide-open natural spaces are home to dozens of kangaroos and wallabies. The animals have been reared and taken care of by zoo staff and are people-friendly allowing themselves to be stroked and petted. Especially when one hand is also offering the kangaroo food that is available to buy in the park shop.
In further enclosed area there are wombats, kookaburras, echidnas. emus, cassowaries, platypus, Tasmanian Devils and various species of reptiles and snakes.
I had eyes only for the docile koala that fastened itself onto my chest and snuggles in. Called Davis, my new fried is seven years old. Heavier than I anticipated,his fur is soft to the touch and I was reluctant to give him back to his keeper.
I have been to Australia three times and this was the first time I have held a koala.I would have loved to take him home but had to settle for a cuddly toy, with baby soft fur clutching a joey.
Driving back to the ship, we stopped at Mount Coot-tha Lookout. The highest point In Brisbane - there is a panoramic view of the Brisbane skyline and surrounding areas.
This charming city was well worth a stop as we sailed on our tours around the Eastern coast of Queensland. Brisbane is a city I would certainly like to visit again and spend some more time.
Perhaps Davis will remember me if I go back again. In any event, he made one of my dreams come true – and I’ve got the photos to prove it.
Back to our mother ship as we set sail for Sydney...
A double treat - a savory dessert ...
and a tranquil moonlit evening sailing to Sydney !
* * * * *
Happy Sailing... Ellen
NEXT PORT OF CALL:
SYDNEY - 11 MARCH 2023
Current position of Queen Mary 2: Under way from Brisbane to Sydney
Departure was 1 d 4 hrs 12 min ago. (at 20:00 h local time)
Arrival will be in 1 d 5 hrs 18 min. (at 06:30 h local time)
Traveled distance since Brisbane: 253.83 nm (470.10 km)
Remaining distance to Sydney: 263.45 nm (487.90 km)
Traveled distance since Singapore: 4,408.08 nm (8,163.76 km)
Photo of the day (from the archives of JD Schwartz)
Further updates will be posted as soon as we get them from Ellen onboard Queen Mary 2.