Tag Archives: CityCat

Getting Around Brisbane

I found Brisbane to be a very easy city to navigate. I chose QUT as my university to study at because it was a big city, but not too big, and it appeared to have a decent public transportation system. I was right. You can get around via water, road or track.

The most idyllic form of transportation is by CityCat ferry. It navigates the Brisbane River with ease and on, even a moderate weather day, it’s a great way to take in the city without the hassle of traffic. The ferry hops from both banks of the river and I found it a very efficient way to get around. The only negative is that there are some days when the water is being occupied by races, but those are few and far between and there is plenty of advance notice for you. Some call it a bit touristy but I found it more efficient to go from my apartment in Toowong to QUT via CityCat than to take the bus or train.

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Like just about every city in the world, Brisbane has a bus system. I found it to be efficient and just like a lot of other bus systems I have used over the years. There are some places that, if you don’t have a car, you can only get to by bus and that’s where it comes in handy. Other than that, there is not much else to write about it.

Queensland Rail, or QR, runs right into the heart of the CBD and stretches out to the airport, toward the coast and to the inland suburbs. I never encountered a problem while I rode QR, you just have to make sure you are on the correct platform (like most trains) or else you’ll end up in the wrong place. As I was getting bored with taking the CityCat to and from school, I started riding QR home and taking in a different view of the city. I would take the bus to Roma Street, get on the train and then get off at Toowong. It was very simple, and somewhat idiot proof to follow.

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Brisbane’s South Bank

I am redirecting back to my original idea of going through my Australia travels in 2007.

Every Tuesday was a free day in Australia. For me, anyway. My class schedule at uni just worked out so that every single Tuesday I had to day to myself. Where I could do whatever I wanted. Most of the morning was spent running along the Brisbane river, then doing schoolwork and then whatever else I wanted. Which got me thinking: What is there to do in Brisbane?

So I started to venture out and see. Not only on Tuesdays but on the weekend too.

Immediately, I found myself getting off at the South Bank CityCat stop and exploring the South Bank Parklands. Mainly because it was just the second stop from my apartment, but also because it was gorgeous to look at from the ferry.

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I’ll be honest, what originally brought me there was the movie theatre, the Cineplex, (where I would end up spending most of my Tuesdays, I mean how could I not?) but after a movie was over I would wander around through the gardens, by the closed water park, and along the riverwalk. It was a nice way to unwind after a movie and stretch my legs and possibly grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants at the plaza food court before I would head home.

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At the South end of the Parklands is the Queensland Maritime Museum. That is where I saw these two ships dry docked:

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And at the North end is the QPAC (Queensland Performing Arts Center) where you can see musicals, plays, and ballet and classical music performances. Next to that building, and connected to it by a bridge, is the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre where they hold rotating exhibits and hands on science experiences. When I was there, 2007 was the year of the surf lifesaver and the halls were filled with vintage surfboards and other related materials the detailed the history and dedication of the surf lifesavers as they ensure our safety in the water.

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**If you’re reading this and are planning out your Brisbane visit keep in mind that I was there 7 years ago so things might have changed – and I’m sure they have.**

 

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In Brisbane

It’s been called Brisneyland or Bris Vegas on account that it’s a place to party and have a good time. I didn’t know that until I arrived and given the amount of time I spent there, partying, learning, taking in the scenery I feel confident that I can say I agree with those two nicknames. Now, that doesn’t mean that there are rides and attractions all over the city, but there is plenty to do and see that makes the entire city fun and enjoyable – and not just for the adults, for the entire family too.

After a quick flight up from Melbourne, Brisbane was a welcome sight. Firstly, there was a ton of sun and it was much warmer to boot – and this was still July (Winter) but I felt right at home because the weather is so similar to what I experience in California. Secondly, it was just nice to finally be in the city I was going to call home for the next six months.

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View from apartment balcony

I was put up in an apartment just off Coronation Drive and it was conveniently located to a shopping centre complete with market, a subway & CityCat ferry terminal, and more importantly the bar/restaurant The Regatta, and a First Choice Liquor, a store similar to the American BevMo or Total Wine & More. I would end up spending many a night at The Regatta, no matter what day of the week it turned out to be. What more could I ask for?

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The city close up

This being my introduction into Brisbane I didn’t want to do anything too rash or get lost so with a small group of about four or six, we set about exploring the surrounding area and found that if we wanted to find something relaxing to do after a day at Uni or just on the weekend, we could find it in this area or easily hop on the public transit and go somewhere else. We were situated just on the outskirts of the city to experience the night life, but also far enough away so that we could have some peace and quiet when we wanted. The best of both worlds.

It wasn’t a long flight but it was a quick transition into “OK, I’m here now and tomorrow is when I actually have to do work” because there was an orientation the next day and it was for all international students so we could get our IDs, change any classes on our schedule and other administrative stuff. I didn’t fly to Australia to just party, I was there with a purpose…but partying was part of that.

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