March 6, 2019
So, there are customs regulations that prohibit the casino from opening while at sea around Australia, so we hear it will be closed for 4 days (started with the day at sea on yesterday.) It is always closed when in port.
Today we sailed in to Brisbane. We met the pilot very early while we were still sleeping, and sailed into the city via the Brisbane river. The larger ships cannot come under the bridge so have to dock 14 miles outside the city. Another advantage to be on a smaller ship like the Insignia. Not much to see on the sail in as it was a lot of commercial areas. But when we got closer to the city, here was the view.
Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city and it is a nice combination of big city and green park areas. Today we thought we would go into the city and do the hop on hop off bus but as soon as we left the ship and talked to the local guides, we learned that they discontinued that bus a year ago. We took the shuttle bus into the main part of the city where another helpful guide shared a great walking route and we decided to do that.
The shuttle dropped us off at Anzac Square. It is a state memorial to the men and women who participated in overseas armed service and is named in honor of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
From there we walked down one of the main streets, Edward Street, to the Queen Street Mall, which is a long pedestrian street with many shops. We walked across the Victoria Bridge across to South Bank.
Along the South Bank is a sprawling 99 acre public park of lawns, gardens & playgrounds, plus a river-swimming beach and a Ferris wheel. This was the site of the World Expo in 1988. We took a couple of hours exploring it and were delighted by the pool, the birds, the flowers and the riverfront site view of the city.
There was also a Nepalese pagoda that was brought to Brisbane for the 1988 expo. Beautiful, and lots to look forward to when we visit Nepal next month.
We then walked down to the Goodwill Bridge and walked back across to Brisbane City and into the City Botanic Garden where we spent another couple of hours walking through this serene place.
Lots of birds, open spaces and also kind of a forest atmosphere in part of the gardens, all bordered by the curve of the Brisbane River and also the views of the city high rise buildings.
After the walk through the gardens (and yes, it was hot and humid, but we took a little break on a bench overlooking the river where we had a nice breeze), we decided to look for a riverfront restaurant for a late lunch.
We went to the Bavarian restaurant on the Eagle Street Pier where we met two friends from the ship who were already having lunch there.
After a fun and leisurely lunch, we walked back through the city with the intent of taking the ferry back to the area where the ship was docked (a 40 minute trip). But first we wanted to see the MacArthur Museum. This was his headquarters during World War II where attacks against the Japanese were coordinated. Unfortunately, we found out that it was closed today. So we walked on and came to a very cool farmer’s market. We browsed and sampled and bought some popcorn and macadamia nuts (I didn’t realize that a lot of them are grown in Australia). Then we got on the ferry and had a nice river tour back to the ship. When we got there we struck up a conversation with a young woman who had just returned from Nepal and she told us of some of the highlights!
Again, Lonnie got some good sunset pictures and sail away pictures. I will share when he gives them to me. But here is the view of the bridge from the Terrace Café at dinner. Another fabulous day.