Thursday, December 8, 2016

Brisbane (Australia Travelogue Part 1) - {Day 1: South Bank Parklands x Queen Street Mall x Miel's Container x Eat Street Markets} & {Day 2: Fortitude Valley x Campos Coffee x Queensland Art Gallery x Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary} & {Day 3: Roma Street Parkland x Eagle Street Pier x Wilson's Outlook x Pony Dining}

Hi guys, I'm back from Hokkaido and I'm finally going to start blogging about my trips taken to Australia since its the country I have visited the most this year. Long story short, my bf is currently studying there thus I went there twice in a semester to visit him, so I should pretty much get my lazy ass up and start writing about my trips there before the festive season makes me lazier (and fatter - cause of more reunions etc) 

Keeping it simple, I attached a map i found online of Australia - a relaxed western country good for taking road trips (renting/buying a car is RLY cheap there compared to other parts of the world & singapore so yup...) 
Tourists seem to travel to Melbourne, Perth & Sydney more because while researching on Brisbane, there seem to be less travel information found online on the city which I'm going to frequent most to... So I hope this post helps you guys, especially students who are considering to study in Brisbane, located in the second largest state of Queensland - in north-eastern Australia. ^.^

DAY 1
After a tiring 8 hour flight from Singapore - Gold Coast 
(chose to take to Gold Coast Airport because there's a plane fare difference by $300 or $400 SGD if taking budget flight. It can be $700 to $800++ SGD for a flight to Brisbane but to Gold Coast on lucky days flights can range from $300 - $400 SGD, return tickets are included in these cost.) 
No idea why it cost so much more to Brisbane compared to cities like Perth... A friend told me when her bf was studying in Perth, her air ticket can cost like $200++ SGD only..

Finally met Wills after he settled down in Brisbane for around 10 days. His tired face cause he took this train from Brisbane to Gold Coast (approximately 2 hours), then a bus ride (30 mins?) to Gold Coast Airport to pick me!! Driving from Brisbane would take around 1 hour to Gold Coast Airport!

The feeling of happiness to finally see him waiting for me all the time at the arrival gate can't be described. The wait & how slowly time passed. (lol while typing this can cry haha ldr woes) Remembering all the bitter-sweet feeling now.. 
He has to wakeup super early to pick me then we will take the same 3 hour journey back to his apartment in Brisbane (6 hours for him in total) & maybe 8 hour of loneliness for me (+ bus & train ride to Brisbane) cos its the first few times taking airplane alone on such a long & uncomfortable flight.  :( 
But I guess its all worth it when we meet!!! 

After the bus & train ride, we finally reached Brisbane!

Walking along Brisbane's South Bank Parklands area, located on the southern bank of the Brisbane river, which house a combination of culture and recreational tourist spots like Grey Street & Little Stanley Street (picture below)

Streets Beach, a free man-made beach looking swimming area.



Some park in South Bank.

more landmarks like the Wheel of Brisbane, Queensland Conservatorium, Queensland Maritime Museum and the Queensland Cultural Centre hosting musicals and performing arts.

Picture taken of the South Bank & Brisbane River on Victoria Bridge, cause we were walking towards the Brisbane CBD & city area which Will's apartment was located at.

bridge with pedestrian & vehicle crossing

and we reacheddd!!
This huge building welcoming us was Treasury Casino & Hotel Brisbane (which i lost money there in the following few days I was there - I ONLY WENT ONCE FYI) 
hahaha but some students really too bored studying there will go into the casino and try their luck one!! 
Cause no need pay entrance fee like in Singapore hahaha means you already won by going in HOHOHO LOL kidding please don't go in.
My STRICT bf only allowed me to go in there once cause I haven't been into a legit casino even though I turned 21 last year LOL.


Queen Street Mall area - shopping & lifestyle precinct that located at Queen Street in the centre of Brisbane City. Many eateries, restaurants, malls and shops can be all found there in that area!

Got my $2 AUD sim card

top up the AUD below to receive the amount of data shown

& this was my transport card in Brisbane - TRANSLink. 
Do you know like diff states in Australia all uses diff transport cards? 
So when we were in Sydney we had to get another one. 
Btw transports fares & food can be more expensive in aus compared to in Singapore. 
Because they pay their part-timers even working in those rdm convenient stalls up to 18 AUD per hour. 
haha so higher cost of living but much better pay! So its understandable. 
Thats why Angmos be like "cheap... cheap!!!" in Singapore.

part of queen street area

was kinda hungry after such a long journey, got some pie face to curb my hunger first



cos a bottle of water is more expensive there. I always get these frozen slurpies for $1 aud at the convenient shop hahaha


Lunch settled at 

Miel's Container
72/88 Mary Street, 
Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
11 am - 10 pm

A pretty popular burger container place near my bf's apartment.





You can choose from their classic menu or design your own burgers. 
We had some Chef's Special Mozzarella Cheese Burger which comes with beer battered chips as sides.

The portions were HUGE. Half of the burger is prolly equivalent to a cheeseburger at Macdonalds. Full of cheese & there's even this fried cheese patty which was delightful! 
First time eating something like that but in fact, fried cheese are quite usual to find in Australia's restaurants.
Damage done should be around $20 AUD per person :)

Settled down in will's place. He's a private person so I will not be able to share the housing details.



hehehe him for the next 10 days

we prolly K.O.ed till night time and we headed out for dinner! 
Passing by King George Square, a public square area in Brisbane near Queen Street (CBD) which hosts events such as farmers markets, christmas activations so on and forth weekly. 
Details can be found on signs/posters near the square or online!

nice pink lighted architecture building


Btw, we took public transport for a couple of days and rented car when we were doing a road trip to Gold Coast in the remaining half of the trip because..

Studying in Brisbane, you can either:
1. Choose to stay in the school 
(lol don't recommend heard its more expensive and shittier housing + sharing toilets with different genders - maybe some people will like LOL like will's friend staying there was shocked at his apartment no ants & all the creepy crawlies at all one LOL)
2. Stay around the CBD area, very convenient, buses and transport everywhere, shops, food & chill-out areas everywhere - much more lively, everywhere is super walkable. 
But you won't be able to buy a car because parking in the CBD area is crazily ex. Like one hour can be up to 30 bucks. 
Plus William's apartment doesn't provide free parking so despite him wanting to buy a car there, like damn cheap 7k can get decent model kind, but parking there for 1.5 years prolly cost more than the car itself.
3. Stay more suburb area, you confirm can buy car but need to know people before studying there so y'all can make housing plans & share the cost of the rent or even rent a car together with your housemates. 
At first you go there sure quite blur one. Cause I have seen these landed areas the Australians stay at and all is really quite deserted and super dark at night. So you confirm need a car to drive out everyday or something. But also need to considering the parking prices in the school you are studying at.

Oh well, continuing with my post, we went to catch a bus to this super awesome & popular weekend night market in Brisbane. Buses to everywhere is so easily available in the CBD.

Eat Street Markets
89 MacArthur Ave, 
Hamilton QLD 4007, Australia

Opening hours below. 
A must go to in Brisbane! The vibes there: 100/100.
Imaging the chilly weather at night, along with all the colourful fairy lit alleyways of the food shipping containers makes it even more perfect.
They have free parking around the area btw, because we went back another day when we had car~

have to pay a entrance fee of 2.5 AUD or somewhere around there I forgot.

pictures can't show how pretty these are



first food from this oyster bar shop at eat street. 
Around 1 AUD - 2 AUD per oyster. One freshly shucked & one baked with bacon bits.


live music bands & seating table areas available.

the lights were too pretty not to spam photos




some honey coated puffs which should have tasted better if we added sundae to it.

Will's fav shop at eat street located next to the popular funnel cakes. My Latin Kitchen

We ordered their BBQ platter which was SO GOOD. Even the beef rib bbq steak thing was super tasty and the two yellow looking pieces are the grilled mozzarellas again (told ya its common). 
The chili kinda sauces that comes with it is super shiok also. Rare to even find chili in Australia LOL.

bf who cuts and feed meeeee~

pardon the ugliest face I could ever get derived from a super long day wo makeup & shit for the first day LOL even my sunglasses don't agree with me. So crooked for what.


World Famous Funnel Cakes. Lol @ the queue.

chose like the strawberry flavour funnel cake & ice-cream combo & its quite a photogenic dessert for a Instagram check-in.

Wouldn't say its mind blowing-ly nice but its something so much fluffier & different compared to ice-creams on waffles!


more food finds there shall be continued in my post during the 2nd visit there.

DAY 2

Woke up early for brunch and went to Fortitude Valley - this suburb of Brisbane which claims to never sleep. 
Cafe hopping activities in the morning till the final closing doors of nightclubs (?)

Campos Coffee
11 Wandoo Street,
 Fortitude Valley QLD 4006, Australia
6.30 am - 4 pm

We chose this cafe which had like super high ratings and reviews on tripadvisor. 
Campos offers Australian modern lunch & breakfast and we didn't know its like a popular coffee place which had branches everywhere in Australia. Should have tried like a more unique cafe and not like a renowned "branded" food place la IMO.





Oh wells, I forgot what smoothie I ordered but it was good.


the waiter recommend one of their lattes or something so we got it as well.

TBH food was so-so to me, not like how GREAT everyone claimed. 
But maybe also cause I didn't exactly ordered the usual brunch menu items but this kind of food like - Cocoa Sweet Porridge. I wanted to try the angmo style of breakfast porridge. 
Texture was good but kinda tasted abit jerlat after awhile like I want to puke LOL. 
What is chocolate flavoured porridge HAHAHAH end up push all to william LOLOL he alr tell me don't order this. BUT I WANT TO TRY NEW THINGS.

Lunch menu item: Sesame Salmon Soba, William likes this & said its tasty~ 
To me okayyyy I guess hehe



After brunch, went back to South Bank area to catch a bus thus we passed by the Maritime Museum & went to have a look at Queensland Art Gallery as its free of charge too!!



first time in an art gallery which was quite fascinating, even though we were trying to take artistic looking photos most of the time but I guess now I know why some people do bring their dates to art museums!








Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
708 Jesmond Rd, 
Fig Tree Pocket QLD 4069, Australia

Made our way down to Lone pine sanctuary in Brisbane, which is the world's first and largest koala sanctuary which everyone should visit!



iguanas/chameleons(?) found commonly roaming the parks LOL

other animals can be seen at lone pine as well!

Child Pass - 22 AUD (for age 3 - 13)
Adult Pass - 36 AUD (13 above)
Remember to bring your student pass! Our ticket cost us 18 AUD each only cause of student pricing! They have sales & family promos sometimes as well, remember to check the website before you head down :)

Photo taking sessions are allowed with the Koalas, even snacks and birds! 
Me and wills both got the photo taking package of 18 AUD which includes:
-One high quality photo & a lone pine photo file
-Reasonably large size: 210mm x 150mm
Took quite some time for them to print it out as it was rather crowded so we walked around first.

these pics were taken with my dslr I snugged in! These are not our printed photos :)
Smiling although the koala was so heavy and its nails were scratching me hahahaha but so kuteeee










Tasmanian devil

and another good thing about lone pine is that there's a HUGE kangaroo reserve located in lone pine, we get to feed the kangaroos (a packet of food cost around 2 AUD) and chill out with them hahaha


after this wills was like 
"idk how many kangaroo shit i slept on to take a decent photograph"


super frienddddly not scary at all guys




"paint me like one of your french girls" 
walao whats with my bf and his gay ig captions LOL


also managed to interact with wild emus roaming about hahahaha

don't think its very EMUSED

LOL our faces like that cos we took 100 shots but everytime the emu got near we kinda dodged a little cause I damn scared it suddenly peck out my eyeballs LOL


Night time headed back to town and whoo hoo one of my fav past-times in aussie is to purchase Beer/Wine/Spirits from their BWS shops located everywhere its like supermarket but for alcohol. AND DAMN CHEAP, perfect for alcoholics like me hahahah I LUV ITTTTT LOL 

the cool room super shiok to go in and out hahaha damn freezing inside

Sorry my fav shop in aussie so I need to take more pics LOL look at the prices srsly, i think the cheapest was one bottle of moscato for like what 4 AUD?! 
But maybe must buy like 4 bottles to get the promo like 4 bottles for 20 AUD or something HAHAHAHA (which we did LOL think i drank like 100 bottles there inclusive of those small ciders & beer bottles la not so much okeh LOL)

And we often frequent supermarkets like Coles & Woolsworth, learning how to whip up your own meals living in Australia is important!!! 
William can be a pasta chef now cause he didn't buy a rice cooker so he probably ate pastas to replace rice for the past half a year.. But I swear all his carbonara & chili pasta creations are of a godlike standard now, thanks to me who helped him did some research on cooking pastas & the recipes when I was there~

Trying out all the supermarket kinda foooods

LOL so many diff kind of ciders/beers need to get one of each hehe

this brand of yellow tail white wine (10 AUD -?-) is good hahaha one of the better ones for the price



ma fav sous chef

had some roast beef for dinner the second night SOUNDS GOOD RIGHT but is like william's leftovers from a brand of beef he first got & disliked in the supermarkets LOL

cooking your own meals can be pretty fun just that if you are alone usually you get so lazy to cook because you need to spend so much effort to only cook one portion for yourself... 
but I guess its still kinda fun bbqing all the kind of meats they have in aussie 
(william forced me to eat kangaroo meat - how could he after feeding them -_- LOLOL) and not eat out all the time since you might get quite bored of western food after awhile.

DAY 3

Settled for some Hungry Jacks as brunch. 
Hungry Jacks is like the Burger King/Macdonalds of Brisbane.

Our itinerary for Day 3 was all on foot, my poor feet.
Walked to Roma Street Parkland located at the northern side of the CBD, iconic parts of Brisbane and considered as one of the premiere parks there with contemporary displays of gardens.



16 hectares wide




walked to the fav part of Roma Street Parkland, located within - the flower garden!!

beautiful field of flowers = more ootd shots






The day marks our one year anniversary together :)


wanted a perfect picture which explain the number of shots as we asked different passer-bys LOL


After Roma Street Parklands, William made me walk all the way back to Brisbane's City Botanic Gardens direction located on one side of the Brisbane river as its next to our next destination - Eagle Street Pier!

House on the one side and the Brisbane River's northern banks on the other.

Can you spot Brisbane Story Bridge hovering above Brisbane River?


Eagle Street Pier
 45 Eagle Street,
 Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia

An iconic waterfront precinct with world class dining options and a magnificent front views of the Brisbane River.


How cool are those cruise dining restaurants!


The place (Pony Dining) William booked for our dinner~




From Eagle Street Pier, we walked all the way to Wilson's Outlook, a popular night lookout spot over the cliff facing Brisbane Story Bridge 
(WHICH YOU SAW IN A FAR DISTANCE JUST NOW) 
We had to walk up a steep hill and under one side of the bridge to arrive here. LOL -_-
Bf likes me to exercise I swear.

Wilson's Outlook
231 Bowen Terrace, New Farm QLD 4005, Australia

Brisbane Story Bridge as we waited for sunset.


tired but since I'm here so lemme take a selfie


the view at sunset

vs the view after the sun has set hahaha


walked back to Eagle Street Pier, good thing Pokemon go was the craze then so I watched Wills catch his "rare" Golduck beside Brisbane River. 
And we both caught Kangaskhan in Brisbane hahahaha (a pokemon breed only found in Aussie!) 
He has more of them tho since his building is a pokestop that has lure kept on like forever -_-

Pony Dining Eagle Street Pier
18/45 Eagle Street,
Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
11.30 am - 10 pm





the view outdoors at the alfresco area was so magnificent facing the river & the view of a fully lighted story bridge.





Wood Fired Mussels (18.5 AUD)
Garlic, chili, parsley and grilled bread

Wood Fired Asparagus (12 AUD)
Zucchini, confit lemon,  chevre and slow cooked egg
(had this on the house because the waitress mistook our orders and since it was already made they just served it to us FOC, pretty good service)

Rodriguez Chorizo (14.6 AUD)
Red pepper salsa, lemon, yogurt and olive crumb
some pretty tasty fried balls which tasted like mashed condiments and potatoes glazed with fried crumbs all over

5 AUD for house white & red during happy hour timing. 
Cheap but you can get a bottle of wine at BWS for 5 AUD hahahahaha



Tortellini (32 AUD)
Braised lamb neck, ricotta, black garlic, cavolo nero, pine nut

AACO Wagyu Rump 350g (42 AUD)
150 days grain fed, triple cooked onion rings, truffle bearnaise 

Overall the food there was delightful alongside the ambience. Recommended!
 Pony Dining offers a honest menu showcasing Australian produce with wood-fire grill cooking methods. 

P.S. Overall, the higher dining standards in Australia does not burn your pocket as much as the expensive restaurants in Singapore. 
Firstly, they do not have gst/service charge, which usually can cost like 70 bucks of the total amount lol.
Secondly, Australia does not have hawkers like SG thus their normal range of food & living expenses might be slightly higher than in SG because we have that lower market segment in our country but for the higher market segment - their fine dining is really more affordable than the prices in SG! 
One of the reasons could be due to their meats & food being Australian produce & not imported.

abrupt ending but happy 1st year thanks to my fav person in the universe :)
Thanks for planning almost this whole trip, day and the dinner treat at Pony's!

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