Exciting Brisbane and calm Byron Bay

After our two-week road trip we were immensely looking forward to our stay in Brisbane with our friend Kim who we had met three years ago in Africa. But the roof over our heads and a warm shower played rather a minor role in our anticipation. For the best part of our short visit was the super nice and warmhearted Kim herself, who should support us in the next months in many things again and again.

Even Brisbane itself turned out to be a real highlight. After all, the third largest city in Australia exudes a special charm and offers an incredible range of cultural and leisure activities. Above all stands the South Bank in the city center. Here are museums, theaters, libraries, playgrounds and an artificial sea lagoon. The latter offers stunning views of Brisbane’s skyline and at least in the summer a welcomed cool off.

Right next to it volunteers are cultivating a communal garden. That offers a variety of herbs, vegetables, salads and many other edible greens. The best part: Anyone can pick a little for himself and accordingly we took advantage of this brilliant offer to refine our sandwiches. But this was not the end of Brisbane’s hospitality: All these free offers are joined by a tourist ferry that cruises along eight stops along the Brisbane River for free.

The city council threw in even another bonus: each year, about a month before Christmas, the traditional “lighting” of the municipal Christmas tree takes place. An event, which attracted half of Brisbane’s population and so we stood huddled under the 15 meter high artificial Christmas tree, studded with stars and colorful bulbs. These started shining to the applause of the audience and with a big bang followed by a shower of confetti. So, not quite as cosy as in Germany, but still very nice.

Thanks to all these great experiences and the good times with Kim our four days in the big city were gone too fast. But we had a tight schedule, as we had arranged to meet up with other friends down the coast near Byron Bay. We had met Anja and Michael and their four children during our trip around the world in Fiji in connection with couchsurfing. Meanwhile, the extended family had moved to Australia and we were looking forward to see them again. The scheduling was due to the Open Day at a wonderful Steiner School in Mullumbimby, in which Anja is teaching.

We were even more stunned when we saw the house rented by Anja and Michael. In the green hills of the Byron Bay hinterland, one looks from a large terrace into a valley, while at the horizon the sea is shimmering. Breathtaking. There were also many animals for India, including several koalas in the trees outside the front entrance. Also, an about one and a half meter long python came by to visit the chicken coop. Almost like in a zoo.

But despite all the fauna on site we longed to get back into the nature. So we said “bye bye” to this beautiful place and the great people after a few days already and headed North again. There the Tamborine Mountain National Park awaited us with new waterfalls, huge trees and abundant wildlife. Also the views of the surrounding, largely untouched, landscape was unforgettable. So we decided to keep going and to visit two more national parks. But more about that in the next blog …

Here you can find all pictures for this blog post: From Brisbane to Byron Bay