The Travelling Series
Whilst travelling around, a lot of backpackers complained about Brisbane and how it's just another city and there isn't much to do. However, when we arrived, we found it a refreshing change to be back in a big city again with more going on than just a beach.
Brisbane is quite clean and feels fairly modern. All the shops are in one place on Queens Street and there are also some super shiny malls which reminded me of Singapore. There's an arts and culture section across the river which was fun to explore, as well as a lagoon.
My favourite thing that we did while we were there is take the thirty minute bus ride out of town to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. This is a bit like a mini zoo with a focus on koalas and other Australian wildlife, such as kangaroos and dingoes.
Whilst we were there we were able to get up close and personal with the animals, from stroking koalas to feeding the kangaroos. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a big kid at heart and I absolutely love the zoo, so this was an amazing day for me!
Another thing that I loved about Brisbane was the Christmas lights, decorations and music playing around the city. It's the first time I'd actually felt Christmassy since we'd been away - as it's difficult to get into the spirit in 30 degree heat - and I really enjoyed the festive atmosphere.
After Brisbane we travelled to Byron Bay, another beach town famous for surfing. It's slightly bigger than Airlie and has a bit more going on.
Main Beach is beautiful but the weather wasn't great while we were there - I think we managed a couple of half days sunbathing on the sand and that's about it.
I really liked Byron but it was 'schoolies' week while we were there; this is when Australia's 18-year-olds break up from school/college and have a two week bender to celebrate. There were a lot of drunken idiots about and it actually cut our trip short because we wanted to stay for five nights but there was only accommodation available for three.
I'm glad we got the chance to go though as we had a lot of fun there (when it wasn't raining)!
Then it was time to head to the place that we'd both been waiting for: Sydney.