Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Brisbane and Drought

Brisbane is my latest home. After what seems like weeks of travelling arriving in Brisbane was a big change. It's also a good opportunity to dump some junk out of my backpack and replace it with stuff that I actually need.

Brisbane is Australia's third largest city and if it wasn't on the road from Sydney to Cairns I doubt many backpackers would stop here. I'm staying in a place called the Palace Backpackers Central. It's a nice old building surrounded by new office blocks and shopping centers. The whole place feels very business like. I walked around some of the suburbs as well and got the same feeling. People live here but go elsewhere to party, I suppose being inland means it cant compete with places like Surfers, Byron, and Noosa.

That said it does have a few nice restaurants, I treated myself to a proper restaurant meal last night and while strictly outside my budget I figured it could be the last chance I got until I get to Melbourne sometime around the end of November. While there I spent time watching cricket on the big screen. Cricket is an amazing sport because you can watch it for almost an hour, with little or no knowledge of the sport and the sound turned down so there was no commentary and still know whats going on. Of course after an hour, very little has actually happened so I suppose the commentary could have been on full volume but the commentator was taking a nap.

Brisbane is also in the middle of the worst drought in 100 years, and lest you forget there are signs everywhere asking people to be water wise or explaining why fountains are now covered in grass or other plants. There is also a lot of talk about the plight of farmers. One farmer in the news yesterday, a guy called Gibson, is down to 8 marino sheep on his farm. Irish farmers don't know how well they have it. Next time they bitch about reduced income or forms to fill in from Europe I say they should be made do a 6 month swap with these guys.

I booked my Fraser Island and Whit Sunday trips as well. In the end I opted for the 4WD bus instead of the self drive. From next year self drive is banned on Fraser, the backpackers are apparently wrecking a World Heritage site so not wanting to add to the damage was part of my reasoning. Another was I didn't really fancy spending a few nights in a tent covered in sand. I'm sure it's great fun but it took me so long to make up my mind in the end I just tossed a coin and the guided tour won.

For the Whit Sundays I had decided from day one I wanted on one of the tall ships. I just like the idea of being on an old cutter style boat with tall masts, a wooden deck and an air of timelessness. I've also fallen out of the majority of water born transportation that I've gotten into so there was no way anyone was getting me on one of the Americas Cup style boats that lean over on their sides. ;-) The other choices were catamarans which while cool to look at just don't interest me.

Tomorrow morning 7am I move on to Noosa, I should be there by about 9:30am so that should give me a few days to look around and hopefully grab a bus to the Australia Zoo, the one that was run by Steve Irwin. It seems to be the number 1 destination for backpackers this month. Everyone says they are going to it.


Anonymous said...

Way to go man! You’ve written well. The way you’ve expressed your thoughts, it’s really good. But I think you should be more informative. And haven’t you ever heard of Cairns hostel? Their service is really good. Cairns hostel

Declan said...

Thanks, it's been some time since I wrote this post and it was written as I backpacked around so perhaps I could have included more info but time constraints in internet cafes limited me.

As for the Cairns Hostel I didnt stay there but I think I did hear of them, been a long time so I cant remember much :-)