Trip Start Sep 27, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Newmarket Caravan Park

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Brisbane is the state capital of Queensland and the third largest city in Australia. It is built around a river and is Australia's fastest growing city. We checked into the closest caravan park to the city centre which was 4km North of the city, the caravan park was nice and they have really frequent and cheap buses to the city so it wasn't too bad. The first day we got the bus into the city and had a wander around the centre. The main street Queens Street is full of shops and malls so we did a bit of shopping and then spent the afternoon at South Bank. South Bank Parklands is a man made beach and swimming pool along the river bank, its awesome and all free.

The next day we went back into the city and wandered around most of the famous sites, first was the Brisbane city hall with a statue of King George in the square at the front. Next was Central station and then ANZAC square which is dedicated to the Australian and New Zealand soldiers that have died in past wars. As we were walking around the city is was really cool to see all these old buildings, that were around when the city was first built, with the huge modern glass sky scrapers in the back ground.

Next was the old post office were we followed a narrow alley way to St Stephens Cathedral which looked really nice against the city, we went inside and in was really peaceful inside. Next was the former Treasury Building which is now a casino, after that was the old Government buildings down by the river, this is where we actually saw our first Christmas tree of the year.

By this time we where a bit hungry so went and got some lunch and sat in the Botanical gardens. We then got the city ferry over the river to the south bank where we relaxed by the lagoon and had a quick swim. The south bank of the city is a really nice area full of restaurants bars and of course the lagoon. We then caught the ferry and took it a little further down the river, the views were really nice of the city and as the ferry came around the corner we had a great view of the story bridge.

Two of Chris's mates from Wolverhampton Dan and Kirk flew out from England to watch the Ashes and they arrived that evening so we went to meet them for a few drinks in Down Under Bar next to their hostel for a catch up. It was great to see the lads and and finally have a pint with them, it had been a while.

The next day we had arranged to meet Dan and Kirk and go off to the XXXX brewery which is brewed in the city. XXXX is one of the most popular beers in Australia and we had drunk a lot of it so we thought it would be good fun. It was $22 each for the tour and 4 free beers. The tour was pretty good we got to see the inside of the real factory, seeing thousands of bottles flying about was pretty cool. The best bit was of course trying the beers, we got to try 4 different types which were all really different. That night the lads came to the camp site and we had a Aussie BBQ and a slab of beer. 

The next morning we got up early and after picking up Dan and Kirk we drove to the Gold Coast. The Gold coast is the area of coast South of Brisbane about an hours drive. The weather was horrible on the way down, with loads of rain but luckily as we pulled up at surfers paradise the cloud started to clear and the sun came out. It made a change for us to actually be on a beach in the sun as its usually raining.

Surfers Paradise is one of the biggest towns in the Gold Coast and obviously is well known for its surfing. the beach is pretty nice, but it is a bit built up with huge skyscrapers just off the beach. We were going to hire a surf board and have a practice but the waves looked really fierce and the current was really strong so we gave it a miss. We chilled on the beach, the lads went for a swim and then we went for lunch.

After lunch by the beach we drove down to Burleigh Heads which is a bit further along the coast. This beach was really nice and not as built up as Surfers so a bit quieter. we spent the afternoon there. The previous day at the XXXX brewery we had bought a cricket ball and a tiny bat so we thought we would give it a go and have a game on the beach, so with so flip flops as stumps we were away. Em even had ago and got really into it she actually won the game we had so she may have found a hidden talent.  The beach there was really nice though and had some great views down the coast to Surfers Paradise.

That night we went on a night out in the city. After a few warm up drinks at Dan and Kirks hostel on the balcony over looking the city then went to the Barmy Army headquarters which was an English pub called the Pig and Whistle. It was pretty hectic in there with everyone warming up for the next day so we had one then went to the Valley. The Valley is an area in the city were a lot of the night life is. We went to a few different bars and drank a few too many beers! It was a good laugh, Chris and Dan even got up and did karaoke and did a cracking version of Wonder wall! We ended up in Down Under bar until the small hours then got home just as the sun was rising.   

Dan and Kirk went off top the cricket the next day and we started job hunting as our money was starting to get low and we needed to save up some cash for Christmas. We rung around around all the harvest jobs we could find but we weren't having much luck as with the weather at the moment nothing was ready but we saw an advert in the caravan park for a Christmas Tree job so we went to the shop up the road to check it out. We had a quick word with the boss who said he would be in touch with us, in true Aussie fashion we had to chase him up  the next day but luckily got the job starting on Monday.

As a celebration we decided that we would treat ourselves to a day at the Ashes cricket with the lads. The morning of the 3rd day of the test we went down to the Gabba cricket ground without any tickets t try our luck. We got really lucky with the tickets as there were some unsold tickets in with the Barmy Army on the bottom tier with a great view. Luckily there were some empty seats around us too which meant Dan and Kirk could sit with us which was brilliant.

The cricket was a really good laugh, Em wasn't sure she would enjoy it but after a quick lesson on the rules and a few beers she was soon getting into it and the lads were obviously loving it. The Gabba was a brilliant ground. The England supporters are excellent, the Barmy Army sing an dance constantly and we were all joining in singing along to all the songs. As for the Cricket it was a bit of a tough day with Australia batting really well but England bowling them out at the end of the day. It was a brilliant day.

That night we all went out in Brisbane and had a few more beers to add to the ones at the cricket. We went to a few spots in the city and one place where there was karaoke on again. This time we made Kirk get up and have ago at Grease Lightning which he seemed to enjoy and then we all went up and sang the Barmy Army version to Waltzing Mathilda which was hilarious.

We couldn't really afford to go to the next days cricket but Kirk was amazingly generous and went and bought us 2 more tickets as a surprise. So the next morning we were at the cricket again! The day was pretty much the same as the first day. Loads of beer, singing and dancing with the Barmy Army. The cricket was also great as England batted all day a took the game away from Australia. 

The lads left a couple of days later so they came over for a farewell BBQ at the caravan park, we were sad to see them go but were already looking forward to seeing them in Sydney in a few weeks, they were off to see the rest of the test matches!

The next day it was all back to work. We were working with a company called 'real Christmas trees', it was a framing shop but at Christmas they sold real Christmas trees that they get delivered from Victoria. Our jobs were to help in the yard sorting all the trees as they were getting 2,000 trees delivered over 3 weeks and to deliver the trees to peoples houses in the area. Each day was a different delivery run in different parts of Brisbane, the Sunshine coast. the Gold coast and even as far as Byron Bay.

Em was in a delivery van with an Aussie called Jodie, Jodie was the driver and Em was the organiser haha. Chris was the driver of the other delivery van and had a few different Aussie guys working with him. We basically had to load up the vans with around 15 trees then just drive around to deliver them and set them up in peoples houses. It was such an easy job and good fun!

On the days there were no deliveries we would help in the yard with the three German guys. Our boss was called Craig, a mental Scottish guy who ended up being a bit of a legend. Before we got the job we had $2 in our account so he did everything he could to get us as many hours as possible so we ended up doing about 60 hours a week, we were on $19 a hour so we managed to save enough to get us through Christmas and New year.

We had a couple of days off were we went into the city and did some souvenir shopping in the valley area, we were getting to know Brisbane and all its areas and we both really liked the city. We worked for just over 3 weeks so just saved saved saved and then on our last day Craig threw a Christmas party for everyone so we all went to the shop and had pizza and beers. The beers where all in the Christmas tree stands which was quite funny but we stayed in the shop for a few hours drinking then went out to the Valley, it was a great night.

The next day we were pretty hungover but it was our last day in Brisbane so we dragged ourselves out of bed and headed into the city. We did a bit of shopping in China town and the Valley then went to the West End for a few drinks, hair of the dog and all that. We went to a great place called the Fox which was really cool and a few other places, then went for a much needed curry which was great.

We left Brisbane the next day, we stopped at Mount Cootha on the way out of the city which is a huge hill which gave us really great views over Brisbane. We spent about 4 weeks in Brisbane by the end we absolutely loved the city, it's got loads going on and is really modernized we loved it.

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