Before we arrived at Brisbane we spent 3 days in Surfer's Paradise with the intention of having a surfing lesson. Surfer's is a real holiday hotspot with endless theme parks, bars and clubs. However, we didn't really get chance to sample this as we spent our whole time waiting for the surfing!. The weather wasn't on our side this time and our lesson was cancelled twice due to strong winds. Apparently the surf company had had boards blown away by the earlier lesson! Never mind though, we had a bit of a rest filled our time with mini golf and window shopping.
We arrived at Brisbane on Tuesday for 4 days. On the first day we found our way around by doing the walking tour set out in the Lonely Planet guide. This very long (5km) walk took us round all the main sights of the city, along the riverside and across onto Southbank. The next day we hadn't planned anything during the day so went down the main shopping area and checked out the malls. We also took a trip up to the top of the City Hall clock tower in the old fashioned lift to get a 360 degree view of the skyline. In the evening we went rock climbing on the Cliffs at Kangaroo Point. Was a lot harder than though it would be despite the instructor ensuring us it was a beginner's route! I went first and only managed to get half way up in 45 mins, and that was with a lot of help from the instructor. Half way up (only about 5 metres of the ground!), I got stuck and had to be winched down again!! Then it was Marc's go. He'd spent his time telling me how easy it was to put my leg on a piece of rock up by my shoulders, but realised it wasn't quite that easy when he started to climb. The instructor came over to help and had difficulty working out the best route himself (think he was new!). Marc managed to get nearly to the top, only being beaten by a large overhang, before our time was up and he had to be lowered down again. I've decided rock climbing definitely isn't my forte, so won't be trying that again for a long while!
The following day we went to Australia Zoo, Steve Irwin's zoo. This was a brilliant day, really hands on and you got to get really close to the animals. There were plenty of shows in the Crocoseum where we watched a snake, bird and crocodile display in the morning. We spent the afternoon wandering around the enclosures and had our photos taken cuddling a koala. Marc also held a baby aligator. The staff took some of the animals out walking around the zoo, we got to stroke baby goats and wombats which was great fun.
For our last day in Brisbane we went up to Mount Coot-tha Lookout and Sir Thomas Brisbane's Planetarium. We caught the bus up to the lookout for great panoramic views of the city. We then went down to the Botanical Gardens and the Planetarium where we saw a show on "Are we alone in the Universe' and a look at the Brisbane sky at night where the speaker pointed out the planets we could see and the star formations.
Today we caught the bus up to Hervey Bay, and go on our Fraser Island trip very early tomorrow morning.