Brisbane and the Gold Coast

Queenslanders are nice, goddammit. Walking around Brisbane during the day with my son in his stroller, I couldn’t so much as approach a set of stairs without someone immediately stopping what they were doing and helping me out. People in cafes and shops were breezy and interested, in a way that only people with the twin luxuries of living in a lovely city and a lovely climate can be.


The most extreme politeness I saw, however, was the young man who was violently sick on the pavement in broad daylight then, instead of running away as quickly as he could, asked sheepishly at the nearest cafe for a bucket of water so he could clean it up. He did a great job.

Brisbane is hot, easy to get around and has beautiful buildings, old and new. It offered plenty to do for a two year old and his dad, including the museum, Southbank beach & fountains and hiring a bike with a child seat for a spin around the river paths. We enjoyed it a lot.


I’m often told our family beach stomping ground is turning into the Gold Coast. This is bullshit. The Gold Coast proper boasts miles and miles of shopping malls, theme parks, cafes, restaurants, sports clubs and golf courses, every one of which packed with men in shorts, jandals and impressive moustaches talking real estate, before climbing onto their Harley and roaring off very fast. The rule seems to be that if your vehicle doesn’t produce at least 120 dB, then in all likelihood, you’re a homo. Mate.


We stayed in the amusingly-named Labrador, and had a great time. You couldn’t walk anywhere without hitting three or four awesome kids’ playgrounds. Seaworld was a real highlight, as were the cafes conducting a price war on the ‘cheapest bacon and eggs’ front. No-one loses in a war like that.

We took a car to Byron Bay, a fantastic little place that gave the impression of being a laid back sleepy beach hideaway, but was actually packed to the gunnels with impressive shops and cafes. It was populated mainly with Canadian backpackers lazing on the beach swapping notes on where to score pot.


The day we went to Byron Bay, the storm the size of Australia was due to hit – but didn’t show up, leaving us to enjoy our day. Turns out that if you live in the lucky country, storms like this don’t bother turning your life into a cold, rainy, depressing mess for weeks on end like they do back home – they just pass harmlessly out to sea. They are lucky over there.

3 responses to “Brisbane and the Gold Coast”

  1. jackmo Avatar

    It’s all a trick bro, just so you let your guard down and we will steal your wallet.

    p.s. nice poncho :p

  2. Robyn Avatar

    That photo with the kangaroo, it almost looks like a Sports Review-style photoshop lolz. Only it’s not – it’s real and therefore even more awesome.

    I enjoyed this post – I’m going to Brisbo later in the month, so I’m on the look out for interesting things to do.

  3. Richard Avatar

    Cheers 🙂 Brisbane recommendations – the things we enjoyed the most were fairly family friendly – the botanic gardens, the Streets beach and fountains, and the river paths, that go on for miles. We hired a bike and cruised around, this was lots of fun. We also went out to the Koala Park Sanctuary, which was great. We went to the museum the day it rained too. Southbank was a great place to go for a walk, and there were nice looking shops and cafes around there too. We didn’t go to the Maritine Museum, but they had some freaky looking boats there, if that’s what you’re into. We never left the apartment once darkness fell, so my nightlife recommendations are nil(!).

    The central city is really easy to find your way around, and there’s lots to look at, with some really neat old buildings that have been well looked after. There’s excellent shopping where ever you go, and places to eat, which are mostly foodcourts. If I wasn’t on the path of least resistance, I would have tried harder to find decent food I reckon.

    Me and the boy went for a walk out to Fortitude valley, where I found a small strip of hipster shops, but it was pretty scungey apart from that. Chinatown is there, too, it looked like it had more interesting things to eat there than in town. My Brisbane friend (Jack, the other commenter!) recommended some of the bigger pubs outside the central city as great places to get a decent steak.

    There’s (probably) more to Brisbane than just places to eat though – will be interested to hear how you go.

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