Flying north from Sydney to Brisbane takes no time at all.  Literally, because the hour that passes in the air is offset by an hour’s time-zone difference.  This also makes Brisbane unusual in that it gets dark so early, at about 6:30 even in the summer…when noisy and spectacular displays by Rainbow Lorikeets and Fruit Bats take place.

Brisbane is a hot sub-tropical city.  The climate can be a draw for some, or a deterrent for others, depending on your love of the sun.  Personally, a place that has winter temperatures similar to English summer has a lot of attractions!

On to the city.  Like other Australian cities it has a gleaming Central Business District.

And it has a magnificent meandering tidal river at its heart, plied by commuter catamarans.

On the south bank, opposite the CBD is an area imaginatively called Southbank.  Whilst it has a range of restaurants and bars, the area is remarkable for its use of space to give Brisbanites somewhere to play.  Parks, performance spaces, and a beach / swimming pool right by the river.

The city has sprawling suburbs, that, without planning restrictions, go on for miles.  Commuter trains exist but probably not to the extent needed, so roads get busy and, with apartment blocks springing up all over the place, congestion will get worse.

We were fortunate enough to be staying with some lovely friends who gave us a wonderful insight into Australian life.  Schools runs, sports and clubs after school and at weekends, good food, and a friendly, helpful network of friends and neighbours.  With rainforest walks at Mount Glorious only an hour away family life can also have an outdoors element.  

All things considered, Brisbane seems to offer the perfect lifestyle…if you can take the heat!



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