Our trip to Brisbane started out bad. Real bad. After enjoying the awesome SQ direct flight from Singapore to Brisbane*, that was where the “nightmare” started. We arrived at the car rental counter of Avis and we realised that we FORGOT TO BRING OUR DRIVER’S LICENSE! Well, Tom, that is. This meant that we were not able to visit many places that Kate had planned for the trip. -_-” Thankfully, friends in Brisbane picked us up after work and we were on our way for our travels in Brisbane!
*There are ongoing SQ deals that you can search for. This time we snagged a deal for a return flight for only $420 – a deal we simply could not resist. We even got to watch movies that we missed such as The Foreigner and Kingsman: The Golden Circle.
Brisbane Public Transport through Go Card
We started out the morning with some coffee and scones at Lutwyche City. Since we were not able to drive around, we had a task of finding out where we could purchase go card (Brisbane’s version of EZ-Link card). We found out that you can easily find go-cards at 7-Eleven convenient stores or simply through the ticketing machine at train stations and bus stops. This time, we headed straight to the bus stop and purchased a card for $50 ($10 goes to the card and the remaining $40 for travels). The cool part is that the refund for go card is a breeze as well. All you have to do is to find the location for the refund of the go card, and you’ll get back the remaining amount in cash – including the value of the card. We eventually did so at the train station at the airport.
Armed with the Go Card, we were ready to explore Brisbane!
Nodo Donut Brisbane
Taking bus from Lutwyche City to Brisbane CBD (alighted at Brunswick Street), the cost was $2.6 per person. A little expensive by Singapore standards for a 20 minutes ride but cheap by Australian standards. Thereafter, we took a short walk to Nodo Donut – one of the more famous donut/breakfast joints in Brisbane.
As we were in between breakfast and lunch, we decided to skip the donuts (which were quite expensive @ $6.50 per pop!) and have our brunch. We shared a brisket cheeseburger at $17.5 as the beef is slow cooked for 24 hours. We added a smashed avocado with yuzu on the sides this time…
The beef was indeed tender as advertised and the smashed yuzu avocado went well with the burger. As we were walking to our next stop in Brisbane, we decided to take away a Super Natural Shake (commonly known as smoothie) as well. This time, we chose the Longevity (Berry) which included ingredients such as organic acai, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana, coconut, green tea, rose, chia seeds, chaga, reishi. At $11.5, it was certainly one of the most expensive smoothies we’ve had.
In general, food in Brisbane restaurants are pretty expensive. Being of the best breakfast/brunch joints in Brisbane, Nodo does have a hefty price tag. However, great service, an unpretentious atmosphere and great food will surely tempt one to come back for seconds (and thirds)…
Address: 300 ELIZABETH STREET, BRISBANE QLD 4000
Opening Hours: 6:30am to 4pm Mondays to Fridays (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
Free Ferry Ride (CityHopper) along Brisbane River
CityHopper is a free ferry service in Brisbane that allows both locals and tourists to take in the sights along the Brisbane river. No tapping of cards or showing of IDs. Simply hop on and hop off. After visiting Nodo, we headed to Sydney Street to take the CityHopper…
We also noticed that there is another ferry service called CityCat along the Brisbane river. However, you’ll have to pay for that service (via Go Card). So the question is, why would one take CityCat if CityHopper is free. Well, for one, CityCat has a higher frequency than that of CityHopper. Secondly, as CityHopper is a “sightseeing” ferry, it travels at a slower speed as well. Hence, if you’re in a rush to get to work or school on time, CityCat would probably be a better option. The great thing about the ferry service is that it comes on time. We noticed both CityCat and CityHopper ferries departing the Sydney Station at the exact time as scheduled. Before long, we were on our way to Eagle Street Pier…
As we managed to get great seats on the second deck of the ferry, we decided to go the entire loop and return back to Eagle Street Pier. It was a windy but sunny afternoon. For periods of the ride, we even dozed off for a moment. What a relaxing afternoon cruise on the Brisbane River! For more sights taken during this cruise, check out our video below…
Queen Street Mall Brisbane
Taking another short walk from Eagle Street Pier, we arrived at the heart of Brisbane’ shopping district – Queen Street Mall!
Kate wanted to do some shopping at Queen Street Mall while Tom wanted to get his fix on milk shake. It has been 7 years since he last drank Supashake in Perth. Kate actually got to co-buy a pair of shoes for $15. “Co-buy” because she was checking out this pink pair of shoes and saw that it was 2 for $30. At the same time, she saw another lady trying to find a second pair of shoes to get the deal. Hence, she approached the lady and she agreed for the co-buy. Win-win for both parties! As we were in Australia after such a long time, we decided to get a charm at Pandora as well. The kangaroo charm (with a baby joey) caught Kate’s eyes and we added it to her collection for $35.
While all the shopping was going down, Tom had his eyes set on Coles – a supermarket chain in Australia. Unfortunately, for him, Supashake has since been discontinued. Nonetheless, we stumbled upon a new series of milk shake which had chocolate mint flavour ($3.3) which turned out to be FANTASTIC! Not too sweet and rich in flavour with a hint of mint. Delish!
We also noticed several beautiful architectures while walking along Queens Street Mall. Do take the time to enjoy them while you’re here. Once the shopping and milkshaking were done, we headed to Fish Lane – touted as one of the new and trendy areas in town.
Unfortunately, we were there at about 3pm in the afternoon. Translation – boring. None of the restaurants were opened. If you have been to Fish Lane, do let us and our readers know more in the comments section below.
The Charming Squire Microbrewery Brisbane
Enroute to the Charming Squire, we passed by the Wheel of Brisbane. We noticed that the wheel is spinning rather quickly. Yet there were a couple of passengers in the capsules. The wheel probably slows down during embarkation and disembarkation? Soon, we arrived at our next pub grub location – The Charming Squire!
First and foremost, know that the happy hour at the Charming Squire starts at 4:30pm and ends at 6pm. During this period, you can get pints for $8. Unfortunately for us, we were too early and got the pints for $11 each =(
The story of the Charming Squire is about how the dude called James Squire, tried to steal ingredients to make the colony’s first batch of beer. As it turns out, he was caught and was given 150 lashes of the whip. Thankfully, James Squire was a much better brewer than he was a thief. Apparently, this story was true! However, he was convicted of stealing before coming to Australia. Thereafter, he did go on to open the first brewery in Australia. The Charming Squire, however, is just a brewery named after him. Good story though.
As a microbrewery, the Charming Squire serves up its on selection of beers on tap. Of these One Fifty Lashes (clean finished pale ale) and the Swindler (dry hopped summer ale) are popular beers at the Charming Squire. We also tried Jack of Spades (porter/stout) which turned out to be delectable with traces of coffee, chocolate aroma and a pillowy head. All these went well with our choice of 400g Giant Rump for $36!
The Charming Squire
Address: 3/133 Grey St, South Brisbane QLD 4101, Australia
Opening Hours: 8am to 12am (closed at 3am on Fridays and Saturdays)
Before we headed to our last “attraction” for the evening at Mount Coot-tha, we dropped by to visit one of the biggest campus in Brisbane – University of Queensland (UQ). Bus from cultural center to UQ was $3.25.
Having visited UQ, we finally understood why Brisbane is an education capital in Australia. The Great Court in the heart of the St. Lucia campus exudes heritage and class (also known as “atas” in Singapore). It sort of reminded us of our visit to Stanford University in California – one of the top 5 Universities in the world!
Mount Coot-tha Lookout for Views over Brisbane CBD
As the sun began to set, we took a bus from UQ to Toowong ($3.25) where our friend picked us up to head to Mount Coot-tha. The lookout at Mount Coot-tha is where locals and tourists alike, head to get views over Brisbane City.
Views were certainly amazing. We also saw some orangy clouds on the opposite side of the pavilion as the sun set. If you managed to catch sunsets from Mount Coot-tha, share with us in the comments section below!
The Scratch Bar – Bring Your Own Food & Dogs
After enjoying the night views of Brisbane from Mount Coot-tha, we headed over to the Scratch – a local bar in Brisbane. Although the Scratch Bar does not sell food, the cool thing about the Scratch Bar is that you’re able to bring your own food (and dogs for dog owners) to the bar. This reminded us about the Black Doubt Brewing Company when we stayed at the Sierra Nevada Resort & Spa in the USA.
There are a few choices of food next to the Scratch Bar. There you can find Thai, Chinese, Turkish, Italian and Subway to go with your choice of beer. This time, we went with Chinese food (Eggplant and Fried Calamari) with Newstead and Four Hearts beer ($8 a pint). The bar promotes a friendly atmosphere for friends to simply catch up and enjoy each other’s company – with great beers that is. And that’s exactly what we did! Love it!
The Scratch Bar
Address: 8/1 Park Rd, Milton QLD 4064, Australia
Opening Hours: 12pm to 12am (except on Mondays: 4pm to 12am)
If you’re unsure of the location, look out for this “Eiffel Tower”…
The Scratch Bar is located diagonally opposite it.
Chester Street Cake Shop
For desserts, we headed over to Chester Street Cake. They have a reputation of serving up exciting new flavours with really cool designs. Of course, the price is quite hefty. This time we had the raspberry rose cheesecake which went for a whooping $14.95! :O
Though expensive, the cake is really “gao” (Singlish for “thick” or “rich”). Hence, it is good for 2 or 3 to share a slice. Otherwise, it can be quite “jelak” (Singlish for “sick of eating due to the rich flavours”).
Chester Street Cake Shop
Address: 32A Chester St, Newstead QLD 4006, Australia
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm (except on Fridays and Saturdays: Closes at 11pm)
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We hope you have enjoyed our coverage of Brisbane City on day 1 of our Brisbane travels. Stay tuned as we continue with our travels in and around Brisbane!
You have just finished a post from our Brisbane Travels in 2018. Check out details from our entire trip from the following posts:
Brisbane Travels Day 1: Brisbane City Tour!
Brisbane Travels Day 2: Visiting Brisbane Suburbs of Paddington, Sunnybank, West End and Chermside!
Brisbane Travels Day 3: Tried Discovering the Beauty of Montville (Sunshine Coast)
Brisbane Travels Day 4: Travelling from Montville to Noosa
Brisbane Travels Day 5: Noosa National Park Hike & Trek
Brisbane Travels Day 6: Eumundi Markets & Brewery!
Brisbane: Things to do , Where to Eat, Places to Visit and Where to Stay in and around Brisbane!
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