Brisbane Travels Day 1: Brisbane City Tour!


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.

Entrance of Nodo in Brisbane CBD
Food Menu Nodo Donut Brisbane
Food Menu Nodo Donut Brisbane
Nodo Donut Brisbane Drinks Menu
Nodo Donut Brisbane Drinks Menu

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…

Inside Nodo Brisbane CBD
Inside Nodo Brisbane CBD
Close up of Brisket Cheeseburger with Smashed Avocado with Yuzu ($17.5 + $4) @ Nodo Brisbane CBD
Close up of Brisket Cheeseburger with Smashed Avocado with Yuzu ($17.5 + $4) @ Nodo Brisbane CBD

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)…

Nodo CBD
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

Amazing views of Brisbane CBD and Brisbane River along the way
Amazing views of Brisbane CBD and Brisbane River along the way
Sydney Street Station CityHopper Brisbane
Sydney Street Station CityHopper Brisbane
History of Sydney Street in Brisbane
History of Sydney Street in Brisbane
CityHopper CityCat Timetable/Schedule at Sydney Street Station
CityHopper CityCat Timetable/Schedule at Sydney Street Station
Overview of routes taken by CityHopper CityCat
Overview of routes taken by CityHopper CityCat

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…

Best seat in the house for CityHopper Brisbane
Best seat in the house for CityHopper Brisbane
Views of Brisbane City from CityHopper
Views of Brisbane City from CityHopper
Another view of Brisbane CBD from Brisbane River
Another view of Brisbane CBD from Brisbane River
CityCat with The Wheel of Brisbane in the background
CityCat with The Wheel of Brisbane in the background
Arriving at Eagle Street Pier
Arriving at 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!

Queen Street Mall Brisbane
Queen Street Mall Brisbane
Sights in QueenStreet Mall Brisbane
Sights in QueenStreet Mall Brisbane

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!

Butterfly Building Brisbane Queen Street Mall
Butterfly Building Brisbane Queen Street Mall
Colourful Butterflies Building in Queen Street Mall Brisbane
Colourful Butterflies Building in Queen Street Mall Brisbane
The Telegraph Newspaper Company Ltd Brisbane Queen Street Shopping Mall
The Telegraph Newspaper Company Ltd Brisbane Queen Street Shopping Mall

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.

2bearbear @ Fish Lane Brisbane
2bearbear @ Fish Lane Brisbane

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 Wheel of Brisbane 2bearbear
The Wheel of Brisbane 2bearbear

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!

Entrance of the Charming Squire Brisbane
Entrance of the Charming Squire Brisbane

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 =(

How the Charming Squire began
How the Charming Squire began
Inside the Charming Squire Brisbane
Inside the Charming Squire Brisbane
Brewery of the Charming Squire Brisbane
Brewery of the Charming Squire Brisbane

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.

Beers on tap at the Charming Squire
Beers on tap at the Charming Squire
150 Lashes - One of the most popular beers at the Charming Squire
150 Lashes – One of the most popular beers at the Charming Squire

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!

Jack of Spades / Swindler and the bar menu of the Charming Squire with 2bearbear
Jack of Spades / Swindler and the bar menu of the Charming Squire with 2bearbear
400g Giant Rump Steak at the Charming Squire - Good for 2 to share
400g Giant Rump Steak at the Charming Squire – Good for 2 to share

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.

2bearbear @ University of Queensland (St. Lucia Campus - Brisbane)
2bearbear @ University of Queensland (St. Lucia Campus – Brisbane)
The Great Court - University of Queensland
The Great Court – University of Queensland

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

2bearbear at Mount Coot-tha Brisbane
2bearbear at Mount Coot-tha Brisbane
Mount Coot-tha lookout pavilion
Mount Coot-tha lookout pavilion

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.

View from Mount Coot-tha Lookout Pavilion
View from Mount Coot-tha Lookout Pavilion
View of Brisbane City from Mount Coot-tha
View of Brisbane City from Mount Coot-tha
Night view of Brisbane City from Mount Coot-tha
Night view of Brisbane City from Mount Coot-tha

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

The Scratch Bar Brisbane
The Scratch Bar Brisbane
You can bring your own food (and dogs) to the Scratch Bar in Brisbane
You can bring your own food (and dogs) to the Scratch Bar in Brisbane
Beers available on tap at the Scratch Bar Brisbane
Beers available on tap at the Scratch Bar Brisbane

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.

2bearbear having Newstead and Four Hearts at the Scratch Bar Brisbane
2bearbear having Newstead and Four Hearts at the Scratch Bar Brisbane

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 this "Eiffel Tower" in Brisbane
The Scratch Bar is located diagonally opposite this “Eiffel Tower” in Brisbane

The Scratch Bar is located diagonally opposite it.

Chester Street Cake Shop

Chester Street Cake Shop Newstead Brisbane
Chester Street Cake Shop Newstead Brisbane

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

Chester Street Cake Shop - Raspberry Rose Cheesecake ($14.95)
Chester Street Cake Shop – Raspberry Rose Cheesecake ($14.95)

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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Things to do and Attractions in Batu Pahat Malaysia!

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