As we’re inching closer to Australia, the hot topic around our camp stove these days is: where would we want to settle? As much as I love Sydney, I know I could never live there again. After I last visited for a month, in 2011, I needed two weeks just to recover from the prices and the traffic. And if I need peace, quiet, open spaces and fresh air, then you can just about quadruple that need for Chris. If he could decide where we’d live, he’d pick a place like William Creek: an Outback outpost along the Oodnadatta Track. If we were to move there today, we’d boost the town’s population by 25%. Needless to say, William Creek shouldn’t be holding its breath in anticipation of a colossal population boom.
“So where would you live, then?” He asked.
“Probably Brisbane” I said.
“Because it’s like Sydney, minus the nervous breakdown.”
He wasn’t convinced. So I then did what I do best: I presented Brisbane as a holiday destination. I told him all the things I knew about the ‘new and improved’ BrisVegas.
Want to know what’s so good about this neck of the woods? Here’s some cool stuff I discovered!
It’s a culture hub – who knew?
When the Bolshoi Ballet returned to Australia after a 20-year absence, in 2013, it chose Brisbane as the only city in which to perform. The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (the GOMA) – right in the heart of South Brisbane – played host to Pablo Picasso’s private collection in 2008, the first time it was ever shown outside of Europe. This gallery also hosted the largest collection of Andy Warhol’s works ever held in Australia. Whilst Sydney and Melbourne have always been cited as the most cultural cities in Oz, it seems that Brisbane has been the quiet, chilled-out achiever…
Want shopping and nature? You got it!
Just across the Victoria Bridge from the GOMA is the Queen Street Mall, the most comprehensive commercial hub in town, and just a few blocks south-east are the City Botanic Gardens, a gorgeous natural reserve right in the heart of the city. If Chris wants to go Outback, then I can send him to Charleville, which is only 680 km west of Brisbane. There’s a top-notch observatory there, the roads are nothing more than red-dust dirt tracks and there’s an obscene number of camels.
On second thoughts, best not tell him. He may want us to move there instead.
The downside? Well…it’s not exactly cheap…
Hostel prices are usually my fail-safe indicator of just how liveable a city could be for us. Hotels in Brisbane start from just AUD 21 a night (a great backpackers in South Brisbane), which is just a few bucks more than what we’re paying here in Malaysia. But Australia works unlike most other countries, so although even we could afford to sleep in a hostel there for a few months, living in Brisbane may be an issue. Sure we can sleep, but can we afford to do anything else?
The latest news headlines are all about the massive downfall of the great Aussie dollar – making RIGHT NOW an ideal time to vacation there.
And perhaps that’s just what we should do…
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