What We Did:
We’re in Australia’s third largest city Brisbane, and we’re all so impressed. It’s buzzy but not overwhelming, festive and flanked by a river with interesting bridges. South Bank is heaven for family travel. Modern playgrounds (the best we’ve seen anywhere in the country), a public beach swimming lagoon and waterpark, lots of market stalls, programs for kids and places to eat and drink. We didn’t just come to enjoy, we came to party! It’s Raquel’s 5th birthday today, and we were determined to give our little traveller a very special day. Dressed in her new Emma Wiggle costume (just one of a shower of presents) we took balloons and cake and piñata to South Bank. Raquel was running about sharing the candy with happy kids (probably less impressed parents.) Just a warm up really for the day’s highlight, a huge and amazing food market called Eat Street. Imagine 70 interesting, unusual and ethnic restaurants operating out of shipping containers, three live music stages, a whole laneway devoted to desserts and candy, craft stores….what makes it so special are the people who run the place, carefully curating the experience to be super fun and family friendly. Raquel was absolutely besotted with the bands, which included three hilarious singers from New Zealand and a hip hop boy band dance crew that kept her glued to the stage. She was gifted a henna tattoo and a purple LED flower headdress and of course too much sugar. Gali was fascinated with the guitarists and fairy candy and potato twists on a stick. We caught up with our old friend Kate and made some new friends too, and had one of the best nights out of the entire trip. It wasn’t a traditional kids party for our birthday girl, but with lots of calls with friends and family, we hope she felt special and more importantly, had a lot of fun. Said Raquel: “Best. Day. Ever!”
What We Ate:
Breakfast: The best and best-priced smashed avocado toast in Australia. Just $4.20 a slice, and the avo is smashed thick!
Lunch: Make your own pizza. Says Dad: Where else will you find a feta pineapple olive artichoke red onion spicy chicken pizza? Staying at Oaks also scored us a 25% discount, which is like, a whole extra quarter!
Dinner: We fanned out in Eat Street in search of whatever tickled our fancy. Mom beelined for the Brazilian chef Samba where she had a delicious stroganoff. Dad had a melt in your mouth brisket with fresh chill from a container called Rogue Spice. Jaci went for grilled bay bugs. The potato twists were pretty hard to pass up, and of course the smoke-filled Swedish Candy Bar and mad science lab of Professor Fairy Floss saw our business. Peruvian, Japanese, Hungarian, French, Italian, Greek, Chinese, Turkish, Argentinean…so many options it’s no wonder the place is packed every weekend!
My Favourite Pictures Today
Where We Slept:
We’re right in the heart of the Brisbane CBD at the Oaks Charlotte Towers, close enough to walk to everything around us, and being on the 43rd floor, we’re loving stellar views over the Brisbane river and the city itself. Gali has his own nook but both kids seemed excited about the birthday and were up with bells and whistles much earlier than usual. Can’t really blame them! There’s festivities in the streets this weekend and the pedestrian-only Queen St Mall gave the kids lots of safe space to run about.
That Brisbane definitely has a buzz and is right to market itself as Australia’s “New World City.” That one million US soldiers passed through Australia during World War II, many through Brisbane, and there was a lot of tension with Aussie soldiers which actually led to a full scale riot! That Brisbane periodically gets hit with crazy storms and flooding. All about the amazing use and potential of vertical hydroponics. That if you break it, you buy it (thanks for the new semi-precious stone Raquel!) Raquel loves the Wiggles, but so does everyone else, and that’s why we couldn’t get any tickets to see their show in Brisbane today for Raquel’s birthday (we even reached out to their management.) Eat Street prides itself on having no major chains and keeps all meals under $15 so that families and everyone can enjoy. We learned that Raquel loves a stage. That Eat Street has a container that serves the world’s best ginger beer. That Peter can be a lady’s name, and if it is, chances are the lady in question will be super inspiring, interesting and unstoppable!
Reflection of the Day
The Best Part:
Exploring Eat Street, and the unexpectedly great music on the streets and stages of Brisbane.
The Worst Part:
Missing family and friends on a special occasion.
We'll Always Remember
- Name: Blake
- Favourite Place: Costa Rica
- I Love Travel Because: I’m free
- My Advice for Kids: Stay positive and happy
- Name: Peter
- Favourite Place: Salvador and Paris
- I Love Travel Because: I learn
- My Advice for Kids: Be happy you have parents who travel
- Name: Jacki
- Favourite Place: The Bahamas
- I Love Travel Because: You see things you can’t imagine
- My Advice for Kids: Have fun!
- Name: Kate
- Favourite Place: Fiji, because I went scuba diving and the Fijians are the friendliest people in the world
- I Love Travel Because: You get to meet new people, see new things, and have great adventures
- My Advice for Kids: When you’re in the car driving, it’s best not to ask "are we there yet?" because it’s always a long way to go!
- Name: Lydia
- Favourite Place: New York, for the arts
- I Love Travel Because: of the sense of freedom and being exposed to new cultures
- My Advice for Kids: Meet lots of new people and make new friends
Today's Random Thing
A Note from Mom and Dad
Birthdays on the road can be challenging for kids, but we chose to think of it as a great opportunity. Although it was sad not to have friends and family around, and Raquel definitely needs more time to play with kids her age, we happened to be in a very festive city during a very festive time of year (school holidays, and the Commonwealth Games taking place in Gold Coast). Truth be told, Raquel gets pretty spoiled when it comes to experiences, for her birthday she’d probably want nothing more than just to watch TV for a couple hours. At least we avoided her favourite play park back home called Crash Crawleys, which is loud and bright and makes adults twitch. We’ve got some fun adventures lined up north and so our short, sweet and delicious time in Brisbane has come to a memorable end.