At the border of Queensland, Brisbane is the last big city on the East Coast. With a bustling centre, lively bars and some pretty big botanical gardens, its home for two million people. So why does it get a bad rap? Is it because is has to compete with iconic Sydney and cool Melbourne? Is it because northerners prefer small town life? We only spent two nights there (after being warned off it), but the city is not as bad as the whispers say.

The city centre is rammed full of shops and eateries, with coffee and cake stalls filling the walkways, even more so because we were there in the pre- Christmas rush. Balconies of the bars sit above the shops -for people watching from above-, trees in the walkways are lit with fairy lights -aww- and chic bars peek out from small doorways. I’d say it’s pretty exciting. Try noisy X&Y bar, or if cocktail sophistication is more your vibe, try Super Whatnot.

We spent most of our time in Brisbane outdoors (reaping the free city wifi and avoiding our has-someone-pissed-on-the-carpet smelly dorm) so we got to see a lot. What we really stopped for though was Australia Zoo. In case you were wondering, yes it’s the big Steve Irwin Zoo full of Australian animals. See the animals you would never normally see, or are too scared of to go near, like brown snakes, Tasmanian devils, or wombats. Big highlights are the tiger shows -not Australian I know but still cool-, koala walks and petting, feeding kangaroos and of course, the big one, crocodile shows. There are so many animals in Australia Zoo, all well looked after, that if Brisbane city isn’t taking your fancy, the zoo definitely will.


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