Day 1,743 of Traveling the World | Brisbane, Australia | November 14, 2022

Warm, Sunny Brisbane! Warm, Sunny Australia! While autumn will soon turn into winter in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is coming into view here. Brisbane has about 300 days of sunshine a year. The city is full of life, bustling with shops, cafes, restaurants, museums, and many other attractions. Two women we met on board, sisters named Carol and Linda, took an excursion to Lamington National Park, 2.5 hours by bus! They said it was a lot of driving, but the park was other-worldly. And that’s how it is here – a healthy mix of nature and urban sights, a mix of early three-story 19th Century buildings and soaring skyscrapers. In fact, very unusually, the city has two Botanic Gardens, one right in the middle of downtown and the other at the edge of the downtown area, just four miles away. This is in addition to various gardens and parks. This greenery feature makes the city very walkable and very enjoyable.

Our choice for the day was a free walking tour with Brisbane Greeters. Our guide was a delightful man named Tom (shown in the third photo), who took us on a fun 3.5-hour tour, showing us some of the highlights of the city. We discovered the stunning lobby of the 1929 movie palace, The Regent, shown in the first two pictures. The front, before you get to this stunning mural work, is the City’s tourism office! We walked through the main shopping area, Queen Street Mall, a pedestrian-only street that used to be the busiest in Brisbane. The old Treasury Building is now the Treasury Casino. We didn’t have time to go all the way in, but from the entryway, we snapped a photo of the glorious chandelier.

There is a sense of whimsy here – from past visits, we have found that Australians don’t take life too seriously. It was a lot of fun to walk around, and the Starbucks had a treat that we hadn’t encountered before but came to love – you know how Banana Bread isn’t a bread, but more of a slice of dense cake? Well, Starbucks had Coconut Bread, and it was just splendid – jammed with coconut, dense, and chewy. Yum! Around the city, we also saw many statues of kangaroos, and two photos show the “creations” we encountered. At any rate, one day in Brisbane has whetted our appetites and senses, and we are looking forward to being in Australia until the end of January. It will be 90 days of fun and delight!

Stunning! This lobby is all that remains of the Southern Hemisphere’s finest movie palace, The Regent. It opened in 1929, but the auditorium was gutted to be replaced with a multiplex.
A closeup of The Regent’s over-the-top lobby ceiling. Almost 100 years old, it still looks fresh and interesting.
One of Downtown Brisbane’s several shopping arcades. Arcades tend to be long and rather narrow, with two or three stories, and they generally link two major streets. It makes a great way for stores to have exposure, as people shortcut through to another street. Our intrepid (and energetic) guide, Tom, is visible on the left side of the photo.
The pretty Zara butterfly building in the Queen Street Mall.
Also on the Queen Street Mall is this shell, which had kids running inside to hide!
It seems that every major city now HAS to have a Ferris wheel!
This is the inside of the Treasury Casino, with its glamorous chandelier.
…and the exterior of the casino. Look at all of those dizzying arches on the building! And look at the artist’s spheres on the sidewalk – the different-sized balls were placed all over this plaza. Can you guess what they are constructed of?
Here’s the close-up! They are made of colanders that fit inside a pot!
Local artist James Corbett makes all sorts of creatures from assorted car, motorcycle, and other metal scraps. These cool dudes were lounging on a downtown Brisbane street.
…and a closeup of That Kangaroo Face! It is hard to believe that it is just metal, with such a cute expression!
Here is one of those old-meets-new building situations: the old Central Train Station in front, with a more modern, towering, hotel behind.
There’s a lot going on in this statue outside of City Hall, but all you really notice are the kangaroos.
Brisbane City Hall, with its beautiful Greek architecture.
A downtown sculpture. We have no idea what it is supposed to represent, but it is fun to see as you approach it on the street!
What a great idea! The otherwise gray Traffic Control Box – which sits on many cities’ corners unnoticed – is dressed up and invites notice.
The Brisbane River, which winds back and forth through the city. Well, actually, the river was there first – it just zigzags from the Pacific as it heads inland. It was there first; the city developed around it.
The beautiful river walkway through the Botanic Gardens.
Opposite the river, it is more of a jungle environment.
A chandelier day! This is in the old Governor’s Residence. The residence was abandoned because…it didn’t have a ballroom!!
A strange photo, you say? Ummmmm, yes. It is to show where the original doorknob was placed about a hundred years ago….about 2-3 feet from the floor, as people were much shorter and smaller back then. The higher doorknob was added more recently.
Most interesting, this is a Moreton Bay Fig. Is it not unusual to have trunks coming down off the branches? As a branch grows out from the main trunk, small, thin, string-like shoots come out. Eventually, they reach the ground and dig in! This way, the tree’s nourishment doesn’t all have to come from the main trunk – helpers have arrived!
Ah, gee – the epitome of cuteness! Brisbane is getting ready for Christmas. Notice the Christmas decoration has louvered sunglasses, an acknowledgment that Christmas Down Under is in the middle of summer.
We had to include our cruise ship’s self-proclaimed king! One day, he was dressed like this, with a crown and cross-chest sash, and he would get up every 15 minutes or so and strut up and down, showing off his “royalness.” Perhaps it was his birthday? ???? We did not approach. We were a little afraid to ask what it was all about.
Sun sets over Brisbane. As you will notice, it was taken from the cruise ship. We were docked at the brand-new cruise terminal, 15 miles from downtown Brisbane – this is where the Brisbane River begins.

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