Freo to Brissi
We arrived back in Perth on Saturday afternoon after a relaxing morning in Exmouth with our friends from The Trip of a Life Time. (FYI – this was the actual name of the boat trip for those of you who might not have known that.) We picked up our rental car and headed towards Fremantle (or Freo for short- Aussies like to shorten everything), a suburb of Perth, for a day and a half. We found another excellent place through one of the house rental sites and wished we were staying longer. We dropped off our luggage and then headed to downtown Freo. It reminded us a bit of some of our Seattle suburbs and of course we fell in love with it immediately. There was a lot of activity and even some street performers. We found a sweet brewery called The Monk to have some good food and a couple of beers. Just what the Dr. ordered. Afterwards we took a walk and found a chocolate and churros (Don’s favorite) place. Stina had a spicy hot chocolate and Don had churros with a chocolate dipping sauce….Mmmmm. After that we were ready to call it a night, so we headed back to our cottage.
On Sunday morning Don had a surfski lesson with Clint Robinson, so that left Stina to explore the Freo markets on her own. We had been worried that most things would be closed due to it being Easter, but Freo was hopping! There was a street market as well as the permanent market, similar to Pike Place Market in Seattle. Stina had a good time window shopping and buying a few things. In the early afternoon we met up after Don’s lesson and walked around the markets and enjoyed some street performances – the streets were jammed with people. We had lunch and then went to check out a beach art exhibition. There were many interesting sculptures placed all around and it made for a fun walk.
We decided it was time for a beer and found another good spot to have one. Our flight was at midnight, so we went back to our place to get packed and cleaned up. Then we went out and got some dinner before heading to the airport.
We arrived in Brisbane around 7am on Monday morning. Our place was not available until noon, so after picking up our car we headed over to visit our friends Jim and Tess and to grab some breakfast. We had a nice breakfast catching up and then a walk along the river. We talked big about staying up until the evening, but after checking in to our place (another great little self-contained unit in a house) we both promptly laid down and fell asleep. In the late afternoon we got out and walked along the South Bank and then found a nice spot for some dinner. We didn’t make it into the Queensland Martime Museum, but enjoyed these boats lying about.
On Tuesday we decided to get over to the Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s place) which was about an hours drive away. We knew it would be an all day event so we wanted to get an early start. We had a great day walking around the zoo checking out the native animals and especially enjoyed the interactive exhibits with kangaroos, wallabies, and koalas.
After the zoo we took a scenic drive through Glass House Mountains park and then over to Moreton Bay to drive along the water. We were tired and since we had such a well stocked kitchen, we decided to take advantage and made dinner at our place.
We had plans to see a lot more of Brisbane, but unfortunately on Wednesday morning Stina woke up under the weather for the first time since the beginning of the trip in Cape Town and really wasn’t able to do much over the next two days. We basically stayed at our place in the morning and then got out in the afternoon. Wednesday we went for a walk along the river and happened to run into Jim and Tess – crazy. We walked through the botanical gardens and even though there were some dark clouds and thunder, we never did get rained on.
On Thursday we took the CityCat ferry down the river to check out some other neighborhoods. The Greenpeace boat – Rainbow Warrior – was in town so we stopped to have a look. We had been advised to try a Moreton Bay bug while we were in Brisbane, so that evening we searched out a good spot and had us some bugs! They are lobster-like, but smaller, and with lemon or garlic butter they are delicious. We enjoyed our dinner and then went home to pack up again. We were sad that we hadn’t gotten to see all we had wanted to due to Stina not feeling well, but really liked what we did see of Brissi.
Our flight to Nadi, Fiji departed at 11:30 am on Friday and we got to the airport in plenty of time. (No traffic issues in Brissi.) We realized we only brushed the surface on our visit to Australia, but what we saw we loved. We will just have to make it back, especially to see all of our new friends. What another amazing piece of our adventure! Good on ya, Oz.