South Bank is a stretch of parklands along the Brisbane River filled with shops, restaurants and gardens. The highlights include the wheel of Brisbane, the iconic Brisbane letters and a man-made beach. Also, a lot of things on South Bank are free for the public, so it’s obviously one of my favorite places to go.
My friends somehow convinced me to wake up at 4 a.m. and make the 45-minute drive to the lookout at Mount Coot-tha to watch the sunrise. I only got four hours of sleep, but it was worth it to watch the sun come up over the entire city.
Brisbane is so pretty it almost doesn’t feel fair.
Eat Street Market
I never appreciated a good $17 dessert until I saw one in person. Eat Street is like a much, much fancier version of the state fair — vendors turn out in droves to sell everything from Japanese pizza to cronut ice cream cones. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s always fun to walk around and look at all the dishes people manage to come up with.
It may be a little expensive, but everyone knows you only go abroad to spend all your money on ice cream.
Also, you can always spend the next day in South Bank to balance out your bank account.
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary
This place is relatively cheap and also gave me probably the greatest experience of my life. This is not an exaggeration.
Lone Pine has over 130 koalas as well as kangaroos, dingoes, platypuses, snakes and birds. For $13 ($18 AUD), you can purchase a ticket to hold and take a picture with a koala. I'll admit I was hesitant to pay that much only for a picture, but believe me when I say that this is a near-spiritual experience. Never in my life have I felt so content with a decision.
I still have an entire semester of Australian adventures ahead of me, but I really don’t see how I can top this photo.
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