Sunday, April 7, 2013

Brisbane, Queensland

Unfair Picture of Brisbane!
Our trip north-bound up the east coast of Australia has been graced with brisk southerly and southeasterly breezes, allowing us to sail almost the entire way.  It was especially fun to sail the passage from the Broadwater to Moreton Bay as this was a narrow, inside passage with mill-pond-like conditions, yet we were doing 6 and 7 knots with just our genoa unfurled.  Because its very shallow in places, we had to watch our depth constantly but we only bumped the bottom once - and that was in a place where the chart indicated we had plenty of water!

It was late Saturday afternoon when we steamed up the Brisbane (pronounced bríz´bŭn) River, past the enormous freighter terminals, refineries and concrete plants.  Twelve miles later, the river snakes through the center of Brisbane's CBD (Central Business District), with riverfront walking paths, stores and outdoor cafes.  Our options on where to anchor were somewhat limited and we're still not entirely comfortable with where we dropped our hook.  With lots of ferry traffic going up and down the narrow river and the tide changing directions four times a day, we're either too close to shore or blocking the high-speed traffic.  No one has hit us yet but I think they like to come close to us just to make us feel unwelcome.

Brisbane's City Hall and Museum

This weekend was the grand opening of Brisbane's completely renovated City Hall that now also houses the Brisbane Museum.  It appears that no costs were spared as the building and it's interior are stunning - the new auditorium sports a massive 4000-pipe organ.  The museum was equally well done but the content is lackluster.  There were long lines of Brisbaners waiting to see their new venue.

Inside the New Auditorium in Brisbane's City Hall

Even though it appears to us that Brisbane lacks some of Sydney's cosmopolitan flair, its still no slouch when it comes to being able to offer the finest.  The Queen Street Mall boast stores like Tiffany's, Hermes, Louis Vitton and Gucci.  Of course, we'll never set foot inside any of them nor will we likely patronize any of the fine restaurants.  We did, though, splurge and had an order of spring rolls from a basement Chinese take-away restaurant.  Who says we can't live it up?

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