Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4. Visit Australia (again)

Brisbane by night from the southern bank of the Brisbane River, looking from east to west.Image via WikipediaI just returned from a two week voyage to Brisbane, Australia. It takes forever to get there from the US East Coast, and the time adjustment is really really bad (especially returning -- don't know why). But the little I saw of the Land Down Under caused me to immediately put a return trip to Oz in my top 100 "things to do" list.

Unfortunately, my weeks were taken up with work. Fortunately, the weekends were free, and the trip was paid for. I took complete advantage of this.

For my first weekend, I decided to stay close to Brisbane. As any good tourist should do, I booked a city tour which involved a guided tour of the city, a ride up the river (Brisbane is NOT on the coast -- but near it), a visit to a scenic overlook, and some time to see the local wildlife at a Koala sanctuary.

My second weekend, I took two day trips in two different directions. First, South to the Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise... to savor the glitz of over-commercialized sun-worship along a broad stretch of golden sand. Next, a boat ride to Moreton Island, a sand Island about 75 minutes from Brisbane by boat (kind of Northeast, I think). Here I was able to relax on the beach and fish off the pier. In the evening, at Tanglooma, I watched wild dolphins come in close to shore and eat fish offered by lines of chaperoned tourists.

Australia is huge -- around the size of the United States with a population of only 20 million. There is plenty to do, and I put some items on my list for the next visit:

1. Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef
2. The Whithsunday coast
3. Sydney
4. Tasmania

Maybe if I had a month?

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