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Exploring the Brisbane Riverfront

When my friend Ann asked if I’d like to come along for a drive to Brisbane one fine, sunny day, I was thrilled.

Drives with Ann are never a Point A to Point B affair. Not a chance! They are delectable meanderings along the prettiest routes she can think of, punctuated by stops at all sorts of interesting places. So we packed water bottles and snacks and, accompanied by her daughters Lizzie and Katy, cranked up the air conditioning and Enya’s latest cd and headed for the city.

Although I’ve been to Brisbane a few times, I haven’t had the chance to do much exploring. We more than made up for it on this trip. After stopping for lunch (delish toasted sandwiches) and a sticky-bick (look around) at a wonderful bookstore with cookbooks on sale for $1 each, we arrived in Brisbane in time to park the car and walk Lizzie to the University.

Rounding a corner we found this little fellow almost invisible against the pavement. He stayed just long enough to pose for me, then scurried off into the crunchy leaves.

We strolled past hundreds of palm trees, their fronds rustling gently in the breeze and looking marvelously tropical against the vivid blue sky.


We sauntered past restaurants positively humming with the mingled sounds of music blaring and patrons visiting, and strolled  under vast arbors dripping in fuchsia bougainvillea.

All too soon we had to drop Lizzie off, so we hugged her tight and promised to get together soon, then headed for the waterfront for a stroll along the Brisbane River.

Our path lead us past more towering palms and beside swimming pools surrounded by white sand. The skyscrapers of Brisbane provided a stunning backdrop.

After stocking up on a colorful array of Australian lollies at a local sweet shop, we found seats beside the river where we could watch the city ferries motor past and catch cool breezes off the water. It’s the perfect spot for people watching and discovering small beauties like the intricately inlaid mosaics in the pavement.

The Brisbane riverfront has such a jovial feeling of community about it. Children splashed and squealed in the swimming pools while perfectly formed teenagers bronzed themselves on the sand. Couples strolled hand in hand along the promenade and office workers found shady perches where they could eat their bag lunches and read a novel. Students were everywhere being lead on tours by their student guides, looking nervous and excited as they navigated the crowds, tentatively smiling at their fellow students in the hopes of making new friends.

We escaped the crowds for a bit as we entered a sea of green: lily pads, lush grass, palm trees and amazing mangroves with their Dr. Seussian roots and branches.

It was a gorgeous interlude on our Girls Day Out, and we all felt relaxed and happy.

But soon our To-Do List beckoned and we got back in the car and onto the busy streets, heading for an adventure of another sort: visiting the foodie shops of Brisbane. You can read all about some of my favorites here. I love Brisbane food shops! There are so many cultures and cuisines represented and the prices are very reasonable and sometimes downright cheap. I picked up Russian sunflower oil, Ethiopian berebere, Indian curry, and Mexican salsa verde. My special treat of the day was gorgonzola dolce which I plan to serve with roasted peaches. Mmm, mmm, good. 🙂

What is your favorite city to wander in?

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Coffee in the City » Rambling Tart - […] I went to a meeting in Brisbane with Bear and our friend, Ann. Thanks to clear roads and brilliant weather, we arrived with an hour […]

Jeanne @ Cooksister!i - It’s crazy how luch it reminds me of South Africa! Bougainvillas, strelitzias and even a leguaan! Gorgeous post about a city I don’t k ow much about.

Krista -  Thank you, T!! 🙂 I love it here so much. One day soon you’ll simply HAVE to come see it for yourself. 🙂

Krista -  I would really love to visit Asia one day, Linda. It is uncharted territory to me and I’d love to finally see it. 🙂

Krista -  Apparently he’s quite harmless, Cailin! Though I have NO desire to run into him any time soon. 🙂

Krista -  Isn’t it lovely, Faith? Of course it has its grimy places too, but I sure love this area. 🙂

Krista -  Yes you WILL, dear Paradis. 🙂

Ulysses S. Rant - Looks like you had a fun trip with some beautiful sights, K. I’m glad you’re have such cool places to visit so close to you!

LindyLou Mac - Brisbane certainly looks like a lovely place to have a wander, at the moment I think Hong Kong is probably high on our list as we have spent enough time there to get beyond the normal tourist haunts.

Cailins - That lizard thing is so scary!!  You are so brave – that is too close for comfort.

Faith - What a beautiful city, just perfect for wandering around and exploring!  The weather is gorgeous with that brilliant blue sky and puffy white clouds!

mlleparadis - sigh!  someday i WILL make it to oz!!!!!  the pictures are just gorgeous!

Krista -  It is very lush along the river, Stevie, and so very beautiful. The warmth is glorious and cheers me immeasurably. 🙂

Krista -  Thank you, dear Vanessa. 🙂 It was such a gorgeous drive! So much better than the trek along the highway I had envisioned. 🙂

Krista -  I didn’t either, Andi! I had glimpsed a few pretty spots, but nothing like this. 🙂

Krista -  I’m so glad to hear you say that, Deanna. I’ve never been to NYC and I’m glad to know there are wonderful places away from Times Square. 🙂

Krista -  You’re most welcome, Rosa. 🙂

Krista -  Thank you, Andrea. 🙂 It does have some really lovely spots. 🙂

Krista -  I know!! He gave me a bit of a start at first. 🙂

Stevie - Brisbane looks so lush!  What a wonderful day.  I’m envious of the warm weather, too. It’s been cold here lately.  As to my favorite city to wander in?  I guess I’ll write Rome, which is my dream city, though the one that I’ve much more experience with is New York.

Andi Perullo - What a lovely outing! I had no idea that Brisbane was so quaint!!! My favorite city to wander: Buenos Aires.

Vanessa@Luxuria - Wow! what gorgeous images what a magnificent drive it turned out to be. The colors on your blog are always SO breath-taking xx

Deanna - I love wandering around Manhattan. You find the coolest stores, restaurants, and churches once you get away from Times Square. Unfortunately, its a long flight so I don’t get to go as much as I would like. 

Rosa May - A wonderful place! Thanks for the virtual visit.



Andrea and John - Enjoyed this tour of Brisbane with you – I’ve never been there!  

Joanne - yay for a fun day out with the ladies!  Sounds like an awesome time. i’m amazed that that lizard was just meandering about in public!

Krista -  I’m so glad you like it too, Barbara. 🙂 I thought of you while I was there and thought how fun it would be to meet up with you next time. 🙂

Barbara at Winos and Foodies - What a fun girls day out. I love the man made beach at SouthBank. I love seeing all the young mothers out with their little ones splashing about. We somedays pack a picnic and take the ferry into Southbank for a bit of people watching over lunch.

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