Solo Travel in Australia Part I: Brisbane, Queensland
People that know me well, are aware of the fact that I don’t get stopped by the fact of not finding a partner for my travels or certain activities. I don’t have any problems with doing something alone. So when a friend of mine went to Australia for a whole year, it became quite obvious that I would be going to visit her there. It was certain from the beginning that I would be travelling alone, as it would be pretty hard to find anyone willing to fly halfway across the world with me, just to have me spend nearly a week of the time there with my friend.
Australia was my first big trip alone, and by far the farthest I went away from home. But that's quite obvious, given the fact that there are hardly any places farther away from Europe than Australia. Of course, I was nervous before my trip. Would I be okay being completely alone? Would I get lonely? Would I be able to find anyone taking my picture? I was very uncertain, so when the day came, I had mixed feelings. Also, my trip started off pretty bad as I got called by an agency that one of my trips (to Fraser Island) had gotten cancelled while waiting to board my plane in Munich. I'm still pretty sad I was not able to arrange another trip there, as I would have loved to see Fraser Island, but at least I got my refund pretty fast and everything else worked pretty much how I planned it.
After a quick stop in Abu Dhabi and many, many hours of flight, I finally arrived at Sydney Airport. I slept at an Airport Hotel, as I would continue my journey to Brisbane the next morning. My route through Australia was pretty complicated, as my friend’s itinerary changed various times before my arrival and I wanted to spend as much time possible with her in Sydney, and still see as much of this beautiful country as I could. Completely jetlagged I fell asleep immediately after getting to my room and the next morning I was up early to get my flight to Brisbane.
After a flight with a view over the world-famous Sydney Opera House, I had two full days in Brisbane. Of course, you need way more time to explore the city in depth, but I got a good grasp of what it has to offer. I definitely recommend you not to underestimate Australian sun. While my day started rainily, a few hours later the sun was burning, and I was dying to find a place I could refill my water bottle. My hostel was located pretty close to the city centre and from there on, I took a walk alongside Brisbane river to the South Bank Parklands, where you can find the famous "BRISBANE" letters (and take a picture with them). I walked until the Kangaroo Pint Cliffs, from where you have a great view over the skyline of the city. After a much-needed break at a café for some ice cream, I decided to return to South Bank, where you can find a beach and a pool to relax. I stayed there until sunset and watched the reflection of the sun in the skyscrapers turn into beautiful sunset colours.
The next day started early once more, as I got picked up at a boat station near the Gallery of Modern Art to head to the famous Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. After about an hour of being on the boat, I arrived at the sanctuary. I guess it's everyone's dream to head to Australia and hold a koala bear in their arms, and for me, that's where this dream came true. In the sanctuary, there were hundreds of koalas, most of them sleeping in between their eucalyptus trees in a few metres distance from the visitors, but you can pay extra to hold one. The koalas are being exchanged every half hour and are only allowed to "work" 4 hours a day. Also, they're rewarded with lots of eucalyptus for their hard work. My koala was called Amy and I have to tell you: koalas are way heavier than you expect them to be!
Of course, there are many other animals in the sanctuary, the most "Australian" are surely kangaroos. You can simply enter their preserve where they relax in the shadows or eat something. Some of them were so muscular, I understand why a human would easily lose a fight with a kangaroo. After roaming through the sanctuary for a few hours, and making some friends, I returned to the city with the boat and enjoyed my last few hours of the day at South Bank again.
The next day I returned to Sydney where I then finally met up with my friend. I will tell you more about Sydney and all the other beautiful places I visited during my trip through Australia next week. Have you ever been to Australia? If yes, drop a comment to let me know what places you were able to visit.