When you’re away, the last thing you want to think about is coming home. But slowly and surely the end of our big trip began to creep up on us and before we knew it we were facing our final night (excluding the plane flight). I was dreading it. I knew I’d had such a good time but still had so many places I wanted to see I just wasn’t ready to stop. But I also didn’t want to spoil the last night be being upset about leaving. Luckily we ended up staying the night in Brisbane for ease of access to the airport the next day, and Brisbane was somewhere we were yet to explore. Suddenly our final night was more about discovery than saying goodbye.
As it was our final night we decided to treat ourselves a bit and opted not to stay in a hostel. We wanted our own room, somewhere we knew we’d be comfortable and that was convenient for looking around the city. After a quick look on booking.com we found Meriton Suites where we paid approximately £50 for our room for the night. This was higher than our budget for the rest of the trip but we decided that it would be worth it. We were completely right. When we arrived we were amazed to discover that our building was the second tallest building in the city. Even on the 9th floor we had a great view from the window – I imagine it would have been a little scary from the top! It was very luxurious and I did feel quite out of place going in with my backpack, although the staff were welcoming. We had a standard room which was enormous. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. I have no idea what an executive suite would be like but I was very happy with the room we had. I would definitely look it up again if I return to Brisbane.
After we’d gotten over our delight at where we were staying (particularly in comparison to the grubby hostel across the road) and freshened up it was time to explore as much as Brisbane as we could in the limited time that we had. As Christmas was drawing ever closer, there were a host of different festivities taking place in the city which we decided to go and see. It was bizarre wandering around Brisbane in our shorts and seeing decorated Christmas trees – I found the whole lead up to Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere a little weird. Whilst I hate how soon everyone starts preparing for Christmas in the UK (selection boxes and Christmas songs in September is not OK) I do like it getting steadily more festive. Snuggling down in front of the fire with a mulled wine after going to a Christmas market is the perfect way to get into that Christmassy mood. But when it’s getting hotter the closer it is to the big day, and shops are selling Christmas trees and paddling pools in the same aisle, it’s just strange if you’re not used to it. Coming home less than a week before Christmas after travelling doesn’t give you much time to get in the festive mood, but luckily Brisbane seemed particularly festive.
We headed first to the market on the South Bank which was completely different to continental Christmas markets which are often dominated by food and Christmas decorations, but it was still really good. Like many of the markets we’d been to I found loads of great gift ideas and things I wanted to treat myself to (but couldn’t fit in my backpack). It was decorated with pretty fairy lights and had a great atmosphere. Whilst there we popped down to see the city beach and were amazed to see an outdoor film screening taking place. Lots of people were watching the film from within the water which seemed like fun.
After we’d been up and down the market a few times we headed back across the river towards the city hall. There was a light display projected on the hall which was being performed at regular intervals so we decided to sit and watch. The show was clearly aimed at quite young children but it was a nice story and fun to sit and watch. From here we continued on with the hope of seeing the Enchanted Garden. We left it a little too late as the queues were huge, because it was the last night, and so we weren’t able to go in and look around. However we could still see some of it from the terrace and it looked very pretty.
Whilst we possibly didn’t see as much of the actual city as we could have done because we were focusing on the different Christmas events, we both left with a very positive impression of Brisbane. Everything we’d been along to had been free and there was a very welcoming and cheery atmosphere. It certainly didn’t feel like our last night and I know that if I return to Australia I’d like to go back and explore Brisbane further with a bit more time.