SPAN­NING FUN AND FUNC­TION

FIND BREW­ERIES, A BRIDGE WITH A BIRD’S EYE VIEW AND FOOD MAR­KETS HID­DEN IN A FOR­MER CON­TAINER WHARF IN THE QUEENS­LAND CAP­I­TAL

Life & Style Weekend - - ESCAPE - WORDS: MARTIN TIF­FANY The writer was a guest of Bris­bane Mar­ket­ing

The lungs were start­ing to burn and the legs felt a lit­tle rub­bery as I climbed the last few steps to the top of Bris­bane’s Story Bridge. As the slow driz­zle formed wa­ter droplets on the brim of my hat I looked up and smiled. Glanc­ing at my fel­low climbers I sensed a sim­i­lar feel­ing of eu­pho­ria as we took in the panoramic vista. De­spite the sprin­kle and the clouds, the view was still spec­tac­u­lar from atop the 74m bridge, which was opened in 1940. As we gazed around in awe I couldn’t help but think what a friend had said to me when I an­nounced I was head­ing to Bris­bane for a week­end of fun and ad­ven­ture. “There’s noth­ing to do in Bris­bane. It’s bor­ing,” they said. The truth is that Bris­bane has trans­formed (and is still trans­form­ing) into a vi­brant, fun, mod­ern city with much to of­fer. I was in Bris­bane for two days, stay­ing at the cen­tral Capri by Fraser on Al­bert St, and never stopped hav­ing fun and en­joy­ing many won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ences. Let me share. On Fri­day morn­ing, we vis­ited River­life Bris­bane, at the base of the Kan­ga­roo Point cliffs. I opted for the Seg­way tour along the Bris­bane River while the braver mem­bers of the group went ab­seil­ing the cliffs. It was my first Seg­way ex­pe­ri­ence. Af­ter a prac­tice run we were off over the Good­will pedes­trian and cy­clist bridge and into the botanic gar­dens. What a won­der­ful mode of trans­port. We were able to see more of the sights than if we had walked while hav­ing heaps of fun. From there it was off to en­joy a splen­did seafood lunch at Jel­ly­fish Restau­rant on its river­front ter­race. Later that af­ter­noon we jumped aboard the bus for the Hop On Brew­ery Tours. A per­sonal guided tour of some of Bris­bane’s favourite bou­tique brew­eries with the lovely Joslyn Erick­son. We did three brew­eries – New­stead Brew­ing Com­pany, Green Bea­con Brew­ing Com­pany and Archer Brew­ing. I nat­u­rally sam­pled all the brews on of­fer, for re­search pur­poses. On a buzz from the tour, we headed to Eat Street Mar­kets for din­ner. At a for­mer con­tainer wharf in Hamil­ton, this is a feast for the senses. Apart from the fan­tas­tic in­ter­na­tional cui­sine there are live per­form­ers and great views of the river and city. We were up bright and early on Satur­day and en­joyed a de­light­ful break­fast at Spicers Bal­four Ho­tel’s Bal­four Kitchen. Hap­pily fed we were ready for the not-so-tough (hey, even I did it) Story Bridge Ad­ven­ture Climb, com­plete with in­ter­est­ing in­for­ma­tion on Bris­bane city and the con­struc­tion of the bridge. A planned he­li­copter tour of the city was can­celled be­cause of the bad weather so we en­joyed a leisurely, ex­tended lunch at the leg­endary Story Bridge Ho­tel, built around the mas­sive py­lons of the bridge. I must say the black an­gus was one of the best steaks I have eaten. We were joined at lunch by Nick Cum­mins, aka the Honey Badger, who is the of­fi­cial party plan­ner for next year’s Bris­bane Global Rugby Tens. The tour­na­ment will be held on Fe­bru­ary 9-10 in a day-night for­mat. Speak­ing of rugby, the won­der­ful two days in Bris­bane was topped off with a visit to Sun­corp Sta­dium on the Satur­day night to watch the Wal­la­bies take on the All Blacks. So, my friend how can you say Bris­bane is bor­ing? I was only there a cou­ple of days and hardly scratched the sur­face of what this vi­brant city has to of­fer.

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