Every year we have 'the Ekka', which is like a carnival type event. It is well known, and schools have a 2 day holiday. When you go, it is very busy and crowded, so be careful. It is costly and you pay for parking (hint, take a bus or train!!) and also for entry, plus food and rides. One of the main highlights of the Ekka is the showbags, filled with lollies and toys galore! The rides are not to flash, try a few though but the theme parks are better. There is plenty of animals and wildlife to see with as well! The atmosphere is good, music and fun.
Vegemite - an Aussie's favourite spread!
I still can't put my finger on why I love Vegemite. Maybe growing up on it helps!
Each day at work I have at least 2 slices of toast with margarine & Vegemite. As Vegemite is very salty (& definately savoury not sweet), I use about 3 times as much margarine as Vegemite. I find a very fine spread of Vegemite best, or else the taste is too overpowering.
If trying Vegemite for the first time, either try a very small, thinly spread amount on bread, toast or a savoury biscuit/cracker. Then if you like it, experiment with the ideal amount for you. Vegemite is definately a very individual thing!
Summers in Brisbane can be very HOT (esp. in December/ January).
Now why do I ALWAYS choose to go on vacation during the HOTTEST months? Duh! Also, Queensland (the state) is more often than not SUNNY and is very unlike Sydney/ Melbourne weather.
So, what would I recommend a regular tourist/ traveler to pack along for a summer holiday in Queensland? Light cotten dresses with sphagetti straps. :-) Ladies, DON'T forget to transfer all your Clarifying toners and astringents, foaming cleansers, night creams like Vibrant, Advanced Night Repair et al into small plastic containers - to save luggage space. I usually bring along TWO types of cameras with me and load them with TWO different types of films i.e.
ASA200 film (for day) and the high speed Kodak 800 film for museums or places that do not allow flash photography. DON'T forget to bring along your much-treasured ATM card to withdraw cash. Yes, no need to rush to the money-changers to change all your currencies into Australian dollars before your trip. Just ensure that you adhere to the following steps:
1. Flip to the back of your local ATM card, do you see the logos 'Cirrus', 'Plus', 'The Exchange' etc on it?
2. If the answer is 'yes', then you have absolutely nothing to worry about!
3. Why? Because you can withdraw cash from any ATM machines in U.S.A., no matter how obscure the town you're at is.
4. If you use this method, you'd also save alot on the interbank exchange rates. Why? Because you're using your OWN money.
DO NOT, I repeat - DO NOT withdraw from your Visa/ Mastercard credit card account(s) because that would be considered as a CASH ADVANCE and you'd be slapped with a hefty fee!
If you change your local currency into Australian dollars via a money changer, you will also be charged much, much more (by them) compared to when you're using YOUR own ATM card overseas. (Read: Low interbank wholesale rate offered ONLY to banks). Trust me. I work for an American bank. I've personally used this method hundreds of times before and so far, no ATM machines in this world have failed me.... yet. Yes, even at the remotest village in Africa! :-)) I promise.
'The border means more than a customs house, a passport officer, a man with a gun. Over there everything is going to be different. Life is never going to be quite the same again after your passport has been stamped!' - Graham Greene (British Writer); b. 1904
The Old Windmill and Reservoirs
I thought I was dreaming when I thought I saw a windmill in Brisbane. It wasn't far from the Guesthouse where I was staying. I had some spare time on my last morning in Brisbane and so I thought I take a closer look.
Extracted from Wikipedia:
..."The Windmill, also known as 'The Old Windmill', is located in Wickham Park, on Wickham Terrace in Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. According to the heritage notice, it is the oldest surviving building in Queensland.
The Windmill was built during colonial times by convicts for grinding grains, such as wheat and maize, in the late 1820s. The Windmill originally had wind-powered sails. The grinding of the grains was done by treadmill from October, 1828, with the wind-powered sails being used from December, 1828.
After the murder of two members of a surveying party near Mount Lindesay in May 1840, three Aboriginal men were apprehended and tried for the crimes. In July 1841, the two surviving Aborigines were hanged from a beam from an upper window of the windmill.
On 20 January 1862, the Windmill became the first home of the Queensland Museum.
The Windmill was later used as a signal tower, and is now used as a weather observatory. Towards the end of the 19th century, the tower was encased in a cement render to protect the brick and masonry from rainwater damage. The current render dates from a 1988 refurbishment, and is scored to imitate the stone blocks it covers"...
Also...behind the Windmill are The Wickham Terrace service reservoirs, which were the first of a series of inground reservoirs servicing the water needs of the city. The reservoirs remained an integral part of the Brisbane water supply system until 3 September 1962 when the water main was shut down, as the reservoirs could no longer serve the water demand of an increasingly urbanised inner city due to their comparatively small capacity and low elevation. Since then, the reservoirs (totally covered and looking non-interesting) have become part of the 'Windmill Hill' reserves.
Both structures are sealed by the way, so you can't really enter them to take a look.
BOONDALL WETLANDS BOARDWALK
These Wetlands are Brisbane’s largest remaining wetlands, and they are located only 15km from the centre of the Brisbane.
The Wetlands have been protected by the Council as it is crucial to Moreton Bay’s fishing industry.
The Reserve includes tidal sandflats, mangroves, salt marshes and freshwater wetlands - vital habitats for birds, fish and other animal plant life.
The area is roughly bounded by the Gateway Arterial Road, Nudgee Road, Moreton Bay and Cabbage Tree Creek.
Access to the area is by 3 locations:-
* The Boondall Wetlands Information Centre - located just off the Gateway Arterial Road (Stanworth Rd intersection),
* The bike track starting just North of the Nudgee Waste Transfer Station (Nudgee Road) Nudgee,
* The mangrove boardwalk and bird hide at the end of O’Quinn St, Nudgee Beach. This is the Boardwalk that I did. As it happened, the tide was out, so you could easily see all the crab holes. The walk is quite pleasant, even though the day was hot, as the Mangroves give shade, and there are plenty of seats along the way to stop for a rest!
There are Bikeways, and you can also go canoeing along Kedron Brook, Nudgee Creek, Nundah Creek and Cabbage Tree Creek.
There looked to be plenty of water in the creek even at low tide.