Brisbane’s a major airport hub, and we’ve been through the airport 6 times now. But this time, we had a special guest flying in to visit – Madeline!
Madeline has been one of my best friends since kindergarten, almost 30 years. She came to visit us on Starry Horizons in Saint Lucia, and this time she flew to Brisbane to visit with us.
We took this as an opportunity to dock Starry Horizons at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron in Manly and come up to Brisbane. Friends of ours had offered a place to stay so we took them up on it and stayed three nights at an amazing penthouse apartment in South Brisbane (Thank you Andrew and Marijun!).
David and I had spent three days in Brisbane with his family when they came to visit. Madeline’s an incredibly chill guest and was open to anything, so we got to do some new things while in the city.
We started out by walking across the river and through the Queen Street Mall. Being a Saturday, the mall was crowded and there were live performances going on.
David’s a big war history buff, so we stopped to check out the MacArthur Museum. Douglas MacArthur was an American general overseeing forces in the Far East from the Philippines when Japan started to invade in the Pacific Theatre. MacArthur, his family, and the American troops eventually found their foothold in Brisbane, which became the control center for Allied forces in the Pacific. From there, MacArthur commanded most of the forces who fought against the Japanese. He was aboard the USS Missouri when the Japanese surrender was accepted and essentially ran Japan for six years after the war.
The museum was very interesting, although certainly not as magnificent of a museum as the Australian War Museum in Canberra. The highlight was sitting in General MacArthur’s office (well, the actual room, but a recreation of his office).
From the museum, we walked to the Eagle Street Pier and had lunch overlooking the river.
After lunch, we took the free City Hopper ferry (which is free) over to the Thorton Street Ferry Terminal. Turning right, we walked all the way along the riverside. We passed the Kangaroo Cliffs, with the rock climbers and water dragons. There are pieces of modern art along the walk. The path took us past the Queensland Maritime Museum, which we did on our last visit, and onto the Arbor through South Brisbane.
We’d earned a stop at our favorite Brisbane Dessert Bar, Cowch, for a salted caramel milkshake.
For day 2 we kept the morning pretty low key (helloooo rooftop pool).
The Queensland Art Museum is small (receiving half a million visitors a year versus The Louvre’s 8 million) but contains a nice collection of art. There was an exhibit on 1990s Thai art (very political). One thing I really liked about the permanent collection was that the art was arranged by subject instead of being arranged by period. For example, there were three pieces next to each other about traditional dress; one was a photograph of a southeast Asian woman, one was an impressionist oil painting, and one was a piece of ceramic pottery.
My favorite work was Under the Jacaranda Tree, by Godfrey Rivers.
The South Bank has tons of delicious places to eat with outdoor seating. We chose Italian and had some amazing cocktails and rustic Italian food.
I’d heard on Facebook about the Ocean Film Festival, and amazingly our schedule coordinated for us to get tickets to see it in Brisbane. It was also an opportunity to check out the Brisbane Powerhouse, a repurposed pre-war industrial power station in the New Farm area.
The films were pretty amazing. Of course, David and I loved watching the ones with the underwater filming. There was a disclaimer on one – it contains nudity, but don’t get too excited. Ya’ll…butt boils.