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Brisbane offers it all

By doina — last modified Dec 31, 2002 12:00 PM

Published: 2002-12-31 12:00:02
Countries: Australia

For those who yearn for some city life, Brisbane offers it all. Pile moorings off the Botanic Gardens, provide a safe location to leave your boat while exploring the city and its surrounds. One can anchor beyond the moorings or on the opposite side of the river, taking into account the tide which runs fairly strong at times. There are about 50 pile moorings, on a first come basis, at a rate of A$50 per week or $200 per month. When using the moorings, crews are entitled to use the laundry, showers and toilets by putting down a key deposit of $100. Surprisingly, being in the heart of the city, it is very peaceful, ducks swim around the yachts and there is bird song from the botanic gardens. There is a little wake, mostly from the City Cat ferries but it is acceptable and it is generally a comfortable anchorage. Tie your dinghy behind the ferry dock where there is garbage disposal. It is advisable to lock your dinghy.

Getting about is easy, it possible to walk just about everywhere. There are bicycle paths and public transport is excellent. Buses, ferries and trains offer special rates, such as half price train tickets at weekends and off peak saver tickets on buses and ferries. The bus information office, inside the mall on the corner of Elizabeth and Albert Streets, gives exact directions to those out of way places.

Woolworths supermarket is a few blocks from the anchorage and a Coles supermarket is in the Myers Centre in Queen Street Mall. A bottle shop on the same floor as Woolworths, will deliver to the dock. There are countless food courts offering a wide range of meals and the Broadway food court sell meals at half price after 3pm. The library has free email, internet and computer courses. Poste restante works well at the Queen Street Post Office. Foreigners visiting Australia who wish to open a bank account, should do so within 6 weeks of arrival, producing only your passport. After 6 weeks the procedure is much more complicated.

There are farmers markets at South Bank, New Farm and Davies Park at weekends. Flea markets at South Bank, Riverside and Fortitude Valley, plus more in outlying areas of Brisbane. Free entertainment includes concerts in the Botanic Gardens, movies at the State Library on Sundays, music at the City Hall, Roma Street Parkland, Queen Street Mall and South Bank. Cheaper movie tickets can be bought on Tuesdays. In the weeks prior to Christmas, there is a boat parade, fireworks, daily entertainment in Queen Street Mall and at South Bank and carols by candlelight in various locations. Visit the information kiosk in Queen Street Mall or South Bank for a programme of activities.

South Bank Parklands is a river park with an open air swimming pool resembling a lagoon. There are lawns, streams, shops and restaurants, cinemas, the Suncorp Piazza, an outdoor entertainment venue and the Maritime Museum. Beyond this area, is the Performing Arts Centre, Art Gallery, Museum and the State Library. A bus ride away, is Mt. Coot-tha Botanic Garden and Lookout, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, the Australian Woolshed and much more.

There are two chandleries, Glascraft and Whitworth on the ourskirts of the city. Manly, a half hour train ride away, has three chandleries. It is not possible to get diesel in the river and there are no petrol stations near by, so fill your tanks at Scarborough. Propane bottles can be filled, ask the resident yachties for procedures. Fresh water is available from the laundry room. Brisbane is a friendly and safe city, an ideal change from islands.

Pamela and Munro Bezuidenhout, S/Y Zephyr