The 48 Hour Green Guide To Brisbane, Australia
WORDS: CAROLIN PILLIGRATH
More often than not, when we think of vacation, we only focus on doing things that are fun and relaxing for us and we rarely think about what would be good for the community and the environment. Time to change the way we vacay and embrace ecotourism – as shown in this purposeful 2-day guide to Brisbane.
The sun is up. The city is calling. But first, breakfast. Start your 48 hours in Brisbane at Wray Organic on Lambert Road in Indooroopilly. This cozy market also has a café which is open 7 days a week. Its atypical menu doesn’t stay the same all throughout since being an organic café they rely on the fresh produce available in season.
You can have your fill of their healthy and yummy treats including wheat free, dairy free and gluten free options. Better yet, grab some organic treats like their scrumptious paleo power muffin and the go go bar to snack on later in the day. From here it’s only a short 10-minute drive to your next destination of the day.
Your 48 hours in Brisbane escapade is incomplete without seeing a bit of wildlife. Head over to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary where you can hug a cute and cuddly koala, feed a kangaroo, take a picture with a raptor or a snake, and meet other Australian wildlife like emus, cockatoos, kookaburras, wombats, platypus and many more.
Tickets and pricing are quite flexible too. An adult daily pass costs $36, $22 for a child aged 3-13 years old, $24 for students and seniors, and a family package is worth either $60 or $85. You can even save on the entrance fee by buying your tickets online through https://www.koala.net/. Additionally, you can reach Lone Pine at +61 7 3378 1366.
After your bonding with the adorable Australian wildlife, make your way to the Brisbane Botanic Garden Mount Coot-tha. The Gardens are set on a massive 56-hectare property with various themed gardens namely the scented garden, arid zone with cactus, bamboo grove, Japanese gardens, Bonsai House, tropical greenhouse and Exotic Rainforest section.
Parents with kids can go on the Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail in the heart of the Exotic Rainforest to learn and enjoy nature together.
Join a free guided walk running daily at 11am and 1pm except Sundays. You may also opt to cycle around by bike or take the free mini-bus tour. The Gardens are also home to the Queensland Herbarium, Mt Coot-tha Library and the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium.
If you are looking to reconnect with nature, you have definitely come to the right place.
After your garden exploration, take a 5-minute drive up the hill to find yourself on top of Mount Coot-tha marveling at the view across the city with the skyline in the distance. Take your lunch at the sun-drenched Kuta Café overlooking the scenic view of Brisbane City. There are also numerous little grassy spots to sit down for a picnic if you desire.
After your frolic among the outskirts, why not take your Brisbane itinerary back to the city. Before joining more fun adventures, take some time browsing at The Collective Markets in South Bank where you can find a lot of interesting trinkets, homewares, exotic items, fashion and jewellery and other marvelous gifts made by local talents. Grab a light snack and shop for souvenirs to the sound of live music by local musicians.
After souvenir shopping, make your way to Riverlife at Kangaroo Point. It’s an entertainment and lifestyle venue where you can choose from many different adventure activities to get to know the city the usual way. The choice is yours to explore the city via bicycle, on a Segway tour, while rock climbing or kayaking on the Brisbane River. From here you could easily check out the city’s hot spots such as the Botanic Gardens and beautiful New Farm Park.
Riverlife also offers the iconic night kayaking with the city lights as your backdrop. Their Paddle & Prawns session every Friday costs $85, inclusive of a relaxing 90-minute kayak glide along the Brisbane River and ends with a dinner including king prawns, fresh bread rolls and cool drinks. Bookings are essential so call +61 73891 5766 or book through http://riverlife.com.au/.
After a pleasant Day 1 in Brisbane, hit the sheets at the luxurious yet eco-friendly Emporium Hotel, a gorgeous boutique hotel along the lively street of Fortitude Valley. Evident in their EarthCheck certification, Emporium Hotel prides itself with their environmental best practices such as supporting locally-grown organic foods, practicing color-coded internal recycling, giving discount parking for hybrid cars, growing a herb garden and the crème de la crème of their green practice is their rooftop beehives. The cultured honey that they reap is actually used in their signature cocktail, the Lavender Honey Sour. Room rates start at $229 per night. Check out their website for more information http://www.emporiumhotels.com.au/en/default.html or call + 61 7 3253 6999.
Evening passed and morning came, you’re now on your second day in Brisbane. Have breakfast downstairs or order room service to your Emporium Hotel room. Make sure to have an ample meal. You’re going to need all your energy for this exciting second leg of your Brisbane eco-tour.
Are you craving for some island adventures? If you are, you will love this getaway to the pristine Moreton Island. To have a fuss-free island itinerary, choose the Dolphin Adventure Tour offered by Tangalooma Island Resort. For only $180 for adults or $135 for kids, you can enjoy various activities throughout the whole day on the island. You can book through http://www.tangalooma.com/info/home/.
Have an early start. The inclusive luxury catamaran will be picking you up at Holt Street Wharf, Pinkenba at either 7:00 am or 10:00 am. Then, off you jet to paradise on your 75-minute catamaran cruise across Moreton Bay. Your Dolphin Adventure Tour package includes a thrilling 4WD ride through the Tangalooma Desert. On this fun-filled Desert Safari, you will have to try the exhilarating sand tobogganing, which can reach speeds up to 40kmph. This tour is not just jam-packed with fun but also educating for the whole family. Listen to presentations held at the Tangalooma Marine Education and Conservation Centre about dolphin behavior and wildlife protection and conservation.
Take a lunch break at one of the food outlets on the island. The choice is yours entirely as you will be given a $20 food voucher for adults or a $15 food voucher for kids, inclusive of the tour package.
Back at Tangalooma, you have up to 10 hours free use of the resort facilities that includes the day lounge, restaurant and two swimming pools.
There are also a lot of sports activities on offer too, such as tennis, croquet, basketball, soccer, beach volleyball, golf and more. Or you can watch the resort’s eco rangers feed the dolphins, fishes, sea birds and kookaburras.
Come nighttime, there are still free nightly activities you can enjoy with your family. These include Tangalooma horse racing cup, karaoke night, trivia night and bingo night. Perhaps the highlight of the Dolphin Adventure Tour is the authentic dolphin feeding experience. Up to 10 wild bottlenose dolphins usually visit the resort’s shores right around sunset. These flippered friends always put on a show as you hand-feed them with fish. Isn’t this a great way to end your 2 days in Brisbane? As the dolphin feeding finishes, it’s already time to say goodbye to Moreton Island. Head back to Tangalooma Jetty for the 7:00 pm catamaran ride back to the main land.
Choosing ecotourism will make you witness the natural beauty of Brisbane giving back to the community and help sustain our beautiful environment. Wouldn’t you want our next generation to also experience the wonders that you have seen over the past two days in Brisbane? When you support ecotourism, you’re not just quenching your wanderlust but also helping the locals and preserving Mother Earth. It’s a win-win travel experience. Always remember this. Leave nothing but footprints. Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time. Enjoy your 48 hours in Brisbane!
Images courtesy © Carolin Pilligrath, Melanie Grevis-James, Emporium Hotel, Tangalooma Island Resort
Originally from Germany, Carolin is today travelling the world for a living. Since becoming a digital nomad almost two years ago, she has called many places home: Chiang Mai, Sydney, Bali, Barcelona and Brisbane. Carolin works entirely location independent as a social media specialist and content creator while doing the occasional web design project and running her travel blog breathingtravel.com. Ask her anything about housesitting, being a digital nomad and Australia, her favourite country in the world. Follow along on Instagram for daily wanderlust inspiration @breathingtravel.
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