Mentom - Singapore 2012

© Mentom – May 2012

Upper down under

dimanche 20 juillet 2008, par Mentom

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  • français

Time to revisit Australia - this time to Brisbane. What a relief to arrive in the cool australian "winter" - decent temperatures of around 20 degrees ! Some fellows already await me at the airport.

First thing to do in the cold - to go for a long jog without suffocating and looking like a lobster just escaped from the boiling soup.

At dusk return for a silent breakfast and a run in the Botanical Gardens - mangroves and jungle the middle of the city.

Throwing away the breakfast wrappers in the trash bin, suddenly a possum jumped out of it - nothing wakes you up quicker than this ! Possums are commonly found in suburban areas, where they are often considered pests owing to their habit of eating fruit, vegetables, flowers and tender young shoots from gardens, and nesting in roofs.

Time for a walk around the city. The settlement at Brisbane developed after an abandoned initial penal colony settlement at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres (17 mi) north.

Brisbane was inhabited before European settlement by the Turrbal people whose ancestors migrated to the region from across the Torres Strait. They knew the area as Mian-jin, meaning ’place shaped as a spike’. The Moreton Bay area was initially explored by Matthew Flinders, landing and naming "Red Cliff Point" – after the red-coloured cliffs visible from the bay, known today as Woody Point – on 17 July 1799.

In 1823, Governor of New South Wales, Thomas Brisbane, instructed that a new northern penal settlement be developed, and an exploration party led by John Oxley further explored Moreton Bay and sailed up the Brisbane River. Oxley recommended Red Cliff Point for the new colony, reporting that ships could land at any tide and easily get close to the shore. The party settled in Redcliffe on 13 September 1824, under the command of Lieutenant Henry Miller with 14 soldiers, some with wives and children, and 29 convicts. However, this settlement was abandoned after one year and the colony was moved south to a site on the Brisbane River at North Quay, that offered a more reliable water supply. Non-convict European settlement of the Brisbane region commenced in 1838.

Today, Brisbane is Australia’s third biggest city after Sydney and Melbourne.

Unlike other Australian capital cities, a large portion of the greater metropolitan area of Brisbane is controlled by a single local government entity, the Brisbane City Council.

The Brisbane rivers meanders all around the city, making seemingly small distances a quite long walk. A good option is to take the speedy Citycat for those who are in hurry, or the much more relaxed Brisbane ferry instead.

Brisbane central business district from the South Bank. What about an australian beer near the riverside to close off the evening ?

During the day, numerous climbers try to conquer the Cangoroo Point - an abandoned and reshaped quarry, right in the middle of the city. During the night, I discovered, nothing happens here.

The pelicano brisbania is a very rare species, only found in the Queensland area. Discussing the catch of the day.

Brisbane had a very rapid and successful development in the last years. Australians (from Brisbane) told me that this is the best place to live in Australia. Though people from Sydney told me the same about Sydney. And I hear something similar in Melbourne. They all might have a point.

The ocean is unfortunately quite far. But since it is the best place in Australia to live, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are the best beaches in Australia and within easy reach.

My friends, time to leave already !

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