Since I ended up with this entire week off, we decided we'd make use of it and get some international travel in. However, instead of just losing money while traveling, I figured I'd try to make some money while I'm at it (not to mention save on other costs), so I last minute requested a Brisbane trip and I got it! So the family came along, of course, and the very first place we took them to was none other than the Brisbane, Australia Temple, because I mean....priorities. :)
For our first evening in Australia we took a stroll down town and crossed over the Victoria Bridge. We actually didn't make it all the way over because it was very windy, but we made it about halfway.
Fun fact: The city of Brisbane has certain streets marked off just for buses. Even here on this very bridge, half of it was given away to the South-East Busway to improve speed and reliability of the bus and taxi services. Pretty cool, aye? We we thought it was interesting/strange when we first noticed it, but after seeing bus after bus after bus, we could see why that would be necessary. Brilliant, Aussies! (Or is it Brizzies? Lol.)
And as a side note, I wanted to mention how Brisbane reminded us so much of Chicago as this city is also situated on a river with a beautiful river walk along it. There are also always people out and about exercising everywhere we go, there are a ton of healthy food options around, many hip and cultural places to eat at, and the city is equally beautiful, modern and clean.
And hey, they even have their own Ferris Wheel too!
Their ferris wheel is called The Wheel of Brisbane and we heard from the worker that it is best to go during sunset. The second best time would've been at night, but since we got there literally right before the sun was going to set (which was totally random and by chance), we did it! At first I was thinking we would come back later and do it at night, but we couldn't turn down a chance to see it at sunset. Especially when that's the favored time to go.
And oh my gosh, it was beautiful! The colors, the warmth, the city view from the air. Now I know why that is the best time to go. So for anyone traveling to Brisbane in the future, that is my recommendation to you. Go at SUNSET!
So besides visiting the temple, crossing over the Victoria Bridge and riding on the Wheel of Brisbane, we went to Southbank where the kids got to play on the coolest playground and swim in both a man-made beach and swimming pool. We also went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and the kids favorite part of the whole trip was being able to pet and feed kangaroos, pet and hold a Koala Bear and watch Tasmanian Devils eat. Love that my kids get to learn through travel. Check out this video clip I made of our trip. So fun!
The highlight of our trip, by far, was going to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. The kids loved seeing all the cool animals in the zoo; animals which they don't see at home. Of course, seeing real kangaroos and being able to feed them was the best and so so exciting! It was the area where we spent the majority of our time in. We also got to see a sheep dog show and that was mind blowing to me. I was blown away by how the dogs could get the sheep to move around to different parts of the farm so easily. I was baffled! And lastly, seeing and holding the Koala Bears was the cherry on top of the cake! The Koala Bears are just so cute and we loved watching them eat, climb and sleep. So so fun!
I would definitely 100% recommend a trip to Lone Pine if you ever go to Australia. Not only is it a fun family friendly activity, but I love that it was created to provide a safe sanctuary for sick and injured Koala's and to protect its species. It is also a place for people to learn more about how to protect habitats because protecting habitats, protects wildlife. While in the Tasmanian Devil section of the park we learned that that species is currently in danger of extinction because of a contagious cancer that is being spread from Tasmanian Devil to Tasmanian Devil. Luckily, the ones they have at Lone Pine are not effected by this cancer so they are currently breeding them to help prevent their extinction. It is so sad to think that these animals can soon be gone from the face of this earth. I am glad that there are facilities like this that help to keep these different species alive. What a great learning experience for all of us.
We truly loved our family field trip to Australia and I've never felt stronger about the saying "travel is the best teacher" as I do now. It is so true and I love that we get to give this gift of travel to our children. Love this stage of life that we are in right now, what a blessing!
Travel to Brisbane! Let me know if you have any questions.