Australia Zoo - home of the great Steve Irwin
A family trip to Queensland, Australia. Tips on things to see and do.
I visited Australia for the second time in 3 year for New Year 2011. I travelled with my husband and 4 year old son. Despite a 5 hour layover in Hong Kong the flights both ways were relatively pain free. There’s plenty on the entertainment channels to keep everyone happy and we were lucky that my son is quite happy to sleep when told and given an eye mask & music to listen to!
We were based at my sister-in-laws on the outskirts of Brisbane. A lovely city, not too big, easy to explore and plenty of activities. We were fortunate to leave just before the floods arrived causing so much damage. You can travel into the city on the CityCat ferries which run regalary and a great way to see the city. A must is to experience Southbank with loads to do including museums, restaurants, art galleries, shopping, outdoor movie screening and of course the famous beach with city views – now all restored after the floods.
A car is a must as there is so many places to visit and all are highly recommended. To the north of the city visit the coastal town of Redcliffe, with 22 kilometres of soft sandy beaches, spectacular views across Moreton Bay and mouth-watering seafood restaurants, was my favourite place to choll out. There is a fantastic water lagoon and play park to spend a day relaxing by the sea but with a pool atmosphere – take advantage of the free BBQs all around. From Redcliffe you can take a boat trip over to the unique wilderness of Moreton Island where you can see dolphins, go snorkelling and even camp out.
A trip to Australia Zoo, home of the late Steve Irwin is a fantastic day out. Watch the crocodile show, feed to kangaroos, cuddle a koala and much more. You get to see Steve Irwin’s legacy live on through his wife and children there. Close to Australia Zoo are the Glass House Mountains, a lovely drive takes you to the towns of Montville & Maleny , these were two charming, historic towns, very arty and lots of unique shops and gallaries, a jot to explore.
About an hour further north is the beach town of Noosa, one of the most popular places in Australia with its beautiful beaches, lush green hinterland, stunning coastal national park, pristine river, cosmopolitan lifestyle and lively calendar of events it’s a great place to spend a couple of days. We didn’t do this the first time round and wished we had.
To the south of Brisbane you can visit the Gold Coast, famous for its surf beaches this is a much more commercialized and lively area. We visited Sea World and spent some time on the beaches. We also took a trip over the border to New South Wales, and a little further south is the lovely Byron Bay.
During our first trip will also flew up to Cairns for a long weekend. Cairns is a much smaller city with everything close to hand. A lovely seafront to walk along with lots of activities taking place and some lovely seafront restaurants to enjoy a mojito or two. We also spent 2 nights in Port Douglas – fantastic. We took a catamaran trip out to the Great Barrier Reef and chose one that was suitable for our son who was nearly 2. Would highly recommend a walk round the farmers market on a Sunday.
We did so much over our 5 weeks there, on 2 visits I am sure I have missed other fantastic places – can’t wait to go back soon!!