I stayed in Brisbane for the four days before I flew back home. I stayed right in the city centre in Palace Backpackers, which used to be the headquarters of the Salvation Army. I found it quite ironic that the old headquarters of an organisation that promoted temperance now had a bar in the basement. It was a "backpacker" style bar too, with drink promotions every night and frequent happy hours. The rooms were quite good, if a little small, and singles and doubles were available. They also had satellite television, though it was broken for the first couple of days after a particularly violent storm.
Brisbane isn't on the coast. It's a river city and the imaginatively named River Brisbane runs right through the centre. Moreton Bay isn't far away and there are a number of good dive spots around North Stradbroke Island and Moreton Island. I decided to go diving with Pro Dive Milton, because someone in Bali had recommended them to me.
The price for a day's diving was A$120. I had to get up at about 6am and get the train out to Milton. It was only a couple of stops and I came out of the station opposite the Castlemaine Perkins brewery. They do tours with free beer there, but unfortunately only during the first half of the week. I was in Brisbane from Thursday onwards.
So after checking in at the dive shop, we were driven north to the coast. It took about an hour to get to the marina and we boarded the boat. It was quite a nice boat, with plenty of space, and we quickly sorted out the kit and got stuck into slices of cake. As we started out, it was quite rough. The wind was freshening and after about half an hour we turned around and went back to port. It was disappointing, but these things happen. That night on the evening news, there was a story about two yachts having to be towed in with snapped masts, so I think it was the right decision. From what I saw of Pro Dive Milton, I'd recommend them. Their phone no is (07) 3368 3766.
Other than that, I didn't get up to that much in Brisbane. The backpackers had a roof garden, so you could catch a few rays. The city centre was quite near and there were quite a few shops, though not a huge amount.Back to Oz Index