Brisbane Part 2: Healing Greens

MAY 2014…

Brisbane might have a reputation as an art lover’s haven, but it is also a tree lover’s haven. Green spaces in Brisbane are not just your run-of-the-mill park with a few trees and bushes; they are entire destinations on their own.

Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane.

Escape the downtown crowds at Roma Street Parkland.

Unwind your day at Roma Street Parkland
If you live near Roma Street Parkland, lucky you. Covering 16 hectares in downtown Brisbane, Roma Street Parkland is the world’s largest sub-tropical urban garden, complete with boardwalks, fountains and autumn leaves foliage. Walking through this park on the way home every day is the perfect way to unwind.

Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane.
Roma Street Parkland, Brisbane.

Scenic boardwalks and autumn leaves foliage are an instant cure for tired eyes.

Heal your soul at the City Botanic Gardens
For something more rejuvenating, take a walk on one of the city’s many scenic boardwalks. One of them is the City Reach Boardwalk that starts somewhere from the north end of the Story Bridge and continues south along the river. Along the way, you’ll see the Customs House (a beautifully restored heritage building) and numerous waterfront eateries at Eagle Street Pier.

Speaking of Story Bridge, it is the longest cantilever bridge in Australia. And yes, this is the bridge that you can climb a good 80 m above sea level for the quest to be part of the Brisbane skyline. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted or those with a fear of heights (or wind).

Story Bridge as seen from Eagle Street Pier, Brisbane.

A docked boat at Eagle Street Pier with Story Bridge in the background.

The boardwalk leads into the City Botanic Gardens, where strategically-placed benches offer a lookout to the water and the Kangaroo Point Cliffs on the opposite shore.

This was where I spent a couple of afternoons, sandwich in one hand and a good book in the other. Sometimes, I simply sat there and watched the world (namely Brisbane) go by. A further walk on and the Queensland University of Technology materialises on the other end.

City Botanic Gardens, Brisbane.

Easily spend an afternoon at the City Botanic Gardens.

Escape to Mount Coot-tha
If you still feel like the whole world is out to get you, take a day off and escape to Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane’s highest peak. There is a direct bus from downtown Brisbane up to Mount Coot-tha, so it was a breeze to get there. Just make sure to note when the last bus leaves Mount Coot-tha or you might be stranded there.

You could visit the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at the base of Mount Coot-tha or ascend to the summit 287 m above sea level. Up at the lookout point, you can see how the skyscrapers of Brisbane contrast against the surrounding greenery. There is also a lovely café where you can indulge in some alfresco dining while you enjoy the panoramic views of Brisbane.

At the summit of Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane.

Indulge in some alfresco dining at the top of Mount Coot-tha…

Panoramic view of Brisbane from Mount Coot-tha.

And enjoy the panoramic views of Brisbane.

More healing holidays please
My Melbourne and Brisbane trips have since come to characterise the kind of vacations I want. The laid-back pace, scholarly vibe and art-centric attractions let me indulge in my introverted side. While I still crave to visit famous bucket list destinations (read: crowded places), interestingly, it is these relaxing trips that make the deepest impression on me.

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