Having finished our first month in Australia I thought it was time for a little update. We have been able to explore a bit of the Brisbane CBD and some outlying areas.

One of only three bridges in the world that allow you to climb to the top. Very cool.
One of only three bridges in the world that allow you to climb to the top. Very cool.

In addition to Auckland and Sydney, Brisbane has one of the three bridges in the world which you can climb to the top of. We were fortunate enough to have a very small group for our tour. Karen, myself and our awesome guide Paris.

A photo of the group in front of us at the halfway point on the bridge.
A photo of the group in front of us at the halfway point on the bridge.

If you are ever in Brisbane and thinking of this tour make sure you go to the website of the company as major savings can be scored there. As well, they now give you a free copy of all the photos taken on the tour. A pretty good deal, as no one is allowed to take cameras, or anything else up on the bridge. In fact, if you are doing an afternoon tour make sure you skip the beer with lunch as you have to blow into a breathalyser before the tour. The operators give an outstanding tour with tons of information, but they take their access to the bridge very seriously.

We were so fortunate to be the only two on our climb of the Story Bridge. The views were amazing.
We were so fortunate to be the only two on our climb of the Story Bridge. The views were amazing.

In addition to the amazing views I had the questionable distinction of being the first customer to actually be hit by the resident crow that has a nest on the bridge. We were warned before we headed up of the crow and that it would do some flybys and squawk at us. However it must have been our small group because it chose me to actually push with it’s feet and hit in the head with it’s wings. It made for a very memorable trip. I highly recommend it.

Our train arriving at the station to take us into the CBD of Brisbane.
Our train arriving at the station to take us into the CBD of Brisbane.

One of the things that makes exploring Brisbane and area so easy is the public transit system. We have had an opportunity to use the buses, trains, and boats with absolutely no problems. I would suggest getting a GO Card at any station which allows you to simply swipe on and swipe off any part of the system and your balance is constantly updated and relayed to you. The $10AUS for the card is even refundable when you are done with it and want to get any balance left on the card paid back to you. Love it.

Looking south, down the east coast of Straddie. Bit of a grey day, but great for walking.
Looking south, down the east coast of Straddie. Bit of a grey day, but great for walking.

Karen and I utilized the transit system to head to North Stradbroke Island, “Straddie” to the locals. Though the day was a bit dreary looking it ended up being perfect for walking around the island. The ferry out to the island and the bus on the island are not part of the Brisbane transit system, but they are worth the money they cost. The passenger ferry is fast and the bus on the island is a carnival ride all it’s own. The drivers were very skilled and I’m pretty sure they would do very well playing “Forza” on Xbox, the way they handled the curves on the island roads. To be fair, I never felt scared, just entertained.

A view of the popular Cylinder Beach on the north end of North Stradbroke Island.
A view of the popular Cylinder Beach on the north end of North Stradbroke Island.

We were able to see some whales in the distance from the island and some dolphins swimming closer to shore. As well the time spent on Cylinder Beach was enough to help me understand why this is such a popular destination for locals.

So lucky to be able to run a race with my good friend Bryce while in the Manly, Queensland area.
So lucky to be able to run a race with my good friend Bryce while in the Manly, Queensland area.

Another activity I managed to take in was a 10km road race being hosted in the town where we were house sitting in Manly. A fellow expat and good friend, Bryce, joined me for a fun race up the shoreline with beautiful views the entire way. It is a wonderful way to integrate with locals with similar interests.

The crowds starting to appear for the Halloween street party hosted by the Town of Manly. Brilliant idea.
The crowds starting to appear for the Halloween street party hosted by the Town of Manly. Brilliant idea.

Another great event we were able to take part in was the Manly Town Halloween party. It is advertised as the biggest halloween party in Australia and from what we saw it certainly was well attended. The streets started filling at noon and were pretty well packed until 9:00 when the fireworks over the harbour signalled the end of the festivities.

All sorts of local clubs were in evidence sharing their love of a variety of activities.
All sorts of local clubs were in evidence sharing their love of a variety of activities.

In addition to the fencing club there were remote controlled sailboats, standup paddleboard and Dragon boat demos to entertain. As well as rides and enough carnival food to satisfy anyone. It was wonderful to see a community based event so well attended with so many families and costumes.

The locals gathering for the fireworks display near the end of the evening on Halloween night.
The locals gathering for the fireworks display near the end of the evening on Halloween night.

We certainly enjoyed our time house sitting in Wynnum/Manly and are looking forward to our next gig in Griffin. We will miss Bentley and his wonderful personality.

Trying to do some reading but someone wants to play.
Trying to do some reading but someone wants to play.

And I would be lying if I said I was not going to miss this view every morning as I got out of bed.

We will miss this gorgeous view every morning from our bedroom in Wynnum.
We will miss this gorgeous view every morning from our bedroom in Wynnum.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

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