brisbane: a city for sore eyes…
Posted in australia, pia's photos February 25th, 2010 by pia


Believe it or not, my very first trip to Brisbane was just last month. But before you say, “how is that possible, aren’t you Australian?!” The answer is of course yes, but living abroad for many years of my life means that I haven’t actually explored alot of my own homeland. When I was a teenager living in Italy at the time,  people were always a little astounded that I hadn’t been to Uluru, or the Great Barrier Reef, or Darwin, or well, Brisbane. I always said to myself “when I move back, I’m going to travel across Australia!”. When I did move back life took over  – school, university, my shop, cafe and now here I am, living across the other side of the world again. And still without visiting Uluru. But I can now add Brisbane to the list of places I have been to in my home country. Although I was there for less than 24 hours, I got to see a good amount of the city with many thanks to my dear friend and  fab tour guide, Zoë.

PJB_brisbaneriver1brisbane on the river – seen through the reflection of the bow of the citycat

So, here is a little photo essay of the trip we took along the river on the city cat to the powerhouse, in New Farm. Traveling on the river was the best way to be introduced to the city – we got to see all the different bridges, the old, refurbished buildings, and got a good idea of where each area is located…





We hopped off at the powerhouse (which I had  a ball exploring) and had drinks outside on the top deck, while watching the sun set over the city…


above and below: view from inside the powerhouse…



PJB_brisbaneriver6my view after a couple of champagnes! no, I did purposely take off the auto focus for this shot, I promise.

Heading back on the city cat at night was lovely. Seeing the bridges all lit up was rather fantastical, albeit a little kitsch but still, lots of fun…


The next day we had brunch at the Lock ‘n’ Load on Boundary Street, West End. The food was great! As was the setting. Then we wandered up and down Boundary Street where there are heaps of great independent boutiques and bookstores.


I was utterly surprised at how gorgeous this city actually is.  Most Brisbanites I’ve met around the world talk their city down and to be honest, that’s probably why I never made the effort to visit earlier. But it’s beautiful – an urban scape nestled around a huge, winding river lined with old native bushland. I think most Australian’s take the expanse of nature for granted. I must say  I did growing up, and it wasn’t until I lived abroad that I realised no matter how “urbanised” we think our backyards are, nature always rules and that is really, really special…


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  1. Mandy says

    We were just in Brisbane on the weekend, and like you it was my first trip, West End was my favorite place, reminded me of Newtown Sydney.

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  2. Ceils says

    Thanks Pia, for taking me back to my beautiful Brisbane. I lived there for two years but haven’t been back for six. Seeing your photos now makes me realise even more how much I miss my Aussie life. I must make an effort to go back – soon!

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  3. Enia Is (Almost) Here says

    beautiful photos. i completely get re people being surprised that you haven’t seen bits of your country before. i used to get the same re croatia from people i met abroad. that being said, australia is slightly bigger than croatia, so you have me there 😉

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  4. raina kattelson says

    beautiful pictures, just makes me want to go to australia that much more.

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  5. mlle paradis says

    Thanks for this post Pia. I’m afraid I’m suffering a case of Oz envy. I would so love to have a big chunk of time to go over there and explore.

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  6. Sara says

    how gorgeous, i would love to visit someday

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  7. Krista says

    Oh, so wonderful! Thank you for this! 🙂 I will be moving to Brisbane to be with my Oz man later this year. It’s so great to see these photos. 🙂

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  8. lynne says

    looks fabulous!modern and happening.

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  9. a-m says

    Oh I feel so guilty. In my post this morning I ‘talked Brisbane down’ whinging about the weather… oh I am so sick of the oppressive heat and ask myself why do I choose to live in it. Why do Brisbanites talk their city down? I think we hear it from so many southerners we start to believe it. It’s a city that has certainly come of age but thanks to tragic government, our peak hour traffic is now worse than Sydney’s. It’s difficult to live here and move around with the woeful traffic and the useless public transport system…. but in terms of beauty… yes the bushland, the green spaces… the river… I whinge but I still love it. A-M xx

    February 25th, 2010 | #

  10. Tash says

    I loved Brisbane I lived there in ’95, your post reminded me of it.
    My boyfriend at the time was a chef on Boundary Street, can’t remember what the name was. I was a sculptor at the time. I have great memories there.
    I do hope you’ll visit Black and Spiro, the shop of Anna who writes, a blog I follow as well as yours, and she follows yours.
    That would be a fine meeting!


    February 26th, 2010 | #

  11. Eloise says

    I’m a born and bread Brisbanite and I really love my city. Where else can you feel warm and balmy all year round. It also looks quite wonderful at night. I can understand why some might think its a bit small towny but I think it’s the perfect. And its close to the beautiful Gold and Sunshine Coasts. I’m very impressed with your photos, Brisbane tourism should pay you a commission for this post. I’m astounded that you even made the citycat look good. Well done

    February 26th, 2010 | #

  12. Clare says

    Brisbane looks beautiful through through new eyes – isn’t it funny how you fail to truly appreciate the place that you live and you need an outsider’s fresh viewpoint? Brisbane is a very pleasant place to live – especially if you have airconditioning!
    Clare x

    February 26th, 2010 | #

  13. Alicia says

    I think it’s a shame people talk it down. Brisbane is a really great place to live and has really developed in the past few years. Making an effort to find great places to eat and drink will take you a very long way. I think a lot of people feel that it’s not very ‘cool’ to like Brisbane, but like anywhere it has it pros and cons.

    The photos look great, I’m glad you had such a positive experience!

    February 26th, 2010 | #

  14. Julia says

    I LOVE living in BrisVegas! You’ve captured some of my favourite views Pia. Very glad to know you were here and got a chance to see the beauty of the river. Lovely! Hopefully next time you’ll have longer to spend.

    February 26th, 2010 | #

  15. pia says

    Oh it’s so nice to hear from all you lovely brisbane people! and brisbane lovers! See, it’s really not that bad. But A-M, I totally understand the traffic thing. Even being in Sydney again, as I was driving across the bridge on the occassion, I remembered when I was driving in every day at peak hour and how utterly stressful it was. I HATED it. And just generally driving everywhere, i forgot how much driving there is to be done when you live in Australia. So yeah, i can imagine, the traffic sucks.

    Eloise – nice idea! I wouldn’t mind getting paid to take pretty pictures of Brisbane and write them something for Tourism. Yay!

    Tash – I wanted to go! I met Anna a couple of years ago in Paris, and have been wanting to visit her store every since. Unfortunately the 24 hours I was there was not store opening times. But next time I am there longer I will definitely go!


    February 26th, 2010 | #

  16. Lisa says

    The photos you took of Brissie are amazing, its so lovely to see my now home town through the lens of your camera.It is a wonderful place to live filled with creative and vibrant people. It’s true because most of us grew up surrounded by beautiful bush land we do take it for granted! Tomorrow I am going to take my time and go for a walk through this wonderful city of ours. Thanks for the Brisvegas post Lisa x

    February 26th, 2010 | #

  17. Helen says

    As a born and bred Brissie girl, I was a bit scared when I read the title…. I thought oh no please let this be a good post and it was!

    February 26th, 2010 | #

  18. Ros says

    Lovely photos of Brisbane… It is a great place to live!! Less than 2 minutes walk from my house is a beautiful walking/bike path kilometers long, we have huge towering Gum trees, Wattles, Flame Trees, Jacaranda trees.. The smell of Eucalyptus fills the air. We walk or run along the river most afternoons, it’s peaceful, the air is warm, the birds are singing & best of all I live in a big city but all I can see is bushland, the river and just a few houses. Love it!
    Your latest post – photo’s of Lamington National Park are beautiful too.

    February 27th, 2010 | #

  19. Melanie says

    Thank you! Sometimes it takes fresh eyes to see the beauty that’s always been there. Returning home from time in Italy and France, I wondered if I would feel underwhelmed by old Bris, Brisvegas, the city of my birth. But instead it glowed, washed clean and growing greenly with recent rains, and I happily realised it’s a great place to live. Isn’t it funny that I had to fly half way around the world to see it!?

    March 2nd, 2010 | #

  20. ArtShades says

    Hi Pia – I’m so excited, we are making our first trip to Oz (from England) in just a few weeks’ time. We are in Sydney for a few days then fly to Brisbane before picking up an RV to explore the east coast. We’ll be in Brisbane for just one day also, so I’m glad to hear you got a real feel for it in such a short time. I’m going to check out all your Sydney posts next….

    March 2nd, 2010 | #

  21. danielle says

    I’m a proud Brisbanite too and live in West End – the pictures you took are what I’m lucky to see every day and always reminds me at how amazing my city is and to get out and make the most of it before I move somewhere else one day!

    March 7th, 2010 | #

  22. Karen says

    Hello from Bayside Brisbane! Your photos are just stunning!
    Australia is such a huge place – you can be forgiven for not seeing it all yet!
    Cheers, Karen

    March 9th, 2010 | #

  23. Karissa Chase says

    I lived in Brisbane for 10 years and then I moved to the States. You may not like the hot weather but I would take it over this 6 long months of cold New England weather that I get now. Brisbane is a beautiful city and it has everything you could ever want. I’m heading home for a visit after 4 long years and I can’t wait.

    April 22nd, 2010 | #

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