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Aussie Life

A Tale of Two Cities

Let me tell you a little bit about our new city, Brisbane; I like it. You can hear it in Kath & Kim style “look at moy, look at moy!”  It’s clean shiny with lots of sparkle.  There are plenty of tall glitzy high-rise buildings, the tallest being the Infinity Tower at 262 metres and soon to be outshone by the Skytower (1 William Street) reaching the current maximum height restriction of 274 metres (due to aviation controls.)  Scheduled for completion in 2017, it will house 5000 Queensland public servants (source: https://www.treasury.qld.gov.au).

The inner city is built on a large double-U of the Brisbane River making it easy for the newcomer to lose all sense of direction.  There are tunnels and toll roads and public transport tunnels too.  There are river taxis, a City Cat service and the City Hopper free river taxi.  There are city bicycles to hire.  You can abseil down the cliffs at Kangaroo Point and walk along the river’s many walkways as well as canoeing and jet-skiing.  The South Bank is a great use of open space, offering picnic areas, cafés and restaurants as well as a man-made beach complete with swimming pool.  The South Bank was redeveloped when Brisbane hosted the 1988 World Expo, putting the city firmly on the world map.

Brisbane was settled as a penal colony with its first convict jail in the present-day city built in 1825.  Adelaide on the other hand was a city of free settlers. The Colony’s Surveyor-General, Colonel William Light, stuck the pin in the map for Adelaide in December 1836.

Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city with a population of 2.27 million whilst Adelaide’s sits around 1.69 million (June 2014 ABS).  Brisbane definitely has a feel of a city about it and for the first time since leaving the UK I’ve been reminded of being back there as I experience the increased volume of traffic on the Queensland roads.

We originally emigrated to the ‘driest city in the driest state on the driest continent’; Brisbane has a subtropical climate resulting in more than double Adelaide’s annual rainfall with an average of 1158 millimetres with 261 days of sunshine compared to Adelaide’s 224 days.  While it is currently Summer, Brisbane is in its ‘wet’ season and there is high humidity to acclimatise to – very different conditions to South Australia.

I don’t know if there is a world shortage of cranes at the moment but there is an awful lot dotting the city landscape.  There is construction going one everywhere you look – with an estimated ten thousand apartments about to come on line with thousands at the planning stage, this city will be transformed in a matter of a few years.  I’ll leave you with a few photos.

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7 replies on “A Tale of Two Cities”

What is it said about Queensland, ‘ Beautiful one day, fantastic the next’ or something like that. Brisbane certainly is more lively than Adelaide. So glad you and he who ‘is in charger’ are happy there.

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