Brisbane and Noosa
Stage 4: Brisbane and Noosa
This was meant to be the most relaxing part of our trip ... and it was. Brisbane itself was a pleasant surprise - clean, relaxing, decent restaurants... The quality of life under the Brisbane sun reminded us of San Francisco a little, though Brisbane is not on the coast and therefore has no beaches (actually there is a rather nice artificial beach near the river, in the center of town).
Noosa (a 2 hour drive north of Brisbane) is a quiet residential coastal resort town, popular with older people. It's a lot calmer than the Gold Coast south of Brisbane. Noosa has good restaurants. a beautiful river, beaches, a small national park (the most visited park in Australia?) as well as good access to islands off the coast such as Fraser island, the world's largest sand island (which we didn't visit this time). Noosa National Park is the only place we saw wild koalas. Noosa is also very affordable - we rented a two bedroom, two storey apartment for a week for only about A$50 per night, whereas we had often had to spend well over A$100 per night in most of the hotels that we had stayed at previously. Here's a view of the river at dusk.