I was in Brisbane briefly for my cousins wedding and I was staying with another cousin in the Gold Coast. He had a lovely house on a canal area with a swimming pool and jetty onto the river. Me and my girlfriend at the time arrived just before the wedding and drove down to where the ceremony was with my parents.
It was quite a beautiful beach club type place and they had booked it all out, intending to have the wedding on the beach but unfortunately heavy winds meant they had to move it slightly inland to a more a protected grass area. All in all though it was a lovely wedding and went down without any more problems.
Following the wedding we stayed in Brisbane a few days and I met up with a few old friends. Brisbane has an amazing bicycle path and infrastructure which I wasn’t lucky enough to make use of this time but hope to in the future. We did catch the ferry boat however which is a great way to see the river and get a good idea of the structure of the city.
A few days after the wedding I went surfing with my Australian friend Ashley whom I had met in London and we explored a few of the beaches around the Miami part of the Gold Coast and further down the bay. We also went up Q1, the highest building in Australia, had breakfast and got some amazing photos.
In the second week we went out on a friends yacht into the lagoon where we watched speed boat racing, had dinner and spent the night. I also met up with Ashley and we went to an insane punk rock gig in Goldie which was hilarious, I got raucously drunk and don’t remember much but woke up the next day on Ashley’s sofa.
Then we went to explore the beautiful forests and mountains that are inland from the beach, and have a number of waterfalls and panoramic views across the coast. On our last day we travelled down to Byron Bay which is a very cool hippy town on a beautiful piece of coastline south of the Gold Coast.
After Brisbane I flew down to Sydney to spend a weekend there with my girlfriend, who’s friend Anabelle had been kind enough to let us crash at her place. On the first day we explored the city centre, the Opera house and walked over Syndey Harbour Bridge. Towards evening we went to a bar and had two beers and then for no reason they wouldn’t serve me anymore. It was very strange but we brushed it off and moved onto the next bar. Bizarrely in the next bar, after one beer they asked me to leave! Apparently they seemed to think I was drunk, although after three beers I couldn’t possibly be – so I can only guess it was my foreign accent? Sydney has very strict drinking laws, it’s illegal to get drunk anywhere… which seems to negate the point of bars?
The following day we went to the Sydney Fish Market which is AMAZING! Pretty much every type of fish you can find, and we had some awesome deep friend soft-shell crap, calamari and various other things – including sushi and very affordable glasses of white wine. There were also some crazy big pelicans hanging about which were actually pretty scary. That evening we went out for dinner with Annabelle and her friends and then tried to go to some bars but once again it was very difficult to get in anywhere or get served. Strange place Sydney.
Day three we walked all the way down to Bondi Beach and then walked along the rocky coastline watching surfers and just chilling out and taking photos. It was kind of winter time though so it wasn’t warm enough to swim or suntan.
Then it was the weekend, and time to head off to PsyFari, an outdoor trance party in the Blue Mountains. Annabelle had some college or something to do in the morning and then picked us up in her car and we drove off on the four hour drive to the venue. We arrived quite late and so go into partying pretty quickly as we only had one night there. We got pretty wasted and I think Annabelle was on my shoulders at some point. We were supposed meet some other friends from London who we had seen earlier in the week but only managed to see them briefly in the morning before we had to head off.