Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Australia Trip Day04: Bundaberg (En Route to Brisbane)

19 May 2009 (Tue)
Accommodation: Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park (Brisbane)

After having few days of perfect weather, 老天爷 had a mood swing today.
It was very cold and cloudy and windy in the morning.

We had our 1st bread baked with ham n cheese, and leftover fries from yesterday's dinner.
And also tried our 1st 'fine-dining' (upper right corner). =)
I guess anything can look nice when you use the subject to fill the frame.
We then check out the caravan park n drive to the Bargara Beach just right outside the park. Standing by the coast, anyone can foresee that the weather is gonna turn bad soon. The wind is blowing like mad, and the sky is filled with dark rain clouds.
But this doesn't hinder us a bit.
We still go down to the beach to explore despite the cold wind.

是不是很有一种 '凭海观潮,看进退无忧,千古谁能同往复' 的感觉

And take a few cliché jumping shots!
All these photo are taken with my Fujifilm FinePix S5700 on 10sec timer. After trying >10 times, yet still fail to get everyone on the air, I give up. It's a lot easier taking individual jumping shots with someone on the camera.

What you can't do in real-life, you can complete it with photoshop. TADAA! =)
Rain drops start to fall after taking my last jumping shot, and we sprint back to our campervan and drive off to Bundaberg Barrel.

The Bundaberg Barrel is the brewery where you can find the Bundaberg Ginger Beer, one of my favourite drinks. I fall in love with the ginger beer the first time I tried it in 2006 in the X8 慰劳+庆功宴 at Marché. Then when I was researching on where to go in Bundaberg, this brewery came to me as a surprise. I didn't expect it to be situated in Bundaberg. I mean I didn't even know Bundaberg is a place in Queensland, Australia.
Not sure if they will like it, BUT this is a place I die die must go.

At the student price of AUD6, we take the True Brew Experience Tour inside the barrel. There are displays on equipments and tools used in the olden days, ingredient and spices used in the brewing the beer, interactive touch screen games showing us how to brew the beer,and a 3D hologram video of a humanised yeast and a bee.
Pik Wei & Qian Hong having fun 爱演'ing at the Bundaberg Barrel

OMG! Can't stand their evil grin.

The interactive touch-screen games showing us how to brew the ginger beer

After the tour comes the climax, we move to the Sampling Bar and are given a chance to taste all 11 products of the Bundaberg Brewery. There is the Lemon Lime and Bitter, my favourite Ginger Beer, Sarsaparilla (more commonly known to us as Sarsi), Lemon Ale, Apple, Peach and Coke. This is the most satisfying moment... Didn't know there are so many other flavours, and I found another favourite, Lemon Lime and Bitter. It's just... refreshing.
Too bad they don't sell that in Singapore or Malaysia... So we sapu a few packs of 6 bottles back onto our car. =) I'm gonna miss the the Lemon Lime and Bitter...
After the Barrel, it's another 360+km from Bundaberg to Brisbane.
It has been raining for the whole morning, and the wind is still blowing hard.
The fact that there are many crop-carrying trucks on the road makes the journey even harder, especially when they overtake us and 'sprinkle' haze of water droplets onto our windscreen.
It was a ~6-hour journey, and we reached Brisbane in the evening. The drive in the city was hellish on a campervan. IT IS SO HILLY!!! and many of the traffic lights are on the top of the hill! Stopping halfway on the hill waiting for the traffic light to turn green just isn't my cup of tea. Luckily Qian Hong was the one driving. It's only then I realised, 'dun pray pray, this little girl can kick some ass too'. =) It's also then I decided that I'll leave all city route to her. Muahaha!

After checking in the caravan park in Brisbane (Newmarket Gardens Caravan Park), we drive out again, to explore the night life of Brisbane city.
We park the campervan near the St Johns Cathedral at Turbot Street, then walk all the way to the riverside.
Here, we can see the cantilever bridge spanning the Brisbane River, the Story Bridge, nicely illuminated at night. Compared to the many bridges I have seen in Europe, this one wasn't particular fanstastic, but in a small peaceful city like Brisbane, it was just right...
Not too big, not too small, it was just nice and together with the Eagle Street Pier, they fit nicely forming a beautiful riverside.
After the riverside, we walk towards the city center, stopping over a Kebab stall for dinner
Kebabs! reminds me of my exchange days in Lund, Sweden.
We then follow the main street down to Queen Street, one of the city's major streets with shops, hotels, offices and apartment. But at night it was just an empty street with no shop opening.

I wanted to continue to explore the city...
But travelling as a group I need to compromise as some of us are shivering in the cold...
We try to find our way back to the campervan, but somehow got lost, and the GPS died on us.
Haha. tough luck. but I did took a picture of the map at the Tourist Information Centre at Queen St. So we walk around trying to find our way back based on the map on the 2.5" LCD screen on my camera.
Roaming in the city in the drizzle is a new kind of experience but somehow I find it fun.

When we finally found our way, we were like 'What the heck! It was just down the road where we originally were. and we actually took one big round to get back to the campervan.'
Haha. Next time we enter a new city, the first thing we should do is to visit the visitor information centre and get a local map.

What a night in Brisbane...

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