Day 9 of our Visit to Australia and New Zealand

December 18th, 2011

Our first full day in Brisbane


morning view
Early morning relaxation in our apartment. I think we all got up before 6:30am. We all went to sleep extra early the night before: PSC were extra tired as we needed to catch up from our interrupted, train sleep the previous night; Steph was jet-lagged having arrived the day before. At the right, is a view of the morning sun from our balcony.
photos by Cathy and Peter   |   to the top of this page    |    to next day's page    |   to site's home page
We set off to see the city. Here is a view of King George Square, just a few blocks from our apartment.
photo by Cathy   |   to the top of this page    |    to next day's page    |   to site's home page

View Larger Map
Here is a map of our travels today. If you have Google Earth, you can open the "View Larger Map" link and trace our steps in 3-D. Do this by looking at the area on the page that says "Walking Directions to Margaret St." There should be a "3D>"button. Select this, then select the button above that indicates "GET DIRECTIONS." This is a fun way to explore Brisbane, but you do need to have Google Earth installed on your computer. Also, the map in the window above has buttons on the upper right corner, that will allow you to change between a Map, a Sat (Satellite), Ter (Terrain) and Earth views. If you do not have Google Earth, you should be able to explore the city using the first 3 maps mentioned.
map by Google   |   to the top of this page    |    to next day's page    |   to site's home page
Within the park were many beautiful flowers. This one is, I believe, a Frangipani, melia (Hawaii) or Plumeria and is used in many of the Pacific Islands for making leis. (see WIki)
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I am not sure what this one is, but will try to figure it out.
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I am not sure what this one is, but will try to figure it out.
photo by Cathy   |   to the top of this page    |    to next day's page    |   to site's home page


These flowers stood out and for good reason: they were painted. Why?
photo by Stephanie   |   to the top of this page    |    to next day's page    |   to site's home page

spider
We saw a large number of golden silk orb-weavers. If you want to learn more about them, here is a link to the Wiki or for more specialized information, see spiderzrule.com; AND, if you are really into spiders or fashion, here is a story about beautiful cape made from older orb silk (fun research here by Peter).
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Here is a picture of a Foxtail Palm with its fruit. This is native to Australia and is also called Wodyetia bifurcata (Wiki). According to the Wiki page, this tree was discovered in "1978, when an Aboriginal man brought it to botanists and the world's attention."
photos by Cathy   |   to the top of this page    |    to next day's page    |   to site's home page
The Roma Street Park is beautifully enhanced by structures such as this waterfall, unique bridges and meandering paths.
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A fun contrast between Steph's skirt and a nearby bush.
photo by Steph   |   to the top of this page    |    to next day's page    |   to site's home page
This bubble was intriguing.
photo by Peter (can you tell?)   |   to the top of this page    |    to next day's page    |   to site's home page


We saw these cute little guys everywhere in Brisbane. Ali has ID them as Australian water dragons - see Wiki for more info.
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Spencer having fun with a topiary caterpillar.
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Here we are having Subway sandwiches on the South shore of the river.
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Brisbane has had terrible floods; the most recent one being just last year. The image above shows how high the water was in the Botanic Garden. Here is a link to several aerial photos of before and after. The flooding was extensive and happened less than a year prior to our visit. We were very impressed with the clean up job that had been done. It was rare that there was any evidence of clean-up still in process. Brisbane is a beautiful city and I expect that the residents are very proud of it.

After the flood of 1974, the Wivenhoe Dam was built primarily for flood mitigation, and it also provides water and power. This dam is embroiled in controversy over the 2011 floods as it reached the 191% level on January 11th and released large quantities of water, possibly making flooding worse. Here are a few links to recent stories including "Qld Government could face massive flood lawsuit" and "Anna Bligh called for review into Wivenhoe Dam operation before Brisbane flood peaked." See also Wiki for dam and flood.
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