The short stay at Christchurch, New Zealand was disappointing as I would have loved to join locals for coffee at a cafe and understand their stories post quake. Despite exploring all night long, I only saw people at the early morning bus to the airport, but everyone was sleepy. A short nap later, I returned to Australia, having bypassed the long and costly journey from Sydney to Gold Coast then Brisbane. After dropping off my bags and gathering information, I crossed the Brisbane river to the Queensland Museum, then the adjacent State Library and Queensland Art Gallery, which featured some of the most interesting art displays I’ve seen. Approaching sunset, I crossed the Victoria bridge to the city center to explore around the area, making a loop from Brisbane Square through Myer Centre, Queens Plaza then Central Station where I headed to Fortitude Valley and set off through Chinatown to cross Story bridge which offered spectacular photo opportunities of the city. On the other side I caught the free ferry service to South Bank, a fancy park complex complete with an artificial pool designed as a beach, Southbank Institute of Technology campus, high end restaurants, open air auditorium, Ferris Wheel, and a Nepalese Pagoda, connected by well decorated pathways.
When a particular path to a target location looks expensive, consider approaching from a different direction via a more popular route, which will likely be cheaper. Better yet, take your savings and make a separate adventure out of this detour.