Australia – Brisbane
Brisbane is the fastest growing city in Australia and the country’s new gateway to Asia. It’s semi-isolation from the rest of Australia and development around the Brisbane river with periodic flooding has allowed for some unique architecture while maintaining an overall Australian feel. I learned some of this from the leisurely free walking tour starting at the Regent Building, through the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, then Queensland University of Technology, ending at the “P” building which featured a large wall of interactive touch displays. Afterwards, I stopped by the Parliament building and got a personal tour (it was a poorly advertised so nobody showed up) of the facilities and learned of Brisbane’s unicameral system. I found a much more popular tour at Brisbane City Hall’s Clock Tower which also included a city history museum. As sunset approached, I decided to catch it from the free ferry and see the climbable rock wall and Story Bridge from a different perspective, eventually ending up at the Sydney Street stop to explore a random neighborhood.
The biggest perk as a solo traveler is when there is only one seat, spot or ticket left for a tour, on a bus, or anything that’s popular but has a quota. Sometimes, you can skip a lot of people in line because there is one spot left but there are 100 people all in groups of at least two and nobody wants to break up.