Our first port of call in Australia and Aurora lines up to take her overhead gangway into Deck 6.
The passenger terminal is built around smart apartment blocks with river views - bet they just love us big ships coming in!
A great place to head for the Gold Coast.................Surfers Paradise..........................
What a joy to visit Brisbane and to see it looking so well after the recent floods. I could not believe how quickly the down town areas have been put back together - apparently they had so many volunteer workers from all across Australia that they had to send some home! That to me is the Spirit of Australia - let's get it done and move on! No time for sitting back and whinging out here - they just get going.
Brisbane is a city on the move where things are always happening. It was the first time for me to be at the down town berth which is so handy and there are many trendy restaurants and shops in the Terminal and we operate a shuttle bus service into the city centre. Positioned in the middle of Australia's east coast, it's the third largest city in the country and is well on the way to becoming Australian's second largest capital city the next ten years, and good luck to them is what I say!!
Andreas our Ship's Agent is a great Blog fan so we had lots to catch up on and he was keen to get some photos of the Falkland Islands. One passenger gave me a recording of me playing the organ in the Cathedral so he got that as well!
Deputy Captain Andrew Willard was leaving that day so we went ashore for a farewell lunch in a lovely Italian Restaurant nearby and then I went into the City to do some shopping and blogging! All great fun and once everyone was on board it was all on deck for a most fantastic sail out. Aurora had to sail below the bridge and everyone was on tenterhooks as it looked so close to our funnel - but as you have guessed we made it through.
Here is Grahams report on the day...................
Here we are in Brisbane, which the locals also call ‘Bris Vegas’ because the sun shines here more than anywhere in Australia. Their motto is ‘Beautiful one day, perfect the next!’ Sadly of course we are all too well aware of the devastating floods that Queensland and Brisbane have had to cope with. They have good spirit here though and the clean up and rebuilding is well under way and it will not be too long before this great city is fully functional again.
It is the third-largest city in Australia, capital city of Queensland and is becoming one of its most desirable places to live.
The area around Brisbane is what’s popularly known as the ‘Gold Coast’ and it takes its name from the fact that during the latter half of the 19th Century, gold was discovered here. Today the name refers to the long white stretch of beach found here, they are simply wonderful. Acres of gorgeous white sand beaches patched against an almost cloudless powder blue sky, this is what you would call a perfect situation.
Surfers flock from all over to try their luck in the waves of surfers paradise; this region that is at the very southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef.
With the perfect year round climate, great beaches and some perfect places to build perhaps your perfect home you can soon see why so many people are choosing to emigrate to this particular part of the world.
On my jaunt down the river on our Gold Coast Cruise tour it was amazing to see the amount of development that has gone on since I was last here in 2008. Now huge skyscrapers soar into the sky offering their residents outstanding views and a quality of life that many would desire.
One building that has become somewhat of an icon here is the Q1 building that is one of the world’s tallest residential towers. Here on the 77th floor is Australia’s only beach side observation deck. From here 755ft up some of our passengers would have enjoyed spectacular views out across the Gold Coast.
Of course all of this does not come cheaply, homes here now fronting the river can realise many millions of Australian dollars.
We heard of one home which has an underground garage to house 12 cars and is also equipped with a turntable so that the owner does not have to bother to reverse out of his space.
Other home owners buy an established property for several millions and then immediately knock it down, then start to build their own dream palace. There is clear evidence here that the Australian economy has weathered the worst of the world wide recession better that most.
If you just fancy stopping here in a good hotel for a short stay then perhaps the Palazzo Versace would suit your taste.
Bordering the waterline this hotel offers the best of facilities and some of our passengers were able to enjoy the ambiance of the hotel during their visit for high tea on a different tour. That is one I have not been to yet and features high on my list of best places to enjoy a tea.
There are of course extensive marinas here where you can secure your floating status symbol whilst visiting the area.
Many of our passengers remarked how they thought the views to the buildings from the water side resembled a more modern version of downtown Manhattan, well maybe but for sure there is only one Manhattan and that is unique too.
The shopping and eateries here are exciting and up to the mark offering all the expectations of the modern Queenslander. Almost at every corner one could expect to see stars from some TV soap opera.
For many of our passengers this was a first time visit to Brisbane and they certainly came away with the feeling that ‘if I win the lottery then this is where I would come too’.
Brendan Coory from the Gold Coast who is a great fan of P&O Cruises and is in the Cruise Travel Business pictured here with Lesley.
Great architecture - one of the older Hotels in the City Centre.
Lots of shopping.............
See how good the City is looking after the floods.
The best Department Store in Town........
Back at the wharf - this is not red brick but a cladding to look like red brick.
Our Agent Andreas enjoys his Tagliatelle........! Thanks for a great lunch!
I enjoyed the House Speciality - fabulous................
Passengers enjoy the iconic aft end decks of Aurora - perfect for the perfect sail away.
We made it through the Bridge - just. A fond farewell from all the locals who watched as Aurora sailed away into the sunset.
I hope you enjoyed our visit to Brisbane Australia - next stop Sydney!
- Hello - Ralph and Graham on Aurora send greetings to Shelia, Julia and Bob in Liverpool.
- Hello - to Shelia B up there in in Longridge and thank you for your email which I received - it is so good to know this blog is brightening up your dull damp days! I have passed on your message to John and Debbie. Maybe one day I will get to play the Willis Organ!! Best wishes from Team Aurora.
I was on the doors at the Captain's Welcome Parties last evening and it was great to meet many people whom I have sailed with before - including Brian and Elaine S who wished to be remembered to Eileen R - as do I! Also Kay and Harry from Melbourne who so enjoy being on a British Ship. We have all sailed together on Arcadia on these Grand Voyages and Round World Cruises.
Today we were in Milford Sound - we had a beautiful scenic day cruising though the Fjords in Southern New Zealand - you will believe it when you see it - on this blog! Stay tuned!
Bye for now,