Today we headed down to Brisbane to get our visa for Thailand processed and to have a bit of fun on the South Bank. Brisbane is about an hour and a half drive from where we are on the Sunshine Coast. If you’ve got a little more time, Expedia has some Brisbane packages that aren’t badly priced and it’s a nice enough city to spend a few days in.
We have a shockingly old GPS here which took us on a roundabout route into town and annoyingly through a toll road. The whole trip took us almost seven hours and probably cost us around A$20 in gas (we’ve got a really economical car and gas isn’t expensive here).
Getting a Visa for Thailand in Brisbane
Getting a visa for Thailand in Brisbane was pretty straight forward. We downloaded and completed our forms at home and had our two passport photos. We showed up at the Thai Consulate which was just two little ladies and a very angry little dog in big old house in a rundown neighbourhood. Issuing the visa was done in about five minutes, the ladies stamped them into our passport then and there. We were expecting to have them posted back so were pleasantly surprised. The visa cost A$45 for each of us which got us a 60-day single entry tourist visa. They only accept cash, not credit cards, so we had to do a little mission to the nearest mini-mart for some money.
An Afternoon on Brisbane’s South Bank
Brisbane is split down the middle by a river – the Brisbane river, surprise, surprise. On the North side is a quite unattractive CBD and, directly opposite, is the lovely South Bank. The South Bank is home to the Performing Arts Centre, State Library, Queensland Museum and Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. A little further along are some lovely gardens, a playground, an artificial beach and, Reuben’s favourite, an interactive water fountain playground.
The Museum was great. Lots of interesting stuff for little kids to look at and some interactive exhibits including a dinosaur nest complete with dinosaur eggs and strap on tails. Upstairs were every kind of Australian creature and creepy crawlie – most of them stuffed and mounted but a few alive and crawling. We ate our lunch downstairs in the outdoor Playasaurus Place. (We’d packed a lunch as we’ve been to the South Bank before and found the eating options were expensive and bland.)
The Gallery of Modern Art was a let down. Their childrens exhibit was closed for the week but the Museum attendant suggested the Kids’ Corner over at the State Library. The Kid’s Corner was a comfy little area for reading, crafts and play. It was a bit beyond our not-quite-two-year old – he’s not up to pasting and drawing yet but he enjoyed rolling a gluestick around the floor for a little while while Lee used the free wifi.
We love the artificial beach and water fountain area! We’ve been before and it wasn’t even better this time as Reuben can now wade and swim a bit. I had brought his swimming togs but Reuben was far too excited to wait – I barely managed to get his pants off! The fountains are fantastic. The water is shallow but quite cold. We only lasted about 20 minutes before Reuben started turning blue and he was not happy about leaving!