Nia Haf Photography

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My First Few Days Down Under

What were my first impressions of Brisbane?

  • Other than hot and humid? (31°c today with 75%+ humidity)
  • It’s really quite quiet here, especially seeing as I’m staying about a 15 minute walk from the CBD. For example, its six thirty at night and the chirping of what I assume to be crickets (I hope its crickets) is louder than the sound of distant traffic.
  • Its clean. There aren’t gutter fulls of rubbish like you see in some cities. Even when driving in on the main roads from the airport, there was a distinct cleanliness about the streets.
  • The people are friendly. Never short of a g’morning or a nod and when you actually get chatting its like they’ve known you for a while.

What’ve I been up to?

  • Not allot. The journey knocked me for six a bit. In about 30 hours worth of travel I spent about 5 hours in and out of a sweaty, uncomfortable and restless sleep.
  • I have managed to sort out a few of the important bits. My Australian bank account for starters (I’ll do a blog on all those boring preparation bits once I know if what I’ve done actually goes smoothly- otherwise I’ll blog on what not to do!)
  • Yesterday I discovered South Bank’s Streets Beach; This really cool manmade beach pool is right on the river with the bizarre but magnificent backdrop of Brisbane’s skyscrapers, just a stones throw away. The whole idea of the Streets Beach area totally encompasses this notion that the Australian’s have a much better work/life balance than the rest of us.

Where am I staying?

  • In a hostel in West End is the short answer.
  • The area seems great, theres a whole street of shops just 5 minutes up the road. I can walk to Streets Beach in 10 minutes and like I said, its pretty quiet.
  • The hostel’s greatness is questionable. I’ve had years of friends telling me I’m ‘so tight’ and now I’m starting to wonder if they have a point. I booked the cheapest hostel I could find in Brisbane, quite possibly the cheapest hostel in Australia so perhaps I should have expected to have to use my imagination a little whilst here, you know for things like a blind over the window, a clean mattress or a pube-less sink. It’ll do for now though! And I have been assured by some well travelled fellow hostellers that it gets (much) better than this place!

How am I feeling in general?

  • Other than hot and sweaty?
  • I have just about got over the whole jet-lag-what-day-is-it-where-am-I-now flying thing and am still feeling just as excited (if not more so in fact) as I was in the UK about the prospect of spending the next few months here.
  • My pasty white legs have made a public appearance for the first time since 1996 and it was quite a liberating experience! I might even return to the UK a pleasant shade of magnolia as opposed to my current brilliant white!
brisbane selfie


  1. Tim Collier

    Hey good blog, like the way you’ve laid it out, easy to read. Hostel does look a little grim!!

  2. niahaf

    Thanks! I was struggling with the layout a bit and when I scribbled down some notes for it I did it in Q&A format to help out, then I quite liked that for the finished product!


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