Shelbi Poehlein is a student at Transylvania University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Townsville, Australia.
Of course, getting the opportunity to study abroad in Australia is a vacation in and of itself, but that doesn’t mean that a few mid-semester weekend getaways aren’t obligatory. Brisbane was added to the list of much-needed “Uni” breaks, so of course last minute flights were booked for a trip to Brissie when a couple of friends and myself found out that the Pride festival would also be taking place in the city! We spent the entire weekend in the center of the city and in South Bank. We didn’t make it very far geographically, but the city had too much to offer and such vastly different options all conveniently close to each other to justify traveling too far from the commotion! Saying that the trip was well-worth our time would be an understatement to say the least. The trip, while short-lived, was filled with unending laughter, and memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
The flight into Brisbane, although bumpy and a bit unsettling for the first hour or so, finished with a beautiful view of the clouds and sunlight showering down on the cityscape and surrounding mountains. It left me with butterflies in my stomach and anticipation of the three days to come.
The first night left us in awe of the city of Brisbane and what the nightlife had to offer. We started with a cheap but tasty dinner at ‘Guzman y Gomez’ and then opted for immediate dessert next door at ‘Cowch’ (both in South Bank), followed by a long stroll by the river to get our bearings of the city and where we wanted to explore. This is how we happened onto the Brisbane Festival that, until that point, we were unaware was happening. It was a quaint but very tasteful street parade of sorts, that was full of good music, food, and vibes.
The Pride Festival was held at New Farm Park. It was an absolute day to remember. This was the 4th ever Pride event that I had attended and it was unlike any other. The crowd was beautifully vibrant and outspoken all day. We were met with unlimited smiles and compliments by people of all different backgrounds and lifestyles. It was a very sobering experience to see such love and compassion radiate from such a diverse group of people.
While staying in one of the inner-city hotels, we decided to make dinner and save a bit of money. There was a convenient little grill by the pool area that we utilized, we were able to wine and dine on our hotel room balcony while on a budget. We had a great view overlooking the city streets and were able to relax and enjoy each others company before heading out together that night.
That night, we ventured out into what is known as ‘The Valley’ to get a taste of the nightlife and the three mile return walk was well worth it. We ended up at a little club called ‘The Beat’ for most of the night, but the energy coming from all of the bars and clubs on the strip was absolutely contagious. It is definitely worth exploring one of the nights you are there!
We finished off the weekend with some much needed treats at Chocolateria San Churro (which I would highly recommend). They had plenty of options to choose from; one of which was dairy-free salted caramel honeycomb soft-serve that I myself indulged in. It was the perfect ending to an extremely memorable weekend full of adventure.
I would highly recommend a weekend away in Brisbane. Although the Pride Festival only happens annually, there is so much to choose from on a daily basis, and the weekends are filled with opportunity for fun-filled adventures. It is definitely worth your time if you ever find yourself needing a bit of a break from your studies and/or other obligations!
The world awaits…..discover it!