I love writing, taking photos, travelling and enjoying life. I have a BA of Adult and Vocational Teaching and a Master of Arts (Writing). My business card says Writer, Traveller, Camera Addict, and Bamboo Fan www.dihill.com.au
Published June 4th 2015
Play tourist and learn more about your own city
Do you know your own city? Really? Recently on a family visit to Mt Coot-tha some of family members commented that they had never been there, or had not for a long time. As I often have overseas visitors, I have become more familiar with my own city more than others, but there is a fun way to learn more about your own city – or indeed any other major city that you visit. Of course you can always find your own way to our special sights, but I like the Hop On Hop Off Bus.
In Brisbane, the Brisbane Explorer a red double decker bus, is the local Hop on Hop Off bus, and is a great way to revisit your own city! These Hop on Hop Off Bus tours are what I choose to do when I visit another city – it is an inexpensive way to see the city and learn the history. Most provide a flyer with information, and there will be commentary and sometimes earphones to hook into the system and hear the stories.
There are two options – a 24 hour ticket or a 48 hour ticket. When I am in a new city I usually buy a ticket which lasts for 24 hours on one of these Hop on Hop Off tour buses, so I generally choose to start my journey early in the afternoon – soon after 1 pm, which means I can travel around until the evening, making sure that I am returned close to where I am staying (or where I need to be) when I am ready to finish.
Early in the morning I will be up to start the rest of my journey, usually around 9 am, and will be waiting at one of their stops. When exploring your own city – it is best to start as early as possible, around 9 am, unless of course you are prepared for a two day jaunt.
One can stay on board for the whole tour the first time round and learn about the special stops and choose which ones you wish to visit for a longer period, or where to stop for lunch or coffee perhaps.
Usually 24 hours is not long enough to explore every stop in detail, so doing a "reccy" first is helpful. With good traffic, the full bus route is completed in 45 minutes, so it gives you time to decide what places are of special interest to you.
Most travellers on the bus will be overseas or interstate visitors, so often you get to have a quick chat with interesting folk who are probably seeing your city for the first time.
When you live in a city, one might think they know all they need to know, but it is fascinating to hear history that perhaps otherwise, you would not learn.
It is a good fun activity to do with a friend or take your children, especially the older ones. It could be a difficult challenge with littlies.
Most major cities around the world have these Hop On Hop Off bus tours, and it is certainly a good way to get your bearings and learn about a city you are visiting.
Brisbane from Mt Coot-tha
The bus stops around Brisbane include, Post Office Square, City Hall (has a brilliant museum inside), Treasury Casino Hotel, The Old Windmill in Wickham Terrace, the Regatta Hotel on the stunning Brisbane River, the Cultural Centre and South Bank Parklands, the Maritime Museum, Chinatown, and the City Lookout to get a wonderful view over the city.
Of course you don't have to go on one of these tours. You can create your own tour. Drive your car or ride your bike to see the many places of interest in Brisbane. Here is a list of 100 things to do in Brisbane. Click here.
Don't forget to take some sunscreen, wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and take a bottle of water and your camera too!