Horizon at Sandy Point

Monday, February 13, 2012

Where we stayed in Oz

The bed and breakfast cottage on Vulture Street in Brisbane sits in an old residential area. The house is about 100 years old. The wooden stilts raise it high enough to fit future rooms on a ground floor. The entire structure is wood with galvanised roof, and ceilings at least 12 feet high. Angled galvanised awnings hang over the high sash windows. The front staircase leads to a shady porch from which french doors open into a large room. Through the formal front door you enter a central hallway which runs the length of the house. Efficient guest bathrooms are modern additions. At the back of the house, the kitchen opens to the dining room and a partially shaded back porch.
Entry to Vulture Street B&B

Wooden dining deck at the back

B&B dining room with kitchen 

This Australian cottage is surprisingly similar to the Ajoupa Pottery house that was recently added to the list of Trinidad and Tobago heritage houses. Home to Rory and Bunty O'Connor, the Ajoupa house was built about 140 years ago. It was constructed entirely in wood under a galvanised roof. The ground floor was enclosed during the O'Connor's tenure. At the end of 2011, Ajoupa was certified and registered as a small house of significance to Trinidad and Tobago's natural and architectural heritage.

The "beach house" outside Noosa is a complex of 30 efficiency (self-contained with full kitchen facilities) apartments surrounded by tropical gardens that might be anywhere in Trinidad or Tobago or Florida. Across the road, a walkway leads to the middle of Sunrise Beach which runs into Sunshine Beach at the base of the outcrop that comprises the Noosa Heads national park. The Sunshine Coast includes other fine bathing, surfing or rocky beaches that wrap around the district called Noosa - thought to have derived from aboriginal words meaning shady.
Pool and tennis courts at Beach Breakers, Noosa

Tropical gardens

Walkway to the beach shaded by tropical pines

For the more sophisticated vacation, Brisbane's many attractions include the cultural centre (performing arts centre, museum, library and modern art galleries) and the Southbank run of parks, piazza, running and cycling paths. With limited real estate, the only way is up, and Brisbane's centre is a shining city of very tall buildings and interlocking roads, bypasses, bridges and malls. In the middle, the botanic gardens on a bend in the river is an oasis. Plant beds bordering the Southbank are now bearing seasonings  - basil, mint,  rosemary and peppers - that were put in since the 2011 flood. The Mayor has declared the intention to make Brisbane a garden city through private and public effort, and with sustainable gardens.

Art feature in the Brisbane Botanic Gardens

Shining towers of Brisbane city framed by the botanic gardens
A convenient self-service apartment in the heart of Brisbane 

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