Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

View of Brisbane from Mt. Coot-tha’s summit.

Brisbane, Australia is more snidely nicknamed “Bris-Vegas.”  Given that, we really didn’t expect to like it.

Yet we did like Brisbane – a lot!  Maybe because in many ways, Brisbane felt like “home” —Portland Oregon‘s sub-tropical doppelganger.

Outside Brisbane’s Science Museum.


  1. Brisbane like Portland is a river city.
    Bonus!  For visiting yachties, you can grab a pole mooring in the heart of downtown Brisbane for a pittance
    – $70 AUD/week.  We are kicking ourselves for not tying off there.  We were there for a very short time, and were concerned about riding the current in and finding nothing available.  We found out after we took the train in from Manly* there was plenty of space available, and some room to anchor if not.  Note:  expect river traffic to make the anchorage rolly, so if that’s a big issue for you, consider opting out of this otherwise happening spot.
    Brisbane’s affordable pole moorings, in the heart of the city.

  2. Fantastic free fun, parks and museums (like this one) and free ferries 
    Brisbane’s Streets Beach park.  Fun for all in the heart of the city.  Kinda like Portland’s waterfront park fountains.  Well, not quite!

  3. Wonderfully walkable
    1. terrific trail system  – especially in the Mt. Coot-tha area and along the river waterfront and checking out Streets Beach
    2. glorious gardens – also free
  4. Beautiful bird’s-eye viewpoint (Mt. Coot-tha offers a Portland Rose Garden-like view [sans Mt. Hood])
    Rental bikes, downtown Brisbane Australia.  Look a lot like the orange ones in Portland, OR.

  5. Readily-available affordable rental bikes in the heart of downtown (Lipton-sponsored in Brisbane, Nike in Portland)

We’re fans of mass transit; Brisbane’s is pretty good!  This is the train we took from Manly to downtown Brisbane.

*Most cost-effective way to get to Brisbane from Manly is to take the train.  The helpful ticket agent at the train station advised us to buy a pass.  They will buy it back, so the extra outlay for it is not that big a deal.

Manly, Brisbane Australia — where we docked Journey for two days in November.  Queensland’s lightening storms got our attention.  These dramatic clouds harbored equally dramatic lightening.

We do know Brisbane gets outrageously hot.  Apparently the weather gods were kind on our visit, though the lightening storms, common in the Queensland territory in the summertime, definitely got our attention.

Like Portland, Brisbane’s retained much of its classic architecture, too.

What we’ll remember most about Brisbane is Helene and Steve’s generosity — twice — when we first arrived in Brisbane, and again in putting us up for over a week as we got our stuff together when we were about to leave the country.  They even connected us with a buyer for our Landcruiser, our last big responsibility before leaving Australia.

Of all the cities we visited in Australia Brisbane is is pretty high on our short list of places we’d choose to live.  Given that, there’s a certain sweetness to making Brisbane our last stop before heading to it’s unofficial sister-city in our mind, Portland, Oregon.

Currently staying with Wayne’s folks in Portland OR, on the Columbia River.

Location Location
From 2012 – 2017, we traveled through 30 countries in our small sailboat, logging over 18,000 ocean miles.  We recently sold our boat in Australia.  We are currently in Portland Oregon.  Home will be where we can land living-wage jobs in a place we like.  We’re not yet sure where that will be, though for now, it will be somewhere in the US. 

Portland or Brisbane?  What’s your best guess?

Up Next
In between job hunting and catching up with friends, there will be continued blog posts to fill in some gaps on our travels, improve ease-of-search as well as occasional “re-entry” posts.