Our stay in Australia was wayyyy too short. We spent a day in Brisbane and a day in Perth on our way to Thailand, and it just made us want to come back.
In Brisbane we quickly hopped on a bus to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. It was there that I joined the ranks of Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, and One Direction and held a koala bear.
(It’s no big deal, guys.)
That was a bucket-list item to cross off my Australia list. The pictures are a little misleading, as most pictures are.. The koalas are not really very snuggly at all. I mean they do cling to you with their painfully pointy claws, but all I could wonder while I was holding it was whether or not it was going to put a hole in my shirt. And you get to hold it for about 3 seconds – just long enough to have your picture taken so it can be sold back to you for way more money than any memory should really cost. Regardless, they are adorable. Even if all they do is sleep all day.
The sanctary had a bunch of other animals as well, like bats, kangaroos, and what I think was an emu(?) We got to feed and pet the kangaroos and they were pretty adorable too. Especially the mamas with little baby joeys inside.
The other highlight of our day in Brisbane was eating naan and chicken tikka masala (I know, we’re so white bread) at the Gandhi Curry House. It is now the gold standard that we hold all of our Indian takeout to.
We arrived in Perth late that night and this was where things got weird. We went right to bed and woke up around 8 or 9am and set off to explore the city. It was eerily quiet and it seemed like every shop we passed was closed. We decided to take a bus to Fremantle, what I read was a quirky, artsy little town.. and when we showed up it was also dead. We walked for blocks and blocks and everything was closed. Finally we found a little festival going on – a chili pepper festival. We didn’t even see any open restaurants, so we got in line and shelled out $70 for two tickets to enter the festival (Again, I know. 70 bones? For a chili pepper festival? What were we thinking?!). Inside the gates we found a whole lot of chili-flavored alcohol, a couple of booths with some salsa and broken chips to sample, and a handful of other booths selling food. We don’t drink, we were getting hungry for lunch, and we were feeling pretty disappointed in ourselves for being duped into dropping $70 on a chili pepper festival, of all things – and not even getting a meal out of it. We cut our losses after 20 minutes or so and ended up inside a Burger King for some free wifi to lift our spirits.
It was inside Burger King that we learned our iPhones were still set to Auckland time, a 4 hour difference. Slowly everything started making sense.. We had left our hotel around 5am that morning, and were walking the streets of Fremantle by 7. I thought back on all of my comments about the city being a bust earlier that morning and started feeling like a real idiot.
Eventually we forgave ourselves and left the comforts of Burger King to give Fremantle another chance (now that it was actually awake). What we found was a pretty adorable, quirky, artsy town. We shared a delicious pumpkin hash on toast with bacon from Moore & Moore Cafe, peeked our heads into a few used books stores & took a walk along the water.
Eventually we headed back to the city and explored King’s Park. It’s a super well-manicured park that sits on a hill above the water, looking out over the city. It was packed with hundreds of people – having picnics, reading books, playing games.. It was actually pretty awesome. I see so many parks around home that are barely used, so it was cool to see people really taking advantage of it.
The rest of the day is now a blur.. though I do remember walking around Leederville and stopping at the Chocolateria San Churro. Oh my goodness. This picture doesn’t really do it justice.. we split a chocolate banana sundae with mini churros and a macaron ice cream sandwich with white chocolate dipping sauce. Holy cow. It was SO good! I hope this place expands to the USA sometime in the near future. Or we will just have to go back to Australia. Either way.. you and I will meet again, macaron ice cream sandwich.