Sydney and Brisbane

A few thoughts from my recent trip to Sydney. It was interesting to visit the Sydney CBD for the first time in 7 or so years. Sydney provides an eye opening experience for a simple country boy from Brisbane.


Brisbane has changed over recent years:

  • Head offices in Brisbane for a wide range of businesses – perception of a lot of engineering related business in Brisbane and South East Queensland
  • Global connections to overseas affiliates
  • growth in population and traffic
  • CBD being redeveloped and repopulated

So Brisbane is becoming a grown up city with an international outlook, contradicted a little by the 1960’s attitudes of local and state government to public transport vs private, and infrastructure decisions generally… But the city and South East Queensland have changed significantly.


It is huge, vast by comparison to Brisbane. I had forgotten the difference in scale.

I finally get the shopping in a big city thing, if I had room in my luggage, I would have come back with a couple of suits and a bunch of clothes, shoes etc. I hadn’t planned a post exam shopping trip, so I had to settle for a nice watch and couple of  books.  Almost came back with an antique book about travelling with General Gordon to Khartoum.

The older areas of the city are big on refurbished pubs, small restaurants and cafes, something Brisbane hasn’t managed as effectively with the Valley area – which remains largely a mix of seedy and run down and false starts at rejuvenation. The service in the few I had time to try was friendly and helpful.

The Travelodge at Wentworth ave is a good deal for the budget traveler. They provide a filling buffet breakfast for about $18, and you can forage for, microwave or order in your dinner. The rooms are small and neat. If you just need a room and breakfast, it should be on your shortlist. When I did my research I did see cheaper options, but I am glad I picked the Travelodge.

I have mixed feelings about the airport to hotel transfer service – the inbound trip was great, timely, safe and professional. The return trip was a different experience, a dangerous driver, imbued with spirit of Fangio (or Schumacher to give a more modern reference) but lacking the skill to go with it. Poor communication resulted in most of the passengers getting out at the wrong terminal, but glad to be out!