Raining one day, Flooding the next
Queensland’s Sub Tropical paradise has two seasons, storm season and winter. A singlet is worn in the humid storm season and a tshirt in winter. If the singlet is being washed and it is hot, then it is acceptable to wear no shirt at all and a pair of Queensland mowing shoes (bare feet). That’s the dress code dealt with. The huge population growth of recent years was due to the price drop and availability of domestic air conditioning. This opened the doors to large numbers of interstate migrants from the south who had not previoulsy been able to cope with the humidity. After cashing in their Sydney/Melbourne property, they could head north and be very comfortable staying indoors throughout the storm season. New arrivals just had to get used to the idea that wooden houses on stilts, that anywhere else would be a shed, constitutes a very desirable residence. This population movement has stopped now Brisbane is as expensive as everywhere else.
The Brisbane River is headed by the massive Wivenhoe dam and runs through the city, out to Moreton Bay. In early 2011, due to more rain than usual, the local water authority had to release so much water from the Wivenhoe dam that it flooded the city. This highlighted the silliness of building on flood plains.
Brisbane’s claim to fame is the 1982 commonwealth games, 1988 World Expo and that fact that Brisbane is the largest local council in the country, exciting stuff.
The site of the 1988 Expo is now the tourist trap, Southbank. It has a “city beach’ which is a very sensible place to swim as the river, twenty metres away is full of aggressive bull sharks who are at ease in fresh water, especially around people. There is one of Australia’s best museums there, the museum of modern art (MOMA) it is magnificent and very popular with visitors but not with the locals, who prefer the casino pokies, a complete waste of a stunning building.
What was once a country town, is now a moderately large city and Brisbane has celebrated this with a multitude of building and roadworks that often grinds the city to a halt, slowing traffic down to Sydney speeds. With so many people arriving to live in Brisbane, the born and bred queenslanders are not happy, so if you didn’t attend the same school as your neighbour before all the “mexicans” started arriving, don’t expect a BBQ invite for at least sixteen years.
The sun definitely shines between the rainfall and the temperature is always too warm. The sweat stains and odours of armpits on any crowded, air conditionless commuter train will confirm that a sub tropical climate, is a heavy sweating climate. Don’t forget to take water.