One of the best parts of a job like ours is meeting a wide variety of people. A week ago on our City Essentials Tour, we met seasoned traveller and proud Melbournite, Lucy Firman. She is no stranger to a city walking tour, and was (she will agree), a little sceptical of what a former ‘country-city’ like Brisbane had to offer. Lucy has kindly agreed to give a recap of her experience. Enjoy!
Meet Lucy Firman
“Hi! My name is Lucy Firman. Technically I’m from Melbourne, but have lived here, there, and everywhere! I love to travel, and am a bit of an obsessive city walking tour geek when I travel overseas. It’s the best way to get to know a new city, but I never thought I’d go on a walking tour of Brisbane. Partly because I didn’t think they existed, and partly because after walking the streets of Tangier, I didn’t think that Brisbane would hold much mystery or interest for me. No offence to all you proud Queenslanders, but your city hasn’t always been given the reputation it deserves!
But after stumbling across Walk Brisbane’s website, my curiosity was piqued. Why not – I figured? I was probably going to spend three hours wandering around aimlessly on my own anyway, (or binge-watching the latest season of Stranger Things – I’m so behind!), so it seemed like the better choice!
I met our guide, Lee-Anne, in Queen Street Mall along with two couples from America. There was a friendly, intimate feel to the tour from the get go. The first thing Lee-Anne did was ask us what drink we would like from a cafe on the tour – a free drink, ordered in advance, was definitely a first for me.
Stories and Intrigue
I think the highlight of the tour for me were the stories. I had no idea that such a rich history existed here. We listened to grisly details of an unsolved murder – the profits of which may have paved the way for the success of one of Brisbane’s famous families. At City Hall we learnt that the beautiful facade, was designed and carved by female artist, Daphne Mayo, in the 1920s! Given the state of gender equality at that time, I thought it was a fascinating titbit of information.
We stopped mid-walk to have our drinks at one of Brisbane’s hidden Laneway Cafes. I can’t tell you the name because it’s a secret. What a gem! It’s hidden down a tiny alleyway. The entrance is downstairs through an old telephone box (how cool)! There was local art for sale all over the walls, and the owner sat and chatted with us for a few minutes about his work and vision. This tour is about as personable as it can get.
I cannot recommend this walking tour enough. Never underestimate a city (I’m embarrassed to say I did). Walk Brisbane did a brilliant job of informing and entertaining – they are passionate about their city and aware of what’s happening in the world, which is the best mix!
Get to Know Brisbane
Lee-Anne also let us know what was happening over the next few weeks, including the annual Brisbane Street Art Festival, which I got to enjoy briefly before I had to head home. She also told us where to go for a good meal, the best bars, and others things to do while visiting. They really do know Brisbane. I had a great time and now that I’m back in Melbourne I’m definitely planning to take a tour of my own home city!”