Brisbane Festival 2011 – Riverfire

Brisbane Festival 2011 is well and truly underway. This is my second year in Brisbane, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to experience Riverfire 2011. This year I choose to go to South Bank Parklands and the plan was to go early and catch a good spot to take some videos. However, thinks don’t play always play the way we want (specially when sleeping all day) and I reached South Bank at around 6pm when it was almost packed with crowds. So guess what, I couldn’t get a good vantage point and the following is a short video compilation of Riverfire 2011.

Here is the unedited long version of Riverfire 2011 videos.

There is lot more events and activities during Brisbane Festival 2011. For more details on other exciting events throughout the Brisbane Festival 2011, check out the official website. You can also follow Brisbane Festival more closely with frequents updates on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Flickr.

Here comes Brisbane Festival

It is the time of the year, which brings the city of Brisbane into a festive mode. Brisbane Festival is one of Australia’s premier festivals and Brisbane’s annual cultural event. Brisbane Festival was developed by the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council in 1996 as an initiative to foster the arts.

Brisbane Festival 2011 will take place from September 3rd to 24th. The event packed three weeks of Brisbane Festival 2011 will kick-start tomorrow, Saturday September 3rd with the Sunsuper Riverfire. On September 3rd, more than half a million people will converge on Brisbane’s riverbanks to watch the city sky ignite in a continuous burst of spectacular colour, music, and special effects.

South Bank, Kangaroo Point Cliffs, and Victoria Bridge are popular places to watch Sunsuper Riverfire. I was on Victoria Bridge last year and it was hard to find a place to put my tripod, even at 3pm in the afternoon. I guess, I would go even earlier this time, either to Kangaroo Point Cliffs or to South Bank.

Ignite Together Brisbane
Photo: Copyright Brisbane Festival. All Rights Reserved.

There are so many activities during Brisbane Festival, including many free events around the city. I would probably miss out on most events as I’m travelling back home this month, but I’m still planning to catch up few events before leaving to Sri Lanka. I’m looking forward to the Beautiful Noise show, a stylised aerodynamic performance that is premiering during the Brisbane Festival 2011. I’m also interested in the Jack Charles vs The Crown show, that could shed some light into the Aboriginal culture and history.

For more details on other exciting events throughout the Brisbane Festival 2011, check out the official website. You can also follow Brisbane Festival more closely with frequents updates on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

Another day out with friends: Farm Fantastic 2011

Farm Fantastic 2011
Last Sunday I got a chance visit the Farm Fantastic 2011 expo in Caboolture, with some the fellow Brisbane International Student Ambassadors. Farm Fantastic claims to be the Australia’s biggest outdoor retail expo and this year was their 10th anniversary.

Camel Ride at Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
We got on a Caboolture train from Central station and there were connecting shuttle buses from Caboolture station. We reached Farm Fantastic by noon. What’s a better way to start than with a lunch. We had some delicious burgers at the Outback Eatery with a flavor of Aussie country music. Some of us choose to top it up with some ice cream for dessert and my choice of passion fruit was ‘different’.

Lunch at Outback Eatery at Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
For the next couple of hours we had to roam around Farm Fantastic, looking through a great range of exhibitors and entertainment and stopping by at few.

Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
Farm Fantastic 2011
We had a great time at, I think this is a great way to link the country life to the outer world.

Farm Fantastic 2011
Brisbane International Student Ambassadors at Farm Fantastic 2011

Find more details on the Farm Fantastic website:

Over 900 exhibitor sites, you can find anything from a pair of socks, to a luxury camper and a 10 tonne truck. Experiences include the new Health & Body Centre with its tranquil atmosphere and numerous health professionals offering information on healthy lifestyle. Destination Food – Food for Thought marquee has cooking demonstrations, and guest appearances. There is entertainment for the whole family with an action packed main arena with junior stockmen experience and more.

Photographs by: Leong Ming En

Into the Wild with Araucaria Ecotours

I love traveling. I love nature. So what’s better than putting both together?

I’ve been to few places around Brisbane; Glass House Mountains National Park, Springbrook National Park and handful of beaches up and down the coast. Yet, I’ve never got a chance to experience the real Australian wildlife.

Nimal at Daisy Hill

Last week I got a chance be part of an Australian wildlife tour with some Brisbane International Student Ambassadors. It was with Ronda and Darren of Araucaria EcoTours, covering a three-day Wildlife Tour and the Tamborine Mountain day-tour, in one day.

Daisy Hill

I was partly awake after a sleepless night at university/office, but I manage to bounce back as the day progressed (I guess). Our first stop from Brisbane was Daisy Hill. The start was a bush-walk, through the eucalyptus and tea-tree forests while learning about the different types of flora and fauna native to Australia. We weren’t lucky enough to find any wild koalas that day, but we spotted a wild red-necked wallaby. We spent another half-hour at the visitor information center and for a short coffee/tea break.

Daisy Hill

Our next stop was for a walk to a waterfall, but the rain was not kind enough to let us continue with our plans for a picnic lunch in the national park.


We stopped next at the Skywalk on Tamborine Mountain, and a stroll through the tall forest floor to giant trees and mountain streams. After the Skywalk excursion, we found shelters for lunch at the Jubilee Park in Beaudesert.

Skywalk on Tamborine Mountain

Kooralbyn was our last stop for the day. It was rather a drive through into the wallaby and kangaroo land. There were plenty of red-necked wallabies, whip-tail wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos. They were roaming around houses like domesticated animals. We stopped near an airstrip for a relaxing chat before heading back to Brisbane.


Araucaria Ecotours also provides many wildlife tours such as bush-walking, wildlife-viewing, bird watching, rainforests/glow-worms night tour, and Coochiemudlo Island tour to name a few.

Check out their website at for more details on the available tours and Australian ecotourism. You can also get in touch with them on Facebook at


Study in Brisbane

A visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

I got an opportunity to visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary last week, with a group of Brisbane International Student Ambassadors. We got to travel on the frequent direct buses from Brisbane CBD to Fig Tree Pocket, where the sanctuary is located in. However, if we were to drive it is just a 20 minutes drive from Brisbane or 50 minutes from Gold Coast.

Koalas are one of the unique animals of the Australian continent. Lone Pine is the world’s first and the largest Koala Sanctuary, with over 130 koalas. Its main attraction for tourists and visitors is cuddling Kolas and photos with Koalas, which is a first time for me. Koala have a very low metabolic rate and rests motionless for about 16 to 18 hours a day, sleeping most of that time. So most of the koalas we could find were like soft toys on tree branches. Also the keeper mentioned that the male and female koalas are kept in separate areas to control reproduction, which I think they like next to sleeping.

Nimal with a Lone Pine Koala

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is not just for Koalas. It features a large variety of Australian wildlife, including Kangaroos, Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, and various species of birds and reptiles. We spent quite some time in feeding kangaroos. The Sheep Dog and Sheep Shearing Show, and the Bird of Prey Flight Show, are highlights of the day which were enjoyed by everyone. The day ended with feeding wild lorikeets and some of managed to feed from our heads as well.

So when you are in Brisbane or Gold Coast, make sure to visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for an unforgettable wildlife experience. Entrance to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is by a nominal entrance fee of AU$ 32 for adults, while students (with student ID card) and backpackers (with YHA, VIP etc. card) get a concession fee of AU$24.

For more details on wildlife, shows and activities, and visiting information visit:

Study in Brisbane