We had an early morning flight from Auckland to Brisbane, Queensland, Australia for the next stage of our trip.  Frances and Joe who we would be housesitting for, together with Frances’ cousin Marion who was staying with them, were waiting for us at the airport.   They had kindly offered to give us a trip of a few of Brisbane’s highlights before we caught the water bus over to Russell Island in Moreton Bay where they live.

We first of all stopped at Mount Coot-tha for the views over all of Brisbane then it was off to see the Aboriginal art and a nearby (dried up) waterfall in gorgeous countryside.  We then moved on to Brisbane’s Botanical gardens which were really too big to explore at this stage, but at least we know they will be good for us to visit whilst we are here. 

From there Frances and Joe took us to their favourite Chinese restaurant called China House for yum-cha.  Yum cha is a dining experience which involves drinking Chinese tea and eating dim sum dishes. Yum cha is Cantonese, which literally means “drink tea”. In the US and UK, the phrase dim sum is often mistakenly used in place of yum cha. In fact, in Cantonese, dim sum refers to the wide range of small dishes, whereas yum cha, or “drinking tea”, refers to the entire dining experience.  In effect, the waitress repeatedly brings around trolleys loaded with different dishes , some sweet and some savoury, and from which you can choose some or none, depending on what you prefer.  It’s a bit like Chinese tapas on wheels!!  Anyway, it was a gorgeous meal and the whole experience was very pleasurable.

Finally it was time to make our way to the water bus terminal and the journey across from the mainland to Russell Island.