Welcome To Brisbane, Australia

Voilà! As the signs at Brisbane Airport say: "Welcome to Australia". Here we are. Our flight to Brisbane just landed. Even if it is only 6 or 7 in the morning, we can already feel the heat from the sun. We have been told that Brisbane has a humid subtropical climate with abundant rainfall. But today the weather is just perfect. It is summertime here in Australia and the temperature is already rising. On our way to the city, which is actually the capital of Queensland, we spot a few tennis players sitting on terrace drinking coffee. There are here for the Brisbane International, a professional tennis tournament part of the ATP World Tour 250 series and of the WTA Premier tournaments. It is held just before the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open. Being the most populated city in the state, we expect to come across a lot of people. Actually it is quite a ghost town on January 1st. A few Christmas lights here and there. Are there all gone to the Gold Coast or what? Among those who managed to get up this morning, mostly families, many find themselves in The Parklands of South Bank situated along the banks of the Brisbane River. Formerly occupied by Indigenous tribes, this green area is now one of the most popular in the city. Its water-play park and sandy beach are reminiscent of certain parts of Miami Beach. Brisbane is not always quiet like it is today. It has played an important role in the Allied supreme military command South West Pacific Area during World War II by serving as headquarters. More recently Brisbane hosted the 1982 Commonwealth Games, World Expo 88, the 2001 Goodwill Games and some events during the 1987 Rugby World Cup, 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2003 Rugby World Cup. The city is also a major cultural and tourist centre.

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