IF you had three wishes, what would they be?
Many of us in the bush would ask for a limitless supply of rain and bulk cattle gains, but I’m talking realistic wishes.
Imagine a place where no matter what the weather forecast, there is always an endless amount of entertainment options.
What about Brisbane?
Now before the stubborn farmers start scoffing and turn the page at the sight of the word, hear me out.
Currently Brisbane is offering an escape to ‘a brand new world’, a wish that can be granted.
Here are five reasons you should visit the ‘big smoke’…
Aladdin the Musical
You don’t have to be a lover of singing and dancing to enjoy this one.
From February 23 to June 3, the Disney classic that has quickly become one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years will be on show at Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s Lyric Theatre.
There will be more to look at than a 12,000 head Roma sale with the 337 costumes alone featuring 1225 different fabrics, 712 different styles of beads and more than 500,000 Swarovski crystals.
Just like the traditional story line, Aladdin the Musical follows the story of a young man who gets three wishes from a genie trapped in an oil lamp.
The cast is led by former Hi-5 star Ainsley Melham as Aladdin and The Sound of Music Live star Hiba Elchikhe plays Jasmine.
But the real star of the show belongs to crowd favourite and former The X Factor contestant, Gareth Jacobs, who had the audience on their feet before intermission for his performance as the eccentric Genie.
You haven’t seen a breath taking musical performance until you have seen Jacobs’ lead a tap dancing cast in an eight minute stage reprise of a ‘Friend Like Me’ between fireworks and magic tricks.
Brisbane Comedy Festival
What does a farmer talk about when he is milking a cow? Udder nonsense.
Thankfully the jokes at the Brisbane Comedy Festival won’t be as bad as that one thanks to a star studded lineup of more than 70 comedians including Urzila Carlson, Stephen K Amos, Tommy Little, Dave Hughes, Joel Creasey, Peter Helliar, Akmal, Fiona O’Loughlin, Tom Gleeson, Wil Anderson and Cal Wilson.
Running from February 23 to March 25 across three venues, you can enjoy non-stop laughing action while doing the unthinkable and going Facebook free for at least an hour from as little as $20.
The festival’s largest ever lineup will cover everything from what the heck is “Cougar Juice”? to the extinction of the poodle and when’s the best time to have a vasectomy?
With mental health a major issue in the bush, leave the worries of the drought behind and see a comedy show for the most guilt-free medicine you will ever find.
Scenic Helicopter Flight
We so often criticise the city folk for being uneducated about life on the land, so why not see the city from its best side...above?
S.andS. Aviation offer scenic flights from Mt Coot-tha putting you at equal level with the skyscraper jungle.
Coming from someone with a fear of heights, the joy ride is nothing short of calm and comfortable giving passengers a unique opportunity to see the capital city without any traffic delays.
Quick, easy and cheap
If you want to save money but still enjoy the best Brisbane has to offer, that wish can be granted too.
The signature Wheel of Brisbane has tickets starting from just $14 for a fully air-conditioned ride on the carnival icon while the old Dairy Hall and Sugar Building at the EKKA is now home to the Brisbane’s first permanent food truck park and bar known as Welcome to Bowen Hills.
Just like the bush
Not only does wet weather not put a dampener on much in Brisbane, you’re not that far from the bush anyway.
Take the Indian cab driver, for example, whom I met during my trip from the airport to my hotel at Mercure Brisbane King George Square.
Don’t judge too early.
The driver had moved from India nine years ago where his family had a farm with rice, wheat and potatoes. Due to corruption in the country which flowed into agriculture, he knew he couldn’t make change and so he left.
He told me he returned home each year because it was difficult for his family to return the favour.
“My mother has Hepatitis C,” he said.
She contracted the disease from an infected blood transfusion she received following a car accident, he said.
Suddenly someone in the big smoke wanted to know all about life on a property in Queensland.
Add that to the fact that you can enjoy a salted kangaroo entree at Gauge in South Brisbane, and suddenly all your wishes for a city escape not too far from the bush are coming true.