Must Do: Shopping At The Queen Street Mall

Queen Street Mall is Brisbane CBD’s main shopping strip. Boasting over 700 retailers, five major shopping centres, two department stores and four shopping arcades, Queen Street Mall is host to a large array of retail outlets, restaurants, cafes, bars, cinemas, salons, hotels, and the Conrad Treasury Casino. The mall is located in the heart of the city on Queen Street which ensures it is constantly filled with shoppers and diners alike.

Constantly undergoing upgrades, as with the rest of Brisbane, the mall is ever changing. One reason achievement is the refurbishment of the intersecting Albert Street and the underground busway, giving greater access and more modern feel to the mall. The upgrades have also seen the introduction of regular artists playing both ends of the mall on weekends, along with the more traditional buskers performing shows during the week and on weekend at various times.

Working in the city means regular visits to the mall so this must do is not particularly a big feat for me, but for tourists and visitors of Brisbane shopping at Queen Street Mall is a great way to explore what Brisbane has to offer. With plenty to explore on the mall and with the rest of the CBD within walking distance, it is a great way to start or end a day exploring Brisbane CBD.

Must Do: Australia Zoo, Beerwah

Australia Zoo is a wildlife conservation located approximately an hour and a half north of Brisbane, in Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast. It is was the home of the Australian Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, and is now run by Terri Irwin. One of the first things that you will notice about the zoo is its size. Currently situated on over sixty acres of land, you will have plenty of places to explore throughout the entire day.

Entry fee is $53 per adult and $31 per child or alternatively, a family of four (two adults and two children) pass can be purchased for $157, saving you $11 on entry fees. In my case, I was lucky enough to obtain free entry due to failing EFTPOS machines!

One thing to note about is the car park. There are two car parks; a small one at the front and a larger one at the rear. Due to the fact that only the small car park is visible from the main road, and is always full, it may deter some people from visiting. However, rest assured there is a much larger car park just beyond the front car park, with lots of parking and still only a very short walk from the main entrance.

Along with all the traditional zoo displays, there are three main Exhibitions at Australia Zoo: Tiger Temple, Elephantasia and The Crocoseum. The Crocoseum is the main stage, capable of seating 5,000, and is used for live animal shows and special performances such as Bindi and The Crocmen.

Continue reading “Must Do: Australia Zoo, Beerwah”

Must Do: View The City Lights From Mt Coot-tha

Mt Coot-tha is best known for its spectacular views of Brisbane city from its lookout. Approximately only a short ten-minute drive from the CBD of Brisbane, Mt Coot-tha is a great spot to go for a quick or lengthy visit during the day or at night. Personally, I would recommend going both during the day and at night to see the contrasting landscape as night falls over Brisbane.

On top of the lookout, there is a small café and gift shop, as well as the Summit Restaurant — which can get fairly busy as it is often considered to be a romantic restaurant with great views. The views and romantic feeling of the place are also the reason why you will often find newly weds getting their wedding photos taken on top of the look out.

While the lookout is the star of the show, Mt Coot-tha does have more to offer; Mt Coot-tha is home to the broadcasting stations in Brisbane (including seven, ten and nine) and also has a few parks, treks and picnic areas including JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls. There are also plenty of places to pull over and park on the mountain road, which also offers great views, and tends to be filled with plenty of people during the annual Brisbane RiverFire.

See additional photos from Mt Coot-tha.

Xbox 360 Update

Another software/firmware update; The NXE (New Xbox Experience) is finally here — simply by connecting to Live everyone should now have been presented with the NXE update. It’s a major overhaul of the Xbox interface with a few much loved additional features such as “Install To Hard Drive”.

Head over to the New Xbox Experience website to find out more, or turn on your Xbox and start exploring with your new avatar 😉

20 Brisbane Must Do’s

Queensland is turning 150 next year and the RACQ has started the 150 Campaign where they are promoting 150 great Queensland Experiences. Being a large state a vast portion of the 150 experiences are out of reach for a day trip or even a weekend trip, and others are just not that interesting. I have compiled a shortlist from the 150 to come up with 20 Brisbane (or close enough to be a day or weekend trip from Brisbane) must do’s and a few Queensland like to do’s.

Over time I am going to be creating a new post entry for each item, along with Flickr photos, in order to track what I have done and to give my opinion on each one. I will also update this list with links to the posts, striking out any completed items. Although I have already done several of the items I may do them again simply because they were that good or because I’m lacking photos of them.

20 Brisbane Must Do’s (no particular order):

  1. Australia Zoo, Beerwah
  2. Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
  3. Dive The Great Barrier Reef
  4. Carnarvon Gorge
  5. Explore Girraween National Park
  6. Great Walk, Fraser Island / Take A Trip To Fraser Island
  7. Riverfire
  8. Discover The Natural Beauty At Springbrook
  9. Pumicestone Passage, Bribie Island
  10. Tuck Into A Steak At Brekky Creek Hotel
  11. Lamington National Park
  12. Workshops Rail Museum
  13. View The City Lights From Mt Coot-tha
  14. Glass House Mountains
  15. Underwater World, Mooloolabah
  16. Story Bridge Adventure Climb
  17. Lose Yourself In The Bunya Mountains
  18. Try Zorbing
  19. View The Coastline From The Deck Of Q1
  20. Shopping At The Queen Street Mall

Queensland Like To Do’s (no particular order):

  1. Tour Sirromet Winery
  2. Whitehaven Beach
  3. Sea Kayak Along The Whitsunday Islands
  4. Paronella Park
  5. Join A Jungle Surfing Canopy Tour At Cape Tribulation
  6. Mini Moke Around Magnetic Island
  7. Relax At A Result On The Great Barrier Reef
  8. White Water Rafting, Tully River

FIX: Access is Denied 0×80070005

Recently I came across the problem where I was occasionally receiving an ‘Access is Denied 0×80070005′ error in the test environment for an ASP.NET application I was developing. After narrowing it down I discovered the error was only ever occurring when a call to the database was being made within the bounds of a TransactionScope(). After a quick search, I discovered a thread on the forums where someone else was having this issue as the MSDTC was not configured correctly.

Applying the same information from the aforementioned thread I soon discovered that the test vs development environments were showing similar results to that mentioned in the thread. In the end, the following solution resolved the problem.

Use sc sdshow msdtc on the server to display the current configuration, which should be similar to:


Using sc sdset msdtc change the section in red to read as (A;;CCLCSWRPRC;;;WD) e.g:


Fix Outlook Calendar View

Have you ever lost the default Microsoft Outlook Calendar view, instead only to be presented with the filtered list view? In order to get the default view back simply run outlook with the /CleanViews flag set. E.g.

“C:/Program Files/Microsoft Office/OFFICE11/OUTLOOK.EXE”  /CleanViews

Back Online After 3 Months

Yay, I’m back online after 3 months!

Long story short: Apparently too many people on TPG are gambling with casino chips, which are blocking the tubes. Several months of having a perfectly working connection with TPG and then it suddenly decided to die. After spending two months trying to get TPG to fix the problem and one month trying to get them to disconnect it, three days after signing up with iiNet the connection was working again.

Evolution of Code

Wriju Ghosh has written an interesting entry which shows the progression of .NET. The article takes a generic list and shows the old and new ways of being able to extract and display the even numbers of a generic list. Starting with a more commonly used for-each statement, Ghosh goes on to show how to achieve the same result using delegates, anonymous methods, Lambda Expressions, and finally LINQ.

Singles Dish Up The Dirt

In today’s mx newspaper there is a completely pointless, but laughable, article titled Singles Dish Up The Dirt which talks about A US matchmaking service (It’s Just Lunch) being sued by its clients because they were sent on bad dates. Most of the cases seem to be what you would expect from a blind date, i.e. the person turns out not to be who you were lead to believe they are. While some of them are bad, such as a lady being matched up with an alcoholic (surely these people should be screened out of the service?), there was one mention which seems like It’s Just Lunch were deliberately matching people up with the “wrong” kind of partner.

“Dating nightmares included women matched with married men, and a Minnesota woman who requested no Republicans or religious types only to be set up with a Catholic Republicans and and (sic) Seventh Day Adventist”