Along with travelling, my second passion is new technologies (and video games!). So I naturally installed PokemonGo a few days after it was released, as it started to buzz. From a marketer’s point of view, it is a fascinating product to follow. I’m also a fan of video games and I liked this one straightaway. But this blog isn’t about marketing nor video games, so let’s skip these parts. I’m going to look at it from a travel lover’s point of view.
Why I like PokemonGo
My objective with this blog is to inspire people who have a full-time job like I do to travel more. I often praise that you don’t need to go far from home to travel. Sometimes, you just need to put on your tourist shoes. And PokemonGo pushes you a bit to do so:
- You need to walk to hatch eggs that will give you new Pokemon
- You need to go to remarkable places to find PokeStops, where you can fill up your bags with items that you’ll need for your hunt
- You need to go to different areas to catch various types of Pokemon
I love how the park in front of our building got a lot more lively thanks to the four PokeStops we have!
What I discovered in Brisbane by playing PokemonGo
1. Brisbane’s traffic signal boxes are pieces of art
Many traffic signal boxes around town are PokeStops. When you reach a PokeStop, it shows you an image of the remarkable building where it is located. The traffic signal boxes are painted, and some are incredibly beautiful. I knew about them. However, some are hidden in the urban landscape. The app definitely helped me to spot them all!
2. Bush Stone Curlew are the cutest birds in town
Ok, it’s not hard to get this title when you’re competing against ibises and crows.
The Bush Stone Curlew only goes out at night. We have a couple in the park in front of our building in the Inner Brisbane. I rarely wandered in a park at night before playing PokemonGo so I had never seen them!
3. Brisbane CBD isn’t big, but it can get busy
I work and live just outside Brisbane CBD, but I don’t often visit it. Well, I didn’t before playing PokemonGo. Brisbane CBD is full of PokeStops and has three PokeGyms where you can gain experience points. So I now regularly take a detour on my lunch break or after work to go through the small CBD. I was initially surprised to find a crowd of busy business people rushing.
For a few minutes, I feel like I am in a big city. It doesn’t last long, though!
4. Redcliffe is the place to be – and it’s better than South Bank
South Bank is a reputed touristy place in Brisbane. If you’ve ever planned a visit to Brisbane, I’m sure you’ve read about it. It is surprising to find lagoons in a park with perfect city views. It’s also a holy land for PokemonGo players as there are myriads of PokeStops with lures to attract the creatures, including some rare ones passing by.
But have you ever heard of Redcliffe? Redcliffe is approximately 30 minutes away from Brisbane City Centre. I like the easy walk along the shore leading to the vast esplanade. It offers lovely views of Moreton Island and its bay. Why do I compare it to South Bank? First, Redcliffe also has its lagoons! Second, it has an incredible diversity of Pokemon to catch, and PokeStops with lures are crazy there too.
I don’t think it is an attraction worth tourists’ time like South Bank: it is far from the town centre and it is less surprising. But if you live in Brisbane and don’t have much time for an escapade, it is a lovely getaway!
I had been to Redcliffe before playing the game, but I’m sure its reputation for the incredible number of varieties of Pokemon to catch attracted a few first-timers!
5. Australia’s network coverage is inadequate
When the game was released, most of my friends thought it would be easy for me to hatch many eggs. I hike almost every weekend. Unfortunately for my Pokemon quest, the app requires a GPS and Internet connection to count your kilometres.
Hiking all day in National Parks doesn’t even get me to hatch a 2-kilometre egg. Even when you’re not too far from town like in Noosa National Park, you quickly don’t have network anymore while you’re walking. Unless you have Telstra maybe, which provides the best network coverage.
6. Brisbane’s buses are slow
PokemonGo uses the phone GPS to determine the number of kilometres you walk while playing the game. If you go too fast, it will stop counting. I walk to work. My colleague catches the bus. He hatches more eggs than me. How? He benefits from regularly getting stuck in the Brisbane traffic. Unfortunately, Brisbane buses don’t have enough dedicated lanes, so during peak period you’ll go slow enough to be considered as a walker by the app!
7. Golf is open to anyone
Good luck to beginners who want to try playing golf once in France. In Australia, it’s incredibly easier… There are several golf courses around Brisbane that will allow you to play without having a membership. Everyone is accepted, even beginners… and Scythers! Although this is not a common Pokemon, they were everywhere on the put-put course when we went to the golf club.
8. Australian bats are Golbats
I’ve always been amazed by the size difference between French bats and Australian bats. Well, now I think I know why there is such a difference.
France has Zubats, and down under we have Golbats!
9. Mister Fitz’s Finest Ice Cream is the best gym
Well, the best Pokemon Gym, of course. It’s in Fortitude Valley. You can sit down and enjoy your delicious ice cream while gaining experience in the game. It’s perfect.
10. We have seals near Brisbane!
Ok, I admit I didn’t discover this while playing the game but it’s a nice number 10. Last week, I saw a video on Facebook of a seal having fun at Julians Rock, in Byron Bay. I’ve heard of one staying on a beach at Bribie Island too. But I never saw any nearby, except while playing Pokemon Go. And I really wanted to add to this post my favourite Pokemon from the game. Isn’t it the cutest one?!
What about you? Do you play PokemonGo? Have you found anything interesting thanks to the game? Leave a comment below!
Eloise lives in Brisbane (Australia), but you won’t find her often in the city. When she is not disconnected underwater or in a national park, she loves sharing her travel tips and inspiring her readers to take care of our beautiful planet. She considers every weekend as a two-day holiday break. Her approach: you don’t always need to go far to travel. Still, she also enjoys exploring the world and discovering new cultures. Eloise is originally from France and, before moving to Brisbane, she lived in Sydney, Istanbul and England.