Brisbane: Day 1

Published by Michael Dib — 3 years ago

Blog: Brissy to Sydney
Tags: Erasmus blog Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia

Preparations

If you’re doing a semesters exchange in Australia, there is without a doubt that you must do one thing: road tripping. Australia is one of the greatest countries when it comes to long road trips that lasts several days or even weeks. Many backpackers travel to different parts of Australia over several months. It's a very common experience. You’ll always find a steady stream of individuals who have been travelling over Australia or who have done so in the past if you yourself go travelling. However, we’ll be doing a short one this time around. The whole experience lasted just over seven days due to University holiday restraints. However, our trip was budget friendly compared to how much it was supposed to cost. So, I’ll walk you through how to get this trip set up before going into more details about how you could save as much money as we did during our trip.

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Now, the first and most costly thing we shall be talking about is renting transport. We were travelling as four people (we picked up a backpacker along the way). We decided that instead of paying full price to pay for a rental car that could range in the hundreds we decided instead to take a campervan. It was priced at the same amount as a relocation car. We paid about five dollars a day for our campervan (excluding a small administration fee that also covered road tolls). To find this place we had to check several websites with relocation car options several times a week till we found a time that perfectly suited our schedule. It took us about a week of looking before we got exactly what we were looking for! Brisbane to Sydney. We were even provided with 50 dollars fuel allowance. Usually with relocation cars you get somewhere between 0 to having the whole fuel usage paid. Now, you would think that you could literally travel Australia with your sweet deal that would have you saving hundreds on fuel.

There are safeguards against this. They come in two main ways. The first one is the kilometres limit. Some relocation rentals provide you an unlimited number of kilometres. They charge extra for every kilometre used. Also, they limited the amount of days it takes to get the relocated car from Brisbane to Sydney. Now, this is when things get a bit tricky. Even if you find your ideal car that fits all the people you need, the fuel is mostly paid for and it’ll take you from where you want to go to where you want to end up. There is still an extra barrier you have to face: The amount of days allocated. Some deals will have you be given days solely to get from A to B. Not enough extra days to get around and see what there is to see along the way. This one is a very frustrating option and one we’ve seen quite often throughout our research. Also, to research relocation cars simply search “Relocation cars (name of starting city) to (name of end city) AU”. This should display all the different options which we ourselves had the pleasure of finding. Keep in mind that it's quite competitive to get one of these deals as they run out quite fast and is 100% up to availability. Since as we all know, a relocation car offer is basically a request to have a car brought back that some bloke or Sheila drove to a different city and they have to return it. It's much cheaper for them to do this rather than pay somebody to return it as it could cost them potentially hundreds of dollars.

Also, keep in mind that while it's cheap to rent a relocation car there will be a pretty hefty bond to pay. I reckon we had to pay around two thousand Australian dollars. Rest assured that this will be returned to you. Also, look into what insurance is provided. They depend company by company. Also, somebody has to be the signatory which means they will have to be the main person driving. So, choose well. After all this, you should have your transport up and ready. Congratulations, you just saved yourself and your mates hundreds of dollars. The only main downside you have to watch out for is the fact that you won't be very flexible on how long you want to travel or if you want to travel for longer. The next step now is to actually get to Brisbane. In our case we had to fly over there. As it was only a one-way flight it wasn’t too expensive. Rather, our return flight was in Sydney which is much closer and cheaper to fly back from. So, we booked our flight and made our way from Adelaide to Brisbane.

Airport

One important thing worth noting if you’re on exchange in Adelaide. The airport is quite close. Unlike places like in Utrecht where you have to take a train to Amsterdam or Reims where you either take an expensive train straight to Charles du Gaulle airport or be forced to take a train and a shuttle bus to get to another airport such as Beauvais airport. The airport is about twenty minutes from the city if you take the J1 bus which beelines it straight to the airport. Taking an Uber to there is not too pricey as it is quite close. If you split it between friends, then it shouldn't cost more than several dollars from the city to the airport. The airport itself is quite small so it's not too bad if you’re not exactly two hours early. While it gets busy on certain days it's usually easy to get through to everything you need. However, I do recommend you’re at least two to three hours early to your flight in case of traffic or an airport rush hour.

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We grabbed a backpack full of clothes each before making our way to Brisbane. We had been travelling during the summer. So, while it's pretty hot in South Australia it is way more warmer in Queensland. I would keep that in mind while packing. Also, make sure to not forget bringing swimming trunks as swimming is going to be your main activity during your travels as you’ll have the pleasure of passing through the gold coast during that time. Also, quite a bit of sun cream. It's a bit unfortunate as the ozone above Australia is much thinner compared to the rest of the world. So, you could basically get burnt on cloudy days as well. It's much harsher than most places in the world so you will probably get burnt to some extent. Another thing worth noting is that if you ever want to rent a car in Adelaide then most likely than not you will have to pick up the car in the Adelaide airport. Across the airport but still within the compound there are multiple different car rental companies. I recall how I’ve used the services of these rental cars (as it's also a place to pick up relocation cars) more than once on different road trips. I will go into detail about these road trips in later articles.

Brisbane

Now, Brisbane is a lot more different than Adelaide. We ended up taking a bus shuttle (there is also a train service, but we ended up in Brisbane quite late so either the train was unavailable, or it came way too late). I reckon we paid roughly thirteen or so dollars for the shuttle bus. Although, we were able to pack our stuff in the back and stretch out in the empty bus. So, it's was quite relaxing.

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The humidity was overbearing. It truly felt like being in Queensland. The bus shuttle dropped us off at the northern part of the city. It was absolutely perfect as it was only a two-minute walk away from the hostel we booked. What's also great about this area is that it's all downhill towards the city. The view was pretty spectacular from up there. You could also climb higher and higher. We ended up going northwards to get to an Indian restaurant (I’ll get more into that later). The name of our hostel was Nomads Backpackers. It's one that is truly full of life and excitement. I wouldn’t exactly recommend it if you’re looking for quality sleep, but it is pretty good.

It was a Friday when we got to Brisbane. We got off our shuttle bus and made our way to the Nomads Backpackers. The first thing we noticed was the thudding music. It was late at night and we imagined there was a nearby club that was going on full out. Regardless, we continued towards our hostel. We noticed that there were quite a few people standing about our hostel area. There was also a line that went around all the way to the underside of the hostel. I thought it was quite strange that there would be a club right next to a hostel. I soon realised that the club itself was part of the hostel. It's all the same business. I also later realised that it's only a large bar with a dance floor rather than a full out club.

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We went up to the door and buzzed ourselves in. The reception is directly in front of us. To our right there was a massive Jenga set in action by bored hostel residents who were not party enthusiasts. There were people walking back and forth hand the whole scene looked very chaotic. We ended up paying for our full day on the spot. We were given our key cards and we made our way to our hostel room. We were in a room with a couple of other people. It was mostly a room for ourselves and it was killer hot. They had fans out. Not sure if there was air-conditioning as we had to use fans during our time there. The standard bunk beds were out in force. It was a room for about 6 people. I was glad that we were four and the other two roommates of ours were very calm and not too hectic. I was feeling pretty knackered then. As we came pretty late we decided to chill for the rest of the night and plan what we were going to do the next day.

During this time of the night there aren’t many supermarkets open. However, there are quite a few restaurants in the area you could go try out. We went to one nearby which ended up being a great choice. I’ll get into more detail concerning this later on in the adventure. Also, for the coming day make sure to pack light. Brisbane is a very hilly area north of the river that passes in the centre of the city. It gets calmer south of the river. Regardless, it's not a lot of fun carrying heavy backpacks around the area. You may also have to get accustomed fast to the accents in the area. Unlike the more tame accents down in South Australia the ones up north here are more defined and might startle you at the intensity compared to down farther south. However, I enjoy the thicker accent. It gives the place a stronger “Aussie” vibe. Also, the hostel we went to is one of the cheapest around. It's also relatively central which makes it much easier to walk around the city rather than some far off hostel. I would definitely recommend this hostel if you are going to spend most of your time out in the city. If you're staying for longer than a few days then I would recommend another hostel that would be more comfortable and less hectic. However, a place of that description might not be too cheap.

This concludes day one and preparations for Brisbane. The next day we will focus more on what to do around Brisbane which will include eating out, seeing the sights and exploring the area by walking around the city and even taking one of the city sea ‘cats’ to the market. It goes without saying but its important to note that research is the best way to make sure that you use your time efficiently while travelling. The most unfortunate thing that could happen is not knowing what to do when there is so much on offer. Its especially bad if you are very limited with how much limited time you have. Happy reading and safe adventuring!


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