A Travellerspoint blog

Byron Bay

Gold Coast, Australia

We booked a train pass when we were back in the UK to take us from Brisbane to Sydney, on the advice of our travel agent – however there are hardly any trains here, so we ended up getting local busses and coach to Byron. The journey was fantastic compared to some we’ve had and only took a couple of of hours.

We planned to book ahead but didn’t through lazyness, so set about looking for a hotel room as soon as we arrived in town at about 7pm. We must have wandered into just about every hostel, hotel, motel and caravan park in town only to be greeted by ‘no vancancy’ signs. We were starting to get desperate enough to consider camping on the beach, but camping without a tent isn’t much different to living like a tramp, so we were very relieved to find a flyer advertising a ‘studio’. We gave the number a ring and set about trekking across the other side of town. It turns out that ‘studio’ is an aussie word for ‘shed in the back garden’, but as we’d spent all day with walking with our backpacks and it was now getting dark we decided to stay for the night.

The owner tried to charge us either $100 for the night, or $420 for a week, which was no good as we only have 4 days here, so we had to clear out early this morning and begin the whole process of trekking around again. Fortunatly on our third attempt we found a cabin really close to the beach in a campsite with cooking facilities. We’re going to do a bit of self catering to save a few quid – although we tried that last night and it didn’t work out much cheaper than going to a restrauant – 16p for a can of spaghetti, 35p for a loaf of bread and $15.00 for a bottle of vodka.

Although quite touristy, Byron’s got quite a nice vibe to it and a picture postcard beach. We haven’t really decided what we’re going to do while we’re here since we’ve both decided that we’re not really beach people…

Posted by roblist 21:26 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Happy New Year!

After a day of being shown around Brisbane, we spent New Years at Brisbane's South Bank centre, where they had some really good celebrations. An inland beach was constructed especially for the evening so it was quite unlike any New Year’s we’d experienced before. We managed to find our way back on the bus, which was an achievement given how drunk we were!

Today we took a trip to a Koala sanctuary, which was lots of fun. We got some good pictures of us having a cuddle with them, which we’ll post up soon. We also had a go at feeding the kangaroos. It touched 40 degrees here at one point, so we’re both feeling pretty lazy (which is why this post is so short).

I know I keep saying it, but we’re going to really really really try and put up some pictures as we have some really good ones that I’d like to share.

Posted by roblist 01:32 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Brisbane

It seems like we've been travelling forever, but we've now eventually arrived in Brisbane. The flight involved a change at Singapore and took 9 hours altogether - it doesn't look that far on a map. Thankfully we managed to switch onto a later flight that had bulkhead seats with extra legroom available which made the journey pretty comfortable, but there was lots of turbulence meaning neither of us got any sleep.

My bag got searched by customs, who were suspicious of my "coffee mate". Thank god that didn't happen in Thailand or somewhere similar, my Thai wouldn't be up to explaining away a suspicious white substance.

We've got a pre-booked hostel that we've checked into. There's no air conditioning and it's the middle of summer here so it's not easy to sleep. I gave up and decided to come downstairs and write the blog, but Tabi's still napping. Tabi knows some people who live nearby so we're going to stay there tomorrow night and over New Year's, which sounds nice.

Posted by roblist 00:00 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Penang (Malaysia)

Penang is a little island that's probably to the west of the mainland. I think this was the last British settlement in the whole of South East Asia. I could look it up, but if there's one thing you should have learned from reading this blog, it's that I don't do research to get my facts straight.

We've been staying in a huge suite in an excellent four star hotel that's right on the beach, but miles from anywhere else, so we've been lumbered with some hefty taxi fares.

On Christmas eve we had a fantastic Christmas dinner at a local restaurant, but our 'Christmas Day Dinner' at the hotel was less successful, turning out to be a (cold) Chinese buffet.

On boxing day we went parasailing, which is where a speedboat drags you along in the air, with a parachute. It's great fun, and well worth trying if you ever get the chance. We also rented a jetski, which was great, although we got completely soaked. Tabi was obviously expecting a very different experience, as she’d hoped to bring along a picnic and a book to read during the ride.

Tomorrow we’re off to Brisbane, via Singapore. It’s an 8 hour flight, which makes it our second longest, so I’m going to try and call the airline and get a reserved seat with extra legroom as we won’t be able to check-in in advance.

We’ve been very lax with getting photos onto the blog, hopefully there will be somewhere at Singapore airport to do this tomorrow as we’ve got some great ones.

Posted by roblist 02:26 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

Arrived in Singapore

We've arrived in Singapore after a short 2 hour flight from Ho Chi Minh. It's only a one night stop over on our way to Penang, so we've checked into a hostel for the night. We have to be up at 4am, so there isn't much time to do anything. Still, we're going to try and get to a couple of the major sights.

Not much else to report.

Posted by roblist 01:04 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

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