A Travellerspoint blog


Arrived in New Zealand

and birthday, Sydney and Brisbane in between

It's been a while since the last update, internet access where we've been has been really expensive.

We had a fantastic time in our hotel in Sydney, and spent a few days taking in sights like the opera house and Captain Cook's ship, the first ship from England to 'discover' Australia.

Unfortunately, when we visited an Air New Zealand shop to re-route our ticket out of Melbourne the price had doubled, so we ended up booking a flight from Melbourne back to Sydney with Virgin Blue this morning.

We managed to blag a free over night train ride down to Melbourne. Karma punished us by sitting us next to people who were sick, and then wouldn't stop talking about how they were sick.

In Melbourne we visited our Mecca, the street where they film Neighbours (photos to come), it's a lot smaller than you'd imagine. We got some photos outside Harold's house and some grass from Susan's lawn to sell on eBay when we get home.

Today's flights were okay, although the Virgin Blue was at 6am. Although a 'no frills' airline, the literature was keen to boast about their extras such as a 'pressurised cabin, for our comfort'. It's always disappointing when travelling on a Virgin train or plane that they don't name First and Economy class something a little more creative like promiscuous and prude.

The Air NZ flight was particularly crappy, carrying on their fine tradition. The check in lady, a failed stewardess by mine and Tabi's reckoning barked at us because we didn't have business class tickets, and the cabin crew seemed to resent everyone on the flight. The air conditioning above my seat was dripping, and the kid in front kept slamming his chair into my knees.

We've arrived in Auckland now, and into our pre booked hostel. Tabi doesn't like it much, so is on the PC next to me trying to find somewhere else.

I'm sure there's more news, but I've forgotten most of it.

Posted by roblist 22:58 Archived in Australia Comments (2)

Arrived in Sydney!

We had an all day train journey down the East coast yesterday from Port Mcquarie to Sydney, and finally got in to Sydney Central at about 10:30pm. Our hotel was a 15minute walk or so away which is very close considering we’ve been further out in much smaller towns.

We’re staying in a 4.5 star hotel for about 50p less than two hostel beds would have cost, thanks to a brilliant deal on lastminute.com. As we’ve just arrived, we’re still planning what to do for my birthday.

There’s probably more news that I meant to share with you all, but having just woken up, I’m too sleepy to remember any of it.

Posted by roblist 18:14 Archived in Australia Comments (1)

Change of plans...

After finally getting through to the airline, we've decided to extend our stay from Sydney, where we were supposed to fly on to New Zealand, to Melbourne - mainly so we can visit the set of Neighbors. I spent 15 minutes crawling through the automated menus on the airline's telephone system until a car horn went off at a time I was supposed to speak and put the system into a mode where my only two choices were 'before the flight' and 'during the flight.' That's not the sort of question you want to answer without knowing the context, so I bailed out and called again. After a few more tries, we've managed to get the airline to agree that they can 'maybe' make the change.

We've been in Port Macquarie, which is a bit further south, for the past few days. Tomorrow we're off to Sydney for my birthday.

Speaking of presents, I had a very nice email the other day from a long time blog reader who lives in Chicago. He offered to take me out for a beer if we're heading that way. We're not, but it did get me thinking - this blog's had nearly 3000 individual visitors, how can I turn this traffic into a way to get free stuff? You’re probably reading this blog at work, in which case you’re being paid to read it, so if there was no blog, you wouldn’t get paid (work with me here), so you owe me.

I realise people might want to give free stuff to more needy causes, like starving children in Africa*, or helping save the environment – but I only worry about my own problems, I guess I’m lucky that way.

So – how can you avail yourself of this fine service? Well, I take Visa, Mastercard, Discovery and Diners Club (really, no kidding). Just click here to give – and remember, it’s better to give than receive, so keep in the forefront of your mind how selfless I’m being.

I'm banking on the fact that many of you are cheapskates, and will not donate a penny, but have some vague feeling that you'd like to help, if only there was a way for you to help that didn't cost you any money. Fear not. Next time you make a search on the web, instead of using Google, use this page instead, it's exactly the same as Google, except I get to keep some of the money. You could even tell your friends about that page to help further (if you're the typical blog reader as I imagine you, you can skip that bit).

Who said e-Commerce was dead.

Posted by roblist 20:17 Archived in Australia Comments (3)

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)

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