Saturday February 16, 2008 – Newcastle to Brisbane, Australia
After spending three weeks taking it easy in Newcastle, we were ready to get out on the road. Our flight to Brisbane wasn’t until 5:40pm, so we had some time to kill. In the morning, we ran some errands and spent a couple of hours at the library. By the time 2pm rolled around, we finished up our packing and walked to the local bus stop. We then took a series of busses and shuttles to the cities’ small regional airport, arriving about 90 minutes before our flight.
While waiting at the airport, I noticed people with their laptops out, so I decided to see if any wireless internet was available. Much to my surprise, they had internet and it was free! This was a big surprise at the small Newcastle Airport, given that it isn’t much more than a couple of shops and three passenger gates. With beautifully fast internet keeping us occupied, the wait for our flight didn’t seem bad at all.
When our flight pulled off of the runway around 5:40pm, we were treated to great aerial views of some of the sights that we opted not to visit during our time in Newcastle. The most notable of these places was the Stockton Sand Dunes, which we saw almost immediately after taking off. After seeing the massive dunes from the air, I regretted not making a trip out to them, but we hardly had a clear day our whole time in Newcastle and it always gives us something to go back for! The flight to Brisbane only took a little over an hour and at 5:45pm, with a one hour time difference, the Coomer family was on the ground in Brisbane!
The train from Brisbane Airport to the city costs $32.50 AUD for two adults and one child. We figured since our hotel was about 2km from the city center and since the train wouldn’t take us directly there, we would hire a taxi for about the same price. After collecting our bags, we headed out to the taxi stand where one of the bright orange taxis operated by the Yellow Taxi Company was waiting for us. (No I didn’t mix up my colors!)
The ride from the airport to our hotel took about 20 minutes. In the end, it cost us $32.20 AUD and we were dropped off directly in front of the hotel. At this point we were just happy to be in the hotel, but were also feeling a little cooped up, because we had adjusted to the larger quarters in our Newcastle flat.
The only thing we still had to do on Saturday night was eat dinner. With daylight rapidly disappearing, we opted to eat at the only food establishment within sight from our hotel. Yes, we bit the bullet and ate at McDonalds. I don’t hate McDonalds, but it is expensive in Australia and wouldn’t have been my first choice.
After leaving McDonalds we walked back across the street to our hotel and packed it in for the night. Our itinerary in Brisbane isn’t very ambitious. We will spend two days in the city before hiring a car to explore Queensland for a couple of weeks. If we miss anything in the city that we want to see, we can do it when we return before flying to Darwin on March 5th.
The Coomer Family