Saturday, July 13, 2013

Australia - Day 1: KL - Brisbane

It's been almost 10 months since our trip to the land Down Under and finally I've mustered enough spirits to write about it. Well our first day in Australia at least. Let's have a brief look at our 8-day, 7-night itinerary first:

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur - Brisbane CBD
Day 2: Brisbane CBD - Harbour Town (Gold Coast)
Day 3: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (Gold Coast)
Day 4: Gold Coast - Sydney - Nelson Bay (Sydney)
Day 5: Whale watching! (Nelson Bay, Sydney)
Day 6: Pokolbin - Cessnock - Sydney CBD
Day 7: Free walking tour (Sydney CBD)
Day 8: Sydney - Kuala Lumpur

We were really looking forward to this trip as it was our first time to Australia. We've bought the tickets months in advance and planned half a year in advance. For more details how we managed to do it all online, do read my post here: *CLICK*

We started off from my sis-in-law's place in Kota Damansara very early in the morning. So early that it was still dark when we were in the ERL heading towards KLIA from KL Sentral. We were both really sleepy as we had a late night the night before, having drove down all the way from Terengganu and going straight to The Curve to meet up my good friend who was visiting from the US.

Still dark outside

We had to wait about 2 hours prior to our 9.40am flight to Brisbane and so we people-watched. Saw so many interesting characters at the international departure hall and one of them is the following young lady:

She looks really exotic and caught many people's attention. Poor thing seemed to have some problem with her connecting flight to Brisbane and had been spending the night at the airport with her family. Later on, she played her flute happily as we were all waiting to depart. She made my day.

First glimpse of Australian soil! But Brisbane is still far away.

Fast forward about 8 hours later after our departure from KL...

We're in Brisbane!

And it's already dark. -_- It was about 7.30pm when we landed. The irony of leaving Malaysia while it's still dark and arriving in another country when it's already dark.

Brisbane International Airport

Initially we had planned to stay overnight at the airport while waiting for the earliest train to get to Gold Coast the next morning. However according to a forum in TripAdvisor, I found that people are not allowed to sleep at the airport as we might be charged with 'vagrancy', so we had no choice but to get a room in Brisbane CBD. It was great though as we got to rest and wash up, and all ready to go to Gold Coast the next morning.

Once we got out of the airport, we went straight to the train station which is just about 5mins walk away. If you're planning to stay for a bit in Queensland, do consider getting a GoCard. Let me just copy and paste what I wrote in the previous post:
For ease of traveling and changing between the different mode of public transports (train to bus or vice versa), you should try to get a GoCard. GoCards give you tickets at discounted prices and can be bought at many places. I bought mine at the International Train Station ticket counter, just 100m in front of Brisbane International Airport. You would just need to swipe the card every time you get on and get off the bus/train. 

We paid AUD31 for 2 one-way tickets to get to Brisbane CBD and had AUD25 top up each, I really forgot if there are extra charges for service but it would be very minimal. Then we proceeded to go upstairs to wait for the train to go to Hotel George Williams. Below is what I typed in my itinerary, taken from Google Maps.

Airport to Central Station by train (last train at 10pm)

·         Turn right after coming out of the station into Ann St (600m, 8mins)
Walk straight then turn right onto George St (650m, 9mins)

But no. We didn't do that as at the last minute I decided we should get down at Brisbane Transit Centre which is also pretty near the hotel. Walking route from the transit centre to Hotel George Williams below:

View Larger Map

Follow this direction to go to Roma Street
Walking to Hotel George Williams
While walking towards the hotel, we met a couple of friendly Indonesians who asked if we were lost. It must be partly my hijab that invited this friendly conversation. He he. Anyway, we told them that our hotel was just across the street.  

If you are walking towards Hotel George Williams from Brisbane Transit Centre, the 7-11 you see in the photo would be on your left. The hotel is just right next to it. The couple walking towards us are the friendly Indonesians I talked about.

I paid a total of AUD104.50 for a 1-night stay at Hotel George Williams whilst still in Malaysia via It includes breakfast for two and ensuite bathroom. Ensuite bathroom is REALLY important to me as I may be a backpacker but I really can't stand the idea of sharing a bathroom with strangers. Har har. They have a 24-hour front desk although it is advisable to inform them earlier if you would like to check in late, as we did, at 11pm. We were given a key card and proceeded to our bedroom. 

Good night!

All photos taken using Olympus Tough TG-1.

To read about Day 2: Brisbane CBD *click here*

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