July 01, 2013
Planes, Trains and Automobiles
The Hamilton Island Airport is a small affair. This is the entirety of the check in hall. I think it actually took longer to walk through the snaking line up barriers to the desk than it actually took to check in. Security was a breeze as well, and the lounge had excellent free wifi, a hard commodity to find in Australia!
After a little bit of a read, booking some bus fares, figuring out where I was going to end up that night, my plane arrived. It was still painted in the old colors of the airline.
It was a nice smooth flight, beautiful scenery. I had a nice empty seat beside me which was great. In Airlie Beach I had bought the latest issue of Nat Geo, and I saved it to peruse on the plane. It was the one with James Cameron on the front and an article about his recent descent to the bottom of the Marianas Trench, more than 36,000 feet below the surface of the ocean in his specially designed submersible. It is worth a read!
I was amazed and impressed with the airport in Brisbane. I checked the time when the plane landed out of habit. After taxi, deplaning, walking to the terminal, going to baggage retrieval, getting my bag and walking outside, only 12 minutes had elapsed since we touched down! Well done Brisbane!
I had decided to hop on a bus down to Byron Bay that evening rather than spending a night in Brisbane as I originally planned. The fast train to the city was only 16 bucks with my student discount (yay!). It was pretty empty, and it had excellent free wifi on it as well!
Arriving at the Roma St transit center where all the coaches and buses and trains meet up near the center of the city I was amazed at the number of people on their way to the state of origin game, all decked out in Queensland colors. It was pretty funny to see the very rare NSW supporter sticking out like a sore thumb.
I simply sat in the coach terminal for the few hours remaining before my bus. Storing luggage would have been 8 bucks and I wasn't willing to pay that for a couple hours of wandering around at dusk. Plus, there was free wifi! Yay Brisbane! I think those wifi spots were the only free ones I have found in Australia.
Anyhow, I took the Greyhound down to Byron Bay that night and spent the night in one of the best hostels I have ever been to. The Byron Bay YHA if you are curious. Very nice place.
By the time I arrived in Byron I had, all over the course of the one day, taken a car, a boat, a golf cart, a plane, a horizontal people mover, a train, and a bus, in addition to walking.
My cousin Marci picked me up in the morning and I have been hanging with her and the boys ever since!