In April 2017, I went on a trip to Southern part of Queensland with Cheaptickets.sg and Queensland Tourism Board. This post details the experience and sights to visit in Queensland, with the starting point of Brisbane.
Living in Singapore means it’s near impossible for me to drive a car, as the cost to do so is very expensive. As such, I don’t own one or get many opportunities to be in private cars very often. I used to live in Los Angeles a long time ago where cars are cheaper and essential, but I was starting to forget what it feels like to be parking your own car, leaving your stuff in a car, navigating through freeways… little things like that. The trip was a welcome refresher on how it’s like having a car.
The funny part is, I actually can’t drive. I don’t even have a driver’s license. Thankfully I had Yuri with me. He’s becoming my designated driver on all my trips – he also drove in Japan when we visited Kumamoto.
The portion covered by Cheaptickets.sg and Queensland Tourism Board actually ended after 7 days, but we chose to extend through the weekend on our own cost. Why? Here is the thing that most people don’t realize: Australia is a huge country. It wasn’t until I took a trip from North to South of Australia that I realized just how massive it is!
So unfortunately, even though we went for 10 days and drove around every day, we barely scratched the surface of Queensland, let alone Australia. If you zoom out on our itinerary map below, you’ll see that we only managed to cover a tiny fraction of Queensland.
We started out by flying from Singapore to Brisbane. It was an easy 7-hour direct flight with Emirates, my favorite airline (after Singapore Airlines of course). We flew red-eye since 7 hours is the perfect time and we would land at 8am in Brisbane.
We broke up our days as such:
- Gold Coast (3 days)
- Brisbane (1 day)
- Sunshine Coast (1 day)
- Noosa (1 day)
- Fraser Island (1 day)
- Back to Sunshine Coast (1 day)
- Back to Brisbane (1 day)
- Fly back to Singapore (1 day)
The weather in April was perfect! We experienced mostly sunny days, though it can get chilly on some nights. Bring a light jacket or a hoodie for night walks. If you are planning to go to the mountains, insect repellent would also help.
Tips on driving in Australia
- Rent a car and arrange to pick it up straight from the airport you’re flying into. Saves you tons of time!
- Have International Driver License that has at least a month validity.
- Keep to speed limit! I have been told the Australian police is very strict on speeding.
- Fill up the tank before returning your car, or it’s going to cost you.
- Most things are closed by 5pm. Yes, even grocery stores, so plan ahead if you need to replenish resources.
- Bring an Adapter for USB Charging in the car. Something like this is perfect.
- Bring a powerbank. My favorite powerbank is the Xiaomi 10,000 mAh. This stuff is super powerful. It can charge my iPhone 7+ more than twice.
Alright, without further ado – let’s jump into the actual travels! And, as I am writing this, I realized there are so much to see and do in each region so I will be writing them in separate posts.
As there are so much to do in Queensland, I have separated the list of things I did in each region:
Gold Coast is a major city in Queensland. It’s located only an hour drive south of Brisbane, making it very accessible from Singapore and other countries. Here is my Gold Coast post.
Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Our route up north to Noosa took us for a drive through Sunshine Coast Hinterland, a beautiful area just north of Brisbane that includes driving through the mountains and beach side. You can find my Sunshine Coast post here.
Fraser Island draws tourism through its claim as the world’s largest sand island, but it still has abundant of life in it such as lush rainforest, lakes and mangroves. Check out this post for my day trip experience to Fraser Island!