East Coast Australia Travel Tips

Having done the East Coast of Australia two times now, once by car and once by bus, I feel that I am in a suitable position to offer my thoughts on the best (and worst) attractions and hostels to visit on the way.

Coach or Car?

Now this is a question that I’m sure many people will have this dilemma. Should you rent a car/camper and have the freedom of driving yourself or should you save the money and get a series of buses up the coast. I have no definitive answer for you but I can offer my opinions of both.

Car

One word. Freedom. When you have a car you have complete control over where you go. No planning your trips around bus times or only visiting places that tours go to. If there is a road then you can go there. When I was travelling up the east coast in a car we had 4 people so it was pretty cost effective and it allowed us to visit so much more than if we had taken the bus. It also allows you to visit more unique and hard to reach attractions.

It does offer up a few negatives. It can get expensive if you drive a lot with fuel charges etc. Also if you get into an accident or it breaks down some companies can charge you ridiculous amounts unless you have the right insurance. When I was in New Zealand our car’s break pads failed and fell off, lucky for us we weren’t charged but if we had been it could have set us back over three grand.

Also if you want to drive you need drivers. This can prevent people from drinking/partying late into the night when they know they have to drive the next day.

Coach

Cheap, reliable and relies on very little effort from you. Other than making sure you book the right trips and turn up on time you really don’t have to worry much when using the coaches. If you’re willing to have a few bad nights sleep then you can also take overnight buses to save on a few hostel night saving even more money.

The worse bit about the coach is definitely them lack of freedom. If there isn’t a bus then there isn’t a bus. You also cant really visit anywhere that doesn’t have a bus stop.

Accommodation

Now you’ve decided how to travel we can talk about where you are going to sleep. As mentioned above you can sleep on coaches if that’s how you’re travelling but you really can’t survive doing that every night. So when it comes down to it you have two main choices. Hostels or camping/camper.

Hostels

Hostels are one of the best ways to travel. Nothings better than being thrown in with hundreds of other travellers but this obviously comes with downsides. It does largely depend on which hostels you choose. As a rule I prefer to never stay in chain hostels such as X-base or Nomads as independently owned hostels often have a better vibe and tend to be more chilled out. If you like the party atmosphere then pick a hostel that’s good for it. If you like more relaxed places then there’s a hostel for you to. That’s the beauty of it.

Camping

There’s a couple of great apps but my personal favourite is WikiCamps. You can use it offline to find any free camp-sites in the area and a the small investment is definitely worth it. It drops the price of camping through the roof and the number of free camp-sites around is surprising. For those wanting to live a little more luxuriously camp-sites can range from $6 per person all the way up to $30 or even more depending on the facilities. But who says you need a camp-site at all? In New Zealand I spent more than one night roughing it just pitching our tent in the best available spot and one night we even approached a farmer who let us stay on their land for free. I’m not saying you can rely on it but camping is a sure fire way to save money and can often force you into new situations you would never have found yourselves in before

It does make it harder to meet other people. As a lot of travellers do stay in hostels you can’t rely on camping to meet people. Having said that free camp-sites are a haven for travellers and interesting people alike so you’re guaranteed to get a few stories out of it.

 

There’s plenty more to be said on this subject but these are the few thoughts I have. I also forgot about this post and left it for 2 months so I can’t remember what else I had to put.

 

Peace.

Motivation

Motivation is a funny thing. I start so many things with good intentions then many of them fall by the wayside. This blog for example. Every few months or so I have a huge influx of motivation to write, create and generally better myself and more often than not it lasts a week and then its gone. I am in one of these periods right now. In two days I have completely tidied and sort out ALL of my stuff, written an article for SpiceUKOnline, sorted through and labelled all my GoPro footage, written this article AND finished/started a bunch of University work but I’m worried that in 2 weeks I will be back to my old lazy useless ways where nothing gets done.

I’ve tried to work out why this happens at at the moment I have no answers but I really hope I can keep this streak going. It feels different to the others in a strange way but I’ll guess we see. This particular post I’m probably not even going to share on social media. It’s just for myself so when I’m feeling unmotivated in about a weeks time I can come and read this and think man it felt great to do all that stuff and create things. I think I have sort of put a finger on what causes it but that for a more well thought out article than this.

One other thing that always motivates me is travelling. Every time I start living out of a backpack and visiting new places I get a unrivalled sense of adventure and freedom. There’s something about getting out of my house and constantly meeting new people that really drives me and I definitely intend to continue doing more of it.

 

That’s it for now, peace out.

So I’m living in Australia

On the 7th of August it was the one month anniversary of me setting foot onto Australian soil and I have noticed a few changes since that fateful day. For one I’ve got a slight tan and I’m not as absurdly tired as when I first landed.

My first few days in Australia were all spent in a backpackers hostel where I had the privilege of sharing a room with 7 other people. It was actually better than it sounds and after a few days it was time to find a permanent residence for my year so I set about viewing houses with several other people from Leeds. We looked at many houses ranging from a 30 person hostel type house to a cosy 5 bedroom house with a table tennis table. when I flew out here I was determined that I would live in a big party house where I could socialise with an abundance of people whenever I wanted. However upon viewing the smaller house I had a change of heart and went for the smallest bedroom available. It’s so small in fact that I have a separate small room for my desk and cupboard which I now affectionately refer to as my “study”.

In theory living in the small house was a great idea as I am close to the large house full of my friends from Leeds so can visit whenever I want but still have my own house  and housemates to enjoy the rest of the time. Sadly after the previous tenants had moved out I was left alone in my house for 2 weeks. It got to the point when I had no hope of ever getting any house mates and had surrendered myself to the inevitability of a lonely 6 months. Then almost as if my prayers were answered some people were actually looking around the house. Not wanting to sound desperate for housemates when they asked me what I thought of the house I replied “It’s nice, you should live here, I’m so alone” throwing all subtlety out the window at the prospect of friends.

Somehow they were not deterred my my strange outburst and a few days later I had my new housemates. 2 French girls and a Belgian girl (the people I met) and a German girl. This mix was one gay guy away from my housemates in Leeds (me, 4 girls and a gay guy) so I could finally settle in properly to the house.

As far as lectures and university go I have been uncharacteristically good at attending lectures and completing work for all my modules. Who knows if its the excitement of a foreign country or that I am finding all my modules interesting but for some reason I seem to have a better work ethic out here (maybe it’s just the sun). Saying that here I am in the library typing out a rambling boring blog post so not much has changed in the end.

There’s no summary to this blog post it’s just here so when I’m old, balding and confined to a small stuffy room I can read this and remember my life.

Let’s see how this goes

As I sat in bed watching episode after episode of Homes Under the Hammer and Police Interceptors it dawned upon me that as soon as I finished my second year at uni I lost all purpose in my life. This is also when I ran out of crisps, the hangover headache kicked in and I began to make the painful trip to the kitchen to rehydrate myself.

While stumbling down the stairs I realised that in just over a month I was going to leave for Australia on my Year Abroad. This while incredibly exciting would bring me away from the city I had spent most of the last two years in and away from many of the brilliant friends I have made. I feel like I am sitting in some weird limbo, there is only so long before I hop on that plane not to return for an entire year but still enough time left for it to matter.

“What can I do to keep myself busy?” I asked myself “I know I’ll create a blog”.

And that is how this place was born. The best thing I did when I travelled in Uganda was to keep a journal but that seems so archaic to a New Media Student (and my handwriting is nigh unreadable nowadays). So I have made this place to document my thoughts, feelings and creations. You get the idea. I don’t know what this will be but I know that I want to document this next year and beyond.

I’ve done a lot of interesting stuff over the past two years at Leeds and made some amazing friends. I’m definitely going to miss it but nothing lasts forever. With all this in mind I hope I can document all the little things that I would other wise forget

Strap yourself in and get ready for a wild ride from this messy attic room in Leeds across the oceans to Australia and back again.

If you prefer tumblr it’s on there aswell – http://eatmorethensleepmore.tumblr.com/