Published: February 5th 2012February 5th 2012
This is my first blog from the land down under. Due to the fact that activities have tended to involve sunbathing and goon consuming it has been hard to find anything worth writing about! I have travelled from Sydney to Brisbane so far stopping off along the way for a night at a surf camp, six nights in Byron Bay and two nights in Surfers Paradise. The surf lesson at the camp was great fun. I managed to catch quite a few small waves and we had a memorable walk in the heat of the day through the jungle to Byron Bay light house. The views from the Light house were breath taking. Those long stretches of white sand beaches which spring to mind when someone uses a word such as: Paradise. But other than that life has been a beach, as they say around these parts!
This blog takes the form of a guide. Should you find yourself on the East Coast of Australia attempting to do it, on not so much a shoe string more a thread of cotton any time soon, I am sure it will be most helpful!
After missing my flight to Australia and spending a small fortune getting a replacement I’m feeling the need to cut back! My travel buddy Hannah (or Blondie or The Lobster as she is affectionately known) similarly managed to blow a small fortune on a trip round the Whitsundays and Fraser Island (which will of course be worth every penny, I’m told they’re heaven on earth). So here are our rules which we intend to live by for the next four weeks. I hope you enjoy!
1. FREEBIES: On the main road, not far from the beach in Byron Bay there is a restaurant which hands on tasters of Falafel. Top Tip: If you eat your first one then follow that by saying, ‘MMmmm lovely where is this restaurant again…?’ you can easily take another. That’s your dinner right there! Likewise next time you’re in Surfers Paradise take a stroll past the Starbucks. When we walked by we were treated to a free ice cold Frappuccino. Ideal. After much discussion we decided this covered our need for coffee for a few days (poor Hannah has been struggling with this one pretty bad since someone stole her jar at the last hostel. The cold cream on top stifled any desires one may have for Ice Cream while the tidy taster cup can be saved and used as a shot glass and the straw, why is that not an instrument for making goon more palatable?!
2. FOOD: Don’t even think about buying food out. Your basic rule is Super Market only, and since Australian Super Markets are super expensive its home brand only! Breakfast for example can be covered for a few weeks with a home brand box of Corn Flakes (just $1.20) and when sprinkled with some sugar (liberated from McDonalds) it’s an absolute delight!! You may choose to follow our one treat a week rule. Don’t get excited. When we sat treat we certainly don’t mean eat out we mean get some pasta sauce to liven up the plain pasta! Finally, Hannah suggests skipping lunch altogether!
3. SOUVINERS: Australia has plenty of wonderful shells and flowers. Pick up and press a few of these and boom you’ve got a gift right there!
4. ACTIVITIES: This is obvious keep it free. Its surprisingly easy thanks to the fact that there is little else to do in the East Coasts small seaside towns other than sunbath! No surfing unless your hostel offers free board rentals (plenty in Byron do). Both Sydney and Brisbane have free museums and you can always have a picnic in one of the East Coasts many wonderful botanical gardens!
5. SOFT DRINKS: Tempting as it is in temperatures this high you must refrain from buying wonderfully chilled juices! Learn to love your warm water from your sandy bottle (Hannah this means NO refreshingly ice cold diet cokes when you’re dying of thirst!)
6. TIMTAMS: One pack a week maximum! We advise you save this purchase for a day when you are feeling a little low! (No Timtams are no OZ slang for cigarettes which is what I have made our clear addiction to Timtams sound like….just Google it! And yes okay I admit they are better than Penguins!)
7. LOST PROPERTY: If someone has left a bottle of shampoo in the shower this is a fantastic opportunity to save money. Just be sure you don’t know who it belongs to otherwise that just mean!
8. MCDONALDS: I know what you’re thinking are they crazy I don’t have enough money for a Maccy’Ds (plus why would I want to eat that dog food). Well we are not recommending you go to McDonalds to eat. No no no. You go in stuff your pockets with all the sugar, salt and pepper you can and get out. Fast. This is not stealing because: A) You have given enough money to McDonalds over the years, we all have and B) Its McDonalds, who cares! The sugar can be used in the aforementioned way to brighten up home brand cereals while the pain pasta will make life much more exciting when you have to live off plain pasta for a month!
9. ALL YOU CAN EAT BBQS: I know what you’re thinking ‘I can never eat enough to make it worthwhile. Wrong. What you need to be thinking is ‘I can take enough to make it worthwhile’! Personally I enjoyed my one burger and one sausage by the pool with everyone else. But, deciding I had not quite got my $5 worth managed to sneak no less than nine, that’s right NINE sausages up to the fridge in my room. So it was sausage sandwiches for lunch and believe me those sausages certainly jazzed up our plain pasta the following night!
So that is our advice for the next time you find yourself on an impoverished trip up the East Coast of Australia!!