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Brisbane & Sydney in July & August

Cold weather? How to get around via public transportation solo.
3 years ago, March 30th 2012 No: 1 Msg: #153927  
I\'m thinking of a trip to Brisbane and Sydney during their Winter, July 15-Sept 10. Wondering just how cold it will be? Colder than say 65 degrees? Any suggestions on how to get around besides flying? Is there public transportation such as buses or trains? I\'ll be solo and hoping to stay at various AirBnB home stays. There is a conference in Brisbane and a client in Sydney, thus those to particular destinations. Any thoughts appreciated. Thanks!! Reply to this

3 years ago, March 30th 2012 No: 2 Msg: #153931  
Hello Kimberley and welcome to Travelblog!

As a resident of Brisbane for nearly 20 years, I can certainly comment on the Brisbane side of things.

Firstly, weather - Brisbane is a subtropical climate, so winters are mild and usually dry (though we had a wet winter last year). Days usually don't get much cooler than 20 Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) but they can drop down to lows of 15 Celsius (59 Fahrenheit) on what is termed here as "cold days". Nights sometime drop into single figures (below 50 Fahrenheit). The worst month here is typically August, because that is when the westerly winds blow in, and it usually is quite uncomfortable for a few weeks. Other than that, the weather is glorious here at that time of year.

There is a lot of public transport around, but be warned, it is not cheap. In order to save as much as possible purchase the public transport Go Card, you can recharge, and fares are much cheaper if using it. The bus network in Brisbane is extensive, trains less so and ferrys/CityCats only loiter on the river (obviously!).

Australian cities are large sprawling affairs with lots of space, so if you can try to get nearer to the CBD (Downtown) area, otherwise you will have a long commute to get anywhere.

Two final thoughts, at the end of August/early September is the annual River Festival in Brisbane, and it is the best time of the year to be here. You must try to catch the annual Riverfire, it is well worth seeing.

Finally, budget extra for food. Australia is one of the most expensive places in the world to shop for groceries and food supplies - even more than Scandinavian Europe according to friends who hail from that part of the world. Almost every visitor from overseas who I've met through places such as Couchsurfing comment on the high cost.

If you have any further questions, please post again.

[Edited: 2012 Mar 30 02:22 - The Travel Camel:11053 ]
Reply to this

3 years ago, March 30th 2012 No: 3 Msg: #153935  
Thank you so much for the feedback! I live in San Francisco so I'm used to high prices and cold winds,ha. One reason I like to leave SF in July/Aug is because of the cold summers here. What if I were to travel north say towards Cairns to get a warmer beach vibe? The River Festival sounds fun! My travel dates are flexible. The conference is in Brisbane July 27-28 then I could go anywhere through 9/10. I visited Stockholm which seems to be the most expensive thus far.
Kim Reply to this

3 years ago, March 30th 2012 No: 4 Msg: #153938  
If you head north, it will certainly be warmer. The Whitsunday Islands are the most famous for the relaxed beach scene. Heading further north towards Cairns you can enjoy places such as the Daintree National Park, Mossman Gorge and Atherton Tablelands. If you love eating seafood, this part of Australia is great to be in.

In order to get that far north, I would advise taking either a plane or a train. Train will take 30 hours, but it would be a great way to see the scenery - they do have sleeper, but not sure of the cost You could take a bus but it is a long way - Cairns-Brisbane is about 1750 kilometres (nearly 1100 miles), and if you love bus journeys, then this trip is for you - but 30 hours on a bus is really not much fun.

I'd maybe try one way on land and then return by air. Coming from the US you will appreciate big distances, and considering that the main body of the US (excluding Alaska) is slightly smaller than Australia, you will be well prepared for the enormity of this country.

What location is the conference in Brisbane? If it is the Brisbane Convention Centre, that is centrally located with particularly good train and bus connections, but ensure that you stay on the south side of Brisbane otherwise you need to change buses/trains to reach there from most places north of the river. Reply to this

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