Now here is a travel nightmare story I was not expecting to tell. After a lot of deliberating over the previous day, and the morning, I decided to head north to the Sunshine Coast, specifically Maroochydore. I chose to do so in the hands of Translink, who operate local and short range intercity train services around Brisbane, as well as the busses. Now on the surface, this plan is great, I could get a ticket that took me the whole way and covered bus travel when I go there too! Zonal fares are great!
Said goodbye to Alan & Hayley, who have been great hosts! Hopefully we can get lunch together before I go to the airport on Wednesday.
Decided to walk to Central Station, when I got there it was 45 minutes till the next train to Nambour, but that was an Express. Perfect! Waited on Platform 3. Phone call, iPod on etc… train didn’t arrive. Me and quite a few other confused people went and found a Customer Service person who said there had been a platform change announcement shortly before it’s arrival (which none of us heard, including those without iPods) and it had come onto Platform 4 (behind us, so we didn’t see it) and we would now have to wait 20 minutes, get the local train up there and then get a RailBus connection. Well that sucks!
Rather peeved about that I trudged over to the correct platform, made damn sure that I could hear any whispered PA announcements. Got on train, iPod on again, book to read etc.
Got to Caboolture and transferred easy enough to the RailBus, which was basically a local bus going long distance. Not the greatest tool for the job if I’m honest, a coach is better. Anyway, the main gripe is that this was taking longer than the train I missed.
By the time I got to Nambour it was about 3pm. I had little choice, I found the nearest Brumby’s for a pie! I then went back and caught another local bus to get me to Maroochydore! Finally the end was in sight!
When I got there I got lost in the Big Top shopping centre for more time than I care to admit to. When I got out I made for the local backpackers place, The Cotton Tree Beach House Backpackers, which looked very good in the LP guide Alan had lent me. Then I realised my error… you see I hadn’t called ahead. I am still working in South East Asia mode where it’s safe enough to arrive without a place to stay and just walk to wherever and you’ll get a cheap room to sleep in. Not here, it, the YHA and the other backpackers place were all full! Whoops.
I was at a loss, I tried everywhere I could find… I walked back to the bus station seriously considering returning to Brisbane and going back to Alan & Hayley’s and facing the laughter that I deserved. Then my wing it, attitude came back. I saw a bus that took me to Noosa! A quick look in the LP, yes, there was a hostel, the Halse Lodge YHA! Onto the phone, they could stick me on a foldout bed! AUD30 seemed cheap enough! On the bus I got!