Home Exchane in Brisbane

Jun 1st, 2007, 02:36 PM
  #1  
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Home Exchane in Brisbane

I have been offered a home exchange in Brisbane, Australia, for August 2008. I have accepted. Of course, everything will be "tentative" until the mutual buying of airplane tickets occurs around Christmas 2007.

Having said all of that, I would appreciate suggestions for the trip. I do plan to fly to the Whitsunday islands and go out on the Great Barrier Reef. Aside from that, I do intend to limit overnight excursions to save money on hotels (which is, after all, the purpose of a home exchange). I will be doing a lot of day trips and seeing the sights. I hope to see some of Australia's unusual flora and fauna and, due to the climate, do a bit of relaxing.

If anyone has suggestions, I would appreciate all of them.

I have never been to Australia before and will probably be traveling solo. I will have the use of my home exchangers' car.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 03:28 PM
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Brisbane's a great base, with lots of interesting places well within "day trip" range. And from there you will have access to really cheap airfares to Cairns etc.

Are you coming for the whole month of August?

There are lots of Brisbane experts on this board, so I am sure you will have many helpful suggestions very soon.

Just a couple to get you started.

1. Mount Tambourine - hinterland of the Gold Coast; rainforest, charming village, some nice eating spots.

2. Sunshine coast (1.5 hr drive from BNE airport to Noosa). Along the coast, a chain of towns and inland in the hills, villages like Malaney, Eumundie (great market there on Saturdays). There's a working silent movie theatre at Pomona, which is great fun
my247.com.au/sunshine-coast/The-Majestic-Theatre.16522

You can take a boat trip out to Tangalooma from Brisbane.

Brisbane itself has a lot to offer, too. It takes a bit of exploring to find all the treasures and you'll have the time to make some discoveries of your own, too

I think home exchange would be a great way to experience different places and would give an entirely different perspective than other accommodation options.

Bokhara is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Yes, I am home exchanging for an entire month. The exact dates will be worked on later. I have my 33rd exchange coming up in Vienna, Austria. Brisbane will be my 34th. I expect to do my usual thing on these exchanges which is to beat the local area to death seeing everything within a couple of hours of the city I am in.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 05:42 PM
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Where abouts in Brisbane is the home exchange?
LizzyF is offline  
Jun 1st, 2007, 07:59 PM
  #5  
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Red Hill is the name of the area. I never give out specific addresses for home exchange families online to protect my exchangers privacy.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2007, 05:11 PM
  #6  
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OK, this deal looks as solid as can be this far in advance.

I appreciate the information about the silent movie theater, which looks like a lot of fun.

The whole point of home exchanging is getting a feel for a place as a local would rather than just touring from a hotel base. Also, because you stay for a long time, you get to see a lot more than a conventional tourist (2 days here, 3 days there) tourist does. Of course, you only see the small area in which you are exchanging, but it is my philosophy that there is plenty to keep anyone busy anywhere when he is far from home.

I am getting ready to go off to Austria for almost a month this summer and will not be heavily planning for Brisbane until I have returned and ready to go with trip planning for the next trip.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 06:03 AM
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A few more suggestions for day trips out of Brisbane. Bokhara is right, the city is a great base, no matter which direction you go.

1) Lamington Nat'l park is an absolute must. Binna Burra and O'Reilly's are the two major bases. Rainforest walks, mountain views, waterfalls, and plenty of wildlife to see, especially birds. SE of Brisbane.

2)Springbrook, high up in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Check out the spectacular Purling Brook waterfall and the Best of All Lookout. SSE of Brisbane.

3) Cape Byron and Byron Bay. South.

4) Noosa. Like Byron, a cool beach town with great walks nearby. North of Brisbane.

5) Tangalooma, on Moreton Island, a short boat ride east of Brisbane. Do a whale watch trip while there (August will be peak whale watching time).

5) The Glass House Mts, Sunshine Coast Hinterland.

If you are into hiking (or bushwalking, as they call it in Australia), there is no shortage of great walks or climbs that would be doable in a day, including the drive. These include the various easy walks in Laminginton (starting from Binna Burra or O'Reillys), Mt Tamborine, Springbrook and Noosa. The 2.5 mile hike up Mt Warning (south of Brisbane, not too far from Byron Bay)is a little harder but well worth the effort. Mt Beerwah (Glass House Mts) is a very impressive climb, though the very steep beginning section is a bit scary. Then there's Mt Barney (the highest mountain in the area), if you're really keen and fit, an willing to get up very early.

A nice drive to Byron or Mt Warning (starting early in the day) would be to drive south on the main highway, turning inland at Nerang, following signs for Advancetown, Numinbah and Murwillumbah. This takes you through the beautiful Numinbah Valley. Stop at the Natural Arch, a very interesting waterfall-in-a-cave, set deep in rainforest. There are great views as you cross over the range into New South Wales.
RalphR is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 07:01 AM
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Ooops, minor point: Lamington, Springbrook are SW, not SE of Brissie. Otherwise they'd be out in the ocean!
RalphR is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 01:56 PM
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While I am not a great hiker, I am interested in doing some bush walking if only to see the scenery. That is a big deal for me as the flora and fauna is so different from what exists in Washington, DC (not that it is bad where I live, just different).

I will continue to check this thread for suggestions as the trip evolves. If I lose the thread, I can always search for "exchane". LOL
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 02:41 PM
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FSM, just a note on the hikes at Lamington. There are many that are easy to medium. When I went in 2003 I was recovering from 4 fractured vertebrae and did quite a few of the hikes so really, they weren't too strenuous. It is such an amazing area, try to be sure to put it on your list
Toucan2 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 04:20 PM
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I will definitely put some of those hikes on my itinerary. Having a month in a place really allows you to see it in depth--which is why I love exchanging.

Just hope I don't break anything in Australia. There was an infamous Bavarian home exchange where the house was filthy, the car was a disaster (needed many repairs and really was undriveable) and 2 hours after arriving I broke my left ankle. No more "vacations" like that one, please!
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 04:55 PM
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Yikes! I did fall off a runaway horse in Belize but it took a while before the value of the story to be told was realized. I was pretty determined to not let it ruin the vacation, and there was more than the normal amount of alchohol consumed on that trip!

The Brisbane exchange sounds great, and I'm just a bit jealous!
Toucan2 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2007, 05:46 PM
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That Bavarian home exchange was a bit of a mess. I did lose about 4 days entirely when the fracture happened because I had to wait for the brace to walk on it. It was, fortunately, an in place fracture. I had fractured the ankle in the same place for the 3rd time. The doctors in Germany speak very good English, by the way, even in small towns and I did get very good medical care. They talked to me about putting a plate in but that was not something I was about to do on vacation (involves surgery). It ended up healing just fine without surgery but it did put a damper on the vacation. I managed to do some thngs, but it was not the vacation I envisioned.

Stuff happens sometimes and you deal with it. If you have to say, "Whoa. I guess I have to slow this down", that is what you do.

By the way, for 3 appointments at the hospital and 4 x-rays, the bill was--get this--$160. I think they just charged me for the brace and the x-rays. I don't really know. I came to the last appointment with a fistful of cash thinking I would need it and was pleasantly surprised. The hospital told me to submit the bill to my insurer for reimbursement in the US. I laughed. For that amount of money, it would have cost more to have a licensed translator translate it! I just let it go.

If we just had a government health insurance program like that in the US! The brace I got was much lighter weight than those boots used for broken ankles in the US, by the way.

By the way, in 32 home exchanges, I have only had two where the house was in an unacceptable state of cleanliness. Bavaria was one. The other one was my first home exchange in the UK in 1990. So, overall, the experiences have been good.

I am about to go off on home exchange #33 to Austria this summer. Serious Brisbane planning will probably not take place until after Christmas, but I know nothing about traveling in Australia and appreciate any suggestions.

I will bookmark this thread for use as I plan the trip.
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Dear Faux, Like yourselves we are hard core home exchangers. Did 10 in the first 2 years, 4 in DC where our grandkids are and doing another next week. We have at least 6 planned in the next year including 2 in Australia in Nov 07, 1 in Newcastle and 1 in Malua Bay. Looking for a 3rd in Sydney. Our home is in Vermont. Good luck with your exchange! [email protected]
newenglanders is offline  
Jun 4th, 2007, 01:15 PM
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I am very impressed. I normally do no more than 3 a year, but, then again, I still work. Brisbane will be my 34th home exchange overall.

I live in the DC area and tend to go overseas for 3-4 weeks. In the US or Canada, my exchanges have been typically for 1-2 weeks.

So, you guys have me beat by a long shot.

I do belong to both Intervac and Homelink. If anyone wants to join Intervac, I can get you a small discount. You can email me at [email protected] for that or to discuss exchanging (perhaps even with me; I did get one directly off the internet once).
FauxSteMarie is offline  
Aug 12th, 2007, 11:54 AM
  #16  
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I am back from my home exchange in Austria and are gearing up for Australia planning. By the way, I bought a t-shirt in Austria (breaking my "no t-shirts" resolution) that says "No kangaroos in Austria".

Austria, Australia, who can keep them straight?

My thoughts on Brisbane are to fly Air NZ, spending a few days in Auckland going over. Then try to work out something going home via Cairns or the Whitsunday Islands and do it as a complete itinerary. I think I'd stay about 4 days in Auckland and 3 days in Cairns or the Whitsundays to do the GBR.

Please do not attack me for not going to Sydney or the South Island in NZ. I intend this trip to be my first to that part of the world and not the last. The area is so vast and you have to choose.
FauxSteMarie is offline  

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