Thursday, February 6, 2014

Australia September 2013 - Translink Bus & Rail To Brisbane

***This post is part 9 of a full trip report. The index can be found here***

Utilizing the TransLink Journey Planner, I mapped out the exact itinerary from Surfers Paradise to Brisbane. The wonderful thing about the website is that it identifies specific points of interest such as hotels and landmarks, and takes into account walking time to get to the closest bus stop.

After entering all the relevant information, several routing options are calculated, each with detailed transfer information, fare price, and estimated total travel time. For the entire journey, my total cost was $10.17 AUD during off-peak hours ($12.71 AUD during peak hours). I would highly recommend using this tool if you are visiting South East Queensland and plan on taking public transportation.

After checking out of the Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa, I walked two blocks south to the bus stop on Ferny Avenue (Gold Coast Highway) at Ocean Avenue. The 709 bus arrived on schedule, and in less than half an hour, we arrived at Helensvale Station, where I transferred to the VLBD rail line on Platform 2.

709 bus to Helensvale Station

Helensvale Station and train schedules


Once the train arrived, I noticed a number of cool features that I appreciated. First off, a sign next to the door read "Quiet Carriage", meaning no talking on cell phones, no music, and no loud conversations. While I am not opposed to any of these activities on trains in general, I thought it was a fantastic idea to give passengers who want to the sleep or work the option to do so in peace.

Just above the previous sign was another one that read "WiFi Enabled". And not just any WiFi mind you, but free and extremely fast WiFi. I was very impressed with the functionality throughout the one-hour-and-five-minute ride, and for those of us who don't have an international mobile data plan, this is truly a godsend.

Finally, since the VLBD rail line actually continues on to Brisbane Airport after stopping in the city, I noticed a storage shelf for large luggage located right next to the carriage door. It was nice to be able to drop off my backpack and not have it cramped up next to me on the seat or squished in the aisle blocking other passengers.

VLBD rail line to Brisbane

Quiet carriage

Arrival in Central Station

The ride to Brisbane was pleasant, passing mostly through scenes of suburbia and greenery. Once we arrived at Central Station, I had the option of taking the bus to a stop just outside of the Brisbane Marriott. However, looking at the map, I realized it was only about five blocks away and less than 15 minutes of walking, so I gathered up my belongings and started off on foot to my final destination.

Exiting Central Station

Creek Street in Brisbane

Something American I found!

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