The simplest and best way to cross from the south (Gold Coast side) of Brisbane to the north (Sunshine Coast side) is the Gateway Bridge which is a toll bridge. And the same applies to go south to Pacific Highway or to branch off to Ipswich, Toowoomba or Warwick.
All manual toll booths are now closed and removed
Though at times there is a lot of congestion this is the most direct route and leads to the airport and ship terminal as well which are on the north side..
Unique Suggestions: If you have hired a car make sure it is fitted with a transponder or has a prepaid "go viavideo " account to save all the hassle.
You will hear one beep as you pass through the check point if all is OK with transponder. Another option takes a photo of number plate..
If you are in your own vehicle and do not have a transponder or the video option note the telephone number and call ASAP to avoid the fine. You have 3 days or penalties apply.
There are" go via "retailers somewhere! Otherwise phone the numbers listed below.
Fun Alternatives: If you want to pass from the south to the north side of Brisbane there is the Story Bridge which takes you through the Valley, the route through the city centre, or one that skirts the city via the Centenary Highway (Ipswich side)
The last two are more complicated though there is an inner city bypass and I would recommend a study of maps to get your bearings and not just rely on GPS.
Call the RACQ for advice. 131905
Traffic Reports 131940 for Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sunshine Coast.
.You have 3 days to pay if you go through without transponder. PH. 133331
Members who find this useful may like to visit Mind the Round-a-Bouts and do not miss Know Your Exit Number
ALL my driving review links are now(2013) listed here
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You hear all the time what beautiful weather we have in Queensland. And we do. But not all the time. Along the coastal strip can be quite different to the places on the other side of the range...The Great Dividing Range that is.
Once you cross the range you could well be colder or hotter than the coast. Usually the heat is dryer. Go outback and you could be extremely HOT or COLD.
But the weather in places such as Toowoomba and Warwick can be very temperate more like England (and the gardens and surrounds reflect this.)
We have a "wet season" too. Very wet ..and roads can flood and bridges are washed away and you are cut off ...maybe for quite a while. The further north you go the more of this type of weather can come your way.
"Only in Queensland" says the add on TV for an insurance company and you see a hail storm
or cyclonic winds lashing someones home. Thunder storms can brew very quickly in the summer. There is usually a greenish tinge if hail is likely and hail stones can be like ice chips or as large as an orange or great chunks of ice (rarer)
Then sometimes the wind will blow dust across the coastal strip and all around you is dusty brown.
Unique Suggestions: Check on the weather which is usual for the time you are here. Carry appropriate gear.
Plan your trip around known weather patterns. We would not consider going outback in mid summer unless for some urgent reason.
Always carry water and some food when travelling. Never drive into water without checking safety aspects.
Fun Alternatives: First there is a good site to check
The RACQ always has information on the condition of roads.
Brisbane ,Gold Coast, and Sunshine Coast Up to date road information for those areas Click here or Phone 131940
So remember we do have heaps of beautiful weather and warm winter days...but not always.
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Sunshine Coast Hinterland
Not to be confused
Just be aware that Blackall Range Road and Blackall Range Tourist Drive are not the same. And I am sure that you will be looking for the Tourist Drive
You can read about The Blackall Range Tourist Drive here This drive starts at Landsborough and encompasses Maleny, Witta, Reeseville, Montville, Flaxton, Kondalilla, Mapleton and Cooloolabin.
Another place to read about the drive comes from the Caloundra Guide where it is listed as Tour 23
The Range Road is in West Woombye and you can look at this map
Unique Suggestions: Just be aware of the names...one is Blackall Range Road....the other Blackall Range Tourist Drive...and you want the Tourist Drive....don't you?
Fun Alternatives: Go to next 'Tourist Trap'
Just so you are not confused when you are reading about Brisbane ,the capital of Queensland, on Virtual Tourist please do not try to find Brisbane Range because it does NOT exist in Brisbane.
People do live in range areas around Brisbane but none of the places are called Brisbane Range.
There are no buses, no trains,no roads to Brisbane Range because it does not exist. It is a mistake from the early days of VT and for some reason is difficult to fix.
Unique Suggestions: Yes there is a Brisbane Range ...an actual range....unpopulated...about 160 K north of Brisbane city
and serves as a catchment area for the Brisbane River.
Fun Alternatives: So if you are exploring Brisbane city do NOT look for Brisbane Range...you are in Brisbane or one of the many suburbs in The Greater Brisbane Area.
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The tourist trap is to underestimate how long it will take you to reach Brisbane Airport ....Domestic and International are quite separate by the way.
Brisbane peak hour can be very slow as can travelling from the Gold Coast. The train from Gold Coast is good but from Sunshine Coast the train can be delayed and it is NOT a direct airport train.
The road section I most worry about is the Sunshine Coast to Brisbane airport although the new tunnel has improved things. But an accident can block both lanes and there are only a couple of exits...the one to the old Bruce Highway (Steve Irwin Way) and not any more opportunities from the southbound lane for a long time.
Unique Suggestions: Allow plenty of time and then some...better to wait at the airport than have to reorganize flights.
Avoid peak hour to travel but remember on some roads an accident can cause very long delays.
The shuttle buses get caught too...I always go earlier than they suggest.
Fun Alternatives: Go back to first 'Tourist Trap'
Go back to Queensland page'
Why I call Australia Zoo a tourist trap, is because it still plays on the name Steve Irwin, plus the admission prices are extremely high, too high for the average family wanting a day out.
I have found other zoos to have just as good shows and more animals on display for HALF THE PRICE!
The price is ridicuously high, just imagine taking the family and paying $35 for a 3yr old child that most probably will fall asleep for some of the time!
Once in there, prices for food and anything else you wish to buy is very expensive too.
Make sure you take a bag load of money when you visit here, you will need it!
ADMISSION PRICES UNTIL MARCH 2013
CHILD 3-14YRS ....$35
Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast, north of Brisbane.
You buy a cute little koala toy or maybe an Australian flag. Sometimes it is a T-shirt and you find to your horror it is not made in Australia. An Australian souvenir "made in China" .Who would want that to remind them of a stay in our beautiful country?
Unique Suggestions: You can certainly check the label.
It is important to keep the thought in your mind or you could buy without realizing.
Fun Alternatives: Choose souvenirs that are definitely of Australian origin. An opal from the shop on the Bruce Highway just before the Etamogah Pub. Or maybe some Aboriginal art.
And you could also look for a shop or web-site that advertises "Australian made".
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If you are used to seeing one magical sight after another in other parts of the world it may not be the case in Queensland.
How many times does the British Isles fit into Qld...About 7.1 times. And there may only be one extinct volcano to see after miles(kilometers)of travel.
There is a great little pub to visit on the way to Monto in Qld. Is it too far just to have a meal and see the memorabilia? (see my things to do in Qld) tip.
So it is not a deliberate trap but a trap none the less if you travel far on lonely roads for a very small reward.
Unique Suggestions: Check the distances you need to travel and relate this information to travel at home or somewhere you know. I would have to travel from London to York 4 times there and back to see this attraction. Read up on the attraction . Ask in VT.
Call on the phone to check opening times....sometimes things change.
Fun Alternatives: Sus out something else that you would enjoy doing that is within range. See local VT tips or ask on forum
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Themeparks on the gold coast at christmas/ new years time get VERY busy. The lines will be huge and you will not get to ride many rides.
Unique Suggestions: Dreamworld- ride the giant drop and brand new motocoaster
Whitewaterworld- hydrocoaster, green room
wet n wild - don't bother
sea world- animals are good
Fun Alternatives: Visit the tallest tower on the coast, Q1 and go to the top.
You have to pass through the fleecing section. Ripley's Believe it or not ensnares the unaware with a penny arcade at the exit..........the Australian Zoo exit is through quite a large shop of souveniers and everywhere we visited adopts this attitude of well we will get your last cent if you don't put your blinkers on and head straight out, after you have seen this wonderful place.
The upside of course is that you have already had more than your money's worth in Ripleys........a fantastic display and experience........even the 2 year old enjoyed it so do go.............(blinkers on on the way out OK?)......The same goes for Seaworld and Australian Zoo...........all fantastic places and must sees in my opinion.
Unique Suggestions: Take photos of your grandchildren enjoying the experience..........LOL.
Fun Alternatives: The only other thing would be to stick a blindfold over your eyes and move quickly out of the last exit. As I said, you've had more than you're money's worth lol.
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