Ready, Set, Go – Arrival in Australia
Goodbye Deutschland on April 11th 2018 – it only took 20 hours to reach the other end of the world. At first a 6h flight from Frankfurt to Abu Dhabi and one hour later I boarded the 14h flight to Australia.
To-dos in Brisbane
Fortunately, jet lag wasn’t a problem this time around, so I could start working on my to-do list the next day. The most important item on that list: getting a SIM card to be connected to the internet. Mostly to be able to use Google Maps. I decided to go with Telstra since they provide the best coverage in Australia.
My next to-do was opening a bank account with Commonwealth Bank. Despite not having a permanent address it was no problem to open an account here – very impressive. The advantage of having a local bank account with a local credit card is that it makes payments for the car mechanic, etc. easier.
Picking up the Landcruiser
After setting up the basics of my local existence I thought it was time to pick up my car from the parking garage. After 6 months it was still there – a little dusty but still in one piece. Unfortunately the owner didn’t expect me on that day and the landcruiser was trapped in the middle of 30 other cars that needed to be moved first. I was able to pick up my freed Toyota the next day though 🙂
Driving in the third largest city with a population of 2mio people in Australia turned out to be fine – despite having to drive on the left side. In general things seem to be more relaxed Down Under, everybody seems pretty calm and patient on the road. I found a nice little inexpensive motel in Darra, 30km south of Brisbane. That day I switched my standard phone language to English, because none of the street names here are understandable in German 🙂
The first week was full of car maintenance appointments: fixing the exhaust, service with Toyota, AC service with Bosch, fixing of a few parts with after sales, exchanging the wind shield with Carglass… Very unusual for me that I had to take the landcruiser to separate places for all of that.
Sightseeing in Brisbane
Nevertheless there was still some time for sightseeing in the local area and chats with room and tent neighbors at the camp site. I pulled out my swag for two days before the rain caught me. One highlight was heading to Mount Coot-tha, the local hill here in Brisbane. From there you have a really nice view over the city, especially at night.
At the beginning of my second week here, a lot of my to-do list has been covered already. I still need to exchange the wind shield and I would like to buy a new drone. The beautiful aerial photos and videos my son and I took on our trip to Cape York convinced me to get one for the drive back home. Also, I haven’t found proper car insurance yet for the long drive. I’m waiting to hear back from an American insurance company clements. Neither German nor Australian companies could offer anything suitable so far. I hope there is still some time left for some sightseeing here in Queensland before the landcruiser is being shipped from Brisbane to… Vladivostok. I’m sure Vladivostok comes as a surprise to a few of you… More about that in the next blog entry.