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Sunday, January 8, 2012

16. Car or Tour?

I now find myself in a bit of a quandary. Here's me thinking my son would take me somewhere - show me around, hire a car etc. but he is flying back home on the Friday and flying back to Brisbane on the Monday. Having read reviews of the place where he (and therefore I) are staying, it seems the accommodation is in a business part and is dead at weekends - everything is shut. Someone said you could always catch a taxi at night, but...taxis cost money and it doesn't seem to be the place where you meet other people. Better suited to people on business or couples/families but not so good if you're by yourself. Which I will be from Friday evening until Monday.

Rang son earlier to see if he had changed his ticket (he said he'd try and do this), but it turns out his gf has a work thing on on Saturday night and usually she goes to things with his friends and she probably wouldn't go to the work thing by herself. It's sort of like a late New Year's thing. She's a nurse so a work "do" can't just happen at the drop of a hat. I told him in that case not to worry about it and go to the party with her.

He then remembered that his mate from school is moving to Bunbury and is having a going away party on the Friday night. His friend is in Sri Lanka at present and will only be home for a day or so. He did say had he remembered about his friend he would have booked the tickets for a week later. Ah well...never mind, I'll just have to make the best of it.

He said if I wanted to go to Noosa (or Noosa Heads) he'd advise hiring a car and the best (and only in his opinion) thing about Noosa was a cruise which costs around $10 - but it's a sunset cruise. He and his gf did this when she was up in Brisbane in November. Of course it is cheaper to hire a car in November than it is in January - especially if you book several weeks in advance.

So ... I have booked a car for the weekend (I can always cancel with no charge up to one hour before pick-up) - a 2 day car hire is $119, yet a 3 day hire is $122! Funny thing though, I couldn't book a car for two days - the site wouldn't let me. I rang one of the 1300 numbers and spoke with a female who said it would have to be a 3 day car hire. I then rang another 1300 number, spoke to a chap who didn't say I couldn't hire a car for two days, but I ended up going for the 3 days as I'll pick up the vehicle at 8.00am Saturday and then am not relegated to returning it at 8.00am on the Monday morning.

Where in all this you might ask is the quandary? Well, I'll tell you. It's like this see - as son is going back home, what am I going to do at the weekend I thought. I want to visit the Eumundi Market and Noosa Heads, and had originally thought of doing a day tour. These tours are run only on Wednesdays and Saturdays (the days the market is open) and I was going to do the tour on the Wednesday. Especially as I checked the Brisbane weather and Wednesday will be about 34º and Saturday is several degrees cooler and with some rain.

All this meant that I would have Tuesday free, and the weekend to do something with the son.

With a car I'll have Tuesday and Wednesday free and can drive to Eumundi and then onto Noosa Heads on the Saturday. Plus see other stuff along the way. Sunday would also be spent going driving somewhere - I haven't quite worked that bit out yet. Anyway, the thing is although it "only" costs an extra $30 to hire a car, there is also the petrol to factor in.

A day tour will be $89 - plus $3.85 "booking fee" (they know how to get ya don't they?) making a total of $92.85. $93 in other words, compared to $122 for the car plus however much petrol costs. Add say $30 or $40 for the petrol, then I'm looking at $162 for car hire compared to $93. A difference of almost $70. ($60 if the petrol costs $30) Still - it is a bit of a difference.

So then, if I don't hire the car, I would use Tuesday and Wednesday looking around Brisbane city, Thursday and Friday I'm meeting friend on the Gold Coast, Saturday I could do the day tour to Eumundi and Noosa Heads, and Sunday I could meet up with another friend for coffee. (I need to let her know which day). This would leave part of Sunday and the Monday to potter around.

An itinerary for both options
Option 1 - Car Hire

Monday 9 - Arrive Brisbane
Tuesday 10 - Meet friend for coffee
Wednesday 11 - Walk around Brisbane seeing the sights, shops etc
Thursday 12 - Train to Gold Coast, meet friend and drive around Mount Tamborine
Friday 13 - Train to Gold Coast, meet friend, lunch drive along the coast etc.
Saturday 14 - Pickup car at 8am, drive to Eumundi, see market, drive to Noosa Heads
Sunday 15 - Drive where? Along coast? Inland? Or along Brce Highway again and visit Ettamagoh Pub, etc? Or around Montville and other villages?
Monday 16 - Drive to Mt Coot Tha? Where else? There's no parking weekdays so will have to drive somewhere. Drop off car 3/4pm. Catch train to airport for flight departing 8.05pm.

Option 2 - Day Tour

Monday 9 - Arrive Brisbane
Tuesday 10 - Walk around Brisbane city
Wednesday 11 - Public transport to Mt. Coot tha, see South Bank
Thursday 12 - Train to Gold Coast, meet friend and drive around Mount Tamborine
Friday 13 - Train to Gold Coast, meet friend, lunch drive along the coast etc.
Saturday 14 - Sunshine Coast day tour to Eumundi Market, Noosa, Maleny and Glasshouse Mountains. Departs Brisbane 8:00am; Returns to Brisbane approx. 5pm.
Sunday 15 - Meet friend for coffee
Monday 16 - Ride river ferry? Catch train to airport for flight departing 8.05pm.

I had thought of booking a lunch cruise for the Tuesday (it's my birthday you see) which would cost $39 - "Three course buffet lunch including fresh carvery, hot and cold buffet selections including international dishes, salads, fruit, desserts, tea and coffee. Boarding 12pm, Departing 12.30, Returning 2pm. Live commentary and entertainment from Cheeky Col on his piano accordion" Kookaburra River Queens

You know now that I think of it, it works out to the same price. Well not really, the tour and cruise are cheaper - $93 for the day tour plus $39 for the lunch cruise comes to $132. Car hire is $122 plus petrol and petrol will cost much more than $10.

So I might do the tour and cruise. I'll sit on it tonight and make a decision tomorrow morning.

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