Last night in Brisbane

Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

The bus down from Rainbow Beach was nice and relaxed; I had two seats to myself again and felt quite comfortable all the way to Brisbane. Once I was off the bus at the terminal I picked up a city map and started to work out where I was going to meet up with Emily, and surprise surprise she was already standing there waiting for me. Needless to say I was really happy to see her again, even though it had been less than a fortnight since I left Team Sheila in Darwin.

First stop: All-U-Can-Eat Govinda's (Brisbane style). As usual, Emily didn't do very well but I think I made up for her shortcomings. Having said that I was a little out of practice myself, so only managed two plates.

Next stop: we popped into the post office and I picked up my mail. To my surprise my Australian Tax Refund had come through, which really made my day. So off to get some ice cream to celebrate and enjoy it sitting on a sunny bench in the park!

To think that I almost didn't bother filling out the forms because the accompanying notes looked so horrendously bureaucratic and time consuming to understand. When I finally stopped procrastinating it only took about two hours to read through the relevant sections of the notes and less than thirty minutes to complete an online e-tax return. I was surprised at how helpful the notes were in describing creative ways in which you can claim back tax.

We phoned Jorgen (in Alice Springs) to see how he and Trigger (Adrian) were getting on and I had a good chat with him whilst my ice cream melted away.

Emily continued with her mini tour of Brisbane that included a walk over the bridge to the South Bank, which really impressed me. I can see why studying in Brisbane is so popular with university campuses in such nice settings. After arranging to meet up in the valley for an evening meal, it was off to Bridget's house to sort out my bags and repack for the flight to New Zealand tomorrow. For the first time ever I finished all my packing for an international flight in about an hour. After twenty eight months I think I'm finally getting the hang of it ;o)

So off to the valley for my last night out in Australia. I had a great pizza at a restaurant with Emily and one of her former flatmates - he works here so we got good service too. All too soon it was time to say goodbye to the last of my Australian travel buddies, catch the train back and get some sleep before my flight tomorrow.

Australian Tax Return Top Tips: Always opt for the e-tax return rather than a paper based one. It takes less time to complete and if you need help with a question there is usually someone on hand. The online tool also performs all the calculations for you, so by the time you complete it you should have a good idea of what you might be getting back (if anything) from the government. There are free e-tax terminals in most tax offices. Although you can't claim back your Super Annuation until you leave Australia, this would be the place to ask all the relevant questions too.
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