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Off to see the Wizard? or - travelling to Oz.

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 11:24 pm
Some of our lovely Knowers are beginning to discuss a trip to my fair country .... wow! ... how exciting to dream of!

So - I have suggested moving that topic here from The Second Digression Thread, where it started, so that more people may benefit from it if they want to.

Let the games commence...
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 9,449 • Replies: 70
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 11:26 pm
here is where the topic commenced.....

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=19169#19169
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 11:32 pm
And here is how it all began...

Diane: Yes, I saw your plea for a trip to oz. Let's go!! Yanks invade oz! Gawd, no. That sounds truly frightening these days. Don't want to give GW any more imperialistic ideas. Let's just say that nice, leftist Yanks will visit oz. Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, the outback, gathering up ozzies as we go , partying, digressing, making mango chutney, eating mangoes with the juice dripping down our chins, discovering where moondoggy goes, whether or not oz is upside down, oz style codpieces, I wonder if they use tooled crocodile skin, who's willing to catch the crocodile, dingoes, wallabies, koalas, kangaroos, and New Zealand, but I digress.

Piffka: And really??? OZ???? I knew you'd be game...

I admit I don't have the wherewithal just now. Though my dear friend says that it is not nearly so expensive once we're there. It is the airline flights (so long) and the time away that matter, too. She is going for three months. (Yes, you saw right, THREE Months.) Boy it would be fun to combine with seeing her there, or conversely if I were able to combine it with when my d. goes, probably next year... just to settle her in, you know. You'd love her, she's a fabulous traveler.

How much time could you take? Two weeks would be the minimum, I think.

Piffka: My friend says that the plane trips back and forth across country can be inexpensive if you plan ahead.... can't remember exactly how that works, but less than a hundred dollars each way (could that be $AU?)

So November is the right time for Mangoes?? Maybe we'd better wait until next year, Diane! But we could start planning!

Margo: My friend says that the plane trips back and forth across country can be inexpensive if you plan ahead.... can't remember exactly how that works, but less than a hundred dollars each way (could that be $AU?)

So November is the right time for Mangoes?? Maybe we'd better wait until next year, Diane! But we could start planning!

Piffka: Well, I liked the Virgin Blue website better (love maps). But the one-way flight between Sydney and Perth was about $500. That doesn't seem like a good deal!

Yikes.

Margo: To get the really luscious and cheap mangoes you need to be here now. Although there are mangoes into February.

Remember, Oz is the same size (roughly) as mainland USA, but without the people. Start planning.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 11:40 pm
OK - people - re air travel - Oz has 3 drawbacks:

1. Big place, few people = higher airfares.

2. We recently lost a whole major airline - one of only three flying domestically. Less competition = higher airfares.

3. Terror - less people being tourists - less people from overseas = higher airfares...... sigh.

But --- if you book well ahead you can get special deals. It is EXTREMELY safe flying in Oz. A little less so since deregulation, and we will hopefully be re-regulating again soon. Qantas, Australia's leading domestic and international carrier has never had a crash, although it has had some minor incidents recently - very unusual for it, and due to previous FIERCE fare competition probably.

Yes, your dollar doubles when you land. You have not needed a visa for the last few years - not sure if terror has changed this - don't think so....

So.... questions, comments, stories?
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Nov, 2002 11:44 pm
Qantas, to the best of my knowledge -- which, as you all know, is vast -- is the only international carrier which has never, ever crashed an aircraft anywhere in the world.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 12:15 am
Certainly, I wouldn't call it half-vast.
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mikey
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 12:42 am
After Eire my next trip is your way. My oldest spent 6 weeks there, loved it and spoke so highly of the people there and the hospitality I was amazed. That was 3 yrs ago and he can't wait to go back.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 03:09 am
For real, Mikey? You gonna come see us? Wow! Where did your son go?

Half-vast - teehee!
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 09:47 am
I'm afraid of Oz men, so I'll just watch, with fearful fascination, as the planning proceeds. Shocked
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 10:08 am
Afraid of OZ men?? Huhhh. Hey I just noticed this... and I'm about to leave for most of the day. Thanks Deb, I like this idea! I love it!

I'll be back but...

I would like to go to Alice Springs since that book was so interesting (maybe should re-read). I'd like to climb around on Ayers Rock. I want to drive for a long ways in a truck with four wheel drive (should I bring PFK? He's awfully handy...) I want to climb on that bridge in Sydney. And where is that opera house? Would like to go to a show there. I'd like to go boating a little, or at least get out on the water -- are there ferry lines?

I've heard there are lovely parks in Adelaide (Janet has friends there) and I would like to see what the aborigines thought was so great on the coastline. I am terrified of being eaten by alligators or crocodiles, or being bitten by a snake or spider. Are there any other terrors we should know about? Poison oak or ivy????

I remember someone on abuzz said her favorite place was at a river in the far north. Janet also said it is nice up there.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 10:24 am
Afraid of Oz men. I literally don't know a canajun woman who has gone to Oz single and come back single - they invariably fall in love, get married, and never come back home! There are 2 women i knew in high school, 2 or 3 from university days (they didn't even finish their degrees), a woman i shared an office with just after i graduated, 2 daughters of friends of my parents.

I'm sure there are canajun women who come back, or come back unhitched, but they're not in my circle. So i'm keepin' my distance.

The Oz men I've met here have been positively oozing charm from their pores - a country full of them would be overwhelming.
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Swimpy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 11:22 am
I am SOOO jealous!
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margo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 01:16 pm
Piffka

What book did you read about Alice Springs that makes you want to see it? Please don't tell me it was that Marlo Morgan lunatic???

Deb's right about airfares - a big country and no people does make for higher airfares. But there are specials, and you may be able to get a cheap air pass from the US. (although I hang out a lot on a travel forum, and this may no longer be the case - as internet fares of major airlines are cheaper).

A bit of planning ahead and flexibility can give you cheaper airfares. I recently looked for a one-way flight from Cairns to Sydney for the visiting Swede, and found a huge variety of fares, depending on when you wanted to fly or were prepared to fly to get cheaper fares. Both airlines offered a wide variety of fares. You could get a single flight from Cairns to Sydney (leaving 6am Confused ) for about $aus250.

2 weeks is not giving you much time - but I guess it's a start.

Swimpy - don't be jealous - jusyt start planning Very Happy

What does everyone want to see???

Remember, the last time I tried to fly to Adelaide, Deb knobbled all the airfares. I wouldn't give her too much warning!!
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mikey
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 03:58 pm
More like half-mast Dlowan. I definately want to visit there after I go to Ireland. I hear the flight is long tho so maybe by ship. Don't like flying at all.
My son went everywhere, east, west, north and south coasts. Did the whole thing. Went to some 'gathering' in the outback somewhere. He's in VT so I can't ask for a refresh on details right now.
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pueo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 05:13 pm
I have heard good things about Cairns. Tourists from Guam that have visited Cairns have come back with really great things to say about the area and especially the people.
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Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 24 Nov, 2002 05:37 pm
OK Piffka, I agree that next year might be best. In addition, I might need a year to convince my husband that this isn't just one of my farfetched dreams.

I, too, would love to see the Sydney opera house and the parks in Adelaide. Of course, two well known natural phenomena are Deb and Margo--we'll need to give them as much lead time as possible. (Maybe not Deb, if she knobbles the air fares.)

Beth, I look forward to the charm of Aussie men; but never fear, I'm too old and too married to come back with yet another husband.

I would appreciate suggestions as to the best places to visit. With only two weeks, I want to plan things that won't spread us too thin. I think most major airlines fly into Sydney, so we will probably start from there.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2002 12:31 am
Diane -- you are so much fun! I look forward to the planning as much as anything.

Margo -- Here is a bit about the book I meant, brazenly stolen from Amazon:

I just finished reading A Town Like Alice for what must be the 12th-plus time in a 20-year love affair with this story. The range of reviews for the book surprised me. What other readers saw as boring I saw as the refreshing way Nevil Shute tells a complex story where the events speak for themselves, without resorting to schmaltz or over-dramatization. The strength of Jean's character alone is a standout in quiet feminie heroism. The prior reviews have also criticized the handling of Joe Harmon's character as being "two-dimensional", but I believe Mr. Shute remains true to Joe's quiet and simple nature--and the story is, after all, mainly Jean's anyway.

As to the complaints of racism, the novel represents what was then the unfortunate attitudes of the white settlers to the Aboriginal natives. Would the same reviewers have criticized Margaret Mitchell's handling of black slaves in Gone With the Wind? A Town Like Alice shows realism in characters and their attitudes, it is not a story of civil rights or political correctness.

A truly moving and poignant love story, one of the best of its time and indeed, of today as well.

note from Piffka -- Nevil Shute is one of my most favorite writers of all. His On the Beach is iconic, and several others are very memorable. Pied Piper, for example, will make you laugh and cry.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2002 06:16 am
Piffka - since Ayer's Rock has been returned to Aboriginal ownership and management it has reverted to its traditional name of Uluru.

It is extremely disrespectful to the local Aboriginal people to climb the rock - although they do not absolutely forbid it - no sensitive visitor would do so - it is a sacred site.

I know little about Alice Springs - but it has an interesting history and some lovely country around it.

If you wish to drive a long way in a four wheel drive you could do a lot worse than hire a car to drive from Adelaide to Uluru via Alice Springs - although it is a long drive and you need to do stuff like have lots of water and a radio and stuff in case you break down.

At Uluru you can camp or stay in the motels - the expensive one is spectacular. There are walks led by Aboriginal guides who will tell you the public aspects of the dreamtime stories of the area and tell you lots about the local flora and fauna.

You can climb on the Sydney Harbour Bridge - there are tours - they are explained admirably in a travel thread on Abuzz - I am sure Margo will be able to give you the url.

Sydney opera House is in Sydney - and you can go to a perfomance there if you book - they are expensive though.

I will try and get back to this thread tomorrow evening to post more info tomorrow night - as will Margo, I hope.
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Piffka
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2002 07:48 am
I cannot climb Ayers Rock, pardon me, Uluru? Oh ff-heck.

Well, rather than offend the locals RIGHT OFF THE BAT... I'll hold myself back. Maybe I'll stay at the expensive spot then. It does seem, when traveling, that to stay at an expensive spot, now and then, whets the appetite for more.
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Nov, 2002 11:23 am
ehBeth --

very, very odd that you should mention that. an old fling of mine jetted off to oz once, and, donchaknowit, got married. and another woman i went to school with, though she brought her aussie back with her. what's up with that?

hey, deb, is it an issue with you aussie women that your men all take off and marry tourists? whatsa matter with the sheilas down there?




(Sorry, kids, forgot this weren't no digressionary thread.)
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