Issue Number 1, 15 October 1999
Editors: Eric Lindsay and Jean Weber
In this issue...
Who are we?
Places: Airlie Beach and North Queensland
Review: Dive trip on Pacific Star, Airlie Beach, Queensland
How to: Want to hire a campervan or motor home?
Tip: Australian telephone numbers
Tip: Daylight saving time in Australia
Events: World solar challenges
Events: Referendum on a republic
Eric Lindsay and Jean Weber are well travelled, over 50, and recently escaped from Sydney to the seaside resort town of Airlie Beach, Queensland. We are planning a "grand tour" of Australia in a motor home, starting in 2000, and will be reporting in this newsletter and on our website about what we see and do.
For more about us, click here:
Our mission with this newsletter and website is to provide timely hints and tips on travel to and in Australia, mainly away from the capital cities.
We're avoiding the capital cities because they are well covered by other newsletters and websites. Instead of duplicating other efforts, we'll point you to some of the many sites that do have this information.
We're mostly interested in the lesser-known places, including those that don't make themselves known to most travel agents.
Please contact us if you have questions (we'll try our best to answer them in this newsletter), stories of your own experiences that you'd like to share, favourite websites, or any suggestions at all about this newsletter and our Web site. We can't promise to acknowledge or answer everybody.
We live in Airlie Beach, a resort town in tropical Queensland, the gateway to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. For more than you probably ever wanted to know about our town, and a bit about other travels we've done in North Queensland, check out the links from this page:
In September we took a 3-day trip on the catamaran Pacific Star, operated by Kelly Dive of Airlie Beach. Although most of the passengers were young scuba divers (many of them practising for certification), the cruise provided much of interest for those of us who merely wanted to snorkel or just laze around in the sun. The weather was perfect, the boat was comfortable, the food was good, the coral viewing was wonderful, and the crew and other passengers were pleasant companions. All in all, a good trip and, we think, good value for our money.
For a complete report, click here:
This article is now part of this page:
The international country code for Australia is 61. All area codes now have 2 digits. When calling from overseas, you drop the zero at the beginning of the area code. Thus a number like 02-9876-5432, when called from overseas, becomes 61-2-9876-5432.
In 1994, telephone and facsimile numbers in Australia began to be changed from 6 or 7 digits into 8 digits. This process was complete in 1997, and now the old numbers no longer work. Therefore many phone numbers you'll see in older publications (both print and online) are out of date.
You can check telephone numbers at this Telstra site: http://www.whitepages.com.au/wp/
Telstra also have a yellow pages site, but we've found it to be of mixed usefulness (many places we know about are missing from the relevant listings) so we definitely don't rely on it.
Numbers for mobile (cellular) phones have an entirely different set of numbers, many of which have recently changed because the analogue network is being phased out. (That's a topic for another article.)
Twice a year, the time changes... but only in some States, and not all on the same day. So if you're visiting between mid- October and late March, you may find it all quite confusing, especially when making travel arrangements or setting up meetings in another State. Don't worry, even residents can't keep track!
Tasmania's daylight saving began on 3 October. NSW, ACT, Victoria, South Australia change to daylight saving Sunday 31 October. Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia do not observe daylight saving and remain on Eastern, Central and Western Standard Time respectively.
Here's a useful page for checking the time in any part of Australia:
Every 3 years, the World Solar Challenge and the World Solar Cycle Challenge are held in Australia, racing solar-powered vehicles between Darwin in Australia's north (or Alice Springs, in the centre of the continent) to Adelaide in the south.
We're sorry to admit that we won't be attending this time, due to other commitments. (Not that we'd be competing, mind you -- but we'd love to help out as support crew, or even just watch in person instead of on TV.)
World Solar Challenge
(Cars) 17-26 October 1999, Darwin to Adelaide (3010 km) The 1999 event is the fifth in the series for cars.
World Solar Cycle Challenge
(a race for hybrid, solar assisted human powered vehicles) 18-24 October 1999, Alice Springs to Adelaide (1526 km)
Contact for both: PO Box 1111, Kent Town SA 5071, ph. (08) 8303 2337, fax (08) 8303 2339 firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.wsc.org.au
World Solar Gliding Challenge
17-23 October 1999, Darwin to Adelaide *** Cancelled due to lack of entrants ***
Electric and Solar Vehicle Conference
25-26 October 1999, Adelaide
Contact: PO Box 8178, Station Arcade, Adelaide SA 5000, ph. (08) 8387 3877, fax (08) 8322 6290 email@example.com http://www.wsc.org.au
You may have heard about the referendum to be held on November 6th, to decide on two proposed amendments to the constitution.
The first amendment is "to establish the Commonwealth of Australia as a republic with the Queen and Governor-General being replaced by a President appointed by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament".
The second amendment is "to alter the Constitution to insert a preamble".
Not surprisingly, those to whom these issues are important are expending a lot of energy campaigning for or against them, and everyone else finds it far less interesting than which horse is most likely to win the Melbourne Cup on November 2nd.
The referendum website, http://www.referendum99.gov.au/ is no longer on the Web.
© Copyright 1999-2002 Eric Lindsay and Jean Weber. All rights reserved.
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