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Sep 26th, 2004, 12:49 PM
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What made you decide to come to Australia for a vacation/holiday? What was it that peaked your curiosity?
When you got here, how did the "thing" that urged you to come appear to you? Was it as nice as you expected or was there something else that we should have focused on to entice you to come?
What I am asking you please is: what part did you find in Australia that you think is the most attractive to you that we should have used in an advertising campain, what aspect, which icon or way of life do you think we should target to show that we are different/special/boring/outrageous/under-rated/ over-rated.
Our latest tourism advertisements have been rated within Australia as dreadful and some of us have been saying for years that our advertising campain needs a great kick up the proverbial. So I thought that as we give out a lot of information to prospective travellers to Australia I would ask if you could spend a little time in giving us something constructive back.
In other words if you were promoting this country -WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE AS THE HIGHLIGHTS THAT YOU WOULD FEATURE?
In your replies can you please state if you have been to the following:
Blue Mountains
Hunter Valley
Great Ocean Road
Barossa Valley
Kangaroo Island
Wild Flower season
Wineries of the South
Ayers Rock
South East
Cairns and the Tropical North
Cradle Mountain
Freycinet National Park
Port Arthur
West coast

Thank all and I hope that we get a lot of replies. I don't want a critique on where you were but more a general outline of what you would do to make it better - our advertising of Australia that is.

lizF is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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On first trip we visited Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Port Arthur, Freycinet Park, Cairns Port
Douglas,Hunter Valley, Great Ocean Road, Ayers Rock. Here are the main reasons that we came and I believe that an advertising campaign built around these virtues would be effective.

1. In this troubled world it still is a safe country to visit.
2. Friendly and honest people.
3. Low crime rate and is country is not very intimidating.
4. Warm climate for people from cold countries like Canada.
5. People speak my language.
6. Reasonable prices for vacations using world standards.

We loved our first trip so much we are coming again in 2005 and are planning a third trip in 2006.
ZfromWinnipeg is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 01:56 PM
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Hi Liz,
What made me go to Australia??? My first memory of wanting to go was that some of my cousins' cousins moving there for a while and coming back with cute accents and stories of kangaroos messing up their backyard. As an 8-9 yr. old, I thought that was cool...As I got older my reasons matured, Australia became one of many countries I longed to explore. I loved that so much formed/was created independent of the rest of the earth. I was interested in knowing about more the Aborigines. (I learned very little about them growing up in the US but what I did know was fascinating.) I wanted to see a continent with so much physical diversity...the outback, mountains, and most definately the GBR. I teach Social Studies and Australia is part of the curriculum, Reading as I prepared lessons made me even more curious...

However, the ultimate reason that lead me to spend a good chunk of my teacher salary to cross the world and spend more time on a plane than I had ever spent before, was the people. A few years ago on a trip to Alaska, I met up with some Australian travelers and we really hit it off--becoming what I believe will be life-long friends. I loved their humor and fun-lovingness (is that a word?) and vowed to get my butt over there. Combined with my existing curiosity, friendships and the knowledge that Australia was a pretty easy place for a solo traveller, I came. I was only supposed to be away three weeks but extended my trip a week. I definately would've stayed even longer than that but I had to get back to work. Once I left, I longed to get back--I haven't yet but did make a serious attempt at finding a teachers' exchange program because I wanted to spend a year or so in your country and really experience life there...Fate intervened and I met the man I'm now married to, an American, so living in Australia for a year is no longer an option...but coming back for a visit definately is!! Australia is one of my favorite countries/vacations of all times. I met SO many wonderful, generous people while I was away. I think that's in part because we all speak the same language--although your version and that of your fellow countrymen's is a bit more colorful than mine ;-) Hehe. You guys have the best expressions!!

You asked what parts I visited:
Sydney--one of my most favorite cities of all
Blue Mountains
Wineries--too many LOL
Adelaide--liked it more than I expected, underrated by tourists IMO
Barossa Valley
Kangaroo Island--loved it as it satisfied my marsupial thing and loved meeting the artists that live there too...I loved that it wasn't all built up too...
Kakadu--went for too short a time, 1 nt., next time I need to plan better
Cairns and the Tropical North--So much to do in one place!! I am not a big fan of Cairns but loved the GBR, the rain forest and diversity...Pt. Douglas was a cute town worth visiting...

There wasn't a part of Australia that I didn't like

Next trip, I want to make sure I get to Tasmania along with seeing some of the less travelled towns in Australia. I stayed with friends in Sydney and got a bit of an 'untouristy' perspective which is probably one of the reasons I enjoyed myself so much. I played tourist while my friend worked and lived like a local at night ;-) She's now in Canberra with a big gov't job so I'll definately see your capital too...


OneWanderingJew is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 02:29 PM
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Thanks guys - keep 'em coming!
lizF is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 02:46 PM
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I knew it! Its Monday here and I got dragged out of bed at 5. AM and coffee had not kicked in, therefore the spelling, grammar and typos were running amuck in my original post...... sorry!
lizF is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 03:07 PM
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Hello Liz,

Great question you asked! Here is what I can tell you from an American point of view. I must say before giving my opinions that people who respond to this should know a little something about traveling (preferably not your FIRST VACATION EVER so as to be somewhat intelligent comparing it to other places in the world. I must say I have been VERY BLESSED to have traveled extensively and enjoy the finer hotels, apsects of traveling.

Here is my view from an American standpoint (by the way I was born and have lived in America my whole life and have visited 40 out of the 50 states, so I think I have a good view of what America/Americans are like in general):

1) Only reason I've heard for people NOT to go to Australia is the travel time from America: too long of a flight, can't get off work that long, and very expensive airfare. Most people think you don't need to be in a plane 18 hours plus to see the "Common sights" of Australia - i.e. - big cities, mountains, rainforest, great snorkeling/diving (Reef). They feel you can see some or all of these things (similar) by staying MUCH CLOSER to the U.S.A. **I WOULD HAVE TO DISAGREE!! I believe my husband said it best when I asked him if we should really bother going to the Blue Mountains while in Sydney, he said: "Every mountain, ocean, city, rainforest,etc. is DIFFERENT, otherwise you wouldn't need to travel at all." (i.e.- Colorado mountains and Grand Canyon are nothing like mountains in Costa Rica, Hawaii, etc. - You get the point!! If people really think these are all the same, then I would say they are not PASSIONATE about traveling, experiencing/learning about new places!

Pro's/reasons why Americans generally travel to Australia:

1) We in America have read, heard,etc. that Aussies are INCREDIBLY FRIENDLY PEOPLE LIKE NO ONE ELSE AND LOVE TO LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST AT EVERY MOMENT- now why would anyone not want to be around people like that on vacation?!
2) Incredible/UNIQUE sites, such as Sydney (esp. Opera House, Bridge, etc.), Great Barrier Reef (One of the seven wonders- how could anyone compare diving/snorkeling there to other places in the world?); Also, Wonderful beaches, rainforest, and the Infamous Outback and Famous Animals!!
3)Very safe country and prices are not ridiculous (i.e. - Paris, New York, California, London,....)

In summary, ALL of my family/friends thought we were crazy when we said we've always dreamed of visiting Australia and are actually going this November - simply because it's TOO FAR. I replied: There are MANY THINGS I believe Australia has to offer that you CANNOT FIND anywhere else - PERIOD!! PLUS, I'VE NEVER HEARD OR READ ANYTHING NEGATIVE ABOUT TRAVELING ANYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA - and I've definately done more than my share of research!!! Can't wait till November - only 42 days and counting!! I plan on giving a great report when I return. If anyone else has travel advice for me please see my original posting - Thank you!

Kelly A.
Kelly_A is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 03:13 PM
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Sorry - forgot 2 other MAJOR reasons why Americans go: 1)Speak the same language. 2) Wonderful climate/weather.

There are many more reasons, but I think I covered the main ones.
Kelly_A is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 04:22 PM
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I decided to go to Australia and will return because my son married a very lovely Australian woman. Most people I know (from upstate New York, USA) say they would love to go to Australia. What stops them is the cost and the thought of spending all those hours in cramped airline seats. People here are fascinated with Australia -- they would go if there were a cheaper and quicker way to get there.
KathyM is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 05:00 PM
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I agree Kathy, perhaps the airlines should look at a good way to come with some rather interesting stopovers! Is it Hawaii airlines that comes now - would be good to have them code share with Qantas perhaps.
lizF is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 05:41 PM
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When I was a freshman in college a LONG time ago (early 60's), there were several girls in my dorm who were going to be given one-way tickets to move to Australia if they would commit to a 5-year minimum contract to teach there. I thought, Wow, when I graduate, I want to do that too. It just all sounded soooo remote, especially for someone growing up in small town Illinois.

Well.... by the time I graduated from college and started teaching, I was married and had a son. My plans were put on hold. My son and I traveled on a vacation to Vancouver in 1986 for the Worlds Fair. I recall walking into the Australian pavilion and seeing a sign that said, "Come to Australia in 1988" for a worlds fair. I literally took out my calendar and wrote down, 1988-- Australia! I began planning for my first trip.

I made my first trip alone, as a married woman, leaving husband and son at home, in 1988. I was gone from home for about 5 weeks. I think I spent all of one afternoon at that worlds fair (in Brissy). I also went to Sydney, Cairns, Adelaide, Melbourne, Ayres Rock, Alice Springs and Darwin.

I have now just made my 6th trip to OZ. I still enjoy making that long journey from Illinois because I know I'll have a great time. The PEOPLE are my favorite part!!! There are not many places where you can feel comfortable striking up a conversation on a street corner, or in an elevator!

I have now visited ALL of your capital cities plus Canberra. (how many native Aussies can say THAT? LOL) I made the trip to Perth on the Indian Pacific all the way from Sydney. Several of my trips were for reading conferences because I had joined the Australian Literacy Educators Assn so I could deduct them from my taxes. Yeeehawwww

I have returned to some favorite places more than once again (Sydney, Cairns, Adelaide) and continue to add new adventures on each trip down under. This last time, just weeks ago, I added the bridge climb in Sydney!

I have managed to make half my trips to OZ alone, and half with friends. My hubby and son still have NOT been there, but I hope they will come with me sometime soon. They both love to travel, so it isn't that they don't want to leave home.

I have good friends in Sydney, and we always manage to spend time together each time I return. A few weeks ago, we spent a week together in Cairns.

As long as the Aussies keep being so friendly, I'll keep coming!! I think Sydney is just about my favorite city in the world. That harbor is pretty hard to beat.

simpsonc510 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2004, 06:39 PM
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Hi Liz,

Just returned one week ago from three weeks in Australia (Still in post-vacation depression!!!) We visited the following areas: Sydney, Adelaide, Barossa Valley, took the Ghan to Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, and Cairns (Palm Cove) w/ a day trip to Lizard Island. We now realize now how much more we have to see.

We decided to visit Australia because the last 6 years we have vacationed in Europe and felt we were running out of really unique and different places to go. We were looking for somewhere completely different than we had been before!! We had always considered Australia, but it's soooo far, and the costs seemed prohibitive. It's still far, but I was wrong on the budget issue. Careful planning kept us within our budget, with experiences that we couldn't have had anywhere else!!! And yes, it is Hawaiian Air that now flies to Sydney from Honolulu. That allowed us to break up our flight both ways.

As for things to highlight, here's my list:

1... The friendliness of EVERYONE we met!! I know that it has been mentioned by others....but it's so true. We didn't meet an Aussie we didn't immediately take a liking to!! The people we met have had so many varied and interesting experiences and were open and more than willing to talk about them. They were genuinely interested in our day to day lives as well. We are from the Detroit area, and they seemed interested in our part of the country, and how it's different from both the East and West Coasts.

2... How civilized, yet crazy wild the country is. The cities are modern, fun, great things to do, yet drive 100 miles or so and you are in the most wild country you can imagine. So different than the USA. We have our rugged wild areas, but nothing like yours!!

3...The wildlife...nothing like we have at all. Our first day in Sydney, we walked through the Royal Botanical Gardens...the birds (and flying foxes) just blew me away. Where can you see Cockatoos, Gullahs and all your other beautiful birds, in a city, not in a zoo. I was taken by surprise. In all the reading I had done I was totally unprepared for that sight. Wild camels, 3 ft long lizards, all the types of kangaroos, a spider as big as my hand (Ok, maybe not that big, but big!!) just roaming free....totally unlike anything we can ever see outside a zoo in the USA. The Great Barrier Reef just blew me away!! I have never seen so many colors in my life. I'm sure I'm now spoiled for snorkeling anywhere else in the world for life.

4... English speaking country, easy to get from place to place.

5... It's a safe place to travel

With that said, we will be back. Looking forward to visiting Tasmania, The Top End, more of the Great Barrier Reef....so much more to see. I'm completely hooked!!


dkw is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 01:17 AM
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Hi Liz,
I have taken my family to Australia twice in the past 3 years.
My reasons are:
Relaxed culture
Fabulous values for good living
Beautiful clean environment
Unusual creatures (Fodorites excepted)
Superb weather
You don't seem to have the same tacky commercial attitude that so many places have.
How did Australia sell itself to me:
We were enticed by the Queensland beaches/islands (and Palm Cove), the classy relaxed culture of Sydney, the Architecture and multi cultural feelings in Melbourne
The harmony that so many different races live in .
And above all It feels as comfortable as home.
Although why us Brits ned a visa beats me, especially as you Aussies don't need one to come here, (but thats for another day).

Mucky is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 02:00 AM
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Its all to do with when the UK decided that we, NZ and Aust were not the flavour of the month when it came to our exports in the dairy industry. NZ was very dependant on the UK in commercial terms and for that matter so was Australia. We felt somewhat more than slighted that we had been given the 'flick' seeing that we had been good enough to help fight your wars and take unwanted people off your hands for so many years. For the sake of those many immigrants from the UK here the authorities only went as far as to make you lot get Visas which is much better than the fate which would have befallen the Brits if the feelings of the passengers on one particular ship going to Australia and NZ had had their way. Besides we were once allowed to go to the UK and 'work' without any problems if we had grandparents who came from there but now we are relegated to the "foreigners" queue at Heathrow.
Finally though, when England refused to stand up and play cricket with us and make it a game, well that was the living B.. end, although it seems that someone has been coaching them in secret over the last 6 months. I know that they won the RWC but that was a fluke as everyone knew it should have been the French :0)
lizF is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 04:36 AM
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The historical theories you talk about are a result of the British Governments typically blinkered approach to most things.
It must have been an easy solution to send all the undesireables to oz. Little did they know what they were creating.I sure if they had considered that building paradise may not quite be the punishment they anticipated I am sure that it wouldn't have happened.
Cricket...now here is a subject very dear to my heart.(didn't England beat Australia last week in the semi's) Roll on the ashes tour !!
Unfortunately the number of Glamorgan players has been limited to 2 which is quite astounding really as Glam won the 1 day comp, promoted in the championship and reached the semis of the 20/20 competition.
(Ok we had some help from Elliot and Kaspo too)
It seems that Wales is a long way from the selectors rooms at Lords.

If Wales had beaten England in the RWC as they were supposed to do; then England wouldn't have won.
Its a shame that Welsh rugby has not reached that peak since. Nor is it likely too.

Mucky is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 07:50 AM
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I finally went to Australia this year after dreaming about it for a long time. I loved it, even though a lot of the things I wanted to do in Cairns got rained out.

I want to come back at some time when it's not POURING in Cairns. (I still had a great time, but missed out on diving the GBR.) Also want to go to Melbourne again. The idea of relaxing ocean/pool side for Christmas really does sound appealing.
Kimbis is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 09:33 AM
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My interest started when watching the channel 9 telecasts in India, of the 'Benson and Hedges World Championship of Cricket'way back in 1985 as a very impressionable lil girl . reading all the reports from local journalists in Autralia, it seemed a very fun and beautiful place to visit.

Was 2001 before I did go- and it was awesome - very friendly people, good food - variety of activities evrything from city stuff, hiking, beaches. We spent time in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and the Cairns area.
Things that stand out:
very friendly people
great food
The diversity of activities as I mentioned before.
relaxed fun atmosphere

unlike other major cities - Sydney feels much more relaxed (maybe because we visted around christmas time

indie is offline  
Sep 27th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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I always wanted to visit Australia but distance and cost to get there made it difficult until kids finished college, married and left home. When the opportunity presented itself we made the trip and our only regrets were we should have done it sooner and we didn't stay long enough. Visited Sydney, Cairns, Darwin, Brisbane, cruised along the Great Barrier Reef, stopped Lizard Island, Flinders Island, Thursday Island, Cape York, and Port Essington. We felt safe wherever we went, had some terrific meals, encountered many, many friendly people. All in all a great trip and we can't wait to go back - many more sights to see.
Sep 29th, 2004, 10:30 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,630
John_j and Jenny

Margo Oz

Alan and wife

Pat and Mike at Liliybank

Neil Cammack, my faithful e-mail political reporter

Kath Nolan at the Euramo Hotel

Ron and Merle at Old Tram Rd B&B

The nice receptionist who upgraded us to a harbor view room at the Lenna even though we were paying discounted rates

Sue at Lakeview Park, Jabiru

All the car rental agents who gave us extra nights free

Dinky the world famous singing and piano playing dingo of Central Australia

and last of all you Liz, for your wry humor and endless helpful advice

FYI we were in Sydney, Blue Mtns, Tasmania, Whitsundays , aboard Solway Lass, Cairns, Cape Trib. Kakadu and Arnhemland, Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and Yulara

and we can't wait to come back

AndrewDavid is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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Short answer:
Why do we want to go to Oz? Because it's REALLY far away.
Why haven't we actually DONE that yet? Because it's REALLY far away...

Everyone has stated well the reasons to come. I grew up in the UK, now live in the US, east coast. I've been fascinated with Oz ever since I read A Town like Alice in my youth which was - ahem - a few years ago. DH and I have a list of places we MUST travel before we get too old and decrepit, and Oz is right up there on the list.

Problem is, there's so much to see there, and we still have limited vacation time (not retired yet). In 3 weeks, I don't think we can see Sydney and Melbourne, take the train to Perth, go to Alice on the Ghan, see the rainforest, and snorkel the GBR. And remain sane. But we will figure it out, and we WILL be there in the next couple of years. Promise. (And a short Honolulu stopover would sweeten the deal, too!)
SB_Travlr is offline  
Sep 29th, 2004, 12:32 PM
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<snif> <snif> thank you AD.
Talking about political reporters though, I have my green card ballot already signed, a letter saying why I have not lived in the USA all my life although I have American parentage, I am not going to be here for the election so if the election goes to the drones then I'm off. If I can't get into north America then I am sure the Argentinians at Baroliche will have me - been learning Spanish just in case, well anyway that will help me if I get to the US of A and take up one of those now unwanted residences in Florida which should be going cheap by now.
lizF is offline  

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