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FODORITES PLEASE TELL US WHY YOU DECIDED TO COME TO AUSTRALIA. HELP US PLEASE WITH SOME FEEDBACK!

FODORITES PLEASE TELL US WHY YOU DECIDED TO COME TO AUSTRALIA. HELP US PLEASE WITH SOME FEEDBACK!

Oct 5th, 2004, 07:34 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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lizF,

Even though I'm American, I can't answer fully "why", as the biggest reason is that we go back to visit my wife's family. So we get a little family time and a little tourist time. Still so much for me to see each trip.

The draw for me though is the differences between what's there vs what's here. I guess it's like that with all of our trips. I would guess that a European, particularly Brits, would find the differences in vastness or nature and not so much in culture. I do love the countryside, but what I really enjoy is the differences in the way life is. I've found Australia a place I can relax. The people (not all of course) to be easy going, yet sometimes amazingly open. Whether they have something good to say about you or not! Something in the spirit of the place, I guess. Things can be a little more tense here in the states and people often worry more about what is ok to discuss, who they might offend. I find much more lively debates, with no personal harm done and a beer to follow, there in Oz.

I also like the everyday things. You still have butcher shops and bakeries and other little shops with one owner, making his way and people still patronize these places. So many of these functions have disappeared in the US, consolidated into mega-groceries and giant box discount stores, where you're waited on by employees who may or may not really want to be there. I've had some of my best talks to shop keepers in Oz, as strange as that sounds. And then the views of red mountains and stands of gum trees, and you know you aren't in Kansas anymore.

I think the biggest obstacle with Americans traveling there is distance. Everyone who's asked where the pictures on my office wall come from, say "Really??" when I tell them. The next line is usually "I've always wanted to go there but it's just so far away... I don't think I could handle that plane ride". It's hard to disagree with that. Australia is about as far as you can go in one direction from my house. But entirely worth it, every time.
Clifton is offline  
Oct 5th, 2004, 12:05 PM
  #42  
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Yes Clifton that is true, we are a long way away but for some funny reason Australians are one of the most travelled people on earth. I am off to Paris today where I will pick up my rental car and depending on whether I have had enough sleep on the plane will drive south west en route to the Perigord region for a couple of weeks.
However on a recent trip to Argentina I went down to the very bottom - just because its there and I have always wanted to see Terra del Fuego - perhaps we are that "They're a Weird Mob" that
an Italian migrant wrote about us - that was a 1960's book by some poor fellow who had moved here and was trying to integrate into our way of life. For the first time we were made aware of our ways from the outside looking in!
I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in a place that was either far away or mysterious in some ways and wanting to go there just because it was there.
I wonder then if we should not have an advertising campaign saying something like this:
Its the other side of the world!
Its remote!
They are strange but kinda nice!
Its different!
Its life in the slow lane!
You gotta see it to believe it! AND
Get on a plane - watch 6 movies, have three meals and 3 bottles of wine and you are transported to another time, another place!
Getting back to your comment about a similarity in culture between us and the English, I went to England for a year in 1972 and had more culture shock there than I did travelling throughout S.E. Asia. the previous year. I was amazed at the more, quite severely, structured lifestyle, what one was "expected" to do and say. I got invited to visit a lady who had a new automatic washing machine so that I could see it so I would know what one looked like when we got them in Australia! I was amazed that at that time 2 Million people in London did not have proper plumbing in their houses, that they regarded Singapore as a third World country - a place that would have won the status of being the cleanest, most crime free and advanced country on earth at that time - hasn't changed much either.
Things have changed now with global TV and access to the Internet but it still has not cured my lust for travel to places - just because they are there or because I have not been there!
Anyway Clifton why not tell us, seeing as you are related , how we should put ourselves forward to the world. Should we use our remoteness as a draw card... possibly not if people are not keen on snoring off on a plane for 14 hours. Should we push our beautiful birds, the bush or the GBR? Should we push the weird mob factor? Or should we just point out that most of us are really nice people in a world of a...les? Thats what I want to know.
lizF is offline  
Oct 5th, 2004, 01:26 PM
  #43  
 
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Liz, I couldn't agree with you more as far as the allure of traveling. I envy you some of those trips you've taken! My list is so long it's almost funny. Completely unrealistic, but we'll just have to do what we can. We'll be checking out Romania and Hungary week after next just because of that same kind of curiosity.

As far as the question. Well, it seems to me that the strongest asset you have going is the very fact that you have such a list to choose from. There's something for just about everyone. I suppose it depends on who you're talking to as to what features to play up. Like alice there, she's all about the vastness. Adventure stuff. And there's no short supply of that, right along with diving on the GBR or hiking in the mountains or rainforests.

Then you have this other set, the culture vultures. Looking for city life or "how they live" and cafes and such. And you have some of the safest, cleanest, most progressive cities not far from those same outdoorsy activities. I can't stress enough how important to the current vibe (here in the US anyway) is about safety. Just read all the posts by Americans on the Europe board asking about safety. I don't think you can do a hard sell with statistics on that aspect, but if the message gets across...

Anyway, the whole idea that you can show countless images of unique places (Uluru, GOR, GBR, wide open spaces) beaches, clean safe cities, friendly progressive culture and yet still different can get across that this is all close at hand would sure sell some of the people I know.

Clifton is offline  
Oct 5th, 2004, 07:40 PM
  #44  
 
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Dear liz,

"Americans live to work and Australians work to live"

More Australians seemed to be having fun than many Americans I know. For me time off was always more important than salary and retirement at 55 was my major career goal.

I t was wonderful seeing so many aussies enjoying the end of easter hols in Sydney and meeting up w/ all of you toodling around your country rather casually w/o the paraphenalia of many american tours of our own land. Must be great for many folks to have more than the standard 2 weeks of american vacations.

Travel was always a priority for me starting from skiing in Canada as a kid to junior year abroad and I haven't really stopped moving since.

My only regret wa s not majoring in "foriegn" languages as a student. I learned spanish in school and have kept it up both on visits to S. America , Mexico and living here in Santa Fe. French I learned some bicycling across France in my 20's and 30's and now in my 50's struggling to pick up italian. Although the penetration of english has been amazing in the last 30 years I think conversing in a non english language is one of the greatest of tricks, about the only magic I know.

AndrewDavid
AndrewDavid is offline  
Oct 6th, 2004, 10:43 AM
  #45  
 
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Yay! I finally got to catch up and read this post. All great reasons to go to Australia and love it!

Why do I love Australia? Hm. I think it's because the first time I went there (I was traveling by myself), it felt kind odd to be on the "other side of the world". Yet when I landed, I just thought..."ahhhh." Maybe it was because I finally was able to get off that darn plane!

I don't think Oz is too far, but I live in LA, which is a convenient gateway from the U.S. to Australia. My favs so far are Adelaide (includes the Barossa), Sydney (believe it or not, I like King's Cross), and Port Douglas. I wanted to go back for three weeks next July, but we'll see how it goes.

And of course, like everyone else said, there are the people. I have now quite a few friends in Australia (who I actually met in Europe), who are some of the most genuine people I know.

To me, Australia is a place of wonder.
crazymina is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 10:59 AM
  #46  
 
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We spent two weeks in your wonderful country in April, and it clearly was not long enough. Our most memorable stay was in the Adelaide area. It's a "best kept secret" and I believe more wine loving tourists (as we are) need to know of it. From what I read, in the basic, popular, tourist literature, it's not emphasized.

It's hard to pick a city besides the capital, in this case Sydney, when you are trying to experience a new country. We chose Adelaide because of its size (a contrast to Sydney) and because of the Barossa valley wines. We were rewarded with a very enjoyable stay, and would consider going back there again on a return trip.

Our other area was the Sunshine Coast where we attended a conference. We didn't get out much, so can't commit other than to say it seemed to have great weather, was not crowded, and had delightful people. But, your people seemed delightful and friendly wherever we went. That may be one of your greatest strengths. We hope to return for an extended stay in a year or two.
kathleen is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 11:00 AM
  #47  
 
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We spent two weeks in your wonderful country in April, and it clearly was not long enough. Our most memorable stay was in the Adelaide area. It's a "best kept secret" and I believe more wine loving tourists (as we are) need to know of it. From what I read, in the basic, popular, tourist literature, it's not emphasized.

It's hard to pick a city besides the capital, in this case Sydney, when you are trying to experience a new country. We chose Adelaide because of its size (a contrast to Sydney) and because of the Barossa valley wines. We were rewarded with a very enjoyable stay, and would consider going back there again on a return trip.

Our other area was the Sunshine Coast where we attended a conference. We didn't get out much, so can't commit other than to say it seemed to have great weather, was not crowded, and had delightful people. But, your people seemed delightful and friendly wherever we went. That may be one of your greatest strengths. We hope to return for an extended stay in a year or two.
Kathy
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Oct 7th, 2004, 11:01 AM
  #48  
 
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Sorry about the repeat post. Kathy
kathleen is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 03:11 PM
  #49  
 
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My 18 year old son decided to backpack Australia about 8 years ago. He loved it so much that he came back to school here and went back down for about 2 years. He regrets leaving but his girlfriend (former) visa expired and true love does funny things to some.
Ever since then I have found an affinity to Australia for all the reasons mentionned above.
We are finally getting to visit Australia this Dec/Jan with a 3 week visit.
I also didn't know if I could handle the 24 hour flight (with connections) so I found a cruise from LA to Sydney that takes in all the S Pacific islands and NZ on the way. Expensive--yes but a trip of a lifetime as far as I am concerned. Of course you have to be retired to take the 6 weeks off. BUT I only have to make that long flight once and that is after we are finished so I can have jet lag after that and who cares.
The best advertising that Australia has is word of mouth. That's the best advertising anyone can ask for.
gerrmack is offline  
Jul 12th, 2005, 07:19 PM
  #50  
adoptionisfab
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Frequent Flyer miles made it inexpensive to go. Their is something interesting about a country that is so far away, geographically beautiful,prosperous and speaks English. The people were the nice people encountered in any country I ever went to.
What I loved:
Dunk Island
Sydney - the opera house is everywhere
Phillip Island - the penguins perform on time
Ken Done's artwork
The people!
Great Barrier Reef

Why is it so far away?
 
Jul 12th, 2005, 11:17 PM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
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Why is it so far away? Something to do with Gondwanaland?

From where we're sitting, almost everywhere we want to go is a long way away.

Another thought: if Australia hadn't been so far away, it would have been colonised by other people and would have been an entirely different place. As things stood it was a near-perfect place for a convict colony, out of sight and pretty much out of mind for a long time.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 12:08 AM
  #52  
 
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Hi LizF: Just discovered this thread - what a good idea of yours. I'm Australian, so can't really comment except to say I think some of the State advertisements (TV anyway) are really very good indeed. Love the Victorian (the Black & white Melbourne one and the "Run Rabbit Run" Victorian one) & WA ones at the moment (July 2005). The SA Tourist Board seems to do a good job, too. I think Ernie Dingo is doing one which looks good - but am not sure whether it's a State or Australian promo.

The ads that I LOATHED were the Steve Irwin ones (I'd have cheerfully fed HIM to a croc!) and, to a lesser degree, the Paul Hogan "Toss a shrimp on the Barbie". (What the hell is a bit of bait doing in a commercial? We eat Prawns, not shrimp. Ever tried to peel a shrimp?)LOL


The distance thing is interesting isn't it? We think practically nothing of hopping on a 24 hr flight to go somewhere. I guess we're used to it. I remember a young chap in Italy who said he would dearly love to come to Australia but couldn't cope with that long without a cigarette!

I think we could emphasise the fact that it's a relatively "cheap" destination for most people (US/Europeans) even when the AUD is quite strong. A bit like us with Asia, it's a bit of a hike (9 hrs or so) but much cheaper than holidaying locally.

I'd also like to see some shots of, say Paddington/ Newtown/ Acland St, St. Kilda/ South Yarra/ Victoria Markets/ the Growers Market at Pyrmont/ Freemantle/ Adelaide/ some of the GOR towns.
.... some of the less iconic vistas that give a glimpse of the "ordinary" lifestyle.

And, Alice, if you're still there: Do lighten up! I don't think Liz hates Brits at all. Neither do I, but I didn't particularly appreciate the rudeness of the bod on the "Foreigners" counter at Heathrow last time I was there demanding in a most beligerent manner how long I was planning to be there & why I was visiting the UK. I was on a business trip and had no hesitation in telling him I'd be gone back to the Antipodes as soon as I could ! (Which wasn't true at all - I was planning on a couple of days in my fav. London haunts before a trip up to Cambridge to stay with friends.) I guess the combination of having been relegated to a Foreigner and his charm just got the better of me!
Bokhara is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 02:38 AM
  #53  
 
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That's so true Bokhara. Without wishing to hijack this thread, the only thing I ever dread about going overseas (as we Australian do so frequently) is anticipating the rudeness of Immigration at Heathrow. I have never felt so unwelcome - anywhere - as the Foreigners counter. And it happens without fail on every visit. Of course, it's quickly forgotten once the magic of London is unveiled, but it's such a downer after that terrible flight from Singapore to London. Alice, can you fix that please?
PaulS is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 12:54 PM
  #54  
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I had to go back and read this myself seeing I was accused of not liking POMS - I think that if I have given that impression it must have been because of my in-laws who I wish were even further away than England ( Mars perhaps as they behave like alien beings but that is another story).
I too agree that the immigration desk at Heathrow is perhaps the worst aspect of the UK. They do need a kick up the butt but I have the "pleasure" of going through the UK resident's line because I have the "right of abode" should I be that silly to take it up. What is even funnier is that the "right of abode" sticker is on my passport and if my husband uses only his Australian passport he has to line up in the "others" section and get that stern faced ( usually originating from somewhere on the sub-continent) asking what is he doing and when is he leaving his country of birth, while I get through in the UK section with a smile - does he get angry or what!
The UK ain't what it used to be for me and of late the terrorist attacks have only made the memories more vivid for me of the time I lived in the UK and had the luck to avoid most of the IRA bombs in London at the time - but sometimes not by much though. Even the day I left the UK the IRA managed to bomb something like the airconditioning at Heathrow and so we had a 10 hour delay and diversion half way around the globe.
For me Australia is a long way from all that although I don't live with a false sense of security as I am sure that we too have our cells of terrorists within our country who would attack us at the drop of a hat but for me it is wonderful to have the distance of both the Pacific and Indian Oceans between us and them so to speak. Distance does not bother me if I want to get anywhere and the fact that we have a climate second to none and a country that is so big that if you want space you can have it, is its biggest attraction.
I have recently been up to North Queensland and the GBR and am now looking forward to 10 days in Tasmania in a couple of weeks. Now there is my "bolt hole" if anything goes wrong here in this country. I doubt that even the most ardent terrorist would bother to do anything is Tasmania! All that is why we Australians are such a happy lot of little vegemites and we can afford to share those feelings with others who come to visit.
lizF is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 01:48 PM
  #55  
 
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Hi, LizF,
Wow, you are up early!!
I saw this post when it first came on, but didn't have time to make my 'submission' at the time. I have and I will now.
The reason for my first trip to Australia in 1987 was it was close to NZ, it wasn't too expensive so my girlfriend and I could afford it, and I wouldn't have to sit in a plane too long. (I hate flying.) We stayed a couple of nights in King's Cross before moving on to Newcastle to my friend's cousins for 8 days. We visited the Hunter Valley, and many other places of interest (found Maitland an interesting little place) in our time. Fell in love with pelicans, koalas and kookaburras - well so it would seem looking back on the photos!
Next trip was two years later either side of a trip to Singapore with our children.
Since then we have visited many places on the east side of Australia, and thoroughly enjoyed our visits. I guess my favourite place has to be Queensland though, because of the warm temperature and the extreme diversity of activities. We love the laid-back lifestyle, and would move over if we could find employment. This could be a little difficult at our age - late 50s/early 60s, so I guess it will just be visiting every year, except this, to keep us going.
In our travels through Victoria, Canberra and New South Wales we have found helpfulness and interest on the part of the locals, as well as in Queensland, making us aware this must be how Australians are, and hopefully always will be.
dotty is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 02:30 PM
  #56  
 
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Hear, hear. Is there anyone ruder than a British immigration official at "Eefrow", especially if you're Australian, New Zealander or South African. My husband holds an Australian passport, was born in England and came to Oz when he was about 5 years of age and is Aussie to the core. After waiting forever in the "Commonwealth Queue" I was given the 3rd degree by the grumpy immigration bloke, but to Mike, when he saw place of birth on his passport, it was "Welcome home, sir. You didn't need to queue, you're British". Suppose that proves they can be polite.
pat_woolford is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 05:12 PM
  #57  
LN
 
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Hi Liz

A major reason for our coming to Australia twice (and will be back for a third) is the friendliness of the people. We've spent two months there now and have really never met what I would consider "a stranger".

When we first started talking about THE trip it was because Australia seemed to be such a rugged country and much like the states. But it has its particular uniqueness that keeps calling one back again.

Was it as nice as we expected? Yes, it was and actually it was often nicer than expected.

I absolutely love Sydney and will continue to include it in our visits to Oz and just add other cities to our trip. Next visit we hope to see Perth, Darwin, another ??, and of course, end in Sydney.

Of the places you've mention we been to:
Sydney, Blue Mountains, Melbourne. Great Ocean Road. Ayers Rock, Brisbane,
Cairns and the Tropical North, Hobart,
Cradle Mountain, Freycinet National Park, and Port Arthur and of course, Canberra (and yes I liked your capitol).

I cannot find your country boring, underrated or overrated but I can find it different, special, unique, lively (or full-of-life) and populated with humorous, friendly people.


LN is offline  
Jul 13th, 2005, 07:11 PM
  #58  
 
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Hi LN, Adelaide's a hidden gem, IMO (I'm a Sydney dweller) and the areas around it just superb. And you will love Darwin (make time to go to Kakadu/Litchfield Parks as well).
Cheers
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