Thanks LizzyF

Old Aug 29th, 2007, 03:47 AM
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Thanks LizzyF

Hi Lizzy,
Those posts you did are great - I hope lots of people bookmark them as they give an alternative to the "Monday=Sydney, Wednesday=Cairns, Friday= Penguin parade" biscuit cutter tourism that seems to be the standard visitor's fare.

Even for first visits, I think the "other path" can be most rewarding.

It must have taken you ages to gather all this info together & paste it under the various headings & as a local, I just wanted to acknowledge your good efforts
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 03:32 PM
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And thank you Bokhara for writing this. I just wanted to show people that there is more to Australia than the well trodden tourist path and also to those Australians who seem to think that a 4 wheel drive is a necessity to visit a lot of these places. I had never owned a 4 wheel drive, spent most of my life travelling with children and with a tent and that goes for overseas as well - I will copy and post this reply elsewhere as I think there needs a bit of clarification there.
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Old Aug 29th, 2007, 06:26 PM
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Ah yes, Lizzie, the 4WD! Don't you know one needs a 4WD to negotiate the wilds of our most salubrious suburbs, never mind something as treacherous as ....an untarred road!

Damned if I know how we all survived on black soil plains, bottomless red dirt & bulldust that came half way up the tyres. Must have been able to drive!

Like you, I've never owned a 4WD, nor have any need or desire to do so. I've also managed to see a good deal of country here & elsewhere without the need for one. And yes, can actually drive them, even know how to engage & disengage the 4WD, unlike, I would suggest, the majority of drivers I see.

I wondered how the Porche 4WD blocking my driveway yesterday would cope with a speck of mud on it, as I left a note for its driver. Large writing, short words - didn't want to overtax the driver's brain, as obviously the concept of not parking across someone's access had been too much to grasp.

In Bokharaworld; there would be a ban on anyone with a postcode within 3000km of a major town owning one. Penalties would start with 2 weeks in the Pilbara checking fences in the wet season in the offending vehicle, owner to be given 2 days rations, & 1/2 day tuition on self sufficiency by local hunters, for a first .... and escalate for repeat offences.

There is a problem for those renting with the "no unsealed roads" clause - which I think is an absolute nonsense in those areas where at least some unsealed road access is essential, but would pose no danger at all to the vehicle. So, for the people only here for a short time & forced into renting 4WDs by that restriction, I do have some empathy.
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 08:33 PM
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LizzyF & Bokhara, yes I feel the same about 4WD's, no real need for one unless you get off the bitumen road (which most 4WD's don't get off)and onto real rough country, which I think would frighten most overseas visitors.
We have tourists who rent 4WD's at Hervey Bay to drive on Fraser Island, and a lot come to grief, because they have no idea how to drive in sand. Not uncommon to hear helicopters flying back & forth to Fraser Island, to bring back injured backpackers from 4WD's that have overturned in the sand.
They just don't realise that 4WD's have a higher centre of gravity than a normal car, and are easy to overturn.
My father in law used to drive his 4WD (old landrover) from NSW, up through Qld to the Gregory River in the Gulf country, and after driving through bulldust, etc, arrived at the gregory for some fishing, and came across a Morris Minor sedan, who made the trip without any 4WD capabilities.
I think 4WD owners here in Hervey Bay like them, as can traverse slippery driveways, and mount the kerb to park on the footpath.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 12:14 AM
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Hi Troppo,
Funny you should mention that high wheelbase problem. The only time I've been in a vehicle that rolled was a landrover - up near the Palmer river on the way to Cooktown, in deep bull dust. The thing was, though, that even on the bitumen coming out of Cairns I thought it was unstable from my seat in the back. One can't say,of course, but I don't think a lower wheelbased vehicle would have rolled after the couple of fishtails we did. We weren't travelling at any great speed (well, you couldn't in that dust!!) and moved over to avoid an oncoming vehicle. The driver has lived in FNQ all his life & had travelled on that road many times, so it wasn't a case of not knowing it.

I am often concerned that people driving on the opposite to their normal side of the road, on unfamiliar roads, add the burden of a vehicle which, as you observe, is totally different in handling to anything they are likely to have driven before.

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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 09:58 AM
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As future visitors in Feb 2009, I know, I plan way ahead, we love these post by LizzyF. We have heard so many wonderful things from people we have met on our travels, but have been having a hard time getting info except for the standard type of tours.

We will spend at least several weeks in your country. I had been thinking maybe I was nuts, because I wasn't that interested in spending all our time in Sydney and Cairns. We really want to explore the South and West, sort of eat and drink our way across Australia!

We will enter Australia at Cairns. Plan a short trip out to the Reef, we are both divers-husband for 45 years and myself for 25-and have dived all over the world. Unfortunatly Australia's medical req will probably keep me from diving. Will check that out, of course, but even if I can't dive, we do want to see the Reef the best way we can. Somewhere I had found a one line memtion about the mail boat up the NE coast - sounds really neat. Will have to now check that out in more detail.

Thanks so much for all the posts.
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 05:38 PM
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cwn, I think you're thinking of MV Trinity Bay (its a cargo ship not a mailboat) which also takes passengers through sheltered waters of GBR weekly from Cairns right up to Cape York, Torres Strait communities and islands. It is not a dive or snorkelling boat though. Haven't managed to take it myself as yet, but gets good reports from locals who say meals are surprisingly good. www.seaswift.com.au
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