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» What’s on in WA » Member benefits » 10 of the best

Waterways of wonder

WA’s Kimberley from a whole new angle

Time to disconnect

Why switching off in the car can save you

Quokka tales

Our cutest marsupials up close


The rise of mountain biking in WA Adjust2CMYK

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Available in these selected locations

• Altone Park • Armadale • Armadale Central • Balga • Beechboro • Carine • Coolbellup • Dianella • Doubleview • Ellenbrook • Geraldton • Hamilton Hill • Meadow Springs • Midland • Northgate • Quinns • Scarborough • South Lake • Stirlings • Sunset Beach • Waikiki

Editor Vanessa Pogorelic Graphic Designer Renee Smith Head of Design Mark Coppini Managing Editor Rebecca Martin Advertising Des McNamara (WA only) Tel. 08 9388 7844 Kerri Spillane Tel 03 8520 6444 Horizons® Published by RAC WA Cover photo The Cape to Cape Mountain Bike event in the Margaret River region Photographer Chris Southwood, Flow Mountain Bike

Your RAC magazine Dec/Jan 2019


Meet our quokkas A closer look at our homegrown selfie stars

CAB audited as at March 2018 is 578,889 households

Our plastic wrapper is biodegradable


Member lounge People, places and offers


Member benefits RAC members save every day

Australia Post ISSN No 0810 8285. The opinions contained in this publication may not be shared by the Royal Automobile Club of WA (Inc) or its related bodies corporate (together “RAC”) or any of its or their councillors, directors or employees. Advertisements in Horizons are the responsibility of the advertiser. No person should act or rely upon such opinions or advice and RAC accepts no liability for them. Any rewards or rights provided to a member cannot be transferred, assigned, sold or redeemed for cash. Inclusion of a product should not be construed as an endorsement by RAC.



  @racwa  For deaf, hearing or speech impaired members: Emergency Roadside Assistance SMS number 0434 182 877 All queries For more contact details, see page 81.

Roadside Assistance, Battery Services

Vehicle Condition Appraisals

13 11 11

1300 797 078

Membership, Motoring Advice, Insurance, Finance, Travel, Touring, Security Services

13 17 03

RAC Auto Services

1300 135 667 RAC Tyres

1300 651 042 Corporate Enquiries

9436 4111

December-January 2019 / Horizons




President’s message Elephant in the Wheatbelt

Exchange Your views and feedback

Snapshot News from RAC




What’s on Great events around WA

Paying for our roads Is there a better way?

Kings of the mountain Mountain biking in WA




Distracted drivers The rise of in-car distractions

Smooth move A handy guide for moving

Travel brief News from RAC Travel




Kimberley cruising The Kimberley from the water

Tokyo in winter Unique experiences to try

Motor news Everything on wheels




Test drive Putting new cars to the test

Car doctor Your questions answered

The 10 best Inland swimming spots

Horizons / December-January 2019


Helping to save lives and save you money That’s the power of membership


RAC is a membership organisation. We give back to you with savings on RAC products and services, plus savings on fuel, shopping and more. In return, your membership helps us sponsor the RAC Rescue helicopters which fly life-saving missions every hour of every day. That’s the power of membership.

Find out more at Member Benefit Terms and Conditions apply. Funded by the State Government, the RAC Rescue helicopters are managed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES).


President’s message Elephant in the Wheatbelt shines light on regional road safety Tragically, Western Australia continues to hold one of the worst road fatality rates in the country and thousands of serious injuries are occurring every year. Road safety is a critical priority for our entire State, but regional communities remain at far greater risk than their metropolitan counterparts. Despite being home to less than 20 per cent of the population, more than half of all fatalities occur in regional WA. Nowhere is the devastation more widespread than the Wheatbelt, where the road fatality rate is 11 times higher than Perth. The long-term impact of road deaths and serious injuries in the Wheatbelt is severe, ripping through the hearts of local communities and leaving families grief-stricken. In 2015, from the remains of seven wrecked cars, RAC’s life-sized Elephant in the Wheatbelt was born, and with it began a mission to highlight the unacceptable silence surrounding road trauma. Since its creation, the Elephant has visited schools, community events and local shows across all corners of the Wheatbelt. From Northam to Southern Cross, Wagin to Dalwallinu. During its travels, the Elephant has inspired thousands of conversations, shining a light on local heroes along the way.

Horizons / December-January 2019

To keep conversations alive, a new children’s storybook — ‘My Family, The Elephant and Me’ — was released earlier this year and delivered to local primary schools and community resource centres. With a central message of ‘we travel safe, or not at all’, the book provides a lasting conversation piece for families. Coinciding with the book deliveries, six unique road safety murals were also commissioned and painted in towns across the region. Throughout its journey, the Elephant has dispelled many myths. Such as, how visitors from the City are the problem or how locals are more experienced at high-speed driving. The reality is that nearly two thirds of people killed on Wheatbelt roads are Wheatbelt residents and that most Wheatbelt fatalities occur on 110km/h roads. Previous research also shows that 65 per cent of Wheatbelt crashes are caused by deliberate driver choices, such as speeding, drink driving and distraction.

community, and road safety is everyone’s responsibility. RAC’s Elephant in the Wheatbelt campaign started a long-overdue discussion about the devastating impacts of road trauma. Our hope is it remains an ongoing reminder of road safety for generations to come. With Christmas and New Year festivities almost upon us please travel safely and enjoy the holiday period with your family and friends.

Tony Evans RAC President

RAC President

Tony Evans RAC Council Club Patron His Excellency the Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia President Tony Evans Senior Vice President Jacqueline Ronchi RAC’s Vice President and Council details will be published in the February/ March 2019 edition of Horizons.

Being complacent on our roads can have real, lifechanging consequences. There is an elephant in every



Member feedback

@racwa @racwa Sign up to receive RAC’s For the Better enews

Tourism Western Australia

Your favourite road trips In December 1958, I came to Perth across the Nullarbor from Melbourne with my late parents with all our possessions in a two-door Volkswagen Beetle. The Eyre Highway was corrugated for much of the trip and it was a pretty rough ride. Accompanying me in the back seat was our dog, our cat and a caged pink and grey galah. What an experience camping in small tents and hunting for rabbits to supplement our meals. After five days we all arrived safely in Perth and settled here for which I am forever grateful. Bill Kynaston Find more of WA’s favourite road trips at

Winning Exchange


Service warning Set price services (for vehicles) are not what they seem. Some are lists of things to be inspected not serviced. Extra services and their costs need to be individually discussed and approved before being done and charged, according to Consumer Protection. Sadly, some car dealers and car manufactures are not guided by these requirements. Car buyers beware. Denise Hynd See our story about capped price servicing on page 13.

Reading the roads I went to a friend’s house south of Mandurah and was telling her about the number of times I have driven over the bridge there and seen drivers changing lanes, crossing over the solid white line on the threelane bridge. I made the comment “Why don’t people read the road”. I noticed her 18-year-old daughter, who recently got her licence, look at me quizzically. I realized she hadn’t thought too much about road markings. Driving instructors should stress that signs and road markings should be learned as well as the highway code. Margaret Walton You must not cross a continuous (unbroken) dividing line to overtake, or a continuous lane line to change lanes.

December-January 2019 / Horizons


Your favourite WA beaches Get social with @RACWA on Facebook and Twitter. Tag your snaps with #RACWA and you could feature in the next Horizons.

 11 Mile Beach, Esperance. Kyle Bromley (above)

 Back Beach and Rocky Point, Bunbury. Terri Sharp (above)

 Little Island just in front of Hillarys. Such a great beach. Mathias Wichmann (above)

Send feedback and win Send us your opinions and feedback via Facebook, Twitter, email or post and you could win a year’s Classic Roadside Assistance. For assistance or more information call 13 17 03 or visit Terms and conditions on page 81. Published letters may be edited for style and length. While we try to respond to all letters we receive, a response cannot be guaranteed.

Horizons / December-January 2019


Arnhem Land

13 DAYS | NHULUNBUY - DARWIN | From $11,995 pp Fully Accommodated | Departs May – Sep 2019 Immerse yourself in the world’s oldest surviving culture on this exclusive adventure from Nhulunbuy to Seven Spirit Bay. New for 2019, spend 3 nights at Seven Spirit Bay Wilderness Lodge.

Canning Stock Route

16 DAYS | BROOME - NEWMAN (& V.V.) | From $11,895 pp Deluxe Camping | Departs May – Sep 2019

Journey down the longest and most remote stock route in the world. Pass through spectacular landscapes and learn about the endeavours of the early East Kimberley cattlemen.

SAVE UP TO * per person



Outback South Australia

14 DAYS | ADELAIDE - ADELAIDE | From $7,495 pp Fully Accommodated | Departs Apr, May, Sep & Oct 2019 Discover the very best of outback South Australia on this unique adventure. Highlights include the Flinders Ranges, Lake Eyre scenic flight, Kangaroo Island & more!

$700* per person


12 DAYS | HOBART - HOBART | From $7,095 pp Fully Accommodated | Departs Feb, Mar, Oct & Nov 2019 Explore Tasmania’s sensational wilderness and stunning natural wonders on this comprehensive adventure. Highlights include Cradle Mountain, Freycinet Peninsula, Bruny Island & more! SAVE


$400* per person

$500* per person

Small groups

4WD Mercedes Benz vehicles

Exceptional guides

Fully inclusive

*Conditions apply. Earlybird offers are reflected in the tour fares quoted. Offers may vary depending on month of travel. Prices are per person twin share. Must book by 31 December 2018. Enquire or visit our website for more details. ACN 006 972 130

The Kimberley Take an epic adventure through the Kimberley wildernesss with the experts in outback touring


Darwin - Broome (& V.V.) | Fully Accommodated From $11,795pp twin share | Departs May – Aug 2019






Join Outback Spirit in 2019 and discover the incredible Kimberley & Top End on this unique 18-day adventure. You’ll stay in the region’s best hotels, resorts and wilderness lodges including our own luxurious safari camp on the Mitchell Plateau. Ancient Wandjina and Gwion Gwion rock art galleries await on a guided walk to the stunning Mitchell Falls. Travel the entire Gibb River Road and visit pristine gorges including Bell and Windjana. Visit the 800,000-acre Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary on the upper Fitzroy River and enjoy an exclusive 4WD safari. Cruise the Ord River, Yellow Water, Katherine River Gorge and Geikie Gorge. Other highlights include the Bungle Bungles, Kakadu, Ubirr Rock, the spectacular Horizontal Falls and 2 nights in Broome at Cable Beach Club Resort & Spa. Other Kimberley adventures available 16 Day Exquisite Kimberley Adventure | Broome to Broome | From $10,495pp 13 Day Jewels of the Kimberley | Broome to Darwin | From $9,595pp 15 Day Jewels of the Kimberley & Faraway Bay | Broome to Darwin | From $11,195pp 18 Day Exquisite Kimberley & Cape Leveque | Broome to Broome | From $11,695pp

Call 1800 688 222 for more details or visit


News in brief from the RAC and beyond

Be bushfire ready

A grassland bushfire as far as 10km from your home could be at your door within 20 minutes, with grassfires estimated to be able to travel at up to 30km/h, according to the CSIRO. All bushfires are unpredictable and under the right conditions, they can spread with incredible speed and ferocity. Once a bushfire is close to your home, outrunning it is not an option. Nearly all structural damage caused by a bushfire is due to ember attack where


embers from a fire are carried by the wind and land in or around homes and other structures. Embers can travel more than half a kilometre from a fire. To ensure your family’s safety, be aware of the level of risk you face. Have a five-minute fire chat with your family to determine when you will know to leave, where you will go and which way you will go if a bushfire threatens your area. This will ensure you’re ready and help you avoid making last-minute decisions that could prove deadly. Keep your plan flexible to account for changes, such as family members not being home or roads being cut off. For more information about how to prepare and respond to bushfires, visit

Choose a safer used car If Australia reduced the age of its passenger vehicle fleet by just one year, 1300 lives would be saved on our roads due to the safety features in newer cars, according to the Australian Automobile Association. Before you or anyone in your family chooses a used car, be sure to check its safety rating at

The age of passenger vehicles on our roads:

11.5 9.8 years years WA average

National average

December-January 2019 / Horizons


Cycling in WA

Petrol’s invisible dangers Householders using even small amounts of petrol in gardening and other equipment should never take its explosive power for granted.


West Aussies cycle for fun or commuting every week



Petrol is highly flammable as a liquid and also very flammable in vapour form. Vapours can travel along the ground and become ignited far from the original fuel source – even the pilot light in a hot water system is a potential ignition source. When refuelling any machinery or equipment at home, consider the vicinity of potential ignition sources.

42% of us cycle compared with the national average of 34%

More males cycle in WA than females

Is capped price servicing really capped? Many new cars are sold with capped price servicing included in the deal but what that means varies from one manufacturer to another.

Generally, manufacturers have a schedule which shows you the price of each service, so you know ahead of time what you will pay for those standard services. If some items (like a pollen filter) need replacement ahead of time, this may be at an extra cost to the basic service. Brake pads and discs, tyres, light globes, water

Horizons / December-January 2019

Petrol must only be stored in containers that are specifically designed for fuel storage. Some containers are susceptible to static build up and the discharge of static electricity can ignite flammable vapours. Store it in a cool, well ventilated place and only store a small quantity at any one time. Never store it inside your home. When filling a fuel container at a service station place the container on the ground and ensure the pump nozzle is in contact with the container. This will discharge any static electricity build up.

26% 11%

In most cases, when a car is in for a service the basics are at a standard capped price, but you may find that you have some out-of-pocket costs for other parts or fluids that need to be replaced at that interval as well.

Stay well away from hot water systems, electrical equipment and tools that can create sparks. You should refill machinery outdoors in a well-ventilated area. Always refill with the engine off and make sure the machinery has cooled down beforehand. Avoid getting petrol on your skin.

pumps and other wear-and-tear consumable items are generally not included in capped price servicing. The bottom line is that you may get a better deal on your servicing by shopping around. Just make sure the workshop has a current motor vehicle repair certificate. Also, remember that under Australian Consumer Law, you do not need to have your vehicle serviced at the dealer to maintain its standard factory warranty, providing the vehicle is serviced according to the manufacturer’s specifications and by an appropriately qualified technician.

Nominate a risky road Do you have concerns about a stretch of road or an intersection that poses a safety threat to motorists and other road users? Nominate it today as a Risky Road and help us make it safer to move around WA. Nominations are welcome from all corners of the State — from the city, to the suburbs, to regional communities.

How to nominate: Online at riskyroads. Can’t get online? Call us on 9436 4598. Nominations close 17 December 2018.



Have your say and take the road to a safer WA You can avoid risky roads, or you can nominate them. RAC is dedicated to improving road safety in WA. Nominate a risky road in your area so we can work to fix it.

Nominate a risky road today at


Preparing WA for driverless vehicles Last year, we announced that RAC, with just two other cities globally, had been exclusively selected to launch and trial some of the first driverless cars right here in Perth. A lot of complexity and planning is involved in bringing this trial to WA but the RAC team is making terrific progress. After we unveiled the RAC Intellicar® in September 2018, our team got busy very quickly to get the trial underway. The vehicle we revealed at the launch is a prototype vehicle, meaning it will return to France following the stages of the trial. We are then expecting three production vehicles to arrive early next

Horizons / December-January 2019

year. In the meantime, the prototype is providing us with an opportunity to test the technology and plan out the trial. As with the RAC Intellibus®, we are delivering the trial with the support of the State Government and are taking a safety-first approach, delivering the trial in multiple stages, with each stage acting as a decision point or gateway to move on to the next. Given the newness of the technology, timeframes are deliberately fluid as we move through the important testing phases.

Insurances have been obtained and a comprehensive testing plan devised with a view to increasing the complexity of testing across two stages. The team has also commenced initial desktop scoping of potential locations for the public trial stages. The next step will be shortlisting locations for detailed site assessments, which includes traffic management plans and road safety audits. It’s exciting times as we prepare for a world that includes driverless vehicles and we’re looking forward to getting our members involved in this world-leading trial as it progresses. So, stay tuned for further updates.



What’s on

Events around the state in December and January

Perth Festival Lotterywest Films

26 November – 7 April Various venues Pack a picnic and take a cinematic journey around the world over summer. Award-winning films from Iceland to Korea light up the silver screens under the stars at the stunning outdoor cinemas of UWA Somerville and ECU Joondalup Pines. The full film program will be released closer to the date.

RAC Christmas Pageant Put on your Christmas best and bring the family down to the RAC Christmas Pageant, which lights up St Georges Terrace with colourful floats and the magic of Christmas from 7.30pm. A great event for all ages, RAC has been a proud sponsor of the annual Christmas Pageant since 1998.

King of the Cut 1-2 December Secret Harbour

This stand-up paddle boarding competition is held on the Peel Coast, making the most of the consistent downwind breeze. Paddlers battle it out over 24km in the main race, otherwise competitors can choose the shorter race of 10km.


2 December Busselton

John Leonard

1 December Perth CBD

FRINGE Central in The Perth Cultural Centre

Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival 8 December Manjimup

The annual cherry festival is an actionpacked day in the heart of Manjimup, part of the Southern Forests food bowl. Festival goers can meet local producers, taste the produce, and see cooking demonstrations as well as watch the cherry pip-spitting competition and street parade. The festival attracts thousands of visitors to cherry country every year.

Hopman Cup

29 December – 5 January RAC Arena

Busselton comes alive for the annual Ironman, one of the largest events of its type in Australia and the Asia Pacific region. Competitors take on the 3.8km swim in Geographe Bay, 180km cycle along the coast and through the Tuart Forest, and a 42.2km run along the foreshore.

See tennis champions like last year’s winners Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic from Switzerland and runners up Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber from Germany clash in the Hopman Cup. The weeklong tennis tournament attracted a record number of fans last year and is set to be another showstopper.

Horizons / December-January 2019

Lancelin Ocean Classic 10-13 January Lancelin

This well-known Ocean Classic international windsurfing and water sports competition brings together professionals and amateurs over three days to battle for the top spot. The marathon event starts in Ledge Point and finishes in Lancelin.

Fringe Festival

18 January – 17 February Various venues, Perth The third-largest Fringe Festival in the world is a colourful highlight on the Perth events calendar. There are more than 700 performances to choose from during the annual festival season, covering everything from cabaret to comedy. Wander through the Perth streets to take in the atmosphere or visit a local venue and experience Fringe in all its glory.



road ahead A challenging

Do you know how much money you pay every year in taxes and charges for road use? Do you know how you pay it? Or where the money goes? If you answered no, you’re not alone. Nearly two in every three Western Australians know little about what, why or how they pay to use our roads, according to a recent RAC survey.

For every litre of petrol you buy, 41c is collected by the Federal Government. In short, the average motorist in Australia pays around $1300 per vehicle every year in motoringrelated taxes and charges.

What you're actually paying for at the bowser Petrol price (ex. tax) Total tax (inc. excise and GST) Source: Australian Government, Australian Petroleum Statistics - Issue 265, August 2018


Every time you put fuel in your car or pay for its rego, in theory you’re helping to fund WA roads. But could we get more from the money we pay for road use? By Jane Hammond

Every time you put fuel in your car, pay your licence or registration or buy or sell a vehicle, some of this money goes towards our roads to fund road building, repair and operation.

For every litre of petrol you buy, 41c is collected by the Federal Government, along with the GST you pay at the bowser, adding up to billions each year.

Motoring-related taxes include licence, registration and stamp duty fees collected by the State Government and fuel excise, luxury car tax and fringe benefits tax collected by the Federal Government.

According to the Productivity Commission, fuel excise accounts for around $600 of the $1300 a year in total motoring-related fees and charges paid by Australian drivers.



PETROL $1.46/L Regular unleaded retail price




CIW1 /

ABOVE: Congestion over the Narrows Bridge, South Perth in the late afternoon.

The shortfall for WA Roads are the single largest item of infrastructure spending for governments, outstripping hospitals, school buildings, stadiums and public transport. Funding for roads covers road infrastructure and network management and the concern is that WA motorists are not getting a fair share of the motoring taxes collected by the Federal Government.

The amount returned to WA each year has averaged just 28c per dollar over the past 12 years. In 2016/17, WA motorists paid $2.7 billion to the Federal Government in motoring taxes but got back just 30 cents per dollar paid – just $806 million. The amount returned to WA each year has averaged just 28c per dollar over the past 12 years, says Sarah Macaulay, manager transport planning at RAC.

Horizons / December-January 2019

“We want to see the return to WA consistently be a minimum of 50 per cent of the amount collected from WA motorists by the Federal Government for reinvestment in our roads. As well as being fairer, this is essential to address the increasing pressures and costs of road trauma and congestion,” says Macaulay. The situation is also expected to worsen as the national pot of funds available for road infrastructure is shrinking with vehicles becoming more fuel-efficient. There has been a 20 per cent or $2.7 billion drop in revenue collected from fuel excise since 1997/98, according to the Australian Government’s 2017 Australian Infrastructure Statistics Yearbook. “With vehicles becoming more fuel efficient and the uptake of electric vehicles increasing, using fuel excise as our main funding source is not sustainable,” says Macaulay. “We need to investigate broader reform of motorist taxation to replace, not add to, the existing fees and charges.”

A fairer approach For many years, RAC has been calling on the Federal Government for a fairer distribution of funding from revenue collected from WA motorists. RAC is calling for the return to consistently be a minimum of 50 cents for every dollar paid by WA motorists in motoring-related, taxes, fees and charges. RAC is also calling on the Federal Government to investigate and engage the community on road user charging, as part of a genuine reform of motorist taxation, to create a fairer, more equitable and more sustainable system for funding transport infrastructure and services.



Worldwide issue The issue of road funding is not unique to WA, or Australia. Policy makers around the world are grappling with the need for a more sustainable road funding model. One option being discussed is a road pricing system, where motorists pay based on their road usage. Similar to how we pay for electricity in our homes, if you drive less or during offpeak periods you may pay less. While the community often assumes ‘road pricing’ means road tolls, Macaulay says that’s not the case. “Road tolls and congestion charges have been used in other jurisdictions to pay for new road infrastructure like bridges or to address congestion at specific locations. However, a road user charging or pricing system would be more holistic and apply across the network. “Right now, there’s no clear picture of what such a system might look like but there are some interesting trials happening around the world, particularly Oregon in the USA.” RAC’s 2017 survey found the WA community was divided about road pricing, but that more than half were supportive or open to the idea if it was an alternative, not an addition, to existing motoring fees and charges. One in five believed expanding our public transport system was the most effective way to manage congestion on our roads and 18 per cent said the same about decentralising employment away from the CBD.

Macaulay says we need public debate on road user charging but with West Australians knowing little about the flaws in the current system, the community needs to be informed and engaged.

Examples of road user charging initiatives used elsewhere

“There’s a lot of things to consider, like affordability, the challenges for regional communities and ensuring West Australians have good access to a range of transport options.

Charges for bigger / heavier vehicles: Charges applied depending on the size of the vehicle. Heavier vehicles are charged more because they emit more pollution and contribute more to road wear-and-tear. Currently used in New Zealand.

“We’d expect any changes to be coupled with increased investment in public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure, to provide viable alternatives to driving. “The lack of transparency inherent in the current system makes it difficult for people to see what they are paying for road use, and the charges don’t directly relate to the amount or where and when we use the roads” says Macaulay. “If you can see what you’re being charged to drive, and other options are available to you, you can make more informed choices about how you travel.” “Importantly, any changes must be explored as part of a genuine reform, replacing the current outdated fees and charges, not add to them.”

Pay-as-you-go road usage Oregon in the USA is running one of the most advanced road pricing trials with a payper-mile road usage charge program involving thousands of participants. Participants pay 1.7 cents per mile for their road use and get credits for the fuel tax they pay at the pump. They have several options to report their mileage and their personal information is kept secure and private. Find out more at


Road tolls: A fee is charged for passage on a road. The fee amount is collected at toll booths or automatically as the vehicle passes and is charged by vehicle type, weight, or number of axles. Used in the Eastern States and New Zealand. Distance based charges: Charges calculated according to the distance travelled by motorists and applied across the entire road network. Congestion charges: Fees to enter areas such as CBDs. Charges are fixed or varied based on the level of congestion, with higher charges during peak periods. Examples include the London Congestion Charging scheme and Stockholm’s congestion tax. Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing scheme combines this with expressway charging. Priority lanes / high occupancy toll lanes: Dedicated lanes on the road which are free (or at a charge) for vehicles with multiple occupants and other exempt vehicles. Examples include the network of HOT/express lanes in the Silicon Valley area.

December-January 2019 / Horizons

Life is so much easier I’m so happy with my first pair of hearing aids that I want to tell everyone my story. I’ve known about my tinnitus and hearing loss for something like 15 years, and I’d been to two companies over the last four years, but the feeling I got was they just wanted to sell me something. Their service wasn’t personalised and didn’t seem thorough enough. I was talking with a client, Jeff Peek who has been with Brad for years, and he told me that this company is completely different, he has had absolutely personalised service and he doesn’t know why people go anywhere else. And that is my experience too. With Brad, at no stage did I feel he was trying to sell me anything. He gave me choices, made recommendations, and what I was fitted with has made a massive difference to my life. What I hear now allows me to be myself and join in on conversations. Life is so much easier. I’m a lot more


relaxed, not having to try to decipher what’s being said, which anyone in that position knows takes up a lot of energy. In the past I’ve felt it hardly worth going where I’d be expected to have a conversation in a crowd. It was painful for me and annoying for others constantly having to ask for repeats of what had been said. The kicker to this is that I can now actually join in, be part of the conversation and pretty often have a laugh with everyone else. My wife Lisa loves our new life. She thinks it is a new world because we can actually have meaningful conversations. And she doesn’t have to put up with the television at a ridiculously loud level. Our quality of life is much better, more meaningful generally. Even my work in sales is about 10 times easier because I don’t have to stress over people’s responses. I love my hearing aids, and feel it’s the best thing I have done for myself in a very long time. I do recommend that people come and see one of the hearing professionals at Brad’s clinic. Then you’ll see what I mean. Paul Dixon



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OF THE MOUNTAIN By Wendy Caccetta

In three decades mountain biking has gone from an enthusiasts’ day out to a popular pasttime for families. What’s so good about it and what are the plans for mountain biking in WA? When investment banker Bob de la Motte climbed into the saddle of an off-road bike and joined around 100 others for the first Cape to Cape Mountain Bike race back in 2008, mountain biking was still in its infancy. Fast forward nearly a decade and the 210km ‘Cape’ is now an international event, mountain bikers outnumber surfers in some South West hot spots and de la Motte remains hooked on the spoils and camaraderie of what is one of the fastest growing sports. “There’s a wonderful sense of a connection with nature,” says de la Motte, now 64 and retired. “It’s fun, everyone’s got stories to tell. There’s always the rock you didn’t see or the minute you took your eye off the track and hit a tree or you get your handle bar caught or you get a puncture.


“It’s a healthy outlet. And it’s quite a different community to the road cycling crew,” he says. “Mountain biking is very grounded. Like surfing.” “The commitment is always leave no trace [when you] cycle through the bush. You don’t litter. If you see litter you pick it up and you respect the natural environment and appreciate it.”

Boom times Margaret River, world famous for its surfing, now has around 35km of mountain biking trails. Locals like Paul Iles, committee member of the Margaret River Off Road Cycling Association and owner of The Hairy Marron Bike Café, says the motorists with mountain bikes on the backs of their cars are as familiar as those with surfboards on their roofs.

“At Christmas time or school holidays on the main street, pretty much every car has got bikes on the back or in a trailer,” he says. Iles says mountain biking is an activity that suits almost everyone, especially the growing number looking to get back to nature. “It’s not like road riding where you have to be able to keep up with the pack and have the latest equipment,” he says. “The daggier you look and the geekier your bike, the cooler you are.” While the scenic Perth Hills has the biggest concentration of tracks, there are now trails in WA from Esperance and Albany through to Yanchep, with more on the way – a 9km stretch has just opened in Collie, and Margaret River has another 15km in the works. The mountain biking boom is not just limited to WA. In Tasmania, struggling mining towns have been brought back to economic life on the back of a mountain biking industry worth billions globally.

December-January 2019 / Horizons


Trail towns In WA, the boom has not been lost on the Government, tourism groups or local councils, with plans to capitalise on the trend and position WA as one of the world’s best places to mountain bike.

A government blueprint for WA’s trails sets out the creation of a series of trail towns from 2017 to 2021, with tracks graded by colour and difficulty. It has Margaret River, Pemberton and Collie as significant destinations along with the Perth Hills, Peel and the Great Southern.

WA Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray says he has no doubt WA can become a mountain bike mecca. In particular, the 1000km Munda Biddi trail stretching from Mundaring to Albany would be positioned as an iconic biking journey, says the WA Strategic Trails Blueprint. At a cost of around $40 per metre for a sustainable trail, Murray says the network isn’t going to spring up overnight, but they are making headway.

Stay safe on the trails When mountain biking, Mountain Bike Australia advises you always wear a helmet and gloves and optional elbow and knee protection. The helmet should fit properly and a basic repair kit is a must. You should also take a map of the trail. “It’s always advisable to ride with others for safety, although experienced riders will ride solo,” says Denise Cox from MTBA.

Horizons / December-January 2019

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“Make sure you have plenty of water and a mobile phone. Sometimes there may be no mobile connection which is challenging, however there are apps that provide maps and emergency locations (GPS) if needed such as”



Family time So who’s driving the growth? According to Mountain Bike Australia (MTBA), one of the biggest contributors is families looking for outdoors recreation. In WA, around 19 per cent of West Australians own a mountain bike, and the converted are passionate advocates for the sport and pastime. For the Tucknott family of Lesmurdie, mountain biking is a way of life. Tony and wife Jenny started riding around 20 years ago. Their children Sarah, 19 and Reece, 22 grew up biking in the hills and now compete at an international level.

“I really liked it which is ironic because I never did like being in the bush — I’m a water baby and like paddling and scuba diving.

“It’s such a good mental health thing to do,” says Tony. “There’s a massive amount of benefit — what you get being out in the bush in the natural environment and what the mountain bike riding does for you.”

“So I borrowed a bike and enjoyed it so much. Now I don’t road ride at all — I find road riding scary… mountain biking is just a whole lot more fun.”

For computer teacher Kris Metcher, 54 and a member of the Kalamunda Mountain Bike Collective, mountain biking has given her an alternative to road riding.

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She gets on her bike at least once a week - more if she can manage.

Hit the picturesque bike trails just near RAC Margaret River Nature Park in the heart of the South West. Members get up to 20% off stays plus you can hire mountain bikes at the Park.

“I started road riding about 15 years ago and then about four years ago I started mountain biking, because I’ve got friends doing it and I thought I’d give it a go,” she says.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Enjoying a sunset ride at Surfers Point, Prevelly; Bob de la Motte riding in the Cape to Cape in 2011, the second year he competed in the event; RAC Margaret River Nature Park has trails connecting straight to The Pines, one of the most legendary parts of the Cape to Cape course; ‘Rock climbing’ by mountain bike near Dunsborough.

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December-January 2019 / Horizons

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How in-car distractions are taking their toll Our cars have never been more advanced but driving them has never been more complicated. In-car distractions are increasingly pulling our attention away from the road, often with serious consequences.


Your smartwatch is buzzing on your arm, your phone has just ‘pinged’ as a message comes through, you’re adjusting your air conditioning and juggling your morning coffee – all as you’re heading down the freeway at 100km/h. Increasingly we’re taking on a lot of additional tasks while driving our cars. But despite what many of us

By Cristy Burne

would like to believe, our brain’s ability to attend to multiple tasks at once is actually pretty limited. Research has repeatedly shown there’s only so much we can focus on at any one time. That’s why multitasking — that great, golden hope of the eternally busy — doesn’t really cut it when it comes to driving.

December-January 2019 / Horizons

YO U R R A C “Our ability to pay attention to information in the world is severely limited,” says multitasking expert Professor Craig Speelman, professor of psychology at Edith Cowan University. “Our senses are sending information to our brain all the time, simultaneously. You really cannot pay attention to all of this information at the same time.” That’s why multitasking only works with routine tasks—and tackling busy roads and avoiding potential incidents is never routine. If you’re switching from one task to another, it’s likely you won’t end up doing either of them very well. As human drivers, we can never automate the way we respond to what’s happening on the road, says Speelman. “This part of the task is ever-changing, and although we can get better at it with practice, we can never do it without paying attention.” Unfortunately, now more than ever, our busy lives means attention is in limited supply.

Horizons / December-January 2019

The rise of in-vehicle distraction Drivers increasingly share their attention with a growing number of wearable devices — think FitBits and smart watches — plus in-vehicle electronics like GPS devices, infotainment systems and multimedia applications. Texting while driving has been singled out as Public Enemy Number One, but smartphones aren’t the only culprits in the battle to stay focused behind the wheel. Research shows you don’t even need to be touching a device to be distracted. Even giving voice commands or having a hands-free conversation affects your ability to respond on the roads. In fact, you don’t even need to have your device turned on for it to drain your concentration. “Even the phone being present, not even beeping or ringing, is enough to distract us,” says Dr Sharon Horwood of Deakin University’s School of Psychology.

“You might be thinking, ‘Maybe I’m missing something, maybe someone’s called, maybe I need to respond…’ Your phone starts to impact your ability to focus. Just having it in the car effectively becomes a secondary task and has an attentional cost.”

You have unread messages Almost 90 per cent of Australians have smartphones and we are checking them, on average, 35 times a day or about every 24 minutes across a 14-hour day. Using a phone while driving increases the risk of a crash by up to four times. We know it’s risky behaviour, but nearly 60 per cent of us still do it. A 2018 study of Perth’s Mitchell Freeway found two drivers every minute were using their phones. Why do so many of us feel the urge to be on our devices? The answer lies deep inside our brains.



There’s something exciting in knowing your device has a special message, just for you, a natural response to the anticipated pleasure. It could be good news, bad news, any news…who knows? But each time your device pings, flashes or vibrates, something has arrived for your special attention. You and your brain have learned to expect a reward.

A 2018 study of Perth’s Mitchell Freeway found two drivers every minute were using their phones. Tech companies design their apps with this in mind, says Horwood. “They try and tempt us, and deliberately so.” Their aim is to keep you engaged with their app (and their advertisers) for as long as possible, so they condition you


in the same way Pavlov conditioned his drooling dogs. It’s also the same way slot machines manipulate gamblers. And the same way psychologists get the most out of maze-running rats. The behaviour is driven by the reward that follows. “The expectation of a reward is how many behavioural addictions begin,” says Horwood. “If you’re checking your phone every half hour, the expectation of receiving a reward every time is a pretty strong reinforcer.” On a neurological level, each time your brain receives a reward – anything from seeing a cute baby to laughing at a joke – it releases a dose of the feelgood chemical dopamine. “A surge of dopamine makes you feel good and excited,” says Horwood. “Dopamine can start to surge even when you just think about checking your phone. That can be a precursor to addictive behaviour.”

But feeling good is a normal part of life, not an addiction. So, do you really have a problem? “There isn’t a problem if your smartphone isn’t impacting your life in a negative way,” says Horwood. “But if you’re using your phone while driving, then that’s a problem.” Younger drivers are most likely to use their devices while driving. “They’re learning to drive, and they also have the greatest tendency to want to check their phone,” says Horwood. “That’s a perfect storm.” But we can’t lay all the blame at the feet of our youth. Experienced drivers should be leading by example in front of their children, says Horwood. “If you’re a driver and you’re doing anything at all on your phone, that’s modelling behaviours that are problematic.”

December-January 2019 / Horizons


Brain overload The task of driving a vehicle within a complex road system – although a regular task – is also more taxing on your brain than you probably realise.

How to cut back

So, are you addicted to all those shiny digital devices when you drive? “In any addiction, it often comes down to whether you’re experiencing some kind of stress or negative consequences that stem from whatever behaviour you’re engaging in,” says Dr Horwood.

“We get complacent about driving, but we shouldn’t,” Fast fact says Anne Nomophobia is the Still, term used to describe the RAC’s irrational fear of being without general your mobile phone or being manager unable to use your phone of public for some reason. policy. “Driving has a really high cognitive load and even if we’re alert and attentive, we can miss vital information because there’s only so much our brains can process.” When you are distracted, its easy not to notice that you haven’t stayed in your lane, that you’re going too fast or too slow, or to judge distances and gaps in traffic. It’s also hard to notice what’s going on around you and if something unexpected does happen, your reaction time will be slower.

Using a phone while driving increases the risk of a crash by up to four times. We know it’s risky behaviour, but nearly 60 per cent of us still do it. “We need to be more aware that we’re being pulled in lots of different directions all the time just through driving. If you add in distraction, it can have really terrible consequences,” says Still. “There could be an irreparable outcome for such a small, inconsequential moment. If you’re driving, just drive.”

Horizons / December-January 2019

“We’re seeing people with a lot of mood-related problems, feeling anxious if they haven’t checked messages for a while. People are spending much longer on their phone than they intend to and reporting that it’s causing them problems.”

If you’re keen to break the hold your device has on your behaviour, there are ways to help yourself cut back. Start by turning off push notifications on your phone. Change your settings so your device only notifies you of activity on important apps. Another trick is to make the home screen on your phone less interesting. Remove the apps and icons you don’t truly need or uninstall unnecessary apps altogether. You can also try turning your screen black-and-white. To help you focus only on the task of driving, prepare before you take off. Program your GPS before you leave. While you’re at it, adjust your seats, mirrors, air conditioning and sound system too. If you need to change routes, pull over and reprogram.

Technologies to combat technology Could technology provide the answer to our compulsive use of technology? There’s a host of tech companies that think so. Dopamine Labs have

released a habit-breaking app called Space, which short-circuits instant gratification by taking longer to open selected apps. Newer smartphones

can block updates and notifications while you’re driving. You can also try products like Cellcontrol or Textstopper, which block the driver’s phone, but allow passengers to use their phones as desired. If you’re constantly dealing

with distraction, give Netradyne’s Driveri a drive. It’s an artificially intelligent instructor that monitors your driving and provides you with real-time verbal feedback and advice.

And if you’re a serial phone offender, try turning off your phone or putting your device in the boot before you set off.

Win a car Grab a Look Up sticker from any RAC branch, RAC Auto Service centre or RAC Travel centre, take a photo of it on your car then go to to submit your photo for the chance to win a new Mazda 2 Maxx with 12 months RAC comprehensive car insurance. Competition closes 5 December.



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snap happy With WA’s cute quokka continuing to trend on the internet, we take a closer look at our homegrown selfie star – how it lives, what makes it tick and ways its popularity is drawing fans to Rottnest Island. By Fleur Bainger

Horizons / December-January 2019

You’ll never see most of the quokkas on Rottnest Island. Far from being camera shy, the furry social media sensation prefers, by and large, a nocturnal existence. Which means that the vast majority of the 10,000 or so quokkas hopping about our holiday isle are asleep when the sun – and selfie hunters – are out. Margot Robbie, Roger Federer and Hugh Jackman are among the celebrities, sports stars, politicians and influencers to have crouched down for happy snaps with our quokkas. Since a 2013 Huffington Post article described them as the world’s happiest animal, tens of thousands of regular Joes have too, sharing them like a badge of honour on their social media holiday feed.

The social media explosion, fed by pictures of quokkas appearing to pose and grin, is believed to be behind a bump in Rotto’s travel stats, with a 20 per cent rise in visitor numbers in February 2018, compared to the same period the previous year. “Quokka selfies have been influencing visitation for a while,” says Tourism WA’s Louise Scott. “Since 2013 when the quokka selfie took the internet by storm, visitation rose from around 490,000 to over 660,000 in 2017.” It’s likely additional ferry services and accommodation options on the island may also have contributed to the jump in summer numbers, but there’s no denying the power of a funny fur-ball. But how much does the average West Australian actually know about its most famous native species?



Behind the cheeky grin Quokkas have been drawing attention for centuries, as one of the first Australian mammals recorded by Europeans. Dutch explorers named Rottnest Island after them, believing the inquisitive creatures to be a type of rat. Translated, the island’s title means rat’s nest. Closer to small wallabies, quokkas live for up to 10 years, weigh between 2kg and 4.5kg and can cleverly store fat in their tails for lean times.

“They also sleep on their face. It’s one of my favourite things that I think is pretty cute.” They drink very little water and survive mainly on a diet of grasses, seedlings and succulents, though they’re also known to nab moths, snails and legless lizards. Feeding them bread, chips, fruit, or any type of human food gives them tummy aches and worse, is the key reason why quokkas in Rottnest’s main settlement have switched their natural routines to stay up during the day – like many of us, they like what’s not good for them. “Their eyes aren’t adapted, so they often have problems with their eyes,” says Rottnest Island Authority (RIA) conservation officer, Cassandra Gray. “Usually they would sleep during the day and graze most of the night.”

Gray says the quokka’s quirkiness doesn’t end with its ability to work it for the camera. The species has some other characteristics few know about. “On hot days, they cool down by licking their legs and stomach,” she says. “They also sleep on their face. It’s one of my favourite things that I think is pretty cute. They pop their head down between their legs and sleep like that. They will also scamper up a branch if they need to, but only onto a low tea tree branch.”

Keeping our quokkas safe Despite strong numbers on the island, the quokka is classed as a vulnerable species and protected by law. Just over a century ago, they were still being hunted – a practice that was outlawed in 1917. While once widespread across WA’s South West, a combination of habitat degradation, climate change and predation by foxes and feral cats means there are few left existing on the mainland. Tiny clusters are found in pockets around Perth, in Walpole’s Valley of the Giants, in the Stirling Range National Park and on Bald Island, off Albany. “They’re on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) list,” says Gray. “There’s a quokka recovery team and we’re involved with that, to try and recover

the species.” The team has been surveying quokka numbers to try and establish how many survived the 2015 Northcliffe fires near Pemberton – estimates put it at just 39 individuals. While studying quokka recovery in severely burnt areas of land, the team is also working to control introduced species in less-burnt areas where quokkas have been observed. In June, the WWF reported counting some 300 individuals across the north-west fire area, suggesting a promising recolonisation in the Great Southern region. Rottnest’s quokka population has been separated from the mainland for 7000 years. As a result, it has evolved in different ways. A four-year study, which finished analysing the ocean-locked Rottnest quokka last year, found that numbers rise and fall dramatically from winter to summer, fluctuating from 8000 quokkas to 12,000. It also observed other unique features. “They’re a smaller animal on the island, which I’d suspect is down to resource availability,” says Gray. “There’s not as much food and the island is not as big. Their home range is 1.91 hectares, on average, which is a lot smaller than what we find on the mainland. But on the mainland, quokkas have more predators and threats, whereas on the island they don’t have much predation.”

BELOW: Rottnest quokkas have become accustomed to living around humans.


Photography: Stewart Allen

Most of the daytime quokkas cluster around the bakery and pedestrian mall, and while their visibility makes them a drawcard, it also increases their vulnerability. Gray says the RIA has tried to leverage the social media buzz to ensure their wellbeing. “The quokka selfie craze has certainly raised more awareness of them, and we’ve utilised that to do more wildlife education on how to interact with them appropriately,” she says. “We send out messages not to feed or touch them, and we’ve done a campaign on how to take a quokka selfie.”

December-January 2019 / Horizons

A collaboration between the RIA, the University of Western Australia and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has led to the development of a new quokka monitoring program – partly funded by the sale of quokka chocolates both on the isle and off, with proceeds donated by The Margaret River Chocolate Company. The first survey happened in October 2018, when quokkas were microchipped and ear-tagged. Their tail measurements, general health, weaning rates and survival rates will continue to be recorded for the next three years, as a longer-term plan is developed. A surprising fact about the quokka is the role it has played in inspiring a promising new treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic, musclewasting disease that affects one in every 3500 boys around the world. Some 50 years ago, medical expert Byron Kakulas was researching fatal muscle wasting in quokkas. He established that vitamin E deficiency was the cause and treated the paralysed quokkas with it for a full recovery. The realisation that paralysis could be reversed and muscle fibres could regenerate was ground breaking, and motivated years of research around the world, with hopes it could also apply to debilitating human diseases.

Horizons / December-January 2019

In 2016, a WA-developed drug targeting Duchenne muscular dystrophy began FDA-approved clinical trials in the US. This year, trials started in Europe and it’s expected that trials will soon be set up in Australia. “Hundreds of boys are now receiving the drug in the US,” says Steve Wilton, one of the Murdoch University researchers who created the drug. Wilton says while the research has come a long way over the decades, the quokka’s role was key in sparking its creation. “The quokkas [illness] allowed Byron to demonstrate muscular dystrophy could be reversed,” he says. “It was proof something could be done and it gave people hope.” It’s also proof that there’s a lot more to quokkas than just that cheeky grin.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The quokka selfie phenomenon is believed to be behind an increase in visitors to Rottnest; quokkas survive mainly on a diet of grasses and other vegetation; they like to sleep with their faces tucked away; posing outside the island’s iconic hotel.

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Moving home soon? Keep our handy checklist for a smooth move. Before you pack



Check instructions for transporting large appliances such as fridges and washing machines.

If there is a security system at your new home make sure you know the password, then change it once you’re in the house. If you’re unsure how to do this you can contact RAC Security on 1300 132 735 to have a technician reset the alarm panel for you.

There’s a lot to remember when you move. Make sure you’ve ticked these boxes:

Be cautious about transporting flammable and dangerous goods. Empty gas bottles and leave the valve open. Drain lawnmowers of fuel. Pack a kit for your first night so you won’t have to search through multiple boxes. Include items such as towels, bedding, toiletries, phone chargers, nightwear, basic kitchen/cooking utensils.

Getting into your new home If you’ve purchased a property, confirm the settlement time with the real estate agent or your settlement agent. Arrange to pick up your new house keys.

In a home you’ve purchased, it’s also recommended you have the locks re-keyed as you won’t really know how many previous residents may still have copies of the keys.

Mail and bill redirection services To ensure none of your mail slips through, you can use Australia Post’s mail redirection service. In addition, Australia Post has a Notify My Providers service. With your permission, they will notify selected banks, insurers, government departments, energy providers and telecommunications providers of your new address. The mail redirection form can be completed online. Visit

Horizons / December-January 2019

Services you need to transfer between homes Electricity Gas Water Internet Landline phone Mail delivery Notify change of address Mobile phone provider Health funds Home/contents insurance Doctor Car insurance Electoral roll Australian Taxation Office Your employer Super funds Your children’s school Drivers licence/car rego Gym memberships Medicare Dog registration Other home services/deliveries Cleaning Newspapers Lawn mowing Magazines Gardening Food/groceries


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Travel brief Our top 10 overseas destinations

Singapore still tops the list for Western Australian holidaymakers heading overseas, according to RAC Travel booking data. After Singapore, it was the United Kingdom and then New Zealand that rounded out our top three holiday spots, for travel booked in the year to June 2018. This was a slight change from the previous year when New Zealand was the second instead of the third-most popular destination. Indonesia has slipped from third place to fourth on the list, with the USA at number five. West Aussies are happy to travel far and wide, with an increase in the number of long-haul trips to destinations in Europe and the Americas and fewer trips to closer destinations. Two previously popular destinations, Thailand and Vietnam, fell out of the top 10 this year. Top 10 overseas hotspots 6. Italy 1. Singapore 7. Japan 2. United Kingdom 8. Canada 3. New Zealand 9. Netherlands 4. Indonesia 10. New Caledonia 5. United States

Q: I’ve hired a car overseas before without an International Driving Permit (IDP) so why do I need one? A: Many countries require you to have an IDP if you’re going to drive.

You may find a car hire company that doesn’t ask to see your IDP but if you have an accident, you’ll wish you had one. Why? Some travel insurance policies won’t cover you if you have an accident using a vehicle you’re not licenced to drive.

If there’s a chance you may want to hire a car, motorcycle or scooter overseas, get an IDP before you go – they are just $39 plus postage and you can apply online at Horizons / December-January 2019

News and info for travellers

Packed and ready To make living out of a suitcase a little easier, check our five handy packing tips: Roll instead of fold Rolling your clothes up tightly will use less space and help reduce creases. If you don’t have an iron at your destination and you need to remove excess creases, hang the item in a steamy bathroom, or lay it flat, dampen the creases and blast it with a hairdryer on a hot setting. Vacuum packs For those who can’t get their head around travelling light, try compression bags to save space. They’re vacuum packs with a built-in valve. Place your clothing inside then press down to expel the air. Toiletries Decant your toiletries into small, travelfriendly plastic bottles. We recommend you use the type labelled ‘leak-proof’. As an extra precaution, seal the lids with a bit of duct tape. To protect eye shadow and compressed makeup powders, place cottonwool inside the lid. Protect valuables Keep all valuables and essential medications in your hand luggage. It’s an unavoidable part of travel that sometimes luggage goes missing and while most is recovered, the safest place to keep your valuable items is on you. The checklist You tend to take the same type of items away each time, so rather than wracking your brains before each trip, make a list and keep it for future trips. 37

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Explore the ancient and spectacular Kimberley coastline on a cruise and be treated to world-class sightseeing and activities you can’t see or do elsewhere. By Mark Daffey

Horizons / December-January 2019



One of the last great wilderness areas left on earth, WA’s Kimberley region is a vast, empty, mysterious land that scientists are only just beginning to understand. Formed in ancient times after modernday Australia separated from the Gondwana supercontinent, it has been flooded by melting ice caps, shaped by eons of geological upheaval and scarred by monsoonal rains. Then and now, water has played a significant role in its formation. Rising sea levels drowned its coastal shorelines and swamped its river valleys. Massive tides that are among the world’s largest now ebb and flow with alarming power and speed, dictating cruise itineraries on a daily basis. Exploring this region from the water allows you to experience many natural wonders you would otherwise miss, from its vast array of marine life, to offshore islands and fascinating mangrove eco-systems.

What you’ll see from the water From spectacular river gorges and soaring red sea cliffs, languid bays and deserted beaches – each day differs from the previous one on a Kimberley cruise. The region’s inviting beaches and milky turquoise waters will astound you, though be warned: swimming is a perilous pursuit in these shark and croc-infested waters. On the other hand, there are many freshwater swimming holes to cool off in. You’ll be disbelieving of the speed at which the tides change at Montgomery Reef and the Horizontal Falls. And you’ll wonder how any creature could survive the turbulent waters of Whirlpool Pass, the channel separating Hidden Island from the mainland. Whales and dolphins can be sighted daily. Sea eagles, brahminy kites and ospreys fly gracefully overhead. Stop and listen and you’ll hear melodic birdcalls. Search hard enough and you may even spot nocturnal monjons, the


LEFT: White-bellied sea eagle.

world’s smallest rock wallaby, hiding in the shadows above the water’s edge. Prince Frederick Harbour is arguably the most beautiful natural anchorage in the Kimberleys, surrounded by sandstone bluffs and mangrove estuaries at the mouth of the Hunter River – said to contain more crocodiles per square metre than any other river in Australia. Depending on the tides, you may visit the Lacepede Islands, a safe haven for lesser frigatebirds, brown boobies and crested terns. On the Anjo Peninsula, you may walk on a jungle trail to a Second World War plane wreck.

Options for cruising More than 20 cruise operators ply the Kimberley coast. Vessels range from large ocean liners to mid-sized ships with helicopter pads and onboard spas, right down to twinhulled catamarans with shallow drafts designed to feel the spray from waterfalls or nudge up against a crocodile. All have tenders for further exploration or for finding the perfect fishing spot. Which one you choose will depend on many things. What sights do you want to visit most? What activities are offered? Are there optional extras? Other considerations are your price point, personal interests, culinary expectations and comfort standards. Anticipate evenings spent on deck beneath the stars, al fresco barbecues, talks by guest lecturers, and documentaries highlighting the natural history, archaeological discoveries, cultural insights or maritime explorations of this coast. The cruise season kicks off in March, when humidity levels are high and the waterfalls are pumping. Weather conditions stabilise during the dry

winter months, with temperatures rising through September and October, when most waterfalls slow to a trickle. No major ports exist between Broome and Darwin, so when one cruise finishes most ships turn around and retrace their route. Some only travel as far as Wyndham, where return flights to Broome or Darwin save on time and fuel. Several companies conduct abbreviated itineraries that concentrate on attractions closer to Broome, Derby or Wyndham. Others only operate during the early months of the season.

Whales and dolphins can be sighted daily. Sea eagles, brahminy kites and ospreys fly gracefully overhead. Large ocean liners like Princess Cruises’ Sea Princess, Sun Princess and Seabourn all include legs along the Kimberley coast as part of longer global voyages. Bear in mind though that these are little more than scenic cruises where you’ll view the coast from a distance. The next rung down size-wise is Ponant’s L’Austral and Le Lapérouse, which launched in 2018 with a series of 10-night cruises accompanied by marine biologists, naturalists and conservationists. Those classified as small expedition ships include the Coral Discoverer –

December-January 2019 / Horizons

the smallest, with just 72 passengers – the MS Caledonian with 114 passengers and the Silver Discoverer, which sleeps 120. Cabins typically include en-suite bathrooms and some have private balconies. New in 2019 will be the Coral Adventurer, featuring elevators as necessary additions for elderly passengers and people with mobility issues. Smaller again are True North, Reef Princess and Eco Abrolhos, with capacities for carrying between 22 and 36 passengers. Then there’s a glut of boats averaging just 12 passengers, with a maximum of 20. These include Odyssey Expeditions, Kimberley Quest, Great Escape, Lady M, Kimberley Pearl, Bluewater Adventure, Diversity and Ocean Dream. Another, One Tide, has foregone cabins in favour of tents and swags for beach camping or sleeping on deck. Of those, Kimberley Quest, Great Escape and Ocean Dream have their own helicopter and on-board spas. Bluewater Adventure is primarily a fishing charter boat. And the Kimberley Pearl is a refurbished pearling vessel that includes return flights between Broome and its departure port in Cygnet Bay.

What is included in your cruise? Essentially, what you’re getting is chauffeur servicing through one of the world’s last great wilderness regions – a rugged land barely crossed by roads, where mobile phone signals are fleeting at best. Some ships, such as the Coral Discoverer, offer optional WiFi on board, though it comes at a hefty price. Bigger ships have libraries and DVD collections. Cabins may or may not be fitted with flat screen TVs. Food-wise, expect simple barbecues, buffets or gourmet fare, depending on the price and size of your ship. Odyssey Expeditions, for example, uses local produce or freshly caught seafood whenever possible.

Horizons / December-January 2019

TOP: Barbecue dinner and drinks on the Sun Deck of the Coral Discover while anchored in Prince Frederick Harbour; MIDDLE: Mermaid Tree in Careening Bay; BOTTOM: Zodiac approaching the Horizontal Falls, a tidal pinch in Talbot Bay.


Photography: Mark Daffey


With nowhere to restock supplies between Broome and Darwin, logistics dictate buffet lunches and a choice between two dishes on bigger ships. For that reason, dietary requirements should be flagged before departure. Alcoholic drinks may cost extra, or you may have to BYO.

Adventure on the sea and land As part of a cruise expect two, and up to three, excursions by tender per day. All are optional. Explorations of mangrove systems, beach walks, geological insights or visits to aboriginal rock art sites are the sort of fare you’ll get. Without a doubt, the most thrilling activity along this coastline is the Zodiac ride through the Horizontal Falls. It’s like white-water rafting against the current. Anglers will want to try their luck hooking a barramundi, queenfish or red emperor. Beach bonfires and sunset drinks are popular. There are scenic flights to the Bungle Bungles. And HeliSpirit teams up with ships such as the Coral Discoverer for scenic helicopter flights to the iconic four-tiered Mitchell Falls.

Key attractions Horizontal Falls Sir David Attenborough listed the phenomena as “Australia’s most unusual natural wonder”, and it’s no wonder. Every second, one million litres of water floods through two narrow gorges in the McLarty Range. Called a tidal pinch, it has also been compared to an ocean trying to fit through a letterbox. Montgomery Reef Driven by the immense tides, Montgomery Reef appears to rise from the ocean as the water recedes around it, creating countless foaming waterfalls – some so voluminous that you could raft down them. The coral reef covers some 300 square kilometres. Careening Bay Maritime explorers from 200 years ago inscribed their visit into the trunk of a


ABOVE: The spring-fed King Cascades that tumbles into Prince Regent River lagoon.

bloated boab tree that’s many years older. Known as the Mermaid Tree, it was named after the ship that was captained by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King, and marooned here while the crew undertook repairs in 1820.

under rock overhangs on Jar Island depict dancing and hunting figures from as far back as 30,000 years ago. The artworks illustrated stories that could be passed on through subsequent generations.

King Cascades It’s a long haul to get here, 20km up the Prince Regent River. But it’s a pleasant journey with plenty to see along the way, culminating in a spectacular waterfall tumbling gently over rock ledges into waters where crocodiles loiter.

Mark Daffey travelled courtesy of Coral Expeditions.

King George Falls Access Western Australia’s highest twin waterfalls via a stunning river gorge that doubles as a protective anchorage for yachties. It’s most impressive immediately after the wet season, when twin cascades plunge from a sandstone plateau around 80m high. Even in September, when the falls are reduced to a trickle, this is still one mighty impressive gorge.

What to bring

Jar Island The Gwion Gwion, or Bradshaw Indigenous rock art style found in caves or sheltered from the elements

To book your Kimberley cruise adventure contact RAC Cruise Club on 1300 655 898.

The Kimberleys are hot and remote, and the insects can be bitey. You’ll need suitable footwear for wet landings, such as sandals or reef slippers. Pack plenty of sun protection and insect repellent (though this is often provided), a sunhat is essential as is a water bottle. Bring your credit card for additional expenses. More than anything else, bring your sense of adventure.

December-January 2019 / Horizons

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Visit your local RAC Travel & Cruise centre

Store locations » Applecross 6150 6459 » Carousel 6150 6454 » Joondalup 6150 6477

» Mandurah 6150 6456 » Midland 6150 6468 » Morley 6466 2300 » West Perth 9436 4830

TOKYO Tokyo is incredible in any season, but winter offers some unique experiences to try. Whether you fancy a city break or a stop before a trip to Japan’s ski fields, here’s how to do Tokyo in winter. By Helen Foster

Horizons / December-January 2019



Tokyo suits winter – the early dark nights show off the neon-lined streets of bustling Shinjuku and trendy Shibuya to their best advantage. The lively izakaya bars under the tracks close to Tokyo station look warm and welcoming and it’s easier to feel at home in the chic shops of upmarket Ginza wearing a winter coat and boots than finding fashion choices that suit both Tokyo’s sweltering summer and its somewhat formal dress sense. Weather wise, expect cold, crisp days, temperatures hover around 10-12C during the day and drop to 2-4C at night. It doesn’t always snow, although in January 2018, Tokyo experienced its heaviest snowfall in four years, so pack warm clothing you can layer. It may be frosty outside, but shopping malls, bars and restaurants will be snug and cosy.

Floral paradise For a built-up city, Tokyo is studded with greenery, even in winter, but at the end of February the plum trees start to blossom. For prime plum blossom viewing visit Hanegi Park about 30 minutes west of Shinjuku. You’ll find over 600 trees in bloom and on weekends vendors sell plumbased snacks and drinks. A 20-minute walk will then take you to the unusual Gotoku-ji temple with its thousands of waving cats. You’ll also find nature in all its glory closer to town in the gardens of Shinjuku Gyoen or Hama-rikyu – both open at 9am which, in a town that normally doesn’t stir until 11, makes them the perfect place to start your day. Both have gorgeous traditional tea houses in the grounds. Hamarikyu’s Nakajima-no-ochaya house is particularly famous for its green tea and sweet set (720 yen or around AU$9) and the view overlooking the lake is stunning in any weather. If you’re in Tokyo over Christmas, the truly head-turning displays are


less natural and more neon with the city putting on the most spectacular displays of illuminations. Check out Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Dome or the area around Shiodome monorail station for some of the best. Also bright and shiny is Tokyo Disneyland and its sister park Tokyo DisneySea which offer sights you won’t see in any other park in the world. Outside of the busy main New Year holiday, winter sees some of the smallest crowds of the year. As queues here can reach two to three hours long on busy days, this is a big seasonal bonus.

If you’re in Tokyo over Christmas, the truly head-turning displays are less natural and more neon with the city putting on the most spectacular displays of illuminations. Seasonal eats When it comes to bars and restaurants, Tokyo has an abundance of them, offering hearty seasonal food and drink to keep you warm. In winter, it’s said the soybeans are freshly harvested, so tofu is popular. You’ll also find lots of restaurants serving nabe, a type of one pot stew. Even vending machines on the street will sell hot tea and coffee (look for the red buttons) and if you’re lucky, you’ll find a traditional sweet potato cart offering piping hot purple potatoes to snack on. Another must-eat at this time of year is oden, a broth served with root

vegetables, tofu or fishcakes. It doesn’t look that good but take a chance and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how flavourful and comforting it is. You can try it on a food tour of Sunamachi Ginza, a traditional shopping street hidden deep in east Tokyo (bookable at They’ll take you to six or seven different family-owned food stalls – including one selling amazing oden – explaining the specialities on offer. As you cradle a cup of hot green tea made specially for you by the street’s best tea maker, you’ll likely be the only tourist in sight. Chilly days are also perfect to indulge in a piping hot bowl of the noodle soup, ramen, and Tokyo now has two Michelin-starred ramen joints – Tsuta and Nakiryu. You’ll get a top-class meal for around 1000 yen (AU$12).

Shop till you drop You’re never far from somewhere to pick up a souvenir in Tokyo. For floor after floor of ‘only in Japan’ merchandise visit the many branches of Tokyu Hands or Don Quijote dotted around town. For higher-end shopping, Ginza is the place to be. Big name brands and designer labels line the main street but nestled in the side roads are traditional stores selling handmade sweets or kimono. The sales in Tokyo begin early January – expect to see people queueing to get into their favourite stores and to buy fukubukuro, or Lucky Bags. These sealed surprise bags can cost half the value of the items inside and everyone wants one. For truly unique gift ideas though, visit an ‘antenna’ shop. These specialised shops highlight the best crafts and produce from individual areas of Japan. If you want to pick up one of the many sakes or gold leaf lined products from the Ishikawa province, for example, their antenna shop at 2-2-18 Ginza is where to go. There are over 50 antenna stores dotted around Tokyo but the largest concentration in one place is Tokyo Kotsu Kaikan close to Yurakucho Station near Ginza.

December-January 2019 / Horizons


cowardlion /

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Illuminations light up Caretta shopping mall in Shiodome district, Odaiba area; geishas wearing traditional Japanese kimono at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa; nabe, a Japanese hot pot; waving cats at Gotoku-ji temple.

Horizons / December-January 2019



Cable Sky on Snow mountain at Gala Yuzawa near Tokyo, Japan.

Take in a shrine Traditionally New Year’s Day in Japan sees people visiting a shrine to ask for blessings for the next year – thousands will turn up to major shrines like Senso-ji in Asakusa or the Meiji Shrine near Harajuku, and the crowds are a sight to behold. A smaller temple not to miss (but maybe not for New Year’s Day) is Fukagawa Fudo-do, in east Tokyo. This temple is home to the hypnotic Goma fire ritual. There’s loud drumming, rhythmic chanting and, in the middle of it all, a priest sits surrounded by fire in which blessings are burned. While on normal days this ritual happens every two hours from 9am to 5pm, on New Year’s Day five extra services are put on with up to 200,000 people queuing to have their possessions blessed by the flames.

Soak away your worries Lastly, the best way to spend a cold winter’s day in Japan is soaking in one of the traditional baths known as an onsen. In Tokyo, the easiest to visit is the ‘thermal theme park’ Oedo Onsen Monogatari on Odaiba.

Skiing in Japan The main Japanese ski season runs from mid-December to March, although some fields open as early as October using artificial snow. The closest ski region to Tokyo is Niigata Prefecture which includes resorts like Gala Yuzawa - which is just 80 minutes by bullet train from Tokyo, or Naeba, one of Japan’s most popular resorts. Also in this area is Myoko City which has some of the biggest snowfalls.

Start by soaking weary feet in the warm, winding footbath in the garden. This area is communal (and you’ll wear a traditional Japanese robe to soak in it) but to soak the rest of you, you’ll head inside to the ladies or gent’s area – things are segregated as everyone soaks nude.

Three hours away is the Nagano area, also famous for its onsenbathing snow monkeys. With the

It’s daunting at first but you soon realise no one is concerned with you – so long as you wash your body and hair in the washing area before entering your first bath. The outside pool lets you soak in the fresh air while staying toasty warm, but don’t miss the effervescent white pool. It’s known as the ‘bath of silk’ because of how soft it leaves your skin feeling afterwards. It’s also reassuringly opaque. Beautifying and concealing – they really have thought of everything.

Singapore Airlines flies to Haneda and Narita in Tokyo as well as a host of other airports across Japan from Perth with just one stop in Singapore.

Getting there

Getting around  Tokyo has an incredibly efficient rail and metro system. Buy a Suica or Pasmo card from any station and you can transfer through all the different lines without having to buy multiple tickets. These cost 500Y for the card, you then add multiples of 1000Y to pay for fares.

Where to stay  Great central areas are Shinjuku, For enquiries or to book your holiday to Japan, contact RAC Travel on 1300 655 179 or visit


Asakusa, Shibuya or Ginza. Hotel rooms are plentiful but often very small – check room and bed sizes carefully before you book. A semi-double bed

country’s ultra-fast bullet train system, it’s easy to reach even the furthest fields in Hokkaido with a day’s travelling. You can rent skis at most resorts, but it’s probably best to bring your own clothing and boots – sizing is small in Japan and although bigger sizes are more common now, it’s better to know what you have fits. Rental also isn’t cheap – Snow Japan estimate a full kit could cost as much as 4000 yen (AU$48) a day. If you don’t want to take kit around Tokyo with you, all the main Tokyo stations, and even many metros, have lockers that you can leave bags in for a reasonable price.

will be very cosy for two. As well as room size, check your proximity to a station – after a long day sightseeing, anything more than about a 10-minute walk will seem like forever. Hotel prices are higher over the New Year holiday.

What to bring  Comfortable shoes – you will walk further than you think. Lots of socks – shrines, temples and even some bars and restaurants may ask you to remove your shoes. Some yen – Tokyo is a cash society but most bank ATMs won’t take an international card. Instead, use the ATMs in convenience stores like 7-11 or Family Mart to get your cash. It’s good to have some yen handy for the first couple of days while you get your bearings.

December-January 2019 / Horizons



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*Conditions apply. SEE: for full conditions. Price is per person (pp), AUD, twin share. Price is correct as at 7 October 2018. Price based on VTM12: 14 July 2019 (Cat. C). OFFERS: Limited seats on set departures are available and are subject to availability. DEPOSITS: A first non-refundable deposit of $1,000 pp is due within seven days of booking. Australian Pacific Touring Pty Ltd. ABN 44 004 684 619. ATAS accreditation #A10825. TM4834

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Store locations

» Applecross 6150 6459 » Carousel 6150 6454 » Joondalup 6150 6477

» Mandurah 6150 6456 » Midland 6150 6468 » Morley 6466 2300 » West Perth 9436 4830



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Image: Rob Burnett *Terms and conditions apply. Rates are based on per person, twin share and are for land content only. Specific accommodation properties, room types and itineraries may apply to qualify for these rates. Car hire includes airport surcharges, daily registration recovery fees and administrative fees, excess reduction and unlimited km’s. ^Car upgrade is subject to availability and is from economy to compact automatic. All bonus inclusions are limited to one of each offer on each package for the qualifying period and are subject to availability at the time of booking. ^^Free fuel offer only applies to Innkeeper properties for travel between 01/05/19 – 20/12/19. TasVillas carry-on suitcase applies to TasVillas properties for travel between 01/04/19 – 23/12/19. ~Attractions and tour credit must be booked through TasVacations in conjunction with the package this bonus applies to and can only be used for additional tours and attractions in the TasVacations 2019 program. Offers are for new bookings only and cannot be transferred, exchanged or redeemed for cash. Offers may be withdrawn at any time. TasVacations ABN 23079978199. Lic No. TAS029

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Visit your local RAC Travel & Cruise centre

Store locations » Applecross 6150 6459 » Carousel 6150 6454 » Joondalup 6150 6477

» Mandurah 6150 6456 » Midland 6150 6468 » Morley 6466 2300 » West Perth 9436 4830


Motor news

By Alex Forrest

The latest news from the motoring world

Martin, Aston Martin The legendary Aston Martin DB5, that sleek grand touring car made famous by the early James Bond films, is set to go back into production. Aston Martin has said it will build 25 DB5 “continuation” cars, which will emulate the DB5 used in the 1964 James Bond film, Goldfinger. Aston said it would even install a set of working gadgets just like the ones in the original movie cars. Customer deliveries are expected to begin from 2020, which will give you time to save up. Pricing will start from $4.8 million. Only 898 Aston Martin DB5s were built, between 1963 and 1965. Two DB5s appeared in the Goldfinger and Thunderball movies, but only one is known to survive. The other DB5, which was the original gadgets car, was stolen from an aircraft hangar in 1997 and hasn’t been seen since.

Mazda joins longer warranty club

Pods that eyeball peds Autonomous vehicles that seek to make ‘eye contact’ with pedestrians to ascertain whether they trust the vehicle to stop have been developed for an innovative trial by Jaguar Land Rover. To understand how humans will trust self-driving vehicles as they become more common on our roads, Jaguar Land Rover has fitted virtual eyes to intelligent moving pods, which are being trialled on a dedicated street scene in Coventry, England. The pods seek out the pedestrian appearing to ‘look’ directly at them – and then signal to road users that they will act to avoid them. Horizons / December-January 2019

Mazda has introduced a five-year warranty for all its new vehicles, extending coverage out from the previous three-year warranty period. Other recent warranty extenders include Ford, Holden, Skoda, Renault and Citroen (all now five years), while Hyundai have told RAC they are considering a seven-year warranty. Kia has been offering a seven-year warranty since 2014.

Volvo’s cool baby Peaks and troughs is one way you could describe the design of Volvos over the past few decades. There were the svelte and curvy 1800 and 120 models of the 1960s and early 1970s, then the house brick-inspired designs of the 1970s and ’80s and the milder designs of the ’90s. Nowadays, Volvos carry some of the most compelling designs on the road. The Volvo XC40 small SUV is the latest example of Volvo’s eye-catching design ethos. From the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ shapes in the headlights to the scalloped lower doors, it’s a standout - in a good way. Very roomy inside and loaded with safety gear, Volvo will certainly be giving its German and English competitors something to worry about.



Alex Forrest reviews the latest cars

Engine Features Safety Price

Specifications Engine: 2.2-litre turbo diesel Power: 140kW @ 4500rpm Torque: 450Nm @ 2000rpm Claimed fuel economy 5.7L/100km Price: fr $47,898 drive away ANCAP safety rating 

Mazda CX-8 For many potential SUV buyers, the CX-8 will be the Goldilocks car of Mazda’s SUV range. It sits between the wildly popular five-seater CX-5 mid-sized SUV and the CX-9, which is Mazda’s gargantuan seven-seater SUV. For some, the CX-8 will be just right. Compared to the CX-9, the CX-8 is 175mm shorter, 129mm narrower and 27mm lower. However, the CX-8’s wheelbase (the distance between the centres of the front and rear wheels) is the same as the CX9’s. The main difference


here is the CX-8’s shorter front and rear overhangs. From the windscreen forward, the CX-8 is virtually identical to the CX-5. The other main difference between the CX-8 and its big sibling is what’s under the bonnet. The CX-8 is only available with a 2.2-litre diesel engine, whereas the CX-9 only gets a 2.5-litre turbo petrol and unfortunately, you can’t swap them around. Previous iterations of Mazda’s 2.2-litre turbo diesel have been powerful, efficient and reasonably smooth but this heavily revised one is remarkably quiet and efficient and has also

had a big boost in outputs – up from 129kW/420Nm to 140kW/450Nm. Contributing to this increase have been, according to Mazda, changes including a new piston shape, ultrahigh response multi-hole piezo fuel injectors, variable turbine geometry for the turbocharger, and a higher compression ratio. This current generation of the 2.2 diesel was introduced in the updated CX-5, also released in 2018, and it’s a great fit in the CX-8 too. The CX-8’s interior is an echo of the CX-5’s, and that means a clean, functional design with the most regularly

used controls placed were you’d expect them. The all-important (for some) third row is spacious enough for its intended use. Mazda says it can handle people up to 170cm tall and that’s a reasonable statement. Where the CX-8 does differ from its SUV siblings is in the driving department. It has a very compliant ride that’s less jiggly than the CX-5’s, but the trade-off is less sporty handling. The steering also feels vaguer but neither of these are likely to bother the target market significantly. Another major upside – the CX-8 now comes with a five-year warranty.

December-January 2019 / Horizons

Specifications Engine: 1.0-litre turbo petrol Power: 70kW @ 5000rpm Torque: 175Nm @ 2000rpm Claimed fuel economy 5.0L/100km (auto) Price: fr $17,990 plus on-roads* ANCAP safety rating 

*(auto adds $2500)

Volkswagen Polo 70TSI The Volkswagen Polo has grown so much that its boot capacity is now bigger than those of some cars in the next category up. However, it has shrunk in another area – its engine size. The Polo now sports a new three-cylinder, 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine – down from the 1.2-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine that came with the previous model. But that’s not a bad thing at all. While the three-cylinder does use 0.2L/100km

Horizons / December-January 2019

more fuel in the regulation test compared to its bigger predecessor, its power and torque are higher at 70kW and 175Nm. For a triple cylinder unit, this engine is surprisingly smooth, which in addition to its power and torque, make it a very good imitator of a bigger engine with more cylinders. You can thank modern engine technology for that. This Polo replaces the previous fifth gen one, which had been around since 2010. The build and finish of the new Polo’s interior is excellent, especially given its starting retail price is $18,000

for the Trendline model. The premium feel of the dash top, the high gloss infotainment screen surround and even the solid door closing sound all combine to make the Polo seem much more luxurious than its price suggests. A downside to the Polo is the fact is needs 95 RON unleaded petrol, which in WA costs around 13c per litre more, on average, than 91 RON. We found the Polo surged forward or backwards while parking. It’s caused by the clutches in the six-speed DSG gearbox engaging and disengaging but could be managed with practice.

To Volkswagen’s credit, the base model 70TSI includes autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection. It also has a system that can apply the brakes immediately after a collision to minimise the effect of any subsequent collisions. Also, the DSG auto will cost an extra $2500, taking the price for an auto Trendline to $20,490 plus on roads. For $21,990 you can get the auto 85TSI Comfortline, which has alloy wheels, auto headlights and a couple of other additions. Frankly, it’s not that much extra gear for the money – the Trendline is where the value is.


Specifications Engine: 2.0-litre turbo petrol Power: 125kW @ 3750rpm Torque: 350Nm @ 1750rpm Claimed fuel economy 5.7L/100km Price: fr $46,950 drive away ANCAP safety rating 

Jeep Compass Trailhawk Apart from the retinasearing ‘Colorado Red’ paintwork on the test vehicle, the Jeep Compass Trailhawk stands out from most of the competition in another significant way: its off-road ability. Most of today’s small SUVs have been designed to look somewhat rugged, but when the going gets tough, they’d prefer to get going back to the bitumen. In fact, some small SUVs are only available with two-wheel drive, but this isn’t the case


with the Jeep Compass Trailhawk. The Trailhawk is a highly capable four-wheel drive with a range of features designed for off-road driving. It has low-range gearing and the ability to lock the rear differential as well as several different off-road driving modes, a taller ride height than the regular Compass models, under-body protection and bright orange tow hooks front and rear – just in case it does need some help. The Trailhawk is the top of the Compass range, and in Jeepspeak that means the vehicle has been tested on some of the most rugged terrain a vehicle can be driven on.

Under the bonnet of the Compass Trailhawk is a 2.0-litre version of the common rail turbo diesel engine that’s used across numerous Fiat Chrysler Group brands, including Jeep. In the Compass guise, the engine makes 125kW and 350Nm. It’s a great lugger for low-speed off-road work, as we found in the off-road driving we did. However, this engine is also coarse and noisy compared to the diesel powerplants in some of its competition, such as the Mazda CX-5 and even the Volkswagen Tiguan. That powerplant is coupled to an excellent nine-speed automatic gearbox, which

most of the time puts the engine revs just where you need them. As the top variant of the Compass range, the Trailhawk leaves little wanting in terms of equipment, including autonomous emergency braking as standard, and an intuitive infotainment system which includes Apple and Android phone mirroring capabilities. At $46,950, the five-seater Compass Trailhawk’s price does line it up with some premium small SUVs such as the Audi Q2. But if serious off-roading in a compact package is your gig, little else can match the Compass Trailhawk.

December-January 2019 / Horizons

Specifications Engine: 2.0-litre petrol (tested) Power: 130kW @ 5000rpm Torque: 265Nm @ 1500rpm Claimed fuel economy 7.7L/100km (auto) Price: fr $29,990 ANCAP safety rating 

Hyundai Tucson As one of the most popular vehicles in the biggest-selling segment of Australia’s new car market, the Tucson is an extremely important model for Hyundai. The Tucson makes up a whopping 24 per cent of all the vehicles Hyundai sells in Australia, and the impetus on Hyundai’s part to keep the Tucson competitive is, for the most part, good news for you. The Tucson is a mid-sized SUV, and the current generation was launched in 2015 to

Horizons / December-January 2019

replace the successful ix35. In 2018, the Tucson range was refreshed. Cosmetically, it’s had a nip-and-tuck to the front and rear styling and had a new set of alloy wheels. It wasn’t much, but the Tucson didn’t need much either – it was a handsome thing from the outset in 2015. Material changes to the Tucson range include the addition of a new entry level variant called the Go, which gets a 2.0-litre petrol engine and starts at $29,990 drive away in automatic guise. The other new addition is the availability of Hyundai’s eightspeed auto, which is only available when you opt for the

2.0-litre turbo diesel. With the diesel’s relatively low noise levels and a wide selection of gear ratios, these two make an excellent combination. However, the most significant omission is autonomous emergency braking (AEB) which is not standard equipment across the Tucson range. While AEB is available on the more expensive Elite and Highlander variants, and you can specify AEB as part of a $2200 safety pack on the cheaper Go and Active X variants, the Tucson’s competition is standardising AEB. Apart from this, the Tucson is particularly well equipped technologically. There’s a

wireless phone charging pad available in the front, USB charging in the rear, a driver attention warning system, plus the smartphone mirroring capability of Apple Car Play and Android Auto. On the road, the Tucson is still a neat handler around town and on the open road. For this new one, the suspension has been revised to further reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Changes include different suspension bushes and redesigned dampers. If your budget stretches to the Tucson models that do have AEB, it’s well worth a look.


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Ask the

Car doctor

Our experts answer your questions

Write to us and win If your question is published, you will receive from RAC Travel a copy of the UBD Gregory’s 2019 Perth and Surrounds Street Directory, which includes new streets and suburbs, petrol station locations and more. Send your questions to: The Car Doctor, Horizons GPO Box C140, Perth WA 6839 or email Please include your full name, address and daytime telephone number with your query. If your question is chosen for publication, please allow up to eight weeks for delivery. See page 81 for terms and conditions of entry.

How do I stop windscreen wipers from shuddering due to a squeaky-clean windscreen? I recently bought a new vehicle and a sticker was left on the windscreen. After cleaning the windscreen and wiper blade with isopropyl alcohol then glass cleaner the wipers now shudder excessively. I’m assuming it’s from the grip on the glass being so clean with no slip. Replacing the worse blade did not improve the shuddering. Steven Eatt, Gosnells A first step would be to replace both the wiper blades with high quality items. Also, do not attempt to clean the new wiper blades. They have a lubricating coating which can reduce wiper shuddering and streaking. You should clean your windscreen regularly and replace your wiper blades on an annual basis.

Why is it now advertised that two full tanks of BP fuel will remove ‘dirt’ from the fuel system. What does the fuel at BP service stations have that is different to fuel purchased at other service stations and what technical evidence is there that BP fuel will remove ‘dirt’ from the fuel system? Keith Rolston, Leeming Fuel retailers marketing fuels with additives that purport to clean engine components have been, in our experience, reluctant to share exactly what substance is in their premium fuels which does the cleaning, and how this differentiates from the purported engine cleaning properties of premium fuels from other retailers. BP has told us previously that their 98 RON premium fuel contains “millions of dirt-busting molecules” but did not specify the actual cleaning substances. We have also not seen any independent evidence which proves these fuels can clean engines. On that basis we recommend only using 98 RON fuels in vehicles which specify it in the owner’s manual as a required fuel.

The last time I had my car serviced I was told I had splits in the grooves of all four tyres and that they were now unsafe and needed replacing. I was surprised as I have always bought a leading tyre brand. The tyres in question still had plenty of tread on them. The service manager said that tyres were no longer made of pure rubber but a synthetic material that only lasts about six years before they start to deteriorate. Is this factual? Martin Bodor, West Busselton If your car’s tyres are developing splits and cracks and they are more than five years old, it’s time to replace them. Tyres this age can often still have sufficient tread which is well above the wear indicators, but as they age the rubber can harden and perish, reducing their ability to grip the road and increasing the chance of failure as they heat up on longer journeys. According to our tyre suppliers, the addition of polymers to tyre rubber does not increase the likelihood of cracking and deterioration in the rubber. We recommend shopping around for tyres to get the best deal to suit your needs and budget.

RAC members can take advantage of our Motoring Advice Line. If you have a motoring question call 13 17 03 Monday to Friday between 9am and 4.30pm to speak to one of our experts.

Horizons / December-January 2019



People, places, prizes and RAC news

What to do in a breakdown

 Find a safe place to pull over, such

 For safety, you should face the

as an emergency breakdown lane and park as far away from active traffic as possible.

traffic while you make the call, so you can see what’s coming.

Experiencing a car breakdown on a freeway or highway can be a stressful and potentially dangerous situation. If you do experience a breakdown on a busy, high-speed road, stay calm and follow these steps:

 Activate your hazard lights and,


if lighting is poor, also activate your parking lights.

 Exit your car from the side furthest from the traffic and always check for traffic first. Close the car door on exit and stand clear of the road.

 If it’s not safe to exit your car, stay inside with your seatbelt on. Call RAC Roadside Assistance (13 11 11) on your mobile phone or use a roadside emergency phone.

 Once the RAC Patrol arrives they will give you further instructions to keep you safe. Remember, regular servicing can help you avoid a breakdown, so be good to your car. See our ‘What to do in a breakdown’ video at For more details about your level of roadside assistance cover, visit

December-January 2019 / Horizons


Ride the e-bike revolution in style We’re always looking for more sustainable ways to help our members get around their communities. That’s why RAC has partnered with local start-up, Tiller Rides, to help extend your transport options with their innovative new electric bike.

Can your pet work it for the camera? In November 2017, thousands of pet lovers across Western Australia shared more than 4000 images of their fur babies with us as part of the RAC pet photo competition. After a public vote, Evie the Cavoodle (pictured) was announced as our winner. Who will win this year? We’re once again on the hunt for WA’s most photogenic pet. Showcase your dog or cat’s unique personality by entering a photo and/or video of them into our competition and telling us why they deserve to win. This year the top dog and cat entries will win their owners an all-expenses paid trip to the newly renovated beachfront RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort or picturesque RAC Karri Valley Resort. We’ll also have two runner-up dog and cat prizes. For full competition details and to enter, visit Competition ends 7 December 2018.

Horizons / December-January 2019

The Tiller e-bike combines headturning style with healthy cycling, giving you the ease of electric assistance to get you where you

Dogs vs home alarms The territorial nature of dogs can make them useful as four-legged security guards around your home, sounding the alarm when an intruder approaches your property. When asked, convicted burglars said that barking dogs ranked as the number one deterrent to breaking into a home, followed by the flashing light and alarm of a home security system, according to a report by the Australian Institute of Criminology. The downside is that dogs may sound the alarm many times during the day and night, whether it’s to ward off a cat burglar or just a

need to go. The Tiller e-bike has a number of unique features to tempt non-cyclists onto a great ride. Early in 2019 we’ll be offering members exclusive discounts on the Tiller e-bike, so watch this space. Register for a test ride at

local cat. Dog owners and their neighbours can become immune to a dog’s barking or even annoyed by its frequency. Your dog also can’t call you when you’re not home or alert police when there’s trouble. Unlike a dog, a correctly installed home security system won’t spend 14 hours a day sleeping or getting distracted by something more rewarding, and can provide more certainty in the event of a break-in. If you’ve been relying on your dog, consider closing the loop in your home security with an alarm system set up to correctly protect your property – and give the dog some time off. To find out more about the options available for your home, call RAC Security on 1300 132 735 or visit



Santa’s on his way Santa is getting ready to roll into town as we put the finishing touches on what promises to be another spectacular RAC Christmas Pageant. This year’s Pageant will light up St Georges Terrace on Saturday 1 December, with up to 20 floats and almost 2000 dancers and performers making their way along the 2km route. Look out for some of our RAC patrol vehicles towing the floats and stick around for the RAC Rescue helicopter crew clearing the runway for Santa’s sleigh.

Summer of entertainment There is no shortage of great events at RAC Arena this summer with something for all ages, from concerts to comedy, musicals and sport. Across the summer we’ll also give you the chance to win tickets to a range of performances and events.

If your kids are part of RAC’s youth road safety program the RAC Little Legends Club®, make sure they have their membership card to receive a special gift along the route before the Pageant starts. Supported by RAC since 1998, the annual RAC Christmas Pageant is a much-loved Christmas tradition for WA families and is a great way to kick off the festive season. This year the festivities start at 5.30pm, with the Pageant at 7.30pm. Be early for a good spot! For more information visit

If you are heading to an event there, make sure you take your membership card to get exclusive early access to the RAC Local Lounge inside RAC Arena. Members can avoid the queues with access to the RAC Local Lounge before the main doors open. Enjoy a drink on the terrace or try something from the menu before you make your way to your seats. Members can also get 600ml bottles of unflavoured still water at the venue for half price. For your chance to win tickets to a summer of great entertainment and to keep up with the latest RAC Arena news, just follow us on Facebook, sign up to our Member Benefits e-newsletter at, or check out all the details at

RAC Arena summer calendar Perth Wildcats Kevin Hart Twenty One Pilots Jim Jefferies Mastercard Hopman Cup Florence and the Machine Grease Mumford & Sons Phil Collins Rudimental 60

14 Oct – 15 Feb 3 Dec 7 Dec 8 Dec 29 Dec – 5 Jan 12 Jan 19 Jan 27 Jan 28-29 Jan 17 Feb December-January 2019 / Horizons




September 29, 2018: �e dream came alive for thousands of Eagles fans. Now you can celebrate the Eagles’ fourth AFL Premiership victory with these 2018 Toyota AFL Premiers Rings, only from �e Bradford Exchange. Mastercrafted for the true Eagles fan, the ring is available in a men’s and women’s style, each accented in 18K gold. �e men’s ring recreates the team emblem in vibrant enamel with the words “2018 Premiers” powering up in full sculptural detail, surrounded by 8 genuine Swarovski crystals. �e men’s band will be engraved with the date and score of the Eagles’ stunning victory. �e women’s ring features two intertwining bands, glittering with 24 Swarovski crystals hued in those famous team colours. �e band is engraved with the proud message “2018 AFL Premiers”. Act now to pre-order these limited releases. �e men’s ring can be yours for just 5 instalments of $59.99 or $299.95, plus $19.99 postage and handling. �e women’s edition is yours for only 5 instalments of $49.99 or $249.95, plus $19.99 P&H. Each ring is backed by our famous 120-day guarantee. Send no money now. Return the coupon or go online today at ur booklet Each ring arrives with a FREE colo Eagles’ the of s istic stat vital the detailing d Final win! triumphant 2018 Toyota AFL Gran 15

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Win 1 of 100 family passes to see Storm Boy In cinemas January 17, 2019

‘Storm Boy’ has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can’t explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Stars Geoffrey Rush, Jai Courtney and Trevor Jamieson.

Enter now and view trailer at Terms and conditions apply, visit for more information. Competition ends Friday, 11 January 2019 8.30amWST.


December-January 2019 / Horizons

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Slide into a summer of savings That’s the power of membership As an RAC member you’ll save on great family days out, all summer long. With discounts on tickets for Adventure World, AQWA, Outback Splash, Aloha Surfhouse, Zone Bowling plus many more venues, there’s something for everyone.

Visit Member Benefits terms and conditions apply.

Horizons / December-January 2019


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Save 5% on your solar power system That’s the power of membership

Want to save using solar power, but confused by who is selling what? Good news, RAC and Infinite Energy have teamed up to make solar power savings simple for you. As a RAC member, you now save 5%* on solar power and battery storage systems supplied by Infinite Energy. As a Clean Energy Council approved retailer, Infinite Energy guarantees high quality products, installation and service so you have a solar power system to match your home and get the best electricity bill savings possible.


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Get 15% off our daily rates Whether exploring, visiting family and friends or doing business, you’ll enjoy 15% off the day rate with Thrifty, RAC’s exclusive car rental partner. Plus, add another driver free of charge, get 30% off GPS hire, and $5 a day off protection options in Australia and New Zealand.

All rentals are subject to the terms and conditions of the Rental Agreement. For full terms go to

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Store locations

» Applecross 6150 6459 » Carousel 6150 6454 » Joondalup 6150 6477

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09/10/2018 3:19:43 PM

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ENJOY 10% OFF FULL-PRICED ITEMS* AND 5% OFF CLEARANCE ITEMS* On a premium selection of furniture, lighting, bed linen, tableware, gifts, kitchenware and much more from four iconic brands. Present your RAC member card in store at 635 Hay Street Mall, Perth or shop online at *Discount applies to full-priced items online or in Perth store locations only. Extra 5% off clearance applies only to prices ending in $0.95. Full-priced electrical appliances at Williams Sonoma are entitled to a 5% discount only. Offer not valid for limited-time sale items, gift cards, gift wrap, delivery charges or previous purchases. Discount cannot be combined with any other offers, promotion codes or discounts (including New Mover and Trade programs). For full Terms & Conditions, visit

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RAC members save 15% on travel insurance » 24/7 emergency assistance » $unlimited overseas medical & emergency expenses# » Cover for pre-existing medical conditions^

Call 1300 655 179 or go to Limits, exclusions and conditions apply. This is general advice only. We do not provide any advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Please refer to the Combined Financial Services Guide and Product Disclosure Statement available from RAC before making a decision about this insurance. This insurance is issued by Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd (Tokio Marine & Nichido) ABN 80 000 438 291, AFSL 246548. R.A.C. Travel Services Pty. Limited (ABN 17 009 164 176, AR NO. 228577) is an authorised representative of Tokio Marine & Nichido. Its managing agent, Tokio Marine Management (Australasia) Pty. Ltd. ABN 69 004 488 455 (TMMA) is authorised to act on behalf of Tokio Marine & Nichido to issue its policies and handle and settle claims in relation to those policies, subject to the terms of the authority. #Medical cover will not exceed a maximum of 12 months from the time you first received treatment for the injury or illness. ^Conditions are covered providing certain criteria is met and is subject to approval. Members save 15% off the standard rate.

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Call 1300 798 776 179 Beringarra Ave, Malaga

*T&Cs apply. Offer ends 31 January 2019. Visit our website for more information. Free upgrade to wireless remote control operation with every new electric roller blinds purchase. Security Agents License no. 20818

Horizons / December-January 2019


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Phil had chest pains and passed out. Would you know what to do? Give yourself practical knowledge in how to save a loved one’s life in a range of life-threatening situations until emergency services arrive. St John WA’s new First Aid Essentials is a concise course covering: • Choking • Diabetes • Stroke • Burns • Bleeding control • Chest pain • Asthma • Anaphylaxis • And more First Aid Essentials: $75, RAC members receive 15% OFF Duration: 4 hours | Flexible delivery available For more information or to make a booking, call 9334 1233 or search First Aid Essentials.

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December-January 2019 / Horizons

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Starts Saturday - 1 December Grand Prize

24 prizes over 24 days Total prize pool worth over $70,000

This Christmas, WA’s own Retravision is giving you the chance to win a brand-new Holden Astra – drawn on Christmas Eve! Plus, from December 1 through to December 24, you could win one of 24 daily prizes. To enter, subscribe to our eNewsletter. Or you can up your chances to win by shopping online or in-store – the more you shop, the more entries you get! For more information, visit


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Horizons / December-January 2019

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@RetravisionAU Shop online 24/7 at Available to all valid RAC Members when a valid RAC membership card is displayed in-store or used online (digital membership cards not accepted due to POS systems). Discount not applicable to the following brands which are excluded from the RAC member offering: Asko, AEG, Falcon, Falmec, Gaggenau Miele, Speed Queen and Neff. Retravision acts as an agent for these brands and isn't permitted to offer a discount or bonus. Discount applies to products only and does not apply to installation services. 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways WH75040 terms and conditions apply, see website for details. Offer valid 1-24 December, 2018 only.


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Napoleon Lex485 Was $1890 NOW $1699

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Napoleon is the only approved BBQ in Australia to run on either gas or charcoal. Simply replace your sear plates with the charcoal tray, fill with charcoal and light using your gas burners.

Approved by Choice Magazine, This BBQ is perfect for a small court yard or balcony. This BBQ is very robust, made from plastic and cast alloy for long life durability.

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The neo Brighton Kitchen is true value for money. Heavy duty galvanised steel construction with heavy duty porcelain tiles. Comes with fridge, BBQ and sink.

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CANNINGTON 1399 Albany Hwy Ph: 9458 5724


Âť These offers are exclusive to RAC members

Better Spaces Better Lives

Refresh your home this Summer: catch the seabreeze with Velux roof windows or brighten up with Solatube skylights!

Perth: (08) 9240 4045 Bunbury: 0458 169 191 PERTH SHOWROOM:


Units 5 & 6/1 Halley Road, Balcatta Unit 4/61 Albert Road (entrance on Geddes Street) East Bunbury *Conditions apply. Not in conjunction with other offers. Offer ends 31/01/19

Âť Members receive 7% off Solatube Brighten Up Skylights & Velux Roof Windows with SkylightsWA Horizons / December-January 2019


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» Members save $500 off the Redback RB4 Generator

1300 3 6 6 5 4 5

w w w.ou ta n d a bo u t h e a l t h c a r e . c o m . a u


HEARTWAY PUZZLE - portable electric wheelchair - lightweight and compact

HEARTWAY MANTRA - ideal for indoor and outdoor use - 160kg weight carrying capacity - comfortable 20 inch seat THERO GEL ADJUSTABLE BED - latest adjustable bed - gel cooling technology - 25cm thick mattress HEARTWAY BRIO 3 AUTO - folds automatically for easy storage - lightweight and compact - plane and cruise ship safe

*Terms and conditions apply. On selected products only. Offer only valid to RACWA members and must present proof of membership upon purchase. Offer ends 31/01/2019

HEARTWAY ZEN+ - pull apart portable - larger rear tyres - swipe key technology

Relax, lift and recline in the Glide 180 Lift Recline Chair from $14p/w

» Members receive 20% off 78

December-January 2019 / Horizons

and start saving today


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Use it or lose it Maximise your health cover Extra’s Most health funds general & major dental limits will renew on the 1st January each year.

R AC M e m save 15 bers % al l GA P o f f PAYME NT S

Contact us now to plan how to maximise your dental entitlements.

Phone 9381 3791 or book online

324 Churchill Ave, Subiaco WA 6008 *Conditions Apply – See website for full details

» Members save 15% off all gap payments

· Free Quotes · Gutters and Downpipes

We will beat any quote!

· Roof Restoration

Ken Peachey Caravan Repairs Insurance, servicing, modification, accessories and canvas work.

Call (08) 9277 1381 or Email

· Ridgecap Re-pointing · Skylights · All General Roof Repairs · All work guaranteed

» Members save 10% off parts

300mm $185 ZINC $195 COLORBOND 194 Campbell Street Belmont WA 6104

Fully installed

Call 0439 707 578 or 9398 9861

360mm $210 $200 ZINC $220 $210 COLORBOND Fully installed (while stocks last) *Conditions apply valid until 31/01/19

» Members get a free whirly bird on a full house gutter replacement Horizons / December-January 2019

*Conditions apply valid until 31/01/19. Licensed repairer MRB1167

» Members save 10% on caravan parts 79

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Restaurant Special December: Breakfast & Dinner Festive Smörgåsbord Mon – Thur January: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Smörgåsbord 7 days Please present your valid RAC Card on arrival to receive the discount for your entire group. Only one payment per table. Reservations are essential. 97 MURRAY ST PERTH

Call 9325 3900 email Discounts apply to DIRECT BOOKINGS ONLY. Valid until 31/01/19. Excludes 24, 25 & 31 December. Not valid with any other offer.

» Members receive 20% off

» Members save 10% on smorgasbord breakfast, lunch and dinner

Need Storage? FIRST MONTH'S STORAGE Offer Expires 30 June 2019

Need Packing Supplies SAVE 12.5% on all orders Contact our office for a special price on Property Settlements, Subdivisions, Deceased Estate Applications, Private Sales & Offer & Acceptance preparation.

We can Ship your goods Australia Wide and Around the World


Call 9245 4822 or email

STORAGEKING.COM.AU 1800 100 700 WA STORES ONLY | See instore for terms and conditions

» Members save on settlement fees 80

» Members save 25% off first month’s storage December-January 2019 / Horizons

Terms & conditions

Contact us

Car Doctor, page 57 Entrants may submit more than one entry. Up to three entrants (winners) will be awarded only one prize as follows: a 2019 Perth and Surrounds UBD Street Directory, valued at $39.95. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. Entries that do not, in the absolute discretion of the panel of judges, comply with these requirements are invalid. The winner will be notified by email, telephone or letter. When the winner is notified of their prize they will also be provided details as to the collection of their prize. Entrants published in December/January Horizons must claim their prize by 9 January 2019. In the event that no contact details are supplied, or RAC cannot make contact with the winner, the prize may be withdrawn, at the absolute discretion of Horizons magazine. Prizes will only be awarded following winner validation and verification. This competition is subject to the promoter’s privacy policy.

The Royal Automobile Club of WA (INC) 832 Wellington Street, West Perth GPO Box C140, Perth WA 6839 tel: 13 17 03

Winning Letter, page 8 Entrants may submit more than one entry. One entrant (winner) will be awarded only one prize as follows: a year’s Classic Roadside Assistance valued at $180. If the winner already has Roadside Assistance, the Classic Roadside Assistance will be applied as credit to their account until their cover runs out. Entries that do not, in the absolute discretion of the panel of judges, comply with these requirements are invalid. The winner will be notified by email, phone or letter. When the winner is notified of their prize they will also be provided details as to the collection of their prize. Entrants published in December/January Horizons must claim their prize by 9 January 2019. In the event that no contact details are supplied, or RAC cannot make contact with the winner, the prize may be withdrawn, at the absolute discretion of Horizons magazine. Prizes will only be awarded following winner validation and verification. This competition is subject to the promoter’s privacy policy.

Travel Centres Applecross Shop 2, 14-16 Riseley St. tel: 1300 657 681 Carousel Shop 1098, Westfield Carousel, 1382 Albany Hwy. tel: 9365 4700 Joondalup Lakeside Joondalup SC (external), Shop E24, Boas Ave. tel: 9308 1600 Midland Shop 100, Midland Gate SC, 274 Great Eastern Hwy. tel: 6150 6468 Mandurah Shop SP037, Halls Head Central, 14 Guava Way. tel: 6150 6456 Morley Shop 1, Morley Markets, Bishop St. tel: 6466 2300 West Perth 832 Wellington St. tel: 9436 4830

Member Service Centres – Metropolitan Carousel Shop 1098, Westfield Carousel, 1382 Albany Hwy. Morley Shop 1, Morley Markets, Bishop St. West Perth (Head Office) 832 Wellington St. Member Service Centres – Regional Albany 110 Albany Hwy. Bunbury Shop 32, Stirling Centre, Stephen St. Geraldton Shop 8, Stirlings Central SC, 54 Sanford St. Kalgoorlie 51-53 Hannan St. Mandurah Shop SP037, Halls Head Central, 14 Guava Way.

Full terms and conditions for each competition available at For details of winners from our past promotions, visit


Regain the freedom

of your home Simple, safe and stylish, Acorn Stairlifts give people the chance to enjoy their own homes once again.

• For straight or curved staircases • Indoor and outdoor lifts • Free home assessment • Fast installation

1800 239 169

Quick getaway! No tools needed

Easy rider 17 Km range Wide seat & retractable arm rest Foldable • Airport friendly • 3 or 4 wheel models • Battery pack easily detached Easy as an umbrella click 1-2-3 • Pull apart • Light weight • Heaviest part only 13kg

PERTH AGENT 0408 029 708

Call 1300 657 818

CALL NOW FOR YOUR FREE BROCHURE & QUOTATION Horizons / December-January 2019



Ten best

Do you have an idea for The 10 Best? Send your suggestions to

Inland swimming spots Lake Leschenaultia Originally built as a dam in 1897, Lake Leschenaultia, in the Shire of Mundaring, is surrounded by tall trees, where you can swim to a pontoon from the white-sand swimming beach. There’s also a café nearby for refreshments and shaded barbeque facilities.

Minninup Pool Set on a wide stretch of the Collie River and known for its tranquil river views, Minninup Pool is a favourite with both swimmers and photographers. It’s just 3km south of Collie, has plenty of shade and a lovely grassed picnic area.

Scarp Pool Swim among the rock-rimmed waters of the Murray River surrounded by lush forest at Scarp Pool. This idyllic swimming spot is located within Lane Poole Reserve near Dwellingup and has good access to the river. There is also a picnic area at the site.

Honeymoon Pool Honeymoon Pool is a popular swimming area along the Collie River, west of Collie in Wellington National Park. The picturesque site is shaded by peppermint trees which overhang the river. A decked area extends over the river and provides great views with steps down to the water for swimmers.

Barrabup Pool Swim in this beautiful, natural pool then relax and watch the river flow by from the wooden platform over the water. Forest-lined Barrabup Pool is located within St John Brook Conservation Park near Nannup in the scenic Blackwood River Valley. The Park was once the site of a thriving timber mill with remnants of its history nearby.


Fern Pool, Karijini National Park

Fern Pool There’s no better memory of a trek to Dales Gorge in Karijini National Park than a dip in the refreshing waters of Fern Pool. This striking natural pool is an oasis of green surrounded by the ancient red rock of the Pilbara. It is located just 300m from Fortescue Falls.

Little Mertens Falls On the way to the North West’s iconic Mitchell Falls, along the Punamii-unpuu trail, stop for a swim at Little Mertens Falls. The falls are 800m from the start of the trail and have their own stunning swimming hole. You can also sit on a ledge behind the falls and watch the curtain of water cascade into the pool.

Manning Gorge Regarded as one of the best inland swimming spots in the Kimberley, a swim at Manning Gorge is a dip into

a true outback paradise, especially when water is cascading down the tiered face of the gorge. You can swim at the base of the falls and in nearby rocks pools all year round.

Emma Gorge After a one-hour walk from Emma Gorge Resort, plunge into the cool, clear waters of the shaded waterhole at Emma Gorge Waterfall in El Questro Wilderness Park. The waterhole is at the base of towering 65m cliffs. You can visit Emma Gorge from April to October.

The Grotto This spectacular natural waterhole and waterfall close to Wyndham features a deep rock pool surrounded by tall vertical cliff faces. Access to the waterhole is via 144 steps. Be cautious of rock ledges under the water when entering the pool.

December-January 2019 / Horizons

Don’t let home security worries eclipse your holiday Members save

10% on alarms


The power of membership

Call us today on 1300 132 735 or visit RAC Security Services (WA) Pty Ltd (ABN 044 096 235 200) operates in Perth Metro and Mandurah only. Police License No. SA 45421.

Horizons December/January 2019  

Blazing a trail - the rise of mountain biking in WA

Horizons December/January 2019  

Blazing a trail - the rise of mountain biking in WA