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Rotary

A conference not to be missed on Norfolk Island

19 - 26 April 2013 from Sydney 20 - 27 April 2013 from Brisbane 21 - 28 April 2013 from Auckland

bo Di fN d orfolk Islan

Lindsay Ford Rotary District Governor 9910 and the Rotary Club of Norfolk Island invite you & fellow Rotarians to join us on Norfolk Island for what will be an extraordinary Rotary Conference in April 2013. All Rotarians from New Zealand and Australia are very welcome to attend. Inspirational guest speakers Puru (PDG Purushothaman) Father Chris Riley AM Jenny Horton PRID Stuart Heal Trish Magri Conference highlights include: High tea at Government House, Welcome dinner, Car rally, Rotary goes Main Street, Conference gala dinner and Anzac Service with sunrise breakfast. (Rotary conference registration fee of AU$220/NZ$286 per person is additional to holiday package prices)

From

AU$969

per person/twin share ex Brisbane

From

From

per person/twin share ex Sydney

ex Auckland

AU$999 NZ$1219 per person/twin share

Holiday Package includes: • • • • •

Return ‘seat and bag’ airfare to Norfolk Island All pre-paid airline taxes Meet & Greet at the Airport 7 nights accommodation 7 days car hire (hire car surcharge AU$18 per day plus petrol is extra and payable direct whilst on the island) • Discount Norfolk Island Shopping Card • Complimentary Miniature Golf – golf your way through Norfolk’s history • Complimentary “A Walk in the Wild” – a unique rainforest walk Conditions apply. Prices are current at time of printing, subject to availability & change without notice.

Contact The Travel Centre for holiday packages specially discounted for Rotarians attending the Conference.

Book now for a conference with a difference - that you don’t want to miss ... Take advantage of our local knowledge and having your travel agent at your destination

We live on Norfolk and know Norfolk Best! Contact: maria@travelcentre.nlk.nf The Travel Centre, PO Box 172, Norfolk Island 2899 Ph: Intl +6723 22502 Fax: Intl +6723 23205 Toll free from: Australia 1800 1400 66 New Zealand 0800 0088 10

www.travelcentre.nf

for more details including full conference program visit www.rotaryconference.co.nz 56

Issue 546. December-January 2012-13


traveller

Pole Position By Mark Wallace Rotary Club of Crows Nest, NSW Editor, Rotary Down Under What’s 7.6m long, has a double bed, fridge, stove, microwave, kitchen sink, shower and separate toilet as well as a threelitre turbo diesel engine and looks good on pole position at Mount Panorama? We didn’t exactly burn up the track, but you can’t go through Bathurst, NSW, without at least lining up for a cruise across the Skyline, through the Esses, the Big Dipper and Forest Elbow and an ambling descent down Conrod Straight – within the 60km/h

direct the driver when reversing, but this was more attributable to

speed limit, of course.

the lack of experience we had had behind the wheel of a vehicle

Four of us were in a Winnebago Eyre, having driven through

this size. An ordinary car driver’s licence is all you need and the

and gathered a great deal of the red dust that is properly the

automatic transmission removed most of the complications once

domain of the far western outback of NSW.

we’d figured out the sequence to get the thing moving. Okay, so

We’d been to a cattle station 42km west of Wilcannia – about

that took a little longer than it should’ve, but the motto of most

1100km tackled in two-hour driving shifts from Penrith, where

all-male road trips is “when all else fails reads the instructions”.

Max Mayo and his team at Winnebago Industries had handed

Underneath all the homey features of the Winnebago lies a

over the keys five days previously.

Fiat Ducato, so we simply wrote off the starting sequence as a

Up hill and down dale, the Eyre produced the goods. Bang on

Italian eccentricity.

110km/h even up the slow-vehicle lanes of the Great Western

As a touring conveyance, the four of us enjoyed it immensely.

Highway into Katoomba. At the end of a long day on the road,

I slept in the double bed for three of the five nights and through

there were none of the cramps that accompany distance travel

subtle use of fly-screened windows and sunroofs had none of

in a sedan. Plenty of room (even a table to rest your book/

the problems of excessive heat that sun on a caravan can bring

newspaper on in the passenger seats).

in the morning. The under-bed storage is a huge advantage

The Eyre is designed to sleep two comfortably, three at a

(you can walk upright straight into it), so all our (grossly

pinch, and we were four dudes, so a cabin at a Nyngan caravan

over-packed) luggage, sleeping bags, and other gear was

park with twin beds did for half the party while the rest slept

easily accommodated.

en-wheel on an adjacent powered site. Muggins here made up

These things aren’t cheap at around $140,000, but if you’re

the single, using boards and a mattress that slotted into where

sleeping and cooking in it, a three-week holiday would save you

the passenger seat table had been. Not exactly uncomfortable,

around $2000 in accommodation expenses, given that even in

but I’d had better nights. Not a peep, on the other hand, from

Nyngan, a caravan park cabin cost $90. Spend six weeks on the

the guy in the double bed that sensible people touring in one of

road each year for, say, five years, you’re saving $20,000. Over

these things would limit the sleeping arrangements to.

2200km we spent about $350 on diesel, or about $6.28/km. If

Manoeuvring in caravan park conditions meant we had to

you’re a grey nomad the savings justify the initial expense.

www.rotarydownunder.org

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Traveller

L keable Linz

Shunning its unenviable title as the childhood home of Adolf Hitler, Tim Dawe finds Linz to be a city he likes a whole lot.

F

irst impressions can be lasting – especially travel

Flowers dazzle in spring colours. A modern tram flashes over

destinations. So, I like Linz … straightaway.

glistening cobblestones.

I am with my daughter Katherine, a Rotary exchange

Linz has a great feel to it; it’s orderly and clean (no litter or

student, on our six-day, 350km cycling trip down the

graffiti), yet has vitality and style. Given the limits of time and

Danube River to Vienna. Not even the drenching rain crossing

space I ponder on my upbeat impressions. Two points come to

the Nibelungen Bridge dampens my emerging enthusiasm on

mind: Linz’s mood seems open, inviting and “liveable”, and its

my first visit to Linz, Austria’s third-largest city.

built-form seamlessly weaves together the renaissance with the

The spring afternoon struggles with the grip of late winter.

ultra modern.

Rain clouds depart momentarily allowing shafts of waning

Our hotel fits the latter description. The cycle-tour operator

sunlight on to Linz’s 13th century Hauptplatz, one of the largest

offers rustic Gasthof-type accommodation, not four-spangled-

town squares in Europe. It’s a magical arrival.

stars, so our check-in is not usual. It’s hard to look suave and

This long divided square, open to the river, is lined with the stolid, uniform buildings of centuries past, punctuated with

sophisticated arriving sodden, bent over, lugging soggy maps and panniers – and wearing padded cycle pants.

the Alter Dom (old cathedral, known as the Jesuit Church), the

The city motto is rather ambiguous: “Linz changes”. It has

Altes Rathaus or old town hall, and centre stage, the bizarre

and it does – for the better – transforming itself from the grey

Dreifaltigkeitssäule – a 20-metre baroque twist of white marble

industrial capital of Upper Austria to a city of light, innovation

(holy trinity column) erected by grateful survivors of the plague.

and design … and culture; Linz is the 2009 European Capital

Beneath this striking statue are restful islands to sit and watch.

of Culture.

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Issue 546. December-January 2012-13


Traveller

Spring in Linz Hauptplatz: House of Stories, Akustikon and Altes Dom

16th century Landhaus: provincial parliament

It is time to cycle forth and discover why. I head for the river.

on the Danube. In contrast to AEC, and with colour of a different

Infringing traffic rules that pedestrians and trams tolerate

sort, a circus and permanent fun fair abuts the building; old and

graciously, I watch pavement buskers from around the globe:

new entertainment for all tastes, cheek by jowl.

a Peruvian group belting out Andean rhythms, a Romanian

Directly opposite on the Danube’s south bank is Lentos

puppeteer and a blues singer from anywhere. They attract

Museum of Art. The building itself is sculpture. Its black glass

prosperous-looking shoppers emerging from boutiques in the

façade is covered with the repetitive word: lentos. Like other

smart arcades of Landstrasse, the main street and commercial

Linz landmarks it lights up each night casting vivid purple into

centre. I discover bicycle wheels are no match for cobblestones

swirling waters. Lentos offers modern art from the 19th and 20th

and tram tracks.

centuries, including works from Warhol and Austria’s favourite

Over the river again, I visit Ars Electronic Centre (AEC). At

sons, Klimt and Schiele.

6500sq m it’s huge and like nothing else. It is partly a museum

With so much choice and so little time I ride off to the Old

and mainly a workspace for cutting-edge electronic researchers

Town Hall to visit Linz Genesis, a museum dedicated to “the story

and designers. They call it a platform for digital arts to explore

of Linz”. So many European cities leave their medieval town halls

the future. Whatever. The aim is to present electronic and

as curiosities or museums. Not Linz. Here, modernity operates

emerging technologies such as robotics, neuroscience and

behind the Hauptplatz façade incorporating the mayor’s office

biotechnology in artistic and productive forms. Visitors can travel

and modern arcades of shops and offices. I am fascinated by a

in virtual worlds and “experience the future”. At night expansive

gigantic aerial photo of Linz as floorcovering in an exhibition hall,

glass walls, imbedded with LED lights, blaze out colours reflected

giving new meaning to a walk around town.

www.rotarydownunder.org

59


Traveller

institutions are. They include the wonderful Brucknerhaus concert hall on the riverbank next to Lentos, its sweeping modern lines contrasting with the baroque architecture of nearby Landesgalerie housing classical and contemporary painting and sculpture, Linz Castle, first built in 799, now its largest museum, a puppet museum, the splendid Akustikon, blending the art and science of sound, the House of (children’s) Stories, and even a museum of dental history. Linz’s cultural program goes all year: the zany Pflasterspektakel, rock and sound festivals, Easter passion play, summer rose garden cabarets, marathons and triathlons, and even oddball events such as Der Kranke Hasse (the sick hare). There are also film festivals, theatre, haute couture and flea market shopping and casino gambling. But I go on. In fading light I head back to my hotel like a bee back to the

Lentos art gallery

hive. The hotel cannot accommodate us for dinner – is it the bike pants I wonder – and provides a voucher for The Black Anchor

Darting around Linz by bike is fun, and faster than walking

restaurant. Halfway through trying traditional schweinebraten mit

when time presses. It’s easy to correct directional mistakes

sauerkraut I reflect that Austria’s cuisine is, er, more famous for its

traversing twisting, turning streets tracing medieval goat tracks.

pastries! After a day in the saddle and just four hours exploring

One turn leads me to an airy, spacious square containing the

Linz, a well-earnt early sleep is punctuated with exploding shells

Stadtpfarrkircke or parish church. It’s a lovely baroque church

of fireworks … well, I hope it’s fireworks.

where Emperor Friedrich III is interred – well, actually not all of

It’s now early next morning, but still time before departing for

him, only his bowels. At that time deceased royalty had a habit

quick visits to the magnificent Landhaus (provincial parliament)

of leaving bits of themselves all over the country. Not unlike an animal marking (scenting) its territory. Wheeling along another former goat track I chance upon the marvellous sight of K.u.K. Hofbakerei, a bakery of renown with its shopfront clad in carved woodwork. It is clearly a sign: dismount for a coffee and sample the famous Linzer Torte. Its cosy café interior is a welcome contrast to old and new monumentalism.

“Things have changed since Hauptplatz was Adolf-Hitler-Platz, especially in the past few decades.”

Walls are covered with ageing posters and newspapers, while military regalia gleam in corners. The place pays homage to

and Mozarthaus, home to the Linz Symphony. But first, courtesy

the Austro-Hungarian Empire and especially Archduke Peter

of our bike company, we have an appointment with a chocolatier

Ferdinand, a royal – and loyal – customer. Current proprietor Fritz

on gentlemanly Herrn Strasse, the poshest of addresses during

Rath, whose great-grandfather received royal patronage in 1903,

the 17th century, restored today to its full splendour.

proudly tells me this site has been used as a bakery since 1371.

Katherine and I pick up our bike path at the funfair then spend

Linz has thrown up an eclectic bunch of noteworthy sons:

the next hour cycling through a great greenbelt of remnant

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), Anton Bruckner (1824-1896) and …

forest, parkland, boating lakes, sporting fields and nature trails.

Adolf Hitler. There is the Kepler University and the Brucknerhaus.

It’s known as the kulturemeile, but it goes on for many miles, and

For Hitler, well, there’s no mention of the adoring crowds of

follows a broad arc of the river; the perfect antidote for the urban

Austrians cheering on the Anschluss and of Hitler’s plans for

dweller – minutes from the city.

Linz as his “European Capital of Culture”. No mention either of

Over on the city-side riverbank, screened by tall trees, is a broad

nearby Mauthausen concentration camp or the killing fields of

sweep of industrial land; an economic powerhouse of chemical,

Schloss Hartheim.

oil and steel industries, port facilities and Linz Airport (Linz boasts

However, things have changed since Hauptplatz was Adolf-

more jobs than residents). Before cultural awards, this was what

Hitler-Platz, especially in the past few decades. Nazism is now

Linz was known for. The now high-tech steelworks at Woest,

a tourism feature. I am invited by a sign at the Altes Rathaus

formerly Hermann Göring Works, once supplied the Nazi war

to do a walking tour of the buildings occupied by the Gestapo.

machine. By contrast, Linz today is home to Pez, the peppermint

I accept, but find the experience unfulfilling. Not only have we

candy. It is good to know there is an economic base for industrial

moved on, so have some of the buildings.

output as well as Linz’s other powerhouse: cultural services.

My assumption that a European capital of culture (Linz shared

Linz is behind me now. I was there for such a short time, but I

with Vilnius) is all musty museums and opera houses is dashed.

liked what I saw. One day I will return for a longer stay to really

After all, culture should be seen to be broad and diverse; Linz’s

savour likeable Linz. 

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Issue 546. December-January 2012-13


Traveller

Peace

through Service Your invitation to join a ROTARY GLOBAL PEACE FORUM TOUR in 2012/13 … RI President Sakuji Tanaka has planned an impressive program of Rotary Global Peace Forums for 2012/13 and a general invitation is issued to all Rotarians, partners and friends to participate. Rotary Down Under and our Travel partner Venture Holidays are pleased to announce the following preliminary details •

HONOLULU, HAWAII, USA - The Green Path to Peace – January 25-27, 2013. Will focus on the importance of conserving and protecting our shared environmental resources and mitigating the effects of natural disasters as a prerequisite of peace. Special emphasis will be on New Generations and how to empower their visions of peace. This tour will be led by RDU Chairman DES LAWSON and will include visits to Rotary clubs. LAND AND AIR PACKAGE (Hawaiian Airlines ex Sydney): Five nights at Outrigger Waikiki on the beach. Twin share: from $2,705 per person including breakfast – single from $3,871. Depart Wednesday, January 23; return Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

HIROSHIMA, JAPAN – Peace Begins with You – May 17-18,2013. Explores ways in which each of us has the power to promote peace in our daily lives and in our own communities. This futurefocused meeting will ask participants to consider what impact they will make in the days and years to come. This tour will be led by RI Immediate Past Director STUART HEAL and his wife ADRIENNE and will include visits to Rotary clubs. LAND ONLY. AIRLINE TBA: One night Hotel Nikko Narita, Tokyo, and six nights Mitsui Garden Hotel, Hiroshima, Twin share from: $802.00 per person including breakfast - single from $1,498.00. Depart Tuesday, May 14; return Monday, May 20, 2013. A full 13 day tour program starting in Tokyo and ending in Osaka is also available. Includes the Hiroshima Forum plus other Japanese highlights. Twin share from: $4,599.00pp incl breakfast / Single: $5,199.00. Depart Thursday, May 9; return Tuesday, May 21, 2013. February 22, 2013 is the deadline for expressions of interest for the Hiroshima Forum. Bookings close March 22, 2013.

Optional ‘add ons’ for ALL tours will be available nearer the date. ROTARY DOWN UNDER INC has developed an extremely proficient and cost effective tour organisation in recent years and is now calling for expressions of interest from Rotarians, partners and friends interested in attending any or all of the above Peace Forums. RDU is especially keen to hear from Rotaractors, scholars and other young people interested in attending the Peace Forum in Hawaii where the emphasis will be on New Generations.

Organisers will strive to organise at least one local Rotary Club visit in each Forum city

For further information – • Adele Nugent – Venture Holidays, Adelaide: adelen@ventureholidays.com.au • Bob Aitken – RDU Executive Director: bobaitken@rotarydownunder.com.au www.rotarydownunder.org

61


Traveller

Retreat to Coastal Peace Escape the city and retreat to some of NSW’s hidden gems along the coast this summer for true peace and quiet. Be it discovering a Buddhist Stupa, learning to fish for prawns or relaxing in a rainforest retreat, NSW has something for everyone. For true inner peace, drive 20 minutes inland from Byron Bay to Mullumbimby and visit the recently unveiled Peace Stupa built by Tibetan monks at Crystal Castle with the blessing of the Dalai

and get back to nature with a 4WD drive through the Wedding

Lama. While in Mullumbimby, immerse yourself in the alternate

Bells Forest Drive.

lifestyle with a stay at Koonyum Retreat. Visit the weekly farmers

The main appeal of Culburra Beach is all in the name – the

markets for fresh produce held every Friday morning, munch on

beach. Located a short 10km drive from Nowra, this popular

pizza at Milk and Honey, melt away tension with a spa treatment

surf retreat is favoured for its variety of conditions, which are

at Kiva Spa and enjoy a meal at one of the State’s top 10 most

suitable for hardcore surfers through to young families. You

sustainable restaurants, La Table.

can’t get much closer to the soothing sounds of waves breaking

Woolgoolga, or ‘Woopi’, as it is known to locals, is a small

on the shore than at Pavilions House on the Beach (pictured).

coastal retreat 25km north of Coffs Harbour. The local Punjabi

Consistently voted one of the best beach houses in Australia,

Sikh community make the town a melting pot of cultures. Tour

this architecturally designed coastal retreat has an inside/outside

the Guru Nanak Sikh Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) on weekends and

approach to living, bringing you closer to nature.

indulge in Indian cuisine in the town centre. An overnight stay at

For more NSW costal retreat ideas visit:

the GlassHouse Luxury Rainforest Retreat is a good way to relax

www.destinationnsw.com.au

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Issue 546. December-January 2012-13


Traveller

www.rotarydownunder.org

63


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Issue 546. December-January 2012-13


Traveller Magazine