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May 7-13 2012 Issue 680



A WEIRD WORLD Our guide to the strangest festivals


PARTY LIKE IT’S 1979 Sister Sledge turn back the clock

Learn to dive in an island paradise

R E D N U D E SNOW eason Aussie ski s e th g n ri u d of powder Get your fix



Kuta Beach, Bali

At Student Flights we’re full of relaxing ideas. It’s the idea that sometimes you want the world to stop. The idea that sun and sand is good for the soul. The idea that travel should be revitalising. The idea that an Aussie dollar can still go a long way. The idea that different cultures have relevance in our own lives and that relaxation and adventure can go hand in hand. The idea that luxury could be resort life or just resorting to doing nothing as you let Bali wash over you.

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you get a surf lesson at Kuta Beach + return transfer + English speaking instructor.

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you get 4 nights at the The Royal Beach Seminyak Bali + breakfast daily + 1-hour massage.


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you get a 1.5-hour tour on Ayung River + lunch + return transfers + full safety equipment & training.

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you get a 6-hour cooking class from Kuta + dinner + return transfers + certificate.

*Travel restrictions and conditions apply. Please ask us for further details. Prices and taxes are correct as at 23 Apr 12 and are subject to change without notice. Prices quoted are on sale until 30 May 12 unless otherwise stated or sold out prior. Prices are per person and are subject to availability. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply depending on date of travel. Airfare not included unless otherwise stated. Where airfare is included, additional taxes specific to your flight routing may apply and/or may not include checked luggage (which can incur additional charges). Prices shown are fully inclusive of taxes, levies, government charges and other applicable fees. Payments made by credit card will incur a surcharge. Prices shown are for payments made by cash in store. Advertised price includes any bonus nights. Minimum/maximum stay restrictions may apply. Student airfares are available to full-time students holding a valid ISE/ISIC card and/or be a youth under 26 with a valid IYTC card. Flight Centre Limited (ABN 25 003 377 188) trading as Student Flights. Lic No. ACT 18800224. NSW 2TA002719. NT 008. QLD TAG262. SA TTA254. TAS TAS031. VIC 31089. WA 9TA 589. SFADV50793


EDITOR’S LETTER It’s another great offering this week, particularly for those of you with itchy feet. If you’re sitting around planning your next adventure, then this week’s issue is packed with ideas. Check out our feature on the world’s weirdest festivals – alternatively, strap on your skis and hit Australia’s criminally under-rated slopes. Further afield, go island-hopping in Indonesia or salsa the night away in Panama City. Good times









































From scary sumos to tossing tuna, we reveal the world’s strangest festivals



Sister Sledge dust off their platform shoes to bring disco Down Under



We show you how to gear up and tear up the Aussie snowfields this winter

THE GILI SEASON Get tanked, day and night, on the Indonesian island of Gili





OZDIARY EDITORIAL Editor Tom Sturrock Deputy editor Alex Harmon Editorial assistant Leigh Livingstone Contributors Becky Wicks | Colin Delaney

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Head to Melbourne’s Belgian Beer Cafe

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Design and production manager Lisa Ferron SALES Account manager Justin Steinlauf Sales executive Caroline Ward MARKETING & EVENTS Business development manager Tom Wheeler Marketing assistant Leroy Meurs DISTRIBUTION Lee Sutherland ACCOUNTS Financial controller Trish Bailey

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Where else but Melbourne would beer reach such heights of sophistication? During this eight-day festival, let your palates run wild as the world of boutique beer and fine food collide. Two of the world’s champion brewers from the US and Norway have created a series of events including a Beer Vs Wine Slap Down, brewery tours and even a beer cocktail masterclass. So if you’re in Melbourne this week, ‘hop’ to it. Some of the events are free! $10


02 8332 7511



SEE for pick-up points

May 12-19 Various venues across Melbourne




Get your history fix in Victoria’s goldrush town, Ballarat, this week. All sorts of heritage events are on, including free guided tours of the town’s art deco buildings, fire stations, railways, as well as ghost tours, puppet shows, fashion shows and more.

Who says Byron should get all the blues? Cairns in far north Queensland also hosts their annual blues festival this weekend. Get your tickets on the door to see 11 hours of non-stop blues from local and international musicians along the Esplanade.

This festival in the Northern Territory has a little bit for everyone. It kicks off with the ‘biggest morning tea’ on Friday, before live music, poetry readings, even karaoke. It winds up with a screening of the Aussie classic, We Of The Never Never on Sunday.

May 12-13 Ballarat, Vic

May 12 Fogarty Park, Cairns, Qld

May 11-13 Katherine, NT


TNT Magazine is printed on paper from sustainable forests. There is no business connection between the proprietors of this magazine and TNT Ltd, the worldwide transportation group. Copyright here and abroad of all original materials is held by TNT Magazine. Reproduction in whole or part is forbidden, except with permission of the publishers. Registered by Australia Post.





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It’s a weird world Festivals offer a great chance to get out and about and, in the case of these bizarre ones, see some things you won’t forget WORDS LEIGH LIVINGSTONE

The festival circuit is a reliable source of tunes, booze, fun and mayhem with friends. Often you’ll find yourself living in a tent, or a stranger’s tent for that matter, for a few days so that you can completely immerse yourself in that festival spirit. And your choice of festival can sometimes say a lot about a person. A wine festival out in grape-growing country means you are a proper grownup, a sun-soaked festival on the sand is for the beach bunnies and a rocking music festival for three days in the middle of nowhere means you are wild and crazy. But, if we’re being honest, despite the fun times getting down and dirty in a field somewhere, they can all sometimes get a little bit repetitive.



Maybe you’re ready for a little strange in your life? Now is the time to shake things up a bit and step out of your comfort zone into a fully-fledged festival of the weird. Well, we’ve got a treat for you. We’ve gathered the best of the offbeat but still fabulous festivals worth seeing, from tossing-tuna in South Australia to racing beer-can boats in Darwin. The strange happenings aren’t just occurring Down Under – there’s a temple in Tokyo where sumo wrestlers do their best to make babies cry and there is an entire festival dedicated to a headless rooster in the States. These tripped-out, messed-up gettogethers are a great excuse to go on a road-trip to somewhere you wouldn’t

normally have any cause to explore. Or maybe book your next adventure somewhere further afield. It’s a safe bet that you’ll come back with some cracking Facebook photos and meet some pretty unique characters along the way. After all, sitting around in a resort is fine, but it’s the weird shit that you remember most from your travels. For example, if you’re heading through America’s deep south, why not stop off at the Redneck Games to try your hand at toilet-seat horsehoes? So, if you are beginning to feel that going to one festival means that you’ve seen them all, we can guarantee you ain’t seen nothing yet. Now, where’s my partner for this year’s wife-carrying world championships?



It all began in 1996 when, in the lead-up to Atlanta, Georgia hosting the Olympics, a lot of snide comments were being made about rednecks taking over the Games. And so, rather than allowing themselves to be the butt of one big international joke, the rednecks got together and put on their own Games, which were remarkable successful and have since grown into an annual event paying tribute to Dixie in all its glory. There are some bizarre events, including the Hubcap Hurl, the Bobbin’ for Pig’s Feet Fest, and Redneck Horseshoes – in which toilet seats are the objects thrown. But it’s hard to go past the terrible beauty of the Mud Pit Belly Flop contest (main image) or the breathtaking aesthetics of the Armpit Serenade.

Nobody is quite sure of this festival’s origins but the theory is that it is related to ancient fertility rituals welcoming the summer. On May 1 every year, in Padstow, Cornwall, two clotch-covered hobby horses – or ‘obby ‘osses – emerge from their stables, in this case local pubs, and parade through the streets with hundreds of followers in tow. This is where things get weird and not in a good ‘Mr Ed can talk’ way. The horses make beelines for every woman they pass and pull them under their cloaks to smother them with coal. Even though the horses look a bit freaky with red eyes and snapping teeth, it is considered good luck for the ladies. At midday, the horses meet at a maypole and dance together. Told you it was weird, right?



Once upon a time, centuries ago, there was an evil Count who tyrannised the poor people of Piemonte. Eventually they rose up against him – he was beheaded and his guards stoned to death. These days, during traditional carnevale, which is 40 days before Lent, the town celebrates with a festival re-enacting the battle. Stones are replaced with the town’s surplus oranges and the guards are now clowns on chariots. The most exciting part of the festival is getting among the battle and throwing your share of juicy oranges at everyone else. If festival folk want to avoid a bruising but still see the action, then they don a long red hat or ‘berretto frigio’, which means they are not throwing oranges and cannot be harmed. Where’s the fun in that?

It began as a bet between mates in 1970 and is now the outback’s most popular yearly festival. Australia currently has the world’s largest population of wild camels, so the obvious thing to do is race them. This year on July 14, Arunga Park Speedway in Alice Springs will come alive with belly dancers, food stalls, entertainment and more camels than you could poke a hump at. The main event is the XXXX Gold Lions Camel Cup but punters can get in on the action and win some cash by racing rickshaws in the centre of the arena. It gets weirder with the ‘Imparja Television Honeymoon Handicap’, in which grooms race camels halfway around the track, the camels then drop to pick up the dolled-up ‘brides’ and continue on to the finish line.

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THE DARWIN LIONS BEER REGATTA DARWIN, AUSTRALIA It seems the people of the Northern Territory didn’t have enough to do in the Seventies because this is another weird festival that sprung to life during that decade. The Beer Regatta is held in Darwin – it’s July 15 this year – and is a day of boat-racing along Mindil Beach. But these are no ordinary boats. Competitors must first build a vessel made mostly from beer cans; vessels can range in size from one metre to 12 metres and use other materials but they must float on the beer cans alone. You’ll need quite a few to make your boat, so you’d better start drinking seriously, right? Hilarity ensues when boats start to founder and sink or are sabotaged by well-timed fire hose attacks and secret onboard weaponry. A gold coin donation will buy you entry to the day and there is plenty on offer for spectators, like entering their best novelty hat made out of cans into competitions and participating in the ladies’ and men’s thong-throwing event – the ones you wear on your feet, that is. Why thongs? Because throwing cans is just silly. There’s also a Henley-on-Mindil competition, named after the posh Henley Regatta in the UK, where participants run their ‘boats’ around like the cars in The Flinstones.



Beginning on Australia Day (January 26) every year, this festival celebrates the local seafood industry in South Australia. There is a delicious menu featuring local produce, and wines, musical entertainment and wholesome beach volleyball. There’s also a massive paella that cooks all day and fills the air which the delicious smell of seafood. It all sounds very civilised, very genteel, and not particularly weird at all. But, on the last day of the festival, finals are held to determine who can toss a tuna fish the furthest. So far, the record stands at 37.23 metres set by ex-Olympic hammer-thrower Sean Carlin. We’re not quite sure what the tuna did to anger the locals or what it symbolises but it sure makes for a memorable closing ceremony.

This 400-year-old traditional festival is held every year at the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo. Amateur sumo wrestlers hold babies in the air and try to scare them into crying by growling and making faces at them.Surely anyone would wail if an enormous man in a nappy came anywhere them but, strangely enough, this one sometimes takes a bit of work. Japanese priests even tease the bubs while the sumo ever so slightly shakes them. The idea is that the toddler who cries the longest and the loudest is the winner and parents believe that the sumo-induced wailing keeps their baby healthy and wards off evil spirits. If the growling sumos don’t work, then they add a scary mask and that usually gets the job done.





This two-day festival held in the farming town of Fruita in western Colorado commemorates a freak chickenslaughtering incident in 1945. Mike the rooster was going about his usual fowl existence and about to become farmer Lloyd Olsen’s dinner. The farmer swung his axe and chopped off Mike’s head but amazingly this didn’t kill the bird and Mike the rooster lived on for another 18 months. It was so amazing that Mike the rooster got his own festival out of it. From May 18-19, locals and tourists alike get together for music, feasting and ‘run like a headless chicken’ racing. It wouldn’t be a festival without the chicken dance competition and a Good Egg award.

The Shitbox Rally is a festival on the move. The location of this one changes every year. In 2011, it was a rally from Brisbane to Darwin, this year it was Melbourne to Cairns. It’s a little bit pricey as far as festivals go, with a $275 entry fee this year, but the cost of your shitbox and a fuel budget is awarded to each team and it is all for the Cancer Council charity. Participants can decorate their car – the bigger, the better – and the journey will have stops along the way to make new friends, have a few parties and kick into that festival spirit. The winner is determined by speed, decoration on the shitboxes and a number of other factors made up along the way. Start your engines.



Strap on your blue suede shoes because there are hunks and hunks of burning love for whom this annual outback Elvis convention is the centrepiece of the year. Every January, to coincide with the King’s birthday, the town of Parkes in central NSW celebrates all things Elvis – he’s not only alive and kicking here, but multiplied into the thousands by his loyal fans. Impersonators and hound dogs come from all over, converging for five days of music, entertainment and the crowning of Miss Priscilla. Parkes is an unlikely venue for it all, given its remote location and tiny population of 11,000, so it’s completely bizarre to see thousands of sideburned, rhinestone-suited versions of Elvis hipswivelling their way all over this country town.

Wife-carrying may have taken the world by storm but it all started back in this tiny provincial town in central Finland, where the world championships will again be held in July. Known in Finnish as eukonkanto, the ‘sport’ originated as a way for local bandits to test potential recruits and, of course, the area has a proud history of stealing women from neighbouring villages. So what better way to pay tribute? Male competitors must carry their cargo along a track dotted with obstacles, spanning 250m. The only eligibility rule is that the wife must weigh at least 49kgs – if she is underweight, then she must also carry a heavy rucksack to get her above the limit. For the winner, a glorious prize: his wife’s weight in beer.



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Morgan Page The electro DJ from Vermont is a busy man – he just dropped his fifth album and announced an Aussie tour. We got hold of him for a quick chat, post-Coachella INTERVIEW ALEX HARMON

some amazing productions and was well-known and that kind of got my name out there.

“You can be backstage and Rihanna just bumps into you”

What’s on your rider? Right now, coconut water. I’m really into that. I don’t see it much in Australia. Really? I thought it would be a no-brainer in Australia. It’s just getting really big here. Is it good for hangovers? Really good for hangovers. It’s really hydrating and it’s part of the show now. What else do I have? Nothing crazy – just Red Bull and vodka.

Hey Morgan, how was Coachella? Oh, I am literally still recovering from that. It was 105 degrees (40°C), pretty hot and pretty crazy. To be able to play a festival like that – which is really hard to get booked at – is amazing. There were a lot of artists, like 130 artists. It’s insane. Any personal highlights? Calvin Harris was really good and it was great meeting him. It was fun to meet the artists and hang out with them. Cascade was really good, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia too. Hang out with anyone cool? It’s pretty cool in that you can be standing backstage and Rihanna just bumps into you. And then running into people like Usher is pretty surreal. I wanted to, but I didn’t ask Rihanna for a photograph, because I didn’t wanna be that guy. They have this thing called Neon Carnival after the festival – it was almost like another festival in itself. They have these crazy rides. The parties are pretty fun. Anything you can share from the parties? I saw a lot of washed up TV stars, I saw David Hasselhoff, Alexander Skarsgard from True Blood, Paris Hilton was there as usual. Oh and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son was there doing drugs.



Tell me about the new album. Well it’s almost a year-and-a-half of work and it’s finally out. We’ve got a lot of different artists on there, like Angela McClusky, Tegan and Sara. I got to cherry-pick a few of my favourite artists and also include some new ones as well. Like Richard Walters who approached me with vocals. It’s a rotating cast of different people. Got a favourite track? I am excited about the Tegan and Sara track, Body Work. That is definitely one of my faves. What are they like to work with? They are really professional, no attitude at all. They sung live on a show I did recently in LA. Who were your influences growing up? I think in terms of electronic stuff, I would say Daft Punk. I remember seeing them play – without the helmets – in ‘99, so a long time ago. I think they were warming up for someone else. How did you get into the industry? I did internships for record companies and I worked for labels and made music and did a few shows. I was doing well as a remixer and producer. I think things got really crazy when I hired Deadmau5 to do a remix. He had done

Any Aussies you’re keen to work with? Yeah there are a bunch of guys – I really like Tommy Trash and I would really like to get Angus and Julia Stone on a track. They work for the same label as me. I’d like to get them on board. Anywhere in Oz you’re keen to see? I want to spend more time in Sydney. It’s one of my favourite places. It reminds me of LA, where I live now. I’m curious to see places like Newcastle. Is it true you grew up in a log cabin? Yeah I did, in Vermont. I probably couldn’t have moved any further away and stayed in the same country if you know what I mean. Who is your doppelgänger? You know people always think that they see me at places, so I don’t know, maybe I just look like a random guy! But I get told that I look like the guys from Data Life. They have a Scandinavian look so I could be doppelgängers with them. If you could have a superpower? It’s not really a superpower but I would love to be able to like work on music while I’m in the car without getting motion sickness. Catch Morgan in Newcastle (May 11), Melbourne (May 12), Adelaide (May 17), Brisbane (May 18), and Sydney (May 19). For a chance to win a copy of his album, In The Air, head to:


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Beanies: stripping men of their manhood since 1981

THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT FILM review by Alex Harmon STARRING: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt | M | 124mins

TRISHNA FILM review by Andy Westbrook STARRING: Frieda Pinto, Riz Ahmed, Roshan Seth | CTc | 117mins

With this timeless, tragic tale of a pure woman struggling through a turbulent world, the everversatile director Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People) has returned to the works of classic novelist Thomas Hardy for a third time. Here, he has loosely adapted Tess Of The d’Urbevilles, transporting the action from Victorian England to modern-day India. While it’s a work of beauty, it never quite manages to create the dramatic tension that such a compelling story demands.



Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) fall in love and get engaged in the opening scenes of this film, but Emily’s career in academia sidelines their wedding plans. Things go from bad to worse as they relocate from their charmed life in San Francisco to Michigan and Tom winds up in a menial job below his abilities. It seems the date-night movie has been reformulated so that all parties can get their money’s worth. For every bridal veil, there’s some gross-out humour to balance it. Think Bridesmaids or Forgetting Sarah Marshall (also directed by Nicholas Stoller). But what’s refreshing is a rom-com where the woman takes charge of her career and the guy is the stay at home martyr and fake orgasm-er. What’s irritating about this film, though, apart from being too long, are the improbable moments. Tom and Violet getting engaged after a year is annoying, but a crossbow shooting and a toe removed from frostbite are borderline absurd. Segal is the cuddly, unlikely romantic lead, as usual – they even put him in a big bunny suit in an opening scene. So, watching him degenerate into a deer-hunting, lamb chop growing brute is one of the highlights of the film. Even so, in spite of this, the natural chemistry between the leads remains effortless and charming. The film’s message is hammered home through a donut motif: why wait for fresh ones when you’ve got a stale one in front of you. Look out for Violet’s Cookie Monster impression – it’s one of the film’s funniest and most poignant scenes. GOOD FOR: A wedding film without Bridezilla taking centre stage.

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This free community event is worth a look to check out all the creative cats using the human body as their canvas. The weird and wonderful are all on display here as people come from far and wide to show their skill. If you aren’t game to be a blank slate, then be content to visit the market stalls and take in the entertainment. Eumundi, Queensland Free entry. May 12-13





A photo can speak a thousand words, so all the exhibition and gallery venues across Sydney CBD that are hosting this festival must speak volumes. You can see all the competition entries spread across traditional places like museums, as well as in small cafes and pubs around Sydney. Most viewings are free and there are workshops.

Bringing the festival flavour to regional towns, Groovin’ The Moo is now in its eighth year. It’s a tribal gathering of funky folk coming from everywhere to share the sounds. International acts like Kaiser Chiefs and Public Enemy will be turning it up, alongside a stack of local acts, with a 75,0000-strong crowd expected.

Various venues, Sydney Free entry. May 4-June 3

The Meadows, University of Canberra Tickets from $99.90. May 13

Lana Del Rey She bailed last time, but she promises to play Video Games with us this July with several Splendour sideshows. Tickets TBC

George Michael The former Wham! man has finally accepted his age, this time doing a symphony tour of Oz in November. Tickets TBC

Say Anything The Californian, emo punk-rock six-piece have announced their first Aussie headline tour will be in July. Tickets from $54





It does what it says on the box. This is the only festival for performances anywhere but a theatre. A lot of the events are free but some require tickets, so get in early. There are tonnes of shows all over the city to choose from, spanning comedy, cabaret, circus, and drama.

Step out of the wardrobe and into the world of the Powerhouse Museum’s Narnia exhibition. Pretend to be a Pevensie as you wander around the set dressings, costumes and props from the blockbuster movies. Some of the displays are even interactive for the big kid inside us all.

Various venues, Brisbane Free. May 10-19

Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Tickets from $17. Opens May 12



TNT has teamed up with One Love Recordings to offer five lucky readers the fifth and latest offering from Morgan Page, In The Air. The album by the LA-based DJ has a flood of special guests, Tegan And Sara, Sultan + Ned Shepard, Andy Caldwell, Jonathan Mendelsohn, Angela McCluskey and Blake Lewis of American Idol. For your chance to win, head to and answer the question.





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Doing it for themselves Sister Sledge have been around since the dawn of disco and the sisters are now bringing their dancing shoes Down Under WORDS ALEX HARMON

If you’re struggling to place Sister Sledge, three words should do the trick: We Are Family. The 1979 song is one of the most requested of all time, a timeless disco classic, up there with I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor. Love it or loathe it, you’re going to hear it at karaoke bars, pride marches and wedding receptions for the rest of your life. According to Kathy Sledge, the youngest of the sisters, the song’s longevity owes much to its feel-good message. “We Are Family is like the theme song for everyone from gay pride to girl scouts,” Sledge says. “I think it’s a song that unites you and lifts you up and the message is universal – that we can be strong together.” Clearly, this universal message has kept the girls in demand – the four sisters who make up Sister Sledge have about 40 years of stardom under their disco belts. But surely, they must be getting a little bored of performing their Nile Rogers-written signature hit after all these years. “I get that question all the time, and I can honestly tell you – never,” Sledge says. “When you look at it from my perspective, it’s always new. Just last week, I hosted the Cherry Blossom Parade in Washington DC and I had to sing it there. But the funny thing is for these people, it’s their first time receiving it this way. So that makes it feel like it’s my first time as well.” It’s kind of like asking Popeye if he gets sick of eating spinach. The song is their staple and next month, when Sister Sledge brings a fresh dose of disco fever Down Under, audiences will be expecting it. “When I sing it in Australia, it will be new to me again,” Sledge adds. After Chic – apparently the ‘kings of disco’ – toured last year, it seems Seventies glam is alive and kicking. But wasn't Eighties retro back in vogue last year as well? Why do these things keep coming around? Have we just run out of ideas? “I see the fliers that are like, ‘get out your platforms’. OK – I’ll wear platforms again. It’s funny how these sorts of things circle back around. Well, the good things do,” Sledge says. “I think that for every era, you need to remember that it’s new to a whole new generation.” Kathy’s grandmother, Viola Williams, a former opera

We were the first girl band to come along and not wear wigs

singer, encouraged the girls to perform from a young age and, in 1972, sisters Kim, Debbie, Joni and a young Kathy banded together, changing their name from Mrs Williams’s Grandchildren to Sister Sledge. Their fifth – seemingly ‘long lost’ – sister, Carol, opted instead for a career in teaching. The four sisters signed their first record deal with Atco Records in 1975 and released Mama Never Told Me, which promptly went to No 1 in the UK. After going from performing at her local church to being catapulted onto the world stage at the age of 15, it’s a wonder Kathy managed to handle the fame. “I think the first word that comes to mind when you think of fame is ‘balance’,“ she says. “If you don’t have balance, then get out of fame’s way. That’s what sustains you and keeps you real.” It would have been difficult for Kathy to get out of fame’s way – after all, she was practically born into it. Her father is Edwin Sledge, of the legendary Broadway duo ‘Fred and Sledge’ and her mother, Florez, was a singer and actress. “My entire life has been music,” Sledge says. “It’s the same as Michael Jackson.” Speaking of the late king of pop, there are some striking parallels between his and Sledge's meteoric rises. Born just six months apart, they’re both the youngest in a family of singers. Both established themselves with disco and, in the end, managed to make it as successful solo artists. In fact, Sister Sledge was affectionately known as the “female Jackson Five” and even toured with the brothers during the Seventies. “We were all devastated when Michael passed. He was



Sledge performing with Grace Jones and the Pointer Sisters in Paris



into jazz, playing Billie Holiday in her one-woman show, The Brighter Side Of Day. “When I perform her, especially to gay and lesbian crowds, they cry,” she says. ”I feel that I am reaching deep and lifting up a legend.” And if that’s not enough, Sledge urges fans to “watch this space” for a new reality show, focusing on her family. Naturally, it’s called We Are Family. “It’s another dimension, about the next generation,” she says. “I’ll be honest – I'm not a huge fan of reality genre. I didn’t grow up with it. But I think it’s going to be here forever. So I thought, ‘let’s get my daughter Kristen, who is a musician, involved, as well as some of the old folks that we used to work with, and have some fun with it’.” Sledge is the brains behind the show, the executive producer and, of course, the star. According to the brief, it’s all about “Kathy’s passion to bring her estranged sisters back together again and reignite the Sister Sledge legacy.” If the song can reunite Robin Williams’s dysfunctional family in The Birdcage, then surely it can reunite the Sledge sisters. And, if not, well, family fall-outs make for great TV. ❚ Sister Sledge, featuring Kathy Sledge, will play in Melbourne (June 7), Sydney (June 8) and Brisbane (June 9)

Photos: Getty

someone who seemed so timeless and now, more than ever, he always will be timeless,” Sledge says. “When people like Michael and now Whitney Houston leave us, you just think, ‘OK, don’t hold back. Do the things that you want to do, don’t just talk about them’.” When the sisters first burst onto the scene, they were pioneers in their own right and, by the standards of 1979, the lyrics of their hit, He’s The Greatest Dancer – about wanting to go home with the crème de la crème of the dancefloor – were considered risqué. “We were the first girl band to come along and not wear wigs, have choreography and wear spandex pants,” Sledge explains, insisting that their all-singing, all-dancing group was also respected for its femaleempowering lyrics. Not one to denounce new musicians, though, she gives equal props to today’s girl bands. “I love what Beyonce has done with Destiny’s Child – there are so many intricacies,” she says. ”Back then it was like, same hair, same dress. Now there’s so much originality and diversity.” Sledge, 53, shows no signs of slowing down. Since carving out a solo career in 1992, on the back of the No 1 dance album Take Me Back To Love Again, she has also starred in the musical Oh What A Night, which toured the world. More recently, she delved

Fed up of carrying around heavy guidebooks? Then TNT has the answer We’ve published our 2012 Independent Traveller’s Guide to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. It’s free, it’s online and it’s full of tips on where to go, what to do and how to find work. FIJI W ZEALAND & AUSTRALIA NE

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If you’re travelling on, there’s also sections on Papua New Guinea and Samoa.


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WIN THE ULTIMATE 3-DAY ADVENTURE TOUR FOR 2 TO EXPLORE ULURU If you’ve come all the way to Australia, you can’t leave without making the trek to the red centre, where Uluru looms large on the horizon. Well, we’re helping you get there with this cracking competition, which will sort you out with a comfy camping experience and a chance to meet the locals. THE PRIZE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING: ULTIMATE ULURU ADVENTURE: It’s an intensely spiritual place for the local indigenous population but here’s your chance to check it out with experienced guides who know the ins and outs. We’ve partnered with Adventure Tours to help you tick this one off your bucket-list. You and a friend will get: • 3-day touring with a local expert guide • 2 nights camping in our permanent tents • Full rim walk at Kings Canyon, hike at Kata Tjuta and Uluru sunrise and sunset – enjoy it with a sparkling wine in hand.



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WEEKLY WINNER DIVE ANOTHER DAY: Justo Arenas, 33, from Spain JUSTO SAYS: This picture was taken in the Coogee Baths in Sydney. It was a big wave and a big shoot. But it’s safer than it looks. WE SAY: Justo looks like he’s having a great time and we love the lick of white foam on the right of shot. Bit worried about his dodgy swimming gear, though, and we hope he was swimming between the flags. THE MONTHLY WINNER GETS THREE DAYS CAR HIRE FROM TRAVELLERS AUTOBARN Send high-res (300 dpi) jpegs with name, age, nationality and a description to: Photos are judged by the TNT team at their own discretion.

Weekly winner Justo wins a free night’s stay at the award-winning Sydney Central YHA ( The monthly winner gets three days’ car hire from Travellers Auto Barn. The runner-up wins a Great Barrier Reef snorkelling adventure and cruise with Awesome Adventures Oz. (




HOT TIPS: Motion CAPTURING MOVEMENT Depicting movement in still photography is, unsurprisingly, a difficult skill to master. Yet, as this photo shows, it is possible, and, more than that, it adds another dimension to your photography. A well-staged shot of motion draws the viewer into the photo, as their eyes follow the perceived movement. Leaving the shutter open for longer allows more light in through the lens to capture the flow of a river or the trail of a brake light. Having said that, a simulation of movement can be achieved through careful framing, dynamic subject matter and the clever use of perspective. Play around and see what works for you. Capturing movement at night with lights is also another great skill to have, but we’ll leave that tip for another day.

cker a p k c a B fares l i a r y d Rea > ADL $49

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Visit or book with your licensed travel agent. Terms and conditions apply. All Backpacker ReadyRail fares are based on Red Service Day/Nighter Seat Service and are available to members of recognised backpacker organisations for bookings made from 1 April 2012 for travel until 31 March 2013. All fares are also available in opposite direction. All fares include a fuel price surcharge. Prices are subject to change without notice, available for instant purchase. Non-refundable. *Shower and lounge facilities not available on The Overland, Melbourne <> Adelaide. An additional lounge access charge of $10 for 1-sector, $15 for 2-sector or $25 for 3-sector is required and payable onboard. Travel Agent License No.TTA164190. 01917CDGM


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In the Whitsundays the possibilities are endless...


are Queensland’s best islands? Q What Aurelie Blanc, France Sunshine State has an embarrassment A The of riches when it comes to island-loving. There’s not space to mention all the great ones, so here are some of our favourites. Fraser Island is a given: its plunging freshwater lakes, subtropical rainforest and driving up the beach make it a must-do. The other classic is clearly The Whitsundays. Okay, there’s 74 of them, but sailing through their turquoise waters and strolling along Whitehaven, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, is as good as it gets. But if you want somewhere truly unspoilt and quiet, then give Hinchinbrook a go. It’s home to the famed Thorsborne walking trail. If you prefer a party then Magnetic or Great Keppel might be better options.

can I dive near Melbourne? Q Where Sarah Wallington, UK a multitude of diving treats A There’s around Port Phillip Bay. If you fancy a bit of a roadtrip, you can venture to Portsea, the Mornington Peninsula and Queenscliff to



experience unforgettable sights, such as seals feeding, dolphins swimming overhead and crayfish foraging for food on the ocean floor. You can also investigate a vast number of shipwrecks. Having travelled from the other side of the globe, they met their gurgling end, unfortunately, just outside of Port Melbourne. Some diving excursions will take you to see ghostly old submarines that have perched themselves at the bottom of the sea. Plenty of marine life can also be found at these sites. Off Mornington, soft corals and sponge gardens can be viewed from places such as Rye Pier, where seahorses bob in the water and the occasional Moreton Bay bug pays a visit. Dive there at night for an even more spectacular underwater odyssey. Flinders Pier is home to a fascinating weedy seadragon population and Portsea Hole allows you to plunge 34 metres to see overhangs, luminous blue devilfish and schools of whiting. For those wanting a brush-with-death experience, offers the only dive-with-sharks course in Victoria at the Melbourne Aquarium – it’s great if you don’t want to venture out of the city or if you’re not a certified diver.


A TRAVELLER’S TALL TALE I fell in love with Fraser Island, despite our rented van doing its best to leave us at the mercy of the elements. I met my new friends – strangers to begin with – and instantly knew we were going to have a good time. We all just clicked. We chose the 4WD as our transport and what an adventure it was, although not all went quite to plan. Off we went in our rickety old 4WD. Having never driven a 4WD before, being responsible for seven other people was rather daunting. We trekked up to the cliff edge at Indian Head and the storm clouds suddenly rushed towards us. Within two minutes we were soaked as we ran back to our van. Engine on and off we go, or so we thought. The engine did not start. No ignition. With the tide rapidly coming in and monsoon-like rain pelting our 4WD, it seemed we were in a bit of a pickle. But it was fine, we were all travelling – instead of crying we all laughed. Luckily some friendly people helped us out. After pushing the van we were away, although he told us not to stop driving again until we had to – the pressure! Helen Peat, Scotland



Send us your scary, funny or embarrassing travel tale and, if published, you’ll win a $250 travel voucher redeemable on Oz Experience passes (, ATA NT camping trips ( and with Wayward Bus (waywardbus. Email your stories (700 words max), to








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Cold comfort for a hangover Thredbo, like all Aussie snowfields, brims with party animals who mix busy days on the slopes with heavy nights in the bars WORDS COLIN DELANEY AND ALEX HARMON

There’s no better feeling than walking into work on a Monday morning and attracting jealous stares for looking like a raccoon, having returned from a snowy sojourn over the weekend. Your rosey glow and tanlines from goggles ensure co-workers will know exactly how your weekend played out. From Sydney or Melbourne, it’s a six-hour drive to the snow, so if you get a good start after work on Friday, you’ll be in the Aussie Alps to catch the bell-ring for last orders before an early rise for the first chair in the morning. And that’s exactly where we find ourselves, rugged up against the crisp alpine air which never quite chases the hangover away completely. We had checked into the hotel the night before, about five busloads of us. People without equipment were quickly sorted out so that we could get away on time. The road to Thredbo took us through Kosciusko National Park, its forest floor changing from green to white the higher we got. If you’re lucky, rain transforms into snow. We, however, are blessed with a bluebird day, the sun making it feel warmer than the official 5°C. Thredbo isn’t exactly the Swiss Alps or Canada’s Whistler, but there is fun for every level. A yellow run called Friday Flats will get you started if you’ve never skied or boarded before, or if you just need to get your snow-legs back. Fortunately, we form a small pack of relatively experienced riders and venture up Gunbarrel Express and across to the Merritts area where some comfortable blue runs get us grinning from ear-to-ear as we race each other. All of a sudden, those cold rainy nights dodging puddles in Sydney all seem worthwhile.

or brumbies – wild horses – that still roam the countryside. You work up a decent appetite on the slopes, so by high noon we’re warming our mitts around a chilli-dog and cooling them again with a refreshing beer, while catching some sun in the village. A full belly, a high-altitude beerbuzz and sun could make a cokehead fall asleep but then, at the thought of all those long white powder lines, it doesn’t take much to strap in again. We ride the rest of the day, taking a few obscure lines with patches of powder knee-deep, spending time at the top of the mountain at Sponars and Antons t-bars and Australia’s highest lift-point, Karels t-bar. It doesn’t matter how much of a pro you are, at the end of your first day of the season you find muscles you never thought you had. And if you’re particularly unfit, the end comes sooner. Ah, apres drinks – takes the edge off the soreness. We mosey over to a pub with a patio and buy a couple of jugs, some nachos and hot chips, and proceed to devour

White lines We move over to the Crackenback area once we’re warmed up, where black runs offer exciting lines through the beautiful snow gums. These trees, squat and sprawling, add a uniquely Australian feel to mountain riding, compared to the treeless “steeps” of the European Alps or the high-rise pines of North America. Also uniquely Aussie is the chance to spot fat wombats, alpine birdlife

Plenty of action on the halfpipe TNTDOWNUNDER.COM



them. The sun strikes the mountains on its way down and throws out a glow. Soon enough, we’re in shadow and everything gets colder than a baby toe in a ski boot.

Getting Jäger with it Australia may be better known for its sunlit beaches and parched interior but it also has some decent snowfields. Strap in and check them out this winter. THREDBO (NSW) The resort claims to have the longest runs and largest snow-making system in Australia. It’s about halfway between Sydney and Melbourne – about 500km, or 5-7 hours’ drive, from each. How much: Lift pass daily $107, five-day pass $460. PERISHER (NSW) Just down the road from Thredbo, this massive chunk of glorious white terrain is Australia’s answer to European mega-resorts, with a downhill incline regarded as one of the most vicious in NSW. How much: Lift pass daily $109, five-day pass $479.

Partying in Jindabyne, Thredbo’s neighbourly ski town, is as much a part of the ski package as falling on your arse or falling in love with a European ski instructor. Actually, all three go hand-in-hand. So, as my snow-buddy Justin orders our first round of drinks, followed by Jägermeister chasers – hey, I didn’t say we were original – we feel like locals. We could get used to this kind of life. We toast each other and relay stories to our new friends of our boarding adventures. Like getting lost because one of us couldn’t tell our left from right or, more crucially, our blue run from our black run. Or boasting about going from Snow White to Shaun White after just one lesson. Yeah, you’ve heard that one before. Then, as the shots continue to flow, we’re practically buying ski gear online and signing up to be Thredbo life members. Luckily, the tall tales are interrupted by another après-ski tradition: drinking games. A few of the really enthused take the stage, stripping off and drinking in representation

Luckily, our tall tales are interrupted by drinking games

MT HOTHAM (VIC) About 350km from Melbourne, Hotham boasts the highest average snowfall of any Aussie resort and reputedly the best powder, so head here for excellent free-ride facilities and some challenging runs. How much: Lift pass daily $106, five-day pass $482. MT BULLER (VIC) With the second-largest lift system in the southern hemisphere, Buller delivers more runs for your dollar. It’s less than 240km from Melbourne and is where Australia’s Olympic skiers train. How much: Lift pass daily $104, five-day pass $437. FALLS CREEK (VIC) About 375km from Melbourne, Falls is home to some of Victoria’s best back-country terrain. It prides itself on its 120m super-pipe and rail park, along with more than 92 ski runs. How much: Lift pass daily $106, five-day pass $482.



of their respective countries. This, of course, soon leads to another, rather similar tradition: hooking up. Watching back-to-back episodes of Home and Away would be less predictable. But out of respect to the country of Germany and my snow-buddy, Justin, what happens in Thredbo stays in Thredbo.

The hangover layover Naturally, day two of a ski weekend is a little different from day one. At 7am, we’re falling into damp boots and mentally ripping up the life-time memberships we signed last night. After heading into the dining hall, past several frosty vomit patches, we devour a hot breakfast in anticipation of the day ahead. Unlike the previous evening, the faces around me are pale and sheepish. Well, apart from the few who arrive late, clearly still drunk. Returning to Thredbo, the fresh air and the pull of the powder slaps the hangover away. Partially, anyway. The snow is slushier than the first day, but we’re secretly happy for Mother Nature to City adventure sport: be playing hangover nurse, Get all your kicks cushioning our falls today. without travelling Heading higher to test out out into the sticks our new-found confidence,


we try out some ‘air-time’ on the jumps. In one fell swoop, all confidence is lost as I get too much speed and come crumbling down. After a quick pit stop at the high-altitude cafe, where we clumsily unravel our gloves and jackets simply to grasp a hot chocolate, we’re on our way again. The afternoon snowboarding session is a mixture of fatigue, memories regurgitating from the night before and the sadness of knowing all good things must come to an end. With each run potentiallyour last, limits are pushed, tricks are attempted and new manoeuvres are mastered – in our minds, anyway. It’s an unbelievable feeling, considering most hangovers of this scale are spent on the sofa, not the slopes. From the moment we were picked up on Friday afternoon and opted for the “party bus”, the trip was seamless. Meals, accommodation and gear were all taken care of – all we had to was enjoy ourselves. Before we leave, a group gathers to watch a snowboarder from our tour who’s been dared to complete a nude run. We are just in time to witness him sailing down the final slope, not quite naked but naked enough. It’s a fitting ending to a trip that’s all about the package.

Shake off a hangover; (below) it gets damn cold after dark

Alex Harmon travelled with Oz Snow, who offer tours starting from $265 for a three-day Oz Snow package, which includes lift ticket, ski-hire, meals and accommodation.

* Add $14 Peak Season (29 June- August 26) * Double or twin option $80pp extra with 2 rooms share one bathroom. $120pp extra with ensuite bathroom.

> 2 nights accommodation at the SNOWY VALLEY RESORT > All transport from Sydney/Canberra in comfortable coaches > Shuttle up and down the mountain each day > 2 National Park fees > 3 Course dinner on Saturday night > 2 Hot breakfasts > Dedicated trip tour guides > Saturday night party with live entertainment!

* Add $20 surcharge July/August. *Double or twin option $100pp extra with 2 rooms share one bathroom. $150 extra with ensuite bathroom.

> 3 nights accommodation at the SNOWY VALLEY RESORT > All transport from Sydney/Canberra in comfortable coaches > Shuttle up and down the mountain each day > 3 National Park fees > 3 Course dinner > 3 Hot breakfasts > Dedicated trip tour guides > Wednesday/Saturday night party with live entertainment!

*$20 surcharge July/August. *Double or twin option $150pp extra with 2 rooms share one bathroom. $220 extra with ensuite bathroom.

> 6 nights accommodation at the SNOWY VALLEY RESORT > All transport from Sydney/Canberra in comfortable coaches > Shuttle up and down the mountain each day > 6 National Park fees > 2x3 Course dinner on Saturday night and 6 Hot breakfasts > Dedicated trip tour guides > Saturday + Wednesday night party with live entertainment!

> > > > > > > >

7 nights accommodation at Reavers Lodge 4 day Xtreme One Lift Pass and/or Queenstown Local NZSuperpass 1 day Bonus Lift Pass @ Treble Cone Choice of: Return airport transfers OR 7 day car hire (chains & roof racks incl, pickup/ dropoff available form Christchurch/Queenstown/Dunedin) Complimentary continental breakfast daily 1 x Group dinner Local host & nightly activites schedule Free onsite parking



Gili Trawangan INDONESIA



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Straight in the deep end A secluded Indonesian paradise is a perfect place for your first dive, provided you don’t get too carried away by the nightlife WORDS BECKY WICKS

WHEN TO GO: Diving is good Lazing on a lounger at a shisha-themed with a tank of nitrogen on your back, this, all year round in the Gilis, although resort called Pesona, I wonder which of the right here is your chance. Fun dives cost on fifteen different dive shops should be the it’s best during the dry season, from average $40 in the Gilis. Diving can be an one to help me conquer my fear of being April to November. expensive hobby – take it from someone eaten alive by a great white shark. I’m on Gili CURRENCY: Indonesian who’s now broke – and this is your cheapest Trawangan, one of three outlying islands off Rupiah. 1 AUD = 9,500 RP option. The Open Water course takes three the coast of Lombok and only three hours to four days ($365) and gives you that allACCOMMODATION: away from most major tourist spots in Bali. important license to dive 18 metres. Backpackers on Gili Trawangan I’ve been living in Bali for almost six Despite falling off a moving dive boat will easily find a fan room in a months and the sea’s been whispering my with my tank on my back (error), I manage homestay for RP 100,000 a night name like a seductive porn star. Practicing my to complete my PADI Advanced Open Water ($10) in the village, just five buoyancy control with a host of multi-skilled, minutes from the beach. Head there diving course ($290) while staying on Gili suntanned masters from foreign shores is on arrival, look around and don’t be Trawangan. I do mine over two weeks looking more appealing by the minute, because I’m quite busy doing other things, afraid to barter for a good rate. For especially as I watch the brightly coloured like discovering the dangerous appeal of a bit more comfort, go to Pesona boats sail past, full of semi-naked girls and Joss, an energy drink powder that’s pretty Resort, which offers A/C rooms and guys all glistening in suncream from their much a must in the Gilis, when followed by a great cocktails, for $35 per night. roofs and decks. vodka shooter in Tîr na Nôg, the Irish Bar. But SEE: Apart from of a few practice dives in you can do your Advanced in as little as two Jamaica with a bulky cornrowed rasta called Bob, I haven’t days, letting you dive to 30 metres. This is how you’ll spot done much scuba diving, but getting in with the divers on the big fish – I see tons of stingrays – and if you head on over the Gili islands seems to be making people’s holidays to Bali to Tulamben in Bali’s east afterwards, you can dive the USS and Lombok much more exciting. Not only are these oceanic Liberty and the Japanese shipwrecks ($70 with Baliku Dive, masters a fun bunch who’ll tell you with utter certainty, both amazing shore dives, meaning that no, there are no great white sharks in Indonesia and you walk in slowly and don’t risk falling off a boat. yes, they will absolutely rescue you first if there’s a tsunami, Be careful if you opt to do your four-week Dive Master they also seem to know their way around the bars and local course in the Gilis ($785 plus books). At the end, it’s almost eating spots as well as they do the reefs. Bonus. as compulsory to drink as much as you possibly can through I choose to bless the Big Bubble dive shop with my a snorkel as it is to be able to zip up your own wetsuit shameful inability to swim like a human instead of a disabled and strap on a tank and compass. Did I mention that Gili octopus. Arms flailing, I take my first plunge and, although Trawangan has been labeled the new Ibiza? You can party it’s a while before I regain the confidence I built up with round the clock but remember, there’s quality surface-time rasta Bob, soon I’m flipping about like a mermaid. and there’s flooding your bloodstream with all the wrong chemicals. The famous weekly parties on Gili T occur on Don’t drink and dive Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday nights and the venues change on rotation. But don’t drink and dive, people. Discover Scuba Diving takes half a day and if you’ve never Especially not if it’s Joss on offer. before strapped fins to your feet and explored the deep



All aboard – it’s the only way to dive If you’re interested in keeping things green while you dive in the blue, all the dive shops on Gili Trawangan work alongside the Gili Eco Trust. Each diver pays a one-off reef tax of RP 50,000 (about $5) which goes toward maintaining the reefs, cleaning the beaches, educating local kids in ecology and protecting turtle hatchery, among other things. Big Bubble has its own Biorock reef regeneration programme in the waters at the front of the dive shop. These nifty structures of all shapes and sizes, including a motorbike you can actually sit on, encourage new corals to grow, stop beach erosion and offer a home to thousands of fish and live corals. You can also take a course in reef gardening or PADI Biorock Specialty ($295), both of which can be completed in less than three days. If you can tear yourself away from the party scene, that is.

slightly upmarket at Pesona Resort like I do ($35 per night). God knows I need air-con after a few nights of homestay slumming – it’s bloody baking out there all day on a boat. By day, I swim with Hawksbill and green turtles, creep up on lionfish, photograph snapping moray eels and dive pretty walls alongside blue-spotted rays at Gili Meno and Gili Air. Shark Point fails to attract any sharks but reefs Halik, Meno slope and Mirko’s bring ghost pipefish, banded sea snakes and sweet lips with pouts to rival Angelina Jolie’s. I fail to spot the pygmy sea horses, but photos in the dive shops are proof they’re down there. Maybe next time.

Swimming among the stars I know I’ll never be able to afford to go to space, but when it comes to floating weightlessly in an alien environment, night diving is the closest I reckon I’ll ever get to joining Richard Branson and his mates on a Galactic voyage. Night diving offers the chance to enter the indigo depths and soar among the stars, in the form of bright neon bioluminescence swarming around the Biorock reef. I see octopus, squid, cuttlefish and plenty of sleeping fish, all of which look even more colorful by torchlight. There’s a price agreement to keep things civil between the dive shops on Gili Trawangan, so prices for dives don’t tend to vary, although you’ll generally get a discount if you book in advance. See for tips and info. Finding a bed is easy too. Backpackers on Gili Trawangan will easily find a fan room in a homestay for RP 100,000 per night ($10) in “the village”, but if you fancy a treat, go



Quality surface-time

All aboard a liveaboard You can’t go a day in the Gilis without bumping into some bronzed bragger who’s just got off a liveaboard. They’ll look extra salty and windswept and will be propping up the Irish Bar with tales of fire-breathing dragons and diving with sharks. You might roll your eyes like I do, but you’ll definitely be intrigued, as there are few other places in the world where you can do this stuff so cheaply. With a liveaboard trip you’ll stay for up to eight days on the ocean wave, on

Gili Trawangan’s only Indian Restaurant, Sheesha Lounge & Beach Resort Luxury suites, deluxe bungalows & rooms with AC or fan Bali, Lombok & Gilis transfers available

Take your pick of whichever dive team you think looks hottest

a traditional wooden schooner, which has to be the absolute best way to dive in Indonesia. Prices for a four-day, one-way trip to Flores from Gili Trawangan tend to start at around RP 1,000,000 ($100) and an eight-day trip including all food, dives and equipment is roughly $1400. It’s pretty easy to stroll up the strip and see which dive team you like the look of. Pick the people you think are the hottest. Chances are you’ll be heading off on your boat with them and you might even meet your match – this actually happens more than you’d think. You’re here to experience world-class scuba diving on what are still relatively undamaged reefs. Cannibal Rock is well-known as one of the most colourful dive sites in the world. Not only will you definitely find Nemo, you’ll get your pick of sea apples, photograph purple gorgonian fans and swim through rocky underwater outcrops, caves and chimneys. And yes, there are plenty of sharks.

Phone: +62 370 6123 521 Mobile: +62 818 0549 4876 Email:


Cartagena: We’re back on Colombia’s gorgeous gringo trail

Join Big Bubble in the sun for some underwater fun! Good times to be had in and out the water! Pre-bookings will receive a 10% discount!

BIG BUBBLE DIVE & BUNGALOWS Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia +62 (0)370 6125020




Hats off This is Panama City in 48 hours WORDS CLARE VOOGHT

DAY 1: Panama is the last country in the connecting Central American strait before you reach Colombia and the rest of South America. And Panama City is the country’s rollicking capital – it’s loud, hedonistic and doesn’t get a whole lot of sleep. It’s also home to plenty of natural beauty. 09:00 You might want to get stuck straight into that side of things first, and have your mind blown by the stunning creatures in the Parque Natural Metropolitano de Panama ( You can spot brown-headed spider monkeys, keel-billed toucans, blueand-yellow macaws, brown-throated three-toed sloths and animals you didn’t even know existed (red-eared slider – it’s a stripey kind of turtle). Entry is $1. Want to see even more? Get up close and personal with a crane tour of the park’s rainforest canopy with Ancon Expeditions ( 13:00 Refuel with an executive burger, for $8, with avocado, bacon, cheese and sauteed onions at Market ( – a popular deli-style eatery for a laidback lunch. 14:30 Spend the afternoon checking out Casco Viejo, Panama’s historic district and World Heritage site, which started out in the second half of the 17th century as a walled city. As Panama was a major port, exporting most of the gold and silver Spain took from America, the walls protected inhabitants against pirate attacks. Here, you’ll find Caribbean architecture, art deco, French and colonial

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buildings – plus the Las Bovedas (an esplanade that runs along the top of the sea wall) and the National Theatre. 19:30 Sample some proper working-class Panamanian food in the open-air cafeteria-style El Rincon Tableno (corner of Calle 27 Este and Av Balboa La Explosion), a local institution that hasn’t been changed into a tourist-friendly food stop. Menus change daily but don’t bring a vegetarian freind – the dishes are all about the meat. 22:00 Legendary nightlife is what Panama City does best. You’ll find it on Calle Uruguay, where there are bars and clubs for every kind of thrill-seeker. There’s a branch of Hooters ( close to a big Miami-style clubbers’ paradise, called K’OS. But if you’re in the market for sampling the local nightlife, head up the road to salsa, merengue and bachata bar, Bamboleo (Calle 48), and ask for a cubetazo (bucket of beer) – it will set you back less than most of the other nearby watering holes. 03:00 Retreat to party hostel and backpacker haven, Luna’s Castle ( The creaky colonial mansion by the sea is a hotspot on the Gringo trail and the party may well be continuing when you get back in. DAY 2: 11:30 Allow yourself some morning recovery time, then give your hangover a wave goodbye with a huge plateful of rice and the meat of the day at the old-school diner, Cafe Coca Cola on Avenida Central Casco Viejo. 13:30 Take a stroll along the Panama Canal, which links the Atlantic Ocean, via the Caribbean Sea, to the Pacific.

Photos: Thinkstock

Take a turn around the photogenic Casco Viejo

It’s a key route for international ships. A good vantage point is the Miraflores Visitor Centre, at the Miraflores locks (, which has a viewing terrace and an exhibition on the canal’s history. Entry is £5. 14:30 While on the subject of the canal, the Canal Administration Building ( is worth a visit. It might sound as dull as dishwater but is far from it. The ceilings of the striking hilltop colonial building are adorned with some impressive murals, painted by New Yorker William Van Ingen, and depict the labour effort that went into building the canal, from excavation to constructing dams. 16:00 Now head up to the Amador Causeway. The four small islands were connected to act as a breakwater to protect the canal entrance using the rocks excavated when the waterway was built. It’s a popular walking, cycling and jogging spot, where you get an amazing view of the city. 19:30 Get some nosh at Al Tambor de la Alegria, on Brisas de Amador, where dishes are named after Panama’s different regions and cost from $7. Arrive before 9pm on Monday-Saturday and you may be lucky enough to catch an hour-long folk dance presentation covering the history of Panama, from the arrival of the Spanish to the construction of the canal. 23:00 Bid adieu to Panama City as the locals would – by partying hard on your final night. Habana Panama ( – imagine the colourful vibe of 1950s Cuba – is a good place to do so.

Salsa and merengue all night at Calle Uruguay

You can spot caymans in the city’s natural park TNTDOWNUNDER.COM



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Baths: potential death traps


Health officials have launched an investigation into bath-time fatalities after new data showed 14,000 people die every year in the tub in Japan – three times as many as in car accidents. Bizarrely, the number of deaths has been attributed by some outlets to the amount of time Japanese spend in the bath and the “role the bath plays in Japanese families and society”. One of the main causes of death was apparently ‘thermal shock’, caused by people moving from a cold room into a hot bath. Ever thorough, the Japanese government is investigating, with a view to commissioning research that will reduce the number of deaths caused by taking a bath. Authorities are also being urged to draw up guidelines on how to take a bath safely.


Take your pick: Which of these get-ups is more ridiculous? The sexy nun – achingly hip and subversive… in 1995 – or the chick with the rhomboid solar panel strapped to her head? Of course, at fashion week, both are proof that the industry is sooo fascinating and full of brilliant, visionary artists. The wanky affectation makes us retch


A man has filed a lawsuit against BMW after claiming that a ride on one of its bikes gave him an erection lasting 20 months and counting. California man Henry Wolf has said that a four-hour trip on his BMW bike with a ‘ridge-like seat’ gave him a persistent, lasting erection, and he is now suing the motoring manufacturer and seatmaker Corbin-Pacific. There have been concerns in the past that narrow ‘banana’ bike seats could cause loss of feeling in the genitals of both men and women, but this ride seems to have caused the exact opposite effect. In the Wolf v BMW lawsuit, it is claimed the motorcyclist went for a ride in September 2010, and since then has suffered from a long-lasting erection that



simply will not subside. He is suing BMW and Corbin-Pacific for lost wages, medical expenses, emotional distress and ‘general damage’.


Eccentric billionaire Clive Palmer has a new project – he wants to be a near-replica of the Titanic. What could go wrong? Palmer has commissioned a state-owned Chinese construction firm to build the cruise liner, which

has been scheduled to make its maiden voyage from England to the USA in 2016. “It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic but of course it will have state-of-the-art, 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems,” Palmer said last week. Asked if the Titanic II could sink, Palmer replied: “Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it. But it is going to be designed so it won’t sink. “It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

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Separate incidents involving a wanted fuel thief who has been bolting from English petrol stations for 10 years

There’s nothing she can’t do with a race car


Jolene Van Vugt, a former motorcross champion, set a new record in Sydney last week, clocking the fastest ever speed on a motorised toilet. Despite some early wobbles, the Canadian stunt rider eventually got her contraption humming and easily eclipsed the old mark during two separate time trials over about 110m. ”I flew into Australia yesterday and came out here to jump straight on the toilet,” the 31-year-old said. “That was so fun and I’m stoked to get the record.” Van Vugt, who is in Australia to perform at the Nitro Circus stunt show, holds a host of world records, including being the first woman to backflip a dirt bike.


Photos: Getty Images; Thinkstock


Resourceful scavengers dismantled an entire 10-ton bridge and more than 250m of track in order to steal the materials. The gang reportedly arrived at a depot in Slavkov, in the east of the country, with forged paperwork claiming that the footbridge over the disused railway track had to come down. A railways spokesman, Pavel Halla, said staff were easily deceived by the ingenious plan. “The thieves said they had been hired to demolish the bridge and remove the unwanted railway track to make way for a new cycle route,” he said. “It was only after they had gone that checks were made

YouTube hits attracted by a video recreating a fight scene from The Matrix with peanuts. More range than Keanu


Length, in centimetres, of the winning entry in the All England Squid Championships – it was the only one caught

Pounds spent by mailobsessed Essex weirdo to turn his garden shed into a fully-functional 1950s post office

Dude – that spliff’s all gone and we realised we’d been had. The cost of replacing the bridge will run into millions.”


A Greens councillor has floated a plan the would lead to the seaside town of Brighton replacing Amsterdam as Euope’s cannabis capital. At the end of this year, tourists will be banned from smoking pot in Holland’s cafes and researchers say a third of visitors coming to Amsterdam to smoke cannabis legally will stay away. “Think of all the millions our shops and hotels would make if all those tourists being turned away from Amsterdam by the Dutch Tories came here to spend their holiday cash instead,” Ben Duncan said. “So what about it? Brighton, the liberal, tolerant, tourist capital of Europe?”



QUOTE OF THE WEEK I just burst into tears. I felt so vulnerable. For a woman to all of a sudden have no hair… Cameron Diaz recalls a particularly traumatic visit to the hairdresser. Turn it up, sweetheart. You still scrub up OK




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Mourinho: staying put


Jose Mourinho has declared that he has no ambition to coach in any new countries after Real Madrid’s La Liga success, which means he has now won titles in four countries. Madrid secured the Spanish title with a 3-0 win at Athletic Bilbao last week, adding to the league titles that Mourinho previously won with Porto (Portugal), Chelsea (England) and Inter Milan (Italy). “I’ve now won the titles important to me – the one in my country and the three biggest ones in Europe,” Mourinho said. “I don’t have any ambition to win in another country. There’s no other country that interests me.” Giovanni Trapattoni, Ernst Happel and Tomislav Ivic are the only other managers to have achieved the feat.


Collingwood key forward Travis Cloke is the latest Magpies star to be wooed by other clubs but coach Nathan Buckley is admanant the Magpies will keep their man. “We can’t possibly, as a club, meet some of the offers that will cross the table of all of our individuals at various times,” Buckley said of rival bids. ”I might have my head in the sand, but I’m very confident Trav’s going to be a Collingwood player for the rest of his career. He loves the place here. We’ve got a great environment. He’s got great mates and I think he enjoys being here.”



Looks like fun: It might look like a ridiculous game someone made up in their backyard but it’s actually called sepak takraw – a combination of football and volleyball – which is a big deal in whole swathes of Asia. We want in. Definitely


Graham Henry, who last year steered the All Blacks to a long-awaited World Cup win, believes Australia lacks the depth to field e Super 15 teams. ”The Australian conference has been disappointing,” Henry said of his country’s trans-Tasman rivals. “The idea of the team who wins each conference being in the semis may come under some question. “You wonder sometimes whether there’s a depth of player to warrant five teams, and whether that’s a positive for Australian rugby,” Henry said. “They’re going to be strong as a group of 26 or 30 players, but we need some development underneath that. I’m not quite sure what the answer is.”

BIG WEEK FOR ... Australian Formula One driver Mark Webber has made a consistent start to the new season, placing fourth in all four races to date. It means he’s sitting third in the standings behind Sebastien Vettel and Lewis Hamilton but Webber knows better than anyone that being solid isn’t enough. This weekend, at the Spanish Grand Prix, Webber needs to push up the pecking order or risk losing ground on his rivals.


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QUOTES OF THE WEEK It’s not a normal job. It’s difficult to create something. You can’t do something in a short space of time Former England manager Fabio Capello reckons his successor, Roy Hodgson, has his work cut out for him

Luke Shuey has been one of the Eagles’ best

PREVIEW Battle of the jackets will be a ripper ESSENDON V WEST COAST

SATURDAY 7.30PM, FOX SPORTS 1 The Eagles and their Bombers have both endured their ups and downs over the past decade but this year, it appears to two committed enemies are again in the hunt together. The origins of the rivalry, more bitter than between any other Victorian and interstate side, owe much to former Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy and his sense of showmanship. It was Sheedy, after all, who, in 1987, the Eagles’ first season, started talking about the new

club as though they were the Phantom Menace, who Victorians needed to stand together to resist. Then, in 1991, before a match at Windy Hill, Essendon’s suburban home, Sheedy instructed his staff to tie the windsocks to their masts so the visitors wouldn’t be able to gauge the blustery conditions. But Sheedy’s most enduring contribution came in 1993 when, after a thrilling two-point victory over the Eagles, he emerged from the coach’s box, took off his jacket and waved it around his head. To this day, after every match between the two clubs, fans of the winning side do exactly the same, a celebration that has become an enduring modern tradition.

THE CHAT | Show us the money

Ricky’s not going anywhere. We hope Ricky’s scoring enough runs to go to the Ashes Australian cricket coach Mickey Arthur backs Ricky Ponting to tour England next year despite a lean trot in the Caribbean

When I finished that, I opened my eyes and couldn’t see … I tried to shake my head and clear it and it got worse Former Wallabies great Michael Lynagh suffered a stroke after laughing and choking on a beer at the same time


Photos: Getty Images

Knights v Cowboys data ranks sporting teams based on Q New their players’ average salaries – what does it reveal about football’s eye-watering wealth? not surprising but it’s still interesting to see it in black A It’s and white. Barcelona is the world’s highest-paying club – its players, on average, earning $8.3m per annum – followed by Real Madrid, Manchester City and Chelsea. At fourth overall, the LA Lakers are the most lucrative non-football club, followed by the New York Yankees. If you’re chasing the big bucks in Australia, then you want to sign up for the new Gold Coast AFL team, which pays players, on average, $215,000 per annum, placing them between Aberdeen FC and Dundee United.

Two finals aspirants clash in Newcastle Saturday 7.30pm, Fox Sports 2

RUGBY UNION Reds v Chiefs Could be over for the Reds if they lose Sunday 4pm, Fox Sports 2

FOOTBALL Final day of Premier League Lionel Messi is doing OK

All the games start at the same time Sunday 11.30pm, Fox Sports 2




Apparently Lance Franklin ‘damaged the brand’ – whatever that means

It’s time for administrators to be put back in their boxes Spare us the fits of pique over trivial matters, writes Tom Sturrock

» Were you offended by either of these lukewarm ‘scandals’?



Australian cricket coach Mickey Arthur may have gone into bat for veteran Ricky Ponting, but the end could still come quickly for the former skipper. Arthur has backed Ponting to extend his Test career long enough to make it to England next year for the Ashes series, indicating that the 37-year-old is in the team’s provisional plans. It’s fair enough for Arthur to say – it serves no one for him to admit that Ponting will be playing for his career every time he walks out to bat from now on – but it remains to be seen how true it is.

Ponting’s place must be examined

There’s a stack of cricket for Ponting to get through between now and the next English summer. If Ponting struggles in his next series, or the one after, his place must be examined. At his age, there are no guarantees, and it’s silly for Arthur to pretend otherwise with more than a year before his side takes on the Old Enemy.

Photos: Getty Images

Self-important reactions from the British FA and the AFL have, in the past week, shown that sporting bodies have broken compasses when it comes to what’s worth getting snippy about and what should be ignored. They’d be better served keeping their powder dry on issues that, in reality, no one gives a shit about. Following the announcement that Roy Hodgson would manage the English football team at the European Championships, The Sun ran a playful headline, needling Hodgson about his ‘wabbit problem’ – that is, he pronounces his r-sounds as w-sounds. “Bwing on the Euwos! (We’ll see you in Ukwaine against Fwance),” The Sun headline went. The FA felt compelled to ride to the rescue with an eye-rollingly po-faced statement. “We made it clear that their front page is unacceptable to us,” the FA bristled, as though they are entitled to approve or veto what papers run on their front pages. Locally, the AFL got its do-gooder knickers in a knot over the most manufactured ‘scandal’ in memory. You see, Lance Franklin, one of the league’s stars, is involved in a clothing company whose supposedly edgy YouTube ad features a young man smoking, spray-painting a wall and a one-second grab of an old tabloid with a page-three girl – with her rude bits pixellated, mind. James Tonkin, the AFL’s corporate affairs spokeman, insisted gravely that, “the AFL in no way condones the imagery used in much of this clothing range” and that, “we consider it inappropriate and inconsistent with our respect and responsibility policy and we’ll be considering our options.” Sporting bodies should remember that they are not elected governments – they do not have the mandate to claim to be outraged on everyone else’s behalf or to instruct other stakeholders, over whom they have zero dominion, how to conduct their business. By all means, run your sporting competitions. But then shut up – you are not in charge.





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Wizard of Oz Darts master Simon Whitlock is chasing the sport’s biggest prize WORDS TOM STURROCK

There’s more than a touch of the everyman about Simon Whitlock, the Sydneysider now ranked fifth in the world of professional darts. There’s the outrageous braded mullet and the rust-coloured goatee. In the new, jazzed-up world of darts, each player has his own theme song and Whitlock has, naturally, chosen Down Under by Men At Work as his signature tune. But, more than these trappings, it’s the fact Whitlock has been a late bloomer that keeps him connected to punters in pubs who fancy themselves as darts masters. “Giving up is the most common mistake,” Whitlock says, his advice to others hoping to emulate his slow-burn success. “Three bad darts don’t make you a bad player, the same as a 180 doesn’t make you the best in the world. Keep at it, keep practising and working hard and ability will always shine through eventually.” Whitlock, 43, battled away for years on the Australian circuit, and it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that the floodgates opened. In 2010, Whitlock, went on an unlikely run to the final of the World Championships – he lost to Phil Taylor, the sport’s most dominant player, who beat Whitlock to win the tournament for the 13th time. But Whitlock’s journey from dangerous outsider to top-liner was complete and he has since held his ground in the elite bracket. “Once I had the run to the World final, it opened up so many doors for me,” he says. “It was really important to get sponsored and my management do a fantastic job now. I always felt I had the ability but now I’m surrounded by the right people, doing things the right way, and I can concentrate purely on what I’m good at, which is playing darts. Also, the more I improve and achieve, it spurs me on to do even better.” At the moment, Whitlock is competing in the latter stages of the Premier League of Darts, a round robin between eight of the world’s top players, in which he is making his



third straight appearance. In the final round this week, Whitlock must beat Englishman Adrian Lewis to secure the highest possible position in the standings but, either way, the Australian is on track for a place in the finals, which will be held at London’s 02 Arena on Thursday, May 17. “I’m really happy with how I'm playing at the moment,” Whitlock says. “I’m happy with my set-up and everything is going well. To be sitting second in the Premier League is fantastic. I’ve put myself in a great position to qualify for the finals, and I’m confident I can. It’s in my own hands and I’m after a few more points to be certain.” Should Whitlock make it through to the playoffs next week, though, he, like every other player, knows that the road to glory goes through Taylor, whose edge over the competition is unquestioned. Drawing parallels with other dominant sportsmen – Woods, Jordan, Gretsky – tends to raise an eyebrow, perhaps because darts can still be played while nursing a beer, but Taylor’s record is comparable. “Phil will always be separated from the rest. He is a bit of a freak in terms of ability,” Whitlock admits. “There are a lot of factors that go in to it – one player might have more natural ability whereas another might have more desire and dedication. But with Phil, he’s got it all.” Darts, perhaps a little like golf, is a peculiar sport in that a player’s performance is entirely in their own hands – there is nothing a player can do to prevent an opponent throwing accurately; there are no tactics to be tweaked or adapted, no defensive strategies to be employed. It is a sport played substantially between the ears. “I think about hitting what I’m going for,” Whitlock says. “I try and block everything else out when I'm actually throwing. I try and approach every match exactly the same. Of course, the build-up gets bigger and so do the crowds and coverage, so maybe there is a little bit more pressure.”

Photos: Getty Images

Clockwise: Simon Whitlock was a late bloomer; The Wizard of Oz; concentration is key

Darts may seem a sport custom-made for gamesmanship, for players getting in each other’s ears at crucial times. But Whitlock insists it’s all very gentlemanly. Besides, as the lone Australian in the sport’s upper echelon, he probably has an inbuilt advantage when it comes to sledging. “Of course, there is banter but it’s all good and light-hearted – some of my best friends in the game are Brits too,” he says. “Different players try different things, but personally I’m too busy concentrating on my game to worry about what's going on around me. But generally, there is great mutual respect in darts, although you will always get some players trying things to get a slight advantage.” Darts has endured a cosmetic makeover in the professional era – it’s all packaged up with a bit more attitude and the players, excruciatingly, all have little nicknames. Whitlock, aka The Wizard, has probably got off lightly. “I can’t think of one that stands out as particularly bad,” he says. “My own was a bit of a no-brainer – I had to get Australia in there so ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was born.” Yet somehow, in this image-conscious age, no marketing guru or PR flack has forced Whitlock to lop off that glorious plumage, a mullet that doesn’t so much as invite derision as inspire awe. On the contrary, Whitlock’s audacious, throwback mullet has become his trademark. “It’s part of me,” he insists. “When I broke my foot last year it did start to get quite knotty and uncomfortable so that’s why I had it braded but I have no plans to chop it off.” There you go. Once again, attention to detail is what separates the best from the rest. » Interview in association with The Money Shop, official partner of Simon Whitlock. The Money Shop’s Payday Loans take care of life’s little emergencies. Visit

DRINK AND DARTS SPLITTING THE ROUND In the Eighties, darts arguably had its most visible, mainstream appeal, but an image problem created a split that endures today. Despite attracting healthy TV audiences, darts had a decidedly unhealthy reputation. Players often drunk and smoked while competing and, to this day, the likes of Andy ‘The Viking’ Fordham (above) are hardly pictures of fitness. The sport’s administration became determined to oversee a detox. It prompted the sport’s top players to form their own breakaway league in 1993. A High Court challenge followed but was effectively thrown out. As a result, today, the BDO (British Darts Organisation) and the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) are separate. It’s a strange situation, leading to constant argument about eligibility and which titles are more prestigious.



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SYDNEY STAY Base Sydney 477 Kent St. CBD. 02 9267 7718, Big Hostel 212 Elizabeth St. CBD. 02 9267 7718, Bounce Budget Hotel 28 Chalmers St. CBD. 02 9281 2222, Easy Go Backpackers 752 George St. CBD. 02 9211 0505, City Resort Hostel 103-105 Palmer St. Woolloomooloo 02 9357 3333, Sydney Central YHA 11 Rawson Place. CBD. 02 9218 9000 Sydney Harbour YHA 110 Cumberland Street. The Rocks. 02 9261 1111, Westend Backpackers 412 Pitt St. CBD. 1800 013 186 Boomerang Backpackers 141 William Street, Kings Cross. 02 8354 0488,

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BLUE MTNS Blue Mountains YHA 207 Katoomba St, Katoomba. 02 4782 1416,

Nomads Byron Bay Lawson Lane. 1800 666 237, Byron Bay YHA 7 Carlyle St. 1800 678 195,

COFFS HARB Coffs Harbour YHA 51 Collingwood St. 02 6652 6462,


JERVIS BAY Don’t be too hasty to just look north from Sydney, as the New South Wales south coast, starting just below Wollongong (an hour or so from Sydney), features some of the most unspoilt natural beauty you could hope to find. One particularly popular spot with weekenders from the city is the marine park of Jervis Bay (three to four hours drive from Sydney), which locals claim is home to the whitest sand in the world. It’s a great place for diving, spotting dolphins or migratory whales, or simply kicking back at a beachside campsite. Head to local town Huskisson if you’re craving some action.



QLDLISTINGS BRISBANE STAY Aussie Way Backpackers 34 Cricket St. 07 3369 0711,

Australia Zoo Glasshouse Mountains, Tourist Drive, Beerwah. 07 5436 2000,

Banana Bender Backpackers 118 Petrie Terrace. 07 3367 1157,

Gallery of Modern Art 07 3840 7303,

Base Brisbane Embassy 214 Elizabeth St. 07 3166 8000,

Riverlife Adventure Centre Kayaking & rock climbing. Lower River Terrace, Kangaroo Point. 07 3891 5766,

Base Brisbane Central 308 Edward St. 07 3211 2433, Brisbane Backpackers Resort 110 Vulture St, West End. 1800 626 452, Brisbane City Backpackers 380 Upper Roma St 1800 062 572,



Story Bridge Adventure Climb 170 Main St, Kangaroo Point. 1300 254 627, XXXX Ale House Brewery tours. Cnr Black & Paten St, Milton. 07 3361 7597,


follow us on Coolangatta Sands Hostel Cnr Griffiths & McLean Sts, Coolangatta. 07 5536 7472,

Gold Coast International BP 28 Hamilton Ave, Surfers. 1800 816 300,

Zorb 07 5547 6300

Islander Backpackers Resort 6 Beach Rd, Surfers Paradise. 1800 074 393, Sleeping Inn Surfers 26 Peninsular Dr, Surfers Paradise. 1800 817 832, Surfers Paradise Backpackers Resort 2837 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers. 1800 282 800, Surfers Paradise YHA Mariners Cove, 70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise. 07 5571 1776, Trekkers Backpackers 22 White St, Southport. 1800 100 004,

Bunk Backpackers Cnr Ann & Gipps Sts, 1800 682 865,

Aquarius Backpackers 44 Queen St, Surfers Paradise. 1800 22 99 55,

The Deck 117 Harcourt Street, New Farm. 04 3377 7061

Backpackers in Paradise 40 Peninsula Drive, Surfers Paradise. 1800 268 621,

Dreamworld Theme park.

Tinbilly Travellers Cnr George and Herschel Sts. 1800 446 646,

Coolangatta Kirra Beach YHA Pl, 230 Coolangatta Rd, Bilinga. 07 5536 76442,


GC DO Get Wet Surf School 07 5532 9907

Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World

Warener Bros Movie World

SUNSHINE CST Mooloolaba Backpackers 75-77 Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba. 1800 020 120 Nomads Noosa 44 Noosa Dr, Noosa Heads. 1800 666 237, Halse Lodge YHA 2 Halse Lane, Noosa. 1800 242 567,

RAINBOW BEACH Dingos Backpacker Adventure Resort 20 Spectrum St. 1800 111 126, Pippies Beach House 22 Spectrum St. 1800 425 356, Skydive Rainbow Beach 0418 218 358,

HERVEY BAY Colonial Village YHA 820 Boat Harbour Drive.

@tnt_downunder 07 4125 1844, Next at Hervey Bay 10 Bideford St. 1800 102 989, Nomads Hervey Bay 408 The Esplanade. 1800 666 237, Palace Backpackers 184 Torquay, 1800 063 168,



Eurong Beach Resort 07 4120 1600, Palace Adventures 184 Torquay St, Hervey Bay, 1800 063 168

BUNDABERG Federal Backpackers 221 Bourbong St. 07 4153 3711


Northside Backpackers 12 Queen St. 07 4154 1166 Bundaberg Bondstore Distillery tours. 07 4131 2999




Reception open 24/7 for your convenience Beer garden & cocktail lounge open 7 days Awesome, well-travelled local staff Pool & hot tub for lazy afternoons Free drop-off to Koala Sanctuary Global Gossip & wireless internet All rooms are air-conditioned Ensuite rooms available Surround sound TV lounge Huge self-catering kitchen Tour & Travel Sales Desk

QLD’S #1 HOSTEL Untitled-1 1

1800 682 865 or +61 7 3257 3644

16/4/12 5:22:16 PM




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Duties would include machinery operations of tractors, and associated equipment including GPS, day to day duties of irrigation and general farm maintenance. Accommodation supplied.

CALL ON 0419 795623




AYR BACKPACKERS stay at Wilmington House Working Hostel of the Burdekin District


WORKERS WANTED Call Mick & Daphne 07 4783 5837


Our 5 Day PADI Open water course is the most popular way to do it.


We also specialise in Liveaboard dive trips and all levels of dive education.




0HONE SHOP: Cnr Shields & Grafton Sts, Cairns FREECALL: 1800 353 213 PHONE: +617 4031 5255 RES: 50



QLDLISTINGS TOWN OF 1770 1770 Backpackers 6 Captain Cook Dr. 1800 121 770, 1770 Undersea Adventures 1300 553 889,

AIRLIE BEACH 259 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 677 119 Airlie Beach YHA 394 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 247 251, Backpackers by the Bay 12 Hermitage Dr. 1800 646 994, Base Airlie Beach Resort 336 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 242 273, Magnums Whitsunday Village Resort 366 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 624 634 Nomads Airlie Beach 354 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 666 237

BOWEN Bowen Backpackers Beach end of Herbert St. 07 4786 3433

TOWNSVILLE Adventurers Resort 79 Palmer St. 1800 211 522, Adrenalin Dive Yongala diving. 07 4724 0600, Yongala Dive Yongala diving. 07 4783 1519,

MAGNETIC ISL Base Magnetic Island 1 Nelly Bay Rd. 1800 24 22 73, Bungalow Bay Backpackers Horseshoe

Bay. 1800 285 577, Magnums 7 Marine Pde, Arcadia Bay. 1800 663 666, Pleasure Divers 07 4778 5788

MISSION BEACH Absolute Backpackers 28 Wongaling Beach Road. 07 4068 8317, Scottyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Beach House 167 Reid Rd. 07 4068 8676,


CAIRNS STAY Bohemia Central Cairns 100 Sheridan St. 1800 558 589, Bohemia Resort Cairns 231 McLeod St. 1800 155 353, Calypso Backpackers 5 Digger St. 1800 815 628, JJâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Backpackers Hostel 11 Charles St. 07 4051 7642, NJOY Travellers Resort Harbour 141 Sheridan St. 1800 807 055, Nomads Beach House 239 Sheridan St. 1800 229 228,

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CAIRNS DO AJ Hackett Bungy jumping & canyon swinging. 1800 622 888 Pro Dive 07 4031 5255, Raging Thunder Adventures Whitewater rafting. 07 4030 7990, Skydive Cairns 07 4052 1822,

CAPE TRIB Crocodylus Village Lot 5, Buchanan Creek Rd, Cow Bay. 07 4098 9166, PKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jungle Village Cnr Avalon & Cape Trib Rd. 1800 232 333,


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FOR FARM IN INNISFAIL. Free accommodation and food provided. Offers very good working and living conditions.

PHONE 0437 692 002








Central City Backpackers 138 Collins St. 1800 811 507,

Montgomery’s YHA 9 Argyle St. 03 6231 2660,

Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery 2 Invermay Rd & 2 Wellington St. 03 6323 3777,

Narrara Backpackers 88 Goulburn St. 03 6234 8801,

Tasmania Zoo 1166 Ecclestone Rd. 03 6396 6100,

Pickled Frog 281 Liverpool St. 03 6234 7977,

DEVONPORT TASMANIAN RED WINE WEEKEND Princes Wharf 1. May 26-27. $25. Winemakers from across Tasmania come together to show off their best cab savs, merlots and pinots. Ticket includes all tastings.

HOBART DO Cascade Brewery 140 Cascade Rd. 03 6224 1117 Mt Wellington Descent Bike tours. 03 6274 1880

Castray Esplanade, Hobart

PORT ARTHUR Port Arthur Historic Ghost Tours 1800 659 101,

Salamanca Markets Every Saturday, Salamanca Place. Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery 5 Argyle St.

Cataract Gorge Centre for Beer Lovers Boag’s Brewery, 39 William St. 03 6332 6300,

Hobart Hostel 41 Barrack St. 1300 252 192,

Transit Backpackers 251 Liverpool St. 03 6231 2400,

LAUNCESTON Arthouse Backpacker Hostel 20 Lindsay St. 1800 041 135,


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Launceston Backpackers 103 Canning St. 03 6334 2327, Lloyds Hotel 23 George St. 03 6331 9906,


Tasman Backpackers 114 Tasman St. 03 6423 2335,

Mt Roland Budget Backpacker Rooms 1447 Claude Rd, Gowrie Park. 03 6491 1385

CRADLE DO Devils at Cradle Tassie devil sanctuary. 3950 Cradle Mountain Rd. 03 6492 1491. Overland Track Six-day walk

FREYCINET Iluka Backpackers YHA Reserve Rd. 03 6257 0115, Freycinet National Park Brewery, Wineglass Bay camping. 03 6256 7000,

BICHENO Bicheno Backpackers 11 Morrison St. 03 6375 1651, Bicheno Penguin Tours 03 6375 1333,

CRADLE MTN Discovery Holiday Parks Cradle Mountain Rd. 1800 068 574,

STRAHAN, Strahan YHA 43 Harvey St. 03 6471 7255,

STRAHAN DO Four Wheelers Henty Sand Dunes quadbike tours. 04 1950 8175, Water by Nature Extreme multiday whitewater rafting. 1800 111 142,



Gus Jones, USA


THE TARKINE The Tarkine region in western Tasmania is named after the Tarkiner Aborigines who once lived there. Today, you can explore lush temperate rainforest, take a hike along the Arthur River and discover what is among the largest concentration of Aboriginal sites in Australia.


HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR TIME IN TASSIE? We climbed the Cradle Mountain and enjoyed wonderful views of the National Park and the Lake. But you should also spend time in the western part of Tassie. It is beautiful, but watch out for snakes! FAVOURITE DAY SPOT? The beautiful Lake St Claire! It’s surrounded by mountains and stunning nature. FAVOURITE NIGHT SPOT? Stay in a hostel, meet the people and slap the goon together! That doesn’t sound weird, does it?

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All Nations Backpackers Hotel & Bar 2 Spencer St. 1800 222 238,

Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square. 03 8663 2200,

Base Melbourne 17 Carlisle St, St. Kilda. 1800 242 273,

Melbourne Aquarium Cnr of Flinders St & King St. 03 9923 5999,

Central Melbourne Accommodation 21 Bromham Place, Richmond. 03 9427 9826,

Melbourne Cricket Ground Brunton Av. 03 9657 8888

Exford Hotel 199 Russell St. 03 9663 2697,


Flinders Station Hotel 35 Elizabeth St. 03 9620 5100,


The Greenhouse Backpacker Level 6, 228 Flinders Lane. 1800 249 207, Habitat HQ 333 St Kilda Road, St Kilda. 1800 202 500, Home at the Mansion 66 Victoria Parade. 03 9663 4212, Home Travellers Motel 32 Carlisle St, St Kilda. 1800 008 718,

Melbourne Museum 11 Nicholson St, Carlton. 13 11 02

The Espy Hotel. May 17. $78.55. The worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most wanted rap group have announced the scheduled release of two new albums this year. G rab this chance to see them.

11 The Esplanade, Melbourne

Hotel Bakpak Melbourne 167 Franklin St. 1800 645 200,

Space Hotel 380 Russell St. 1800 670 611,

Melbourne Central YHA 562 Flinders St. 03 9621 2523,

The Spencer 475 Spencer St. 1800 638 108,

Nomads Melbourne 198 Aâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;beckett St. 1800 447 762,

Urban Central 334 City Rd, Southbank. 1800 631 288,

National Gallery of Victoria Federation Square. Old Melbourne Gaol 377 Russell St. 03 8663 7228, Official Neighbours Tours 570 Flinders St. 03 9629 5866,

MELB MUSIC Cherry Bar Corner Hotel

East Brunswick Club Esplanade Hotel Northcote Social Club Palace Theatre The Hi-Fi The Tote

GREAT OCEAN RD Anglesea Backpackers 40 Noble St, Anglesea. 03 5263 2664, Eco Beach YHA 5 Pascoe St. 03 5237 7899, Great Ocean Road Backpackers YHA 10 Erskine Av, Lorne. 03 5289 2508, Port Campbell Hostel 18 Tregea St, Port Campbell. 03 5598 6305, Surfside Backpackers Cnr Great Ocean Rd & Gambier St, Apollo Bay. 1800 357 263,



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DANDENONG Emerald Backpackers 03 5968 4086


MURRAY RIVER Echuca Gardens YHA 103 Av, Mitchell St, Echuca. 03 5480 6522, Mildura City Backpackers 50 Lemon Ave, Mildura. 03 5022 7922, Oasis Backpackers 230 Deakin Av, Mildura. 04 0734 4251,

HOT GIG DEUS The Corner Hotel. May 12. $46 + booking fee Apparently, their Belgium’s biggest band, peddling a very European brand of atmospheric prog-rock. Should be something different.

57 Swan St, Melbourne

MORNINGTON Bayplay Lodge 46 Canterbury Jetty Rd, Blairgowrie. 03 5988 0188, Sorrento Foreshore Reserve Nepean Hwy. 1800 850 600,

Sorrento YHA 3 Miranda St, Sorrento. 03 5984 4323, Tortoise Head Lodge French Island. 03 5980 1234,

GIPPSLAND Prom Country Backpackers 03 5682 2614 Rawsom Caravan Park Depot Rd, Rawson. 03 5165 3439,

PHILLIP ISLAND Amaroo Park YHA 97 Church St, Cowes. 03 5952 3620,

PRINCE Rod Laver Arena. May 14, 15 & 30. From $99. The artist formerly known as a symbol has come to terms with his identity in time for a greatest hits tour. Fancy that.

Batman Ave, Melbourne

The Island Accommodation 10-12 Phillip Island Tourist Road. 03 5956 6123

GRAMPIANS Grampians YHA Eco Hostel Cnr Grampians & Buckler Rds,


Halls Gap. 03 5356 4543, Tim’s Place 44 Grampians Road, Halls Gap. 03 5356 4288,


Emma Colven, England CYCLE YARRA VALLEY Get out of the car and really experience this area on two wheels. There are so many routes in this region to suit different levels from easy rides through farmland to more advanced trails into the bush. Begin at Lilydale, through Yarra Junction and then on to Warburton riding the Centenary Trail. Or cycle the old rail line built in 1901, stopping at historic sites and country pubs whenever takes your fancy. There is something to be said for being in the fresh air to really get a feel for a place.


Photo: Tourism Victoria

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN IN VICTORIA? So far I have only been to Melbourne FAVOURITE DAY SPOT? That would be St. Kilda. There are quite a lot of bars and cafes, it is nice to walk around because the beach is right there. FAVOURITE NIGHT SPOT? A Polish Vodka bar in St Kilda – quite expensive but really nice.



follow us on One World Backpackers 162 Aberdeen St, Northbridge. 1800 188 100,




Perth City YHA 300 Wellington St. 08 9287 3333, The Old Swan Barracks 6 Francis St. 08 9428 0000, Underground Backpackers 268 Newcastle St, Northbridge. 08 9228 3755,

FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE Burswood Dome. Thurs May 17. $89. Flame-haired Florence and her Machine are touring their new release Ceremonials during May. Grab a ticket before they sell out.

Great Eastern Hwy, Perth

PERTH STAY Billabong Backpackers Resort 381 Beaufort St. 08 9328 7720, Britannia on William 253 William St, Northbridge. 08 9227 6000,

56 Emperor’s Crown 85 Stirling St, Northbridge. 1800 991 553, Globe Backpackers & City Oasis Resort 561 Wellington St. 08 9321 4080, Ocean Beach Backpackers 1 Eric St, Cottlesloe. 08 9384 5111,


The Witch’s Hat 148 Palmerston St. 08 9228 4228,

PERTH DO Aquarium of Western Australia 91 Southside Drive, Hillarys. 08 9447 7500, Kings Park & Botanic Garden Perth Mint 310 Hay St. 08 9421 7223, Perth Zoo 20 Labouchere Road, South Perth. 08 9474 3551,

PERTH COMEDY FESTIVAL Various venues. May 2-20. Prices vary. 19 days of laugh-a-minute shows and all venues in walking distance of the Astore festival hub. Catch a weeknight show for cheaper tickets.

Mount Lawley, Perth

PERTH MUSIC Amplifier Astor Mojo’s Bar The Bakery The Rosemount Hotel

FREO STAY Backpackers Inn Freo 11 Pakenham St. 08 9431 7065, Old Firestation Backpackers 18 Phillimore St. 08 9430 5454,

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Sundancer Backpackers Resort 80 High St. 08 9336 6080,

FREO DO Fremantle Markets 08 9335 2515, Fremantle Prison 1 The Terrace. 08 9336 9200,

ROTTNEST ISL Rottnest Island YHA Kingstown Barracks. 08 9372 9780,

MARGARET RIV Margaret River Lodge YHA 220 Railway Tce. 08 9757 9532,

ALBANY Albany Bayview Backpackers YHA 49 Duke St. 08 9842 3388, Cruize-Inn 122 Middleton Rd. 08 9842 9599, Metro Inn Albany 270 Albany Hwy. 1800 004 321,

MONKEY MIA Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort 1800 653 611,

NINGALOO REEF Blue Reef Backpackers 3 Truscott Crescent, Exmouth 1800 621 101, Ningaloo Club Coral Bay 08 9948 5100, Excape Backpackers YHA Murat Rd, Exmouth. 08 9949 1200,

BROOME STAY Cable Beach Backpackers 12 Sanctuary Road. 1800 655 011, Kimberley Club 62 Fredrick St 08 9192 3233,

BROOME DO Sun Pictures Carnarvon St. 08 9192 1077,


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WOODY ISLAND Located just off the south coast of Western Australia, near the town of Esperance is Woody Island. There is no better place to catch a glimpse of wildlife like fur seals and sea lions when you wake up after a night of camping under the stars. After your close encounter of the animal kind, take a hike through the bush and see what other Aussie critters cross your path.




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Banyan View Lodge Darwin 119 Mitchell St. 08 8981 8644,

BIG4 Katherine Holiday Park 20 Shadforth Road. 1800 501 984,


Palm Court Kookaburra Backpackers Giles St. 1800 626 722

Darwin YHA 97 Mitchell St. 08 8981 5385, Elkes Backpackers 112 Mitchell St. 1800 808 365,

KATHERINE DO Airborne Solutions Scenic helicopter flights. 08 8972 2345

Frogshollow Backpackers 27 Lindsay St. 1800 068 686, Gecko Lodge 146 Mitchell St. 1800 811 250,

Nitmiluk Tours Gorge cruises and kayak hire. 1300 146 743


Melaleuca on Mitchell 52 Mitchell St. 1300 723 437,

Darwin Botanical Gardens. May 26. $60 Big names like the Temper Trap and Hilltop Hoods are heading to the top end for this music festival. Book online, tickets at the gate are $80.

Youth Shack 69 Mitchell St. 1300 793 302,

DARWIN DO Crocosaurus Cove Crocodile park and cage of death. 58 Mitchell St. 08 8981 7522, Deckchair Cinema Jervois Rd, Darwin Waterfront. 08 8981 0700,

17 Geranium St, Darwin Fannie Bay Gaol Heritage prison. East Point Road, Fannie Bay. 08 8941 2260, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 19 Conacher St, Bullocky Point. 08 8999 8264, Oz Jet Boating Stokes Hill Wharf. 1300 135 595, Spectacular Jumping Crocodile Cruise Adelaide River. 08 8978 9077, Wave Lagoon Waterfront Precinct.

TENNANT CREEK Tourist Rest Leichardt St. 08 8962 2719,

ALICE SPRINGS Alice Lodge 4 Mueller St. 08 8953 1975, Alice Springs YHA Cnr Parsons St & Leichhardt Tce. 08 8952 8855, Annie’s Place 4 Traeger Ave. 1800 359 089,

@tnt_downunder Haven Resort 3 Larapinta Drive. 1800 794 663, Toddy’s Resort 41 Gap Rd. 1800 027 027,

ALICE DO Alice Springs Desert Park Larapinta Drive. 08 8951 8788, Alice Springs Reptile Centre Meet and hold lizards. 9 Stuart Terrace. 08 8952 8900, Outback Ballooning Hot air balloon rides. 1800 809 790, Royal Flying Doctor Service Base Museum and operations room. Stuart Terrace. 08 8952 1129, School of the Air Long-distance schooling museum. 80 Head St. 08 8951 6834, The Rock Tour Uluru tours. 78 Todd St. 1800 246 345,


Diana Zoi, Germany WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE NT? Alice Springs, Uluru, Kata Tjuta and the Kings Canyon . FAVOURITE DAY SPOT? Uluru. It looks so magical and yet so peaceful and changes colours during the sunrise and sunset. FAVOURITE NIGHTSPOT: Annie’s Place in Alice Springs – the best way to meet other travellers and make some friends before going to the Uluru trip.



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ADELAIDE STAY Adelaide Backpackers Inn 112 Carrington St. 1800 24 77 25,

COOBER PEDY Opal Cave Coober Pedy Hutchinson St. 08 8672 5028,


Adelaide Central YHA 135 Waymouth St. 08 8414 3010,

Radeka Down Under 1 Oliver St. 1800 633 891,

Adelaide Travellers Inn 220 Hutt St. 08 8224 0753,

Riba’s Underground 1811 William Creek Rd. 08 8672 5614,

Annie’s Place 239 Franklin St. 1800 818 011,


Backpack Oz 144 Wakefield St. 1800 633 307, Blue Galah Backpackers Lvl 1, 52-62, King William St. 08) 8231 9295, Glenelg Beach Hostel 5-7 Moseley St. Glenelg. 1800 359 181, Hostel 109 109 Carrington St. 1800 099 318,

Kangaroo Island YHA 33 Middle Terrace, Penneshaw. 08 8553 1344,

NITRO CIRCUS LIVE Adelaide Entertainment Centre. June 1. From $79.90. This won’t be like any circus you’ve ever seen. All the world’s biggest action sports stars will deliver a freakish, adrenaline-packed show. Port Rd, Adelaide

My Place 257 Waymouth St. 1800 221 529,

Memorial Drive. 08 8300 3800,

Shakespeare Hostel 123 Waymouth St. 1800 556 889,

Adelaide Zoo Frome Rd. 08 8267 3255,

ADELAIDE DO Adelaide Oval Home to the Donald Bradman collection. War

Haigh’s Chocolates Factory tours. 153 Greenhill Rd, Parkside. 1800 819 757,

Temptation Sailing Dolphin swimming, Glenelg. 04 1281 1838,

BAROSSA VAL Barossa Backpackers 9 Basedow Road Tanunda. 08 8563 0198,

RIVERLAND Berri Backpackers Sturt Highway, Berri. 08 8582 3144, Harvest Trail Lodge Loxton.08 8584 5646,

FLEURIEU PENIN Port Elliot Beach House YHA 13 The Strand, Port Elliot. 08 8554 2785,

EYRE PENINSULA Coodlie Park Farmstay Flinders Highway, Port Kenny. 08 8687 0411, Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience Sea lion and dolphin swims. 08 8626 5017, Calypso Star Charters Great white shark cage diving. 08 8682 3939, Nullarbor Traveller Tours across to Perth. 1800 816 858, Port Lincoln Tourist Park 11 Hindmarsh St. 08 8621 4444, Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions Great white shark cage diving. 08 8363 1788,


Nomads on Murray Sturt Highway, Kingston on Murray. 1800 665 166,

Angorichina Tourist Village 08 8648 4842,

Riverland Backpackers Labour Hire Services 08 8583 0211

Wilpena Pound Resort Wilpena Rd. 08 8648 0004,


Group activities don’t always mean being lumped together with a bunch of strangers on a bus. Gather a group of your own travel buddies and hire a houseboat to cruise down the Murray River in style. Let the current do the work, or drop anchor on a whim as everyone soaks up the marvelous water views and bushland lining the banks. This option is perfect for a long or short trip, or to simply see where you end up. The best adventures happen when you don’t plan too much. The Houseboat Hirers Association has plenty of options to set you and your mates adrift.


Photo: SATC, Calypso Star Charters



NZLISTINGS BUS TOURS Kiwi Experience +64 9366 9830 Magic Travellers Network +64 9358 5600, 0900 62533, NZ Travelpass 0800 339 966,

Rent-A-Dent 0800 736 823, Rental Car Village +64 9376 9935, Spaceships 1300 139 091, Standby Cars 1300 789 059, Wicked Campers 1800 246 869,

Stray +64 9309 8772,

RENTAL FIRMS Ace Rental Cars 1800 140 026, Backpacker Campervan & Car Rentals +800 200 80 801, Bargain Rental Cars 0800 001 122, Darn Cheap Rentals 0800 447 363, Econo Campers +64 9275 9919, Escape Rentals 1800 456 272, Explore More 1800 800 327, Jucy Rentals 0800 399 736,


AUCKLAND Airport Skyway Lodge Backpackers (BBH) 30 Kirkbride Road, Mangere. +64 9275 4443, Auckland International Backpackers (BBH) 2 Churton St, Parnell. +64358 4584, Base Auckland 229 Queen St. 0800 227 369, Bamber House (BBH) 2 2 View Rd, Mt Eden. +64 9623 4267,

follow us on The Fat Camel (Nomads) 38 Fort St. +64 9307 0181,

Nomads Capital 118 Wakefield St. 0508 666 237,

Nomads Auckland 16-20 Fort St. +64 9300 9999,

Rosemere Backpackers (BBH) 6 McDonald Cres. +64 4384 3041,

Oaklands Lodge (BBH) St. +64 5A Oaklands Rd, Mt Eden. +64 9638 6545,

Rowena’s Backpackers (VIP) 115 Brougham St. 0800 80 1414

Queen Street Backpackers (VIP) 4 Fort St. +64 9373 3471, Surf ‘n’ Snow Backpackers 102 Albert St. +64 9363 8889, YHA Auckland City Cnr City Rd & Liverpool St. +64 9309 2802, YHA Auckland International 5 Turner St. +64 9302 8200,

WELLINGTON Base Wellington 21-23 Cambridge Tce. +64 4801 5666

Central City Backpackers 26 Lorne St. +64 9358 5685,

Downtown Wellington Backpackers (BBH) 1 Bunny St. +64 4473 8482

City Garden Lodge 25 St Georges Bay Rd, Parnell. +64 9302 0880

Lodge in the City (VIP) 152 Taranaki St. +64 4385 8560


YHA Wellington City 292 Wakefield St. +64 4801 7280

CHRISTCHURCH Chester Street Backpackers (BBH) 148 Chester St East. +64 3377 1897, Foley Towers (BBH) 208 Kilmore St. +64 3366 9720, Jailhouse Accommodation (BBH) 338 Lincoln Rd. 0800 524 546,


QUEENSTOWN Base Discovery Lodge St. +64 Queenstown 49 Shotover St. +64 3441 1185, Bungi Backpackers (VIP, BBH) 15 Sydney St. 0800 728 286, Cardrona Alpine Resort Between Queenstown and Wanaka. +64 3443 7341, Flaming Kiwi Backpackers (BBH) 39 Robins Rd. +64 3442 5494, Hippo Lodge (BBH) 4 Anderson Hts. +64 3442 5785, Nomads Queenstown 5-11 Church St. +64 3441 3922,

Kiwi House 373 Gloucester St. +64 3381 6645,

Pinewood Lodge (VIP) 48 Hamilton Rd. 0800 7463 9663,

The Old Countryhouse (BBH) 437 Gloucester St. +64 3381 5504,

Southern Laughter (BBH, VIP) 4 Isle St. 0800 728 448,

Tranquil Lodge (BBH) 440 Manchester St. +64 3366 6500,

YHA Queenstown Central 48A Shotover Street. +64 3442 7400,

Rucksacker Backpacker Hostel (BBH) 70 Bealey Ave. +64 3377 7931,

YHA Queenstown Lakefront 8890 Lake Esplanade. +64 3442 8413,

FIJILISTINGS Aquarius Pacific Hotel +679 672 6000 Beach Escape Villas +679 672 4442, beachscape@ Cathay Hotel +679 666 0566, Horizon Backpackers +679 672 2832, Nadi Bay Resort Hotel +679 672 3599, Nadi Down Town Backpackers Inn +679 670 0600, Nadi Hotel +679 670 0000, Nomads Skylodge Hotel +679 672 2200 Saweni Beach Apartment Hotel +679 666 1777, Smugglers Cove +679 672 6578, smugglers Travellers Beach Resort +679 672 3322,

YASAWA ISLANDS Awesome Adventures Fiji +679 675 0499, Coconut Bay Resort +679 666 6644 Korovou Eco Tour Resort +679 666 6644 Kuata Resort +679 666 6644 Long Beach Backpackers Resort +679 666 6644 Manta Ray Island +679 672 6351 Nabua Lodge +679 666 9173 Oarsmans Bay Lodge +679 672 2921, Octopus Resort +679 666 6337

Mango Bay Resort +679 653 00690, Pacific Safaris Club +679 345 0498, Rendezvous Dive Resort +679 628 4427, Robinson Crusoe +679 629 1999, Seashell Cove Resort +679 670 6100, Tabukula Beach Bungalows +679 650 0097, The Uprising Beach Resort +679 345 2200, Tsulu Luxury Backpackers & Apartments +679 345 0065, Vakaviti Motel & Dorm +679 650 0526, Vilisite Place +679 650 1030

SUVA Colonial Lodge +679 92 75248, Lami Lodge Backpackers +679 336 2240, Leleuvia Island Resort +679 331 9567, Raintree Lodge +679 332 0562,

CORAL COAST Beachouse +679 653 0500,

ISLAND HOPPING PASSES Complete freedom to explore the Yasawa Islands, including Beachcomber. Choose from a 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 or 21 day pass. Passes from $217


A bit like survivor but a lot more fun! Strand yourself on one island for 2, 4 or 6 nights. If you can stand nd the pain of coral lagoons and coconut palms then stay longer. Packages from $224

NORTH VITI LEVU Bethams Cottage +679 669 4132, Macdonalds Beach Cottages +679 669 4633

Volivoli Beach Resort +679 669 4511,

The Resort Walu Beach +679 665 1777,

“real Fiji”


White Sandy Beach Dive Resort +679 666 4066

The Funky Fish Beach Resort +679 628 2333,


who want t

Tailevu Hotel +679 343 0028

Safari Lodge Fijis +679 669 3333

Rau Kini’s Hostel +679 672 1959,


for backpacketravellers tive and alterna xperience the e

South Seas Private Hotel +679 331 2296,

Wayalailai Island Resort +679 672 1377

Bounty Island Resort +679 666 6999,


dv Awesome A

Royal Hotel +679 344 0024

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mote ere. Visit the re ds, Fiji. - it s all th n la Is a w k , explore sa a Ya ay k , e iv el d Chill, snork

Explore the real Fiji. From 5 to 11 nights. Includes vessel transfers, accommodation, meals and activities. Packages from $586

Sunrise Lagoon Resort +679 666 6644

Beachcomber Island Resort +679 666 1500,


VANUA LEVU Bayside Backpacker Cottage +679 885 3154, Hidden Paradise Guest House +678 885 0106 Naveria Heights Lodge +679 851 0157, Savusavu Hot Springs +679 885 0195,

TAVEUNI Albert’s Sunrise +679 333 7555

GREAT PAIRS 5 days 4 nights 2 islands Straight out of your tropical Island Fantasy. Two island stays have always been extremely popular so we ve made it really easy for you with a matching of islands that we think make a great pair. Packages from $421 Daily departures for all packages and passes from Denarau Marina For info and bookings see your travel centre or contact us: phone1800 007 129 or SKYPE awesomefiji

AAF3373 - Issue 674



Prices are ex Denarau, Fiji, in Australian dollars and valid for travel to 31 March 2013.

Matava Resort +679 330 5222,




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Harvest a visa The easiest and most common way for travellers to extend their visa is by picking fruit. Got three months up your sleeve? Okay, so you’re not ready to go home. A year’s flown by and there’s still so much you want to see. Sound familiar? Then harvest work could be the solution. The cash to be earned in the country may not match the city, but there’s a bigger bonus on offer – a year’s Working Holiday visa extension after three months’ work. Also, you get the chance to work in outdoors. Jobs are generally easy to find and the working days, while tiring, are often short. But perhaps most appealing is the chance to spend a few months really getting to know a part of Australia that most travellers simply wouldn’t see. The crops you get to work with vary massively, depending where you are and what time of year it is. From mangoes to macadamia nuts. And the beauty of it is, as Gary Locke from Work in South Australia explains, “as long as you’ve got two arms and legs, you’re good for fruit-picking work”. While some aspects of

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The State of Origin is between Q 1.which two states? b) Qld & Vic d) Aus & NZ

b) Alex Tobin c) Tim Cahill d) Craig Moore

has won it the most? Q 2.a) Who Qld b) NSW


team does Russell Crowe own? Q 7.a) What Sydney Pies

d) NZ

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For the English it’s a cup of tea, but in Oz it’s a beer. “Chuck us a brew.” Possibly derived from the Yanks who say “Brewski”. Not to be confused with the Kiwis, who use this when they’re saying “Bro”.

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OF THE Why are Poms called Poms? WEEK Ever wondered why everyone around here is calling you a Pommy Bastard? Well, we can’t speak for the bastard bit but popular opinion is that Pom comes from the convicts who were sent to Australia. They were termed ‘Prisoners of His Majesty’ or ‘Prisoners of Mother England’ – thus the acronym ‘POHM’ or ‘POME’. However experts will tell you that ‘Pommy’ is actually based on the word ‘pomegranate’ either because (like ‘Jimmy Grant’) it was used as rhyming slang for immigrant, or because the red fruit bore a striking resemblance to the average Englishman’s complexion.

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