November 12-18 2012 Issue 707 tntdownunder.com
IN W EET BUNCH
A SW IAN OF TASMAN TR AVEL S EXPERIENCE
ON THE WILD SIDE The best nature experiences in Oz
BIKE TRAIL OF DEATH Hitting high altitude trails in Colombia
E T A B E D T O H RED
mbed should be cli ru lu U t o n r er o iscuss wheth d e W t? h g ri or tourist’s Sacred rock + NEWS & SPORT WHAT’S ON FILM REVIEWS TRAVELLERS’ TIPS
ALEX HARMON EDITOR email@example.com
EDITOR’S LETTER Forgive us if there are errors in TNT this week, we were a little rusty on Friday morning after the Golden Backpack Awards, which, if you haven’t heard, is the night of nights for the backpacking industry. Anyway, we still managed to bring you a magazine discussing the contentious issue of whether Uluru should be climbed, then travel south to Tassie, and hop on a bike in Colombia. Now for some sleep!
THIS WEEK OZ DIARY
LISTINGS NEW ZEALAND
FEATURES THE WILD LIFE
We take a look at some of the best wildlife down under and where to see it
We weigh in on the pressing argument raging in Uluru. To climb or not to climb?
We take the beautiful Overland Track and get a few surprises along the way
DEATH ROAD THRILLS
Colombia has so much to offer and we got exploring on two wheels
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EDITORIAL Editor Alex Harmon Staff writer Hugh Radojev Contributors Jennifer Carr, Craig Sheather Interns James Beasenvalle, Amelia Gray, Caitlin Stanway
DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Design and production manager Lisa Ferron SALES Account manager Justin Steinlauf Sales Executive Mike Ramsden MARKETING & EVENTS Business development manager Tom Wheeler DISTRIBUTION Lee Sutherland ACCOUNTS Financial controller Trish Bailey Accountant Hannah Waters
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MAIN EVENT MELBOURNE MUSIC WEEK VICTORIA
In order to celebrate one of Australiaâ€™s most diverse and engaging live music scenes, this nine day long festival will feature over 200 local and international artists playing around the city. Opening night will also see the very first gig at the new Where?House (an 86 year old sandstone building has been transformed into a nightclub) and will feature French indie/ electro heroes Housse de Racket and American DJs PillowTalk playing in Oz for the first time. The festival will also feature seminars from music industry legends and roving pop-up clubs. Nov 16-24. Melbourne, Victoria
BRISBANE INT FILM FESTIVAL
ROCKS VILLAGE BIZARRE
THE YOGA OF BASS
BIFF has provided a focus for film culture in Queensland. It has become one of the most famous and influential Australian festivals and a great launching pad for films. The festival opens this year with cops and robbers thriller The Sweeney.
Inspired by the sultry atmosphere of the nighttime bizarres of the near east, the Rocks comes alive on Friday nights throughout summer. Meet peculiar performers, beautiful burlesque dancers and a cornucopia of curiosities.
Fusing two hitherto separate entities into one bold new formula, Yoga of Bass brings together live DJing and dance music together with the discipline of Yoga. Featuring numerous world renown DJs and a fun, interesting new take on a very popular exercise.
Nov 14-25 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane CBD biff.com.au
Friday nights Nov-Dec The Rocks, Sydney therocks.com
Nov 18 Darlinghurst, Sydney yogaofbass.com
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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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Now till 10 November
Sydney to Cairns 6-8 days with $450 towards fuel Brisbane to Cairns 4-6 days with $300 towards fuel Adelaide to Cairns 7-10 days with $450 towards fuel Melbourne to Cairns 7-10 days with $450 towards fuel Alice Springs to Cairns 5-7 days with $450 towards fuel Darwin to Cairns 6-9 days with $450 towards fuel
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It’s a wild world Crazy animals have a rare ability to fascinate – if you want a closer look, check out our top wildlife destinations here and abroad WORDS ALEX HARMON
One of the great drawcards for those visiting Australia is, of course, its slightly bizarre wildlife. There are, put simply, a bunch of weird creatures out here that you’d struggle to conceive of elsewhere in the world. There are ones that bite and ones that bounce and a few that just look like someone’s idea of a practical joke. Either way, there are some cracking trips to be had if you’re prepared to go looking for them. It’s true that the further you travel and the more remote the destination, the more likely you are to spot Australia’s crazy creatures in their natural habitat, but you don’t actually have to go to the ends of the Earth. For example, if you’re over in Perth, it’s no hassle at all to jump on a ferry and get across to Rottnest Island, where the
bizarre little quokkas are protected and stroll around like they’re kings of the castle. That’s right, quokkas – it sounds like a ridiculous wind-up invented by Aussies to fool tourists. But these odd little miniature wallabies are real. If you like your animals with a bit more menace, then head north to the top end, where you’ll encounter plenty of crocodiles. Don’t get too close, though, as crocs are seriously lethal and won’t think twice about taking a chunk out of you. A great way to see them in their element is to take a tour along the Adelaide River – a baited hook gets hung over the side of the boat and the crocs come rushing over before being enticed to jump out of the water for a feed. Their power and sheer predatory guile is something you’ll never forget
after you’ve seen them in action. On your way back to civilisation, you may as well stop through South Australia, where Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island remain among the country’s most spectacular intriguing destinations. In Port Lincoln, for example, you’ll be able to go cage-diving with the local great white sharks, while Kangaroo Islands has a stack of marine life – no, it’s not just kangaroos. If you’re really up for a once in a lifetime experience, though, maybe you should start planning a trip to Western Australia where every March to July you have the chance to swim or dive with the majestic whale sharks. Turn the page for more animalistic bucket list experiences. ››
ON THE ROAD THROUGH CROAJINGOLONG VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA Go big or go home. This coastal wilderness park, named after the Aboriginal people that lived here, stretches out over 100 kilometres and features rainforest, eucalyptus forest and heath land, with camping spots along the coast that are perfect for long walks along the beach, fishing and birdwatching. Victoria’s parks are home to 4,300 native plants and almost a thousand different species of animals and Mallacoota Inlet, about five hours’ drive east of Melbourne, is the biggest and most accessible area of Croajingalong. Another spot worth visiting is Thurra, where you’ll find the highest sand dunes on the mainland. You’ll run into plenty of wildlife in the park, such as huge goannas, emus, koalas, kangaroos and wallabies. discovereastgippsland.com.au
DUB DAY AFTERNOON 2012
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OUTSIDE AREA CONTROLLED AND POWERED BY CHAMPION SOUND SYSTEM FOOD AND DINNERS AVAILABLE TURTLE ENCOUNTER AT BUNDABERG QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA On Queensland’s Capricorn Coast, tourists get a unique opportunity to get up close an personal with turtles. Mon Repos, by Bundaberg, boasts the Southern Hemisphere’s largest nesting population of loggerhead turtles, while Lady Elliot also enjoys an active season, with green and hawksbill turtles in abundance. Plus, the island’s surrounding reef, which you can paddle to straight from the beach, enjoys a large manta ray population, which swells to several hundred during the winter mating season. Turtle Season runs from November to March each year with the turtles arriving on the beach to lay their eggs. Around six weeks later the eggs hatch and hundreds of tiny little turtles emerge from the sand and scurry down to the ocean. Amazing! queenslandholidays.com.au
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Entry: $18 presold or online / $20 on the door Online: www.oztix.com.au 1300 762 545 or oztix retail outlets (+ booking fee) TNTDOWNUNDER.COM
CHECK OUT THE SHARKS AT PORT LINCOLN SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
SPOT THE CRAZY KIWIS IN ORANA CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
Water fanatics, you don’t want to miss this. Yachting, fishing, scuba diving and shark cage diving with the Great White (remember Jaws?), and all of that in one place. There are quite some National Parks within driving distance, like Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park and Kellidie Bay Conservational Park. Lincoln National Park is especially nice for bird-watching, since it is home to 123 different kinds of birds. While chilling along the coast, you might just spot a dolphin or sea lion or two. Coffin Bay National Park is similar to Lincoln National Park in its variety of birds, but distinguishes itself as a perfect area for diving, fishing and surfing. And it’s also known as the seafood capital of Australia so you won’t be going hungry.
Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand’s one and only openrange zoo, snadwiched between the east coast of the South Island and the Waimakariri river. The park extends over 80 hectares and provides an environment as natural as possible for endangered animals. It uses streams, moats and banks rather than actual fences, which allow, you to get up closer to the animals than you would otherwise. You can walk through the park, hop on one of the safari shuttles or stroll along in one of the guided walkabout tours. The zoo hosts over 400 animals from 70 different species, mainly from New Zealand, Australia and Africa. The park has a huge collection of New Zealand native species, like the kiwi, tuatara, different kinds of reptiles and heaps of endangered birds.
QUOKKAS ROCK ON ROTTNEST ISLAND WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA
WHALE SHARK MIGRATION NINGALOO REEF, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
If you’re over in Perth and you’ve got a few days to spare, make sure you take a trip over to Rottnest Island – it’s a funny place where there are no cars, so you’ll be peddling your way around. It’s also one of the few places on earth where you can find quokkas, a curious little marsupial that has survived on Rotto because there are none of the predators who hunted them on the mainland. Strangely enough, it was the quokka who helped bestow the island’s name – as opposed to its indigenous name, Wadjemup. When Dutch sailors first saw Rottnest in the 1600s, they mistook the quokkas for giant rats and named the island “Rotte nest”, which is, of course, Dutch for “rat nest”. Probably not the best way to sell it these days.
It has long been thought by marine biologists, and scientists in general, that the name whale shark is something of a misnomer. When people think of sharks they immediately conjure up images of razor sharp jaws and of water foaming red with human blood, yet the whale shark couldn’t be more different. These gentle giants cruise gently through the waters off Western Australia and are no more dangerous to a human being then a cuddly household cat (unless you choose to swim into one of their mouths when feeding.) They are also the largest extant species of fish on the planet and due to their easy going nature you can swim right up alongside them and bask in their undeniable majesty and magnificence with nothing but joy in your heart. HR
Bundaberg Where Australia Shines for Turtles
Come to the Bundaberg North Burnett Region of the Southern Great Barrier Reef and enter a world of wonder at Mon Repos, the largest loggerhead turtle rookery in the South Pacific, where visitors can get up close and personal with these ancient mariners of the sea. Witness this amazing cycle of life in its natural setting from November to March.
INTO THE WILD ON KANGAROO ISLAND SOUTH AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA Kangaroo Island is much more diverse than its name might suggest. Australia’s third-biggest island offers a protective home for different types of wildlife, like koalas, sea lions and pelicans. It has quite a lot to give. Well, when you’re into white beaches, cliffs, dense forests and sand dunes, that is. And who isn’t? Over a third of the Island is set aside for conservation or as National Park nowadays and includes five Wilderness Protection Areas. The best way to explore Kangaroo Island and see all its wildlife and beauty is by foot. Since most animals living on the island are nocturnal, you might want to join one of the guided night tours. The best time to spot animals during the day is in winter-time, so rug up and book your next trip. tourkangarooisland.com.au
PHILLIP ISLAND PENGUIN PARADE VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA
JUMPING CROCS ON THE ADELAIDE RIVER NORTHERN TERRITORY, AUSTRALIA Up close and personal gets a whole different meaning when you hop on board of one of the jumping crocodile cruises on the Adelaide River. Humongous jaws, maybe a metre from your face, close enough to hear the air rushing out as they snap shut. Yes, that’s pretty personal we’d say! There’s a lot of different kind of tours going around the Adelaide River. You can spend an entire day spotting different kinds of wildlife like buffalos, sea eagles and brogolas. But the jumping crocodile tours are good if you’re on a schedule since they usually only take about an hour. The Adelaide River starts in Litchfield National Park, which is worth a visit too. Its beautiful waterfalls, creeks and walking tracks attract a quarter of a million visitors each year. jumpingcrocodile.com.au
You probably can’t get any cuter than this. Every night hundreds of Little Penguins (yes, they’re officially Little not Fairy anymore) come trooping out of the water and up onto the beach to nest. Located about 90 minutes from Victoria’s bustling capital city of Melbourne, Phillip Island is one of Australia’s great wildlife hot spots, featuring not only the aforementioned delightful Little Penguins but also koalas, numerous other seabirds and one of Australia’s largest colonies of sea lions. The Island will also play host to this years Pyramid Rock festival, attracting thousands of people from around the country over the New Year. But the little Tuxedo wearing chaps are still the island’s biggest draw card (unless you’re one of those people into motorbike and or car racing) and special viewing platforms have been set up along the beaches to best showcase the birds without impacting too severely on their natural behaviours. Their little eyes are perfectly suited to being able to see underwater and are very sensitive to light, so no flash photography! Aside from being absolutely adorable the penguins make for a fascinating study. Tours run year round but are usually most busy during the warmer summer months, so it’s imperative that you book early. Between November and February the Penguin Parade usually kicks off around half past seven at night and it is recommended that you arrive on Phillip Island an hour before our feathery little friends. Arriving early will also ensure that you don’t miss a minute of the parade. HR penguins.org.au
2 D AYS/1 YS/1 NIGHT Includes: t Two days touring with expert commentary t Attractions such as Seal Bay, Little Sahara, Remarkable Rocks, Admirals Arch and Hanson Bay Wildlife Sanctuary t Guided nocturnal penguin walk t Overnight dormitory accommodation t Includes 1 breakfast, 2 lunches and 1 dinner
RICE FOR SPECIAL PADERS TNT RE
20 PP 1 1 $3 G DEPARTIN ADELAIDE
Call 08 8202 8678 or visit kiadventuretours.com.au *Conditions apply. Offer valid until 31st March 2013. Must quote TNT at time of booking to receive offer. Regular price is $389pp. ABN 69 007 122 367. Lic No. TTA 64062.
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Ball Park Music Sam Cromack, frontman of the Brisbane-based band, chats to us about their second album, playing festivals, and what he really thinks of Homebake headline act Blondie INTERVIEW JAMES BESANVALLE
“Brisbane’s always been good to us”
all that’s available for them. I would recommend that backpackers jump on a train or a bus and get to Fortitude Valley. They should also check out cool bars that are nearby. Close to the backpacking area is one of my favourite bars called The Scratch. It’s near the big brewery in Milton, so that’s my recommendation. Where’s your favourite place in Australia? For me, it’s hard to go past home – which is northern New South Wales, around Lennox Head where I grew up. That also includes Byron Bay, Bangalow and Ballina – that’s where my heart is and I love that part of the country.
Hi Sam, tell us about the new album Well it’s our second record and we’ve done it pretty much within 12 months of our first record. That’s not terribly common for a lot of bands in or position, but yeah, we felt like doing that just to challenge ourselves and keep things moving. Do you have a favourite song? It changes from time to time, I think each track has been my favourite at some stage, but at the moment it’s the third track, Coming Down.
got pretty aggressive too, which made for an interesting morning. Where does your name come from? It’s a very boring story. I used to like the phrase ‘ball park figure’ when I was a kid so, long story short, that kind of just morphed into being ‘Ball Park Music’. So when I met my band mates, it just kind of stuck.
I really like Harbour of Lame Ducks but you’re going to have to explain it to me Okay, that’s actually my other favourite! I got that term ‘harbour of lame ducks’ from my girlfriend and her family. They always refer to my girlfriend as a ‘harbourer of lame ducks’ and I kind of dropped the extra ‘er’ to flow better in the song. I guess that song is a bit of an ode to all the people who are doing it a bit rough.
What’s the music scene like in Brisbane? Brisbane’s always been good to us but the good thing about Brisbane is there are lots of venues, and they’re all located in the one suburb, which is Fortitude Valley. So having a central place to play is good because it means that people can just go to that suburb and go to gigs. They don’t really have to plan too much, which helps local bands get a good start. As far as the music goes, there’s so much diversity here and I really think that’s what’s great about Brisbane.
Any travelling horror stories? Being on the road definitely has some horror stories. We had a drunk person break into our hotel one night when we were in Western Australia. He took off all his clothes and passed out on the toilet and we found him there the next morning. That was pretty awkward. He
Any tips for backpackers? Well, it’s funny because there is actually one of the venues here, which is kind of an isolated venue on Roma Street, which is basically in the city and it’s near all of the hostels. I’ve only played there once but I suppose a lot of backpackers come into the city and think that’s
What has been your favourite festival? I’d have to say Splendour in the Grass. Again, I’ve got a real connection to that festival because it’s based in Byron Bay, which is near my family and my home. I’ve been going to Splendour in the Grass every year since I was 16, so that’s kind of a special festival. We finally got to play this year, which was a real thrill and the day went really, really smoothly. We were so pleased with how it went. It’s a great festival and a pleasure to play. Excited about Homebake this year? I am, yeah! I’ve never been and I don’t really know what I’m in for. It’s one that’s been running for a really long time and is a great, unique one-off event that celebrates Australian music. Although, they controversially put in an international act this year. It’s cool because it’s got a few non-musical things to offer like the comedy and the markets there, so I’m excited to see what Homebake can bring. What are your thoughts on Blondie? To be honest, I don’t know shit about Blondie, I probably couldn’t even tell you one Blondie song, so it doesn’t bother me. I understand that festival promoters need people to buy tickets, so it’s not a big problem in my books. Catch Ball Park Music in Perth (Nov 17), Adelaide (Nov 20), Melbourne (Nov 23), Canberra (Nov 24), and the Homebake Festival in Sydney (Dec 2) emimusic.com
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2 DAYS IN NEW YORK FILM review by Amelia Gray STARRING:Julie Delpy, Chris Rock, Albert Delpy, Alexia Landeau, and Alex Nahon | MA | 96min
HERE COMES THE BOOM FILM preview. Released December 6 Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler | M | 105mins
A 42-year-old high school biology teacher looks to become a successful mixed-martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money to prevent extracurricular music programmes from being axed at his cash-strapped school. I like the premise of Breaking Bad better, but the lovable and larger than life Kevin James (who also wrote the film) might just bring this one home. AH
The outrageous sequel to Delpy’s 2007 2 days in Paris picks up a few years down the line. Neurotic French photographer Marion’s (Julie Delpy) relationship with Jack (Adam Goldberg) is over and she now lives in Manhattan with her new lover, straight-edge Mingus (Chris Rock), a hip talk radio host and journalist. The film’s premise is set around a visit from Marion’s neurotic family including her eccentric widow father (played by her real life father Albert Delpy), sister Rose (co-screenwriter Alexia Landeau) who believes clothing is optional, and her uninvited loose-cannon, nightmare-come-true boyfriend, Manu (Alex Nahon). This dynamic initiates two unforgettable days of family mayhem. This film is full of fun, wit, quirkiness, and cringe-worthy scenes and is extremely fast paced. Somehow Delpy finds the time to return to the key themes of love, life and loss. The quick series of photomontages of her family visiting New York City’s most famous landmarks and her father’s time in the Vietnam War are highlights. As is Manu’s obsession with Mingus’s “blackness”. The culture clash injects a large amount of humor, awkwardness, misunderstanding, sibling bickering – including hair pulling between Marion and Rose – tears and arguments. The film drives home the age-old point that we don’t choose our family, as well as raising the question: once we have left a relationship, does it ever stop haunting us? GOOD FOR: Realising that your family isn’t that crazy after all
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To climb or not to climb The number of people scaling Uluru has dropped, and the traditional owners don't like it, so should there be a ban on climbing the rock? WORDS CAROL DRIVER
To the Anangu people, it’s a sacred rock which shouldn’t be climbed. To others, Uluru is a giant red landmark calling out for exploration. But figures this week show a decline in the number of people scaling the structure – fuelling the debate about whether it’s time for a total ban. While visitors aren’t prohibited from climbing the 348m-high rock, they are asked not to out of respect for the Aborigines – who jointly run the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park with the government. Findings released last month from a survey carried out in June show the number of tourists climbing Uluru has dropped to 20 per cent from 38 per cent in 2010 – a dramatic fall from the 74 per cent who admitted to scaling it in 1990. Uluru’s traditional owners ask visitors not to climb for cultural, environmental and safety reasons – 36 people have died attempting the feat since 1958. Anangu elder Barbara Tijkadu explained: “That’s a really sacred thing that you are climbing. You shouldn’t climb. It’s not the real thing about this place. All the tourists will brighten up and say, ‘Oh I see. This is the right way. This is the thing that’s right. This is the proper way: no climbing’.” Margot Marshall, from Parks Australia, said they would consider a ban once they have more robust numbers, adding there would be a consultation with the tourism industry, which would be given at least 18 months’ notice. Here, we get the views of an Aussie journalist who’s scaled Uluru, and a tour operator, who says it shouldn’t be climbed.
Dominic Hughes: I’ve no regrets about climbing it Photos: Getty, AAP, Dominic Hughes
I had the “to climb or not to climb” debate with my mate when we arrived at Uluru back in 1998. We had visited the cultural centre and heard all the Dreamtime stories about the rock and why it was sacred to the Aboriginal people. My mate, an atheist, suddenly came over uncharacteristically spiritual, and suggested perhaps we shouldn’t climb it. It is a pattern I have come to see over and over again. Perfectly rational people who have no
We don't have to respect others' beliefs
time for traditional religious beliefs – of any kind – can become oddly respectful when it comes to the tribal beliefs of an ancient culture or other. Here was a bloke who would be happy to relieve himself on the steps of any church, suggesting we should not climb a monolithic lump of rock because of a story that had about as much basis in reality as that of the tooth fairy. I mean, lovely story and all – but I’m not really buying it any more than I am Noah and his ark. But we have to respect the beliefs of others, you say. No, we don’t. We have to respect the rights of others to believe whatever they want. And they have to respect our right to regard their beliefs as made-up stories. I have no problem with people who say “this is sacred to me, so I choose not to do this”. I do have a problem with people who say “this is sacred to me, so you can’t do this”. That, my friends, is a very slippery slope. Right now, you’re probably doing things that don’t comply with other’s beliefs; eating meat, working on the Sabbath, driving a car, having sex out of wedlock, drinking alcohol... the list is long. I like that I live in a country where I’m free to choose to believe in whichever of these things I want, and free to ignore them all, too. I don’t see how Uluru and the mythology that surrounds it are any different. Trying to abide by the beliefs of everybody is a recipe for a dull life. My mate agreed, and up we went. Climb it, or don’t climb it. It’s your choice, and I like having choices. I’ve no regrets about this one.
Clockwise: vandalism on Uluru; the huge red landmark in all its glory; climbers descending the rock Robert Cowan: Respect Uluru’s traditional owners The type of people who climb Uluru are the sort who fly directly into Uluru airport, they stay at five-star resorts at the base of the rock and all they want to do is scale the rock. As a tour operator (The Rock Tour, therocktour.com.au), we have a different stance. We have a responsibility to respect the traditional owners of Uluru, the Anangu people. Not only does that include telling Dreamtime stories, but also going that step further and explaining that they ask that you don’t climb their rock. Therefore, we don’t promote the climb on our brochures or website. We actually promote the non-climb of Uluru which is respecting the traditional owner’s requests and that is how we’ve always done business. Our guides spend the first two days of our tour explaining to people why it’s culturally insensitive to climb the rock. That’s why we take guests to Kings Canyon and The Olgas, and then visit the Aboriginal cultural centre before going to the base of the climb. We do the Mala walk, which goes from the base of the climb to Kantju Gorge. It tells the Mala tale – the Dreamtime story that explains why Uluru is a sacred site to the Aboriginal people. Along here there are signs everywhere saying not to climb. Those are the cultural reasons, and the other reason is that the climb is closed about 60 per cent of the time due to rain, heat, wind, or because someone has fallen off and killed themselves. That’s our angle on it, and should a ban on climbing Uluru be enforced, it won’t make a difference to us – but it will have an impact on the higher-end market. We’ve had a stance on the climb since day one. The owners of our company have never climbed Uluru, neither have our tour guides and we hope that our passengers will respectfully not climb the rock. ❚ 18
HAVE YOUR SAY SHOULD CLIMB BE BANNED? We opened up this question to our Facebook fans – here’s the response: Alessandra Castiglia: Uluru is a sacred spot for the Aboriginal people, so why don’t we just respect it and take a walk around it instead? Jules on XXXX Island Kieran Stone: It’s a rock, a mountain, it isn’t different from any other. I was disgusted when I saw signs asking people not to climb it. It is a natural thing that will be there long after humans. If native Australians built it themselves, then I’d be all for the ban. Maria Mysterio: Maybe I should go and find some ancient, cool-looking giant rock, claim it as sacred and then ban the world from enjoying my rock. Tahly Ennis: I don’t think people should climb it if it means damaging the rock. It definitely should be preserved for future generations.
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WEEKLY WINNER IN THE ROAD: Emmaelvira Johansson, 24 Sweden EMMA SAYS: “This is a picture I took in the car on the Savannah Way. Between Normanton and Darwin.” WE SAY: “This photograph captures the rugged heart of the Australian outback in all its unforgiving harshness. However, much like Viggo Mortensen’s (I know he’s Norwegian but bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this) jaw line, ruggedness need not always be a bad thing. There is definite beauty in this shot to offset the barren desert, particularly in the elegant stride of the emu, fleeing across the gravel track. In short, we really like this photo! ”
HOT TIPS: Motion Depicting movement in still photography is, unsuprisingly perhaps, a difficult skill to master. Yet, as this photo shows, it is possible and – more to the point – 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 clever use of perspective.
THE MONTHLY WINNER GETS THREE DAYS CAMPERVAN HIRE FROM MIGHTY CAMPERS
Send high-res (300 dpi) jpegs with name, age, nationality and a description to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos are judged by the TNT team at their own discretion. Photos will also be placed on TNT’s Facebook page. For terms and conditions, see tntdownunder.com. Weekly winner Emmaelvira wins a free night’s stay at the award-winning Sydney Central YHA (yha.com.au). The monthly winner gets three days’ campervan hire from Mighty Campers Australia (mightycampers.com.au)
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There is life beyond the museums
ON THE ROAD WITH TRAVEL
TALK YVETTE VAN DEN BRAND 25, THE NETHERLANDS
YOU ASKED FOR IT... WE ANSWER YOUR TRAVEL QUESTIONS
heard Canberra’s really boring and Q I’ve I have to spend a weekend there. What am I to do? Camilla Ahlmstrom, Sweden calm, Camilla! Breathe deeply, we’ll A Be help you get through this. You shouldn’t be worried, you should be excited! The capital might not be a spot you’d want to spend the rest of your days in but it’s certainly good for a night out! Being a University town the bars are plentiful and the beers are usually cheap. Academy nightclub for example does $2 everything’s during happy hour (certainly not to be missed) whilst Moose Heads pub has a great atmosphere on weekends. Plus the museums and galleries are amongst the best in the country. just arrived in Tasmania and want Q I’ve to do a bit of hiking, where do you think I should go? Kendall John, Jamaica little island of Tasmania contains A The some of Australia’s most pristine natural wilderness areas and as a result is one of the
top destinations for hikers from around the world. Truly Tasmania’s abundance of natural beauty is perhaps matched only by New Zealand. Handily, many of Tasmania’s more iconic multiday walking tours have been grouped together for convenience, and all together they cover some 300km of majestic mountains, beaches, rainforest and glacial lakes. You might start with the Bay of Fires walk in the northeast of the Island. Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the Bay of Fires takes its name from the fire red lichen that colour the rocks along the shoreline. The Walls of Jerusalem Experience is another for the keen hikers who aren’t entirely sold on the idea of carrying heavy backpacks. The granddaddy of them all, though, is the Overland Track. To see it all usually takes between six to eight days and leads you through the heart of the Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair National Park. It’s one of the most popular treks, particularly in summer time, so bookings are essential. Trust us, you’ll find the experience is one of the most invigorating and beautiful hikes to be found anywhere in the country.
CHECKING IN COOL BANANAS AGNES WATER
Cool Bananas is a friendly hostel in the middle of the Town of 1770. Just a five minute walk from the beach, you can use boogie boards and surf boards for free. Greg the owner knows OVERVIEW
every guest by name and goes out of his way to be friendly and helpful. ROOMS Dorms are big and have a maximum of four people in room. BILL PLEASE Dorms are $26/ night, but drop the longer you stay. 2 Spring rd, 1770 Qld coolbananas.net.au
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN IN OZ? I started in Melbourne, went all the way up the east coast until Cairns, then flew to Perth and went on a roadtrip all the way from Darwin down to Alice Springs and then onto Adelaide. WHAT MADE YOU COME TO OZ? Because I won six months travelling through Australia with Peterpans! FAVOURITE PLACE IN OZ? I would say the journey from Exmouth to Broome, because the National Parks there are amazing. The west coast just rocks in general, actually. MOST MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE? Working at a cattle station and mustering cattle from a horseback, castrating calves and butchering cows was a pretty intense experience. MET ANY AUSSIE ANIMALS? Koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, snakes, crocs, spiders, wombats, emus, dingos, cassowaries... And I haven’t been to a zoo once! BIGGEST SURPRISE? The high wages, even for backpackers. But with that also comes a high price for everything else.
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WOLF CREEK WORRIES
ALICE GARRATT hoped to avoid murderers while driving up the west coast of Australia... Every backpacker has seen Wolf Creek right? Wrong. Thankfully I am one of the few that hasn’t. You really don’t need to have seen Wolf Creek when six of you, in two vans, are travelling up the west coast from Perth to Broome and it’s just yourselves and the outback. Especially when you are camping in silent places and only you know you’re there. Before leaving, the boys in our group decided it would be a good idea to buy a machete. I thought this was a little extreme. The idea of having a machete in the van freaked me out more than the idea of not having one. Visions of a friend drunkenly swinging the machete around haunted me. Besides, what if someone wanted a cup of sugar in the night and came to our tents? They wouldn’t live to discover if we had caster or brown because their head would be gone. Thankfully a large baseball bat was chosen instead. I was happy with that; after all we could have a game of rounders along the way. After driving for many days up the coast, we pulled into a campsite in Exmouth. We were having a few drinks when a dishevelled looking
guy decided to join us. He wasted no time in telling us his mechanic in Broome was arrested for murdering Peter Falconio. Coming from this guy, it didn’t seem hard to believe. He looked a little freaky himself, with manic hair and a murderous laugh – like the murderer in Wolf Creek I was told. Unfortunately he did little to escape his murderous image. Later in the evening we turned to see our friend – his right leg in a cast from toe to knee – running, or rather hopping, towards us in a panic. “I just bumped into Wolf Creek guy outside the toilet. He looked at my cast, did that laugh and said ‘you won’t be going anywhere fast with that on!’” We didn’t see out our last days on the campsite in Exmouth. Thankfully we were all still alive and on the road again – well, in a deserted petrol station, heading towards the mining town Tom Price. A green Datsun Sunny pulled up next to us and a Canadian guy asked: “Where are you guys headed? I was wondering where to stay tonight.” One of us pointed to two free camping spots on the map and we said goodbye. We set up camp in a remote bush area 100km from civilisation, where a herd of cows wandered freely. We were sitting chatting when we heard the
gruff noise of an old car and saw the green Datsun slowly approaching. He’d found us. Suddenly we weren’t so sure about this young Canadian. “What if he’s some crazy murderer come to get us?” After some brief debating – he was approaching after all – we came to the logical conclusion that no respectable murderer drives a Datsun Sunny. They’d be in a 4WD or a Ute. At the very most he was an apprentice – six of us could handle an apprentice. With this decided, the Apprentice Murderer joined us around the campfire and didn’t even take offence at our initial murderer reservations. Everyone was happy and we all eventually headed to our tents to sleep. Then there was silence. “Moooo!” Crash. “Moooo!” Almost. A thudding on the ground was getting louder and louder and was heading our way. Sod the murderers, it’s the cows you need to watch out for!
BE PUBLISHED IN TNT! Send us your scary, funny or embarrassing travel tale (preferably about Australia or New Zealand) and if we like it we’ll publish it in TNT and on our website! Email your stories (700 words max), to hugh@
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The Overland Track TASMANIA
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Over the hill Tasmania’s Overland Track is an exhausting, yet exalting walk through stirring gothic landscapes. Just beware of its rather slithery trekkers WORDS CRAIG SHEATHER
I let out a high-pitched squeal and stop INFO: The Overland Track takes We plod on to the Cradle Mountain Plateau, with fear. A dark, slithering tiger snake is you on a six day scenic adventure which opens up a postcard-pretty view. just a few metres in front of me, writhing from Cradle Mountain to Australia’s Tired and ravenous, Carly and I descend in the vegetation. It’s the fifth one I’ve through the highlands and call it a day in mossdeepest lake, Lake St Clair. seen today, but I’ll never get used to seeing carpeted Waterfall Valley. WHEN TO GO: Tasmania these creepy-looking, venomous reptiles. At the end of each leg of the Overland is moderated by a temperate It’s minding its own business, so, Track, there are huts available for weary maritime climate, and even in gingerly, I make my way around it, trying walkers. We set up camp in our modest summer it can be quite chilly. We not to make any noise and holding my surrounds and prepare dinner. say this is the perfect weather for breath until I’m at more than a safe It’s nothing à la carte, but the two-minute trekking. Summer season number distance. noodles with dried peas and iodine-flavoured limits are imposed, so plan in Exhaling a sigh of relief, I carry on my water taste like a gourmet meal right now. advance and liaise with Parks and way, the fact that the last person to die That is until I look across at our fellow campers Wildlife for permits. from a snakebite in Tasmania was in 1979 who are chowing down on freeze-dried GETTING THERE: Virgin offering little comfort. chicken curry feast and sipping red wine. flies from Sydney to Launceston I’m on day four of the mammoth six-day, I have immediate food-envy. Who says you daily. See virginaustralia.com.au 65km Overland Track walking tour, through SEE MORE: discovertasmania. can’t enjoy the good things while hiking? the heart of the Tasmanian Wilderness The next day, the birds are cheeping and com.au World Heritage Area. the air is crisp as we begin our 8km trek from And there’s been a lot of ground Waterfall Valley to Lake Windermere. covered in five days. The three-hour route heads south across sedgeland moors Starting near Ronnie Creek, my wife, Carly, is dressed for dotted with pandani bushes, eucalyptus trees and rare pencil the part in matching backpack and boots, and is bounding pines, some up to 1,000 years old. around with energy – just as well, as we’ve got 10km to cover After breaking for lunch at Lake Will, it’s a short stroll to today. Innes Falls at the lake’s southern end. Going at a steady pace, we walk along the track, which The trails then turn off at Lake Holmes and head across leads us to open buttongrass plains, filled with pretty, wild the jaw-droppingly beautiful buttongrass plains to the flowers and colourful birds, on to lush, temperate rainforest, welcome sight of tea-coloured Lake Windermere, our home rising to Crater Falls. for the night. We’ve only been walking for about two hours, but this Forest of illusion sight alone is one to keep us going; the furious shoot of white water crashing down on to the rocks below, heading Day three promises to be a bit more challenging. We rise downstream, past the swampy grasslands to join Ronny early to try to make a dent in the staggering 17km we’ll need Creek. to walk across the moorlands and mountains to Pelion Plains. Then it’s on to the breathtaking, dark, sapphire-blue But there are plenty of amazing sights to keep us going. Crater Lake. We opt to continue our ascent up to Marion’s A stop at Forth River Lookout affords astounding views Lookout (there is an easier route) to take in the sweeping over the river’s glacial valley and the giant eucalypt forest views of Cradle Mountain. The bright blue sky is reflected in around it. the calm waters of Dove Lake, while the jutting mountain From Pine Forest Moor, the route winds past twisted, soars an impressive 1,545 metres high. moss-covered forests, beneath the rocky overhang of Mt
Pelion West. And the final section the track to Pelion Hut follows the 1898 horse trail built to transport miners from eastern towns to mines on the West Coast. I’m relived when we finally reach the Pelion Hut. It’s summer – allegedly the best time for inexperienced walkers to endure the route, which can be moderately challenging. Couple that with a 25kg backpack, and a beach holiday in Thailand looks rather appealing! My legs are aching, and I’m in need of sustenance – it’s just a shame the food we’ve packed looks almost inedible. But it does the job, and I drift into an exhausted slumber. Re-energised, Carly and I eat breakfast overlooking the mind-boggling expanse of the South West wilderness. While we pack our equipment, a couple of friendly wallabies hop around our camp eager to play. But we’ve got walking to do – we’re covering 9km today, past Pelion Gap to Kia Ora Hut. En route, we’re greeted by more wildlife that inhabits the highlands. Spotted quolls hide under boardwalks while wombats and echidnas waddle across the track as we pass by. And then there are the snakes … I spot five of the reptiles today. Each time, I’m frozen to the spot in fear. I reassure myself with the facts, but it doesn’t make each sighting any easier to deal with. I’m relieved when I see the campsite’s nearby, although I do double-check my sleeping bag that night. It’s the penultimate day, and the realisation buoys me with renewed enthusiasm. We hike the 10km to Windy Ridge hut, through rainforest
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Extended tour packages from 3 to 7 days with quality accommodation and day tours to Tasmania’s popular destinations are offered from Hobart and Launceston. Itineraries are designed to include a combination of heritage, nature and wildlife. Private charter tour can also be customised to your interests and requirements. Travel is in comfortable and safe minibuses with reclining seats and safety belts. Fun Tassie Tours specialises in guided small group tours ideal for couples, friends and individual travellers at moderate price, and with personalised service. As an accredited tour business since 2005, it is committed to quality assurance and customer service.
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beneath Castle Crag to the historic Du Cane Hut â€“ once home to trapper Paddy Hartnett - where overnight use is only permitted in an emergency. For fans of waterfalls, this is your day. The route takes in Fergusson, Dâ€™Alton and Hartnett, which we get a little closer to by navigating some of the safer-looking rocks. Then itâ€™s just a short climb the small ridge to Kia Ora Hut, nestled beneath Cathedral Mountain, where we put down roots for the night.
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Going down by the river Itâ€™s the last day and the home stretch â€“ itâ€™s also the longest distance, at 18km. We wander for a few hours through dry eucalypt forest and down the rainforest valley to the Narcissus River. Then itâ€™s across a suspension bridge, towards Narcissus Hut where we board the ferry and cross Lake St Clair to Cynthia Bay I turn to my wife. No longer is she looking immaculate â€“ her once straight hair is frizzy, her clothes are scruffy and she looks exhausted. However, as we stumble to Narcissus, our finishing point, a smile spreads across her face as she realizes the magnitude of our 65km, self-sufficient adventure. Iâ€™m overcome with emotion â€“ the past six days have been exhilarating, tiring, emotional and inspiring â€“ definitely worth every blister on my tired feet. I decide thereâ€™s nothing else for it and peel off my clothes, much to Carlyâ€™s amusement, leaving just my pants, and jump off the jetty into chilly waters of Lake St Clair â€“ Australiaâ€™s deepest lake. Thankfully, thereâ€™s not a snake in sight. â?š
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Â‹ PORT ARTHUR Â‹ WINEGLASS BAY Â‹ RUSSELL FALLS Â‹ MT. WELLINGTON Â‹ TAHUNE AIRWALK Â‹ HASTINGS CAVES Â‹ CRADLE MOUNTAIN Â‹ MT. FIELD
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>C8AJ9:H/ Â™ Wildlife Sanctuary entry fee Â™ 5 nights accommodation using inc Tasmanian Devil feeding Hostels with shared facilities Â™ Meals as indicated (5 Breakfasts Â™ Entry to Port Arthur Historic Site inc Guided Walk and Harbour Cruise & 1 West Coast BBQ Dinner) Â™ Hotel and Hostel pickups Â™ All National Park entry fees and drop offs Â™ Entry to â€œThe Ship That Never Wasâ€?
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&-%%%+),'+ Visit www.underdownunder.com.au or email email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org (03) 6234 7977 )5(( LQWHUQHW ZLĂ° )5(( 0W :HOOLQJWRQ 7RXUV )5(( FDUSDUN)5((KXJVDIWHU\RXĂ˘YHVKRZHUHG &KHDSEHHUV 'HOLFLRXVRUJDQLFFRIIHH$ZHVRPHORFDOVWDII9HU\UHOD[HG FKLOOHGYLEHFRPSOHWHZLWKKDPPRFNDQGEHDQEDJV 2.VRWKHZROILVDFWXDOO\DQ$ODVNDQ0DODPXWHKLVQDPHLV %DORR KHĂ˘VRQO\ZROI ,I \RXĂ˘UH VWLOO UHDGLQJ WKLV LWV WLPH WR JHW LQ WRXFK ZLWK XV ERRN\RXUVWD\ JHWUHDG\IRURQHRIWKHKLJKOLJKWVRI\RXU $XVWUDOLDQWULS :HFDQĂ˘WZDLWWRPHHW\RX
THE TASSIE DEVIL: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH ONE OF AUSTRALIA’S MOST FEARED AND CELEBRATED CREATURES
A visit to the Apple Isle isn’t complete without seeing the notorious Tasmanian Devil at Natureworld. I head to the east coast Natureworld, in Bicheno, which is set amongst 150 acres of natural parkland and lagoons, for an encounter with one of these endangered animals. I learn that the Devil – made famous by the Looney Tunes cartoon – was given its unlucky name by early European settlers in the 1800s because of its bloodcurdling screams and growls. They would be hunted eating chickens and livestock. This also happened to the Tasmanian Tiger, which eventually became extinct about 70 years ago. Tassie Devils are often described as vacuums of the forest because they eat all the dead animals – bones, fur and all. During the demonstration, the animal was picked up by a keeper,
who cradled it in his arms, sending it to sleep. I was disappointed – I was expecting the devil to turn into a tornado and destroy everything in its path just like the violent Taz. Despite its reputation as a bad-tempered, angry, feisty creature, the expert scavenger is actually quite shy, timid and wary. The Devil has been placed on the federal government’s endangered list because of a deadly facial tumour that is wiping out the population in the wild. It’s been a race against time for scientists and researchers trying to find a resolution. Wildlife officers are monitoring populations and breeding programs have been established around the country. The clock is ticking. Let’s hope the little critters survive!
W ILLIAM R ILEY
WAS A CONVICT
WHO WAS ABANDONED AS A CHILD
AN ‘ INOFFENSIVE , ORDERLY ’ BOY
TRANSPORTED AT FOURTEEN , A DRUNK BY SIXTEEN , A MURDERER
He was in a most dreadful state to pass from this world to another.’ –R W R ’ T C T EPORT OF
ILEY S TRIAL IN
BY TWENTY - NINE TO
W ILLIAM R ILEY ?
AMAZING STORIES, EPIC HISTORY Discover more for yourself! – www.portarthur.org.au
Port Arthur, Tasmania Tel: 1800 659 101
Tasmania W H E R E T H E scenery R E A C H E S new heights.
THERE ARE PL ACES IN
. . . A N D I T ’ S J U S T A P A D D L E A W A Y. Sydney Melbourne TASMANIA
Just a short flight from Melbourne or Sydney and you could be visiting Tasmania, the southern island state of Australia, where wide expanses of World Heritage Area wilderness will ignite your adventurous passions. Come and raft the legendary Franklin River, breathe in the beauty of the Tarkine, climb the majestic Cradle Mountain or travel overland to kayak beneath some of Australia’s highest sea cliffs on the Tasman Peninsula. Visit www.discovertasmania.com.au or www.backpacktassie.com for local backpacking info.
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HOW TO ENTER
Go to tntdownunder.com and click on the WIN page. See webpage for terms and conditions. Winners will be selected at random.
CURIOUS ABOUT TASSIE? No doubt you’ve ticked the crazy east coast off your list, perhaps you’ve even been to Uluru, maybe even explored the west, but have you been to Tasmania? The little green state down under sometimes gets forgotten, but we’re here to tell you that you are crazy to neglect Australia’s Apple Isle. Tasmania is great for escaping the everyday. It’s an unspoilt playground for abundant wildlife, with scenery unlike anywhere else on Earth, certainly not a place that you should skip on past. Which is why TNT has teamed up with a whole bunch of our Tassie friends to put together this fantastic package allowing you and a mate the chance to sample some of 32
what the state has to offer. We’re offering one lucky reader and a friend a chance to win one of the following terrific prizes: GRAND PRIZE TOTAL VALUE $2,857 Return flights from Sydney/Melbourne to Hobart courtesy of Tourism Tasmania for two ($600 value) Under Down Under Explorer 6, multi day tour (6 days/5 nights) tour for two, Including Tasmania’s best national parks, Hobart, Launceston and much more. ($2,190 value) Pickled Frog One night private room for two in Hobart. ($67 value) RUNNER UP PRIZE WORTH $450 Port Arthur Historic Sites Paranormal
Investigation Experience for two. ($250 value) Tours Tasmania Wineglass Bay Day tour for two. ($200 value) THIRD PRIZE WORTH $308 Fun Tassie Tours Cradle Mountain Day tour for two. ($278 value) Gunns Plains Cave VIP Guide cave tour for two. ($30 value ) Competition closes: December 16th 2012 Terms & conditions apply. Visit tntdownunder.com for all entry details.
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WIN A TASMANIAN ADVENTURE FOR TWO
Photos: elementooutdoor.com, Jennifer Carr, Spencer Gordon, Getty, Axis Travel
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Taking the high road We tackle ‘Death Road’, the most dangerous place to cycle in Colombia’s Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains WORDS JENNIFER CARR
Photos: elementooutdoor.com, Jennifer Carr, Spencer Gordon, Getty, Axis Travel
I’m on two wheels, whizzing through a been scaled for more than 30 years, so if you cloud forest that’s fragrant with cow dung. fancy reconstructing your own Into The Void WHEN TO GO: Dry season My nostrils are streaming and I’m almost adventure, you’d have to ask the permission occurs from November to April, blinded by the glare of the sun reflecting of a Tairona elder to get there (you’d also and rainy season from May to off the dazzling Caribbean Sea that lies need balls of steel). Biking here is no less October. If you want to tube down beyond. My descent of Colombia’s own complicated – many trails spill into sacred the mountains’ plentiful gorges ‘Death Road’ (which, like its namesake and rapids it’s best to go during the Indian ritual sites (and the odd ex-narco route), in Bolivia, is so-called for its rough and need approval granted before entering, wetter months, but wildlife lovers surfaces, precarious vertical cliff drops meaning most historic attempts to navigate the and those wanting guaranteed and hazardous hairpin turns) would make mountains by bike have been both dangerous access to the biking trails should European health and safety personnel and against the area’s moral code. stick to the dry period. shudder, especially given the reckless But there is one way to do Colombia’s CURRENCY: $1 = COP1904 abandon with which I’m flying down these high altitudes guilt-free. Elemento Outdoors, (Colombian peso). mud-splattered tracks. But then I’m not a small, conscientious adventure company, ACCOMMODATION: in Europe – far from it. I’m in the Unescoheaded up by UK-born thrill-seeker Tom Ecohabs Minca are cabanas built protected park of the Sierra Nevada de Wilkinson, is working with locals to open up in the style of Tairona choza (huts). Santa Marta – the world’s largest coastal the area – but only with their say-so. “Even six From $84pn for a four-bed cabin. mountain range, which sits some 5700m years ago, this wasn’t something that would ecohabsantamarta.com above sea level on the northeastern have been possible because of the threat of SEE: colombiaexotic.com coastline of Colombia. It’s an unblemished playground that’s still far from the standard ‘gringo trail’, and for those with a penchant for bike-based action, it’s a dream come true. Inhabited by more than 30,000 tribal Indian communities, including the spiritual Kogi and Tairona people, this 383,000-hectare region (about the size of Rhode Island) is referred to by locals as the cradle of the Earth – a unique geographic recipe of perfect snow-capped peaks, dense cloud forest, alpine meadows, high tundra and, of course, the azure Caribbean Sea. It’s also a place of historic torment: invading Spanish conquistadores penetrated the region in the 1500s and claimed the Tairona people’s immeasurable geographical treasures as their own, and also established a successful coffee agriculture that remains Colombia’s finest variety. Now reclaimed by its rightful owners, the Unesco zone is zealously protected by the indigenous Tairona, who play an active role in determining who comes into the park, how it’s used and what kinds of sustainable experiences can be had. Some of the highest peaks in the Sierra Nevada haven’t Coffee brewed the local way
Relaxing after a tough ride
right-wing paramilitary or left-wing guerrillas,” Tom says. For five years, however, the area has enjoyed official safe status and locals in the laid-back basecamp town of Minca are visibly revelling in their peaceful new way of life. “It’s been great for tourism and morale, as well as those who want to come and explore here,” Tom enthuses, clearly an avid fan of mountain life in Latin America. “The first time I came to Minca and began exploring the Sierras, I was staggered by how rich and unspoilt the country’s geography is. I’d argue that it’s one of the richest geographic and spiritual destinations in South America,” he says with
I avoid my own ET“ style leap into the abyss and slam on the brakes ” a whisper, as if to highlight his desire for the nation’s bestkept secret to remain exactly that. “And because the ‘elder brothers’ (the Tairona people) have such an influence on the volume of visitors coming into the mountains, your experience will almost certainly be even richer.” I for one am happy to be free from hordes of fellow gringos – something that’s increasingly rare on the aptly nicknamed Gringo Trail in South America. To this point, Tom’s tours stretch to no more than six people at a time, and garner a good deal of praise for their considered blend of natural 36
wildlife (the region is home to more endemic species of bird than anywhere else in the world), high altitude waterfall swims, finca visits and plenty of challenging paths that appeal to even the most seasoned pro. For me, the tour that really stands out involves sleeping in an ex-paramilitary base on the precarious and challenging Los Pinos ridge some 1450m up in the cloud forest. We head up from Minca late afternoon in a 4WD and finish the last leg of the journey with a thigh-tingling 30-minute hike to the ridge, catching a glimpse of the last lingering streaks of sunset on our arrival. The winking lights of Santa Marta hold my gaze some 45km back down the mountain. We’re all feeling a little weary, but are swiftly revived by the first of many rum shots as a surprisingly chill Alpine breeze creeps around the mountain edge. I shiver for the first time since entering Colombia, a sensation both pleasing and strange after the humidity of Minca’s heavy jungle climate. As part of the unique Los Pinos experience, we sit down to a delicious alfresco dinner of spicy chicken stew, rice and fresh guacamole – made from the creamy produce of trees growing only metres from our table. The host of this base-turnedhostel, a charismatic Colombian called Alejandro, joins us and lubricates both the meal and conversation with copious pours of honey rum and tales of his life on the mountain. His hosting skills are both effortless and enchanting, and, inspired by the Colombian ability to truly live in the moment, all my anxiety about the downward descent disappears. We drift over to large, lumpy sofas that have been placed near a roaring fire. The warmth is a welcome counter to the fresh frost that has settled across the milky, moonlit landscape of valleys and bluffs. My eye is drawn away from
Tairona tribespeople play traditional music
the scene by a storm that flickers out at sea, its pale blue current brightening the sky in sharp shocks and prompting our host to propose a drinking game for each burst of electricity. More rum shots appear, this time served up in a local maracuja (passion fruit) shell, muddled with the fruit’s tangy seeds and fragrant mountain honey. It’s hands down the best shot I’ve ever had, and in arguably the most memorable of surroundings. But our tales around the campfire are short-lived; all eyes in our party droop as the warmth of the fire and rum takes hold. Next morning, I’m up at 5.30am and my reward is an exclusive view of the valley as a snaking morning mist curls around the mountain and early sunbeams hint of a glorious day ahead. We breakfast on cinnamon porridge, local bananas and some of Alejandro’s addictive Minca-grown coffee. I’m wired and ready to saddle up. Tom’s good nature and intuition for our group’s varying tolerance for thrills makes him the perfect guide, but you get the sense he’s game for going as far as possible without jeopardising our safety. The occasionally tricky roads are made significantly easier by our $3000 state-of-the-art bicycles, shipped over from Europe with Armadillo treads and super-light aluminium frames. We go through the basic safety procedures and a few warnings about canyons, then clip on our helmets and hit the trail. For 30 free-wheeling, fanciful minutes, we glide like greased lightning down, down, and lower still through jungle-fringed cloud forests where monkeys howl and hummingbirds skit through deliciously fragrant flora. After an hour, we pass through a well-eroded river gorge and traverse muddy terrain that sends me sliding towards the edge of the canyon. Thankfully, I avoid my own ET-style
leap into the abyss and slam on the brakes instead. It’s the closest I come to flying over the ridge, and I sheepishly receive a reminder from Tom to not let my need for speed get the better of me. Minutes later we’re winding through bamboo thickets and arrive at one of the Sierra’s oldest working coffee fincas, dating back to the early 1900s. We disembark, stiff legs grateful for the stretch, and I salivate at the thought of a freshly roasted coffee. After a small tour, we’re greeted timidly by a handful of workers who continue the physically taxing job of collecting, drying and roasting the beans according to traditional techniques. We learn through an interpreter that the Colombians keep the lower quality, watered-down filter coffee to sell locally and ensure the tourists enjoy the A-grade beans. It explains why previous roadside-bought Colombian coffees haven’t hit the spot (and are usually loaded with sugar to compensate). Reuniting ourselves with the path, we bomb it the rest of the way through the valley, with fallen, mashed avocados littering the track like a giant guacamole trail as ears pop and signal our descent back into the outskirts of Minca town. It’s only taken us two hours and 40 minutes to carve up the Sierra Nevada range on two wheels, but I feel like my appetite for the entire region is not even close to sated. I hit boutique hillside hostel Casa Loma to lose myself in yet another startling sunset. It gilds the entire mountainside in a magical, rose blush, and I swear I can see the lookout of Los Pinos from my lazy horizontal vantage point in an alfresco hammock. Just when I think things couldn’t get any better, Elemento’s Tom pushes a large maracuja fruit laced with rum into my hands and declares, “I think you might have earned this today, chica.” ❚ TNTDOWNUNDER.COM
All that glitters This is The Gold Coast in 48 hours WORDS HUGH RADOJEV
DAY 1:xWhether you love it or loathe it, the fact of the matter is that the Gold Coast – and Surfers Paradise in particular – is difficult to ignore. The area's transition from a cluster of sleepy 1960's surfing towns to today's overly urbanised, high-rise dominated mega-tourist attraction has happened relatively quickly and now propels over two million people a year onto the coast's better known beaches, theme parks, as well as its bars and restaurants. The Gold Coast has quickly become the jewel in the crown of Queensland's burgeoning tourism industry. Whilst (particularly in the case of Surfers Paradise) all that glitters might not quite be gold, it is hard to deny that the place is one of the more exciting and eventful destinations to be found anywhere in Australia. When the sun is shining and the waves are breaking offshore the towering apartment blocks give the place a kind of strange aesthetic to it (if you've ever been, think of North Miami) and the nightlife is as raucous and as full of the bronzed and beautiful as you're likely to find. The Gold Coast is a bit of a Marmite place then, if you love it then chances are nothing else will match up to the excitement. Loathe it on the other hand and you'll find yourself wishing you were anywhere else on earth, bathing in a pool of slightly warm antiseptic. Two days in the tourism capital of the country should give you plenty of time to decide on which side you'll sit because, let's face it, there's no way you're going to be on the fence at the end of all of this. No way at all.
8:00: Arrive and drop off your stuff at your home base for today at least – Islander Backpacker Hostel(islander. com.au) is located less then a kilometre away from the main drag and is thus in an excellent position for pretty much everything. The hostel has all the usual features like a pool, big dormitories, a BBQ area and perhaps most importantly its very own on-site bottleshop! The liquor can wait for the moment though, there's a lot of stuff to do today, a lot of which will probably involve you being upside down in some way, so save the stiff drinks for later. 9:00: It might seem to be a bit odd to go from your hostel, to another hotel to eat something but most of the buildings in Surfers are hotels anyway and the Chateau Beachside claims to have the best all you can eat brekkie in the region, and all for less than $10 a head. I wasn't joking when I said you're going to spend most of today upside down though, you've been warned. 10:30: Chances are in the short time you've been in Surfers Paradise, you've chanced to look skywards, you'll have seen the Q1 tower. One of the tallest residential towers in the world and the home of the Skypoint Walk (skypoint. com.au) which is needless to say the highest spot in the region. Offering beautiful 360 degree vistas sweeping from the coastline to the rugged hinterland to the west. It's a beautiful spot and also a quite exhilarating experience. 12:00: Having enjoyed the beautiful views, it's time to start getting a little inverted with Tiger Moth Scenic Flights
Keep it simple on the GC beaches
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Get close to your friends in the Zorb
Where the wild go to get wet
And for more thrills, try the jetboat
(tigermothjoyrides.com.au) and by a little, I mean a lot. This company offer a huge array of flights, ranging from low level doddles up to Stradbroke Island to high flying acrobatic adrenaline flights where the only thing higher than your blood pressure will be the amount of G-forces your internal organs will be absorbing. So naturally you'll be going for the later. The Tiger Moths, which give the company its name, are 70+ year old planes, and you'll be fitted out to look the part of a WWI fighter ace with a leather jacket, old-timey helmet and aviation goggles. A 25 minute acrobatic flight will include spins, loop-the-loops, stalls and barrell rolls, all 4,000ft above the ground. And you'll be filmed during the whole ride. Footage of you filling up the sick bags is edited out, or not, it's really up to you. 15:00: After a spot of lunch (if you can face it) the upside down antics continue! OzBall Zorbing (ozball.com.au), is up next. For those who don't know what 'Zorbing' is, basically it involves a large inflatable ball, a steep hill and some people inside the ball. You can choose to have your ball filled with water or not, or whether or not you want to be harnessed into the ball. While the harness might seem reassuring, it actually ensures a more intense ride, as you spin with the ball. Vomiting in the Zorb ball is frowned upon. 19:00: Dinner time should be taken at Malone's which serves cold beers and grilled meat. Grab a few travellers from your on site bottle-o, put on your dancing shoes and hit the strip. Grab a few brews at the Americana styled saloon Shooters, then wind the night out at Cocktails and Dreams where there are always plenty of backpackers ready to dance the night away. DAY 2: 10:00: Blow out the cobwebs with a quick swim, choke down a little toast and jump on Paradise Jet Boating (paradisejetboating.com.au) super shuttle bus which will take you to your Jet Boat. Oh yes! These boats have 660 rampaging horses under their bonnets and love to spin around at high speeds in shallow water. Marvellous way to start day two. 12:00: Make your way out to one of the Gold Coasts' more famed attractions. One ticket can be bought that will gain you access to all of the big three theme parks but as we're short on time you'll have to pick one. It's getting warm so I'd suggest Wet 'n' Wild (wetnwild.com.au). This place is heaving with pools, rides and of course water slides. Try the new Kamikaze or the Constrictor, or if you can't face speed anymore, just sit in the sun. 15:00: Having had ample time to enjoy the water park, keep on trucking to Mt Tambourine Adventure Parc (cws. org.au) and tackle the ropes course. Despite being quite challenging at times the course also offers plenty of fun and adventure, climbing the ladders, suspended bridges and flying foxes all high up in the rainforest. 19:00: Having arrived in Coolangatta check into the Coolangatta Sands Hostel (coolangattasands.com.au) which is where you'll also be eating and drinking tonight. After the hustle and bustle of Surfers Paradise and all the overly adventurous and daring things you've packed in to the last twenty-ish hours, I imagine you'll be quite content to kick back with a big steak and a few beers and watch the sun go down. If you've got an ounce of energy left, the beaches around Coolangatta are beautiful and the hostel offers free surfboard hire if you want to catch a few waves.
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Imagine getting hit by this
ADELAIDE TEENAGER STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AUSTRALIA
A teenager was struck by lightning in Adelaide as violent storms raged around the South Australian capital. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for much of the state last week, with the Bureau of Meteorology reporting at least 82,544 lightning strikes over a period of just 30 hours. The 15-year-old was hit by the bolt as he rushed outside to rescue his cat. However, he appears to have escaped serious injury, reporting only “instant headache” and “sore feet”.
AUSSIES ARE TOO STRESSED FOR SEX
Royal encounter: Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, get to grips with koalas Kao and Matilda while making a stop in Adelaide on the second leg of the Diamond Jubilee tour, which took in Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. Seems Camilla isn’t too keen on her fluffy little friend ...
Stressed Aussies are finding their lives so busy that they are resorting to time-saving methods such as emailing during intimate moments and putting their dogs on a treadmill in order to fit everything in, a report claims. Research by natural health brand Blackmores found that two-thirds of Aussie adults were so overwhelmed by their busy lives that they preferred getting a good night’s sleep to having sex. The survey of 500 adults aged 18 to 50 also showed that many respondents were willing to cut corners in an attempt to squeeze more out of each day – hence letting their dogs pound the treadmill rather than sparing the time to take poor old Rover for a walk.
More than half of the Aussies surveyed (61 per cent) said they were unable to tick off everything on their to-do list each day, and a whopping 95 per cent said they had woken up feeling drained in the last two weeks. More than two-thirds of those questioned (68 per cent) thought adult life was getting busier.
VICAR DRIVES LIKE ‘BAT OUT OF HELL’ UNITED KINGDOM
A female vicar has been banned from driving after speeding like “a bat out of hell” to appointments with worshippers. Rev Lynn Busfield, 51, is now barred from the roads for six months after being
caught committing a string of speeding offences. Busfield called it a “fair outcome”, though it is understood the vicar had felt duty-bound to burn rubber as she rushed to visit parishioners in the 16 parishes across Worcestershire that she covers. One parishioner, who did not wish to be named, said: “She is known for driving like a bat out of hell around narrow country roads.” One parishioner, who did not wish to be named, said: “She is devoted to her flock but in order to fulfil all her duties she is known for driving like a bat out of hell around narrow country roads.”fridges used to store bodies as beds, would “attract the unusual” and described the dissection table as “our main suite”.
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IN NUMBERS 150
Number of prostitutes planned for Europe’s largest brothel, aptly named ‘FunMotel’.
Value, in pounds, of notes used by conman David Bowerman to light his cigarettes. He also stole from his own mum
Kiwi PM mean about Becks
DID JOHN KEY CALL BECKHAM ‘THICK’? NEW ZEALAND
Kiwi PM John Key may well have offended English ‘royalty’ after reports surfaced that he had called David Beckham “thick as bat shit”. According to Radio New Zealand, Key said Beckham was “a really nice guy” during a visit to a school in Auckland, but then added the less complimentary remark. However, rather than deny the comment, Key confused everyone by declaring: “That is someone that thinks they have overheard a conversation I have had. I am not going to engage in that because otherwise I am engaging in every conversation that someone thinks I have.” When pressed to clarify that he had not indeed labelled Beckham “thick”, Key replied: “No, what I am saying is that somebody has overheard a personal conversation and that’s their recollection of it. I am just not going to engage in discussions about that. That’s their view.” Confused? Us too.
Photos: AAP; Thinkstock; Getty
FAKE COLLAR BOMBER ‘GOT WRONG HOUSE’ AUSTRALIA
The ‘fake collar bomb plot’ against Sydney teenager Madeleine Pulver has taken an even stranger turn after it was claimed in court that perpetrator Paul Douglas Peters may have got the wrong house.
Years between builder Kenni Wenna passing a demo tape to a record exec and then scoring a £250k contract with him
Difference, in pounds, between the salaries of male and female highflyers in the UK. And yes, it’s the men who earn more
Paul Douglas Peters Peters broke into Pulver’s home in August 2011 and fitted her with a hoax device in order to extort money from her family. But Sydney District Court – which is deciding on the length of Peters’ sentence – has been told that Peters may have actually been targeting a neighbour of the Pulvers. Quite the mix-up. He will be sentenced on November 20.
CAMPAIGNERS UPSET OVER BROWN WILLY UNITED KINGDOM
Campaigners are fighting to restore the good name of a scenic hill on Bodmin Moor after it became known more widely as ‘Brown Willy’. However, the 1378ft hill has been known as ‘Brown Willy’ for centuries. But it seems some locals aren’t keen on the sniggers and innuendo from tourists who find the moniker amusing.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK I thank God he dropped this man into my life Seems Melissa George is over Russell Simmons, as she gushes over her new squeeze, French millionaire Jean-David Blanc
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OUR VIEW COMMENT: HUGH RADOJEV Email: email@example.com
“That could have been you, darling:” Despite being strongly backed by the punters, the horsey Duchess was a late scratching
Not too many prize fillies in Flemington’s general admission Another year, another race that stopped the nation. It’s nice that every year at least one person is happy on Melbourne Cup day, because it’s never me. How many times can one see footage of Jennifer Hawkins parading around in a tent with a ridiculous fascinator entangled in her hair before all hope for humanity is lost. You won Miss Universe a couple of years ago but what have you done for me lately? The TV camera’s always manage to make the event look so majestic, with the sweeping long shots of manicured turf, men in coat-tails and the women in elegant dresses primly sipping French bubbly in the members area. No vomiting, no fighting and absolutely no shorts. During the live race coverage one never sees the seedy underbelly of the Cup, it’s only afterwards, on the six o’clock news that the truth emerges. Some intrepid young reporter armed only with a microphone and an equally hearty cameraman venture out beyond the turnstiles and step into what may as well be another world. In the general admission area the bubbles are also flowing but they sure as hell haven’t been imported from Champagne. The bespoke, Egyptian cotton suits found in the members area give way to nasty, off the rack nylon numbers (at best) or, God forbid, an Industrie “button-up” and a pair of khaki chino’s. Even the odd bloke whose had the wherewithal to Google the correct procedure for tying a half-windsor knot and found himself a vaguely presentable dark suit will invariably ruin it by wearing brown loafers with it or by spilling Carlton Draught and tomato sauce down his front. The girls are just as bad. The viral video of the young lady harassing random passers-by is at once both hilarious and also a tad embarrassing... for her anyway. Although in the interests of being fair the only thing this young woman had on board when this video was shot was probably three bottles of Yellow and a mild case of sunstroke. Naturally the Brits are having a field day with it all, but to them I simply say; Jimmy Saville. Check and mate. Also workshopped the caption: Camilla Parker Foals. Complaints: firstname.lastname@example.org
SING A SONG OF SIXTH SENSE “You know I always remember thinking that Saville bloke was a bit of a weirdo,” said my very English mother the other night as she was trolling through the Daily Mail’s web site. “I mean just look at his hair! I never trusted him with that hair everywhere.” This comment annoyed me. In fact all retrospective comments that somehow claim to have had premonitions about an event annoy me. It’s like someone on a Beatle’s documentary saying in a voice over, “I
trusted “himI never with that hair ” always knew Paul was going to be a musician, there was just something about him” over grainy, super eight footage of a young McCartney gazing longingly at a guitar in a shop window. It’s bollocks! Lot’s of kids stare at guitars and don’t become musicians, same way lots of guys with weird hair don’t wind up being seriel paedophiles!
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Smiling assassin Wallaby David Pocock is a monster at the ruck, takes down politicians on TV and is a top bloke, to boot WORDS MICHAEL GADD
Ferocious at the breakdown and best ball scavenger in the game – descriptions of David Pocock's onfield persona make him out to be some sort of rabid wolverine. For opposing openside flankers who have to contend with his power and guile in the contest for the ball, it's a fair call. But there's plenty more than seems fair to this wily bruiser. At 24, he's already deputised as Wallabies captain and with his qualities as a player matched by his well-chosen words outside the game, he's tipped to take on the role permanently at some stage. Despite several months out of the game, he's so highly regarded he finished second in the voting for the John Eales Medal for Australia rugby's best player, behind Nathan Sharpe. Pocock, who grew up in Zimbabwe and moved to Brisbane in 2002 when his family had to flee their farm amid political upheaval, was also a finalist for Young Australian of the Year for his charity work. He returns from two months off with a knee injury when he lines up for the autumn tests in Europe, starting this weekend in Paris – France, England, Italy and Wales won't be encouraged by the knowledge he's out of the physio's room and champing at the bit to get out there. "I've treated it as a bit of a min pre-season," he tells us, adding his body's ready for the tough clashes ahead in Europe. Pocock returns to a side which limped through the Rugby Championship and copped flack from fans and pundits in his absence, but on the back of an ecouraging 18-all draw in their last start against the world champion All Blacks – the Wallabies had quality and plenty of spirit after all. "I thought the effort was outstanding," Pocock says. "No one can question the commitment of the team, and gven our inexperience in certain areas due to injury, I thought the Championship was a great learning experience for the squad.
The effort has been great but there are areas of our game that can improve a lot wich is exciting." His replacement, Michael Hooper, played like such a champ that coach Robbie Deans may even try to find space in his 15 for both of them – but Pocock's sill the first choice. "Hoops has been fantastic," he says of his 21-year-old understudy. "He got through a mountain of work and I've enjoyed watching it. It's been a tough year for the Wallabies but the oppurtunities that a number of young guys like him have been given will be great for the team in the long run." Provided he can stay fit, Pocock is a clear choice to take over as Wallabies skipper when Sharpe, 34, retures after this four test tour. It's a role his career's inadvertently been leading to, having captained age teams and being picked so young to fill in for injured James Horwill, even if his priority is tackling and forcing turnover. "I enjoy erving the team in that role but it's not something that I chase after," he says. Pocock intends to be a leader beyond sport. A recent episode of the political panel show Q&A in Australia featured the flanker butting heads with intellectuals and politicians, and notably schooling former tennis star-turned Liberal MP John Alexander on the legalisation of gay marriage. "How can we be challenging homophobia when we're saying, 'You're eual to me but you're seperate, I'll go sign this [marriage] document but you can go have your civil union' which is the same, but not really" was part of his measured, softly spoken and much applauded rant. He added he and his girlfriend Emma have decided they won't get married until their gay friends are allowed to. Pocock's also spoken out about climate change. But wouldn't it just be easier to keep his mouth shut? "Not everyone likes that I've spoken out or weighed into the debate on those two issues but they're really important to me, so it's worth it," he tells us. "There is is often the old
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Photos: Getty Images
Clockwise: David is anything but a poser; with coach Robbie Deans; and doing what he does best
'sport and politics don't mix' line, but I think that's rubbish. Sports people benefit so much from society so it's important they're giving back by being a good role model and engaging politically – it's important that young people take an interest in current issues and become involved in more than clicktivism and sharing a Facebook status or watching a YouTube clip." Fond memories of "barefoot rugby in baggy jumpers" when growing up in Geru, Zimbabwe, are the foundaton for Pocock's attitude to rugby, with memeories of "kicking the ball around with my brothers 'til the light faded as my dad coached the the high school first 15". Despite being a proud Aussie, he says Zimbabwe still has a "special place in his heart". He's kept that connection strong through the charity he co-founded 80/20 Vision. "The work we're doing with a community development project is really important," he says. "Our focuses are food and water, security, health and educations – areas that require more attention across the world." Pocock knows that he wouldn't get such a forum if he wasn't such a dynamo on the field. And since he burst into internation rugby in 2008, he's been challenging New Zealand's Richie McCaw for the title of the world's best flanker. Rugby fans missed out on this already legendary battle with the All Blacks captain this season – it's a clash that decides the best player in the world for some. "I stay out of that," he says of the debate. "He's a great player who's achieved a ridiculous amount in rugby, and he deserves the accolades that he recieves." Why is McCaw so good? "His ability to play on the edge of the laws and picking his moments – it's what good flankers do," Pocok says of the veteran. There's no way he'd say it of him – it's not his style – but that's what Pocock himself does, and he's just warming up.
HEMISPHERES COLLIDE NORTH V SOUTH IN TESTS It'll be the unofficial championsip between north and south hemispheres from this weekend, when the top teams from both regions clash for a month. The series kicks off this week with a super Saturday – France host Australia at the Stade de Frace, England and Fiji clash at Twickenham, Wales take on Argentina at Cardiff's Millenium Stadium and the green teams, Ireland and South Africa, meet at Dublin's Aviva Stadium. After dominating the Rugby Championship, the All Blacks had a blip with a draw against the Wallabies in the third Bledisloe mach and will expect to dominate. But coach Steve Hansen isn't taking anything for granted, saying northern hemisphere tours "always bring unique challenges" and "big ocassions". Despite dissapointing form over the southern winter, the Wallabies are aiming for four wins from four games.
OZLISTINGS TRAVEL AGENTS Adventure Travel Bugs 07 3236 3266, adventuretravelbugs.com Backpackers World Travel 1800 997 325 backpackersworld.com Peter Pans Adventure Travel 1800 669 424, peterpans.com.au Travellers Contact Point 1800 647 640, travellers.com.au Tribal Adventure Travel 1800 984 484, tribaltravel.com.au YHA Travel 02 9261 111, yha.com.au
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Bottom Bits Bus Tours around Tasmania 1800 777 103, bottombits.com.au
Maxi Ragamuffin Whitsundays sailing 1800 454 777 maxiaction.com.au
Bunyip Tours Tours around Victoria 1300 286 947, bunyiptours.com
Mojosurf Sydney to Byron surfing tours 1800 113 044, mojosurf.com
Cool Dingos Fraser Island Tours 1800 072 555, cooldingotour.com
Nullarbor Traveller Tours from Adelaide and Perth 1800 816 858, the-traveller.com.au
Explore Whitsundays Whitsundays packages 1800 675 790, explorewhitsundays.com
Ocean Rafting Whitsundays tours 07 4946 6848, oceanrafting.com
Groovy Grape Getaways Tours linking Adelaide, Alice Springs & Melbourne 1800 661 177, groovygrape.com.au Heading Bush Adelaide to Alice Springs outback tours 1800 639 933, headingbush.com
Oz Experience Hop on-hop off Australia-wide tours 1300 300 028, ozexperience.com Surfcamp Sydney to Byron surfing tours 1800 888 732, surfcamp.com.au The Rock Tour Red centre tours 1800 246 345, therocktour.com.au
Wildlife Tours Tours around Victoria 1300 661 730, wildlifetours.com.au
RENTAL FIRMS Apollo Motorhomes 1800 777 779, apollocamper.com Mighty Cars and Campers (Formerly Backpacker Campervan Rentals) 1800 809 944 mightycampers.com.au Boomerang Cars 0414 882 559, boomerangcars.com.au Hippie Camper 1800 777 779, hippiecamper.com Kings Cross Car Market For buying and selling vehicles. 110 Bourke St, Woolloomooloo. 02 9358 5000, carmarket.com.au
TRANSPORT CO Greyhound Australia Buses around Australia. 13 20 30, greyhound.com.au Jetstar Airline. 131 538, jetstar.com.au Premier Transport Group Buses along the east coast. 13 34 10, premierms.com.au Qantas Airline. 13 13 13, qantas.com.au Regional Express Airline. 13 17 13, rex.com.au
Spaceships 1300 132 469, spaceshipsrentals.com.au
Spirit of Tasmania Ferries to Tasmania. 03 6336 1446, spiritoftasmania.com
Standbycars.com 1300 789 059, standbycars.com
Tiger Airways Airline. 03 9999 2888, tigerairways.com
Western Xposure WA tours 08 9414 8423, westernxposure.com.au
Travellers Auto Barn 1800 674 374, travellers-autobarn.com.au
Wilderness 4WD Adventures Top end tours 1800 808 288, wildernessadventures.com.au
Wicked Campers 1800 246 869, wickercampers.com
Redline Coaches For getting around Tasmania. 03 6336 1446, redlinecoaches.com.au
Adventure Tours Australia-wide tours 1800 068 886, adventuretours.com.au
Jump Tours Tours around Tasmania 0422 130 630, jumptours.com
Airliebeach.com Whitsundays packages 1800 677 119, airliebeach.com
Kakadu Dream Kakadu tours 1800 813 266, kakadudreams.com.au
Under Down Under Tours Tours around Tasmania 1800 064 726, underdownunder.com.au
Autopia Tours Tours around Victoria 03 9391 0261, autopiatours.com.au
Kangaroo Island Adventure Tours Adelaide to KI tours 13 13 01, kiadventuretours.com.au
Awesome Adventures Oz Whitsundays packages 1800 293 7663, awesomeoz.com
Kangaroo Island Wildlife Adventures South Australia 1800 786 386, surfandsun.com.au
Topdeck Tours covering all of Oz 1300 886 332, topdeck.travel
Virgin Australia Airline. 13 67 89, virginaustralia.com
S S O R C KINGS RKET A M R A C NT BUY, SELL & RE WE ARE HERE s "59).' 3%,,).' 2%.4).'. Good selection of Cars, Wagons, Vans & Campervans. 7$ 30%#)!,)343. Over 50 vehicles in stock with up to 50% BUY BACK. All with camping gear. s All vehicles for sale have a Government approved Roadworthy Certiﬁcate (Pink Slip) issued by ).$%0%.$%.4 -%#(!.)#3, not company employees like most car dealers. s &2%% information with tips for buying, selling and travelling. Transfer & Registration forms for all States. s &2%% Advice on Registrations, Transfers, which States are cheapest/easiest to Transfer and Register. s &2%% 12 Months Australia Wide Warranty (guaranteee) with (2 2/!$3)$% !33)34!.#% available on most vehicles.* NOT a 5000km warranty which gets you about 25% of your way around Australia. *Conditions apply
INSURANCE CE FREECALL: LL 1800 808 188 We sell the only known ‘No Excess’ 3rd Party Property Insurance available to travellers from $230* For 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 12 months. Insurance available even if you buy a car from another place and without you having to tell lies to get it.
NOW IN OUR 20TH YEAR OF
PUTTING TRAVELLERS ON THE ROAD
#534/-%23 #!.4 "% 72/.'
NOT COMING TO SYDNEY? THEN BUY AND SELL ONLINE @ www.carmarket.com.au OR CALL 02 9358 5000 48
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Base Sydney 477 Kent St. CBD. 02 9267 7718 stayatbase.com Big Hostel 212 Elizabeth St. CBD. 02 9281 6030 bighostel.com Bounce Budget Hotel 28 Chalmers St. CBD. 02 9281 2222 bouncehotel.com.au Easy Go Backpackers 752 George St. CBD. 02 9211 0505, easygobackpackers.com.au
City Resort Hostel 103-105 Palmer St. Woolloomooloo 02 9357 3333 cityresort.com.au
Oxford Art Factory. Jan 2. From $48 Kick of your new year with a belly full of lyrical indie-rock from these British bro’s.
Oxford St, Sydney
Sydney Central YHA 11 Rawson Place. CBD. 02 9218 9000 Sydney Harbour YHA 110 Cumberland Street. The Rocks. 02 9261 1111 yha.com.au Westend Backpackers 412 Pitt St. CBD. 1800 013 186 nomadshostels.com
Boomerang Backpackers 141 William Street, Kings Cross.02 8354 0488, boomerangbackpackers.com Dlux Hostel 30 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross. 1800 236 213 dluxbudgethotel.com.au Kangaroo Bak Pak
moshtix.com.au 665 South Dowling St. Surry Hills. 02 9261 1111 Avalon Beach Hostel 59 Avalon Pde, Avalon Beach. 02 9918 9709, avalonbeach.com.au Bondi YHA 63 Fletcher Street.
Tamarama. 02 9365 2088, yha.com.au
Rear 63, The Corso, Manly. 02 9977 3411 boardrider.com.au
Lamrock Lodge 19 Lamrock Ave. Bondi. 02 9130 5063, lamrocklodge.com
The Bunkhouse 35 Pine St, Manly. 1800 657 122, bunkhouse.com.au
Lochner’s Guesthouse 8 Gowrae Ave. Bondi. 02 9387 2162,
Manly Backpackers 24-28 Raglan St. Manly. 02 9977 3411 manlybackpackers.com.au
Aegean Coogee Lodge 40 Coogee Bay Rd. Coogee. 04 0817 6634, aegeancoogee.com.au
Cammeray Gardens 66 Palmer St, North Sydney. 02 9954 9371 sydneyboardinghouse.com
Coogee Beach House 171 Arden St. Coogee. 02 9665 1162, coogeebeachhouse.com
Wake Up! 509 Pitt St, CBD. 02 9288 7888, wakeup.com.au
Coogee Beachside 178 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee. 02 9315 8511, sydneybeachside.com.au Surfside Backpackers 186 Arden Street. Coogee. 02 9315 7888, surfsidebackpackers.com.au Glebe Point YHA 262-264 Glebe Point Road. Glebe. 02 9692 8418, yha.com.au Boardrider Backpacker
SYDNEY DO Manly Surf School Manly Beach. 02 9977 6977, manlysurfschool.com Maritime Museum Darling Harbour. anmm.gov.au My Sydney Detour Unique city tours. mysydneydetour.com Oceanworld Manly West Esplanade. oceanworld.com.au
o Scan hUeTrMe OtREÒ NDO CAMPERS FROM
52 $156 AU
FOR 3 DAYS*
CARS ALSO AVAILABLE
*Van price based on a Lowball Camper, 3+ day rate, for travel 26/11/2012 – 01/12/2012. Prices correct at time of print, rates change weekly so contact our Reservations team for the best daily rate. Minimum hire applies, offer subject to availability and liability reduction cover is additional. For full terms and conditions contact Mighty Campers.
NSWLISTINGS BOY’S CLUB
Powerhouse Museum Darling Harbour. powerhousemuseum.com.au
02 4925 3544, yha.com.au
Skydive the Beach Wollongong. skydivethebeach.com
Terrigal Beach YHA 9 Ocean View Dr, Terrigal. 02 4384 1919, yha.com.au
Sydney Olympic Park Darling Harbour. sydneyolympicpark.nsw.gov.au Sydney Tower and Skytour 100 Market St, CBD. sydneyskytour.com.au Sydney Harbour Bridge The Rocks. bridgeclimb.com Sydney Aquarium Darling Harbour. sydneyaquarium.com.au
Backpackers Inn 29 Shirley St 1800 817 696 ackpackersinnbyronbay.com.au
Waves Surf School wavessurfschool.com.au
SYDNEYMUSIC Hordern Pavillion playbillvenues.com
Byron Bay Accom 02 6680 8666, byronbayaccom.net The Arts Factory 1 Skinners Shoot Rd. 02 6685 7709, nomadshostels.com
Oxford Art Factory oxfordartfactory.com Sydney Opera House sydneyoperahouse.com
Nomads Byron Bay Lawson Lane. 1800 666 237, nomadshostels.com
The Annandale annandalehotel.com The Enmore enmoretheatre.com.au
Byron Bay YHA 7 Carlyle St. 1800 678 195, yha.com.au
The Metro metrotheatre.com.au
BLUE MTNS Blue Mountains YHA 207 Katoomba St, Katoomba. 02 4782 1416, yha.com.au
Petersham Guest House
Skydive Central Coast Warnervale. skydivethecentralcoast.com.au
Taronga Zoo Mosman. zoo.nsw.gov.au
The beach is known for being littered with tourists (if it’s too busy for you, head right, to sheltered little Shelly Beach) and scantily-clad burnt people playing volleyball. There are heaps of surrounding cafes, shops, bars and markets at weekends. There’s an easy-going and social summer lovin’ atmosphere that makes Manly an interesting and fun beach to visit – worth if for the ferry ride from the city alone. It’s soon to be host to the first-ever Australian Open of Surfing, (11-19 February) so I guess you’d say the waves are pretty good too.
The Entrance Backpackers 2/56 The Entrance Road, The Entrance, 2261 02 4334 5005 theentrancebackpackers.com
Backpackers Holiday Village 116 Jonson St 1800 350 388, byronbaybackpackers.com.au
Sydney Wildlife World Darling Harbour. sydneywildlifeworld.com.au
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CENTRAL COAST Newcastle Beach YHA 30 Pacific St, Newcastle.
Skydive the Beach Byron Bay Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina 1800 302 005 skydivethebeachbyronbay.com
COFFS HARB Coffs Harbour YHA 51 Collingwood St. 02 6652 6462, yha.com.au
ARE DORMS GETTING YOU DOWN? Then come sleep with us! The place to stay in the Sydney Suburbs. Double room - $240 p/week Twin room - $240 p/week Single room - $200 p/week Ensuite room - $300 p/week
100 metres to bus and train. 5kms from city centre. 23 Brighton St, Petersham.
0414 450 273
GUMBALL FESTIVAL The Hunter Valley. April 25 2013 The Gum Ball is unique weekend music and arts festival held at ‘Dashville,’ the Johnston family’s bushland estate located at Belford in the Hunter Valley NSW.
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GREAT KEPPEL ISLAND Am I dreaming? Am I in heaven? No, this is Great Keppel Island. Blue water, white sand, coral beaches, coves… and it’s not even that expensive to visit. Even though all of these beautiful features make it a popular destination for backpackers, it is too big to get crowded and you’ll still have your peace and quiet. The clear water makes it a perfect destination to snorkel and get in touch with the underwater world. Besides that, there’s not a lot of entertainment on the island, so feel free to relive your favourite Castaway scene. Go on, no one will be able to hear you anyway. “WILLLLLLLSOOOON!”
BRISBANE STAY Aussie Way Backpackers 34 Cricket St. 07 3369 0711, aussiewaybackpackers.com Banana Bender Backpackers 118 Petrie Terrace. 07 3367 1157, bananabenders.com
Base Brisbane Embassy 214 Elizabeth St. 07 3166 8000, stayatbase.com Base Brisbane Central 308 Edward St. 07 3211 2433, stayatbase.com Brisbane Backpackers Resort 110 Vulture St, West End. 1800 626 452, brisbanebackpackers.com.au Brisbane City Backpackers 380 Upper Roma St 1800 062 572, citybackpackers.com Bunk Backpackers Cnr Ann & Gipps Sts, 1800 682 865, bunkbrisbane.com.au The Deck 117 Harcourt Street, New Farm. 04 3377 7061 Tinbilly Travellers Cnr George and Herschel Sts. 1800 446 646. tinbilly.com
BRISBANE DO Australia Zoo Glasshouse Mountains, Tourist Drive, Beerwah.
07 5436 2000, australiazoo.com.au Gallery of Modern Art 07 3840 7303, qag.qld.gov.au Riverlife Adventure Centre Kayaking & rock climbing. Lower River Terrace, Kangaroo Point. 07 3891 5766, riverlife.com.au Story Bridge Adventure Climb 170 Main St, Kangaroo Point. 1300 254 627, storybridgeadventureclimb.com.au XXXX Ale House Brewery tours. Cnr Black & Paten St, Milton. 07 3361 7597, xxxxalehouse.com.au
GOLD COAST Aquarius Backpackers 44 Queen St, Surfers Paradise. 1800 22 99 55, aquariusbackpackers.com.au Backpackers in Paradise 40 Peninsula Drive, Surfers Paradise. 1800 268 621, backpackersinparadise.com.au Coolangatta Kirra Beach YHA Pl, 230 Coolangatta Rd, Bilinga. 07 5536 76442, yha.com.au Coolangatta Sands Hostel Cnr Griffiths & McLean Sts, Coolangatta. 07 5536 7472, coolangattasandshostel.com.au
Gold Coast International BP 28 Hamilton Ave, Surfers. 1800 816 300, goldcoastbackpackers.com.au
Mooloolaba Backpackers 75-77 Brisbane Rd, Mooloolaba. 1800 020 120 mooloolababackpackers.com
Islander Backpackers Resort 6 Beach Rd, Surfers Paradise. 1800 074 393, islander.com.au
Nomads Noosa 44 Noosa Dr, Noosa Heads. 1800 666 237, nomadshostels.com
Eurong Beach Resort 07 4120 1600, eurong.com.au
Sleeping Inn Surfers 26 Peninsular Dr, Surfers Paradise. 1800 817 832, sleepinginn.com.au
Halse Lodge YHA 2 Halse Lane, Noosa. 1800 242 567, halselodge.com.au
Palace Adventures 184 Torquay St, Hervey Bay, 1800 063 168 palaceadventures.com.au
Surfers Paradise Backpackers Resort 2837 Gold Coast Highway, Surfers. 1800 282 800, surfersparadisebackpackers.com.au Surfers Paradise YHA Mariners Cove, 70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise. 07 5571 1776, yha.com.au Trekkers Backpackers 22 White St, Southport. 1800 100 004, trekkersbackpackers.com.au
GC DO Dreamworld Theme park. dreamworld.com.au Get Wet Surf School 07 5532 9907 Seaworld seaworld.com.au Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World wetnwild.myfun.com.au Warener Bros Movie World movieworld.com.au Zorb 07 5547 6300
184 Torquay, 1800 063 168, palaceadventures.com.au
RAINBOW BEACH Dingos Backpacker Adventure Resort 20 Spectrum St. 1800 111126, dingosresort.com Pippies Beach House 22 Spectrum St. 1800 425 356, pippiesbeachhouse.com Skydive Rainbow Beach 0418 218 358, skydiverainbowbeach.com
HERVEY BAY Aussie Woolshed 181 Torquay Rd 07 4124 0677 woolshedbackpackers.com Next at Hervey Bay 10 Bideford St. 1800 102 989, nextbackpackers.com.au
BUNDABERG Federal Backpackers 221 Bourbong St. 07 4153 3711 federalbackpackers.com.au Northside Backpackers 12 Queen St. 07 4154 1166 Bundaberg Bondstore Distillery tours. 07 4131 2999 bundabergrum.com.au
TOWN OF 1770 1770 Backpackers 6 Captain Cook Dr. 1800 121 770, the1770backpackers.com 1770 Undersea Adventures 1300 553 889, 1770underseaadventures.com
Nomads Hervey Bay 408 The Esplanade. 1800 666 237, nomadshostels.com
airliebeach.com 259 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 677 119
Airlie Beach YHA
QLDLISTINGS 394 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 247 251, yha.com.au Backpackers by the Bay 12 Hermitage Dr. 1800 646 994, backpackersbythebay.com
FREE UNLIMITED INTERNET
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Base Airlie Beach Resort 336 Shute Harbour Rd 1800 242 273, stayatbase.com Magnums Whitsunday Village Resort 366 Shute Harbour Rd. 1800 624 634 magnums.com.au
BOWEN Bowen Backpackers Beach end of Herbert St. 07 4786 3433 bowenbackpackers.net
go to: goldenbackpacks.tntdownunder.com
TOWNSVILLE Adventurers Resort 79 Palmer St. 1800 211 522, adventurersresort.com Adrenalin Dive. 07 4724 0600, adrenalindive.com.au Yongala Dive Yongala diving. 07 4783 1519, yongaladive.com.au
MAGNETIC ISL Base Magnetic Island 1 Nelly Bay Rd. 1800 24 22 73, stayatbase.com
FREECALL: 1800 000 541
Air-conditioning 24 hour reception Kitchen & laundry Keycard access Secure parking Free BBQ
HEAPS OF ACTIVITIES! Day trip to Crystal Cascades, Wakeboarding, Sailing, Movie nights and much more!
117 Grafton Street Cairns, QLD Australia 4870 email@example.com www.northerngreenhouse.com.au www.greenhousebackpacker.com.au
CAIRNS DO AJ Hackett Bungy jumping & canyon swinging. 1800 622 888 cairns.ajhackett.com Pro Dive 07 4031 5255 prodivecairns.com Raging Thunder Adventures Whitewater rafting. 07 4030 7990, ragingthunder.com.au Skydive Cairns POBOX 105N Cairns 07 4052 1822, skydivecairns.com.au
CAPE TRIB Crocodylus Village Lot 5, Buchanan Creek Rd, Cow Bay. 07 4098 9166, crocodyluscapetrib.com PK’s Jungle Village Cnr Avalon & Cape Trib Rd. 1800 232 333, pksjunglevillage.com.au
INNISFAIL IInnisfail Budget Backpackers Worker’s Hostel 125 Edith St. 07 4061 78337
Hotel Arcadia 7 MArine Parade, Arcadia Bay. 07 4778 5177, magnetic-island.com/arc-rsrt.htm
Walkabout Motel & Backpackers 07 4061 2311
Pleasure Divers 07 4778 5788
MISSION BEACH Absolute Backpackers 28 Wongaling Beach Road. 07 4068 8317, absolutebackpackers.com.au
CAIRNS STAY Bohemia Central Cairns 100 Sheridan St. 1800 558 589, bohemiacentral.com.au Bohemia Resort Cairns 231 McLeod St. 1800 155 353, bohemiaresort.com.au Calypso Backpackers 5 Digger St. 1800 815 628, calypsobackpackers.com.au JJ’s Backpackers Hostel 11 Charles St. 07 4051 7642, jjsbackpackers.com
Nomads Beach House 239 Sheridan St. 1800 229 228, nomadshostels.com
Bungalow Bay Backpackers Horseshow Bay. 1800 285 577, bungalowbay.com.au
Scotty’s Beach House 167 Reid Rd. 07 4068 8676, scottysbeachhouse.com.au
FREE DAILY BREAKFAST
NJoy Backpackers Hostel Harbour 141 Sheridan St. 1800 807 055, njoy.net.au
ATHERTON Kuranda Rainforest Park 88 Kuranda Heaights Rd, Kuranda. 07 4093 7316, kurandarainforestpark.com.au
PORT DOUGLAS Parrotfish Backpackers Resort 37 Warner St, Kuranda. 07 4099 5011, parrotfishlodge.com
GULF SAVANNAH Emu Creek Cattle Station 07 4094 8313
DAINTREE Koala Beach Resort Cape Kimberly Rd. 1800 466 444
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MISSION BEACH Where the rainforest meets the reef. Mission is a special place with a real village feel to it. Once an Aboriginal mission and a hippie hangout, itâ€™s now home to budget accommodation. Enjoy 14km of secluded beaches and pretty rainforest areas. Itâ€™s also developed a reputation for its love of adrenalin. Mission is one of the best places to do a skydive, admiring the reef before landing on the sand, while the area is also good for less crowded dive sites and day-tripping to the Tully rafting.
7/2+%23 7!.4%$ &RUIT AND 6EGETABLE PICKING JOBS AVAILABLE s 4RANSPORT TO FROM WORK s &2%% COURTESY BUS PICK UP s ,AUNDRY FACILITIES s )NTERNET FACILITIES s 0LEASANT AND FRIENDLY STAFF s "ISTRO AVAILABLE AT "ANJOS TAVERN NEXT DOOR