17-30 December 2012 Issue 711 tntdownunder.com
IIVNE DAY W IC F
AN EP ST SOUTH COA G NSW SURFIN SAFARI
SUNDAY SESSION Cruising the splendid Whitsundays
REWARD OFFERED Volunteering in remote Indonesia
G N A B A H T I OUT W vered! ear’s Eve co Y w e N t o g e’ve ucker up – w p d n a s e o h dancing s Put on your + NEWS & SPORT WHAT’S ON FILM REVIEWS TRAVELLERS’ TIPS
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Bonza SYDNEY < > CAIRNS
Includes: al e + Loc 'ULYeU*uLded7UDYel Packag + $105 6WD\Dnd6uUIDW6SRW; $1398 1LPELn'D\7RuU 7U\RuUIDnWDsWLc(DsW&RDsW3DssesZKLcKLnclude %\URn%D\.D\DNZLWK'RlSKLn7RuU WUDYelDcWLYLWLessRPeDccRPPRdDWLRn PeDls nLJKWsdRUPDccRPPRdDWLRnLn1RRsD :eÂˇYeJRWDll\RuUWUDYelneedssRUWed dD\nLJKW)UDseUIslDnd:'7DJ$lRnJWRuU )DUP6WD\DW2uWEDcN&DWWle6WDWLRn %Uuce&REEeU 6\dne\ dD\nLJKW:KLWsundD\6DLlLnJ$dYenWuUe *UeDW%DUULeU5eeI6DLl6nRUNel 'LYe7RuU Includes: Â‡ +RSRnKRSRIIcRDcKWUDYel EeWZeen6\dne\!&DLUns Â‡ 6uUIDnd6WD\DW6SRW;ZLWK PRsWPeDlsLncluded Â‡ 1LPELn'D\7RuU Â‡ )DUP6WD\DW.URRPELW
Bruce Cobber 6WUeZWK%\URn SYDNEY < > CAIRNS
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ALEX HARMON EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR’S LETTER While Christmas in Australia is a bizarre concept for you northern-hemi folk, bringing in the New Year is as thrilling here as anywhere in the world. From eco-festivals to dancing in the sand on Bondi with the Chemical Brothers, we’ve got a comprehensive list to suit all tastes. Whatever you do, bring it in with style. And thanks for supporting TNT, it’s been a great year. Now to give up goon (again).
THIS WEEK OZ DIARY
FOOD AND DRINK
LISTINGS NEW ZEALAND
FEATURES THE SILENT TYPE
We sat down with the more talkative half of Jay and Silent Bob for a discussion
Celebrate surviving the Mayan Apocalypse with our NYE 12/13 list
LOST YOUR WHITS
We go cruising around Australia’s most beautiful collection of islands
FOOTY FEVER We visit a remote village in Indonesia bringing the gift of the beautiful game
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EDITORIAL Editor Alex Harmon Staff writer Hugh Radojev Contributors Alasdair Morton, Nicola Moyne, Marina Thomas Interns James Beasenvalle, Caitlin Stanway
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MAIN EVENT SUNBURNT CHRISTMAS BONDI BEACH
Forget the Eastenders’ special and the Queen’s speech, this festive mash-up will give you a Christmas like never before. Sydney’s biggest orphan’s Christmas Day party by Bondi Beach comes complete with BBQ lunch and obligatory wet t-shirt competition (as much a part of the yule tide tradition in Bondi as anything else). You’ll be sure to have an Xmas extravaganza like you’ve never had before. Renowned English DJ Yoda headlines a massive lineup of international and local DJs and producers including Helena, DJ Valentine and Nukewood. Dec 25. Bondi Beach, NSW
ROOFTOP CINEMA MELBOURNE
SNOWY MOUNTAIN MUSTER
SYDNEY TO HOBART RACE
Set in the heart of the CBD, this fully licensed bar also runs movie nights. Films shown in this fortnight include recently released thriller Prometheus and the classic Ben Stiller comedy Zoolander. Take in a movie and a few beers overlooking the city.
Riders from all across the country will be heading to the beautiful Snowy Mountains to take part in the biggest muster yet. Watch some of the best horseman around battle it out for the Stockman Challenge or check out the world’s largest horse.
While for most of us Boxing Day is for relaxing, 82 seperate boats and their crews will be setting off for the 67th annual race. Grab a spot a long the Harbour with a drink and some food and marvel at the spectacle of one of Oz’s iconic events.
1 Dec – 31 Jan 252 Swanston St, Melb CBD rooftopcinema.com.au
Dec 30 Jindabyne, NSW snowymountainsmuster.com
Dec 26 Sydney Harbour, Sydney rolexsydneyhobart.com
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PUB review by Hugh Radojev
Just off of Cleveland Street, in one of the less seedy areas of Redfern, this pub was once a notorious hang out for the less fortunate, council housed folk who lived further up Walker Street. In the last 18 months or so, with a lick of paint and a few pot-plants, The Norfolk has undergone a radical transformation and is now a wonderful place for a beer or two, or a quick bite to eat. A large, shady beer garden and three bars serve a decidedly hip crowd, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights or during a Sunday afternoon session. Apart from two TV’s in the front room, The Norfolk is otherwise stripped off any screens or pokies, so if you want to have a quick slap look somewhere else. THE GRUB The Norfolk’s little cantina offers some pretty standard pub grub with a slightly American diner type twist. Things like the $12 cola-braised (whatever that means) Quesadillas, $9 chilli fries and the pork sliders are all good, but four soft shell taco’s for $20 can’t really be beaten. BEHIND THE BAR Think your usual selection of beers on tap, house wines and spirits supplemented with some more interesting stuff for those willing to pay. The $15 cocktail list is also awesome. BILL PLEASE Cocktails $15; beers from $5.50. VERDICT While the staff aren’t always the friendliest, The Norfolk is great whether you’re looking for a few quiet beers or a raucous night on the tiles. THE SCENE
305 Cleveland St, Surry Hills.
3 OF THE BEST TEQUILA BARS 6
Long before the juice of the Agave plant came roaring back into vogue, this Darlinghurst bar has been repping Mexico something fierce. The melt in your mouth food aside, this place knows its tequila with 90 on offer and serves up 12 different Margaritas, most of which will take your head off (in the best possible way).
The décor in this Manly staple might be classy, 1950s slim fit suits and slicked back hair, but the drinks menu is all Tijuana. The relatively cheap cocktail menu are all tequila based and will have you wondering how people get by slamming shots of Cuervo with salt. The Mexican’t Magarita is an absolute standout!
Opened as part of the refurbished casino in Pyrmont, this rock’n’roll venue honours the age old tradition between awesome music and tequila. Catch a live band or two while sampling a few of the 120 tequilas on offer and kick back in the booths made from salvaged bits of old 1950s Cadillacs. How cool!
SYDNEYEATS GREAT BARR IER REEF MAR INE PARK
heart of the reef
FOOD review by Alex Harmon
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Start your holiday with a choice of either a Whitehaven Beach Camira Sailing Adventure, or a Great Barrier Reef Adventures. Overnight at Long Island. When you dream of an Island experience this is what you dream of! Spend the day enjoying the facilities at Long Island Resort or find your own secluded bay and take in the great outdoors. Great snorkelling. Ferry/ bus departures back to Airlie available at a variety of times. You may just be tempted to stay another night! From $215*pp (Dorm accommodation)
plus heaps of other great packages 3-6 days All day cruises and packages depart daily from Airlie Beach. For info and bookings see your travel centre or contact us: FREECALL1800 awesome
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The latest burger joint to open in the empire of 90 or so stores across Australia can be found in Bondi Junction. They claim to be the healthiest, but I don’t buy into any ‘the burgers are better’ sing-song; and the number of calories written by the burger may as well be foreign currency to me. That said: there’s no clouding of judgment when I say that the burgers here are damn good. Bondi Junction is not an easy hustle, amongst a sea of fast-food hot-spots but Grill’d aim high. They’re licensed, provide al fresco dining, and even donate a buck from every meal to a local charity of your choice. THE GRUB Now, the burgers are big: the Summer Sunset ($12.50) is your classic Aussie beef burger with avocado, pineapple and bacon (just missing beetroot). It’s juicy and messy – the way it should be. Field of Dreams ($11.50) caters to the vegos with mushroom, basil pesto, roasted peppers, cheese and a mayo that makes the mouth sing. Somewhere in the middle there’s the Baa Baa Burger ($12.90). While the name may make sensitive vegetarians wince, this lamb burger will transport you to a happy place. Chips ($4.50/ regular) are not too crispy, not too soggy; and don’t shy away from the salads either – the Chicken, Pomegranate and Goats Cheese ($13.90) will have you hoping a Grill’d will materialize in your ‘hood. BEHIND THE BAR A large range of wines and local/imported beers. But what you really want to try is the Rekorderlig cider slushies. Hello summer! BILL PLEASE Burgers start from $9.50; salads from $12.90; sides from $3.50. If you’re a petite eater you can get a kid’s burger for $7.90. VERDICT A fast-food joint with the heart and soul of an oldfashioned American diner. THE SCENE
follow us on The Datsuns Free Esplanade Hotel, Meb espy.com.au
Evan Dando & Juliana Hatfield $49 Metro Theatre, Sydney ticketek.com.au J-Lo From $102 Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Bris ticketek.com.au Propaganda $5 Worldbar, Syd theworldbar.com.au
PACHA NEW YEAR’S EVE Ivy, Sydney. Dec 31. From $99 AN21 & Max Vangelli, Junior Jack & Kid Crème and Infinity Ink headline this New Year’s Eve event along with some of Australia’s best DJ’s. Ivy Hotel, Sydney
The Shades From $15 The Toff, Melb moshtix.com.au
Human Nature From $69 State Theatre, Syd ticketmaster.com.au
Parkway Drive $43 Newcastle Panthers, Newcastle moshtix.com.au
Lost $ Found Free Revolver Upstairs, Melb revolverupstairs.com.au
Human Nature From $82 Adelaide Entertainment Centre ticketek.com.au
Rufus Free Beach Road Hotel, Syd beachroadbondi.com.au
Morrissey From $108 Brisbane Convention Centre ticketek.com.au
Daryl Braithway From $40 Wellers of Kangaroo Ground, VIC moshtix.com.au
Jason Winters From $69 NIDA Sydney ticketek.com.au
Chix n Stix: Pool Comp Free The Imperial Hotel theimperialhotel.com.au
TUESDAY 18 Legally Blonde: The Musical from $75.90 The Star, Pyrmont showbiz.com.au
THURSDAY 20 Kendrick Lamar $55 Enmore Theatre, Syd enmoretheatre.com.au
FRIDAY 21 The Sundance Kids From $20 The Governer Hindmarsh, Adl moshtix.com.au The Owls From $20 Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay thenorthern.oztix.com.au J-Lo From $102 Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Bris ticketek.com.au Jason Byrne From $59.90 Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne ticketek.com.au Morrissey From $108 Enmore Theatre, Sydney ticketek.com.au Rumours: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac From $25 The Basement, Sydney moshtix.com.au Project Mykonos 15-18’s From $35 C-Side Function Centre ticketek.com.au
HARBOUR PARTY Luna Park, Sydney. Dec 31. From $119 Join Rick-Lee, The Ashton Shuffle, Luciana, Marvin Priest, Ivan Gough and many more as they bring in the New Year at Luna Park. North Sydney
Jason Byrne From $59.90 Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne ticketek.com.au
MONDAY 24 The Colosseum in Lego Free University of Sydney sydney.edu.au/museums
TUESDAY 25 XMAS Kandy Classic Trance Edition $59 Billboard The Venue, VIC ticketek.com.au
WEDNESDAY 26 Monster Slam From $25 Fairfield Showgrounds, NSW ticketek.com.au
Orchestra present Timless Classics From $43 Sydney Opera House ticketek.com.au Pearson Sound, Ben UFO, XXXY and Guests From $38 Metro Theatre ticketek.com.au
SATURDAY 29 Karnivool From $39 Metro, Sydney ticketek.com.au Pacha ft. Sam La More From $30 ivy Sydney pachasydney.com The Australian Philharmonic Orchestra present Timless Classics From $43 Sydney Opera House ticketek.com.au
Kid Ink From $60 The Hifi Sydney moshtix.com.au
The Australian Philharmonic Orchestra present Timless
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Jason Byrne From $59.90 Athenaeum Theatre Melbourne ticketek.com.au Pacha ft. Kaz James From $30 ivy, Sydney pachasydney.com Cell Block 69’s Awesome Live Rock Spectacular! $18 ANU Bar, ACT ticketek.com.au
THE REUNION FESTIVAL The Entrance Leagues Club. Dec 22. $28 After The Fall, In The Grey, Angela’s Dish, The Lazys, We Are Grace, Bright Yellow, One Jonathon, Miramar, Cocapenny and many more. Central Coast
SUNDAY 23 Girl’s Xmas Bash ft Rocco D’Amore, DJ Sveta, Girlthing DJ’s Free Newtown Hotel newtownhotel.com.au
Classics GUMBALL FESTIVAL From $43 Sydney Opera House Belford, NSW. April 25-27. Weekend pass + camping is $165 ticketek.com.au Joining Custard, Jinja Safari and Ash Grunwald will be energetic 11 piece funk/soul group The Bakery, folk singer Roesy, and Silent Disco.
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Snootchie bootchies... Jason Mewes comes clean on Jay, Silent Bob, his first forays into threesomes and escaping a drug-fuelled past WORDS ALASDAIR MORTON
Photos: Courtesy of Dimension Films/ Miramax Films/Getty; Kevin Winter Images
The first time Jason Mewes, the foul-mouthed half of Jay and Silent Bob, came to London, it was on the press tour for 2001’s Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back movie and the city failed to make much of an impression. Eleven years later, when he and Kevin Smith embarked on touring the live show of their hugely popular weekly podcast, Jay And Silent Bob Get Old, around the UK, Smith discovered that his newly sober buddy had little recollection of being in London previously. Which might explain why Mewes was much more taken with the Big Smoke when he and Smith played at the Hammersmith Apollo in London earlier this year. “Me and the wife [Jordan] talk about it. I love living in LA, but if there was anywhere else I’d love to live, it would be London,” Mewes tells us, as we catch up with him on the phone from his home in LA. He’s chatting to us while packing ahead of jetting off to Connecticut for what is fast approaching the 100th ... Get Old podcast. “I like the people, I feel the vibe of it. It’s a beautiful city, man.” Mewes’ opposing experiences of London fairly encapsulate the journey in recent years of this slacker/junkieturned-Hollywood actor. Mewes was thrust into the spotlight by Smith’s breakout Clerks, a comic book-splattered no-budget flick that achieved instant cult fame, in which he played Jay, the crude and highly vocal half of the convenience store-loitering duo. He appeared as the character in Smith’s following five movies, but while his supporting turns ran right up to a whole film about the hapless duo, 2001’s ... Strike Back, off camera, Mewes’ life wasn’t following the same climb to success. Behind the scenes he was plagued by substance abuse, and continued attempts at rehab, none of which ever took. As long-term friend and supporter Smith noted of Mewes on stage in London at the start of the year: “You couldn’t even produce a fucking heart beat because of all the heroin, and now you’ve produced a movie.” The pair’s, but particularly Mewes’, past are the focus for their live podcast tour – all three of their 2012 Teabagging In The UK shows feature in the out-for-Christmas DVD – which is equal parts for the ‘View Askewniverse’ fans (as Smith’s
There’s usually some crazy sex story there
movie fans call it), as it is for Mewes himself as a weekly therapy stand-in where he can discuss his unruly past. “The first part of the show is us talking about what has been going on in the last couple of weeks,” Mewes says of the format they’ve taken out on the road for nearly two years now. “The second part is usually some kind of wacky, crazy sex story, like crapping yourself when you’re in bed with a woman, and the last part is usually a drugs story in which I tell people how many days I have sober (closing in on 700 days at the time of the London show, which received a strangely ‘American’ round of applause).” Such has been the role that the show’s played in Mewes’ recovery that the odd times they have not been able to record a podcast when other movie work has clashed, fans have tweeted the duo, unsure of whether this marks a falling from the wagon or not. “People are always really concerned and keeping track of whether I am sober and stuff, which is really cool,” he says, clearly moved by people’s support. Mewes, for one, does not shirk from talking about the more gut-wrenching moments of his past life: getting booted out by his missus for spending the last of their money on drugs, tearing off through back alleys and fields with a pocket full of narcotics and the cops in pursuit, or a festive memory that would be especially grim and harrowing, were it not told with his trademark self-mocking awareness and the wisdom of a reformed junkie. “People always dig the story about when I got high during Christmas,” he recalls of what is, in some respects, the Stairway To Heaven of his ‘past indiscretions’ tour. “It’s one of the biggest drug stories I have that I can go
Mewes at the movies; hanging out in Clerks II; on stage with Kevin Smith
back to now and laugh at, but it was really sad at the time. “I was really messed up and we’d lost all the power and the heat as we hadn’t paid our bills. We were getting thrown out of our apartment and had candles everywhere, all over the place, man. We fell asleep high and the fucking couch caught fire!” If the show is half about Mewes’ narcotic past, then it is just as much about his sex life, too – its past, its present and, as an anecdote about wanting his wife to put on a British accent reveals, its possible future. Predictably, he and Smith’s penchant for the lurid is never far from the discussion, whether it be their dogs humping each other or Mewes explaining his reliance on his ‘halfhalf-whole’ penetrative approach. As fans of Jay and Silent Bob will know, sex – be it discussed, sought or simulated – is never off, or far from, the agenda. For example, a segment that frequently closes out the show involves audience members in on-stage clinches with Mewes as they act out sexual positions such as ‘Riding Nelson’s Column’. “I love telling stories and telling the truth,” he says of his fearless approach to the shows. “But also entertaining and keeping people interested.” Does he have any favourite stories for the smut segment? “The first time I had a threesome,” he shoots back without any pause for thought. “It’s always a good one to tell, especially when it is given in great detail. It’s a pretty amazing story, and it was a pretty awesome situation, man.” Despite the fact the content of their shows is not for the easily offended, ‘off-stage’ Mewes comes across as less like his on-screen alter ego than you might expect. Their penchant for profanity is a shared passion, granted, but Mewes now seems humbled by his success rather than unaware of it, and proud of the century milestone he and Smith have almost reached with ... Get Old. 12
Walking out on to the stage of the 5000-capacity Apollo back in February, their biggest show to date which was sold out weeks before, was clearly still a moving experience for someone who knows just how fortunate he has been. “Everything with me is an open book and the podcast is me being accountable to other people,” he reflects. “It’s me being able to tell old stories that I can laugh about now, but I don’t want to ever go back there or be in that sort of situation again. As long as the podcast helps me stay sober and entertains, that’s the goal.” Away from Jay, he now has a successful career as an actor, with 10 projects this year alone and more lined up. He has plans to move behind the camera in the future, too. “I am into anything,” he says of his ambition. “I just directed a PSA [public service announcement – called My Mom Is ...] and am producing a cartoon [and exec-produced horror movie Switchback] and I want to do more. More TV, and just to direct more, too.” But as for the live action Jay and Silent Bob, it appears they may have loitered on the big screen for the last time, with Mewes saying he and Smith are set to focus on the cartoon and podcast for now, with no more plans for New Jersey convenience store-bound movies right now. Will they be back in Mewes’ second favourite town again in the near future? For fans the news on this is significantly better. “Definitely, we’ve been talking about it and exploring the possibilities of how we can do it again,” Mewes says. “Any chance to be able to go out to London for work is a real plus for me.” ❚
Jay And Silent Bob Get Old – Teabagging In The UK is out now. Available through Amazon. Put it in your Christmas stocking! amazon.com
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The Black Seeds Daniel Weetman of The Black Seeds spoke to us about the importance of compromise in music, playing Peats Ridge Festival again and the band’s latest album Dust and Dirt INTERVIEW HUGH RADOJEV
“A lot of compromising goes on but it’s good to have those challenges”
What was the inspiration behind the band’s name? Originally, it was our first bass player who came up with the name. I have never really liked the name, always wanted to change it, and obviously that didn’t happen. He had this idea that all sort of “seeds” come from Africa and we’re all connected in some way as humans and citizens of the Earth. That kind of made sense to him and the name stuck. But now I think the music speaks more than the name. So when did you join the band, Daniel? That would have been about 1999. For someone who’s never listened, how would you describe your band’s music? You get asked the question so many times and I think I always sort of come up with different answers but it’s bass heavy, definitely got reggae and funk elements in there. A Pacific sort of flavour, what with us being from New Zealand. I guess, though, we just try and write good music. Speaking of the writing process, how
does that work with eight in the band? There used to be eight a few years ago, now there are six of us. It must still be difficult when you all come together to write a song? The last album, Dust and Dirt everybody had a hand in writing the songs with individual ideas. We also did a lot of jamming together. Sometimes it is hard, because we listen to different kinds of music and bring different ideas to the table but we usually meet somewhere in the middle, which is good. Yeah, so you can have half the band trying to go down one way and the other half trying to go another way, so a lot of compromising goes on but it’s good to have those challenges when writing. You have to learn to compromise and something else, something you never thought of at first can come out of compromising. Dust and Dirt represents a four year space since your last record, why the gap? We were just touring so much, we went to
Europe a number of times, three times in the last 18 months or so alone and we also spent quite a bit of time touring in the US. We tried to break into that European market and still are I guess, so yeah just lots of touring. In that time though we did release a live album and a remix album as well, so we’ve tried to fill in the gaps with stuff like that. Time just sort of flies when you’re busy I guess. How do you think the new album holds up to your other four albums? I think in the earlier albums less people contributed to the writing, which is plain. As we’ve grown up and got more comfortable with what we do we’ve all began to contribute more to the music. Probably from Into the Dojo, with a new rhythm section the musicianship’s’ probably stepped up. All those things that challenge you are exciting, so hopefully the next album is a progression, it’s hard to say it definitely will be, but we’ll see where we get. Can you still sit down and relate to the first few albums content?
Yeah, I think they still stand up to a listen though, there’s a kind of refreshing naivety about it, where you don’t really exactly know where you’re going with it, which is great. Have The Black Seeds considering relocating to Europe or the States? Yeah, we thought about that probably three years ago. Now a couple more babies have come along since then, so that kind of plans gone out the window really. I would have loved to have done that and would love to take my son on tour, but some have two kids and don’t want to relocate their family and that’s fair enough. Fact of it is though we’ve got to get to Europe at least twice a year and that means you don’t see your family as much as you’d like. It’s really hard.
Catch The Black Seeds playing at the Peats Ridge Festival (peatsridge.com.au) 29 Dec – 1 Jan and also look out for their new album Dust and Dirt out now on Easy Star Records
Photos: Cardinal Spin
Played Peat’s Ridge before? Yeah, few years ago now. 2008 or something now. It’s good fun and great to be able to fit that in. We’ll pretty much just fly in, play the gig, back to the hotel for a nap then fly back to New Zealand. We want to come back to Australia more, hopefully more in the new year.
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LOVE STORY FILM review by Caitlin Stanway STARRING: Florian Habicht, Masha Yakovenko | M | 93min
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY FILM preview Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen | M | 166mins
Hardly needing any introduction, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the first marathon-length (three hours) installment of Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation of The Hobbit. Little man (sorry, Hobbit) Bilbow Baggins sets out on a quest to save a lost kingdom from the savage dragon, Smaug. Cue trolls, sorcerers, Orcs, and of course our favourite creepy creature, Gollum. In cinemas December 26 18
New Zealand director Florian Habicht defines genre-defying in this reality-blurring documentary about his attempt to film a love story on the streets of New York. Taking on dual roles of director and lead actor, Habicht casts himself as an avantgarde film maker who falls in love with a Russian model, Masha Yakovenko, after he sees her carrying a plate with a single slice of cake on the subway. Taking to the streets, Florian asks seemingly random New Yorkers “what happens next?” building the plot around both their suggestions and the advice of his bizarre German father during their many Skype chats. Florian’s infatuation with Masha fuels both the documentary and the plot of the film and, much like the documentary itself, is constantly crossing the boundary between reality and fiction. The interaction with New Yorkers is both an engaging and welcome break from the confusion that is Florian and Masha’s faux relationship, with the gritty Manhattan characters giving the doco a much needed dose of comedy. While Florian’s eccentricity lends him a puppy-dog like vulnerability the audience can connect with, Masha’s disconnection – whether a deliberate directional decision or not – it makes it difficult to believe in the relationship. The quirky contrast of ‘real life’ and ‘scenes’ is visually well done, but the constant questioning of what is real and what is fiction makes it difficult to lose yourself in the love story. GOOD FOR: Those who want to be transported away from banal life
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Get out of the mall Put down the koala magnet (it was probably made in China) and buy your Christmas presents local WORDS HUGH RADOJEV Some say that there’s no such thing as real culture anymore. Some people argue that due to rampant globalisation and the rise of the multi-national corporation that you can get off a plane in Durban, Jakarta, Berlin or Anchorage and the majority of the shops will all be the same. And in many parts of Australia you’ll find that it is no different. There’s something to be said, then, for that line of thought. Money greases the wheels that turn the world on its axis and the big brands have their fingers in just about every pie. A Top Shop just opened in Sydney, for God’s sake! Thankfully, however, there are places around where you can buy some unique clothes or souvenirs without having to spend an absolute packet and know that you’re helping out local manufacturers and designers in the process. So there’s no need to be worried about globalisation, because we here have done the ground work so you can spend your hard earned dollars on something you wouldn’t be able to pick up from the local mall back home. And while you’re spending, you’ll be supporting local retailers. So if you’re looking for a present to bring back to the family put down the plush novelty kangaroo with the silly cork hat and read on! 20
Sydney, NSW ABOUT: Australia’s largest city is one of the best for shopping. Of course all the big brands are out in force in the big shopping centres and glitzy arcades in the CBD, but there are also a number of suburbs with great boutiques and markets to keep the more discerning consumer happy. WHERE: Oxford Street, one of the main arteries connecting the eastern suburbs beaches with the city, is a great place for shopping. The long main street is riddled with beautiful boutique stores as well as cafes and restaurants for when you need to refuel. Newtown is a suburb well known for its great selection of leftof-centre stores. Up and down the main thoroughfare of King Street you can find locally produced and vintage clothing, or even a tattoo if you’re looking to treat yourself to a Christmas present. The Rocks Markets held every weekend in the historic area of Sydney is one of the best places to buy authentic souvenirs all sorts of handmade arts and crafts, figurines and photographs.
Melbourne, VIC ABOUT: The Victorian capital is generally considered the “coolest” city in Australia, although Sydneysiders may disagree. Melbourne’s beautiful CBD is full of malls and shopping centres while the suburbs have a
Brunswick St, Melbourne number of arcades and boutiques which help reinforce its reputation as the trendiest place in Australia. WHERE: The leafy and decidedly upmarket suburb of South Yarra is a great place to go whether you want to do a little high-end shopping amongst the mansions on Toorak Road, or if you’re after something a little grungier, head to the famous Chapel Street. This is one of the places to be in Melbourne, where you can mingle with the beautiful young people cruising the strip, pop your head into all the wonderful vintage clothing stores or grab an ice cold beer or sushi at any number of little bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for something really alternative however you could always pop across to Fitzroy and drift around Brunswick Street with the tight jeans crowd looking disaffected (in a really cool way of course) with your iPod playing Interpol or whatever it is the ‘hip’ kids are listening to these days.
Brisbane, QLD ABOUT: Brisbane is one of the fastest growing cities in the country, blossoming in the last 20 years from
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Tis the season for tack something of a stagnant backwater to a thriving commercial hub and a place awash with a bustling nightlife and restaurant scene. Predictably the shopping has improved out of sight! WHERE: Come for the affordable and delicious food options and stay for the eclectic mix of boutique fashion, shoes and electronics stores. Elizabeth Arcade in South Brisbane is a must visit spot in the heart of the city. Stretching from Elizabeth to Charlotte Street, Elizabeth Arcade is home to a great range of boutiques each offering diverse fashion options. The trendy suburb of Fortitude Valley holds its own markets every Saturday and Sunday which have a whole range of awesome handmade, locally manufactured clothes and trinkets. Our tip is to go on a Saturday afternoon and then hang around afterwards for a few beers and a live band at night. That’s what the suburb is best known for!
Hobart, TAS ABOUT: For many people Hobart conjures images of a windswept coastline or a few Nissen huts dusted
across the snow capped peak of Mount Wellington, but that is simply untrue! Apart from being one of the most beautiful cities in Australia, Hobart is also one of the most happening and has a wonderful set of markets that will surely convince anyone that the homemade, well loved creations make for excellent presents whether for friends and family or as a little personal treat for oneself. Go on and indulge! WHERE: Ringed by sandstone warehouses, Salamanca Place has a definite village vibe, and the locals manning the 300 hundred stalls are all too keen for having a yarn and making visitors feel welcome. The Salamanca Markets are held on the Saturday mornings and really are all about the locals. The produce is farmed, grown, picked and cooked by the very same local selling it, and the stunning hand-crafted jewellery is melted twisted and polished by the artist holding up the mirror. Grab some breakfast, have a chat with a local designer, or just wander around the beautiful sandstone buildings down by the water, this is one of the most beautiful markets in the country.
Perth, WA ABOUT: Perth is fast become Australia’s richest city. With the mining sector in the state continuing to explode, the money is pouring in to the state capital at a rate of knots. Perth is a surprisingly lively, sprawling city with a burgeoning art scene, as well as some of the best restaurants anywhere in the country with fresh wine and produce coming straight out of the Margaret River. Oh yeah, the shops are pretty good too. WHERE: Just north of the city centre Leederville is one of the trendiest suburbs in the west. Quaint little cafes and bars jostle with boutique clothing stores for prominence along lovely, leafy streets and narrow lanes. It’s also a good place to rub shoulders with some of Western Australia’s most famous musicians, actors and alternative minded athletes. If a market is more your style then take an hour long trip out of the city to Fremantle and check out the markets there. With live music and street performers entertaining shoppers over the weekend, the eclectic-ness is exactly why the locals love them. TNTDOWNUNDER.COM
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Stranded: don’t forget a map
APP LEAVES DRIVERS STRANDED IN DESERT AUSTRALIA
Drivers are getting stranded in the Outback for up to 24 hours after relying on iPhone apps for directions. Six motorists have found themselves in Murray Sunset National Park – 43 miles from their desired destination of Mildura. The park is 3000sq miles of desert and is home to poisonous snakes. Some stranded drivers spent as long as a day lost, without food, having to walk for hours in temperatures of up to 46ºC. Inspector Simon Clemence said: “Some people just trust the technology. Any satnav is going to give you errors, but this one ... may end up in a loss of life.”.
‘HOW TO LOVE?’ TOPS GOOGLE SEARCHES
Unexpected Journey: Australian actress Cate Blanchett poses at the European premiere of the first of The Hobbit films in Leicester Square. Do you think she’s just seen the crazed fan in the background?
Who says Aussies are a shallow bunch? According to Google, “how to love?” was the most searched for “how to” question in 2012. The findings released last week show swimmer Stephanie Rice was Australia’s most searched-for Olympian, and “what is permeate?” as one of Australia’s most Googled questions. Lara Bingle (pictured) was the year’s most looked-for celebrity. AFL champions Sydney Swans were the most searched-for sports team (followed by Essendon FC) and Hurricane Sandy was the most searchedfor news event.
The results were revealed in Google’s annual Zeitgeist report, which the company describes as “a barometer for what captivated Aussies during 2012”. Korean pop act Psy’s Gangnam Style was the nation’s highest-trending search term, followed by Nine Network’s The Voice and English-Irish boyband, One Direction. The trending category is calculated on the basis of how long a search term remains popular, rather than simply how many people search for it.
‘JESUS LOOKALIKE’ ABUSED AT DARTS UNITED KINGDOM
A darts fan was told to leave
a televised match involving Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor after the 4500-strong crowd started chanting “Jesus” at him. Bearded Aussie Nathan Grindal was enjoying the final against Kim Huybrechts when the lively audience started to turn on him at the Cash Converters Players’ Championship at Butlins, Somerset. Security was called, as play was interrupted by the chanting. Grindal, a labourer from Oxfordshire, was visibly upset when he was escorted out by security. As he left the crowd chanted, “Stand up if you love Jesus”. He was escorted to a nearby pub to watch the game on TV. I guess that’s just the kind of persecution Jesus felt back in the day?
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IN NUMBERS 11.72
Time, in seconds, it took James Gallaugher, 11, to run final 25m of a 100m relay race at a New South Wales primary school.
Per cent of over 30-yearold British travellers who have never been on a plane according to a sunshine.co.uk survey
Season’s greetings: the card sent by police
COPS SEND CRIMBO CARDS TO CRIMINALS UNITED KINGDOM
Santa knows if you’ve been naughty or nice, and it seems the police do too. They’re sending Christmas cards to criminals in the hope of guilt-tripping them into behaving over Crimbo. West Midlands Police are posting them to burglars, robbers and car thieves. The design of the cards varies depending on whether the criminals are single or have a family. For those with children, the cover features the face of a sad kid and reads: “All I want for Christmas is for you to be there.” Inside, it carries the message: “All the presents in the world won’t make up for your lack of presence.” Chief Superintendent Neil Evans said: “[They should] work with police and partner agencies to help them break free from crime or we will work to catch and convict them, resulting in them spending time in prison.”
LOST IKEA MONKEY TAKEN TO SANCTUARY Photos: AAP; Thinkstock; Getty
An adorable baby monkey who was spotted wandering around an IKEA store whilst wearing a very stylish shearling coat, has been taken to a primate sanctuary. Darwin, a five-month-old rhesus macaque, was a much-loved pet who escaped from his owner’s car to go on his
Amount of Brillo pads eaten by a boxer owned by Southend Utd’s Marc Laird. The dog survived an op to remove them
Number of green, blue, yellow and pink Post It notes used by Aussie Nathan Atkins’ mates to cover the 21-year-old’s car
Monkey business: Darwin adventure. Unfortunately, owning monkeys as pets is not legal in Toronto, and Darwin’s lawyer owner was fined C$240 (£151) for owning a prohibited animal. The little monkey has now been transferred to Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary in Sunderland, Ontario.
TRAVELLER HIT WITH $150K ROAMING BILL AUSTRALIA
We all know roaming charges are extortionate, but a woman was left stunned after being slapped with a gobsmacking AU$150,000 mobile bill. After a nine-week trip around Europe, the unnamed Australian woman returned home to find her phone calls had cost more than her entire holiday. After complaining to the industry watchdog, the sky-high charge was reduced to AU$1147. It was among AU$8m worth of disputed global roaming fees. Let this be a lesson to us all.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK As soon as I finish this job & can get home, my priority is to try to bring my family back together. Reports are false & cruel Russell Crowe sets the record straight on Twitter after being falsely accused of dating Billy Joel’s ex-wife Katie Lee
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New Swan: Kurt Tippett
TIPPETT READY TO FLY FOR THE PREMIERS AFL
Controversial Sydney Swans recruit Kurt Tippett is looking at homes in Sydney after he was unveiled last week. Tippett, 25, was picked up in the preseason draft from the Adelaide Crows and gives the Swans a forward who can be a focal point for their attack – not that the defending premiers needed it last year. He won’t be able to play until the 12th round – the week after the Swans play the Crows – after he was fined AU$50k and given a 12-week suspension for a draft tampering rule infringement. But the 202cm star seems to have put that behind him. “It’s a great city and the team’s very, very successful and well respected,” he said. He added the Swans environment is one he thought he “could play my best football in”.
CROWE BLAZING OVER TAYLOR’S SACKING CRICKET
Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe reportedly burned his Black Caps blazer in protest at the treatment of dumped Test skipper Ross Taylor. Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox re-tweeted, “Burnt NZ cricket blazer Dec 7, 2012. RIP” from @MartinCrowe299. The account and tweet has since been deleted, but when contacted by the NZ Herald Crowe said he’d make “no comment now or ever”. Taylor withdrew from NZ’s tour of South Africa, which starts with a Twenty20 match on Sunday, after he was axed. NZ Cricket admitted it had handled the situation poorly. But as TNT went to print, NZ Cricket had apologised and Taylor was likely to play the Saffas. “Keen to put it behind me and looking forward to getting back with the
An extra bootylicious Caroline Wozniacki padded her up and downstairs assets to parody her mate Serena Williams’ proudly full figure at an exhibition match in Brazil. Some people said it was racist. Others said it wasn’t amusing. Wozniacki said she was having fun team soon,” he tweeted.
GRIFFITHS RARE GOOD NEWS FOR THE BLUES FOOTBALL
Sydney FC has lured Joel Griffiths back to the A-League after four years in Asia in a major coup for the club’s new manager Frank Farina. Striker Griffiths agreed to a three-year deal with the club which, despite signing Alessandro del Piero, is struggling at the bottom of the ladder. The Blues have been playing del Piero as a lone striker in the absence of better options due to a series of injuries. Griffiths won the league and the Johnny Warren medal for the competition’s top player in 2008. He’ll come from Shanghai Shenhua where he’s been lining up next to Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba.
BIG WEEK FOR ... Simon “The Wizard” Whitlock went out in the semis of last year’s World Darts Championships but has every reason to have his eye on the final prize in this year’s final on New Year’s Day in London. The Aussie came even closer in 2010 when he lost to living legend Phil “The Power” Taylor in the final. Leading up to this year’s champs, which began on Friday, The Wiz has won his first European Masters and the Dutch Masters, so he’s in top form.
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QUOTES OF THE WEEK Iw was happy. It shows tha th h no matter who you that ou are and whatever you do, you can fall Swimmer Ian Thorpe on disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace. Seems a little bit uncharitable of Thorpey
I’m m enjoying my b o bowling. I try to take wickets. I am satisfied
Gylfi Sigurdsson takes it to Rio Ferdinand
PREVIEW Swan song for Red Devils? SWANSEA V MANCHESTER UNITED Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City side show no signs of intimidation when faced with clubs above them on the ladder, but they don’t come any higher up than Alex Ferguson’s United. The Premier League leaders come to Liberty Stadium to face an in-form Swans side, one of the most enjoyable to watch passing sides of the season who have converted fluency into results for the most part. They’ve taken down the year’s bolters West Bromwich Albion 3-1 and Arsenal 2-0 in recent weeks and their 4-3 loss to
Norwich seemed to be a blip. The last time high-flyers visited south Wales in November last year, the sides were only split by a solitary Javier Hernandez goal in the 11th minute. This is the first time the teams have met this campaign and don’t be surprised if Fergie’s lads sit back and absorb Swansea’s sweet early exchanges, then look to counter with their bevy of options. Seriously don’t be shocked by an upset. We’re talking the EPL here afterall. December 7-9
THE CHAT | Wiggo backflips on TDF defence
Massive understatement from slinger Lasith Malinga. He’d just taken six for seven for the Melbourne Stars in the T20 Big Bash, ripping through a flimsy Perth Scorchers batting line-up. Seems unlikely to get a nod in the test side though
Not N ot o good enough. I would like to apologise to all of you. You deserve better Arsenal CEO Ivan Gazidis to the fans after the Premier League side were humbled by League Two side Bradford in the League Cup
TV HIGHLIGHTS DARTS
Is Brad Wiggins going to play second fiddle to Q Chris Froome for Team Sky at next year’s Tour
World Darts Championship
de France or what?
The best from the action in the UK Until Jan 1 6:30am, Fox Sports 3
Cycling’s a curious team sport – it seems so individual but
Photos: Getty Images
A Wiggins needed his team, especially Froome who came
second, to win the Tour. Next year’s more hilly course is said to suit Froome more than Wiggins, and Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said it was likely Wiggins would play back-up and look to take out the Giro D’Italia instead. But Wiggo was mixed on that last week. “I’m probably going to try and win,” he said. “Maybe we’ll have two leaders.” Sky is strong enough to. Wiggins will go with the team’s wishes, but they could just as easily both go for yellow and see what happens. Sacre bleu!
FOOTBALL Capital One Cup: Leeds v Chelsea The battle for the last semi-final spot Thurs, 6:00am, Fox Sports 1
CRICKET Melbourne Stars v Sydney Sixers Wigg out?
Warnie’s Stars take on Sydney Thurs, 8:00pm, Foxsports 1
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Photos: Thinkstock, Getty
IMAGE OF THE WEEK
THE OTHER SIDE Choristers from Winchester Cathedral don ice-skates on an artificial rink set up beside the cathedral. Bondi on the other hand...
CHEERS TO YOU /34
SUNNY DAYS /38
INDO REWARDS /48
Would you Adam and Eve it? Another year has passed. Luckily we are prepared and have the best New Yearâ€™s events for you.
We take gorgeous a three day sailing trip through the Whitsundays where gourmet meals and cocktails await.
Think Indonesia is for drunk Aussie bogans? Think again. We head to the remote village of Bintan for a volunteering experience.
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WEEKLY WINNER SARAH ISLAND SKYLINE: Theresa Kolterer, 28, Germany THERESA SAYS: “When I was in Tasmania, I went to Sarah Island where convicts lived and did not have any chance of to escape.” WE SAY: “Yet again we have more photographic evidence of just how beautiful the little Island state of Tasmania truly is. What a beautiful spot this is and to look at it you would never know the stories of suffering and woe it has provided the backdrop to through the years. The way the sky reflects off the water is just breathtaking. What fools those Poms were, sending their convicts to paradise. ”
HOT TIPS: Landscapes Good light is essential. Dramatic storm clouds, soft dawn mists and low evening sun all bright out the texture and drama of a wild hillside. Midday sun and flat grey days will make your scene look dull. Scale is important. Include a focal point to show the scale of the scene and make it more dramatic. This element should be obvious but not distracting. Foreground are especially important for rolling countryside shots as the scene will otherwise seem very distant, particularly on wide angles. A few tufts of grass or the branches of an overhanging tree usually work wonders.
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 Theresa 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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SICK OF FLYING SOLO? For those of you who are gagging to join the mile high club, but have never been able to persuade someone else to join in the fun – well now’s your chance. Dating website meetattheairport.com, based in the US and with 200,000 members worldwide, helps horny jetsetters hook up in the airport before they take off. You just plug in info about yourself and the site matches you up with anyone with similar interests and travel arrangements. Meet in the departures lounge, and the rest is up to you: travel companionship, a sweet holiday fling – or a quickie in the plane loos. Who says romance is dead?
CRUISING’S A DRAG Carnival Cruises found itself at the centre of a storm last week, when the company, which offers a ‘Drag Stars at Sea’ package, asked customers not to cross-dress in case they offended families. There was instant uproar, as the Caribbean cruise, which includes drag shows featuring stars from the US TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race, is supposed to be LGBT-friendly. Gerry Cahill, Carnival’s president quickly reversed the cross-dressing ban, saying: “We sincerely apologise for the miscommunication and for any unintended offence we have caused.” Hooray! Now where did we leave those fishnets?
Airport e-dating: he hopes to avoid the early arrivals lounge
RECORD BREAKER A 33-year-old has just broken a new Guinness World Record by visiting every country in the world without setting foot on a plane. Brit Graham Hughes travelled 160,000 miles in 1426 days using boats, buses, trains and his own two feet. More impressive still, he managed the whole epic journey on a shoestring – just £62 a week. The Liverpudlian, who filmed the expedition for a National Geographic documentary series and to raise money for the charity WaterAid, completed the mission last week when he finally arrived in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
APOCALYPSE NOW The Mayan apolcalypse is, of course, just around the corner, so many of those convinced the world will end have been taking comfort in rumours that Pic de Bugarach, a ‘sacred’ mountain in southwest France, will burst open to reveal an alien spaceship that will carry nearby humans to safety. Unfortunately, French officials are having none of it. They have already announced they’ll be closing off the mountain and village below on December 21 because of concerns they will be overrun with hysterical New Age crazies. Or perhaps they’re just saving all the spaceship seats for themselves. Darn.
TRAVELDEALS MIGHTY CARS & CAMPERS OFFER
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SKYDIVE the BEACH MELBOURNE OFFER
RELOCATIONS2GO SPECIAL OFFER
MIGHTY CARS & CAMPERS
SKYDIVE THE BEACH MELBOURNE
DETAILS Win Your Trip Back! Mighty campers are about making our holidays truly accessible. Once a month one customer with a conﬁrmed booking made in the prior month will be randomly selected to be the winner of ‘Win Your Trip Back’. Competition drawn on the ﬁrst Monday of every month, book now for your chance to win! DESTINATION Convenient Locations in Australia & New Zealand HOW TO BOOK www. mightycampers.com.au or 1800 670 232
DETAILS Midweek Special! Experience the thrill of a 14,000ft tandem skydive over St Kilda for just $389. This awesome price is valid for tandem skydives on Monday Friday for a limited time only. No other discount or offer applies. DESTINATION St Kilda, Melbourne VIC DATES Monday - Friday, limited time only. PRICE & HOW TO BOOK: Call 1300 798 843 or visit www. skydivethebeachmelbourne.com
COLOURFUL TRIPS SPECIAL OFFER
OZ EXPERIENCE SPECIAL OFFER
RELOCATIONS2GO DETAILS Relocations2go are specialists in relocations for RV and cars throughout Australia. New Zealand, USA and Canada. Travelling city to city is deﬁnitely “One Way” to get an affordable RV/Car relocation and have fun at the same time. City to city from as little as $1 a day! DESTINATION Australia, NZ, US and Canada PRICE $1 per day. WEB www.relocations2go.com for today’s specials.
SEALINK QUEENSLAND SPECIAL OFFER
5% OFF $10
COLOURFUL TRIPS DETAILS We all know Sydney is crazily expensive at this time of the year. So our Xmas gift to you is to give you $10 off all December departures for the following ‘must do’ day trips from Sydney DESTINATION Blue Mountains – was $99 now a bargain $89. Hunter Valley – was $105 now a cheap $95. Port Stephens – was $109 now a give-away $99. Jervis Bay – was $119 now just $109. DATES All December departures WEB www.colourfultrips.com
OZ EXPERIENCE OFFER DETAILS 5% off any Oz Experience Pass when you use promo code TNT13 only available to book through our website. Oz Experience’s range of passes are the perfect way to discover the best destinations Australia has to offer. Passes bundle driver guided coach travel, tours, experiences and accommodation. Offering premium small group, ﬂexible touring options. DATES subject to change at anytime without notice. WEB ozexperience.com
SEALINK QLD OFFER DETAILS Enjoy 3 nights in Magnetic Island and Townsville including a 3 hour tour with Tropicana Tours. 2 nights at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village in Horseshoe Bay. Relax on your 3rd night at The Aquarius and explore the city of Townsville includes 24hr electric bike hire. Quote TNT OFFER when booking, call 1300 MAGGIE or email email@example.com DATES Offer valid to the 31 March 2013 PRICE Normally $349.00 pp or $574.00 pp TNT readers exclusive off for $304.00 pp or $499.00 pp WEB www.sealinkqld.com.au
WHOOHOO! Lake Mapourika, New Zealand
www.kiwiexperience.com The original Kiwi Experience, since 1989 100% awesome Kiwi Driver Guides Stacks of inclusions and exclusive discounts Get immersed in nature, adventure and kiwi culture
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Live the resolution Where’s the ice, the endless hype and the rubbish novelty singles? Christmas and NYE in Oz is about just one thing – the parties WORDS ALEX HARMON & HUGH RADOJEV
New Year’s Eve is kind of like planning a wedding, says she who has never planned one. Hear me out though. You put in a lot of preparation, hoping that everything goes smoothly, that everyone around you is happy, that you look and feel good... and yet the event climaxes very quickly (I’m not talking about consummating the marriage). “You may kiss the bride”, for the New Year’s Eve reveller, is the equivalent to that momentous midnight kiss. There’s this great song but this awful band called Casiotone for the Painfully Alone with a chorus that captures the feeling of many New Year’s kisses. “Not the way that 32
you’d imagined it. On a balcony with champagne lips/ But in a pantry against the pancake mix, you had your New Year’s kiss.” Sometimes the planning just doesn’t come off. You’re in Australia and you want the stroke of midnight on December 31 to be special. Where all of the year’s problems can be forgotten and put down to experience, where you get a fresh slate and the chance to reinvent your life with those inspiring New Year resolutions. Well, if my eves are anything to go by, I’m in trouble. Invariably at the countdown I am bordering on blind drunk, I’ve lost all of my friends and loved ones in a sea of people, I’m partaking in the things I
should be giving up and I can’t fathom living to the next day, let alone year. One New Year’s Eve countdown I spent lining up for a port-a-loo, desperately trying not to piss myself as the strangers around me counted down from 10 and embraced my full bladder on number one. Luckily the pun was lost on me. That New Year should have been spent with adulation, but sadly it was urination. They say that the moment is a symbol of the year ahead and it’s true, that was a piss-weak year. Luckily I’m beginning to learn. We’ve put together a guide for you to follow so that you are guaranteed not to have a pissy night ›› and therefore not a pissy year...
ALOHA NEW YEAR’S EVE TELL ME MORE Honey Bar in South Melbourne is bringing a touch of Honolulu to their New Year’s Eve celebrations. Dust off your grass skirts and coconuts for this Hawaiian Beach Party at one of Melbourne’s largest rooftop bar, located above the underground station. Guests can look forward to two levels of entertainment, a four hour beverage package and canapes followed by two hours of spirits to really get the party going when the clock strikes 12. Wear your daggiest shirt for prizes. THE DAMAGE Early bird tickets are on sale now $99. THE DETAILS honeybar.com.au
THE BELL RINGS TWICE TELL ME MORE For some people (not mentioning any TNT staff names), it has been revealed that sometimes the big countdown can be a bit anti-climactic, so why not get a second shot at that perfect midnight pash by celebrating twice? Due to the time difference between New South Wales and Queensland, the border town of Tweed Heads is the perfect place to start your celebrations because New South Wales is one hour ahead of Queensland. Throw back some champagne, take your practice pash and belt out a rendition of “Auld Lang Syne”, then head across either Boundary Street or Thompson Street to the Queensland town of Coolangatta for round two. There are sure to be plenty of new friends to show you the way. Another champagne, another pash and why not another set of resolutions? With two sets you are bound to keep at least one... right? THE DAMAGE It won’t cost you anything to cross the border. THE DETAILS tweed.nsw.gov.au
FIRST 2013 SUNRISE TELL ME MORE Get ahead of everyone else in Australia and catch a glimpse of the first Aussie sunrise of 2013. The common misconception is that Mt Warning near Byron Bay is the place to celebrate the first morning but the best place is actually on Lord Howe Island. Although there are no officially organised events, this laidback paradise will host a number of bonfires on the beach, along with a few drinks with new friends. According to locals, the accepted tradition is skinny dipping at dawn to welcome the daylight. There is a limit of 400 tourists at a time on the island so get your flights early. Qantas and Qantaslink fly direct to Lord Howe Island from most major and regional airports. THE DAMAGE Free beach fun and byo food/drink. THE DETAILS qantas.com.au and lordhoweisland.info
FALLS FESTIVAL TELL ME MORE Beautiful Marion Bay in Tasmania is the perfect spot for a rocking music festival. With spectacular wilderness scenery as your backdrop, you are all set to enjoy a killer lineup, including Hot Chip, Hilltop Hoods and ultra-amazing rapper Coolio. The journey is half the fun though, so hire a camper or invest in some camping gear and make a trip of the stunning journey down to the festival. It’s a three day event but every ticket package includes New Year’s Eve. THE DAMAGE Tickets on sale now and start from $202.90 for a two day pass. THE DETAILS Visit fallsfestival.com.au
LUNA PARK HARBOUR PARTY
TELL ME MORE Has your year been a rollercoaster? Well there’s no better way to bring it in than on the wild rides at Sydney’s Luna Park. Not only are they free all night but you’ll get one of the best vantage points in Sydney for the fireworks display. Plus be entertained by the likes of RickiLee, Marvin Priest and the Aston Shuffle to name a few. THE DAMAGE Tix are on sale now, second release are $119. THE DETAILS harbourparty.com
TELL ME MORE While the Mayan apocalypse doesn’t appear to have happened, the battle between good and evil still rages and it’s time for you to take sides. The 2012/13 Brisbane Ball is Hero and Villain themed, which gives as always plenty of scope for awesome costumes. Tickets include all food, drink (including spirits) and rides available. There will be a number of stages with live music and DJs to keep the party going through to midnight and beyond. If I see anyone else there in a batman cape though I’m going to be mad. THE DAMAGE Tickets on sale now at $145 with a group discount for 10 or more. THE DETAILS Visit ballevents. org.au for full information.
HUGE SCREENS FOR ALL THE BEST LIVE SPORT!!!
Traditional British Pub Live music in the outdoor beer gardens and DJ till late Brisbanes best craft beer venue (SFBUTUFBLTBOEQVCOPTIt&YUFOTJWFXJOFMJTU &BHMF4USFFU#SJTCBOF2-% PXXXQJHOXIJTUMFDPNBV
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SUMMADAYZE TELL ME MORE Summerdayze has moved from New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve this year. The “Colourfornia” themed festival runs in Rymill Park, Adelaide featuring a full afternoon and evening of colourful music and spectacular fireworks. The lineup includes the likes of MIA, Knife Party and a DJ set from the Chemical Brothers to help revellers burst into the new year. It is guaranteed to be a big bright night in the park, with the party carrying on into the small hours of 2013. THE DAMAGE Tickets start from $126.50 and the promoter even offers a “buy now pay later” option. THE DETAILS summadayze.com .
PEATS RIDGE FESTIVAL TELL ME MORE Located in Glenworth Valley, New South Wales, Peats Ridge is a fantastic location for a fabulous festival full of all sorts of fun things. The best of Australian and international musicians take over the stage as well as artists and theatre installations to keep you occupied between your favourite gigs. There are markets, food stalls, places to chill out and even opportunites to take a swim in the river nearby, since it will no doubt be a scorcher. Don’t forget to take along a fancy dress costume for the huge New Year’s Eve Masquerade party. THE DAMAGE Tix start from $156.10 for a one day pass. Camping passes start at $355 for the festivals duration THE DETAILS peatsridgefestival.com.au
NYE AT LASSETERS TELL ME MORE Before the Neighbours fans get too excited, we aren’t talking about Paul Robinson’s Lassiters, but Lasseters in Alice Springs. The hotel casino in the heart of Australia is hosting a NYE party on their front lawns. It will be a bit of a family affair until after the 9pm kiddies fireworks are done, then all the responsible sober adults can go inside and do some responsible sober gambling until it is time to calmly cheer in the new year. Of course we aren’t being serious. After the kiddies fireworks, there is all sorts of adult fun to be had, drink stalls, entertainment, live music and the midnight fireworks (why should the kids have all the fun?). Party goers can even grab a room at the hotel to make the stumble home much shorter. THE DAMAGE The lawn event is free. Rooms at the hotel start from $110. THE DETAILS lhc.com.au
The Whitsundays QUEENSLAND
Photos: Tourism Queensland, Nicola Moyne
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Seizing the ‘Sundays Submerge yourself in a world of sailing, snorkelling and five-star fare while visiting the Whitsundays and you’ll have one hull of a trip WORDS NICOLA MOYNE
It’s not often you get to stroke the head of an electric blue and green, six-foot humphead wrasse while hanging off the side of a dingy, let alone be nibbled by what seems like hundreds of brightly coloured parrot fish at the same time. But apparently my half-hour snorkel at Manta Ray Bay, off Hook Island, is fairly standard. So much so that ‘my’ humphead wrasse – a fish so clever that it can even change sex if it needs to – has a name “That’s George, he’s my favourite. Look at his vivid blue head and lips – he’s a beauty,” shouts Dave, the captain of the Pacific Sunrise, as he throws yet more frozen peas into the azure-blue ocean to swarm my face with a flurry of dramatically-striped fins. Half the fun of the game is to try and shoot a pea down my snorkel as I immerse myself in the feeding whirlwind of colour, but Dave also likes to point out more of his tropical friends from time to time, too. And as I look around I can see why the captain and his crew are adamant they have the best job in the world. Just metres away is a green turtle majestically gliding through the water. Apparently he’s ‘stoned’ from eating a jellyfish, which is why he’s so content to swim with us. But maybe he’s just happy to be here. And why wouldn’t you be? A few days ago I decided to set sail on the open seas for three nights in spite of my motion sickness nightmares. But I’m seeking more than just sun, sea and sex-changing marine life: I want an adventure. And with the Whitsunday Islands offering a wealth of stunning beaches, secluded lagoons and, of course, some of the best snorkelling and diving spots in the world, it’s the perfect place to start. Life’s a beach The Whitsundays, dubbed ‘the Great Barrier Reef’s little brother’ by our young and incredibly tanned crew members, boasts more than 70 paradise isles. Think white sand, turquoise ocean and more than their fair share of aquatic life. But one of the most breathtakingly beautiful spots is Whitehaven Beach and it’s the only bit of land the Pacific Sunrise guarantees you’ll step foot on during
the four-day sail. Surrounded by the clearest aqua water you’ll ever see and fringed with lush, green vegetation, this picture-perfect stopoff is pretty much how you imagine heaven to be – minus the angels and harps, of course. Still, if it’s music you want, you just need to put one foot in front of the other, because the sugar-white sand (98 per cent pure silica apparently) is so soft it actually squeaks as you walk on it, and it’s just the thing for polishing up your jewellery, too. In fact, as one of Australia’s most photographed beaches, chances are you’ve sent your mum and dad a postcard showcasing Whitehaven’s beauty already, so it’s a must-see for any self-respecting flashpacker. Even as I jump off the dive boat to get my first glimpse of the island, I’m unprepared for just how bright it is. It’s as if the whole place has been drenched in sunshine and a good dose of super-strong bleach for good measure. It literally gleams at you from beneath an expanse of uninterrupted blue sky. The sand is so fine it seems fake; the water is so pristine that the playful stingrays cruising along the shoreline become an unwanted distraction, and the swirling fusion of sand and sea at the island’s Hill Inlet is mesmerising. If you’re prepared to scale some wonderfully decorative rocks after all that ‘oohing and aahing’, you’ll even find a Robinson Crusoe-style cove that’s completely sheltered from the wind, making it one of the most scenic sunbathing spots in the world. In fact, my new-found sailing friends and I find we’re the only sun worshippers on the bay, so keep the secret to yourself when you visit for a true desert island experience. The only downside to Whitehaven Beach is leaving and, unfortunately, leaving comes all too soon, with most boats only mooring up for two hours. So, after a quick stop off for Facebook photos from the viewing point, I’m forced to brush down my flip flops (taking any sand from Whitehaven is against the law, can’t think why?) and get back on deck for an afternoon of sailing – the hardcore way. Ahoy there sailor! Part of the beauty of being on board a 33-metre bona fide
The motley crew aboard their high sea adventure
sailing vessel for four days is you actually get to experience real sailing – so long as the wind plays ball, of course. And, as we set off from Whitehaven Beach, the skipper starts handing out the ginger: it’s going to get rough and we’ve got to be ready. I’m with a motley crew of passengers: two German couples, an Australian hippie who is obsessed with Tasmania; a young French guy who is finding his ginger hair and porcelain-white skin fairly incompatible with the Whitsundays sun; a fun elderly Irish couple celebrating their wedding anniversary; and a group of Canadian friends, who so far haven’t even seen a kangaroo along their travels so are becoming increasingly giddy from all the marine life. In short, we’re an odd bunch but we’re getting on famously and we’re all excited to sail. On the first day, as we board the boat at Airlie Beach’s Abel Point Marina, we proudly announce we’ve never been seasick. “That’s for girls,” my Paddy pal declares bluntly. “There’ll be no ginger for me.” But within 15 minutes of the sails going up, the ketch is practically on its side (which the skipper informs me is known as heeling) and the majority of my ‘sea-loving’ friends are throwing up and begging for mercy – or at least for the engine to be started up. Nice. But even as my stomach lurches climbing another huge wave, it’s still a fantastic experience, especially when I get to help out with the rigging. While I place a rope of insignificant importance in a figure of eight on deck, the more butch among us are hanging from the ropes as if their lives depend on it and it’s a genuine thrill to see the boat sailing, even if we are losing our lunch overboard. And then, just as we’re all settling down to drink cocktails and discuss how Captain Cook had it easy in his day,
disaster strikes: a rope has snapped and the main sail is billowing fiercely in the strong easterly wind. All too quickly we realise we haven’t got a clue what to do or where to stand; thoughts of buying a boat back home and cruising round the coastline suddenly disperse. Thankfully though, the crew jump into action and Leon, the ship’s first mate, starts climbing the mast like Tarzan to make sure we don’t lose the sail and our pride in the process. It’s exciting stuff and despite getting a good drenching on deck, we all stand out to watch the action. Comfort food If you’re not an adrenaline junkie, you don’t like snorkelling (amazingly there were at least four people on my trip that had no intention of setting foot in the sea at all) and you’re not impressed by huge green sea turtles gliding past you first thing in the morning (in which case you need to take a long, hard look at yourself), I can guarantee it’s still worth boarding the Pacific Sunrise just for its food. Alan, the ship’s humble Scottish chef is, in short, a culinary genius and I can honestly say that his vastly better than average gastro pub-style grub was the best I tasted while on my travels. In fact, the crew prides itself on its five-star fare and the nightly antipasto platter that’s served on deck as the sun sets – and I sip my fourth gin and tonic of the day – quickly becomes something I hanker for after breakfast each morning. The menu changes seasonally, but if you’re treated to the chicken and vegetable pot pie, you’re onto a winner. In fact, I can recall each day just by the breakfast: Eggs Benedict
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One of the many shades of colour found in the Whitsundays
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with smoked salmon, spinach and avocado = an awesome day of snorkelling at Tongue Bay. Blueberry pancakes drenched in maple syrup = exploring the rich coral reefs at Catamaran Bay. And the boat’s warm timber bar and restaurant makes the experience all the more inviting. There’s no buffet-style dish-up on deck for 40 people on this boat. In fact, the vessel sleeps a maximum of 21 passengers and each night follows a similar pattern: loud raucous laughter over cocktails followed by silence as everyone tucks into their mouthwatering chicken/fish/duck/lamb. It’s only after the meal has been fully enjoyed and fully appreciated that the excited chatter from the day starts up again. Everyone on board is on their first sailing trip. And everyone I speak to considers it to be the highlight of their trip so far. Including myself. In fact, as we pull up to Abel Point Marina on our last day, a wave of emotion washes over me: excitement to see land for the first time in two days, but also a sadness at leaving the hugely entertaining crew and my new sailing friends behind. All that snorkelling, sailing and eating has bonded us and we’re now a little family. The last word from skipper Dave says it all: “It’s been a bloody good trip guys, now get out there and sink a beer for me.” It’s an unfortunate turn of phrase Dave, but you’re the captain. ❚ Damage and details: Two day, two night sailing trips through the Whitsundays start at $260pp. See: airliebeach.com for more information.
island hopping Melbourne from
*“TIGER RAW” FARE CONDITIONS: Book by 31st December 2012, see the web site for the full travel period. The “Tiger Raw” fare is the lowest available single price fare from Tiger Airways Australia – fully inclusive of all taxes and charges. “Tiger Raw” fares must be purchased on line using a Mastercard debit card issued by an Australian financial institution. The “Tiger Raw” fare does not incur the $7.50 convenience fee for credit card purchases (per flight, per sector). Fare is for travel one-way with hand luggage only. Seats are limited and may not be available during peak periods or on all flights, public holidays or certain blackout periods or once sold out. Bookings are non-refundable and non-transferable, except as provided in the Conditions of Carriage. Promotions may be modified or cancelled without prior notice. Refer to www.tigerairways.com for more information. Tiger AirwaysAustralia Pty Limited ABN 52 124 369 006.
Devil’s delight This is Hobart in 48 hours WORDS ALEX HARMON
DAY 1: xHobart is Australia’s second-oldest capital city, after Sydney, and you can still see the history in the old buildings, docks and cobbled lanes. But funnily enough, Hobart is also one of the most progressive cities in Australia. Check out their edgy festivals, world-class restaurants and, of course, their controversial new museum. Hobart certainly isn’t the sleepy seaside town the other states would have you believe. 9:00: Get a bird’s eye view of Hobart by driving to the summit of Mt Wellington which peaks at 1270m. In winter, it is cloaked in snow and even in summer it can be chilly up the top. What better way to warm up than by cruising down on a mountain bike with Mt Wellington Descent (mtwellingtondescent.com.au)? The three-hour guided tour includes off-road sections for the adventurous. You’ll cycle past the historic Female Factory and through South Hobart and Battery Point. 12:00: The tour conveniently wraps up in Salamanca Place where you’ll be spoiled for lunch choices. The Ball and Chain Grill (ballandchain.com.au) salutes Hobart’s convict past and boast the only real charcoal grill in Tassie. Try some of the region’s steaks or seafood cooked in a traditional method using only charcoal – no gas or electricity. 14:00: With a stomach full of food, make you way down to the harbour to catch the private Mona ferry. The Museum of Old and New Art (mona.net.au) is the brainchild of Hobart-born David Walsh, an eccentric self-made millionaire. It’s a weird and wonderful place, where ancient Egyptian
mummies are placed next to blown-up Lamborghinis and there is a whole room dedicated to making excrement – hold your nose for that one. It’s known as the ‘adult Disneyland’ – once you’ve visited you’ll know why. 18:00: Catch the ferry back to Hobart and find yourself a cosy bar. You’re going to need it after Mona. The Lark Distillery (larkdistillery.com.au) is a cute little bar that makes its own single-malt whiskey, vodka and gin. Try their pepperberry gin martinis while you listen to the live band – usually an Irish folk group – for a rocking good time. 20:00: Now that you are good and relaxed, it’s time to do what Hobartians do so well – eat. Back in Salamanca Place, head to Cargo Bar Pizza Lounge for Hobart’s best pizza. Choose from an array of flavours, such as baby abalone pizza with croutons or spicy octopus. Make sure you finish up with a chocolate truffle pear pizza. Man, those Tasmanians know their flavours. Kick on here with some drinks and meet the locals who congregate on the outside tables – that’s right they don’t feel the cold. 23:00: Check into your accommodation for the night, Central City Backpackers (centralcityhobart.com). As the name suggests, it’s located in the heart of Hobart on Collins Street. Sleep well – a big day awaits. DAY 2: 9:00: Rise and shine, you’re heading to the shores of Marieville Esplanade to get kitted up for your next adventure: kayaking Hobart’s Derwent River. Hobart Paddle (freycinetadventures.com.au) will take you on a relaxed,
Majestic Mt Welly
two-hour tour where you’ll explore Hobart’s docklands, learn about the history and also taste some of the best fish and chips in town – all from the comfort of your kayak. 12:00: You rode past it yesterday but this time make sure you step into Cascade Brewery (cascadebreweryco.com. au). It’s the country’s oldest operating brewery and they offer two-hour tours every day which include tastings and a history of the golden ale. 12:00: If you want to live like Tom Cruise for a day (before he got weird) treat yourself by heading to Top Gun Australia (topgunaustralia.com) and fly with a militarytrained fighter pilot. You’ll do loops, rolls, flips, flops, vertical climbs and feel the “speed rush” at 700 kph. 14:00: Come back to earth and pick up your hire car, a trusty map and make your way south towards Port Arthur. It’s only an hour outside Hobart, making it the perfect destination for a day trip. At the Port Arthur Historic Site (portarthur. org.au) pay your respects to the tragic past, both distant and recent. See over 30 historic buildings, extensive ruins and the now beautiful grounds and garden. 18:00: Lift the mood once you get back to Hobart with some live music and food at Republic Bar and Cafe (republicbar.com) situated in the North Hobart hub. There is live music on every night of the week, anything from jazz to indie rock. Plus inexpensive and tasty meals and a log fire to warm your weary feet. Congratulations – you've done a weekend in Hobart in style.
Making waves in the harbour
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Indo needs you Avoid throngs of drunk Aussies in Bali and head to the remote island of Bintan where you can give something back to the local communities WORDS MARINA THOMAS
We are racing towards an infamous island in our speedboat at full throttle in a sea famed for pirates, enjoying our James Bond moment. We’re a couple of mere backpackers seeking adventure in foreign waters. We’ve just left behind a luxury Indonesian private retreat. Nikoi – part jungle and part beach – with big boulders looming over lush mangroves that creep into the turquoise waters of a desert island that was uninhabited until 2007. But our target destination is the bigger Indonesian island of Bintan – the largest of 3,000 which make up the Riau Archipelago – and just 85km from affluent Singapore. The area has a notorious history of pirates and the seas can get treacherous during the monsoon period in December with fisherman in rickety boats negotiating terrifying 10-metre swells. As we bounce over the waves, we jet past several bobbing, traditional fishing boats being steered by Indonesians who seem perfectly content to take their time. I shut my eyes and imagine the sea gypsies, pirates and fierce warriors who protected the Malay royal family on Bintan all crossing the Singapore Straights in their own unique craft a few hundred years ago. Bintan was a major trading post for ships laden with exotic wares like spices, tea, opium and silks travelling between India and China. The island was a strategic haven for trading ships sheltering from the fierce typhoons that rampage the South China Sea and Indian Ocean. And my heart is thumping to the thud of the bow as I remember we are following in the footsteps of some of the globe’s keenest explorers. In 1202 Marco Polo, the infamous Venetian world traveller, spoke of his voyage to Bintan. And British TV adventurer Charley Boorman travelled to Bintan and Nikoi by boat during his By Any Means voyage from Ireland to Australia.
and our translator for the day. Atok is helping lead Nikoi’s Island Foundation’s education programme for Bintan’s poor families. Aussie Andrew Dixon, along with other Nikoi Island owners, set up the foundation in 2009. The foundation is hungry for more volunteers to get involved with teaching and mentoring children, football coaching and more. We are here to see what opportunities are available for backpackers and travellers looking for a volunteering experience. It is certainly not for the fainthearted, or those needing Western comforts, but it will be very rewarding. Most Bintan families are illiterate fishermen or labourers and educational attainment among kids on the island is low. As well as helping kids, the foundation is aiding locals gain new skills like jewellery making and encourages the development of business skills too.
Choose your own adventure We, too, feel like adventurers as the brakes are applied sharply and we ride a bow wave, pulling up at the small jetty. We are greeted by Atok, a charismatic and bright teacher
A fisherman of Orang Laut
All smiles: the library opening at Berakit
Due to over-fishing and government restrictions preventing sea gypsy families with a mythical knowledge of the sea from living on boats on the ocean, the fishing industry is suffering greatly. In many cases, the tourism industry passes them by too as they don’t have the skills – or the English language – to get involved. Untouched Indonesia The island feels much more like the real Indonesia – unlike the one that many Aussies and backpackers will have experienced during drunken bacchanalias in the party paradise of Bali. We begin our journey across the green and hilly island, negotiating large potholes, plenty of dusty, noisy scooters and the odd cheeky monkey near the forests. We pass colourful shacks and roadside stalls with smoke spiraling up from grills selling sweet-smelling chicken satay, noodles and tropical fruits. Children sit on the roadside - some play with old, worn footballs in the field and others grip on tight as they hitch a ride on their parents’ scooter. The foundation has set up five learning centres where the children can supplement their curriculum by dropping by before or after their normal school day ends. Teluk Bakau and the other four learning centres are basic but kids’ drawings decorate the walls and there are books in English as well as Bahasa, the local language. As our car pulls up outside the first school, Teluk Dalam, a group of girls erupt into laughter when we step out. They are not used to seeing western faces here and we are happy to provide amusement. The boys are crowding round the tuckshop man, vying for his attention for an array of lollies and sweets with their pocket money. Local staff try to bring confidence up by teaching the children some English and helping them with their curriculum work as well as playing games on the few computers that 50
have been donated. Who Wants To Be a Millionaire is very popular in class, and one boy wearing oversized maroon school shorts, Amat, does an impressive and amusing job of asking me if I want to play for a million dollars. “We want to raise children of the 21st century or they will always be on the fringes,” says Atok. “They don’t have a voice. “We want to show kids they are world citizens too and could work in state or abroad. “These kids still have their full sensory experience as they are not in the city, they are easy to teach.” Too tired for school Teachers will often see kids fall asleep at their desks after going out on a night’s fishing voyage squidding with their parents. “The problem is, parents don’t see the value in school, but we are getting them involved too. “The families here are 80 years back in time,” adds Atok, who the kids find great amusement in referring to as the “handsome monkey”. “They are scared to touch a computer but have become more confident over time.” The Island Foundation is also keen to reconnect Bintan with Singapore after its long trading history. “Singaporeans don’t appreciate the island and its culture,” says Heena Patel, The Island Foundation’s director. Wealthy Singaporeans and expats frequent Nikoi and Bintan on weekends but rarely go beyond the resorts to explore. We have a bit of an ‘Angelina Jolie moment’ next as we say goodbye to the kids and jump in the car to head to the ancient fishing community of Orang Laut. Wooden shacks line the water on the jetty and dogs roam
around, their hungry eyes ogling the small rays and other fish drying out in the sun on nets. We go inside the basic shack of village headman Pak Boncet and his wife Ibu Satna. I notice straight away there are no bedrooms in the shacks, but there are blankets on the floor. From the 1960s, the boat nomad Suku Laut tribe was forced off its homes at sea when the shipping and fishing lanes of the busy Malacca Straights were contested and drawn up.
The Teluk Bakau school
The jewel of Singapore Just an hour’s ferry ride from prosperous Singapore, the tribe still has all the traditions of the sea but was forced to live on land on Bintan after hundreds of years of boat nomadism. And with global over-fishing and paying off debts to the Chinese, the Catholic tribe struggles to survive and is ostracised within the mostly Muslim society of Bintan. The tribe, who have animistic beliefs, face extinction. Most are illiterate, dwell in basic shelters and they still live in an economy mostly based on bartering fish. Development is happening fast on Bintan and the Indonesian government is planning a tourist village where visitors will come to see the traditional fishing shacks and homes of the tribe. Now, with coaching from the foundation and jewels donated by global brand Swarovski, the women are sharing their stories of the sea by creating symbolic jewellery to be sold in Singapore. “I am sharing my dreams and stories from my grandmother and mother about knowledge of the sea that has lay dormant for years,” Ibu Satna says. “We are very bewildered at all the changes happening on the island and we are scared of the future. We fear we will be like fish an aquarium with tourists coming to gawk at us, but making jewellery is a way for us to dream and be productive too.” Goals for life Our day ends with a visit to another community where a football programme led by local coaches and some legendary Singaporean players has been very successful. The foundation is keen for sports coaches to volunteer on Bintan and for people with handicraft skills, computer and English literacy competency. “Volunteers will have a touching and real experience,” adds Heena. “The kids here are so enthusiastic and really want a brighter future for their families.” Volunteers can stay in authentic homestays with locals and will also get the chance to have their own Robinson Crusoe desert island experience with a break at Nikoi Island. We head off back to Singapore on the ferry which negotiates the hectic shipping lanes through the tropical heat haze. We leave with plenty of memories and great stories, and dreaming of our next high sea adventure. ❚
If you are interested in volunteering on Bintan, contact Heena at Heena@theislandfoundation.com or see: theislandfoundation.com
Making jewellery to be sold in Singapore
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