Re: The Parent Becomes The Child


I have no advice, but I was talking to a guy from Tasmania a few years ago and he said that where he was from was so remote he got a special grant from the government to go to school on the mainland. I don't remember if that was high school or university, but I think it was high school.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:11 PM
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Oh, and depending on how long it took to get there and how much time I had, I'd go to Tasmania just to say I'd been there.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:17 PM
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We're not going to Tasmania just so you can say that you've been.

But it's! There's! It's! That devily thing! Y'know! It's Tasmania! You have no soul!

Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:20 PM
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1: that's weird, there are like half a million people who live in Tasmania. You'd think they wouldn't have had to send him to another state just to attend school.

If I were already going to freakin' Australia, I would definitely hit up Tasmania. There's a lot of fairly amazing biodiversity there because it's been isolated from even mainland Australia for 10,000ish years. I don't know a ton of specifics, but I would try to do some kind of nature-y thing for the opportunity to see things that very few people ever get to see.

But maybe it would depend on how long it would take, and how long I had to spend in Australia overall.

Posted by: Chris B. | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:27 PM
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I've just started working again on this short story I started that's set on prehistoric Flinders Island, which is in the Bass Strait between Tasmania and Australia, so I think you should go to Flinders Island, take notes, and tell me all about it. I want information on weather, land formations, ambience when you can get away from touristy stuff, etc. I think this is the best way to use your vacation.

Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:34 PM
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Tasmania is kewl. I have been there and plan to return. Hobart is a quiet moderately- sized city with a totally relaxed feel to it. Tasmania reminds of southern California without the smog and all the people. There is room to breathe and air to breathe too. It has a dry Meditteranean climate. You can rent a car and drive around. There is the wildlife and there is the old prison. Stuff to see and you can chill. Go!

Posted by: mark | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:42 PM
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Mom said that, after some research, she found there was some Aboriginal stuff to do there. I'm beginning to freak out about the length of the trip a bit -- we're going for two weeks, but a week of that is going to be taken up by my brother's tournament (in a small town outside Melbourne) so we'll only have about a week for sightseeing. Hopefully bro won't be competing every day so we can cut out and do some touristy stuff on non-compete days.

Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:52 PM
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Tasmanian devils, quolls, and other exotic creatures!

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:54 PM
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No Tasmanian aboriginals. Extincted.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:54 PM
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Try to find & sample some finger limes. They seem to be utterly unavailable outside Oz. They're citrus caviar!

Posted by: sw | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 8:57 PM
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And it's looking more and more that we're doing Melbourne/Geelong, Sydney, and Tasmania, if anyone has advice on those areas. Thanks!

(And 5 is quite amusing)

Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 9:03 PM
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I've been to tasmania, and I recommend it very highly. hobart it is a lot like the bay area if no one lived there, or like cape town in south africa. the climate is mediterranean gorgeous, but with all sorts of unique plants. the beaches are incredible, and little wallablies will come up to you and eat out of your hands! rent a car and go see lots of great national parks, really top notch. also, australian people use "map of tazzie" to = "pussy". show us your map of tazzie, love! how can you go wrong with that?

Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 10:10 PM
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OK, now I want to go to Tasmania just to be able to say "map of tazzie". I am my mother's daughter after all!

Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 10:13 PM
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My s-i-l and her boys just came back from Sydney and Tasmania. She absolutely loved Tasmania. But her taste is sometimes bizarre, so YMMV.

Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 10:36 PM
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Tasmania's nice, but it works better (for me) if you've been in the rest of Australia for a while - T's green is such a nice contrast with the redbrown of everywhere else. The western half of the island is all rugged primeval forest, which is great if you're truly outdoorsy. The east is more like a little England superstretched on to a vast desert canvas. Quaint little villages where you can get Devonshire teas (quite tasty!) and then _miles_ of emptiness to the next one, which in England would be just over the hill. And the appositely named Eleven-Mile Beach on which, I swear, we were the only people. And the remnants of the old penal colony, though that's only about half a day's worth of seeing. Hobart is a pleasant town, and twenty years ago (when I visited) you could visit the Cadbury's chocolate factory!

But if you're squeezed for time/distance, I'd opt instead (of T) to spend more time in and around Sydney. The city itself is magnificent, and the harbor cruise is beyond any harbor cruise I've ever taken. The Opera house, the "coathanger" bridge, the "Rocks" ... all worth seeing. For longer outings, head to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney - Jenolan Caves and a landscape more *distinctive* (if that matters to you) than Tasmania's. Or you could visit Canberra, which many Aussies despise, but I really enjoyed - lived there for four years. It's an hour's flight (or 3? hours' drive) from Sydney. A planned city (and the nation's capital) which really "works" in some ways, though not at all in others.

As for Melbourne, I recollect (dimly) the words of Melburnian Brian Humphreys, AKA Dame Edna Everage: Isn't it awfully far from town? They do feature "footie" (Australian Rules Football), which you should endeavor to see if you're any kind of sports fan at all. Amazing spectacle.

Hope this helps.

Posted by: dr ngo | Link to this comment | 07-16-06 11:16 PM
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Becks, I tend to put my advice on but for what it's worth:

Sydney: the cheap-ish way to see the best of the Harbour is to catch the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. Most tourists have figured this out though. A day trip up to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains is nice if you want to see some valleys and trees and whatnot.

Melbourne: The cafe culture seems to be the big thing. Borsch Vodka and Tears in Prahan (tram #6) is good for vodka and absinthe (not with much wormwood, this being Australia). The chocolate stores (Koko Black on Lygon Street and San Churro on Brunswick Street) are great for both nice chocolate and late night hot chocolates. Wander down some narrow laneways in the city centre during the daytime. There are all kinds of cafes and soup places down them.

Oh yeah, and if you like bananas, eat some cheap ones before you leave. They're about $2-$3 per banana here now, as most of the crop was destroyed by cyclones. A great Australian tragedy.

Hrm. It's hard to give advice to people without knowing their travel tastes!

Posted by: Mary | Link to this comment | 07-17-06 6:39 AM
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Can we get some love for Perth? Alice Springs?

Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07-17-06 8:12 AM
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(My brother's family went to Sydney and its environs this year and were quite taken with the country. Wallabies were a big factor in this.)

Posted by: Clownæsthesiologist | Link to this comment | 07-17-06 8:15 AM
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Far north tropics (cape tribulation), great barrier reef, airlie beach (whitsunday islands), sydney, and melbourne. That is a fantastic trip if you have 3 weeks. Email if you have any questions.

Posted by: Rachel | Link to this comment | 07-17-06 8:56 AM
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Me: We're not going to Tasmania just so you can say that you've been. It's not a good use of our time.

Is going to Australia a good use of your time? Why would going to Australia be a good use and Tasmania be a bad one?

['I always thought vacations were supposed to be fun, but to listen to people they're more you have to pay to do. Ok, definately want to return to my home dimension now.']

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-17-06 10:11 AM
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10: Wow. I really must seek out and try some finger limes.

Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 07-17-06 11:08 AM
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17: I suppose we could, but Becks said they'd already decided where to go.

20: I organised a 4 month trip around the world in 2004. The trip itself is not work I had to pay to do, but organising it sure was, especially since I was travelling with someone who wouldn't come (for employment reasons, not personal ones) if our cheap rooms didn't have broadband. There is nothing fun about sitting around every day waiting until it's 9am in Europe so that you can have a discussion with someone with whom you share about a third of a language about the details of their Internet access and proximity to public transport.

Posted by: Mary | Link to this comment | 07-17-06 3:27 PM
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I wouldn't expect to spend a heap of stimulating time in Geelong.

Going a bit further west gets you to the Great Ocean Road, which is beautiful. Many bus tours, or hire a car, remembering that a) we drive on the wrong side of the road and b) the road is very twisty.

Just coming here for two weeks is pretty truncated. Australia is a rhythm, a space, a scale, a dream in a landscape, a sense of the ancient, a meditation.

If you wanted to do something totally mad - and you have some dosh - go to Lake Mungo. The best way would be to hire a light plane, though I am sure there are tours. It is not too difficult from Melbourne - fly to Mildura, rent a car.. (road is pretty straight).

Australia is a very very big place. Around the size of the non-Alaska US, with only twenty million people. Kind of like the absolute opposite of New York, but with good medical care, broadband and mostly decent food. First world prices but not too bad.

Now, I have to find those lime things, since we are clear out of bananas. Wrecked the breakfast routine in our house.

ps - that grant thing is pretty plausible. I once had a phone call from a man on a Tasmanian island which was so remote he ran it by himself over the winter and was comforted by the sound of the penguins who lived under the house and knocked their heads on his floor.

Posted by: david tiley | Link to this comment | 07-17-06 6:02 PM
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I liked Perth, and got a chance to take short trips to see Freemantle, the Pinnacles and Margaret River. Also really awed by Uluru (Ayers Rock) - didn't climb it as the local aborigines really prefer that you don't, walked around it instead and did some hiking nearbyish around King's Canyon and the Olgas. I had seven weeks to play with altogether though so not sure it would be worth your while to do either of the above.

The main things to do in and around Sydney have been mentioned, give yourself some general exploring time too. I only spent a couple of days in Melbourne but thought it was a really cool city. Didn't you have the post with the fairy penguins in sweaters? Lots of day trips to see them from Melbourne (takes all day, though).

Definitely second the Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling around looking at the coral (or diving, if you're into that) is just incredible. Distances are huge, if going to the Reef maybe consider taking an internal flight up to Cairns since your time is short. Season matters too - Cairns was perfect when I was there at this time of year, temps like summer in Western Europe, in their summer it can be oppressively hot, apparently. Meanwhile it could be wet and miserable right now in Melbourne. Didn't make it to Tasmania so can't speak to that.

In general the Lonely Planet guide is good, their website seems to be ok too as an intro.

Posted by: emr | Link to this comment | 07-18-06 5:03 AM
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Sorry, I should have said Aboriginals. Bad fingers!

Posted by: emr | Link to this comment | 07-18-06 5:05 AM
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yeah, lonely planet is in fact written by australians, i believe.

Posted by: mmf! | Link to this comment | 07-18-06 5:49 AM
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I've been suspicious of Lonely Planet guidebooks since finding hiking directions in the Samoa book that could, no fooling, get you seriously killed. It describes a hike through thick bush and over broken lava with no access to water that took me and a couple of friends a solid two days (left at 4:00 am one morning, got home late afternoon the next day) as an afternoon hike. If you went in without a lot of water, you could really screw yourself up.

Not to say they're all that bad, but I wouldn't hike anywhere based on an LP guidebook without asking a local.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-06 5:57 AM
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21 gets it exactly right.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-18-06 6:01 AM
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Australia looks like too much work. I've heard that delaware can easily be covered in a week.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 07-18-06 6:30 AM
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Now after thinking about my trip 3 years ago I wish I were back travelling around Australia again, or New Zealand, instead of here reading a deed of partition by way of a conveyance to uses.

Posted by: emr | Link to this comment | 07-18-06 10:55 AM
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