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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw some glossy today for why you should visit South Australia and it mentioned Kangaroo Island, Eyre Peninsula and Flinders Ranges but not how to get there sanely.

Now what gets me about this shit-hole country is how regional aviation is just about ignored. No mention of it in terms of getting to these three places from Adelaide or interstate ports.

But no, they'd rather have the tourists eating in shithouse petrol stations's with the 5 hour old spring rolls in the bain marie or petrol station burger with the lot, or Maccas if you're very lucky, or some old biddie feeding you the local pie as if that itself was a tourist attraction.

Add to that crap roads, pathetic lack of scenery en-route and a general boganesque tone to the whole affair.

And then, magically, you get to these three locales and you're having your hawaiian stone massage in the day spa and white table clothes and afternoon cocktails looking at the sunset and seared tuna and so on. You need all of the above to recover from the shit roads, shit drive and shit food!

Yet if you even dare mention Rex or something even better that could be introduced, or the need for hire cars at regional airport terminals, or how much better if they had all-in packages...you'd be treated as a real fool.

As Lenin said - "What then must be done?"
 

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WARREN
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So what solutions can you think of apart from by airplane?

I assume what you want is an Embraer or Saab 340 flying in to these places say from Adelaide or seasonal flights from other cities? I think NZ does more of those kind of short flights. Might give a different first impression of these kind of places as being far away and exotic as opposed to the feeling at the end of the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So what solutions can you think of apart from by airplane?

I assume what you want is an Embraer or Saab 340 flying in to these places say from Adelaide or seasonal flights from other cities? I think NZ does more of those kind of short flights. Might give a different first impression of these kind of places as being far away and exotic as opposed to the feeling at the end of the drive.
Exactly. Lots of full EMBs and Dashes and Saabs to the point where the airlines start thinking of jet services like PQQ or ABX.

Agree about NZ. Seem much more comfortable with local flights. Very good point about "exotic" too.

I just keep banging on about 'value proposition' and wonder how you can sell day spas and fine wines to a market of people who've had to pay $1.40 a litre for petrol at some God-forsaken, bogan invested road house outside Port Pirie and the privilige of pie-warmers filled with steak and mushroom pies 3 days old.

God this boganville country needs a good nuking from orbit!

But case in point:

Lord Riccardo fronts at Mount Gambier Airport so-called. No hire car. Ring town. Will send a hire car out in half an hour. Have to drive the driver back to his depot. No taxi. No staff in airport. Dated tourist info. Locals all scurry off to their own cars in carpark.

Mt Gambier and district - home to succulent mouth watering crayfish. Where to buy one?? Beachport - no, none there. Pub doesn't want to know. Big signs up about local crayfish but no-one cooking.

Cave diving. Lot's of stuff in the literature, but no one actually offering the service ready to go (cf the Barrier Reef, where if you front up for a cruise TODAY they will take you today).

Coonawarra - let's find me some fine dining to go with the local wine. Nup, none there. Ends up 'cooking own steak' at some local pub beer garden.

Now I could understand if people said they didn't need to fly coz they were using the excellent local roads, or enjoying the wonderful scenery, or stopping in quaint villages along the way to sample the local cuisines, or even catching the high speed train instead.

But with none of the above being true, I don't know why they drive.
 

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Rabid Furry Skier
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The closest thing that I can think of in the South East Australia would be Merimbula. Unfortunately, Merimbula is pretty bogan aimed especially with Magic Mountain (holy motherfucking shit, that place sucked badly. Plastic dinosaurs with cheapo speakers going "rawr rawr rawr" FTW! All for you to experience for $30 or so a person!).

Mildura has flights but once you get there, doesn't seem to really offer that much other than walk here, there, more over here, around about here and finally a walk to here (joking about the guides relying on bushwalking tracks for everything, and a little bit of dining experience tacked on :p ). I sort of hope that they build a casino there and experiment with making the city a much more interesting (and desirable) place to visit for international visitors in the future.

Your rant actually reflects a bit of my pragmatist view on tourism in the suburbs of the Australian cities. Other than the inner city, my impression is that we don't make any effort at all to make the urban areas outside of the inner city appealing to the tourists to come and visit. We have places like Warrandyte in Melbourne (as an example) which has some potential to be a popular destination, but misses out on the non intra-urban tourism market. As you said, the issue of driving also applies to those places as well where the visitors will be required to pass through some of the dullest parts of the cities just to reach the destination.
 

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WARREN
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Eco-rat said:
Lord Riccardo fronts at Mount Gambier Airport so-called. No hire car. Ring town. Will send a hire car out in half an hour. Have to drive the driver back to his depot. No taxi. No staff in airport. Dated tourist info. Locals all scurry off to their own cars in carpark
Oh rly?
http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2010/10/27/3049571.htm

Eco-rat said:
Mt Gambier and district - home to succulent mouth watering crayfish. Where to buy one?? Beachport - no, none there. Pub doesn't want to know. Big signs up about local crayfish but no-one cooking.

Cave diving. Lot's of stuff in the literature, but no one actually offering the service ready to go (cf the Barrier Reef, where if you front up for a cruise TODAY they will take you today).
So what are you saying there? That these places aren't making really a serious effort to service the visitors/tourists and it seems to be done as really something to the side of other things in the town, not taken as importantly as it should be?

Your rant actually reflects a bit of my pragmatist view on tourism in the suburbs of the Australian cities. Other than the inner city, my impression is that we don't make any effort at all to make the urban areas outside of the inner city appealing to the tourists to come and visit.
Not just Australian cities, it happens (and worse!) on an international scale.

Look at Paris/Ile-de-France, outside of the central area of Paris (which spans 5km in all directions from the centre), tell me what reason anybody is given to ever venture into the suburbs? All that's ever promoted is Disneyland, airports and highways to elsewhere. Even looking at a map from the point of view of a tourist, Paris ends where the central zone ends, and that's where any visits by foreigners end.
 

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Mildura has flights but once you get there, doesn't seem to really offer that much other than walk here, there, more over here, around about here and finally a walk to here (joking about the guides relying on bushwalking tracks for everything, and a little bit of dining experience tacked on :p ). I sort of hope that they build a casino there and experiment with making the city a much more interesting (and desirable) place to visit for international visitors in the future.
As a former resident I can tell you Mildura is more aimed at families with the Murray River on it's door stop and a stack load of family attractions in the local area.

There is also some top restaurants and wineries. Not to mention it does very well in the festival department for a city it's size.
 

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Rabid Furry Skier
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As a former resident I can tell you Mildura is more aimed at families with the Murray River on it's door stop and a stack load of family attractions in the local area.

There is also some top restaurants and wineries. Not to mention it does very well in the festival department for a city it's size.
I probably should have clarified it a bit more, but that was more of a joke that could be anywhere, not aimed at Mildura. Apologies!

Mildura was actually one of the few Australian cities that felt alive to me when I visited in 2003-ish, especially the Spanish Grill which I had dinner at. Nice cuts. :nod:

EDIT: Also, when I did visit, some of the brochures at the hotel were pretty "meh", so I suppose my statement was sooort of true, but at the visitor centre, they had good decent brochures thankfully. They also sold the pink salt which was very handy to use as a seasoning back at home.
 

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I probably should have clarified it a bit more, but that was more of a joke that could be anywhere, not aimed at Mildura. Apologies!

Mildura was actually one of the few Australian cities that felt alive to me when I visited in 2003-ish, especially the Spanish Grill which I had dinner at. Nice cuts. :nod:
That's okay I think I came across pretty abrupt anyway :p
 

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Not just Australian cities, it happens (and worse!) on an international scale.

Look at Paris/Ile-de-France, outside of the central area of Paris (which spans 5km in all directions from the centre), tell me what reason anybody is given to ever venture into the suburbs? All that's ever promoted is Disneyland, airports and highways to elsewhere. Even looking at a map from the point of view of a tourist, Paris ends where the central zone ends, and that's where any visits by foreigners end.
Not quite. As well as Eurodisney, other suburban Paris destinations very popular with foreign tourists include the chateaux at Versailles and Fontainebleau, Giverny, the Saint Ouen Flea Market and the La Defense business district. But it's true that the overwhelming majority of tourists don't venture beyond Paris '75' proper.
 

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Modulator
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Interesting thread. I have a few incoherent scattergun thoughts on the matter.

Australia's local tourism market is suffering thanks to the buoyant $AU. Those that previously could not afford to travel overseas now can. On another thread, someone mentioned after their recent roadtrip that it seemed like less cars were on the road than 20 years ago. If that's truly the case, what real incentive do rural outposts have to promote their area and upgrade their facilities? Towns of the likes of Port Augusta, Mt Gambier now compete with destinations like Thailand, USA and Yoorup for tourist dollars. Sure, these regional towns could upgrade their services and promote the shit outta them, but is it cost effective in the current climate?
 

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What elitist BS - just because people are loaded doesn't me that they despise/are scared of stereotypical Australian country town life. Why the need to segregate visitors to luxury hotels from everyone else?
 

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WARREN
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Had to catch a boat from Stony Point over the weekend. No other pax alighting from or boarding the Sprinter there on Saturday morning. The ferry leaves 1 hour after the train arrives. About 4 pax alighting from the Sprinter (single car for some reason?) on Sunday who looked like backpackers, maybe they were catching the ferry.

The train trip from Melb is though (33 intermediate stops to FSS/Parliament) but why haven't they tried promoting this route more for people going to perhaps Phillip Island, seems like a much more potentially appealing combo than the drive through South Gippsland, or the bus that takes 2 hours from Dandenong.

And that last station on the line, if you look at a map seems to have no purpose except for connecting with ferries so I would guess they should make it half useful, any thoughts from Eco-rat?

(And also I see that the Liberal Party has specifically promised having police guards at that station and all the other ones down that way - lol!)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What elitist BS - just because people are loaded doesn't me that they despise/are scared of stereotypical Australian country town life. Why the need to segregate visitors to luxury hotels from everyone else?
Why not? Take off your faux egalitarian sunglasses for a moment and have a look at how life REALLY IS.

Income is unequally distributed. MASSIVELY unequally distributed.

The RARAs complain they aren't getting their share but when someone rocks into town with disposable income they don't know how to handle it.

Whats the good of selling me a Unilever meat pie from the servo pie warmer wholesale cost 80c retail $4.50 and tastes like shit, when you could have spend $13 preparing a decent plate of food and I would have paid $30. Or more?

This is where the really money is. Some regions have woken up to this and others haven't.

aussieboy, instead of trading on your bogan feel-good why not understand that the world ADVANCES and is MOTIVATED by inequality. Enjoy it. Relish it.

People pay $5000 to stay in a glorified tent in Botswana yet skips wanna keep the tired old 1950s motels with their 1950s mindset going. Not yet dated enough to be 'retro' maybe.

Don't worry Aussieboy, I've done my time in RARA land, lived on a farm, nothing to be 'scared of' but much to be pitied. A dying culture. Put a fence round some of it and call it a museum, but demolish the rest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Had to catch a boat from Stony Point over the weekend. No other pax alighting from or boarding the Sprinter there on Saturday morning. The ferry leaves 1 hour after the train arrives. About 4 pax alighting from the Sprinter (single car for some reason?) on Sunday who looked like backpackers, maybe they were catching the ferry.

The train trip from Melb is though (33 intermediate stops to FSS/Parliament) but why haven't they tried promoting this route more for people going to perhaps Phillip Island, seems like a much more potentially appealing combo than the drive through South Gippsland, or the bus that takes 2 hours from Dandenong.

And that last station on the line, if you look at a map seems to have no purpose except for connecting with ferries so I would guess they should make it half useful, any thoughts from Eco-rat?

(And also I see that the Liberal Party has specifically promised having police guards at that station and all the other ones down that way - lol!)
thanks L2. Yes, I've wondered why we don't have a proper connecting service from Melbourne to Cowes via Stony Point- given that it would beat the bus and be much more comfortable.

And there's little legit parking at Stony Point so it is ridiculous to believe that people WANT to drive to Stony Point, and then park. If it was a car ferry like Sorrento then different matter, but in this case people are already catching one form of PT - the boat.

But on the boat they will see fellow members of the middle class.

On the sprinter they will get ferals. Had to laugh last time I was there - in a four seat section with two teenage girls.

"Aw, I got a root last night"

"Aw, who wiff?"

Such honour as they bestow on the act of sexual congress!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not quite. As well as Eurodisney, other suburban Paris destinations very popular with foreign tourists include the chateaux at Versailles and Fontainebleau, Giverny, the Saint Ouen Flea Market and the La Defense business district. But it's true that the overwhelming majority of tourists don't venture beyond Paris '75' proper.
Do tourists really go to La Defense???

I've been to Paris several times didn't once feel inclined to go there.

Can vouch for train travel to Versailles and Fontainebleau.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting thread. I have a few incoherent scattergun thoughts on the matter.

Australia's local tourism market is suffering thanks to the buoyant $AU. Those that previously could not afford to travel overseas now can. On another thread, someone mentioned after their recent roadtrip that it seemed like less cars were on the road than 20 years ago. If that's truly the case, what real incentive do rural outposts have to promote their area and upgrade their facilities? Towns of the likes of Port Augusta, Mt Gambier now compete with destinations like Thailand, USA and Yoorup for tourist dollars. Sure, these regional towns could upgrade their services and promote the shit outta them, but is it cost effective in the current climate?
You're right, but I'm assuming it isn't a matter of doing it NOW, but years ago when they could have done it. It wasn't that long ago the AUD:USD was closer to 50c than parity and overseas travel was that much more expensive.

Even then, we are still supposed to have a competitive advantage in time (short flights), risk (low risk destinations), language and culture (the same)

Why do we not consolidate the advantage - make a virtue of the short flights rather than long drive, for example. Train staff so that we have BOTH a common language but also good service.

All credit to DJ getting cheaper flights into Albury, Port Mac, Coffs, Mildura and so on - but let's keep it moving. Merimbula and Moruya - yes.

QF have also helped in recent times with KI, Mt Hotham and so on although efforts are patchy.

Mt Gambier - flog Mary MacKillop tourism for all its worth. I don't care if the plane is filled with people chanting over their beads and the luggage racks are filled with catholic junk - just get the price down.

Flinders Ranges - get one of the airfields up there to Rex standard and have the 4wds and camels etc meet it.

the rest - start thinking of tourism as door to door. If the customer has to find your brochure on the servo rack after they've hit town, its too late.

Mildura - I might be inclined to dine and stay over at the Grand if they sorted out cheap flights and hire cars as well, all in. Can't be bothered working it out otherwise. If my wife and I could do it all in for $500 it might be no worse than a night out at Vue De Monde.
 

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derp
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Lord Riccardo fronts at Mount Gambier Airport so-called. No hire car. Ring town. Will send a hire car out in half an hour. Have to drive the driver back to his depot. No taxi. No staff in airport. Dated tourist info. Locals all scurry off to their own cars in carpark.
Even Moruya Airport, which is smaller than my local bowling club, has hire car facilities. Did you ring ahead to book it or just turn up and expect there to be someone waiting for you?
 

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Do tourists really go to La Defense???

I've been to Paris several times didn't once feel inclined to go there.

Can vouch for train travel to Versailles and Fontainebleau.
It certainly gets lots of foreign visitors, although most of them are businesspeople there for work, so not really 'tourists' but foreign visitors none the less. But there are plenty of toursits as well, particularly visiting La Grand Arche, which as the terminus of the 'historic axis' stretching from the Louvre, up the Champs d'Elysees, through the Arc de Triomphe, is a significant site. If you're going to visit Paris again, and you're interested in urban planning / architecture, I'd recommend reading up on the history of La Defense and future planned projects, then spending a few hours there. It's not very pleasant in winter though.
 

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Do tourists really go to La Defense???

I've been to Paris several times didn't once feel inclined to go there.

Can vouch for train travel to Versailles and Fontainebleau.
Not unless you are a businessperson maybe, or want a quick pic at the Grand Arch, which most do not bother with.

Versailles is a big expection really. It is like a bright spot in the outer ring of Paris. Great gardens and palace.
 
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