View Full Version : Advice on traveling to OZ-Excited American!


VisualImagery
04-06-07, 12:58 PM
OK my ADD mates in OZ, this beautiful American :) will be spending 18 days (including travel from the States) June 22-July 9, traveling with 45 middle schoolers and 5 leaders. We will visit 3 areas of OZ as Student and Teacher Ambassadors with People to People Student Ambassadors. This program was started by President Eisenhower 51 years ago. Here is a quote that describes the purpose and reason for our program:

I have long believed, as have many before me, that peaceful relations between nations require mutual respect between individuals.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower

The students are learning about diversity, that different is just that, different, and to be ambassadors of peace and understanding. This is not just another tourist type trip. They earn a semester of social studies credit too! We have 2 more meetings to prepare for the trip.

The areas:
Cairns-Great Barrier Reef
The Red Center
Sydney-we have a home stay here, a high point of the trip. We learn about everyday life in OZ. It is also part of being an ambassador.

View a sample itinerary at this link:
Reef and Rock (http://www.studentambassadors.org/students-programs-details-vj.asp)

My questions:
What is the weather really like at each of these locations? Basically, how cold does it get?

Do you think a battery recharger with an adapter will work in OZ?

If something were to happen to my ADD and other meds, how would I get refills? I am taking official letters from my doctors to document them.

Do any of you in Sydney know a host family?
Have any of you heard of this program before?

Thanks so much for your help! I am creating a photo album and gathering gifts for my host family and our delegation manager and coach drivers. The excitement is building-especially since getting my 1st passport! Aussie hospitality is legend here in America.

Heartfelt thanks,
ME-VI

inquisitive
04-06-07, 11:36 PM
that sounds like an awsome program :) i had a look at the Ambassador program from a link you posted up in another forum here a few months back, and it looked really good. i'm glad your students are taking this opportunity, because it sounds like one in a lifetime.

in sydney you will be pretty much at the start of winter, and will be feeling it! though there wont be any snow in the heart of sydney, where i am assuming you will be, it will be quite icy (no snow, but very very cold!) towards july.

in queensland (great barrier reef) i think it would be warmer, i'm sure the queenslanders will be able to help you with this one. and im sure it will be quite warm in the centre of OZ! we dont get as much rain there as we'd like!

as long as you have an adapter to plug into our walls, your tech devices should work, including battery rechargers.

i can hear you counting down till your trip already! :)

VisualImagery
04-06-07, 11:57 PM
Just have to get my sinus and ear problems under control-damn industrial pollution! Good doctor and he will make sure I am ready and healthy! Going to a new interist Monday for a check-up to make sure everything is go healthwise.

Thanks for the Sydney info, will share with the students next meeting. We are doing a team building activity that is a blast and they will learn the consequences of not following their success contract-a very good thing. I have to sign one too!

Want to find a couple bottles of Aussie wine for my DH-loves them!

Thanks for the info! Appreciate it much!

Ichpuchtli
04-07-07, 05:31 AM
Queensland well the barrier reef. You'll be questioning why they call it winter. Just be careful of water usage they will probably hate otherwise. :D Worst drught in 100 or is it now 1000 years somethign like that. Umm it can rain heavily on the coast with not to much warning though. So it might not be so nice. If it is you'll love it.

WARNING: Whatch out for this redy orange stuff that looks like slimy stuff that will be stuck to rocks. It is a sponge it is called Fire spounge or something Do not touch. I did picked it up at straddie the other week it stings a little but what is the annoying thing is that now the skin on my hand is just peeling, and flaking off. It is not painfull it just not very nice.

No worries really with pulltion here we don't seem to have enough people. I dunno something I read somewhere.

Add meds shouldn't be a problem it will just take a lot longer then useal. So long as you bring the documents. One great reminder.

DO NOT FORGET ABOUT OUR QUARRANTINE!

Our hospitality: hmm never knew that. Well I just talk to anyone and everyone so whether they answer or not I don't register this so everyone seems friendly. You know. :)

Umm Jacobs Creek. Is an Aussie wine that is quite nice. Margret River is really good though. That is all I can think of. Should go to vitoria though it is reall beautiful country side.

Enjoy Aussie land.

VisualImagery
04-07-07, 09:32 PM
Hey Tuxedo super hero-

Great information! Will share with our students next meeting-they love hearing all this. The drought info is awesome as they will be learning about environmental issues while in the Cairns region! Will remind them to make sure they have a raincoat!

We have a 44 pound limit for checked in luggage and an 11 pound limit for the carry on other than the personal item like a purse or small tote. I am shopping at thrift stores for some of my clothes-so I can leave them behind if I need room for souvenirs, wine, and other stuff!

That sponge sounds disgusting! They certainly won't touch it after this.

I researched the quarantine and we are covering that very carefully! The US and our state have similar rules and problems from non-indigenous species of lots of things too.

Appreciate the wine advice, will write it in my notebook.

We get to sleep in swags in the outback-weather permitting and will hike arround Uluru and watch it change colors as the sun sets. We will also visit and learn about the Flying Doctor service and the School of the Air!

Here is the little website I created for the students-lots of links to info! Including the quarrantine and medical documentation.
http://imagination-unlimited.zoomshare.com/

Thank you! I really, really appreciate all the help and time you are taking to answer my questions. Good on ya mate-is that right? You are an awesome Sheila.

ME-VI
Do I sound excited? :D

Ichpuchtli
04-08-07, 05:21 AM
Sheila!!!!!! I feel insulted. Yeah close but No worries is really big these days. Didn't know you were going to uluru. It gets really cold at night and very hot during the day. I think it is the same in all deserts though. My mother got sick there because of that. :D I have never being to the big red! I am Australian that is discrasful.

VisualImagery
04-08-07, 05:44 AM
Thanks my penguin friend!

Taking my long johns-American for long underwear! Lots of layers for shedding or adding! weather.com has 10 day forecasts so I will be able to check potential weather for the first 10 days just before we leave.

The weather in my part of the world is unusually cold right now, in the 20's F at night and only in the 40's F during the day. You are much warmer in Sydney! Darn.

inquisitive
04-08-07, 07:02 PM
I have never being to the big red! I am Australian that is discrasful.
not to worry Ichpuchtli ... i'm australian too and never have been to the big red!! i live in sydney and the only other place i've been is to surfer's paradise at the gold coast for a holiday when i was younger!!

you'll have to tell us what it's like RADDmom, since you'll obviously get to visit it before most australians will!!

i suggest you do not watch Wolf Creek before going to the centre of Oz!! hehehe

VisualImagery
04-09-07, 11:27 AM
There is lots of America I have not seen! But thank to my parents I have seen most than more Americans-even if I don't remember is.

If it is even available here, I will just have too watch the movie now! It just wouldn't happen-my guess-it is fictional-I hope? Even so, no worries mates. I know all about the snakes-Taipan, Brown, etc.... and cane toads and salt water crocs and box jellies, and stone fish, manta rays, fire sponge, and sharks, funnel webs, and red spiders and many ther creatures. I watch all the nature shows about OZ. Can't wait to photog and draw my impressions of your beautiful country. You all sure are lucky to have such a variety of wonderful creatures. How did you deserve all that?

I have wanted to come since I was a little girl-many, many, decades. Born in 54-if you know what I mean! We will be at the reef during whale season! Hope we get to see some fluking!

Inquisitive, you always make me laugh, thank you so much, I needed one today.

And yes, I will report on the red fully when I get back!
Clicking my ruby slippers and wishing to go to OZ!

Hugs to you all-you are great friends!

Ichpuchtli
04-09-07, 09:34 PM
OOOOOO! The must do Australian entertainment. Golf. Well Cane Toad Golf. There are so many ways to dispose of them. Do all Aussies a favour Kill a Cane Toad while your here.

VisualImagery
04-09-07, 09:40 PM
OOOOOO! The must do Australian entertainment. Golf. Well Cane Toad Golf. There are so many ways to dispose of them. Do all Aussies a favour Kill a Cane Toad while your here.Great visual image Ich! What should we use a 3 iron or a wedge? Don't think the kids would touch them though, if they got hurt-my head would roll. Just pray the coach creates a lot of toad kill! :D

There was an Aussie in the Master's Tournament-wonder if he takes cane toads to the driving range? Anything to make you hoppy down under! Do they make death to cane toad t-shirts? Would be a great souvenir!

Love your odd little tidbits!

Ichpuchtli
04-10-07, 08:50 AM
I don't know about that but you can get cane toad keyrings and wallets. Their skin is really durable.

I would reccomend the 1 Iron at umm lets say 10.5 degree angle. :D

Who gets hurt the kids or the Toads?

VisualImagery
04-10-07, 12:49 PM
The kids.

I will gladly cause the demise of some of these foreign invaders, just give a club! Would a Minnie Driver fit in my suitcase? :D Geez,(crickey?) I am on a pun roll today. Just follow the threads.......

VisualImagery
04-25-07, 11:55 PM
58 days-on this side of the International Date Line. Up to 5.5 miles a day with full pack.

I am taking pics of my hometown and collecting some neat stuff for my home gift. I have stuff from each branch of our military! USN, USMC, USAF, and still have to hit the army up for stuff. Hats, frisbees, stickers, lanyards, cups. Now to get my photo album together for the homestay gift. A "life in a small mid-west town." Adding t-shirts from the local schools-if I can find some for sale.

Ichpuchtli
04-30-07, 02:07 AM
For a gift to America you need to get I didgeridoo! They are the most fun instrument to learn and play. I think at least. Or you can do what I did to learn which was PVC pipe. Yes I can play it well now. Not as easy as it looks. :)

Watch out some are just ordiments they are not really made to play.

acceptance
05-18-07, 02:59 AM
:D ;) :cool: Hello,ive been round oz,live in q.l.d.,scrolled thru your posts and saw that you'll be going to the great ROCK!!awesome ,Ayres Rock was the norm of the name,
Just one thing...please read the huge sign if you are going to climb the rock,at first i was excited,then i took the time to read.I took a photo of Not climbing the rock.
you''ll see,it does make sense,its all to do with respecting the aboriginal people.
Becareful if you stay at the resort there,they will rip off tourists,and if you go to the local pub,[U]always keep your drink in your hand.
Hope this is helpful,and enjoy your trip out here,don a hat and rug up,gets cold in july,especially in the middle of oz at night. :)

VisualImagery
05-18-07, 07:40 PM
Thanks Acceptance! My 30 year dream is coming true! Got my hat, my long undies, backpack, camelbak, trekking poles, and camera, etc. With a bunch of school kids-can't go to pub. :( Cairns first-with 4 teachers and 43, 7-8 graders. I won't have time to get into trouble. We will be trekking around Uluru-the kids already researched and learned you can't climb it. Great bunch they are! Then we head to Alice Springs and onto Sydney.

RUG UP? Coat? Long underwear? Need translation please. We bundle up.

I read that parts of OZ got lots of rain. Are things better with the drought now? It will take some time to recover. We had one in my area awhile back and it was pretty devastating to the farmers. Hope you get lots of rain!

Ich, a Dig is on my list-and it will have to play! I collect indigenous instruments from all over the world. Let's see, opals, boomerang, bullwhip, postcards, Hard Rock Sydney t-shirt, Uluru t-shirt..... my gift/souvenior list grows, must check money....... but will pass on the Vegemite-I really did try to like it, really.

ME

acceptance
05-21-07, 06:13 PM
Thanks Acceptance! My 30 year dream is coming true! Got my hat, my long undies, backpack, camelbak, trekking poles, and camera, etc. With a bunch of school kids-can't go to pub. :( Cairns first-with 4 teachers and 43, 7-8 graders. I won't have time to get into trouble. We will be trekking around Uluru-the kids already researched and learned you can't climb it. Great bunch they are! Then we head to Alice Springs and onto Sydney.

RUG UP? Coat? Long underwear? Need translation please. We bundle up.

I read that parts of OZ got lots of rain. Are things better with the drought now? It will take some time to recover. We had one in my area awhile back and it was pretty devastating to the farmers. Hope you get lots of rain!

Ich, a Dig is on my list-and it will have to play! I collect indigenous instruments from all over the world. Let's see, opals, boomerang, bullwhip, postcards, Hard Rock Sydney t-shirt, Uluru t-shirt..... my gift/souvenior list grows, must check money....... but will pass on the Vegemite-I really did try to like it, really.

MERug up.....yes it means to keep warm,nights can be chilly.Dont forget some insect spray...repellent.We have lots of hungry insects here..lol...its ok though,a lotion is just as good(repellent).If you are offered a camp billy...its the best cup of tea ever :D you'll here a lot of sayings..one in particular...G'day mate, :)

acceptance
05-21-07, 06:21 PM
VISUAL? I can email you some close up pics of Ayres Rock.The huge thing can be stared at for ages,yep especially when the sun goes down,heaps of people gather and get a good possy,..Tickets are $25 each,but i think this can be used a couple of times.Theres no camping allowed at the rock.The Lindy Chaimberlan case probably enforced new rules.

VisualImagery
05-21-07, 07:44 PM
Thanks Acceptance,

Everything is arranged for us and prepaid-we have a delegation manager and there are many groups from this program going. At least 4 groups just from our little area. We will have a farm stay and hotel stay while in red center. You may see some our groups in Sydney too. Interesting to know how much these activities cost-that is one worry we don't have. Thank goodness for little things! Our name badges and lanyards give us entry-

When we get our itenerary in a few days I will know exactly what places we stay and all our activities. We do ride camels-but don't remember name of company that does that. We will watch the sun set and rise at Uluru-getting another 2g disk for my camera.

Great help and suggestions!

acceptance
05-22-07, 10:27 PM
Something you might find interesting-australian slang words,you'll probagly find it on the net.aussie lingo can be quite funny...."hey digger!your bro wants ya to pick up a slab and meet 'im at beeraclock!","yeah fairdinkum mate,so go an' hammer before his mrs pulls the plug!"

VisualImagery
05-22-07, 11:39 PM
Hey soldier, your friend wants you to pick up a case of beer after work for real man, but you gotta knock them down (drink 'em quick) before his wife calls and tells him to get his **** home.

This a close approximation? BTW, I am a two pot screamer. :D

acceptance
05-23-07, 12:39 AM
Hey soldier, your friend wants you to pick up a case of beer after work for real man, but you gotta knock them down (drink 'em quick) before his wife calls and tells him to get his **** home.

This a close approximation? BTW, I am a two pot screamer. :D

LOL...goes something like this...hi friend,your mate(an obvious drinking partner)wants you to grab a carton of beer,and meet him home round 4 or 5oclock(the usual drink time after work),yeah its true,be quick home before the wife gets angry(wife wondering where he is)

you were very close Visual...funny to hear it from someone else.lol :D

VisualImagery
06-10-07, 08:19 PM
Thanks! The aussie slang dictionaries are helpful. And I can't believe you all eat "floaters" Oh, the count down continues, 12 days left till take-off.

VisualImagery
06-21-07, 01:58 PM
I am packing my bags and am ready to go----tomorrow! 24 hours till I check in at airline gate..... pinch me, I really am going!

Crazygirl79
06-25-07, 06:23 PM
Hey.

Where in Australia are you off to???

Selena:)

VisualImagery
12-03-07, 02:20 AM
HEy, I never told you all how my trip turned out! long story, but it was mostly wonderful. I truly fell in love with the country and plan on returning someday without students!

Waking the Olgas, Uluru, King's Canyon was beyond words and took my breath away. The night sky in the outback---never have I seen such brilliant stars. Riding camels, the school of the air and flying doctor--I could barely take in all the information. Holding pythons and lizards.....yep, did it!

The rainforest, barrier reef-lost my pics--:( Mossman Gorge was awesome! Breakfast with the birds, the butterfly sanctuary! I know what a drongo is now! And got to do my kukkaburra imitation in front of all the kids......that was fun.

Sydney was breathtaking, the opal museum, you should see my pics of the opera house. The Sydney Symphony was practicing. During our home stay we went to the Blue Mountains---see my career website for a picture taken that day--what phenomenal rock formations. www.dreamtimecareers.wordpress.com

We went to Bondi Beach and I have a hilarious picture with 3 young soccer players--joke for all my US friends who told me to bring back a handsome bushman. We went to Vision Valley and I rappelled and did a swing drop for the first time in my life! Learned I can scream louder than the kids. Saw Hyde Park Barracks, the Tower, and stayed at the Ibis world square. Walked along the Gap, and our final day was at the Olympic park.

It was profoundly moving, people were so friendly, the country is beautiful, and I find myself looking forward to returning as soon as I can save money for plane tickets. WA, TAZ and other unvisited places are on my list.

I brought home over 2,000 pics-some good, some bad, some fantastic, plus a beautiful opal necklace, an aboriginal painting, a dij, pins and patches, an australian wool beanie, and more memories than I ever thought possible. It was a dream come true. I wanted to visit ever since I was a little girl and read about OZ in the National Geographic, then came Against the Wind, and A Town Like Alice, and I had fallen in love.

Our visit to Uluru inspired the name for my website and for the career and educational specialist consulting work I hope to be doing soon!

Now I just have to put my photo album together....and we got back on July 10.

VI

~boots~
12-03-07, 02:22 AM
ahhh!!! I wondered when you were going to update us ;-)
I'll go look at your pics :-)
shame you weren't in WA..it would have been great meeting for coffee..

VisualImagery
12-03-07, 02:32 AM
Tracy, someday I wil get to WA, trust me. It is half the country! Have an extra room-then we can go for a photo walkabout! Heck I'd pay to stay in a home vs a hotel! Want to see the real country, not the tourista stuff. Let's see, hikes, museum, food, evening fun, beaches, photo shoots, meeting people and talking, sharing cultures.

Come to the midwest and I will be your personal guide! I now see my own country in a new light-it is a fascinating place with fascinating people.

~boots~
12-03-07, 03:33 AM
;)
THE bed is made up..waiting for you :-)
It sure sound slike you LOVE Oz ;-)

VisualImagery
12-03-07, 03:47 AM
You made my night Tracy!!! Makes my dream more of a possibility than every. I even know how to put the billy on for tea and do the Tim-Tam suck! Love Milo too! Still not used to pasta and baked beans for breakfast, but seems more normal now-keep looking for them on American breakfast menus...... lol I really did fall head over heals in love with the continent-red-backs, and most poisonous snakes not withstanding!!!!!!

There is something about the continent that spoke to me on a very deep level--does that sound strange? I just feel a connection with the people and places that I never even thought about or considered could happen. Hard to explain.

~boots~
12-03-07, 04:50 AM
You made my night Tracy!!! Makes my dream more of a possibility than every. I even know how to put the billy on for tea and do the Tim-Tam suck! Love Milo too! Still not used to pasta and baked beans for breakfast, but seems more normal now-keep looking for them on American breakfast menus...... lol I really did fall head over heals in love with the continent-red-backs, and most poisonous snakes not withstanding!!!!!!

There is something about the continent that spoke to me on a very deep level--does that sound strange? I just feel a connection with the people and places that I never even thought about or considered could happen. Hard to explain.:-)
pasta and beans for brekky..normal...tim tam suck..normal...lol..

I can see you have a connection to OZ..it's great to see...:D
so, you'll have to boil the billy for my morning coffee:p