Ben Groundwater missed a trick in his airport review: Sydney Kingsford Smith (Traveller, February 10). True, at T1 the duty-free shop means, as he says "every passenger is forced through a maze".
However, you can avoid it by bearing right, immediately after security, down a dim corridor just marked "Tax refunds". It's only four metres long, and decants you right in the middle of the terminal, avoiding a good 10-minute walk through duty free.
The hidden corridor is also just before the connection from the southern wing of T1, with Etihad and Air New Zealand lounges. On one occasion, it means I caught a flight I'd otherwise have missed.
J. Lorkin, Sydney, NSW
TIP OF THE WEEK
THE GREAT ESCAPE
There are not many places in the world where travellers can experience a pristine environment and extraordinary interactions with other creatures, beside humans. Heron Island is one such place.
Our family of four went there and saw giant turtles dragging themselves to the beach to nest, eruptions of hundreds of baby turtles, every snorkel involving turtles, rays and sharks and the Great Barrier Reef within swimming distance. And there was great food. And no internet so we taught the kids card games. And spoke to each other.
Note that it is a bird sanctuary so an assault on your nose, but well worth it.
Mary O'Sulivan, Randwick, NSW
SIGN OF THE CRIMES I
How is that it some travellers fail to understand that the "do not disturb" sign is actually meant for us (Reader Tips, February 10)?
We willingly leave home to visit another country – the real hanging offence is to travel away from home and refuse to engage with the socio-economic culture of your host country.
Judith Salmon, Haberfield, NSW
SIGN OF THE CRIMES II
On our recent trip to Budapest we put the "do not disturb" notice on our door and went out. When we returned to our room around 4pm we were accosted by an intimidating woman in a khaki uniform and in charge of "room duties".
She demanded to know why we did not want our room serviced. Language was an issue and we just closed the door but she wouldn't go away.
Fortunately we left the next morning.
Judith English, Hornsby Heights, NSW
I really enjoyed your rivalries cover story on various countries around the world (Traveller, February 10) and, to the extent that I know the various countries, I agreed with your conclusions.
However, Osaka was never the capital of Japan. Before Tokyo became Japan's official capital in the 19th century, the capital was Kyoto (and 1200 years ago before Kyoto the capital was Nara.)
Bruce Jacobs, Melbourne, VIC
NO TRAIN, NO GAIN
One critical difference between New York and Los Angeles is that a tourist in LA needs to rent a car to get around. Being a regular visitor to NYC, I use their brilliant, fast and cheap subway system.
Pam Livingstone, Smith Lakes, NSW
Clearly New York has a more effective tourist publicity machine than Paris. David Whitley's article on city walks (Traveller, February 10) refers us to New York's High Line park.
But he, like many other writers, completely ignores the similar Coulee Verte park in Paris. It not only predates New York's marvel by more than a decade, but is about twice as long.
So, when you're next in Paris, hotfoot it out to the 12th arrondissement and mix it with the Parisians. They don't shed as much sweat in using it, but it is a pleasant green and quiet amble.
Max Nankervis, Middle Park, VIC