Traveller Letters: $1000 a week for car hire? We're being gouged

HIRE AND HIGHER

Some close friends are going to holiday in the Apple Isle in the next few weeks. They were able to secure flights and accommodation for reasonable prices, but were stunned at the cost of car hire. It is near impossible to secure basic car hire for less than $1000 a week which makes a fly-drive holiday rather expensive. I can't recall car hire being that expensive pre-COVID and wonder if this is just car rental companies taking advantage of travel starved Australians.

Peter Miniutti, Ashbury, NSW

OVERSEAS V OVER HERE

If Australian tourism operators want Australian residents to travel locally after the pandemic then they should look to lower prices. What they offer in terms of value for money does not come close to what overseas operators are able to provide. And then local businesses wonder why we spend our money overseas. The reason is because it's cheaper to pay for flights and accommodation and activities to go overseas than it is to travel around most places in Australia. Why would I pay $900 for airfares to Queensland when I can pay $900 to go to Japan?

Jamie Luke, Greenwich, NSW

SCOUT AND ABOUT

We recently transported our 10-year-old beagle from Sydney to Brisbane (Traveller Letters, February 27). We used Dogtainers Pet Transport and could not have been happier. Scout was collected at our home with all the assurance we had hoped for in regards to our beloved pet. On their advice, we opted for their road service as they explained that flights were often delayed and pets stayed in their crates for long periods in noisy sheds. (Sydney to Perth might be a different proposition and a flight might be more practicable.) At the Brisbane end we had the option of home delivery or collection at their depot. The trip was overnight, with two-hourly pee and water stops and a dinner stop mid-way. Highly recommended.

John McCartney, Sunshine Coast, QLD

DUST TO DUST

Re Ben Groundwater's reply to the letter, "Outing the Outback" (Traveller Letters, February 6). I have travelled more than 200,000 kilometres in the outback in the last 10 years. I feel well qualified to comment on the term "Australian outback". The outback is a magnificent experience – the sandy tracks, the gibber plains, the majestic red rock formations, the unforgettable sunrises and sunsets, the nightly camp fires. You can travel for days without seeing many other people. But while I accept that the outback "can be many things to many people", I believe few would accept Ben's view that the coastlines of Australia, including the Top End, while remote, would constitute the outback.

Allan Kidd, North Narrabeen, NSW

CROSS PURPOSES

Brendan Jones (Traveller Letters, February 27), the Queenscliff-Sorrento ferry service in Victoria is a similar journey to South Australia's Kangaroo Island ferry in time, distance travelled, vessel capacity and frequency of crossings. The cost to take two adults and a standard car on a return trip is $154, compared with $392 for the Kangaroo Island ferry. That is clearly gouging the customer and there is no justification for charging that price when the Queenscliff-Sorrento ferry can do the same job for much less than half the price.

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Simon Martin, Point Cook, VIC

BEAT THIS

I've got a rural road trip to add to the suggestions by Trevor Taylor (Traveller Letters, March 6) - and it covers some quiet kilometres off the well-worn tracks of NSW. Start at Grenfell (silo artwork, the Henry Lawson statue) and go on to Caragabal (colourful birds-of-the-district mural), then to West Wyalong (Drysdale easel), Ungarie (the Big Football), Lake Cargelligo and onto Condobolin (Utes in the Paddock). Next, follow the lazy Lachlan River to Forbes (grand heritage buildings, Ben Hall's grave), where you'll be about 60 kilometres from your starting point. The views of the water as you come down the main street of Lake Cargelligo are enough to make the drive worthwhile.

Matt Watson, Bathurst, NSW

ROAD WARRIOR

During one of our trips to Queensland from NSW to see family we travelled up the coast via Forster, Woolgoolga then onto Burleigh Heads. We stayed overnight at Woolgoolga at the Rosebourne Gardens Motel, whose owners are friendly and accommodating and offer extremely clean rooms. On the return trip the countryside was amazing.

Passing through Burleigh Heads, Kingscliff, Murwillumbah, Kyogle, Casino, Mummulgum, Tenterfield, Glen Innes and Armidale, breaking our journey at Uralla where we stayed at the quaint and clean Bushrangers Motel. Further on at Tamworth, we stayed at the Mercure, next door to a club, and from there we travelled on to Murrurundi, Scone , Muswellbrook, Singleton, Branxton, Kurri Kurri, Tomago and Nelson Bay where we stayed at the Landmark Resort then back home.

We then took the Bruxner Highway and the New England Highway home to Sydney. What a way to go. The scenery was beautiful and you really should pull over in the small towns and appreciate the beauty of our country

Gay Carey, Mascot, NSW

THERE'S A BEAR OUT THERE

A friend talked me into taking the Rocky Mountaineer train over two days from Banff to Vancouver in 2018. I wasn't sure it would be worth the cost. How many mountains, trees and rivers could I stare at? I now heartily recommend it to anyone heading to Canada once Australians are allowed to travel overseas again.

The quality of the food was wonderful, even in Silver Leaf class, the staff were friendly, funny and devoted to our every need and those mountains, trees and rivers were spectacular and different around every bend. And we saw a bear. Totally worth the cost.

Melinda Dawson, Bairnsdale, VIC

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