Traveller Letters: Hey, Crown Sydney guests, we can see you

CROWN JEWELS

I have just read with interest the review of the new Crown Sydney (Traveller, January 30) by your editor, Anthony Dennis. I live in an apartment building nearby and you omitted to mention when describing "the room" that we can all see into the rooms. For some unknown reason the glass is not tinted one way and therefore we have a fine view most the day, not just at night when the lights are on in the rooms. Obviously, when the neighbouring One Sydney Harbour apartment building is completed, they will have an even better view as they are even closer. Perhaps you may like to advise the hotel's management.

Margaret Cormie, Sydney, NSW

SHE'LL BE RIGHT

I'm sitting in the First District of Vienna, which featured in your recent "Dreamweavers'" cover story (Traveller, January 30), behind the 14th century church Maria am Gestade where Joseph Cotton was shown running up the stairs in Orson Welles' film The Third Man, around the corner from the 15th century chemist which has promised to change its name from Moor Apotheke.

We are still in lockdown and must wear FFP2 masks in public transport and supermarkets. No other shops, museums, libraries, hairdressers, cinemas or restaurants are open. However, we can still walk around the Ring and when it gets dark at 4 pm, we can look into the lighted windows of the grand palaces and delight in the chandeliers, although I would rather delight in coffee and cake at one of the sumptuous cafes, all of which are closed. All I want to do is smell the eucalyptus trees when I am finally able to walk out of the airport in Sydney. In the meantime, we dream of fresh prawns, steak and gum trees.

Merran Loewenthal, Vienna, Austria

VALID QUESTION

It's now almost 12 months since Australian passport holders have been prohibited from travelling overseas and the validity of those passports is diminishing month by month . Now we've been told it may be another year before we can travel overseas. A 10 year passport is, in effect, valid only for nine years, with six months remaining validity is required to allow you to embark on an overseas trip. Passports are not cheap. It's a mystery why the renewal cost is so high. Is the federal government ready to consider extending the validity of passports when we are able to travel once more? It could be a real sweetener for many.

Cathy Soder, Mooney Mooney, NSW

SHUT AND SHUT CASE

In light of the present donnybrook between states regarding border uncertainty, surely I cannot be alone in thinking "does it really need to be so random and at times capricious?" I am from Melbourne so I have a good idea about what an unchecked virus can do, physically and psychologically. What confounds many people is that various governments claim to have the gold standard in testing and tracing and hence the ability to manage any outbreaks. My friend and I were booked on a Queensland trip, but because there was the tail end of a well controlled flare up in NSW, we were forced to cancel. So we stayed home, me in sunny Melbourne and she in Sydney, and our money stayed in our pockets. I don't want to get sick and I want the virus banished, as does everybody. We are told to trust the process and this we do, however what is the process that we are meant to trust?

Shaun Fenner, Melbourne, VIC

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HOP ON OVER

In response to Elliot Yeatman's letter (Traveller Letters, January 30) on the costs of travelling to Kangaroo Island, I would like to suggest that his biggest mistake was to only plan for two days there. I have visited the island twice and believe that a good seven days is required to get the most out of this extraordinary destination. Accommodation options are many and of good value. On both occasions we stayed at spacious houses with ocean views booked via Airbnb or Stayz. We took our car on the first visit and flew from Adelaide on our second. The cost of hiring a car was pretty standard.

The island is bigger than most visitors expect and surprisingly diverse, if you take time to explore it end to end. Of course, the costs in getting to and from the island are mitigated with a longer stay. As Elliot noted, KI (as it is referred to by the locals) is an amazing place. It was particularly savaged by the bushfires last summer. Please do not be put off visiting and give yourself a week or so to get the most out of your visit.

David Towson, Mortdale, NSW

KANGAROO STEW

Every week I read Traveller Letters but I was stunned by the "roo the day" letter. Australians are being urged to travel locally and support our tourism industry but when do you not travel locally because you are being ripped off? Kangaroo Island has always been on my bucket list but after reading the letter it is no more. I will not pay $400 to transfer two people and a car on a ferry. I am not mean and will pay for service and accommodation when it warrants it, but this ferry is charging $10 per minute. That would equate to probably what a QC would charge for a day. Also, to charge $38 per person to step on a beach is a joke and not the Australian way. I know KI has had a tough time, like many other places, but to recover by gouging people is a disgrace and I will not be participating.

Pam Kershaw, Kew, VIC

THE GIFT OF TRAVEL

We have recently returned from a 12-day intergenerational holiday in the Byron Bay hinterland of NSW. What impressed us most was the sincere welcome and happy hospitality we received at every cafe and shop in Bangalow and its neighbouring towns. The glorious countryside and beautiful beaches must make for some very contented locals who were only too happy to share their piece of paradise. In 50 years of travel I have never received a thank you gift for visiting. Yet, A Perfect Stay, which manages the magnificent Byron Creek Homestead provided one in the form of a quality beach bag and towel, wine glasses and an artisan wooden chopping board to share among four families. What a place, what a holiday, what memories.

Sally Spurr, Lane Cove, NSW

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