INS AND OUTS
As someone who relies on overseas travel for work, I would like to say the process of getting in and out of Australia is excellent. I encountered no issues on my return and have found the whole hotel quarantine experience, which I finished on July 27, in Adelaide delightful. I hope I get the same experience once in Melbourne when I return from Tokyo in September. And yes, before you ask, I have received three exemptions to leave Australia, with each period being between three weeks and two and half months.
Christopher Dellas, Melbourne, VIC
LETTER OF THE WEEK
SHADES OF GREY
We never thought we would be "one of them". After always enjoying active travel and cycle touring we found ourselves retired and restless at home after a lengthy lockdown. Then we began travelling in the four-wheel drive and off-road caravan. We have been exploring our beautiful country for sometime now and every day is a new adventure, sometimes as a result of getting lost. Camping in national parks has been the best, for their natural beauty and the friendliness of strangers. In the peace and vastness of the Pilbara, Western Australia, we have left the woes of the world behind. The only thing I stress about now is finding so much rubbish along the way. Please fellow travellers, keep our country clean and beautiful.
Jane Matthew, Box Hill North, VIC
GREECE IS THE WORD
Ruth Green (Traveller Letters, July 24), I have my fingers crossed that I can escape the miserable Aussie winter in June 2022 and head once again to sunny Greece. Surely if we are vaccinated, along with the majority inoculated among the world's population, then travel will open up? I know we have all been supporting local travel but at the end of the day it remains expensive to travel within Australia. I can rent an affordable apartment for three months on a Greek island, providing a decent income for a local family. I would not be able to afford to do this in Queensland or the Northern Territory for the same period of time.
Judy Simpson, Alberto, SA
To Ruth Green, how long is a piece of string? You used the word hope twice. That's all we have at the moment. Plans will only end in disappointment.
Elaine Rust, Dromana, VIC
DARE TO DREAM
I'm feeling a bit sad today as we should be flying into Hamilton Island right now. So in reply to Ruth Green our wishlist for 2022 is the French Riviera in September for a birthday celebration or another magical European Christmas holiday. We dare to dream.
Rhoda Silber, Manly, NSW
There's been much press about the difficulties of obtaining credits and/or refunds from travel industry sectors (notably airlines but also some accommodation providers) for COVID-related cancellations. Much of the industry could learn how to do it right from Thredbo Resort and NZSki Queenstown. Both reached out within hours of the announcement of the extension to Sydney's lockdown and the cancellation of the trans-Tasman travel bubble to offer credits/refunds. No drama. No fuss. Also bouquets to Lantern Lodge Thredbo, BP Ski Hire Jindabyne and Browns Ski Hire Queenstown for no fuss refunds. Astoundingly, refunds from some were in my PayPal account within hours. All deserve a big shout out in the hope they can salvage their seasons.
Robert Postema, Paddington, NSW
NOT SO GREAT
I'm not at all certain that Australia's desperate attempt to have UNESCO remove the Great Barrier Reef from their list of endangered world heritage sites is cause for celebration. Let's face facts: the Great Barrier Reef has succumbed to the concerning decline of coral as well as bleaching, due to global warming. The ecosystem has been significantly damaged and continues to do so because little action has been implemented to take care of the greatest beauty we have in our waters. I was fortunate to visit the majestic reef and it is the most spectacular site. We cannot continue to ignore evidence because to do so will be detrimental to Australia.
Tul Bozkurt, Coburg, VIC
Hats off to The Classic Safari Company and Air Adventures Australia for arranging a refund for our recently cancelled trip. We were to fly in early July to Central Australia and the Kimberley over 10 days in a 10 seater plane. Because of border restrictions the trip was cancelled at the last moment. We received a full refund within three weeks of the cancellation. This was a continuation of the great service we had received from Warren at Air Adventures Australia.
John Kaye, Windsor, VIC
I recently stayed in Cairns for two nights after a trip to Cape York. I flew there non-stop from Melbourne and my booking was to return the same way. At the airport I found my flight had been cancelled and I hadn't been notified. Flights were found with a two hour stop at Brisbane which was frustrating. It was 10 pm when I got in a taxi, when the driver told me he had been out since 9 am and I was the first fare he had had. I realised my day was so much better than his.
Helen Hill, Brunswick East, VIC
Lord! Is it only complainers that write into Traveller? If I read one more letter complaining about wait times on hold with, (insert travel company/airline, etc), I'll scream. Which part of "pandemics are unpredictable" do people not understand? I thought travelling helped broaden the mind, not shrink it.
Camelia Sofrone, Langwarrin, VIC
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