Our daughter, who is based in Thailand, introduced her partner of German background to Australia, by means of a road trip down Victoria's Great Ocean Road last year. They pulled up at a motel en route (you know the sort, bare brown brick internal walls, that coloured geometric print bedspread - we've all stayed there). Our daughter asked, "...and do you do breakfast?' The response: "Yes, but I wouldn't recommend it."
Jane Olsen, Black Rock, VIC
Good luck to the O'Sullivans on their quest for a holiday with their "four-legged hairy kids" (Traveller Letters, October 3) in Australia. In Toronto, Canada, you can take your dog on buses, trams, the underground and overground trains, but can't on any public transport in Melbourne. All over North America, your dogs can stay with you, for free, at any Motel 6 or Red Roof Inn, and you can dine and drink on patios with them in most towns.
In gorgeous Savannah, Georgia, your dog will receive some treats from shop-keepers whilst you shop and there are water bowls everywhere. In Florida, the locals don't mind your pup frolicking leash-free in the Atlantic waves. Melbourne and Victoria, at least, are hopelessly backward when it comes to accommodating dogs.
Andrew Verlei, Patterson Lakes, VIC
EDITOR'S NOTE: Things may be changing. You can find out more about how some Australian hotels are adapting to welcome dogs in Michael Gebicki's article here.
SHUT AND OPEN CASE
Thank you so much for your Victoria story (Traveller, October 10). We have many friends in Victoria, and especially Melbourne, who are feeling that the rest of Australia has turned its back on them, so it is wonderful that you are encouraging us to visit them as soon as we can. They desperately need our emotional and economic support after an horrendous year, so let's use the information in your article to plan a trip to help our southern neighbours.
Dianne Elliott, Newport, NSW
NOT THE SHE'LL BE RIGHT STUFF
We have to agree with Lance Sterling (Traveller Letters, October 3) on the comparative standards of service, and value for the dollar, when one travels to our near north. We probably won't go back to Europe or the US again where we found service to be on a par with the "'she'll be right" approach.
However, when circumstances allow, we'll be back to south-east Asia, where we lived for many years. After a number of return visits, staying at some decent hotels, the attitude hasn't been "she'll be right" it has always been "nothing's too much trouble - just ask".
P. Reynolds, Gilmore, ACT
FIRST AND FOREMOST
Ian Duvall describes his awe for early explorers (Traveller Letters, October 10) including Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson, Charles Sturt and Burke and Wills in following their tracks through the outback.How much more awesome - and accurate - his experience would have been if he'd realised he was actually following the tracks of the land's first peoples.
Robert Tait, Eastgardens, NSW
WAIT, THERE'S MORE I
There are three more Dubbo treasures (Traveller, October 10) that travellers might visit while they are there. Dundullimal is a unique 1840s squatter's house meticulously restored by the National Trust as a bicentennial project in 1988. Just past the Zoo on the Obley Road, it includes magnificent stone stables and a church rescued from a nearby village. It's a peaceful and beautiful place.
The Dubbo Cultural Centre houses the museum and Regional Gallery in the space formerly occupied by Dubbo High School. It's a short walk from the CBD on the corner of Victoria Park, which is worth a look in itself. The Book Connection is the kind of book shop you wish you still had in your own town or suburb - a huge collection of both new and used books in the main street.
Jill McCann, Suffolk Park, NSW
WAIT, THERE'S MORE II
Shame on you, Anthony Dennis (Traveller, October 10). It's bad enough you breaking your own rules for your guide to Dubbo [by recommending two restaurants in one item]. But fancy overlooking Dubbo's fabulous One Siam Thai restaurant and the Indian Restobar.
A follow-up, apology trip and a tour of the local region is called for. Don't miss the Gardening Australia-acclaimed Cactus World, the Emu Logic emu farm (of course) and a couple of the seriously good local pubs in the area for accommodation and food.
Jo Manion, Camperdown, NSW
EDITOR'S NOTE I'm ready and willing for a return Dubbo visit (and I will check out those restaurants and pubs, not to mention the cacti and emus.. It's truly one of NSW's most underrated destinations.
NORTH AND SOUTH
A friend last week searched for a four night stay for three people on the South Coast of NSW. As the options available were all very expensive they settled on a suite with an ocean view at Manly that was half the price.
Philip Hazzard, Mittagong, NSW
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