Tag Archives: bali

Free! Travel Information Delivered To Your Door!

The internet is an incredible free source of destination information, but it can’t quite match the thrill of receiving a whole envelope full of free glossy brochures of beautiful people streched out before vistas of azure oceans. Here are two great sources of free travel information delivered to your door; one defintely useful, the perhaps somewhat other less so.

Travel BrochuresLet’s start with the best. Tourism authorities are a fantastic and often-overlooked source of travel information – particularly for decent free maps and basic info with lots of glossy pictures. ANTOR’s* represents 48 official tourism authorities (including the Australian State authorities) and the destination info page provides (along side some basic travel info) the URL, email address and contact details for all of them. If you’re interested in any major destination for Australian travellers it will be listed. Simply email the relevant authority with your address, rough dates of travel and as far as possible the specific regions or cities you’re interested in and wait for the postie everyday for a week or so! No substitute for a good guidebook or your own research but generally there will be at least a couple of genuinely useful items in the material sent.

TravelBrochures.com.au and TravelBrochures.SMH.com.au are another clearing house for free travel information, although arguably of a must less useful nature. These sites allow to order free tour company brochures, some of which are available in digital (tree-saving) format. All the majors are available as well as a few smaller operators – useful if you wish to compare tours from a number of companies or can’t get to a travel agent. Of course some major operators now send out (often unintenionally comical) DVDs as as a bonus! Be warned, however, apart from ending up on a tour (which may or may not be a bad thing in itself…), you are likely to end up on a mailing list of the tour companies from which it may be difficult to extract yourself!

*(Association of National Tourist Office Representatives in Australasia)

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[Image by Classroom III]

Ferry Sunk

FerryA few weeks ago I posted about the “Timor Ferry“; a high speed Darwin-Bali ferry service which, it was claimed, would be operational by the end of the year. A comment from ednaxe (who I suspect might know a thing or two more about ferries than I do) about the original post seems to put paid to this suggestion in a most comprehensive manner:

The site claims that the ships were built in Hobart, Tasmania, indicating that they were built by Incat. First of all, Incat has a list http://www.incat.com.au/domino/incat/incatweb.nsf/v-title/Ships%20in%20Service?OpenDocument of all the ships they have built, indicating that they have only sold three ships to Condor, only two of which are as large as the Timor Ferry site describes, and all of which are still in service. Secondly, even if Timor Ferry did buy these ships from Condor, their maximum service speed is 40 knots, meaning the Bali-Darwin trip would take at least 24 hours. The site makes reference to “reclining seats”, but realistically such a service would need to retrofit the ferries with sleeping berths, greatly decreasing capacity. Thirdly, the fuel costs on such a long route would almost certainly make high-speed service unprofitable (Stena Line found even the 100nm Harwich-Hook of Holland route was too long for high-speed ferries to meet fuel costs).

Unfortunately, Timor Ferry sounds more like an attempt to scam some “investors” than a realistic proposal.

I think, in the absence of some startling evidence to the contrary this is dead in the water, as it were. Cheers ednaxe for clearing this up.

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Royal Brunei Deals from Sydney to Asia unti 31st of May

Royal Brunei has some decent deals ex Sydney to many Asian destinations until 31st of May, its last day of service to Australa.

From

To

One-Way Fare Starting From

Return Fare Starting From

Sydney

Brunei

AUD 254

AUD 395

Kota Kinabalu

AUD 276

AUD 452

Kuching

AUD 276

AUD 462

Singapore

AUD 350

AUD 550

Kuala Lumpur

AUD 350

AUD 551

Bangkok

AUD 362

AUD 569

Manila

AUD 362

AUD 544

Jakarta

AUD 362

AUD 544

Surabaya

AUD 362

AUD 544

Denpasar

AUD 362

AUD 544

Saigon

AUD 395

AUD 637

Via OzBargain

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Darwin – Bali Ferry Service to Launch?

The Timor Ferry?

UPDATE

Please note ednaxe’s comment below which has convinced me at least that there’s no truth to this.

Darwin may have a sea-link with Bali if the oddly-named “Timor Ferry” makes it from website to actuality. The single-page site claims two state of art catamarans – capable of carrying 750 passengers to ply the 950-odd nautical mile journey across the Indian Ocean – have already been acquired. The service will travel daily between ‘Cullen Bay Marina in Darwin and Bali Benoa Marina in South Bali’ with plans to launch the service ‘towards the end of 2008’. No word on whether it would accommodate vehicles.

This single website is only mention I can find of any planned service.

This seems a strange turn of events, even given that tourist numbers have been recovering recently (including tourists from Australia – despite the Australian government continuing travel warnings against travel to Indonesia, notwithstanding Indonesian protests).

I would be surprised if there was sufficient demand to justify a passenger ferry link or if such a link were competitive with direct flights from other Australian capitals (even if fares have become reasonably steep with only Jetstar ploughing the route as a budget carrier).

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