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Old Jun 9, 06, 3:30 am   #1
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"Oz Fest #4" - Melbourne Australia - Memorial Day weekend May 25-27, 2007

"Oz Fest #4" - Melbourne Australia - Memorial Day weekend May 25-27, 2007

The consensus of many members via a vote in the thread after the first two Sydney based OzFests voted for 2006 to be held in Brisbane Queensland, narrowly winning over Melbourne:

The strong consensus was that there should be an "Oz Fest 4" in 2007, and MELBOURNE, Victoria was the obvious "odds-on' contender for that one.

serfty and Mwenenzi (both Melbourne based) have both kindly offered to be the core part of any "Oz Fest 4" organising committee that might be formed. Both are great 'detail' guys, and gave me a lot of assistance with the two Sydney "Oz Fest" events. serfty was, along with QF WP essential in pulling together OzFest #3 in Brisbane in May 2006.

Margaret and I will certainly be confirmed starters to attend, and I'd be pleased to assist where I can, if required. There are many active FT'ers based in MEL, and I am sure Ross and Alan will find some excellent local committee members to share the load down there.

serfty and Mwenenzi are both VERY organised guys, and suggested I make this initial post, and have kindly volunteered to keep these important links below updated as we go along, that they will initiate:

* List of Attendees

* Detailed Activities Schedule)

* Serfty's "RSVP" Index of WHO is doing exactly WHAT - and WHEN!)

* Hotel & Accomodation Information - and who is staying WHERE!

* Detailed Transport Information

* Things to do and see in Melbourne Part 1

* Things to do and see in Melbourne Part 2 (Restaurants)

The May Memorial Day weekend seems very popular with USA based Flyertalkers, and that is the weekend that was most favored by far.

That public holiday in the USA is Monday May 28th 2007. Remember if you LEAVE Sydney on the afternoon of Monday May 28, you ARRIVE back in the USA also on the morning of Monday May 28. Tons of time to get back home, unpack, have an early night and get organised for a day at the office next day etc. Afternoon is the flight time for United, who have direct daily flights from MEL via SYD to the west coast (to both LAX and SFO) leaving early afternoon ex Sydney. (On these flights, either paid or award, a free stopover in SYD is allowed if MEL is your ticketed destination.)

"Oz Fest 4" is held in MEL and for It'l visitors, remember that domestic flights from either SYD or BNE are very cheap most times, on either Qantas, Virgin Blue or Jetstar, and are only a hour or so in duration. There are also many direct flights to and from NZ direct to MEL via several carriers, in case Americans want a NZ stopover en-route.

Qantas have recently started services to SFO and and on to YVR from Australia, and for those in that area wanting One World miles or using AA miles to redeem seats on QF, locking in that route NOW might be a path to look at? (Most QF flights are to LAX.) And an award or revenue flight from USA can generally have a MEL end destination at no more cost in $$$s or miles than SYD or BNE I imagine?

"Oz Fest 2" attracted 58 attendees, a clear record for a Southern Hemisphere FT event. Flyertalkers from 5 continents flew in. I am sure we will see many familiar overseas FT faces in 2007 as well - and maybe the MEL organisers can crack the 100 mark this time around.

Everyone is welcome. Your age, or FF status does not matter. By all means bring a partner or friends to whatever you attend - I am sure all days will be good fun, with good company, whether they are FF'ers or not.

The weather in Sydney and Brisbane for the initial three "Oz Fests" was superb and sunny. Despite June 1 - a few days later, being our official Winter start date. MEL normally has slightly cooler weather than Sydney, but it should be a great time to visit.

I get the feeling this may also turn out to be a very long thread.

Glen

Last edited by ozstamps; May 22, 07 at 9:01 am. Reason: updating
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Old Jun 9, 06, 5:39 am   #2
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4 in a row!

Let me be the first to respond...I intend to be at my 4th Ozfest in Melbourne 2007. Put me down as a definite (well as definite as one can be this far out )
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Old Jun 9, 06, 6:47 am   #3
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Please put me down as a strong maybe.
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Old Jun 9, 06, 6:50 am   #4
 
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Boy are you Aussies on top of things! No one can say there wasn't sufficient notice of this event. After the great time I had in BNE at Oz Fest 3, please count me as a likely attendee at Oz Fest 4 in MEL.
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Old Jun 9, 06, 7:58 am   #5
 
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I'm a maybe.
Since I didn't make it to the third Oz Fest, I'll definitely try to make the 4th again.
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Old Jun 9, 06, 8:26 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cathaana
I'm a maybe.
Since I didn't make it to the third Oz Fest, I'll definitely try to make the 4th again.
What s/he said. All of it.
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Old Jun 9, 06, 8:32 am   #7
 
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Having enjoyed OzFest #2 in SYD and OzFest #3 in BNE, I'll definitely want to attend next year in MEL. And UA flies SFO to MEL!
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Old Jun 9, 06, 8:53 pm   #8
 
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Put me down as a definite maybe (indeed highly probable, just a wee bit far out to be absolutely sure)
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Old Jun 10, 06, 12:31 am   #9
 
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Please put me down as 'interested' (silver?).

Ta
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Old Jun 10, 06, 12:34 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QF NB
Please put me down as 'interested' (silver?).

Ta
You didn't turn up for the last one and it was your in your home city.

Put me down for Gold, probably, something is already planned for the same weekend next year but I turn up for something.
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Old Jun 10, 06, 12:35 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozstamps
...these important links below (not yet activated) [/u] updated as we go along, that they will initiate:

* List of Attendees

* Activities Schedule
I had not read that the links were not active yet and hit them, and laughed my @$$ off!
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Old Jun 10, 06, 1:40 am   #12
 
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List of Attendees (to post 410 :- 24 May 07)

Platinum - Confirmed (47)
ozstamps & MargoOz SYD
serfty & Mrs serty MEL
kpc + gf SYD
QF009 MEL
jswong WLG
Itsalongwaydown & Sue Oz
QF WP, Mrs QF WP & mini WP BNE
Moomba London
vflyer MEL
Chrisw & Waterstrider Fairfax, VA, USA
upup&away ORD
gvdIAD IAD
Kiwiflyer AKL
restlessinRNO RNO
Aus_Mal BNE
JohnK SYD
Bundy Bear BNE
Fredd & Mrs Fredd SEA
Perthite & gf PER
ajnz MEL
Spaceman + 1 VA, USA
CHC Kiwi + 1 CHC, NZ
sailrob81 MEL
Mwenenzi MEL
Kremen & FlyingPenguin MEL
Lurker SMF
Nor4 DC
icarius
Falconea & Mr Falconea MEL
g-day SYD
tuapekastar MEL
where2now UK
JohnSydney2000 SYD
StuartM MEL
Freddie Jnr Homeless –> a true road warrior
Gold - Maybes Ozfest is still boarding

Silver - Interested

Bronze - Confirmed no shows or not answering PM's
DCTEX277 & Mrs DCTEX277 UK
dannyr BNE
lili SAN
Alex0683de
tenmoc NYC
Chichi ATL
WindFlyer SFO
Cathaana FRA
QFBoy BNE
flysurfer LAX & MUC
tkey75 & Ms tkey75 MCO MLB MUC
dcgators & guest USA
Yosithezet Israel
f4freeJunior SIN
Efrem Mass, USA
Mrkey & MsKey USA
AN_Boy SYD
QF NB BNE
infoworks SYD
Work2fly Bay Area, CA
GoldCircle DUB
RichardMEL MEL
UA_Eagle Alexandria, VA
jsimmonds Tassie
TIMP HBA
Jeffie HOU
SDF_Traveler MEL
michswiss MEL
&&ö&&ö&&ö&ö
Link to Activities
Link to Activities RSVP Lists who is doing what
Link to Activity details day by day posts 287 288 & 289
Link to Ozstamp's first post
Link to Accommodation in Melbourne
Link to Transport to and in Melbourne
Link to Things to do in Melbourne Part 1
Link to Things to do in Melbourne Part 2
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 23, 07 at 9:19 pm. Reason: links fixed & regular update
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Old Jun 10, 06, 1:55 am   #13
 
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Transport to and in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Air Travel & Melbourne Airport - MEL
Melbourne Airport has 3 terminals:- T1 (Qantas domestic & Jetstar), T2 (International) & T3 (Virginblue & other smaller airlines). They are in one modern building and its quick & easy to walk between the 3 areas.

Flying time to Sydney 1:20 hr, Brisbane 2:20 hrs, Adelaide 1:10 hr & Perth 4 hours. New Zealand 3:30 hrs

From the Airport
The airport is 20 km (15 miles) from the city centre. Options to get the city are taxi, Skybus, shuttlebus & rental car. There are no trains or public mass transit bus system from the airport.

Taxi's cost $40 to $45 and takes about 20 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. There are taxi ranks outside T1 (Qantas domestic) & T3 (Virginblue). The queue at T1 can be long, so its often better to go right to the T3 taxi rank. T1 to T3 is 75 m.

The Skybus takes 20 minutes and costs $15 one way ($24 return]. This service operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. Buses run every 10-15 minutes throughout the day and every 30-60 minutes overnight. These are modern buses set up for carrying & storing your own luggage on board. They go to a bus terminal in the city centre on Spencer St (near the Spencer Str ~ Southern Cross rail station) and on a tram route. At the bus terminal you can transfer to a smaller Skybus that will take you to your hotel in the central city area (at no extra charge) (St Kilda, Carlton & suburbs are not included). Getting back to the airport you need to phone Skybus. They will come and pick you up from your hotel and take you the bus terminal to get the main Skybus out to the airport. I often take the Skybus and then a taxi to where I need to go.

Airport Express Shuttle Direct shuttle to city & suburbs. They have a desk at the airport.

Rental Cars: Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Budget & Thrifty all have offices on the ground floor of the Short Term Car Park, and information desks in the Melbourne Airport domestic terminals. There is a $3.50 toll on the Tullamarine highway into the city. The toll cannot be paid by cash: its all electronic.

Car Parking
Very few (if any) central city hotels have free parking. Some do not even have paid parking, so parking your rental car is up to you. Car park buildings charge anything from $15 to $40 per day. The Crown Casino car park is one of the cheapest. The Melbourne City Council get a significant revenue from parking fines from street parking, so be careful parking on the street. Some streets have clearways in peak hours. Park in a clearway at the wrong time and your car will be towed away.

Unless you really need a rental car do not hire one. Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Budget & Thrifty and other smaller rental car companies also have city depots (and without the airport hire fee or toll).

Travelling in Melbourne
Melbourne has a good public mass transport system of trains, buses and trams called Metlink.

Ticketing is based on zonal system. Zone 1 is about a 10 km circle around the city centre and is enough for most visitors to Melbourne. There are a multitude of ticket types available, but the most common and most useful are time based. The same time based ticket can be used on all trains, buses and trams, and with unlimited transfer's, within the zone.

Maps of the Metlink are available from the web site, train stations, shops that sell Metlink tickets and tourist information places.

Tickets can be purchased from train stations, on buses, on trams and from some shops (who will have a Metlink flag outside). Not all ticket types can be purchased on buses & trams. After you buy the ticket the ticket is validated by a machine at the train station or on the bus or tram. Travelling without a ticket is a small crime (roving inspectors check tickets).

Main ticket types (in order of most useful)
Daily Zone 1 $6.10 (all day travel in Zone 1)
2 hour Zone 1 $3.20 (min 2 hrs up to 2:59 hrs travel in Zone 1)
5 day Zone 1 $26.70 (the same as buying 5 daily's, but cheaper)
Weekly Zone1 $26.70 (7 consecutive day's travel in Zone 1)

Train & Trams run from 6:00 am to about midnight. Melbourne has one of the largest tram networks in the world. Buses from 6:00 am to about 8:00 pm depending on route. Also Melbourne has a few night buses that run in the early hours of the morning out to the suburbs from the city centre.

City Circle Tram
There are free City Circle tram's travel the perimeter of Melbourne's central business district every day between 10am and 6pm (both clockwise and anti-clockwise). A good way for visitor's to get an appreciation of the city. They are old 1930's style tram's painted maroon, so easy to identify.

The City Circle Tram travels around the city and links with other tram, train and light rail services in and around Melbourne. The tram will take you past shopping malls and arcades, and major attractions such as the Old Treasury Building, Parliament House and the Princess Theatre. To catch the free City Circle Tram service, just wait at any of the specially marked stops on the route. Trams run in both directions every 12 minutes, seven days a week between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday), and during daylight saving extended hours, 10.00 am-9.00 pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Passenger Trains
Low cost air fares have savaged interstate rail, but they are still an option for people wanting to see some of Australia out of a window.

In addition to the Metlink suburban trains, there are trains to / from
Sydney run by NSW Countrylink Rail
Adelaide : The Overland service run by Great Southern Rail
V/line passenger trains to some Victorian towns

The state Victorian trains to Bendigo & Ballart are modern slow to medium speed trains. Other train's to Victorian towns could be politely described as old & run down. Politics (and taxpayer money) keep all Victorian passenger trains on the rails, not patronage or profitability.
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; Mar 2, 13 at 11:27 pm. Reason: url links fixed
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Old Jun 10, 06, 2:23 am   #14
 
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Accommodation in Melbourne

Central hotel for the festivities Hilton on the Park

Those with reservations at the Hilton on the Park include:-
ozstamps & MargoOz SYD
jswong WLG (Fri night)
gvIAD IAD/DCA
perthite PER
Aus_Mal Oz
Itsalongwaydown & Sue Oz
serfty & Mrs serfty MEL
RestlessinRNO RNO
QF WP & Mrs QF WP BNE
icarius

Those with reservations at the Westin include:-
upup&away
waterstrider and chrisW
kpc + 1 SYD

Those with reservations at the Langham include:-
jswong WLG (Sat night)

----------------------------------------
Accommodation in Melbourne is from 5 star to backpacker. As anywhere, you get what you pay for. It is unlikely to be difficult to get accommodation on 25- 27 May. Many central city hotels cater to the business market so have low occupancy (and lower rates) at weekends.

Many international hotel chains are in Melbourne

Hilton chain has:
Melbourne Airport
Hilton on the Park just off the city centre opposite the MCG.

Accor: various brands in this chain; Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Crossley Hotel, Victoria Hotel, Ibis

InterContinental Hotels
(Priority Club) has:
Holiday Inn Melb Airport
Holiday Inn on Flinders (cnr Flinder Lane & Spencer St)
Crowne Plaza in the city centre (Spencer St) opposite the Casino

Marriott: on Exhibition St

Starwood - Westin in the very centre of the city. The only Starwood hotel in Melbourne

Grand Hyatt on Collins
Park Hyatt

Langham Hotel (was the Sheraton)

Crown Towers in the Casino on the Southbank of the Yarra River. On the edge of the city centre. Easy access to most places in the city.
Cown Promenade associate hotel to Crown Casino

The Prince is a boutique hotel in St. Kilda, still with all the business essentials.

Reservations can be made direct with the hotel or using one of the Australian discount web sites. When bookings are made through these discount web sites Frequent Flyer miles and hotel loyalty points are usually not earned. Often booking direct with the hotel is the same price or lower than these discount web site's.
Wotif lists 28 days into the future
Quickbeds lists 28 days into the future
Rates to go lists 14 days into the future
Need it now lists 14 days into the future
Hotels.com.au lists many weeks into the future
Last minute lists many weeks into the future
Priceline may offer a few Melbourne hotels, but Priceline does not have the same coverage in Australia as it does in the USA
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 18, 07 at 9:20 am. Reason: Those with Hotel reservations updated
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Old Jun 10, 06, 3:40 am   #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
Accommodation in Melbourne is from 5 star to backpacker. As anywhere, you get what you pay for. It is unlikely to be difficult to get accommodation on 25- 27 May. Many central city hotels cater to the business market so have low occupancy (and lower rates) at weekends.

You can book direct with the hotel or one of the Australian discount hotel web sites. Priceline may do a few Melbourne hotels but does not have the same coverage in Australia as it does in the USA
Wotif lists 2 weeks into the future
Rates to go lists 2 weeks into the future
Need it now lists 2 weeks into the future
Hotels.com.au lists many weeks into the future
Last minute lists many weeks into the future
When bookings are made through these discount sites Frequent Flyer miles and hotel loyalty points are not earned. Often booking direct with the hotel is the same as these discount web site's.

Is there going to be a central hotel for the festivities? I thought the idea of having most people at one hotel in Brisbane was good (and I guess the same was done for the Sydney ozFests). For me, I would go the Crowne Plaza (which used to be the HI on Spencer St), or the Hilton.

Also, Wotif lists up to the next 4 weeks.

Last edited by perthite; Jun 10, 06 at 3:47 am.
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