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"Oz Fest #8" – Darwin Australia - Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29, 2011

"Oz Fest #8" – Darwin Australia - Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29, 2011

Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:08 am
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"Oz Fest #8" – Darwin Australia - Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29, 2011

"Oz Fest #8" – Darwin Northern Territory - Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-29, 2011

There have been 7 successful OzFests so far - in Sydney, (twice) Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart Tasmania, Cairns Queensland - and Adelaide South Australia a few weeks back.

They are one of the most heavily attended of any of the annual FT Doos anywhere. Indeed there are near no other annual FT Doos outside the USA that have chalked up 8 years running AFAIK.

Polling of FT'ers on the Adelaide thread, and via many private emails seems to have decided that the hands down winner for the 200ELEVEN venue should be DARWIN - the capital city of the Northern Territory.

The location of which, for the benefit of our overseas members is shown below - right up the centre top - near East Timor.

Democracy rules supreme with all OzFest’s, and after some unofficial polling, and emails with Itsalongwaydown who also agrees on DRW, and several other regular attendees, I have started this thread today to officially kick off OzFest #8.

Hobart had 40 members signed up - pretty amazing seeing only one attending was a local, Cairns saw 59 turning up – just beating out by 1 the previous record attendance of any OzFest - number #2 in Sydney - 58 attendees.

Adelaide was a little too big, with 75 attendees, not all of whom were active FT'ers, and the slightly less accessible Darwin will probably keep numbers down to previous sort of levels. Which will not be a minus at all in my view.

The "OzFest #5" thread had about 50,000 page views, and attracted well over 1,000 posts, and set a view record for a FT Doo thread.

The “OzFest #6” got very near that, with about 40,000 page views and over 1,200 posts – a record number.

Only to be outdone by Adelaide OzFest #7 with 55,000 page views, and over 1,300 posts.

MargoZ and I will certainly be among the first confirmed starters to attend, barring any calamities, and as with all the other Oz Fests, I'll be pleased to assist where I can, and if required.

Itsalongwaydown and I have been in contact, and Bill and Sue are also certain starters for DRW. Bill as always has offered to lend a hand in the planning and cat herding, that is associated with these large events.

We are extra lucky with Darwin as ozbeachbabe (Sarah) is based there, and works in a travel related area. Sarah and I had in depth discussions in Adelaide, and she seems very keen to help out, and has a number of things planned already.

Other volunteers will I am sure add links to activities and attendees in the next few posts, and Sarah contacted me yesterday with a number of things she has planned.

Mwenenzi has offered really invaluable back-up to Bill and I and others helping organise all the previous Ozfests, and I feel sure he’ll be able to assist again - he will "place-marker" several early posts to add to later.

Mwenenzi will hopefully be tracking attendees etc via his legendary and super detailed Excel spread sheets, and hopefully he can again join us in person for this one.

And just as important are Mwenenzi’ s placefinder posts adding new attendees as they are confirmed. And linking to who was doing what, and when, etc. These are incredibly time consuming to keep updated, and all attendees owe him a huge vote of thanks.

Serfty looks to be the “king of airline movements” for attendees to and from, and his most useful link to that aspect for Cairns and Adelaide helped lots of members buddy up for Cabs etc, and book seats together, and cut costs.

I have little doubt Ross and Jenny will also be among the early sign ons - Indeed a little birdie told me they have their flights booked ALREADY!

And hopefully we can once again call on the falconea’s to be name tag supremos, and we are well on our way!

There are a VERY limited range of ‘major’ brand Hotels in DRW ... I'll let others expand on that aspect. That is a bit of an issue.

Having ONE central hotel location that most folks use, is a VERY large plus I always feel.

And it gives the organisers some leverage to extract a great group booking deal, instead of 50 FT’ers being like Brown’s cows and all doing their own thing.

The May "Memorial Day" weekend seems very popular with USA based Flyer-talkers, and that is the weekend that was most favoured by far. We have bowed to that request and again chosen that weekend - as we have for all other OzFests. Around half the attendees are US based each OzFest.

That public holiday in the USA is Monday May 30, 2011. Remember if you LEAVE Sydney on the afternoon of Monday May 30, you ARRIVE back in the USA also on the morning of Monday May 30. Tons of time to get back home, unpack, have an early night and get organised for a day at the office next day etc.

Mid afternoon is the flight time back for United, who have direct daily flights from SYD to the west coast (to both LAX and SFO) ex Sydney.

Near all USA attendees fly UA to OzFests to either MEL or SYD. In many of the last few years there have been Double EQM deals announced for May, to the enormous joy and delight of those who had already booked!

Sarah or Ross and others will I am sure we able to update members on air access to Darwin and the plusses and minuses of them.

QFWP posted he will be overseas in May with the family, and as there will it seems, be very long full day bus trips, and/or Kakadu Yellow River cruises etc, it might not have been a great weekend for young infants anyway. Just in case they get bored or irritable on long days - so ideally this year, like most FT weekend major events worldwide, attendees will all be adult members of FT.

The weather for the past 7 "Oz Fests" has been in general, superb and sunny. Despite June 1 - a few days later, being our official Winter start date. Even in Tasmania our most southern city, we were truly blessed with unusually nice weather.

Darwin luckily is nearly equatorial, and weather should be great .. Sarah can advise further on that! So it should be a very tolerable time to visit. ^

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


Last edited by ozstamps; Jun 28, 2010 at 6:56 am
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:09 am
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Updated 08:30 27th May (Aust time) to post 794 and for emails/PMs

To be updated from time to time. Please PM error's & omissions
email:- ozfest at mail.com (NOT gmail)

Platinum - Confirmed (in order of confirming will attend including PM & emails)
(Serfty & To Market to Market have booked flights so they are first)
  1. serfty MEL
  2. To Market to Market MEL
  3. ozstamps SYD
  4. MargoOz SYD
  5. Itsalongwaydown SXE
  6. Sue Oz SXE
  7. ozbeachbabe DRW
  8. ozbeachhunk DRW
  9. falconea MEL
  10. Mr falconea MEL
  11. Bundy Bear BNE
  12. kpc SYD
  13. kpc_gf SYD
  14. Perthite MEL
  15. Perthite_+1 MEL
  16. gvdIAD IAD
  17. pooch SYD
  18. upup&away ORD
  19. dedehans MLB
  20. dedehans_+1 MLB
  21. fifa CBR
  22. Mr fifa CBR
  23. BOB W ANC
  24. CDKing BOS
  25. gem gem CBR
  26. Markis10 BNE
  27. JohnSydney2000 SYD
  28. restlessinRNO RNO
  29. spaceman IAD
  30. BiziBB SYD
  31. Mrs BiziBB SYD
  32. Fredd SEA
  33. Mrs Fredd SEA
  34. storyteller Oz
  35. ac777 AC SE
  36. Mrs ac777 AC SE
  37. wandering_fred PER
  38. Mrs wandering_fred PER
  39. jdlover23 MEL
  40. Driving by DCA DCA
  41. ceieoc DTW
  42. chckiwi CHC
  43. g-day SYD
  44. anat0l BNE

Gold Maybe

Silver - Interested

Bronze - can't make it
  1. Flashware PER
  2. QF WP BNE
  3. magic111 SFO
  4. dhammer JFK
  5. monitor NYC
  6. Franny NYC
  7. NZ_Flyer AKL
  8. Herb687 DFW
  9. Markis10_+1 BNE
  10. Markis10_Jnr BNE
  11. Toula SFO
  12. tom911 SFO
  13. samh004 OOL
  14. JohnK BNE/SYD
  15. ewing CBR
  16. Noelene MEL
  17. Noelene's daughter #1 MEL
  18. Noelene's daughter #2 MEL
  19. BondAir007 USA
  20. f0zzyNUE NUE
  21. eightblack SIN / MEL
  22. wijomas AKL NPE
  23. jdevereux3 HBA (no responce to PM)
  24. Efrem BOS(no responce to PM)
  25. Omnivore SAT (& NSW)(no responce to PM)
  26. Simsy85 (AFF) DRW
  27. el_rooto SYD (no responce to PM)
  28. bschaff1 ORD (no responce to PM)
  29. yosithezet Isreal
Link to flight Itineraries of attendee's in post 10.
Here is the link: Oz Fest 8 in Darwin 2011 - Flights
Please advise of any errors/omissions by PM. (PM to Serfty)

Name Tags,
Once again falconea (Audrey) has come to the party and is organising name tags for all Oz Fest attendees.
Could everyone please have a look her post 7 and make contact if necessary to ensure that you end up with the correct name details on your tag. If your details were correct last year then no need to worry

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 27, 2011 at 6:34 pm
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:09 am
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Who is doing what:
To be updated from time to time. Please PM error's & omissions
email:- ozfest at mail.com (NOT gmail)
On line booking at Tickets Oz Fest 8 as post 638 by Markis10
Note: 20 April updated event descriptions with times/locations in the individual post as per the blue links.
BNE drinks pre Oz Fest Thursday 19th May hosted by JohnK We have organised another drinks/dinner night in Brisbane. Bob W is the special guest of honour.
SYD Dinner pre Oz Fest Saturday 21st May hosted by pooch
SYD OzFest-eve drinks at Blu 36, Shangri La Hotel, 5PM Monday 23rd May hosted by BizzBB
SYD pre Oz fest Balmoral Beach coffee/b'fast Tues 24th May, 2011 hosted by JohnSydney2000
MEL Dinner pre Oz Fest Tuesday 24th May hosted by JohnSydney2000
BNE drinks pre Oz Fest Thursday 26th May hosted by JohnK We have a once a month drinks night in Brisbane which originated on Australian Frequent Flyer but also includes anyone from Flyertalk. It is usually on a Wednesday night but this month we are holding it on Thursday, 26 May due to a couple of Flyertalkers being in town on their way to Ozfest in Darwin.

Wed 25-Fri 27 May Pre-do Kakadu & Arnhemland
Ozbeachbabe's post 37 was updated 31 Jan
20 signed up at 11 April. PM Ozbeacbabe for details
Meeting in the foyer of the HI Esplanade at 09:00 Wed
  1. serfty
  2. To Market to Market
  3. Itsalongwaydown
  4. Sue Oz
  5. ozbeachbabe
  6. ozbeachhunk
  7. Perthite
  8. Perthite_+1
  9. dedehans
  10. dedehans_+1
  11. BOB W
  12. CDKing
  13. BiziBB
  14. Mrs BiziBB
  15. Fredd
  16. Mrs Fredd
  17. storyteller
  18. ac777
  19. Mrs ac777
  20. chchkiwi

Friday 27 May Dinner & Sunset tour
As post 560 as organised by Ozbeachbabe
Buffet dinner AUD35.00 pp. Sunset Tour of Darwin AUD30.00 pp includes transport by the Oz Fest bus

Saturday 28 May Culture half day tour (08:30-12:30)
As post 612 as organised by Ozbeachbabe. AUD25.00 per person includes transport by the Oz Fest bus

Saturday Sat 28 May conflict half day tour (approx 13:30 - 16:30)
As post 634 as organised by Ozbeachbabe. AUD35.00 per person includes transport by the Oz Fest bus

Saturday evening 28 May AFL footy Starts 8:10 pm
As in post 533. PM serfty

Saturday 28 May Dinner
Crocosaurus Cove, 58 Mitchell St
As post 574 as organised by Ozbeachbabe
AUD86.00 pp includes unlimited entry to this central attraction over the event

Sunday 29 May Day tour incorporating Corroboree Billabong & a Jumping Crocodile Cruise
Day tour incorporating Corroboree Billabong & a Jumping Crocodile Cruise, returning to DRW mid afternoon in enough time to go to the Mindil Beach Sunset markets. AUD95.00 per person includes transport by the Oz Fest bus as post 655 & http://corroboreebillabong.com.au/?p=29

Sunday Express Tour: Jumping Crocs only AUD50.00 per person includes transport by the Oz Fest bus. As post 656

Both of these tours include transport to/from Mindil Beach Markets on Sunday evening.
Also people not doing either tour on Sunday can still join everyone else for the Sunset Markets (not far from the hotels - main street).

Sunday 29 May Dinner
An impromptu dinner somewhere which we can decide on the day.

Monday 30 May Katherine Gorge lunch cruise
As post 595 as organised by Ozbeachbabe
The cost would be $149.00 per person based on getting 20 people. Cost to be adjusted if less than 20

Post 37 has been updated 31 Jan. From Ozbeachbabe post 37 Pre-do Kakadu & Arnhemland 25-27 May 2011
Ozbeachbabe post 249 pre Ozfest Kakadu trip
Ozbeachbabe post 198 Visiting Katherine Gorge or Kakadu pre or post OzFest
For those of you who have a little extra time either before or after OzFest & would like to see Kakadu or Katherine Gorge there are a couple of options.

From Ozbeachbabe post on 23 Nov 2010
Preliminary list of events in post 286 by Ozbeachbabe with assistance Itsalongwaydown aka Straitman & Markis10

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 27, 2011 at 6:35 pm Reason: more info & links
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:10 am
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Updated 23:00 24th May (Aust time) to post 892 and for emails/PMs

Please PM error's & omissions
email:- ozfest at mail.com (NOT gmail)

Crown Plaza Mitchell St
BOB W (Fri to Tues)
(Fri to Tues)
kpc & kpc_gf
ozstamps & MargoOz
serfty & To Market to Market
Fri 27 to Sun 29
Fri 27 & Sat 28

Holiday Inn Esplanade 116 the Esplanade
ac777 & Mrs ac777
Bundy Bear
dedehans & dedehans_+1
falconea & Mr falconea
Fredd & Mrs. Fredd
Perthite & Perthite_+1
(Sat & Sun)
Itsalongwaydown & Sue Oz
(Tues 24 & Fri - Mon)
storyteller (Tues 24 & Mon 30
fifa & Mr fifa
(Sun 29)
ceieoc Wed May 25 & Thurs May 26
chckiwi Fri 27 to Sun 29

The Holiday Inn Darwin 122 the Esplanade
BiziBB & Mrs BiziBB
Fri May 27 to Sun May 29

Novatel 100 The Esplanade.
Perthite & Perthite_+1
(Tues & Fri)

Melaleuca On Mitchell 52 Mitchell St
wandering_fred & Mrs wandering_fred
(pre do Tues)
(pre do Tues)
(pre do Tues)

Best Western Darwin Airport Gateway Motel web site
ceieoc (Mon May 30)

Darwin Central Hotel web site
Driving by DCA

ozbeachbabe & ozbeachhunk

Unknow - no info
gem gem


from post 295 of 5 Nov by Markis10 : After catching up with Itsalongwaydown and Ozbeachbabe recently in Darwin we had a good chance to review the accommodation options in Darwin and thought I would put a summary here.. as link Accomodation options
Post 424 of 17 Jan by Ozebeachbabe: Hotel availability update for DRW 27-31 May 2011
Just had a look at our OzFest8 accommodation links for both the Crowne Plaza Darwin & Holiday Inn Esplanade & receiving the response that rooms are not available at our selected rate for these times, however we still have a small allocation of rooms left with both properties at our OzFest negotiated rates.

As it is a busy time of year in Darwin probably the best thing to do for those who have not yet booked their hotel is to either:

a) email or phone hotel direct quoting OzFest rate (use code OZF for Crowne Plaza or OZ8 for Hol Inn Esplanade) for the rates AUD269.00 & AUD249.00 per night respectively including one breakfast. Additional breakfasts are AUD20.00per night.
from post 286 of 4 Nov by Ozebeachbabe
Just an update on the day tours for OzFest8. It was great to catch up with Itsalongwaydown aka Straitman & Markis10 last week for an OzFest discussion on hotels, restaurants and sightseeing & to meet with Sales from IHG re hotel rates.

We've decided to also get a group rate for the Holiday Inn Esplanade (AUD249.00 including one breakfast) as it looks like we're trying do our own version of any 'Anytime Access Ozfest lounge' at that hotel as it was more economical there.
from post 293 of 5 Nov by Itsalongwaydown
The Holiday Inn Darwin is at 122 the Esplanade and the Holiday Inn Esplanade is at 116 the Esplanade.
The rate is for 116 the Esplanade which is (subjectively) the better of the two.
From http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/comm...art-24306.html
HI Esplanade DRW renovations start in OCT

The HI Esplanade is getting a limited makeover starting in October, wont be as extensive as the HI next door or CP was but most welcome IMHO
Old Travelodge = HI Darwin
Old Beaufort Hotel/Carlton Crest = Hi Esplanade Darwin
The HI Darwin has already been renovated - except for the toilets in each room
From Ozbeachbabe post 196 of 21 Sept
OzFest8 group rates at Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Darwin post 223 5th Oct 2010 & post 233
Conference in Darwin as post 235
Please keep in mind that May is peak season (dry season) in DRW and as such it does attract high levels of hotel needing guests, which take the average room rate in the wet at the CP from $100-150 a night up to $350 a night. So while we are bringing some good business and the attendees are well known for being high influencers of corporate travel spend, there will be competition in town, here is a snapshot of events at the convention centre:

* 23-25 May 2011
* Royal Australian College of Physicians Congress
* 850 people

* 28 May-2 June 2011
* Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists 2011 Congress
* 800 people

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 24, 2011 at 7:05 am Reason: updated
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:11 am
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History Of Oz fests

Oz Fest 1: 2004 Sydney
[how it all started The very first]
Oz Fest 2: 2005 Sydney
Oz Fest 3: 2006 Brisbane
Oz Fest 4: 2007 Melbourne
Oz Fest 5: 2008 Hobart
Oz Fest 6: 2009 Cairns
Oz Fest 7: 2010 Adelaide

7 :-::-::-::-::-::-::-: FTer's for attending all 7 previous Oz Fests

6 :-::-::-::-::-::-: FTer's for attending 6 previous Oz Fests

5 :-::-::-::-::-: FTer's for attending 5 previous Oz Fests
Bundy Bear
Sue Oz
To Market to Market

4 FTer's for attending 4 previous Oz Fests
Mrs Fredd

3 FTer's for attending 3 previous Oz Fests
Freddie Jnr
Mr falconea
Mrs Rooboy68
Mrs Spaceman
QF WP mini # 1

164 individual FTer's have attended Oz Fests at an average of 1.98 Oz Fest's each

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Sep 2, 2011 at 1:54 am
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:11 am
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Mr Falconea and I will be there, with name tags.

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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:12 am
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Name tags

Please PM me your preferred name, home airport code and your preferred user-ID, especially for the +1s.

I have learnt the hard way that some people are quite specific about what they want for their +1s, or that the +1s have their own opinions!

The tags will look something like this:

but will of course be updated for Darwin. :+>

If you have previously had a correct name tag I will use the same details.


Last edited by falconea; Apr 24, 2011 at 1:53 am
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:12 am
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General information on Darwin and the Northern Terriority

Good information and links in post 90

Various web sites (commercial & government/local)
http://www.tourismnt.com.au/ Government web site

Darwin is climatically perfect to visit from May to October. There is no need to check the weather forecast as it is nearly always 31°C and sunny during the day, with cooler nights. November and December the build up, or pre-monsoon season, begins and humidity levels start their rise. The summer rains bring the natural landscape to life and deliver the picturesque storms and sunsets the Northern Territory is renowned for. Some people enjoy this aspect of the wet, with the rivers and waterfalls in full glory, and the landscape greener.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Apr 9, 2011 at 9:23 pm Reason: added www.darwinhub.com/
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:14 am
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Getting to / from Darwin

Air routes to DRW
Update 28 June by ozbeachbabe in
post 92 on how to get the Darwin
post 35 on Airlines schedule

From Post 42 by edison
Just looked at Darwin Airport webpage, looks like for anyone who want to come through to DRW via Asia they would have to get on to Jetstar from SIN/DPS/SGN-DRW! Book your StarClass now!

Darwin Airport link

Also check *A website and they mark DRW is a city not served by *A airlines!
From post 59 by ozbeachbabe
All international flights into DRW from Asia ie SIN, DPS & SGN arrive anywhere from 0230 to 0600 but as they continue on to cities down south it's more about arriving at a suitable time eg in BNE/SYD/MEL rather that what's suitable for pax disembarking in DRW.

The flying time is reasonably short though DPS(Bali)/DRW 2.5 hours, SIN/DRW 4 hours & SGN/DRW 4.40hrs so pretty much the same as a LAX/NYC flight duration on a JetBlue type airline & aircraft. The flying time is much the same from Asia to DRW as it is eg from SYD.

There are no international flights into/out of DRW on QF metal however as all JQ (Jetstar) flights have QF codeshare flight numbers it gives those the opportunity to redeem points for travel with ff programs who can redeem on "QF".

The only JQ flights that accrue f/flyer points on paid fares are JetFlex not the JetSaver fares most people would buy. It's certainly something to consider if people travel USA to SIN eg on SQ on a redemption then just purchase a SIN/DRW/SIN fare on JQ http://www.jetstar.com.
It needs to be said that there are plenty of day time arrivals & departures to/from DRW from southern ports with QF flights from ADL/BNE/CBR/PER/ASP/SYD all arriving & departing between 1200 & 1600 so there's no need to think you'll be on 'red eye' flights.

From Adelaide the legendary Ghan
# Route: Adelaide - Alice Springs - Darwin
# Duration: 2 nights in either direction
# Distance: 2979 kilometres
# Frequency: Twice weekly (See timetables)
This transcontinental adventure offers an unsurpassed view of Australia - North to South over three unforgettable days.

Travel by rail between Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin and you are embarking on one of the great train journeys of the world. Named after the Afghan cameleers who once traversed this route, The Ghan will take you from one edge of this continent to the other, through the very centre of Australia.

The Ghan's timetable makes the most of the daylight hours to offer unsurpassed views of the passing landscape. From the sweeping Adelaide Plains unfolding before your eyes to the majestic Flinders Ranges, this first stage of the journey offers a perspective on South Australia you simply can't afford to miss.
Its a long drive from anywhere to Darwin

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jul 10, 2010 at 5:59 pm
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:17 am
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Lists of flights compiled from information provided by attendees

Please advise of any errors/omissions by PM. (PM Serfty)

Last edited by serfty; Apr 20, 2011 at 11:01 pm Reason: Updates
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:18 am
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Yes, we have already booked* our flights for Thursday night and Monday afternoon.

So To Market To Market and I in. ^
Qantas "Any Seat Rewards" Business class. On current J rates it's reasonable QFF value @4˘ per point.

Also, we'll earn 260 Status Credits each! For those 1K's or EXP's out there that's like 20K EQP's earned by burning 83K miles each ...

Last edited by serfty; Jun 24, 2010 at 5:54 pm
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:20 am
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Pop us down for DARWIN,
and make it Noelene+2 please
My girls would love to visit Darwin
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:20 am
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:21 am
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Reserved #2
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Old Jun 23, 2010, 4:22 am
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I will be there; Darwin that is.
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