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"Oz Fest #6" - Cairns Queensland - Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-24, 2009

"Oz Fest #6" - Cairns Queensland - Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-24, 2009

Old May 30, 08, 10:31 pm
  #1  
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"Oz Fest #6" - Cairns Queensland - Memorial Day Weekend, May 22-24, 2009

"Oz Fest #6" - Cairns Queensland - Memorial Day Weekend May 22-24, 2009


There have been 5 successful OzFests so far - in Sydney (twice) Brisbane, Melbourne - and then Hobart Tasmania earlier this month.

They are one of the most heavily attended of any of the annual FT Doos. Indeed I doubt there are any annual FT Doos outside the USA that have chalked up 6 years running.

Polling of FT'ers on the Hobart thread for the past week, and of previous attendees, and many private emails seems to have decided that the hands down winner for the 200NINE venue should be tropical Cairns Queensland - pronounced KENS for our American friends. There is no R in Cairns.

Hobart had 40 signed up - pretty amazing seeing only one attending was a local, and I feel sure Cairns will get us up to more like the numbers we had for OzFest #2 in Sydney - 58 attendees.

The "OzFest #5" thread has well over 46,000 page views already, and well over 1000 posts (very easily a record for an OzFest thread) and as usual set a view record for a FT Doo thread.

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

Unlike Tasmania we have a lot of active Queenslanders on FT, and even Kensians, and I am sure this one will be a lot easier to arrange and cost.

I know from talking at length to itsalongwaydown and serfty down in Tasmania that they (and Sue and Jenny) are most certainly attendees.

itsalongwaydown I believe has a house up there, so it will give him and Sue a chance to do a reccy well before May, to give us a heads up on "FT suitable" places to eat etc. Bill seems to have it largely organised already! So over to him.

Bill has offered to largely keep tabs on things, and he or other volunteers will I am sure add links to activities and attendees in the next few posts, and I can link to them here as usual at base of post #1 - as is traditional for OzFest threads.

Both itsalongwaydown and serfty tell me they know of a Frequent Flying local or two in CNS, who sound like they can assist us as well. That really helps, as it saves someone needing to make an advance trip to line up all the ducks, as Margo and I needed to do for Hobart well in advance, or several things simply would not have occurred for OzFest 5.

Mwenenzi offered invaluable back-up to me for Hobart, tracking attendees etc via his legendary Excel spread sheets, as he has in other Ozfests for those organising, and hopefully he can join us for this one, seeing no woolly jackets are needed in NQ!!

One obvious day of the weekend would be a day cruiser trip right out to the Continental Shelf of the Great Barrier Reef via Quicksilver, or whomever else offers the most attractive group discount rate to us. There you join their large floating scuba/snorkeling/submarine platform for all that stuff, and have lunch etc.

And the other weekend day will most likely be a full day trip thru the dense Kuranda Rain Forest on the elevated sky-train etc. This kind of photo of the Barron Bridge crossing most folks here will have seen before:

http://www.oztravel.com.au/travel_ma...ges/39740.jpeg

And assuming both the above - that we all felt in Hobart were near essentials to do, that leaves only Friday night and Sunday night to debate!

The Cairns Hilton is right on the waterfront and is very central, and right now rates look very sensible. And I am sure they will offer an attractive group package rate deal if most members opt to stay there.

Having ONE central hotel location most folks use is a VERY large plus I always feel. Especially as hotels in Cairns are spread out over a huge area. And it gives the organisers some leverage to extract a great group booking deal.

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

That public holiday in the USA is Monday May 25th 2008. Remember if you LEAVE Sydney on the afternoon of Monday May 25, you ARRIVE back in the USA also on the morning of Monday May 25. 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 for United, who have direct daily flights from SYD to the west coast (to both LAX and SFO) leaving early afternoon ex Sydney. Near all USA attendees fly UA to OzFests.

CO flies to Cairns from GUAM, and Air NZ has directs from AKL I understand. As far as awards from outside Australia, I think Qantas and a couple of other carriers still service Cairns from Asia. For most overseas "Australia" is the destination, so selecting CNS over SYD will save you the often expensive domestic airfare.

For those with some spare time, or who want to schedule in some spare time, Cairns to Port Moresby Papua New Guinea is only an hour or so flight, and Air Niugini often have DIRT cheap deals ex CNS. I've been to PNG twice on holiday in the highlands and Madang, and it is an experience you'll never forget .. albeit a bit dangerous at times. Take an internal flight to Mt Hagen or Goroka -- it is like going back 200 years in time.

"OzFest #6" is held in CNS and for It'l visitors, remember that domestic flights from either SYD or BNE or MEL to there are tolerably cheap at selected times, on Virgin Blue (especially) and are several hours flying from SYD, so this is no puddle hopper flight. FT'ers will as always update you via this thread when the sale fares come into operation.

Qantas have fairly 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.) Having CNS as an end destination may not add too much to an It'l ticket over SYD .. do ask.

"Oz Fest 2" attracted 58 attendees, a clear record for a Southern Hemisphere FT event. Flyertalkers from 5 continents flew in. We had 47 in Melbourne for OzFest #4, May 2007, and 40 in fairly remote Hobart. I am sure we will see many familiar overseas FT faces in 2009 as well.

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 and Melbourne for the initial four "Oz Fests" was 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.

CNS normally has much warmer weather than MEL or SYD on any given day, as it is WAY further North toward the equator, so it should be a superb time to visit.

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

Glen

Click HERE to view those signed up to attend so far.

Click HERE for: WHAT is going on, WHAT it costs, WHERE folks are staying, and flights.

Click HERE for "How To Get There" and planned activities in Cairns area so far.

Click HERE to view typical WEATHER, and suggested things to see and do in the area.

.

Last edited by ozstamps; May 4, 09 at 5:43 am
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Old May 30, 08, 10:32 pm
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ozstamps and MargoOz - Definites.

Glen
.
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Old May 30, 08, 10:42 pm
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Wow - I get to be the second to post to confirm, as a definite maybe at this time, for OzFest #6 in CNS.
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Old May 30, 08, 10:49 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by restlessinRNO View Post
Wow - I get to be the second to post to confirm, as a definite maybe at this time, for OzFest #6 in CNS.
Definite maybe + 1, at this early stage.
Going for 6 in a row...

Last edited by kpc; May 30, 08 at 11:00 pm
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Old May 30, 08, 10:50 pm
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ozstamps - you need to change the title and your red coloured heading to reflect 2009.
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Old May 30, 08, 10:52 pm
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That's very quick work ozstamps, and sounds like #5 was a hoot!

I am definitely interested in #6 at this stage.

PS. Who is this fromdownunder of whom you speak (still recovering from Ozfest #5? ). Itsalongwaydown may also wonder.
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Old May 30, 08, 10:55 pm
  #7  
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The History of Oz Fests

The very first Oz Fest: 2004 (Sydney)[how it all started]
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=195676

Oz Fest 2: 2005 (Sydney)
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showt...32#post3000832

Oz Fest 3: 2006 (Brisbane)
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showt...ghlight=ozfest

Oz Fest 4: 2007 (Melbourne)
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=567379

Oz Fest 5: 2008
(Hobart)
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=706312
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Old May 30, 08, 10:56 pm
  #8  
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List of Attendees updated 22 May 09 to post 1020 & for PM's - emails

Important information for Oz Fest 6 activites in
post 900
and post 929 (Saturday Hotel pick up)
Please read.


Post Oz Fest
SYD Mini-DOs: 26-31 May 2009 hosted by Boxo
_______________
To be updated from time to time. Please PM error's & ommissions

Platinum - Confirmed (in order of confirming will attend)
  1. ozstamps SYD
  2. MargoOz SYD
  3. restlessinRNO RNO
  4. turtlemichael CNS
  5. turtlemichael_+1 CNS
  6. Itsalongwaydown Aust
  7. Sue Oz Aust
  8. Serfty MEL
  9. To Market to Market MEL
  10. lili USA
  11. falconea MEL
  12. Mr falconea MEL
  13. Platy CNS
  14. monitor NYC
  15. Franny NYC
  16. pooch SYD
  17. upup&away ORD
  18. Kiwiflyer AKL
  19. g-day SYD
  20. wijomas AKL
  21. tom911 SFO
  22. tom911's_friend # 1 SFO
  23. tom911's_friend # 2 SFO
  24. Where2next? DEN & AOK
  25. plusone DEN & AOK
  26. GreenFireFlyer SAN & LAX
  27. gvdIAD IAD
  28. JohnK SYD
  29. boxo USA
  30. Noelene MEL
  31. f0zzyNUE NUE
  32. kudzu AVL
  33. kudzu_+1 AVL
  34. Fredd SEA
  35. Mrs Fredd SEA
  36. Irwin8417 SYD
  37. anat0l BNE
  38. dyung SEA
  39. klc SEA
  40. Perthite PER
  41. Perthite_+1 PER
  42. BiziBB SYD
  43. Mrs BiziBB SYD
  44. chchkiwi LAX
  45. Spaceman VA, USA
  46. Mrs Spaceman VA, USA
  47. JohnSydney2000 SYD
  48. Efrem BOS
  49. gcff OOL
  50. Mrs gcff OOL
  51. QF WP BNE
  52. Mrs QF WP BNE
  53. mini QF WP BNE
  54. JerseyVics SYD
  55. magic111 USA
  56. LLM SAN
  57. ozbeachbabe DRW
  58. ozbeachbabe_+1 DRW
  59. Bundy Bear BNE

Gold Maybe

Silver - Interested

Bronze - can't make it
  1. kpc SYD
  2. kpc_gf SYD
  3. Wendyhamburger FLL
  4. AN_boy
  5. AN_boy_+1
  6. TIMP HBA
  7. littl_flier BNE
  8. flyingzzzd's OOL
  9. mww99 OOL
  10. Newself LAX
  11. Newself_SO LAX
  12. infoworks SYD
  13. QF009 MEL
  14. tuapekastar MEL
  15. Melville YYZ
  16. Mwenenzi MEL
  17. Freddie Jnr USA (His very own thread)
  18. SQ421 NSW, Aust
  19. luftaom SYD
  20. Heleno USA
  21. vysean AZ, USA
  22. Miles Dependent SYD
  23. Aus_Mal BNE
  24. Cholula Cal, USA
  25. Mrs Cholula Cal, USA
  26. NZ_Flyer DUD
  27. jimmc66 CNS
  28. Benny8444 BWI paid up but unfortunately did not make it to Au
______________________________________________
Activities in post 380 (as organised by Itsalongwaydown)
How to pay for activities in post 459

Who is doing what in post 434. Would people please carefully check post 434 to make sure we have the activites correct, especially Sundays Great Barrier Reef trips.
Update on the Saturday Cruise in post 617.
Update on the Friday dinner in post 828 & post 901. $65 pay on the night.

Information on Hotel Central Hilton
Hotels: Who is staying where in post 435

How to get to Cairns in post 9.

Flight Itineraries of attendee's in post 897 (domestic) & post 898 (international).
Please post or PM your flight to serfty
Also both Qantas & Virgin have cancelled and/or rescheduled Cairns flights so worth checking your flights.
Free Australian ETA Visa application by Guy Betsy

Cairns general tourist information in post 11, including links to Platy's posts

Some links for Cairns weather in post 51. (its always warm and tropical )
________________________
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 posts #304, 305 & 455 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
_____________________________________________
6 FTer's for attending all 6 Oz Fests
ozstamps
QF WP
_____________________________________________
Subscribe to this thread using thread tools (top of the page)
..

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jun 1, 09 at 1:08 am Reason: regular update
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Old May 30, 08, 10:57 pm
  #9  
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How to get to Cairns:
  • Fly with Qantas, Jetstar or Virgin from within Australia
  • Fly with CO from Guam, Air NZ from AKL, Jetstar from Japan, Qantas from Japan, Cathay Pacific from HKG or Air Niugini from PNG
  • Train on the Queensland Rail Sunlander from Brisbane (prices from $212 OW)
  • Drive from the south or the west
  • Sail into the harbour from ??
The Cairns airport web site has a useful route map. Click through flight information to route maps

More to come. PM suggestions or links

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Apr 25, 09 at 8:48 pm Reason: update info & links
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Old May 30, 08, 10:59 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by restlessinRNO View Post

ozstamps - you need to change the title and your red coloured heading to reflect 2009.
Darn .. I did exactly that same thing on last year's thread!

Jenbel had to re-set it on post 12:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showp...5&postcount=12

Thanks again in advance mods for getting the year right!

Glen
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Old May 30, 08, 11:00 pm
  #11  
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Cairns Information

Very good information from Platy (CNS Resident)
Packing for your trip to Cairns essential reading for all going to Oz Fest 6
Travellers tips for Cairns - the Regional Art Gallery post 605
Cairns Regional Gallery exhibition 1 (of 3) post 606
Cairns Regional Gallery exhibition 2 (of 3) post 608
Cairns Regional Gallery exhibition 3 (of 3) Art Rocks by Simon Poole post 609
Port Douglas information post 647
Hire car drive north to Port Douglas post 681
Shopping for a Lady in Cairns post 782 (not that sort of lady)
KickArts Contemporary Art - CAIRNS (by Holiday Inn) post 782
The Cairns Night Markets post 783
How to do the beachfront long lunch in Palm Cove (near Cairns) post 793

A note of the menu (Oz Fest 6 Fri Dinner venue) post 842
mini Trip Report Ba8 bar post 843
Mini Restaurant Review Norths (Oz Fest 6 Fri Dinner venue) post 845


Some Cairns web sites:-

Cairns & Tropical North Visitor Information Centre
FALL INTO TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND AND ENJOY NATURE'S PLAYGROUND!
Welcome to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef Region - your gateway to discovering the magic of Australiaís true tropics. Here, you can swim among the bright colorful fish and coral in the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, escape to a private tropical island, walk through some of the oldest rainforests on the planet and discover adventure awaiting in the diverse environments that make up wonderful Tropical North Queensland. Itís the ultimate destination to enjoy spectacular natural beauty at its absolute best, and to find fun and adventure. Itís also the perfect place to relax, be pampered, and enjoy the laid-back feel of the tropics. We welcome you to Change Your Latitude!


Cairns attractions From this web site:-
Tropical North Queensland in Australia is a holiday maker's paradise, bursting at the seams with attractions and tours that showcase this remarkable part of the world.

The city of Cairns has recently been renovated to enhance its image and provide a relaxing place for tourists and Cairns locals to congregate and have fun. Cairns Esplanade, once a huge grassy park, now features a world-class facility incorporating an outdoor amphitheatre, a large sandy swimming lagoon, grassy picnic areas, walking tracks, free public barbeques, children's playground, shops and restaurants, an environmental interpretation centre and a Great Barrier Reef Cruise departure terminal. But Cairns is only really the hub to the attractions of Far North Queensland


Cairns Australia Visitor Information
Cairns info
About Cairns
Cairns guide
Local news site (part of news.com.au)

From the Ports web site: The following links provide valuable information for those planning to travel the Cairns region, including fast access to tourism operators and local business informationÖUseful links to the greater FNQ region

webcam

More to come. PM suggestions or links

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 19, 09 at 12:33 am Reason: update info & links
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Old May 30, 08, 11:20 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post

Platinum - Confirmed
  1. ozstamps SYD
  2. MargoOz SYD
  3. restlessinRNO RNO
  4. Itsalongwaydown Vic, Aust
  5. Sue Oz Vic, Aust
  6. serfty MEL
  7. To Market to Market MEL
Gold - Maybes
  1. kpc SYD
  2. kpc_gf SYD
  3. Tuapekastar MEL

Silver - Interested
  1. Mwenenzi MEL
  2. Freddie Junior Colorado Springs, USA click for FJ's own thread

YIKES!!!!

Go and make a sandwich and come back and see this!

And the USA is still sleeping pretty much.

Seems like Cairns will be a BOOMER.

Glen
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Old May 30, 08, 11:24 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by ozstamps View Post
YIKES!!!! Go and make a sandwich and come back and see this!
And the USA is still sleeping pretty much.
Seems like Cairns will be a BOOMER. Glen
Included a few attendees who have not responded yet, but hey Serfty & To Market to Market already have flights booked from CNS as the last segments of a *ONE*

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 31, 08 at 9:08 pm Reason: spelling
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Old May 30, 08, 11:29 pm
  #14  
 
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Definite maybe at this stage (and would almost certainly be at the Hilton as well)
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Old May 30, 08, 11:33 pm
  #15  
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Mwenenzi - both Itsalongwaydown and serfty (and Sue and Jenny) are all 105% signed up for this I think it is true to say, after our chats in Hobart.

Both are probably glued to their TV's right now watching West Coast and Collingwood, as most folks are right now is my guess.

Glen
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