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Community => Adventure Related Talk & Chat => Topic started by: AGA on 07 Jan 2019, 09:10

Title: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 07 Jan 2019, 09:10
Mittens 2019 will be at this place (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/22736278) near Cairns, Australia, from 05 - 12 October!

It's that time of year again!

At last Mittens it seems there was more interest than ever in doing it in Australia. No time or location in mind yet, but would enough people be interested?


Attending
AGA
CJ
CJ's +1
Layabout
Privateer Puddin'
scotch
Snarky
tampie85
(8)

Attending, not staying
Wiggy
(1)

Nots
Esseb
Grundislav
Jess
Quintaros
Quintaros' +1
sonneveld
Terri
(7)
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 07 Jan 2019, 09:35
Yeeeah  :cool:
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Layabout on 07 Jan 2019, 09:48
Yes!  :grin:
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 07 Jan 2019, 09:54
Yes!  :grin:

You and Terri, presumably?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Layabout on 07 Jan 2019, 11:06
Yes!  :grin:

You and Terri, presumably?

Absolutely :)
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Snarky on 07 Jan 2019, 15:12
I'm interested.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Grundislav on 07 Jan 2019, 15:33
Jess and I are also interested.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Quintaros on 07 Jan 2019, 15:53
I'm interested.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Disco on 07 Jan 2019, 23:40
Interested!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Layabout on 07 Jan 2019, 23:47
Now I'm not saying we should rent an island in the Great Barrier Reef for Mittens... but we can rent an island... http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/ (http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/)
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Esseb on 09 Jan 2019, 10:36
I'm interested!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: scotch on 13 Jan 2019, 17:52
Interested
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 13 Jan 2019, 18:30
Interested

Plus Kristin?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Snarky on 13 Jan 2019, 19:35
Now I'm not saying we should rent an island in the Great Barrier Reef for Mittens... but we can rent an island... http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/ (http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/)

Oooh, that looks nice! It's a bit pricey for 15-ish people, but if we could somehow round up (or even 20-some) I would be all for it.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Quintaros on 13 Jan 2019, 21:03
If we're considering places like that, I could probably persuade my +1 to join.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: sonneveld on 24 Jan 2019, 13:47
Hello!  I'm in Australia and would be interested!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Mandle on 24 Jan 2019, 15:30
Now I'm not saying we should rent an island in the Great Barrier Reef for Mittens... but we can rent an island... http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/ (http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/)

Oooh, that looks nice! It's a bit pricey for 15-ish people, but if we could somehow round up (or even 20-some) I would be all for it.

At 15-ish people it looks like it comes out at around $130 Australian dollar per day... That's what I pay for a double room in an average motel in a non-metropolitan area in Australia anyway.

Australian prices are extremely over-inflated compared to many countries and those island prices are incredibly cheap considering that lunch in a decent restaurant in Sydney will cost about $40-$50.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 24 Jan 2019, 16:22
Now I'm not saying we should rent an island in the Great Barrier Reef for Mittens... but we can rent an island... http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/ (http://www.pumpkinisland.com.au/)

Oooh, that looks nice! It's a bit pricey for 15-ish people, but if we could somehow round up (or even 20-some) I would be all for it.

At 15-ish people it looks like it comes out at around $130 Australian dollar per day... That's what I pay for a double room in an average motel in a non-metropolitan area in Australia anyway.

Australian prices are extremely over-inflated compared to many countries and those island prices are incredibly cheap considering that lunch in a decent restaurant in Sydney will cost about $40-$50.

Mittens rentals are always incredibly cheap per person; you're talking a week's sleep in semi luxurious accommodation (sometimes with pools and hot tubs) for the cost of two or three nights in a mediocre hotel.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Snarky on 24 Jan 2019, 16:38
I just went by the effective price per person being about twice of last year's, by my quick calculations.

I would probably be up for it personally – it would be extremely cool! – but between a more-expensive-than-usual trip for our non-Aussie participants and that many of us would presumably want to spend more than a week if we're gonna be making the trip down there, it begins to add up, and it would be a shame if some people couldn't make it for budget reasons just because we decided to rent a frigging island (with accommodations for 35, if we're only 15 or fewer).
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: cat on 25 Jan 2019, 07:11
I guess nothing beats the Irish porn house with whirlpool and pool table for 100€ per person per week  :-D
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Wiggy on 25 Jan 2019, 11:08
Hi all!

As an ex-airline pilot, I can help - not with cheap airfares, but how to organize yourselves. Firstly, for all Americans out there (and this is NOT a joke) Columbus proved that the world is round. If you want to come to OZ, go via Hawaii - yep head WEST - or fly direct via LAX. The amount of idiots I have seen fly via the middle East is laughable and lamentable.

For all other sane people, Singapore is the most accessible hub. Norwegian Airlines offer cheap flights from LHR. Silk Air (low-cost offshoot from Singapore Airlines) fly direct to Cairns, where I live. I have a Japanese friend, Sammy Kawano, who rode his bicycle around the world. He lives here now because it is the most beautiful place he ever saw. Accom is cheap - particularly through Wotif.com - and we charge per room in this country, not per person like in the UK.

Exchange rates are favourable at the moment, and food-wise you won't get a mountain of fatty inedible crap like in the US, you might actually taste really fresh produce beautifully cooked. I really hope to see you here!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Quintaros on 06 Feb 2019, 21:07
Is it too early to discuss timing?  I need to get my vacation requests in early in the year.  I can't do September.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 07 Feb 2019, 07:29
What about the very end of August, or start of October?  October seems to be about 10-15% cheaper for flights, although a quick search shows rental prices to be the same either way.  I've also found a few big (15+) houses going for about £150 per person (!!) for a week.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Layabout on 07 Feb 2019, 13:43
I'm in Japan from 2nd Sep to 16 Sep so August or October works for me, but I'd lean towards early October, mainly for the weather (hotter but not too close to the wet season in the tropics).
August only gets average highs of 27 C in northern QLD (which I'd suggest, as have a few others), whereas October gets average highs of 30 C. Not much of a difference in surface temperature, but the ocean temperature will be lower.
If we were looking at northern NSW or SE QLD, October would be the optimal time to visit. Sydney definitely October and Melbourne you never know what kind of weather you will get.
WA is an option, but I don't know enough about the wrong side of Australia (sorry Ben XD)
Both time periods do not fall on Australian school holidays so we won't have to worry about that.

I'd recommend anywhere between Mackay and Cairns, as you have the reef. Though the close to Cairns you get, the more likely you are to get eaten by crocs. #justaustraliathings
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 11 Feb 2019, 10:58
First week of October works for me - might be able to to use public holiday
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Disco on 11 Feb 2019, 15:30
October is best for me, preferably sometime in the first half.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 12 Feb 2019, 07:31
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Snarky on 12 Feb 2019, 07:41
(thumbs up)
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Pumaman on 12 Feb 2019, 11:54
Put me and the +1 on the interested list too, after all if you're coming all this way I couldn't miss out on some Mittens goodness!

Cairns is ok, it doesn't have a beach but it does have some tourist activites like the bleached barrier reef, and the weather should be good. Port Douglas is probably nicer but smaller

Zanzoo retreat looks nice but is perhaps a bit too isolated - might be good to have a couple of places within walking distance so we don't have to drive to the pub?

Here's another option, might be a few others on Airbnb too.
https://www.airbnb.es/rooms/18199497?location=Cairns%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=Az3FEvUL

The Gold Coast is another October option, it has beach stuff and pubs and theme parks and stuff like that, if we fancied somewhere with more activity options. Should be 24/25 degrees by October
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 12 Feb 2019, 12:53
Put me and the +1 on the interested list too

Yes!  :=
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Grundislav on 12 Feb 2019, 14:33
Well, well, well. Mr. Jones emerges.

Now I HAVE to go to this.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 12 Feb 2019, 16:37
Well, well, well. Mr. Jones emerges.

Emerges / is dragged to the surface by me.

I only had a very quick look for housing options, based on Layabout's suggestions.  Of course anyone is welcome to chip in with anywhere that looks suitable (and houses 16+ people!).

Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Layabout on 13 Feb 2019, 01:34
The one that Chris shared looks alright. I couldn't find anything reasonable in Port Douglas, but it wouldn't be a bad drive from Cairns.

From my searching, North Queensland is kinda lacking when it comes to larger properties.
Here is one near Airlie Beach, however still a 25 minute drive. Ubers are likely to be operating in the area however:https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/30129781?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=BJ2SHNSr (https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/30129781?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=BJ2SHNSr)

This one is in Agnes Water, near 1770 and Gladstone: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/22455055?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=Y34ooedo (https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/22455055?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=Y34ooedo)

There seem to be quite a few on the Sunshine Coast (1 hr north of Brisbane), an example: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/28970815?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=htTeKvr_ (https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/28970815?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=htTeKvr_)

And on the Gold Coast (which I honestly hate, but I'm putting the option out there): https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/28617920?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=i7tFr7l6 (https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/28617920?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=i7tFr7l6)

This one is Northern NSW, in the Byron hinterland, 20 mins from Byron Bay: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/31010575?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=iycEbMkx (https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/31010575?location=North%20Queensland%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=iycEbMkx)

The rest of the NSW coast above Newcastle is also a reasonable option. It might be swimming weather for you Europeans, but the Aussies will probably not be too keen to get in the water!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 13 Feb 2019, 15:30
Cairns is an expensive connecting flight (or loooong drive) from Brisbane for those of us flying from abroad. Perhaps we'd be better looking at places with good transport links too?  Personally I'm not too fussed about the weather either way!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Layabout on 14 Feb 2019, 01:36
Well Gold Coast has a direct train link from Brisbane Airport so it's a good prospect (as much as I think it is a poor man's Miami)

If we don't care about the beach or anything like that, then Melbourne would be my pick. It is the most culturally vibrant and progressive cities in Australia, and you can't miss a trip to Phillip Island to watch the Penguin Parade (though this may need to be done after Mittens as its at night and a fair drive from melbs to phillip island)

With 16 people (at current count), this place https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/2178434?location=Victoria%20VIC%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=2GlQwF_c (https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/2178434?location=Victoria%20VIC%2C%20Australia&adults=16&guests=1&toddlers=0&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&s=2GlQwF_c) would be 341AUD per person.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: cat on 14 Feb 2019, 19:01
Cairns is an excellent start or destination for a roadtrip along the Australian east cost. You should be able to book connecting flights from Melbourne or Sidney when booking the ticket to Australia at not much higher cost. Cairns is great, IMHO, Gold Coast not so.
What we did (15 years ago, mind you!) was fly into Sydney, drive up the east coast to Port Douglas (is it still a thing to rent a 4WD there and go to that national park, driving through creeks and stuff?), take a flight from Cairns to Melbourne for a few days and then fly home from Melbourne.


I'm really sad I can't come to Mittens :~(
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Layabout on 14 Feb 2019, 23:26
Cairns is great, IMHO, Gold Coast not so.

Like I said, Gold Coast is a poor man's Miami... and I hated Miami.  :-D

I'm not sure that many would be doing a roadtrip of Eastern Australia - you need a good chunk of time to do that properly. Its around the same distance to drive from Bris to Cairns than it is from Bris to Melbs. With your itineary, it would be 30 hours driving time up the east coast from Sydney to Port Douglas

I think you can still hire 4WD's and go off-roading.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Wiggy on 16 Mar 2019, 07:47
I feel like I'm tilting at Gods here, but Regional pride will prevail and I must take exception to Pumaman's comment:

"Cairns is ok, it doesn't have a beach but it does have some tourist activites like the bleached barrier reef, and the weather should be good. Port Douglas is probably nicer but smaller."

Fair bite of the pineapple doughnut! Cairns city doesn't have a beach, unless you count the fabulous man-made city lagoon, (Google it) but what about the northern suburbs collectively known as the "Northern Beaches"? Namely; Machans Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkey's, Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, Clifton Beach (my home) and Palm Cove? 5 minutes from my door I can walk along pristine sand for half an hour until I get to Palm Cove where I have breakfast under the 200 year-old paperbark trees; trees so treasured that the local buildings are built around them.

Regarding the Great Barrier Reef: Sure some reefs have suffered bleaching, but not the tourist destinations. "My Aquarium", as I call it, is largely unspoilt, and still a major world wonder. Just to give you an idea of its size, when you fly north-west out of Brisbane, after 20 minutes you pass Lady Musgrave Island - the southernmost part of the reef. If you flew for the next 3 and a half hours until you hit Niugini, you would still be over it. Are you really going to come to OZ and NOT see the barrier reef?

Other tourist attactions include the Skyrail rainforest experience, Tjapukai indiginous culture extravaganza, cold beer and nice steak. A word of warning though, if you see water, assume crocadile. Read the signs and obey. They really are out there.

Do you really need accommodation for 16+, or would 4 rooms of 4 suffice, or any other mathematical combination?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 19 Mar 2019, 13:56
We're six months ish until Mittens time. We should probably think about booking something... Would an Australian local be willing to pick this up?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Wiggy on 27 Mar 2019, 08:27
If there's anything I can do to assist I will willingly volunteer. It's a long way to come for most of you, so maximise the experience! I know we all get precious little vacation time, and this country is huge - so air travel is necessary within country. I once met some tourists who wanted to hire a camper van to drive to Adelaide from Cairns "for the weekend". It's 2000 miles! 7 times the length of the UK! The roads are crap too.

When I was flying I was often asked "Where would you recommend I go, given that I have a short holiday?" I used to answer (and spoke to an airline marketing strategist about this), you need to see "City, Surf, Reef and Rock." City is Sydney for the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and other tourist traps (have a beer in The Rocks though); Surf is Gold Coast which is Miami all over again - for quality go north of Brisbane to Sunshine Coast; Reef is Cairns, which I love; and Rock is Uluru - expensive and miles from anywhere, an option that is probably not necessary to get the outback experience. I'm currently working on a business plan to combine tourism marketing between NZ and OZ so if you come all this way you should see both. The trouble is both sides see the other as competion, rather than combining to compete against tourist blocs, area destinations as opposed to specific countries.

Let me know how I can assist - PM me if you like. Personally I'd recommend holiday villas in Palm Cove, but it's up to you. I was never a travel consultant. But I can be a great host and guide!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 28 Mar 2019, 12:00
Unfortunately it seems everyone has their own conflicting preferences!  Is anyone especially against Cairns?

I did a search for Palm Cove (https://www.airbnb.com/s/homes?refinement_paths%5B%5D=%2Fhomes&checkin=2019-10-05&checkout=2019-10-12&adults=16&children=0&infants=0&toddlers=0&query=Palm%20Cove%2C%20Queensland%2C%20Australia&place_id=ChIJEZbd-XNyeGkRIAghf_HuAAU&search_type=UNKNOWN&price_max=676&allow_override%5B%5D=&s_tag=gOmh_bUe) as mentioned, but most of the results seem to be near the centre of Cairns.  Would anyone be against staying in the city / suburbs, then driving or public transporting to the beach?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Snarky on 02 Apr 2019, 08:27
I have no detailed knowledge of Australia and therefore no preference. I will support whatever decision the majority/Dear Leader takes. (To AGA's PM: That's a yes.)
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Pumaman on 02 Apr 2019, 11:53
Palm Cove seems like a good shout - it has a beach and a few bars/restaurants, and is only a 30 min drive from Cairns for doing day trips.

I couldn't find any 16-person villas, but they do have a fair few 4-bedroom villas, so we could get two of those between us?

School holidays in Queensland run from 20th Sept to 6th October, so if we avoided that and went for 5-12 Oct for example, we could get two of these:
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/9998813?location=Palm%20Cove%2C%20Queensland&adults=8&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&guests=1&s=-g7ViKcv
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/8744505?location=Palm%20Cove%2C%20Queensland&adults=8&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&guests=1&s=mK2xJC_p
https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/33219147?location=Palm%20Cove%2C%20Queensland&adults=8&check_in=2019-10-05&check_out=2019-10-12&guests=1&s=mK2xJC_p

On average we'd be looking at EUR 250 per person for the week.

Those are all in walking distance of each other and the beach and the pubs...


Being near Cairns has its benefits, such as this:
https://www.ajhackett.com/cairns/activities/minjin-swing/
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 03 Apr 2019, 02:24
Those dates sound good to me!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Grundislav on 03 Apr 2019, 04:07
Dates and locations sound good. I don't want to 100% commit just yet, but hopefully it won't be prohibitively expensive from here to October.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: scotch on 03 Apr 2019, 15:32
Dates, area, price range looks good to me. I'll commit to a spot.

Looking like it starts about 1k for US-AUS flights at the mo which is what I imagined.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Disco on 04 Apr 2019, 00:46
I also can not commit 100% unfortunately, but the dates would be good in theory. In the very near future I will be moving house and (hopefully) changing job, so not sure about my attendance until the dust settles.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Layabout on 04 Apr 2019, 11:18
I'm 100% happy with the location and dates.

Terri is not sure as work is being a bit annoying with her and leave at the moment.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Esseb on 11 Apr 2019, 18:10
Those dates sound good to me.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 30 Apr 2019, 07:27
If we want to get one full sized place, this villa (https://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/kewarra-beach/10465605) might also be a good choice?  Kewarra Beach looks a bit quieter than Palm Cove, but then again we had to drive everywhere at last year's Mittens and that worked fine...
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 30 Apr 2019, 21:57
Looks good to me. I'll let others who know more about the area to comment on that. It has a DeLonghi coffee machine, so it's on brand for me.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Esseb on 01 May 2019, 16:05
I like that house, even though it doesn't have any tie dyed fabrics hanging on the walls.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Snarky on 01 May 2019, 16:17
That looks really nice. If there aren't any objections, maybe we should make a decision now. It's starting to get to that point where we need to have things firmly set.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Pumaman on 04 May 2019, 08:05
That house does look nice, but does it have enough bedrooms given the number of couples coming (assuming that each couple would want their own room)?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 04 May 2019, 11:40
That house does look nice, but does it have enough bedrooms given the number of couples coming (assuming that each couple would want their own room)?

Bedroom 1 - Queen bed- Air Conditioned (2)
Bedroom 2 - Queen bed- Air Conditioned (4)
Bedroom 3 - Queen bed- Air conditioned (6)
Bedroom 4 - Queen bed- Air conditioned (8)
Bedroom 5 - 2 x bunk beds (double on bottom and single on top) plus 1 x double sofa bed (13)
Other - 1 x double commercial grade sofa bed located in loungeroom (14)

Sounds like it's more like 14 people assuming no one except the couples share a bed.  There is also a camp bed available though, if we need to squeeze one more in.  Layabout says Terri probably won't be able to get the time off work, so I think this might just fit us all!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Pumaman on 05 May 2019, 04:45
I couldn't find any photos of the house on that site, so I found the property on its original site:
https://ner.net.au/property/beach-house-kewarra-beach/

Note that it's not available on Fri 11th October

The other thing is, me and the missus have checked our annual leave balance and it looks like we're not going to have enough leave to do the whole week. So we're thinking we could book an airbnb just down the road from the house for the half the week that we'll be able to attend, if that helps with fitting everyone in?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 09 May 2019, 09:35
Okay, so time is running out!  What do we think about this place: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/22736278 (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/22736278)?  It'll fit everyone if CJ is doing his own thing, is beachfront, and a 20 minute drive from Cairns airport.  Pretty great price too.  I'd be happy to book it now, if at least a few of you can confirm you're happy?  05 - 12 October.

At very least there's a pub within walking distance.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 09 May 2019, 09:38
Looks good to me!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: scotch on 09 May 2019, 16:20
Looks good!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: Esseb on 09 May 2019, 18:02
Looks good, yeah
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 - Australia??
Post by: AGA on 10 May 2019, 08:20
Booked!  I'm glad I Googled the venue though, because booking.com have it listed for significantly cheaper than airbnb.  The price per person (assuming we all attend) will at today's rates be $293.59 AUD / £157.88 GBP / €182.99 EUR / $205.47 USD.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 10 May 2019, 09:36
Nice work! See ya'll down under  :cool:
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Wiggy on 14 May 2019, 10:00
Geez! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but...

You've been had, conned, bullshitted and potentially ripped off. Stop immediately your planning and DON'T send any money to anyone. This "lovely" house in Clifton Beach may well be close to the water (in which you cannot swim in October), and you can look at the ocean once you cross the walkway over the 20 foot high concrete block sea wall, but there are no pubs or clubs in Clifton Beach, nothing is walking distance from that location but it is on the bus route. There is one bottle-shop/off-licence in the Clifton shopping centre and one licenced restaurant in Clifton Road which sells alcohol at restaurant prices. I know because I live here - postcode 4879!!

You will not be able to get cheap transport from the airport because it's not a resort, they cannot organise tours and pick-ups, you will have to hire car(s), and you will leave this paradisical area disheartened and peeved. You've picked the wrong spot, and you made the #1 error - you believed and trusted someone in Aussie Real Estate. Either go to Palm Cove or look at "Gilligan's" in Cairns city. The current way forward is one I cannot recommend. If you need further explaination, PM me.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 14 May 2019, 10:36
Wiggy, I appreciate the local knowledge, but none of the things you mention are dealbreakers for a Mittens.  We rarely even book typical tourist villas, we're often out in the suburbs away from stuff.

For instance. the house we rented last year was on an island that required cars to get anywhere, wasn't within walking distance of shops or restaurants.  Iceland the year before was at the tip of a peninsula that was nowhere near anything.  Sweden the year before was also quite remote, driving or bus required.

So taking this all into account, would you still not recommend it?  As a local, is it a nice, quiet place to live?  Close enough to the city by car?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Wiggy on 15 May 2019, 07:27
Ah ha! All becomes clear now AGA, and yes, it is quiet, peaceful, inspirational - which is why I live here. The beach itself is magnificent, and many are the times I have wandered down pre-dawn to see Venus (the morning star) herald the dawn. Walking north along the beach will lead you to Palm Cove eventually. I welcome you to my home, and will attempt to meet and greet with appropriate beverages and food in October. I really hope you enjoy this paradise, and I apologise for seeing you as usual tourists. We must visit the reef though! We may talk about this over a "frothy fun glass" or six at a later date. Cheers!

Wiggy
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 15 May 2019, 07:33
Phew!  But yeah, I'll definitely copy you in on the finer details when I send them out; would be silly for you not to be involved if you live so close.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 23 May 2019, 09:10
Hello! I have booked my flights today.

There's only one direct flight a day with Cathay, so I'll arrive at 06:30 on the 5th.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: sonneveld on 28 May 2019, 11:22
Sorry guys, I was keen on going but unfortunately the dates landed right on my sister's wedding (oct 10) :(
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Snarky on 16 Jun 2019, 19:57
So, I've just booked my flights.

To make the most of the trip, I'm taking some days in Sydney in advance (arriving Tuesday morning; and hoping thereby to be jetlag-free by Mittens). I then plan on driving down to Brisbane afterwards before flying back from there the Friday after Mittens. If anyone wants to meet up or join in for some of this, that'd be cool.  8-)

I'll be arriving in Cairns from Sydney at 16:15 on Oct 5.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 22 Jun 2019, 19:42
Tamara has done some research on things to see and do in the Cairns area: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-2FvyJX3eF9NSqus8mYpJSrlbhthLWAs/view?usp=drivesdk. Plenty there already, but might be good for us all to see if we can find anything else we want to do.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Wiggy on 24 Jun 2019, 07:32
You could always ask a local...
I've been to all islands apart from the Franklins and all resorts, and have done every diving tour from here. It's all wonderful, but it doesn't suit everybody. I know from my life experience that you cannot please everyone, it is all available, if you give me a clue as to what you want, I can advise, guide and accompany if you'd like. I live in a paradise, and I've found there are three types of people's response to the tropics of Queensland:

#1. Too hot, I hate it.
#2 It's a beautiful place, but I need 4 seasons or a bigger city.
#3 I'm never going to leave.

I naturally fall into the latter group, having seen all of Oz and most of the world, well a large part of it anyway. As there are so many of you, I would recommend against all-in-a-group activities, and give each one an option. For example, some may want to snorkel and see the outer reef, some may want a day spa and a relaxing massage, some may want to see the rainforest by SkyRail. I have a car that can fit 4 adults at a bit of a squeeze, and I am always happy to showcase to visitors this wonderful part of the world. Tell me your needs, either by PM or in this forum, and I'll give my honest opinion. I look forward to seeing you all, and welcoming you to a beautiful place. It will be what you make of it.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Wiggy on 05 Jul 2019, 07:24
Awww, the heart grows warm. I look forward to you people visiting, and nothing inspires me more than the sight I've just witnessed. The Brown-faced wallaby lives in this area, and in my yard are a boomer (male) and two does (female) and a joey - the young. We used to get a herd of 9, but all the new neighbours have decided to own dogs, who scare them off. Where do they go when there's nowhere to live?? My place, of course!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Esseb on 01 Sep 2019, 22:07
I'm really sorry but I'm not going to be able to attend Mittens this year after all. I'll still pay for my share of the house, of course.

I wish all the other attendees to still have a great Mittens, even in my absence.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: scotch on 05 Sep 2019, 15:43
Current plan is I get to Cairns at 6:30am on the 5th on CX147. Stoked.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 12 Sep 2019, 07:25
Thanks as always to AGA for organising everything.

Tamara has done some research on things to see and do in the Cairns area: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iReDtd2IiRER6y-2jxgz34qY8HbUymiF/view?usp=sharing.  Plenty there already, but might be good for us all to see if we can find anything else we want to do.


Do we need to look at booking anything ahead of time?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 12 Sep 2019, 07:36
Do we need to look at booking anything ahead of time?

Not sure!  Possibly, but no one has said if they're particularly for or against any of the activities, so haven't looked too closely.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Snarky on 22 Sep 2019, 15:50
How are we doing on transportation? I'm about to rent a car for a post-Mittens road trip. Should I get it fir the week of Mittens as well?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 22 Sep 2019, 15:53
How are we doing on transportation? I'm about to rent a car for a post-Mittens road trip. Should I get it fir the week of Mittens as well?

I sent a PM about this a few days ago, but didn't get any replies.  Tamara has booked a car for Mittens week, but we might be better served having two, especially if we want to go for some further away daytrips...
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Snarky on 22 Sep 2019, 17:20
Oh sorry, now that you mention it I vaguely recall that. I must have been preoccupied with something else at the time…

OK, I'll get another car, then. The only problem is at arrival, as you all seem to be getting in in the morning and I only arrive in the afternoon. Some of you might have to get a cab to the house unless you want to take multiple trips.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 22 Sep 2019, 17:27
Four of us arrive on the same morning flight from Hong Kong, but you and Layabout arrive around the same time in the afternoon (16:15 QF 926 and 16:30 QF 784); he said he was going to catch up with you about that, but looks like he didn't get the chance to yet.  So if scotch and custard come with me and Tamara in the morning, and you and Layabout take another car, I think that'd work fine?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Layabout on 30 Sep 2019, 06:21
That works fine by me - You have booked the car at Cairns Airport already Snarky?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 30 Sep 2019, 07:19
Check your PMs! Snarky said he booked a car.

Tamara and I just landed in Hong Kong. Will be here until Friday.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 30 Sep 2019, 07:42
Enjoy! (and stay safe, tomorrow will probably be the worst of it while you're here)
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Snarky on 02 Oct 2019, 07:41
I've made it down to Sydney, writing this from the ferry heading back from Manly beach (water's too cold for swimming down here--should be warmer in Cairns). Man, the flight here is rough. Anyone want to recommend anything to see here?
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Wiggy on 02 Oct 2019, 20:03
Bienvenue snarky!

Personally I dislike Sydney, but Dixon St is Chinatown, good yum-cha there, great ambience at "The Rocks" at the southern base of the harbour bridge, pubs restaurants etc. King's Cross is the red-light district, tame by world standards. There are parks and museums but really I found it (lived there 3 times) overcrowded and impersonal and a little bit threatening. Up to you really, much better in Cairns though. See you soon.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Disco on 05 Oct 2019, 03:19
Have fun, y'all! Quite crushed that I could not make it this year. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about it :D
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Stupot on 05 Oct 2019, 22:59
Have fun everyone.
Post pics!!!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Mandle on 06 Oct 2019, 01:46
I've made it down to Sydney, writing this from the ferry heading back from Manly beach (water's too cold for swimming down here--should be warmer in Cairns). Man, the flight here is rough. Anyone want to recommend anything to see here?

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is great, but a bit expensive.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Snarky on 06 Oct 2019, 02:30
Have fun, y'all! Quite crushed that I could not make it this year. Looking forward to seeing and hearing about it :D

Yeah, it would have been great to have you here! We're all ensconced in the Mittens Villa 2019 (except CJ+1, who'll only be by at the end of the week) — Wiggy left just now, having come by with lots of interesting tips and stories.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb is great, but a bit expensive.

Yes, it looked fun and I wanted to do it, but the price was just insane—around $300—and at over three hours it would have taken most of the day. I just got an electric bike and rode across the bridge for about $2 instead.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 06 Oct 2019, 07:14
Have fun everyone.
Post pics!!!

I'll pop a couple on discord through the week, but will post more after Mittens
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Wiggy on 07 Oct 2019, 05:25
I do soooo wish that I'd spent last evening chilling with you guys in the house! Instead I went to the Sports Club on NRL grand final night. Today my body is reminding me that it isn't 25 years old anymore, and it is accomplishing this by simulating an age of 206 years. It has been a slow, hazy day of un-wellness - but it's a self-inflicted wound, so no sympathy expected nor given. Anyhow, I remembered a reef trip I probably didn't tell you about. If you google "Quicksilver" it's a great website, and I have done this trip a few times now. It leaves from Port Douglas and takes all day, it rocks but it is expensive, expect not much change from $300, but all gear and equipment is included, the staff are genuinely interested in you and the food is first class and unlimited. It goes to the outer reef (Agincourt, which is part of the Ribbon Reefs), and the further out you go, the better the environment becomes. (Cumulating in the Coral Sea dive trip at Holmes Reef which is an all-night sail from Cairns. They guarantee a visiblity of 100m underwater or they'll reimburse you. They can do this because the visibility is about 300m - it's like floating in air!!) Quicksilver may not be for all of you, but at least check it out. They have won many tourism awards, and I have never heard anyone describe it as a waste of money or a rip-off. Expensive? Yes, but value for money, albeit a lot of money. For your consideration.
I might catch up with you guys on Tuesday night - I might have regenerated then. Enjoy! Someone please shoot me now..
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: AGA on 08 Oct 2019, 09:56
I do soooo wish that I'd spent last evening chilling with you guys in the house! Instead I went to the Sports Club on NRL grand final night. Today my body is reminding me that it isn't 25 years old anymore, and it is accomplishing this by simulating an age of 206 years. It has been a slow, hazy day of un-wellness - but it's a self-inflicted wound, so no sympathy expected nor given. Anyhow, I remembered a reef trip I probably didn't tell you about. If you google "Quicksilver" it's a great website, and I have done this trip a few times now. It leaves from Port Douglas and takes all day, it rocks but it is expensive, expect not much change from $300, but all gear and equipment is included, the staff are genuinely interested in you and the food is first class and unlimited. It goes to the outer reef (Agincourt, which is part of the Ribbon Reefs), and the further out you go, the better the environment becomes. (Cumulating in the Coral Sea dive trip at Holmes Reef which is an all-night sail from Cairns. They guarantee a visiblity of 100m underwater or they'll reimburse you. They can do this because the visibility is about 300m - it's like floating in air!!) Quicksilver may not be for all of you, but at least check it out. They have won many tourism awards, and I have never heard anyone describe it as a waste of money or a rip-off. Expensive? Yes, but value for money, albeit a lot of money. For your consideration.
I might catch up with you guys on Tuesday night - I might have regenerated then. Enjoy! Someone please shoot me now..

Sent you a PM with the plans we have to date!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 12 Oct 2019, 02:08
Hello friends. Mittens is over for another year, and we've all gone our separate ways. I'm at the airport for a few hours, so here's some photos!

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191005_175159.jpg)
Everyone has arrived!

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191006_141459.jpg)
That's the second biggest boulder I've ever seen.

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191007_161207.jpg)

(http://tom-simpson.com/org_ebcb11e8327c7965_1570437788000.jpg)
Chasing down boats!

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191008_124809.jpg)

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191009_005029.jpg)

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191009_210459.jpg)
(http://tom-simpson.com/20191009_214633.jpg)
Wiggy disapproves of Fosters

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191010_114924-2.jpg)
(http://tom-simpson.com/20191010_122422.jpg)
(http://tom-simpson.com/20191010_142030.jpg)
What is The Secret of Green Island?
Spoiler: ShowHide
Bird poop


(http://tom-simpson.com/20191011_143443.jpg)
(http://tom-simpson.com/20191011_145100.jpg)

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191011_210215.jpg)

(http://tom-simpson.com/20191011_225713.jpg)
The last night, playing Secret Hitler
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 13 Oct 2019, 09:13
Quickly put some drone footage together since not sure when I'll next have time to do it:

&feature=youtu.be

Mainly just stuff flying from the house.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Snarky on 13 Oct 2019, 12:05
Nice! (As long as everybody's OK with having their photos posted.)
And thanks for a good Mittens, all!

It was great to see everyone. Particularly CJ and "+1" for the first time in years, and Wiggy for the first time ever. I'm sorry that you couldn't join us for more of the time, Wiggy, and particularly that we missed you on the last night. Thanks for the pizzas (which came very much in handy when AGA left us locked out of the house for close to an hour), the beer and wine, the local tips, and most of all your excellent company. If we'd managed to get you in on Jackbox I'm sure you'd have kicked our asses.

I'm also pleased that I can scratch "play the Dune boardgame" off my bucket list (even if we didn't quite grasp the gameplay strategies), after about twenty years. Thanks for indulging me — for the full 10 rounds even!

I'm still traveling Australia, seeing a bit more of Queensland. Just watched the sunset and full moon rise over Airlie Beach after an excellent dinner, and then wallabies feeding right outside my porch at dusk. Life could be worse.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Privateer Puddin' on 13 Oct 2019, 12:22
Other than the one lady in Greece who thought photos stole people's souls, I think everyone's OK with photos. Let me know if not!

Glad to hear Australia is treating you well.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: cat on 14 Oct 2019, 08:10
Looks like you had a great time!
It's nice to see CJ and his +1 are still alive in Down Under.
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: Laura Hunt on 14 Oct 2019, 08:36
I'm still traveling Australia, seeing a bit more of Queensland. Just watched the sunset and full moon rise over Airlie Beach after an excellent dinner, and then wallabies feeding right outside my porch at dusk. Life could be worse.

Dying of envy over here. Enjoy!
Title: Re: Mittens 2019 booked! Cairns, Australia, 05 - 12 October
Post by: scotch on 16 Oct 2019, 18:04
CLICK FOR HOT PICS
(https://dai.io/imgs/mittens2019/thumbnails/DSC05803.jpg) (https://dai.io/imgs/mittens2019/#/0&gid=1&pid=230)

Had an amazing Mittens! Sad to be back. Great time exploring the rainforest, swimming at waterfalls, winning at Dune due to skill, killing Hitler, snorkelling on the reef, visiting an untouched aboriginal village. Mainly seeing people again. Great to meet Wiggy too, fascinating and storied guy, cheers for the VBs: the new Fosters.

Title: The story behind the pizzas - yet another apology.
Post by: Wiggy on 18 Oct 2019, 09:37
The legend of the Clifton Beach pizza pixie is a myth, a dreamtime legend that tells of a great hunter who always had food and sought those who were hungry and provided for them. In that time it was goanna, crocodile or wallaby but nowadays pizza rules supreme, a little pizza joke there... a Very little joke...

I am so disappointed I slept-in on the day of the Green Island trip! I had such a great time with you guys the night before that I could not wake at the usual birdsong dawn, and instead saw the sun streaming through the curtains at 9:45. It has to be the worst feeling ever, I missed a great time and I had reneged on my promises to show you my aquarium and turn you all into water nymphs. No amount of apologies will suffice for that, and it is one of the biggest regrets of my life - the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

The next day was Kuranda, so I thought I'd "cut you off at the pass" and get to the house at about 5:30 with some pizzas - because there's not much to do in Kuranda, and as you enjoyed a slice or two of entree you could regale me with the tales of your adventures of the past days. When I got there, there was NCH - which is Australian slang for "the domicile was unoccupied". Thinking ahead, I left the pizzas there and went home to have dinner. After dinner, and sure that you guys had gone out for tea I took a little nap. I thought a couple of hours would invigorate me, and I'd join you at about 8:00 p.m. Woke up at 2:45 a.m. didn't I?

There is no amount of jet-lag that could have enabled any of you to be awake then, another screw-up. So I headed for the fartsack to sleep furiously quickly so I could at least catch up with you in the morning. It's a truism of life that the more you want something innocuous - like sleep - the harder it is to obtain. The more you desire something "naughty", the further it recedes. So I slept in again and missed saying goodbye. I feel so worthless.

Anyhow it was great to meet you all and put faces and real names to the legendary names. I hope you enjoyed your time in this part of the world, you were very welcome, and I'll have to do the next mittens properly! Anyone for Antigua or Western Samoa?

With much love and many regrets,

Wiggy