win a personal breathalyser 3
running the gauntlet 4
green with envy 6
skid row 8
off the beaten track 10
new kid on the block 16
penny pinching 19
australia’s most wanted 22
pet sounds 24
of the Northern Territory Inc.
A A N T N EW S
RITE OF PA SSAGE
Are you planning to travel overseas? The
AANT has several services that can help take
the guesswork out of your journey abroad
– especially if you’re planning to drive, camp
or take your car with you.
Did you know that an Australian driver’s
licence is not recognised in certain countries?
Purchasing an International Driving Permit
BY BOB B R A DL EY (IDP) will allow you to drive hassle free in
approximately 150 countries worldwide. The
PR ES I D E N T O F A ANT acquiring a Carnet de
IDP is available for $20.00 and the AANT
Passages en Douane (CPD),
can issue an IDP on the spot, on sighting a
As Northern Territory’s peak motoring which gives your vehicle an
body, the AANT receives many requests for current Australian driver’s licence and a recent
assistance on a range of motoring-related passport-size photo.
– essentially its very own passport.
issues – ranging from technical matters, If you’re planning to camp overseas,
legal issues and road rules, to And to avoid any lengthy roadside
an International Camping Card is essential, breakdown, don’t forget to carry your AANT
and provides protection against legal liability membership card and your Australian Driving
Recently we received an enquiry from
for bodily injury and/or property damage Licence on your overseas adventure as you
one of our members regarding our opinion
on ‘Demerits Insurance’ which a web based to third parties in camping grounds. Many will be entitled to reciprocal services from the
Insurance Company was offering – timely camping grounds in Europe will only accept Alliance of Internationale de Tourisme (AIT)
given the Northern Territory has recently guests who hold an International Camping and the Federation Internationale
introduced a demerit points scheme Card, and as an added bonus many offer de’l Automobile (FIA).
discounts and special rates at parks and For more information on your overseas
While we do not investigate the bona
attractions for cardholders. travel needs contact the AANT on
ﬁdes of any company, unless we choose
to do business with them, our advice is to If you are contemplating taking your 8981 3837, visit 79 – 81 Smith Street
read the ‘ﬁne print’ or Product Disclosure own car overseas, talk to the AANT about Darwin NT or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statement and understand all the
conditions attached to the policy before
committing your hard-earned money.
The other consideration with insurance
is the price, and coming to grips with the
knowledge that the cheapest quote is
not always the best – for example if the
company doesn’t pay up when a legitimate
claim is made then it is clearly not a
bargain. Fortunately TIO, which underwrites
AANT insurance products, has an excellent
reputation for settling claims – providing
peace of mind that help and support is on
hand when you need it the most.
If you are concerned about accumulating
too many demerit points and losing your
license we suggest you modify your driving
habits and comply with the road rules it
would make the roads safer for all users.
The AANT Council does not condone
drink driving and encourages our members
to stay well under the legally prescribed STUDY P R OVE S E SC crashed in Australia and New Zealand
limits. Sometimes though, even with the SAVES LI VE S between 2001 and 2005. These results were
best intentions, some motorists have
A deﬁnitive and landmark Australasian then compared with crash patterns of about
one too many and are tempted to drive
because they are unsure if they are under study has conﬁrmed that Electronic Stability 203,000 vehicles without ESC that had been
the limit – and assume that because they Control (ESC) systems dramatically reduce the involved in crashes during the same period.
feel ﬁne then they must be okay to get risk of single vehicle crashes. The study found a 25 per cent crash
behind the wheel. The AANT has decided reduction for ESC equipped cars, a 51 per
Although previous international studies
to get rid of the roadside guesswork, cent crash reduction for ESC equipped 4WDs,
have indicated that ESC is extremely effective
and now stocks an Alcolizer personal
in preventing single vehicle crashes, the and a 28 per cent reduction across all
breathalyser – a quality product that has
been extensively tested by our associated Monash University Accident Research Centre vehicle types.
Interstate motoring clubs. If you are a conﬁrmed this effectiveness in ESC is currently only being ﬁtted to 40
drinker who is committed to driving Australasian conditions. per cent of new vehicles available to the
after consuming alcohol, but remain Acting on behalf of the 13 State and Australian market. The AANT has renewed
concerned about staying under the limit calls for ESC systems to be ﬁtted to all
Federal road agencies and the Australian
we recommend this product to you. It may
automobile clubs, the study analysed crash vehicle models, especially 4WDs. The AANT
save you more than just a few demerit
points – it could save your life and patterns of 7,700 ESC-equipped vehicles additionally encourages consumers to request
your license. manufactured from 1997 to 2005 that had ESC be ﬁtted in any new vehicle purchase.
A A N T NE WS
win A PERSONAL BREATH A LY SE R
While the best advice is not to drink if you plan to drive, if you do opt for a drink
when you’re out with friends, it’s important to understand how your body metabolises
alcohol. The Alcolizer personal breathalyser, now stocked by AANT, will help you
measure your BAC and make the right
choice about getting behind the wheel.
This issue ntmotor is giving readers BY ADAM TH OMS O N
the chance to win their own Alcolizer
breathalyser. To be in the running, write
your name, address and contact number
The recent Federal Government
on the back of an envelope and post it to:
nomination of Western Australia’s
ntmotor Breathalyser Competition Commissioner for Consumer
Automobile Association of the NT Inc Protection, Mr Pat Walker, as the
GPO Box 2584, CONDITIONS:Total prize value is $369. Competition opens on 10 March Australian Competition and Consumer
DARWIN NT 0801 2008 and closes with the last mail on 2 May 2008. Winners will be drawn at
A HOLDEN VH COMMODORE
2pm on 3 May 2008 at AANT, 79-81 Smith Street, Darwin. Winners will be Commission’s ﬁrst Petrol Commissioner is
notiﬁed within 14 days of draw and published in the June edition of ntmotor,
published on 2 June. The promoter is AANT, 79-81 Smith Street, Darwin good news for motorists.
0800. Prize cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash.
On a local level, the AANT has been
monitoring fuel prices in the Territory
over the past decade and has been
concerned with what it has seen. This
A HOLDEN VH C OM M O DO R E announcement is a signiﬁcant step
towards achieving a better deal for
motorists, who should be able to expect
to pay a fair and reasonable cost for fuel.
The VH Commodore driven by Bernie Stack and Wayne Clift at the 1984 Bathurst
proved a talking point for all the right reasons. This VH entry not only ﬁnished the The increased focus on diesel and LPG
gruelling event but also proved a hit amongst keen race photographers because prices in the Petrol Commissioner’s brief
of its eye-catching sponsor’s decals. is welcome news for those using these
fuel types, who equally deserve effective
For your chance to win your own and transparent price monitoring rather
scale model of the attention-grabbing than the focus being solely on
legend, write your name, address unleaded petrol.
and contact number on the back of an The extension of the review
envelope and post it to: – to include diesel and LPG – and to
determine whether the ACCC requires
ntmotor VH Commodore Competition
further powers concerning pricing of
Automobile Association of the NT Inc
these fuels is timely, particularly given
GPO Box 2584,
DARWIN NT 0801 CONDITIONS:Total prize value is $36.95. Competition opens on 10 March
a marked increase in the purchase of
2008 and closes with the last mail on 2 May 2008. Winners will be drawn diesel-fuelled vehicles in recent years and
at 2pm on 3 May 2008 at AANT, 79-81 Smith Street, Darwin. Winners will
A HOLDEN VH C OM M O DO R E
be notiﬁed within 14 days of draw and published in the June edition of consequent increase in diesel fuel sales.
ntmotor, published on 2 June. The promoter is AANT, 79-81 Smith Street,
Darwin 0800. Prize cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash. As the debate rages on the impact of
transport on the environment, LPG and
diesel fuels are clearly more beneﬁcial
in terms of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions, and the recent price increases
for each of these fuels must be kept
AANT services directory in check.
Also in the scope of the new Petrol
AANT Office SMS Service for Hearing and Commissioner’s brief is considering
79 — 81 Smith Street, Speech Impaired 0427 131 110 downstream costs such as the use,
DARWIN NT 0800 leasing and sharing of terminals for
Technical Advisory Service
importing reﬁned petrol. In an ideal
GPO Box 2584, DARWIN NT 0801 1300 661 466 world, greater competition in the
Phone 08 8981 3837
AANT Membership 08 8981 3837 marketplace should serve to drive down
Fax 08 8941 2965 prices to more acceptable levels.
Web www.aant.com.au Time will tell as to whether all this will
Email email@example.com AANT Touring 08 8981 3837
truly make a difference when we ﬁll up at
AANT Insurance 08 8981 3837 the pump. The oil companies seem very
24hr Emergency Road Service
Email firstname.lastname@example.org quick to pass on price rises when the cost
24hr Emergency Battery Service of oil from Singapore rises, but they are
13 1111 AANT Accommodation 08 8981 3837 nowhere near as quick to pass on savings
when the costs go down.
A A NT ISS U ES
running the gauntlet
It may seem like an irrelevant fact at ﬁrst glance, but did you know that the combined
weight of 101 elephants is equivalent to the weight of just one locomotive?
An entire train weighs ten times Because trains are fast, quiet and can stay safe and avoid the increasing number
this much and when travelling at come from either your left or your right of near misses reported in the Territory.
110 kilometres per hour it can take up side, it is often difﬁcult to judge their Stop at ‘STOP’ signs. Stop when the
to two kilometres to stop. Now imagine approaching speed and distance, and lights are ﬂashing and when boom gates
accidentally stepping out in front of that is why it is vital to Stop, Look, are down, and give way at ‘GIVE WAY’
a stampede of more than a thousand Listen and Think when you come to a signs. At rail level crossings with ﬂashing
elephants and consider your chances rail level crossing, and again before
lights, don’t proceed until the lights have
of survival. you cross.
But despite that, a number of The reality is that a little extra care
Trains can come at any time of day or
Australians every year – motorcycle and taking a few seconds could have
night and it is up to each and every one of
riders, car and truck drivers, passengers seen every one of these accidental
us to obey the warning signs at rail level
and pedestrians – die as a result of deaths avoided.
crashes with trains at rail level crossings. Most fatalities at level crossings crossings and share the responsibility for
Running the gauntlet ignores the fact have occurred during daylight hours, improving safety on our roads.
that trains have the right of way at rail in good weather, and on straight, dry For further information on road
level crossings, cannot stop quickly and level roads, and by obeying the safety visit the Department of Planning
when something gets in the way, warning signs and crossing the tracks at and Infrastructure website at
and can’t suddenly change direction. designated rail level crossings, you can www.roadsafety.nt.gov.au.
A A N T R OAD RU LES
the line D EEP
B REAT H
Towing a trailer can be Don’t be taken unawares when
a particularly hazardous you’ve had that drink before driving.
While it’s best not to drink if you
pastime, and if you plan to drive, with the Alcolizer
breathalyser you’ll know when it’s
don’t do it correctly, it safe to get behind the wheel again.
could become a rather AANT members $279
expensive one as well.
The Australian Road Rules stipulate When transporting vehicles on this type
that it is an offence to either drive a of trailer, it’s particularly important that
vehicle or tow a vehicle, if the vehicle the vehicle is securely restrained to the
is carrying a load that is not properly trailer, either with chains or strong rope. If
secured or is placed on the vehicle in the trailer has a manual winch, use it as an
a way that causes the vehicle to be additional securing aid.
unstable. However, it’s important to Other trailers being towed which have
be aware, that you could be liable for sides, tailgates and in some cases cages
THE B EAT S
are easier for securing loads but they must
signiﬁcantly more if your unsecured load O N TH E S T REET
be used correctly. The securing of loads
causes injury or damage to others.
of course also applies to items we may be
Of particular concern from a safety Not good with directions? Then let the
conveying on roof racks or in the boot or Tom Tom take the strain. With easy to use
point of view, is the increased use of car
parcel area of our vehicle. LCD touchscreens, and up to date maps,
trailers (often by drivers inexperienced the portable satellite navigation units take
Drivers also need to be aware of the
in towing) for transporting broken down you where you want to go. Choose from
maximum permitted weight that the the Tom Tom One, the Tom Tom One XL
vehicles, written off vehicles and of vehicle can tow - check out your vehicle’s or the Tom Tom 720 to suit your
course furniture when people are moving owner’s manual for this information. The pocket and your travel needs.
house. These trailers are generally quite towbar ﬁtted to your vehicle will also have Tom Tom One – AANT members $379
open and have no tailgate, so any load RRP $399
a maximum weight that it can safely handle
that is not secured has an open path to Tom Tom One XL – AANT members $479
- and remember - if the trailer and its load RRP $499
leave the trailer and create havoc to weigh more than 750kg then the trailer is Tom Tom 720 – AANT members $669
following trafﬁc. required to have brakes ﬁtted to it. RRP $699
SAFE TOWING TIPS
• Remember to allow extra time and distance for braking.
• Reduce your travelling speed to account for the longer and heavier vehicle that
you are driving.
• Ensure the tailgate on the trailer is attached and securely fastened before
• If there is a cage on the trailer, check that the gate is secured.
• If possible, place a cover over the load in the form of a tarpaulin or similar.
• Whether a cover is used or not, the load must be secured to the trailer and/or W IP EO U T
the cage if one is being used.
• The securing should be with strong rope that is not frayed, and ensure in the Wipe away your car-cleaning
process that the rope is not rubbing on something sharp that can cause fraying problems with Bodytech auto wipes.
There are wipes to take care of dirt
or worse, cut through the rope and insecure your load.
caused by grease and grime; windscreen
• If the journey is of some distance, stop regularly to check your load remains cleaners; dash and trim cleaner, tar
secure - particularly a tied-down load because knots can work loose bug and droppings wipes, and leather
along the way. cleaning wipes. All come in handy glove-
• Hardware stores also sell ratchet load ties that can be used as an alternative compartment sized packs for easy use
to keep your car sparkling.
AANT members $4.25
• Remember to check indicators and brake lights before towing
A A NT E NVI R O N M EN T
green with envy
BY J O N DE E , FOUNDE R & CH A I R M A N, P LA NE T A RK
Thanks to growing concern about fuel prices and climate change, many
Australians are making the switch to fuel-efﬁcient cars. Despite this,
I often ﬁnd myself wondering whether enough is being done to maximise
the number of fuel-miserly cars on our roads?
Aside from the reward of saving the be entitled to carry the green license for all types of cars, regardless of their
environment and your wallet every plate, which gives consumers access to fuel consumption. Money from the
time you ﬁll up, there are little to no added beneﬁts. The theory is that these sales of the plates funds a variety of
additional beneﬁts to be had from practical beneﬁts will make people more environmental projects. The Victorian
making the switch. likely to buy a fuel-efﬁcient car. Government tried this idea when
For people living in Ontario, however, Here in Australia, the cleanest and they recently sold hundreds of ‘Karak’
this situation could soon change. Drivers most fuel-efﬁcient cars have already Commonwealth Games license plates.
of fuel-efﬁcient cars might soon be been identiﬁed by the Federal This initiative raised signiﬁcant funds for
rewarded with green-hued license plates Government’s www.GreenVehicle.gov.au projects aimed at saving the rare
that give them access to beneﬁts such website. This site gives the greenhouse Karak bird.
as free parking and the right to drive in emissions and fuel efﬁciency ratings Given the growing popularity of carbon
commuter lanes. for all types of cars currently sold in offsets, however, maybe we should have
The new ‘Eco-License’ plate idea is Australia. Could this list not be used an ‘Eco-License’ plate linked to a yearly
one of a variety of incentives being put to identify fuel-efﬁcient cars to which renewable scheme for cars? Drivers who
forward by the Ontario Government. special beneﬁts could be added that join such a Government scheme could
The administration is about to consult makes their purchase more attractive? have trees planted to offset their annual
with car manufacturers and environment The idea of ‘Eco-License’ plates car usage. This would then entitle them
groups about designing a rating system has already taken off in a number to drive with a special green ‘Eco-
that identiﬁes the cleanest and most of American States like California. License’ plate that identiﬁes their car as
fuel efﬁcient cars. These cars will then These plates, however, are available carbon-neutral, regardless of its size.
A A N T S AFE T Y
How do you know if your child is the correct size for the seat you have
chosen? Is it installed correctly? Protecting your child while driving should
be a top priority for every parent and care-giver.
Every year on Northern Territory One of the most common mistakes Any beneﬁts of allowing children to use
roads, children are badly injured or die made is the premature graduation of the front seat are signiﬁcantly negated by
in car crashes, because they were not children to the next stage of restraint. the increased risk posed, especially if the
properly restrained. For example, too often children are seat belt is not able to be worn correctly.
Statistics clearly show that children in placed in booster seats before they It also goes against manufacturers’
appropriate child restraints are 60 per have outgrown their child safety seat. recommendations not to put a child
cent less likely to be seriously injured than If your child is currently seated in a restraint in the front seat of a car if it has
children wearing adult seat belts. This is child safety seat, it’s important to keep a passenger airbag ﬁtted.
because seatbelts are designed primarily them in it until they reach the maximum At the time of writing this story, an
for adults, so until such time as a child weight (normally 18kg). The only time a amendment to the Australian Road Rules
is able to wear a seatbelt correctly, an child should be moved out of the seat was being considered, to introduce age
appropriate child restraint should always before this weight is if their shoulders as a criteria determining how long a child
be used. have just passed the top harness hole. should be in an approved child restraint.
But just having a child in an approved Likewise for a booster, the child It is expected that if this amendment is
restraint doesn’t automatically mean should remain in the booster until they passed, children up to the age of seven will
that they are safe. The effectiveness of reach the maximum weight (normally have to be in some type of approved
restraints can be compromised by the 26kg). The only time they should move child restraint.
incorrect installation of the restraint, the from the booster is when the child’s Although having age as criteria will
use of damaged or old restraints, and the eye level has reached the top of the provide some clearer direction on how
use of restraints that are not appropriate booster seat. long a child should remain in a restraint,
for the size and weight of the child. When it comes to allowing children as most of us know, not all children of the
Recent surveys have suggested to sit in the front passenger seat, while same age are the same weight and height.
that up to 70 per cent of child restraints the complaints may cause frustration, Therefore, AANT strongly encourages
are incorrectly ﬁtted and a similar AANT recommends parents keep parents and caregivers, to check the criteria
percentage of children are not using children in the back seat for as long on the restraint they are using to ensure it’s
an appropriate restraint. as possible. appropriate for their child.
A A NT TE C H N ICA L
Like tyres, brakes are integral to vehicle safety, but often overlooked. While maintaining
them can be an expensive exercise, with potentially fatal consequences for not looking
after your brakes it’s a case of better safe than sorry.
W H AT ’ S T H E DI FFERENC E? on the rear. However, some still have Uneven disc or drum wear can induce
First things ﬁrst - let’s get the tech-talk the less efﬁcient drum brakes on the symptoms such as a pulsing brake pedal,
out of the way. There are two main types rear wheels. vibrations through the steering wheel
of brake systems – disc brakes and and even the car veering to one direction
drum brakes. W EAR A ND TE A R when the brakes are applied. Sometime
The more brakes are used the quicker this can be cured with new brake pads
Disc brakes have a disc attached to they wear, so if you live in the hills and and having the surfaces of the disc
the inside of the wheel that is gripped travel down to the city, expect your machined to make sure both sides of the
on either side by brake pads and brakes to wear quicker than a country discs are parallel and to restore a smooth
squeezed by a brake caliper to slow the vehicle that clocks up its distance on surface. However, be aware that this can
disc and the vehicle. Drum brakes are long straight roads where the brakes are only be done a couple of times before
where curved brake shoes are expanded seldom used. the disc become too thin and has to
outward into a rotating drum that is be replaced.
attached to the wheel and the friction The main cause of premature brake
created slows the wheel. wear is high temperatures. Steep hills It’s also important to be aware that
braking, constant city braking or towing brakes should never be allowed to wear
The friction caused in both systems of trailers and caravans all increase to the extent that their metal bases dig
creates very high temperatures, which braking temperatures and reduce the life into the disc. Besides being expensive
negatively affect the brakes ability to of brake pads. As a general rule typical to repair, this creates a different braking
slow the vehicle, so brake cooling is brakes pads should last between 20,000 effect on each wheel causing instability
essential for good brake performance. to 60,000 kilometres. in the vehicle that is dangerous and
Disc brakes are better at getting rid of potentially fatal. Some vehicles have
this heat and therefore are used on all Most of the time the brake pads wear brake wear warning systems to avoid this
wheels where high performing brakes at a quicker rate than the disc or drum where the driver is alerted via a warning
are needed, such as sports cars. All that they are rubbing against. However on the dash or others have a simple thin
modern cars have disc brakes on the as vehicle manufacturers have pursued plate that touches the disc and vibrates,
front wheels where the braking need is better brake performance, increasingly causing a noise that gets the
the greatest and most have disc brakes it is the disc that suffers signiﬁcant wear. driver’s attention.
A A N T T E CHNI CAL
CO U NT I NG T HE C OST preventative maintenance servicing of driver doesn’t feel it, the brakes are
When it comes to brake safety, the cost your car, so check your vehicle’s owner wiped dry ready for use. Other brake
for a normal brake repair can be around manual for the service interval and type of systems sense any sudden lift off of the
$75 – $100 per wheel, but this cost can brake ﬂuid to be used. Be careful though, accelerator pedal and interpret this as
triple if you need to replace the as brake ﬂuid degrades when overheated, the beginning of an emergency braking
discs rotors. contaminated or if it absorbs moisture situation. In an instant, they will pre-
from the air, so ensure you don’t leave empt the driver by slightly applying the
Vehicle manufacturers spend a lot the brake top-up container open for very brakes ready for when the driver’s foot
of time and money developing the long. This also applies to the bottle of gets to the brake pedal and applies full
optimum brake system for their cars brake ﬂuid you may have in the shed. braking pressure.
so it’s best to use the same brake
pads as they use. However there are HIGH T E CH B R A K E S Then there are hybrid vehicles that
circumstances where some brake At the extreme technology end of turn their electric motor into a generator
component manufacturers do make brakes there are some manufacturers that to deliver load on the wheels via the
better discs and pads than the vehicle offer ceramic brakes which are lighter and transmission to slow the vehicle while at
manufacturers. offer superior braking performance under the same time generating power back
extreme conditions – but they can add into the battery. These need little or
Talk to AANT Technical for advice on $19k to the cost of a vehicle. no normal brake assistance under light
what would be best for your car on braking situations.
1300 661 466. There are also some smart innovations
that have been introduced, such as disc When it comes to your cars brake
A L I T T LE T LC brake wiping systems. During heavy system, the most important thing to
Brake systems use hydraulic brake ﬂuid rain, water can get onto the disc and remember is safety comes ﬁrst. So of
to take the pressure that you apply to in the ﬁrst split second affect brake if you feel or hear anything out of the
the brake pedal, amplify it using a brake performance. These systems sense ordinary, have your car checked by an
booster, and send it to the brakes. Brake the rain and automatically lightly apply AANT Approved Repairer as soon
ﬂuid has to be changed as part of the the brakes intermittently. While the as possible.
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A A F EAT F ET Y
A A NT NT S AU RES
wet season forced them to abandon the Environment and geography – the
The old saying that ‘what is
car just outside of Katherine and hitch a impact of settlement and roadways
old can be new again’ will ride back with a camel train. on the diverse natural and introduced
soon be put to the test in the The good news is that the original habitats along the routes
Talbot survives today. Residing at the The exhibition has been designed to
re-creation of an epic Aussie
National Motor Museum at Birdwood be portable and self-contained so that
road trip by two explorers in South Australia, it is set to be the it can be viewed by people in even the
of yesteryear crossing the heart of an exciting travelling exhibition smallest of communities.
that will celebrate the centenary of With the trailer itself carrying the car,
continent from south to
this monumental journey. The touring there is also a canvas canopy to shelter
north for the ﬁrst time. exhibition will feature the car in its own viewers. When it comes to exhibits, the
custom-built trailer so that it can visit all car is sure to take centre stage alongside
Road rage and red lights may be our its old original ports of call without risk the other, smaller, related objects
biggest problems behind the wheel of damage. on display.
today, but 100 years ago it was a little The exhibition will leave Adelaide on Text panels will explain the central
more dangerous - drought, ﬂood and 30 June 2008 – 100 years to the day after themes of the exhibition while additional
bushﬁre were just some of the everyday the Talbot was driven from Adelaide information will be provided for visitors
travelling challenges. – and arrive in Darwin on 20 August, just via touch-screen computers. Additionally,
On 30 June 1908, Henry Dutton and as Henry Dutton and Murray Aunger did a catalogue with essays about various
Murray Aunger left Adelaide on a historic on that ﬁrst journey. aspects of the journey and photographs
journey that took them through the heart On the way, the Talbot will tour small from the original journey will create a
of the continent, and faced them with regional centres to allow people in lasting legacy of the exhibition and allow
extreme conditions. inland areas to share in the celebration people to further explore the topic.
Adelaide’s wide boulevards must have and encourage them to tell their own One exciting aspect of the exhibition
seemed very far away as they traversed stories of early motoring. The exhibition is the broad-based education program
countryside, deserts and bush – with no will explore four themes: that will see the exhibition visit even the
real roads – in an open-topped The original journey - What the smallest of schools en route, discussing
25-horsepower 1908 Talbot. travellers experienced as the ﬁrst people the journey, and hopefully eliciting
The car had separate compartments to travel across the Australian continent the stories and photographs of those
for the driver and passengers. Back in a motor vehicle. communities in relation to the impact
then, the ‘mod-cons’ consisted of spoke Travelling through Aboriginal lands of road travel. It is hoped these will
wheels, three spare tyres, a klaxon – Although the country was harsh to the then become part of a valuable national
horn, brass lamps, a brass radiator and travellers, it had been home for many archive on motoring’s early days in
a shovel. It was the ﬁrst car that many thousands of years to many different the interior.
people in the centre of Australia had Aboriginal groups. The exhibition looks The Talbot Touring Exhibition will
ever seen and they could hardly believe at the impact of road travel on those visit towns and communities including
their eyes when the vehicle moved itself communities, and maps the different Kapunda, Burra, Peterborough, Leigh
without the aid of horses. language groups the route Creek, Oodnadatta, Marla, Kulgera,
The crossing took 52 gruelling days to passed through. Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Daly
get from Adelaide to Darwin, and it was People of the story – Gaining an Waters, Katherine and Darwin.
only successful on the second attempt. understanding of the extraordinary To ﬁnd out more and follow this
Their ﬁrst attempt some months earlier people who took the decision to brave momentous journey online, log onto
had been cut short, after driving into the the epic trek. www.history.sa.gov.au.
A A N T M E M BE R BENEFITS
Your AANT Membership Can Give You Rewards
Drummond Golf have joined the For those looking to take a break closer Don’t forget Solver Paints, Hertz, Two
AANT SYC&S program with a great member to home, then the Crowne Plaza Darwin Great Clubs, OPSM/Laubman & Pank and
offer of up to 10% OFF all golﬁng equipment, ‘Weekend Special’ is the perfect solution. To Bridgestone Tyre Centres are still offering
so if your looking to update your golﬁng gear receive the beneﬁts of this offer make sure you fantastic discounts and beneﬁts so if you are
then this is the perfect time to do so. produce the voucher in the SYC&S pages. looking to repaint the house, hire a car, take
Due to popular demand iPrimus have Another option for holiday planning is the family out for a Bistro dinner, get new
another great broadband deal for AANT the hire a Britz Campervan and tour the glasses or replace those worn tyres on your car
members to get connected to the internet. Northern Territory or further a ﬁeld. Britz have then Show Your Card and Save.
See their offer for details on how to campervans to suit all needs so call the AANT
get connected. for more information or bookings.
See the spectacular sights of Borneo with a The AANT Insurance Agency is still
holiday package from Frangipani Holidays. offering AANT Members up to 15% off the
Your airfares, accommodation, tours and base premium rate on Car, Home and Boat
travel insurance can be arranged by their insurance, so if your current insurance is due
friendly consultants resulting in a stress for renewal you are or looking to take up new
free holiday. insurance give the AANT a call for a quote.
DRUMMOND GOLF AANT INSURANCE AGENCY
Show your AANT
membership card at 10% Your AANT Membership
makes the cost of 15%
Drummond Golf and OFF* insurance cheaper!! for AANT
receive up to:
When you insure with AANT Insurance Agency,
Up to 10% OFF* all your golﬁng receive up to 15% Discount off the premium if you
equipment from Australia’s Premier are an AANT member. The Discount applies to all
Golf Retailer Drummond Golf domestic insurance including:
• Home & Contents
• Caravan, Trailer
This offer is only available from the
53 Stuart Highway AANT ofﬁce: 79–81 Smith Street
Darwin, by phoning 08 8981 3837
or online www.aant.com.au
Ph: 08 8981 7029
For more information and store
locations visit: www.drummondgolf.com
Terms & Conditions: 10%* OFF all - Bags, Buggies (excludes motorised buggies), Apparel, Footwear,
Accessories, Secondhand Equipment and “other” branded golf clubs. 5%* OFF all - Balls, Motorised Obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and Policy from the AANT ofﬁce 79–81
Buggies, Package Deals and all golf clubs for the following brands: Callaway, Cobra, Cleveland, Odyssey, Smith Street Darwin or 08 8981 3837 before acquiring the product. Terms, conditions, fee and charges apply.
Mizuno, Ping, Scotty Cameron, TaylorMade and Titleist. Excludes sale items and markdowns and not AANT Insurance Agency is Underwritten by TIO Insurance.
available in conjuction with the other offer.
SHOW YOUR CARD & SAVE 11
A A NT M E M B E R B EN EF IT S
BRIDGESTONE TYRE CENTRES
Bridgestone Tyre Centres offer
AANT Members great deals on tyres.
$5 PER TYRE DISCOUNT DISCOUNT
Against the purchase of Bridgestone, Firestone branded per tyre!
passenger and light truck tyres.
Plus a free Tyre Maintenance book with the purchase of 2 or more tyres.
Tivendale ............ 8984 3844
Winnellie ............. 8984 4377
Tennant Creek .... 8962 2361 • Tivendale
Alice Springs ...... 8952 1733 • Winnellie
...... 8952 2684
Katherine ............ 8972 3929 • Tennant Creek
• Alice Springs
Offer valid 03/03/08 – 02/06/08. Not in conjunction with any other offer.
ABN 65 007 516 841
WIN $500 WORTH OF TWO GREAT CLUBS
Show your AANT
BRIDGESTONE/AANT TYRE DRAW ENTRY COUPON
The AANT in conjunction with Bridgestone Australia
are giving AANT Members the chance to win ONE SET
OF FOUR BRIDGESTONE TYRES, VALUED UP TO
$500. To enter simply ﬁll in the coupon and send it to: • 15% OFF any Main Meal purchase
Bridgestone/AANT Tyre Draw, GPO Box 2584, Darwin
NT 0801, or place the entry form in the box at the AANT
from either Club’s Bistro
ofﬁce, 79-81 Smith Street, Darwin.
Membership No. 3 Maluka Street, 269 Trower Road
Phone Casuarina NT
Information for Members and Bona ﬁde Guests
Conditions: Competition opens 3 March 2008 and closes with the last mail on 7 May 2008. Winners will be drawn 8 May 2008, 10am at AANT ofﬁce 79–81
Smith Street Darwin NT 0800. Winners will be notiﬁed within seven days of the draw and the result published in the NT News, and posted on the AANT Web Terms & Conditions. *Limited to one meal per AANT card. #Must be a member of the visited club to receive
Site on 3 March 2008, also published in the June 2008 edition of ntmotor. The prize is ‘ONE SET OF FOUR BRIDGESTONE TYRES, VALUED UP TO $500’. this beneﬁt. Membership $5.00 for 12 months Palmerston Sports Club & $5.50 for 12 months Casuarina All
The promoter is AANT GPO Box 2584, Darwin. Prize cannot be exchanged or redeemed for cash. Open to AANT Members ONLY: Excludes AANT Staff and Sports Club. Valid 03/03/08 to 02/06/08.
12 SHOW YOUR CARD & SAVE
A A N T M E M BE R BENEFITS
CROWNE PLAZA DARWIN SOLVER PAINTS
$5 OFF any 4L can of paint $
AANT members can make
that weekend escape
WEEKEND and $10 OFF any 10L can
of paint from the interior
4L PAINT *
even more special!
SPECIAL and exterior premium
Enjoy one night accommodation with
ranges only, including
complimentary breakfast at Crowne Plaza Darwin.
Bring this voucher when you check-in, to receive:
• FREE upgrade to next best available room type Visit a Solver Decorator
• FREE late checkout Centre for professional
• FREE bottle of Australian sparkling wine on check-in,
advice, friendly service
delivered to your room
and top quality paint
Enjoy the savings when
you present your AANT
Darwin Solver Decorator Centre
For reservations call 138 388 or visit 450 Stuart Highway
www.crowneplaza.com.au Winnellie NT 0820
Ph: 8947 4022
Terms & Conditions: Valid 03/03/08 to 01/06/08, subject to availability. Quote code ‘IJWSP’ when booking, or
select ‘Weekend Special’ when booking online. This advertisement must be presented on check-in to receive
the upgrade, late checkout and sparkling wine. Upgrade is subject to availability. Offer requires a stay over on *Excludes accessories, Trade Sales, Hi-Tech, Brite-Glo, Solvermaster, Sunﬂex.
either a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night. Not valid with any other discount or promotional offer. Offer valid 02/03/08 to 02/06/08.
FRANGIPANI HOLIDAYS HERTZ
When you book with us, MEMBER MEMBER
Show Your Card & Save* SAVINGS!! BENEFITS
beneﬁts from Hertz
Show your AANT Membership card when you book As an AANT member you’ll receive a fantastic range of
a quality Frangipani Holiday Package to Bali or Borneo beneﬁts from Hertz.
ﬂying Airnorth or Garuda Indonesia and receive:
Like year round discounted rates, free upgrades, free day
offers and a complimentary child seat hire on request.
• 3% OFF* your Holiday Package
Not to mention seasonal specials and much more!
• 10% OFF* QBE Travel Insurance
For more information and bookings, call 8981 3837,
book online at www.aant.com.au, or visit the AANT
ofﬁce at 79-81 Smith Street, Darwin
For all bookings and enquiries
Level 1/22 Cavenagh Street
Darwin (next to TAB)
Phone: 08 8942 3333
Terms & Conditions. This offer is valid to all AANT members and members of the SYC&S program.Fellow
travellers within the same booking are included.*No discount on airfare taxes. Not valid with any other
discount or promotional offer. ABN: 91 866 733 109; Travel Agent Licence No: NT143.
VALID 03/03/08 - 02/06/08 * Conditions apply, subject to availability within Australia only. See your AANT Travel Agent for details.
SHOW YOUR CARD & SAVE 13
A A NT M E M B E R B EN EF IT S
OPSM/LAUBMAN & PANK iPRIMUS
for AANT members
20 Big savings on
OFF* Great opportunities for
AANT members can receive 20% OFF*
their purchases (up to $80 per product).
Save on glasses, frames, lenses, prescription $
and non-prescription sunglasses, ADSL modem
plus $9.95 postage &
+ per month for + set up
handling fee ﬁrst 2 months fee
contact lenses and accessories.
The speed you need with a huge 5GB
Contact OPSM or Laubman & Pank on download allowance plus 5% discount
on monthly charges.
13 20 20 iprimus.com.au 1300 132 170
Available to AANT members on iPrimus Serious 5 Broadband Plan ($39.95 per month, 24 month contract),
when combined with an iPrimus home phone (from $27.40 per month plus calls). Minimum cost over 24
months: $10 modem + $9.95 P&H + $10 set up + (2 x $10) + (22 x $39.95) + (24 x $27.40 home phone) =
*Offer excludes eye tests, gift vouchers, Bvlgari, Maui Jim and Chanel. AANT membership card must be $1,586.45 plus calls, less 5% discount. New iPrimus broadband customers only. Not available in all areas or
presented at time of ordering. Cannot be used in conjunction with special offer packages, sale items, health with any other offer. Offer expires 01/06/08.
fund associated discount or beneﬁt from any source other than a rebate from a health fund. Offer valid
03/03/08 to 01/06/08
BRITZ GROW YOUR BUSINESS
MEMBER Align your business with the AANT REAP
AANT members SPECIALS and reach over 15,000 Territorians. THE
come and enjoy
Show Your Card & Save is a
the Britz worldwide discount program which
experience!! provides participants with access to
Automobile Club Members.
For information on how to join
Britz Campervans are
your business call 8981 3837.
a fun combination
of transport and
accommodation all in
one. To explore the NT CONGRATULATIONS! TERMS AND CONDITIONS
To obtain the beneﬁts under the AANT Show Your
Card & Save program, Members must show their
and all the wonders it The winner of the Membership card in a participating retail outlet,
Bridgestone Tyre or quote their Member number if transacting via
has to offer, just Britz it!! Competition from the
phone or internet, at the point of payment to the
relevant beneﬁt provider for goods or services
provided. It is the responsibility of the Member to
December 2007 edition is ask for the Show Your Card & Save beneﬁt at the
point of payment. The AANT gives no warranty in
Caroline Phelps of Alice relation to any goods, services or information pro-
To book your Britz Springs who receives a vided by Retail Partners participating in the pro-
gram. Participation in the AANT Show Your Card
$500 voucher towards a & Save program is subject to the full Terms and
experience contact new set of Bridgestone
Conditions of the program which can be obtained
from the AANT Darwin Branch, 79-81 Smith Street,
Darwin, NT 0800. Any offers extended under the
the AANT on car tyres! Happy driving! Program are subject to availability and subject to
the Terms and Conditions imposed by Show Your
For your chance to win Card & Save Partners and will not be redeemable
08 8981 3837 or a set of tyres, enter this for cash or kind. Any beneﬁts provided to the
Member cannot be transferred, assigned, sold or
visit 79–81 Smith edition’s competition in otherwise retained. These limited time only offers
are available from 3 March 2008 to 1 June 2008,
the following pages of the unless otherwise indicated.
Street Darwin SYC&S section.
For AANT Show Your Card & Save inquiries,
phone 08 8981 3837 or visit www.aant.com.au.
14 SHOW YOUR CARD & SAVE
A PP ROV E D RE PA IRERS approved repairer proﬁles
O UTBACK A UTO E LE CTR I CA L
A ND A I R CO NDI TI O NI NG
Michael Farrow has run his Berrimah business, Outback Auto
Electrical and Air Conditioning, for the past two and a half years,
and over that time the workload has been steadily building and the
business is continuing to grow and thrive.
After working as an auto electrician himself, and also running a
workshop for another ﬁrm for six years, Michael decided to break
out on his own. As it turns out, it proved to be the right choice – now
employing three staff and on the hunt for more as word gets around
about the high quality of service offered.
MI CK TAY LO R AUTOMATIC S
Mick has been in business now for 28 years, ﬁrst in Winnellie and
now in Yarrawonga. Mick specialises in automatic transmissions,
manual transmissions and differentials. He says that in his years in
the business the biggest change has been in the technology that he
sees go through the shop. Together with his technician of over ten
years standing, Mick has a wealth of experience that’s sure to ﬁx any
mechanical repairer automobile association of the northern territory
1 Engine tune-up;
2 Minor engine repair & vehicle servicing;
3 Major engine repair;
4 Steering & suspension NIGHTCLIFF Aralia Street Autos,
5 Brakes; 6 Electrical; 62 Aralia Street 8948 4200
7 Clutch, manual transmission & rear axle; PALMERSTON
8 Automatic transmission; 9 Air-conditioning. Palmerston Mechanical Centre,
Where no categories are shown,
51 Georgina Crescent 8932 2532 automatic transmissions
PALMERSTON Ultra Tune, YARRAWONGA Mick Taylor Automatics,
the repairer is approved in all nine.
4618 McEnzie Place 8983 1231
• AANT Battery Service Centre 3 Muluka Street 8931 3411
Auto Inspection and Road Service
(also towbar specialist)
15/34 Bishop Street 8981 7333
mechanical repairers STUART PARK Darwin Honda,
STUART PARK Muffler City,
26 Stuart Highway 8981 4406
ALICE SPRINGS Outback Automotive, 1–2 Duke Street 8981 3827
31 Wilkinson Street 8952 0123 STUART PARK Darwin Mitsubishi, Suzuki, automotive electrician
ALICE SPRINGS Peter Kittle Motor Co, Ssangyong, Land Rover, Volvo BERRIMAH (ARS 5039)
46 Stuart Highway 8952 5500 34 Stuart Highway 8946 4444 Outback Auto Electrical
STUART PARK Kerry Holden, Mazda, Nissan, 1902 Pruen Road 8947 3758
BERRIMAH Hidden Valley Auto Ctr,
Mercedes, Jeep, Chrysler
9 Hidden Valley Road 8947 0060
17–25 Stuart Highway 8980 8030 crash repairers
CASUARINA Ultra Tune 1–8,
Cnr Trower and Dripstones roads, WINNELLIE Winnellie Auto Ctr 1–8, ALICE SPRINGS Andrew Paterson Crash
Casuarina Square Shopping Ctr 8945 2122 1427 Stuart Highway 8984 4448 Repairs, 49 Priest St 8952 6360
COCONUT GROVE WINNELLIE NT Auto Repairs, BERRIMAH Berrimah Panel Works,
Auto Kare Automotive, 9 Steele Street 8947 4746 1140 McMillans Rd 8984 3137
16 Travers Street 8985 6422 DARWIN Darwin Crash Repairs,
COCONUT GROVE specialist repairers 2 Finniss Street 8981 4000
Prompt Auto Repairs Pty Ltd, automotive windscreens WINNELLIE R J Panel Works,
14 Travers Street 8985 6733 ALICE SPRINGS Sadgroves Crescent 8984 4570
DARWIN Bridge Autos Toyota Trusty Glass (O’Brien Glass agent) WINNELLIE B & S Body Works,
1 Stuart Highway 8946 0099 31 North Stuart Highway (ARS 5031) 8952 3322 85 Winnellie Road 8947 2251
DARWIN Carmech, STUART PARK O’Brien Glass, WINNELLIE Coonawarra Panel Works,
5–7 Carey Street 8942 3342 38 Stuart Highway 8981 4612 1746 Coonawarra Road 8984 3368
NE W CA R REV IEW
The sporty RS model of
Škoda’s Octavia sedan.
on the block
With nearly 50 brands already in Australia the last thing it needs is another
car brand in a market which is only one per cent of the world’s market and for
a new entrant it is particularly risky if your brand has some baggage.
For those old enough to remember and ESC. In addition, all except the RS The hero of the range is the sporty
when Skoda was last in Australia in the model have full-sized spare wheels. RS, which is powered by the VW Golf
early 80’s they were the butt of a lot of If Volkswagen is the more affordable GTi’s 147kW, two-litre turbocharged
jokes but a couple of decades later, with Audi then Skoda is more affordable FSI engine with six-speed manual
a new owner they are fast becoming the Volkswagen. VW DNA is evident in transmission. The RS needs the more
European value brand with quality to the range – from the ﬁrmer ride to the expensive 98 RON fuel while the
rival the best of the Germans. rest of the petrol Skodas run on the
touch and feel of some of the interior
The Czech-based Skoda was taken trim and controls. slightly lower priced 95 octane fuel.
over by VW in 2000 and since then they In true European style, the RS is also
Built on the VW Golf platform and
have transformed the company and its available in wagon version with the
sharing a lot of the bits with the VW
vehicle’s quality. By 2010 Skoda expect cargo blind. Our guess is that when
Jetta, the Octavia range has three
to have ﬁve models covering all the South Australians tire of their SUVs
models – Ambience, Elegance and
major market segments. The ﬁrst two the humble station wagon with AWD
models to come to Australia though the sporty RS. There is a myriad of will become the popular and practical
are the mid-sized Octavia sedan which body, engine and transmission options family car again.
comes in a couple of variants, including that can be mixed and matched and Performance of the RS is very good,
the sports RS model, and the quirky the engines on offer include a 118kW with well matched gear ratios in the
styled Roomster which is a small car with 1.8-litre turbo petrol engine, a 110kW, six-speed manual transmission the
large car space. two-litre FSI engine or the 103kW Octavia drives as well as anything in
Skoda has taken vehicle safety turbocharged diesel. The wagons cost this part of the market. However, the
seriously and the entire range will come $2,000 more than the sedan and for gearshift could be a little more precise,
standard with six airbags, including another $5,500 you can specify the all- as it’s relatively easy for reverse to be
head-protecting side curtains, ABS wheel-drive version. accidentally selected.
N E W CAR RE VI E W
Škoda’s quirky and spacious
Roomster family car.
On the road Octavia’s steering is ﬁrm Roomster is as unusual in name as it removable seats are easy to handle and
and direct which adds to the solidness is in design. The small car of the Skoda when removed offer a large cargo area.
and this is reinforced by the feel of the range, as its name suggests, is a roomy, On the road it is a bit underpowered,
ﬁrm seats. The steering-wheel-mounted little family car. From a functionality so to make the most out of the two-
controls for the stereo make channel viewpoint it works with lots of space for litre engine you really have to keep it
surﬁng easier. front and rear passengers, including working above 3000rpm. Similar to the
The Octavia’s diesel engine is a bit generous headroom and rear doors Octavia, the reverse gear is a bit too
lifeless under 2000rpm until the turbo that are tall and easy to get in and out
easy to select as well.
gets on the boil. From there on it of. Its external design, however, will
Visibility out of the Roomster is
develops very good torque and coupled be one that polarises people. Skoda
quite good because besides having a
to the ﬁve-speed gearbox whips it up to has created an interesting styling
relatively tall seating position it has lots
highway speeds without any effort. The combination in that its front looks like
a sleek-lined small car, but its back is of glass to get a good view of the trafﬁc
Octavia body is sprung fairly ﬁrmly, just
like its Volkswagen and Audi cousins. reminiscent of a slab-sided small van. around you. Unfortunately, vehicles
The diesel is a bit noisier than most at Combining the front chassis of the VW of this type and design haven’t had a
low speeds as the subtle presence of Polo, the rear section of the Octavia and good track record of becoming sales
a diesel knock makes its way into the a middle that is unique to Roomster, successes. However, with the novelty
passenger compartment. Plus, like a lot it is allowed Skoda to make the most of the Skoda name, reasonably keen
of European cars, Octavia suffers from of each of these vehicles’ assets. The pricing and being a functional car
alloy wheels that seem to be perpetually rear space can be further utilised by – albeit not very pretty – it might ﬁnd
black from brake dust. removing the rear seats and at 10kg the a niche in the Australian market.
Škoda Octavia Wagon Škoda Octavia RS Škoda Roomster
Power 103kW @ 4,000rpm 147kW @ 5,100 to 6,000rpm 77kW @ 5,600rpm
Torque 250Nm @ 1,900rpm 280Nm @ 1,800 to 5,000rpm 153Nm @ 3,800rpm
Price as tested $38,420 $37,490 $26,990
Fuel Consumption 7.2 L/100km 11.1L/100km 11.4L/100km
Towing Capacity: with brakes 1,400kg 1,400kg 1,000kg
without brakes 650kg 650kg 450kg
Green Vehicle Guide Rating ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★
Crash Rating (EuroNCAP) ★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★★★
Warranty 3 years/unlimited distance 3 years/unlimited distance 3 years/unlimited distance
USE D CA R REV IEW S
The good news is that if you own a ‘Luxury’ and ‘Luxury Sports’ arrive at
Mazda6 they don’t have a history of the top end in sedan and hatchback with
P RI C E RANGE
needing major repairs, and if you are in ‘Luxury’ only available with automatic
Limited Sedan 4sp auto
the market to buy a secondhand Mazda6 transmission. The ‘Luxury Sports’ is
$11,200 - $15,000
the bad news is they hold their price. available in hatchback only, but received
Classic Sedan 4sp auto
The Mazda6 was the ﬁrst of the new both manual and automatic transmission.
$12,800 - $16,800
generation of Mazdas whose styling Additional features include curtain air
Luxury Hatch 4sp auto
changed the car manufacturer’s fortunes bags, side airbags, premium sound system,
$16,000 - $20,200
and led the way for the smaller Mazda 3 leather upholstery and power sunroof. The
Luxury Sports Hatch 4sp auto
and Mazda 2. ‘Luxury Sports’ also received a body kit.
$16,700 - $21,100
The most common model in used The performance of the 2.3 litre
P RI C E WH EN N EW car yards is likely to be the entry level 4-cylinder engine was one of the best in
Limited Sedan ‘Limited’ which was only available as a its class but it came at the cost of poor
Manual $28,270 / Auto $30,350 sedan but there are both manual and fuel consumption and it needs the more
Classic Sedan ‘activematic’ four-speed automatic expensive Premium ULP. It also handled
Manual $31,705 / Auto $33,785 transmission versions out there. The and rode well and these attributes
Luxury Hatch standard features weren’t bad for the combined with good space and comfort for
Auto $41,270 time and included air conditioning ABS the occupants made it a good all round car.
Luxury Sports Hatch and dual airbags that helped it get a Good enough that in 2003 it won the AANT
Manual $41,170 / Auto $43,250 four-star ANCAP rating. Also all models award for the Best Mid-sized Car
have a full sized spare wheel. The higher over $28,000.
AV E RAGE K M specced ‘Classic’ came in sedan, hatch Look at the service book and as the
78,000km and station wagon. The wagon is only services are scheduled to be done at
available in automatic. This is probably every 10,000kms or six months, most in the
A N CAP RATING the better model to look for because for market should be coming due for major
**** a little extra cost they have additional services at 80,000kms which could cost
features including alloy wheels, cruise about $370 or the 100,000kms which could
control, trip computer, CD stacker and cost about $430 because the platinum
climate controlled air conditioning. tipped spark plugs will need replacing.
AANT TIPS penny pinching STO R Y B Y BR I A N J O H N S TO N
Most people know it as a tip. Travel writer Paul
Theroux, who spent many years in Africa, refers to it
as a dash. Throughout the Middle East it’s renowned
as baksheesh, from the Persian for ‘give’. Americans
now call it a gratuity. But if you do a lot of travelling
you’ll become honest: it’s really blackmail, extortion,
a greased palm.
Tipping, according to American Those infamous London cabbies are the
Express advice, depends on the quality exception: after journeying into the city
of service you’ve received and the from Heathrow, expect to lose an arm and
practices of the country where you’re a leg on the fare and another half limb on
travelling. But knowing what those the tip.
practices are is so complicated that In Europe you can never really enjoy a
Amex prints arcane tables of tipping meal in a restaurant because you’re too
rates that you need to scrutinise like busy with your calculator, slide rule and
Nostradamus before you can work out multi-lingual dictionary attempting to
what to do. calculate the damages in tips. Needless
A visit to the United States – the to say it’s the Italians who ransom you with
spiritual motherland of tipping – is an the most spectacular ﬂair, since the prices
Australian’s nightmare. Doormen and on the menu bear no relation to the ﬁnal
bellhops require tips (US$1 a bag), bill. Add on several euros for pane e
but hotel receptionists don’t. Waiters coperto (a cover charge) and 10-15 per
expect tips (15-20 per cent of the cent for service, which usually consists of
bill), whereas ﬂight attendants will be a bored waiter ﬂapping at ﬂies.
offended by it. Hairdressers require it, In Holland you need to know that
and bar staff need the subsidy or they’ll inclusief BTW is not a side salad but
die of starvation. Most of all, taxi drivers rather a whopping value-added tax (17.5
love tips, and will even grow abusive if per cent), and that this, as well as a 15 per
they believe they haven’t received their cent service charge, is added on to every
restaurant bill. Don’t imagine this lets you
Legend has it that tips originated restaurant without leaving any dash at
off tipping, because you might want to
in the Middle Ages, when the nobility all. At a hotel you can yank your suitcase
leave a couple of euros in restaurants and
scattered coins on passing through back from the bellhop and pretend to
rounded-up change in cafés.
villages in order not to be attacked by rush off for an urgent train – no tip. And
In Germany you must realise that a there’s always the old ploy: you’ve just
verminous peasants. This seems quite
Bedienung (service charge) lets you off arrived in America/France/Brazil and you
believable, since those who don’t leave
tipping, but if it isn’t included then you have no local coinage. Sorry, no tip. Next
tips in America are just as likely to be
should cough up 10-15 per cent extra. time, of course.
torn limb from limb.
In France service is always compris in In America, the land of golden
Inexperienced tippers would do well
restaurants, although you might leave the opportunity for tip-seekers, you can
to avoid North America altogether.
small change. Everywhere else in France tell which tourists come from tipless
Thankfully there are still some corners
you’ll be distributing tips like alms to the societies: they’re the ones with pockets
of the globe untouched by international
poor: porters, hotel staff, taxi drivers, distended and out of shape, weighed
tip mania. In the South Paciﬁc the
whole idea of tipping is contrary to a theatre ushers and even museum guides down by an accumulation of coins.
tradition of hospitality. Similarly, in Japan will be queuing up in expectation. Americans never have any coins, because
nobody – not a waitress, doorman or The other worry that might put you off they’re all left behind on restaurant
taxi driver in the country – will ask you your dessert is what exactly you do with tables or pressed into the palms of
for baksheesh. Indeed, if you offer some your tip. Do you leave it lying casually on hotel workers.
extra yen you’ll create not gratitude but the table? Do you ﬂing it into a specially The only other people with heavy
confusion and embarrassment. provided saucer? Perhaps you can just go pockets in America are waitresses going
Britain is another country where up to the waitress and press some notes home from the evening shift. Their
most workers survive in a gratuity into her eager palm. pockets hang down around their knees
wasteland, since the British are reticent If you’re extremely daring you can solve like swag bags, heavy with a day of
about throwing their money around. this problem by making a dash out of a professional blackmail.
A A NT T RAV EL
cape to cape
STO R Y B Y LE E ATK I NS O N
ntmotor writer Lee Atkinson blows the lid on one of Australia’s best kept secrets
- there’s actually so much more to Western Australia’s picturesque Margaret River
than just amazing wine.
Think Margaret River and most people Perth to Margaret River is around take photographs of stands of kangaroo
automatically think ‘great wine’, but the a three-hour drive. Once there, base paw growing by the side of the road.
burgers are just as good. Or at least yourself in the township of Margaret Then, follow the road spearing north to
the ﬁsh burger that we’re devouring is River and spend a couple of days Cape Naturaliste, with a stop at Yallingup
as we look out towards a stormy sea exploring Caves Road, a 110km scenic Galleries on the way. Take a tour of the
from inside a cosy bakery in the town drive that stretches cape to cape. lighthouse, and then wander around the
of Augusta, in the south-west corner of The northern end of the Caves Road headland – eyes peeled to the sea in the
WA. The day before we’d had an equally loop hits the sea in Geographe Bay at hope of spotting whales.
fabulous burger, this time a gourmet Cape Naturaliste and cuts through the Day two and the southern end of the
venison affair, washed down with a heart of the main wine producing area. Caves Road loop to Cape Leeuwin is
couple of glasses of light wheat beer in There are more than 60 wineries in the around 45km, but expect it to take much
district, and visitors can choose from longer. You’ll ﬁnd the temptation to pull
the grassy lake-side garden of
a number of guided wine tours. If you over and fossick through the many art
prefer to go it alone though, remember galleries, studios and showrooms along
We may have come to the region for
you can only try so much wine in any one the way, too hard to resist.
a few days of wine tasting, but we’ve
day – particularly if you’re driving. A must-do should be the Dilkes-
found, much to our delight, that the
First on a do-it-yourself tour is a quick Hoffman ceramic studio where you can
Margaret River region is not just home
stop at Vasse Felix – the ﬁrst commercial chat with the owners, Tova and Rod, and
to some of the ﬁnest wines produced in winery established in Margaret River. watch them at work creating elegant jugs,
Australia. A wild knob of land jutting into Here you can taste some wine and check
the sea, crowned in the north by Cape bowls and platters. A few minutes further
out the latest exhibition from the Holmes
Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in the down the road is Boranup Galleries, with
á Court Art Collection in the gallery,
south, it’s also got some of the best karri room upon room of hand-made furniture,
before continuing on to Gracetown.
forests in WA, a wealth of art galleries At Gracetown, walk along the rocks sculpture and paintings. At nearby
and some of the best surﬁng beaches and white sand beach being lapped by CaveWorks learn about the local geology
in Australia. impossibly turquoise water and stop to and how the network of some 350 caves
A A N T T RAV E L
were formed. There are several show Pictured: (previous page) Explore beautiful Karri
caves open for guided and self-guided Forests.These page: (from left to right) Indulge in
great food and wine at Vasse Felix Winery Restaurant;
tours through underground rooms full Kangaroo Paw.
of huge but ornate masses of stalactites
Next, continue south and take a curves of corrugated iron. Practically
detour off Caves Road, winding your next door is Voyager Wines, full of faux
way through the Boranup Karri Forest, Cape Dutch architecture and extensive
where you can stop to take a short walk formal gardens.
through the 190m-high trees, marvelling On your way back to Perth, linger
at their grandeur. If you’ve got any tree- a while at Busselton, where you can
hugging tendencies hidden away deep wander the two-kilometre heritage-
inside you, this is when and where they listed wooden jetty – the longest in the
will emerge! Southern Hemisphere. It has formed a
Back in the car, meander past barely- huge artiﬁcial reef where an abundance Ready for a grape escape? The
there beach-side communities before of marine growth encrusts the pylons Margaret River region is just a three-
ﬁnally reaching Cape Leeuwin, the most of the jetty and is a popular diving and hour car journey or short train ride
south-westerly tip of Australia. snorkelling spot. If you’re not up to
from Perth. You can plan your own
The lighthouse here has watched over wetting the feet, head to the underwater
itinerary with the help of AANT, and
the point where the Indian and Southern observatory instead, that descends
for advice on getting there, maps and
oceans meet since 1895. The point is a eight metres below the surface of the
all your accommodation needs, talk to
popular place to spy whales off the shore water. Here you can gaze out at a forest
of vividly-coloured tropical and sub- the AANT on 8981 3837 or visit the
and during spring masses of beautiful
wildﬂowers dot the windswept headland. tropical corals, sponges, ﬁsh and other AANT Ofﬁce today.
But there’s no escaping the fact sea creatures.
that this is one of Australia’s best wine For one more lasting memory, the
regions, and you’ll eventually succumb beach behind the jetty has a playground
to temptation and call into one of the for kids and a vast expanse of shady
most popular cellar doors, Leeuwin grass picnic areas – perfect for enjoying
Winery, set in bushland and all natural a last lunch of ﬁsh and chips before
timber, wrought iron and long sweeping heading back to Perth.
A A NT T RAV EL
They’re the destinations that keep drawing in
the visitors year after year. ntmotor discovers
where Territorians like to holiday and what
these favourite destinations have to offer.
Gold Coast Hobart
The Gold Coast is legendary. Fling Hobart is built in a picturesque jumble
yourself into surf and nightlife, then between hills and sea. Battery Point
skydive and bungy-jump before has a maritime air: winding streets,
heading to the big theme parks. At Wet historic pubs with buccaneer names,
‘n’ Wild prepare for Terror Canyon and and Georgian and Victorian churches.
the Double Screamer; at Dreamworld Below, the warehouses of Salamanca
take the Giant Drop, tallest freefall ride Place burst with cafés and craft shops
on the planet. In the evening, the new and host an energetic Saturday market.
Australian Outback Spectacular is more At Constitution Dock, yachts bob and
action-packed entertainment at its best. ﬁsh markets cook up fresh seafood on
Yet steering clear of the adrenaline zone the spot. The city’s Maritime Museum
is surprisingly easy. Extensive waterways is excellent and the Cadbury Chocolate
allow for tranquil ﬁshing and sunset Factory entices. You can walk off
cruises. Even the beaches have quiet the calories just out of town on Mt
corners, where you’ll ﬁnd nobody but Wellington, which has wonderful views
a leather-skinned ﬁsherman standing over Hobart and half of Tasmania.
knee-deep in surf.
Melbourne Tropical North Queensland
From trendy boutiques to laid-back Cairns has taken on a cosmopolitan air
cafés, pretty parks to football stadiums, in recent years, yet still manages a laid-
nineteenth-century architecture to back Queensland charm and wonderful
cutting-edge art, Melbourne has surrounds. A sleek boat transports you
something for everyone. The ultimate to the Barrier Reef for a plunge among
experience must be a weekend AFL tropical ﬁsh and coral. A scenic train
game at the MCG, but vying for second journey takes you past waterfalls to
place is fashion shopping on Chapel Kuranda. A drive into the countryside has
Street, coffee along Brunswick Street, you among rustling ﬁelds of sugarcane,
or Chinatown dining. Southbank’s where dusty dogs doze on verandas.
museums are outstanding; try the Ian Further north, wedged near World
Potter Centre, the ﬁrst major art gallery Heritage rainforest, Port Douglas has
dedicated exclusively to Australian art. some seriously cool restaurants haunted
When the hustle of the big city gets too by celebrities. It is small wonder that this
much, simply take a rattling tram to the corner of Australia is one of the world’s
beachside suburb of St Kilda. greatest travel experiences.
A A N T T RAV E L
This sophisticated city sits quietly on
the waters of the Gulf St Vincent and
thrives on the fruits of the region. If it’s
wine you’re after, take your pick from the
world class Barossa and Clare Valleys, the
Southern Vales and the Adelaide Hills.
Dine on an eclectic range of cuisine at
the cafes of Rundle Street or even take
a break at the Victoria Square pie cart.
Take in the suburban beaches that run
the length of the city coastline or soak
in the view from a hilltop hotel while the
setting sun sizzles into the sea.
Sydney has the best restaurants, most
South West WA Great Ocean Road varied museums, ﬁnest array of beaches
and hottest nightlife of any city in
The premium wine country of Possibly the country’s most
Australia. Its sunny and seductive beauty
Margaret River may be its greatest spectacular drive, this hundred-
is best showcased along the harbour.
attraction, but most of the southwest kilometre stretch of coastal road takes
The white sails of the Opera House and
is actually a rugged wilderness. Bring in rainforest, sea cliffs, pounding
the humpback of the Harbour Bridge are
your hiking boots and let the wind blow waves and, of course, some famous
stunning, and in the evening at Darling
away the cobwebs along a coastline of rock formations. Slow down for the
Harbour you can tuck into seafood
spectacular rock formations and scenic most spectacular section between
risotto and a good wine with the lights
farmland. Stop off at Albany, where Peterborough and Princeton, which lies
of the city splashed across the sky. The
a replica of the brig Amity shows the within Port Campbell National Park and
other highlight: a ferry ride to Manly that
cramped conditions under which the is home to the Twelve Apostles and
takes you from skyscrapers to seaside
ﬁrst settlers to WA arrived, while the Blowholes. Yet the glow-worms and suburb and beaches in a scenic
fascinating Whale World details the ferns of Melba Gully State Park, and the thirty minutes.
dangerous life of old-time whalers. boardwalk at Maits Rest, are reminders
These days, you can whale watch out on that this isn’t all about coast – the
When planning your next holiday
the bay. Inland, limestone caves, karri rainforest is beautiful too. The drive
be sure to visit the AANT before you
forests and wildﬂowers await. ﬁnishes at surﬁng-mad Torquay.
go. AANT members can save on a
wide range of Australian theme parks
Sunshine Coast Victoria’s Goldﬁelds and attractions when tickets are pre-
A laid-back lifestyle and new urban The meandering country lanes and purchased from the AANT. To ﬁnd out
chic characterise the Sunshine Coast. old settler towns of the Goldﬁelds hold more, visit the AANT ofﬁce to pick up
Surfers and pelicans bob on the waves, some ﬁne surprises: Chinese temples, a copy of the AANT Holiday
and koalas doze in the gum trees. The artworks in excellent regional galleries, Savings book.
Big Pineapple was once the height and ﬁne Thai curries in the most rural of
of sophistication and is now rightly pubs. But it’s nineteenth-century gold
something of a national treasure. Yet, rush history that’s the real drawcard.
up at Noosa ﬁne hotels and boutique Bendigo is a wild mixture of Italianate
shopping cater to the yuppie crowd, and neo-Gothic architecture and is
who dine on gourmet crab at pavement dotted with ornate bandstands and These pages: (clockwise from bottom left): Exploring
cafés. The dramatic beauty of the Glass statues of robed royalty. Ballarat is Margaret River region’s rugged side, WA; Ian Potter
Centre, Melbourne, VIC; The view from Mt Wellington
House Mountains and the coloured almost as grand, while nearby Sovereign over Hobart, TAS.
sands of Forty-Mile Beach are also Hill recreates the lifestyle of the 1850s.
highlights. Australia Zoo, and the Koala If history had been this scenic and
and Wildlife Hospital next door, entertaining at school, we’d all
are impressive. be academics.
A A NT A DV IC E
While baby boomers continue to hit the road in increasing
numbers, more and more are opting to take their pets with
them, rather than have them boarded at kennels.
Accommodation providers are increasingly responding to box as there may be times when you need to secure your pet
this trend with more of them sending out the welcome mat for within the vehicle. Some cats enjoy travel but they should
guests with two legs, four legs, and even wings. always be conﬁned whenever travelling to avoid
Just a regular search online for pet-friendly accommodation any mishaps.
will present a myriad of options. Caravan parks are among the Take a simple pet ﬁrst-aid kit containing bandages, antiseptic
most pet-friendly havens for travellers, but it is important to cream, tweezers (to remove foreign objects from fur) and pet
check with the park before you arrive, both to make sure that it travel medication.
is ok to bring your pet, and to get an idea of the ‘house rules’ While all your pet’s vaccinations should be up to date, double
for that particular location. check with your vet about additional shots your pet may need.
Many will specify that dogs need to be on leads, or cats Also ask them for a copy of the vaccination certiﬁcate and have
conﬁned to cages during certain hours. Provision for horses can your pet go through a general health check before you set off.
be easily accessed at some while others ask they be kept in NEVER leave your dog or cat in the car, no matter how quick
the ﬂoats. you think you will be. Dogs have different sweat glands to
Once you’ve decided to take your pet with you, it pays to people and won’t last long in a hot car. Always clean up after
take a few measures to make sure they’ll be both safe your dog and make sure it is well behaved. If it barks all night it
and comfortable. will ruin everyone’s holiday.
Make sure your pet is wearing identiﬁcation that will allow If you have a cat, train it from an early age to walk on a lead.
you to be contacted wherever you are – ideally, have them This allows you to take your cat outside of the caravan, tent or
microchipped. A mobile number on your pet’s tag is also a area you are staying in – don’t let your cat out without a harness
good option. Bring their favourite bowl, toys or blankets for or lead. It must also be a specially designed harness as cats can
familiarity and a spare rug to cover any furniture at the place slip out of their collars. Include kitty litter and a scoop to clean
you’re staying. Pack some of their favourite food in case you up after it and don’t let your cat wander off in a strange area
can’t get it on the road. – they may get lost.
For your and your pet’s safety, restrain a dog with a proper With some forward planning, the whole family – even the furry
pet harness while in the car. You may also wish to take a carrier ones, will have a great holiday.