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Going Places: Tales from the road: Outdoor travel in Australia

Amanda Jones: travels in Australia
Q&A: What's with this Aussie love-fest thing?

Q: Why are Americans so in love with Australia and Australians?
Bill Sawyers
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

A: Well, Bill, I am actually a New Zealander by birth, so I don't know that I am eligible to answer your question. I think we are all a little romanced by their basic honesty and lack of pretention (the Outback Aussies, that is). Sorry I can't be more enlightening about this proclivity.

Q&A: I want to live there. Got any recommendations?

Q: Did you get to spend much time in Perth? We have been exploring the idea of living in W.A. for a while. It would be interesting to get your feedback (based on all of the places that you've visited, of course!) Loved your story, you oughta check out Exmouth while you are in Western Australia. There is some fantastic reefs and wonderful wildlife in and around the northwest cape.
Jim O'Farrell
Bellevue, WA

A: Thanks for the compliment on the story, Jim. I love WA and would move there in a heartbeat if I were able. I have not spent much time in Perth, although I inderstand it is a fabulous city--a little provincial. It is one of Australia's richest cities (in sheer $$). I am planning a trip back to dive with the whale sharks in Exmouth. I've heard it's wonderful. You may also want to think of Broome as a possibly town to dwell in, it's remarkably sophisticated for its size (and gorgeous). Good luck.

Q&A: Where's the best wildlife-watching?

Q: Have done the bushwacking thing, climbed koskioscko (and even butchered the spelling), etc. Now I would like to go back a see animals, animals, animals. Which part(s) of the country should I visit? Which time of year is best to visit? Thanks for your advice! Stay outside!
John Eberle
Newton, MA

A: Animals are not as much my thing as people. However, Australia is swarming with animals of all sizes and leg-number. I think the Northen Territory has some of the best examples. Did you read the Kakadu story? For more precise information call the Aussie hotline 1-800-DOWN-UNDER and ask one of their trained consultants. Or you can ask on-line at the Virtual Australia web page on AOL. Or, you could ask the Outside Online Adventure Adviser for advice. Have fun.

Q&A: Any good places to boogie-board?

Q: Where are the best spots for boogie-boarding in Australia? Mark Farber
Redmond, WA

A: Ooo, now there's a tough one. But you are in luck, I happen to have an Aussie surfer staying with me right at this second. Sydney has good boogie boarding, also South Western (on the Southern Western coast) Australia has great waves, absolutely HUGE. Call the Surf Report (714) 496-5922 and for $6 you can get a report on all the best locations in Australia by region. Or call the Aussie tourist help line !-800-DOWN UNDER and ask them for more specific advice.
Stay afloat.

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