Nigel Herbert, the Disgruntled Traveller, finally meets his match - in the form of an online booking engine… Is it just me, or is booking a flight online now the most arduous, frustrating and tension-building transaction you can possibly do online? I am not a behavioural science expert. I don’t have a degree in behavioural analytics. I am just a consumer. And what I CAN tell you is that booking a flight on an Australian airline website is an exercise in increasing levels of frustration, culminating in a deep-seated hatred of the people you are about to spend a couple...
Nigel Herbert traces why Sydney Airport is so expensive to get to and shop at. Did you know that some hotel chains are now employing "directors of first impressions". And it's easy to write off a name like that as marketing gone mad. But it got me thinking. Sydney Airport needs a "director of first impressions". After all, Sydney airport is by far Australia's largest airport and accounts for over 35 Million passengers and 280,000 aircraft movements each year. And for the vast majority of overseas visitors, Sydney airport is their first impression of Australia. And I think we need...
Nigel Herbert continues his personal quest to avoid paying extortionate wi-fi fees and to search out Australia-wide internet access to meet the rigorous demands of a travel magazine. Last week Steve the web editor here at Australian Traveller magazine wrote an article discussing the high cost of internet use in Australian Hotels. It’s something we have been struggling with at the magazine over the years. We have tried paying for internet access, using dongles on laptops and using phones. But it is still not an ideal situation. And the problem is that it is only getting worse. AT's issue is...
At Australian Traveller we are about to splurge our hard-earned dollars on a new DSLR for the cabinet. Nigel Herbert explains why we are going to buy the camera that no one seems to like. The Canon 6D. Okay, it's not that people actually "hate" the camera. It's just that since this camera was launched there has been very little buzz, and none of the camera experts seem very excited about it. But we are excited and they are wrong. Because for myriad reasons, the Canon 6D is quite possibly the best DSLR for travel that we have seen yet....
I have been playing around for a couple of months now with a shiny new iPad mini. And the verdict is in. The iPad mini is what the original iPad should have always been. And I can say this without any equivocation. I can't see myself returning to the original (big) iPad. Why? Size: I don’t know what to say, but the iPad mini is more ergonomic than the original iPad. Which I will now refer to as the 'maxi'. But compared to the mini it’s cumbersome and big. Plenty others disagree and love the size of their iPads. Some...
One of the great perks of working at Australian Traveller magazine is that I get my hands on some of the latest technology and get to play with it. And I get paid for it. But truth be told, I would probably do it for free. And sometimes something comes along that is so special, and such good value, that I have to share it with you. In this case I must share with you my thoughts on Tamron's new 24-70 lens that I have been playing with for about a month now. I am not going to give you a...
It's interesting how cameras are becoming more like computers. Every 6 months seems to bring along some new models. Each model is faster than the previous, and each one seems to have more megapixels and higher ISO levels. It's great for photographers. But don't forget. The point of photography is to have great images. Not the latest gear. That my friends is a thankless task. I was reminded of this this week when I was asked the "what camera should I get" question from a colleaugue. Which was interesting because I have been playing around with our old Canon 5D...
Further to my previous post about qantas launching a new website (hooroo - here) it appears that the good folks at Channel 9 have launched a new website. Turu. Now I am sure that Turu and Hooroo, are an unfortunate example of two people launching products into the market with similar sounding names. Maybe. The websites do seem a little different. Turu seems to focus on booking accommodation in Caravan parks, while Hooroo seems to focus more on Hotels. Still, I wonder how much discussion Channel 9 had with Qantas when they decided to sponsor the Olympics and run their...
Today Qantas have announced a new website called hooroo that will allow people to book accommodation directly. And no. It's not a website. It's a "social commerce platform". Bullshit. To me it looks like a website. At this stage it details are a little sketchy. When asked, none of Hooroo's management was able to quantify how many accommodation partners had signed up to the website. Although I did ask (cheekily) for them to express the amount of inventory they have as a percentage of the wotif website inventory. They declined to answer that question. The site itself seems fairly straight...
Here at Australian Traveller magazine we get bombarded with press releases. Some are really helpful. Most aren't. I understand that it's a tough gig for PR companies to continually try and manufacture "news" about their client. Especially when they are hotels. Imagine trying to create a "news" item about a hotel every week in order to justify your retainer? The end result is more and more tenuous press releases. That I am sure that the people putting them out are embarrassed by. And without further ado I introduce you to this weeks doozie... This comes from a well known international spa...
Well, it's finally here! We have launched International Traveller magazine. The magazine went on sale yesterday and the feedback over the last 24 hours has been great! If you want more information on the magazine you will be able ot purchase it at your local newsagency, or visit the International Traveller Magazine website. Thanks to everyone who contributed. You all know who you are -:)
So there's a bit of flooding going on at the moment in Australia. Thankfully these floods are fundamentally rural floods, which generally means slow moving waters and not a lot of lives lost. Last years floods in Grantham QLD by contrast was brutal, viscious and came from nowhere. And every time I see the floodwaters on TV I become a little bit angrier. Why? Because the news every night seems to show some pillock driving through floodwater. Stupidly. Maybe it looks good on TV. You see car headlights approach the camera on the other side of the floodwater. It's bucketing...
Thought I would share with you all some of the amazing photographic opportunities we get at Australian Traveller magazine. This one happened a couple of years ago, but it was a real doozie. On a trip through outback NSW we were guided to a place called "The Chambers Of The Black Hand" at Lightning Ridge. Its probably a 10 hour or so drive from Sydney, and the start of the "REAL" outback. I have my own definition of Outback Australia. Outback Australia begins when the farmers muster their stock using aircraft. That's the real outback. Anyhow, I digress. Our little...
Sure, the camera phone market is eating into the compact camera market but I think Canons latest announcement is a step in the right direction for them. It's a new addition to their PowerShot range. The PowerShot D20. I was always a fan of the D series PowerShot cameras with their cheerful colours and rugged build. A compact camera is always ging to be a compromise, but I think these cameras are a smart move on behalf of Canon. Panasonic have been doing well with their rugged Lumix "tough" range. My feeling here is that these cameras are doing well because...
The Disgruntled Traveller spends a rather unlikely night out, for him, at the 'Jurassic Lounge' (Nigel Herbert). So. I went to an event last night. A rather remarkable event actually. Have you ever been to a party that had a silent disco? It’s quite disconcerting to watch a bunch of people busting their dance moves in complete silence. I have also never been to a party that had a dinosaur walking around. I have never been to a party that where you could play twister, or build 3D models and create movies.And I have never ever ever been to a...
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- The ‘ghost towns’ of outback NSW
- East coast country cottage chic
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #53 road trip the Legendary Pacific Coast, Sydney to Brisbane
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #63 take a beach break, Sapphire Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #86 a beach break on The Shoalhaven Coast, NSW
- Dream road trips: Esperance to Perth (via Margaret River)
- Dream road trips – Perth to the Pilbara (return)
- Ultimate Escapes: WA’s Great South West Edge – wine, white sand & wilderness
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #19 escape to the Rowley Shoals, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #23 a beachy road trip in WA’s South West
- Ultimate Escapes: Queensland’s Wet Tropics
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #11 stay at Lizard Island, Qld
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #54 holiday in Queensland’s triple threat
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #78 walk Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #85 swim with Manta Rays, Lady Elliot Island, Qld
- Thalia Haven – the greatest ocean-view bathtub in sight?
- Ultimate Escapes: Tasmania
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #2 road trip Tasmania’s east coast
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #5 book into Saffire Freycinet, Tas
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #13 (a tie) walk the Freycinet Experience, Tas
- Ultimate Escapes: Timeless North, NT
- Get lost in style in the Northern Territory
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #18 see the wet season in the Top End
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #27 make the Red Centre pilgrimage
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #56 (tie) follow Larapinta Trail (World Expeditions), NT