FAQs about our Trip to Australia

Q: Are you going to New Zealand?
A: No, Australia is big enough.

Q: Are you going to Perth?
A: No, Kelly. We’re not going to Perth this trip. Although it does sound awesome.

Q: Are you going to Tasmania?
A: Not this time. Everybody says it’s fantastic. Maybe next time — I’m going to suppose there will be a next time — when we also go to Melbourne and Adelaide and Coober Pedy.

Q: Where are you going?
A: First to Sydney for a few days. Then we’ll take a leisurely route from Darwin to Alice Springs in an RV. After that time in the Northern Territory, we’re flying to Cairns, where we’ll spend a week on the beach. We fly back home from Sydney.

Q: How long are you going?
A: Four weeks. We return (hopefully) on the 2nd of July, just in time for a three-day weekend.

Q: How are you flying?
A: Boston to Los Angeles. And Los Angeles direct to Sydney. It will be my first time on A380. I will report back.

Q: How long does that take?
A: The BOS to LAX part is about 6 hours each way. The LAX to SYD part is about 14 hours. It’s slightly longer on each leg going out.

Q: What time zone will you be in? How many hours ahead or behind me will you be?
A: Sydney and Queensland are in Australian Eastern Time, which is UTC+10. The Northern Territory is in Australian Central Time, UTC+9.5. US Eastern time is UTC-5. And US Pacific Time is UTC-8. But don’t forget, the US is on daylight savings time, while Australia currently is not. So, it’s somewhat hard to say. There’s a web site that will tell you the time. And don’t forget, it’s probably tomorrow there, too.

Q: What’s the weather like?
A: Varied, but still nicer than America’s or Europe’s winter.

Q: Why are you going during Australia’s winter? Aren’t you going to miss our summer?
A: I will miss the long days of summer in the US. But I won’t miss Australia’s 120-130ºF heat in the summer. Or their biting flies and mosquitos. Or the box jellyfishes that shut down open swimming. Or the monsoons.

Q: What’s the water temperature like? Won’t it be cold?
A: I hear the water will be in the high 70s ºF. I think that’s warmer than the Milford High School pool in the winter when we used it.

Q: How did you get that much time off?
A: Brown seems very generous with it’s time-off policy, probably because they feel bad about not paying Lisa very much money. And I’ve been at MathWorks for over 12 years, so I accrue a bit. Of course, I’m using it all on this trip.

Q: How much does such a trip cost?
A: It’s not as bad as you’d think. About a quarter of it is just getting the airline tickets to Australia. The exchange rate is favorable for us now, and we’ve already paid for most of the trip — which makes the rest much less stressful.

Q: Do they drive on the right or left in Australia?
A: They drive on the wrong left side of the road. That’s going to take some getting used to, and I’ve already had a couple dreams about it.

Q: Do they have ice cream there?
A: G-d, I sure hope so.

Q: Why Australia?
A: Why not? It’s big and dry and full of crazy critters and was settled by convicts. It sounds like a perfect place for an adventure.

Q: How can we contact you if we need to talk to you?
A: Call the house. We’ll be checking messages and calling people via Skype.

Q: Are there sharks?
A: Yes.

Q: How are you managing your diabetes on the trip?
A: The same as always. Test and make small adjustments. I’m taking almost double the amount of supplies I expect to need. And I have a Frio insulin cooler that should help keep the insulin potent. Snorkeling will be interesting, but I swam all winter, so it’s not terribly out of the ordinary.

Q: Are you going to go bicycling?
A: Probably not. I went for a ride yesterday and realized it will probably be my last for a while. There’s a place in Alice Springs that rents bicycles, and there’s a 25km trail to a national park there, but I’m not sure that’s everyone’s idea of fun.

Q: Why are you going to see a big rock?
A: Why not? It’s big and red and sacred and juts out of the flattest land imaginable (or so I’m told). And I hear it glows at dusk.

Q: Are you taking a GPS so that we can track you?
A: Despite repeated requests (from Kelly, the web mapping guy) that we do this, no one has stepped forward with a GPS for us to use. No, we will not be taking a GPS, but I’ll give all y’all stalkers our location. Is UTM alright?

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4 Responses to FAQs about our Trip to Australia

  1. mary says:

    it is probably in my best interest that i not share this embarrassing piece of information with you, but until i clicked on that link to the map of australia (with the time zones and current times listed), i had no clue that sydney is on the eastern side of the country. so, thanks for that!

  2. Jeff Mather says:

    That’s okay. Mary. I didn’t know much about Australia before planning this trip either. For example, the body of water south of Australia is known as the Southern Ocean. For some reason, they never taught us that when we learned the other five oceans’ names.

    And did you know? Australia has the longest stretch of road without any turns, curves, or bends? Along the southern part of the country through the Nularbor Plain, the road is straight for almost 600 miles. And there are no trees (hence ‘Nularbor’). I hear it drives people a little crazy.

  3. Deepti says:

    Have a blast!!

  4. Ashish says:

    big rock == Ayers Rock? Read about it sometime in 6th grade and being fascinated. Any chance of taking time lapse pics? :)

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