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  #11  
Old 01-12-2013, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Laurentius,
I will admit I was surprised by your reply but upon further thought figured you simply might not travel much (my question is as common a question as "Can you recommend a place to stay?") or perhaps you don't imbibe or perhaps are wealthy enough cost does not matter.

Knowing whether to bring along; or purchase duty free or once one arrives is not a question of whether or not one will have a drink in a pub with a local. I honestly cannot fathom how you got to that conclusion from my question.

At least half of our time in Australia will be spent on a train and as Brickie pointed out we'll be a captive audience. Most of those on the train will be tourists and having a drink with one is not unlikely in the club car, but with an Australian, such as one would find in a pub, I think less likely. The few days: 2 in Sydney, 1 in Perth, 1 in Darwin and 1 in Adelaide are going to be ones of sightseeing...hanging about in a pub is not high on our agenda (not that we won't perhaps end up in one). The tightness of the schedule is set by the time tables of the trains.

This is a quick trip, something my wife likes to do is ride trains, it is a kind of reward for dealing with my parents their final 8 years. I've ridden trains in Equator, Peru and Bolivia as well as Egypt and of course thruout europe and they're a fun and easy way to see the country even if they are not always the least expensive. She wants to ride the Trans-Siberian Railway but I have bargained for some bicycling in France in the fall first. Maybe next year the Trans-Siberian.
Bests,
Wiley
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2013, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Hi Wiley,

My comment was tongue in cheek or cork in bottle. You right, I don't travel much in the sense of a tourist, my travel approach is not the typical(been there done that style). I've lived in Europe and now in Japan for the last 20 years and have seen quite a bit of both. Truthfully, I'll never heard that type of question before, normally the duty free shopping of alcohol that my friends make are for gift giving, unless its some unattainable treat for Ireland of Scotland, that they get for themselves. I apologize for my tasteless attempt at humor. I do hope that you have wonderful and memorable vacation.
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2013, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

We just flew back from Western Australia and I bought a stubby (375 ml bottle of beer) at the airport bar for the outrageous price of $8. If you buy a carton (24) of the same stuff at the bottle shop you pay around $2 ea. it's been some time since I travelled by train, but if memory serves me well, which is becoming increasingly difficult these days, their prices are also outrageous.
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  #14  
Old 01-13-2013, 02:49 AM
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Hi Wiley,
we have a friend who worked (not sure whether she still works on them today though) on both the Indian Pacific and the Ghan trains and can contact her on any questions you may have. Not being a drinker myself, I don't buy alcohol anymore as I don't know what brand of around 50 beers are preferred by our guests as I have thrown away a half a trailer of old beer and wine.
We also have friends who are customs officers here in Adelaide and they told us that if we bought a half full bottle of spirits into the country from overseas, then that doesn't count in your eligibility, so we bought in with some Johnny Walker (which is un openned and still waiting for tasting) a half - 2/3 bottle of Irish Cream which we enjoyed in Singapore some 18 years ago.

Neill
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2013, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

"I have thrown away a half a trailer of old beer and wine."
Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh???!!!!
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  #16  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:05 AM
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David,
back a while ago after my mother died, mu father collected hundreds and hundreds of bottles of wine and fortified wines, keeping them in a separate rumpus room in hexagonal clay pipes.
As he used t spend summertime only in Adelaide and the rest of the time touring the top end and at his second wife's home in Bundaberg, some local louts broke into, drank themselves into a stupor, then set fire to the house.
Many bottles were smashed when the brigade extinguished the fire and I was left to clean up the mess. Dad took a couple of dozen bottles up to Qld, my sister and brother collected a couple of dozen each and guess who had to dispose of the rest.
Well I still have heaps stored in my garage in those clay pipes and took a few ports on a long 4 wheel drive trip to share with fellow workmates around the campfire even though I don't drink.They weren't impressed with the smoked label and didn't want anything to do with it until I tipped it onto the fire! Well, I have never seen such bright fierce bright pink flames when the alcohol burnt which woke the mates up. They devoured it and wanted more, the best they had tasted.
I used to save some white and red wines but never drank any, had to throw them away after keeping them for up to 30 years and leaking through their corks, so no more waste of money or grog.

Neill
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  #17  
Old 01-13-2013, 05:46 PM
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Thank you all for responding,
Neill I would appreciate any info on pricing of beer on the train. I usually drink a "local beer" when out of country. Otherwise it's Guiness draft with the wiget inside the can. Not as good as Guiness in Ireland (in the north anyway and Murphy's in the south). When I was in NZ it was Leopard (brewed by Lion and Australian company?). I don't believe in being impaired at sea but I left with two crates on board back in '79. They only came in small bottles and made for an excellent sundowner. They lasted until Tahiti then it was back to Hinano or Rhum Roga. They brew an acceptable beer in Tahiiti called Hinano. The brewery had this scam wherein they charged a heavy deposit on the the beer shipped to the Marquesas and other outer islands yet provided no place there to return the empties and get the deposit back. Yachties used to head to the local dump and collect the empties and we filled every empty space on board with them. Six empties bought a full one back in Papeete and we were being Earth friendly by recycling! The brewery caught on of course and changed the bottle shapes every six months or so and would not honor any bottle shape but the current one. At one point they were bottling in liter bottles! I saved one and have attached a picture.

And wotavidone, I greatly appreciate the heads up on brands. We too have a beer here that's known as green death it's Rainier Ale and comes in a 16 oz can with a green label. At 7.3 % alcohol it will quickly sneak up on one. It too is an acquired taste. Can you recommend a dark beer? Is Lion an Australian Co. and still brewing Leopard?

As for open bottles: our limitations on "carry on fluids" prohibits even unopened bottles/containers greater than a couple ounces :-( so that rules out bringing something from here. Duty Free on Emirates carries only Chivas Regal and a Courvoisier brandy not even a rhum in the selection. So it looks like a local purchase once we get there, still will be cheaper I expect than what is charged on the train.

Thanks all,
Wiley
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  #18  
Old 01-13-2013, 11:38 PM
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Wiley,
just checked with my contact who still works with the trains but not now on the trains. She said that after April 1st, they are offering special deals all inclusive, drinks, food and a single tour. Beers, Crown larger at $7 each and Victorian Biter (VB) $5.50. You are not allowed under any circumstances to take on board your own alcohol as it will be confiscated and returned to you at the end of your journey. Apparently that is explained when you get your tickets.
I would assume that you booked all trips through a US travel agency and my contact (I will email you her address is more than happy to answer your questions and also ask some to best advise you on your deals).
There is a bottle of beer obtainable in Darwin called the Darwin Stubbie, it is 2.25 litres, usually bought as souvenirs.

Cheers.

Neill
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  #19  
Old 01-14-2013, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Thank you Neill, I'll contact her.
I sort of expected that there most likely would have a policy wherein bringing on your own was prohibited. When I travel I always endeavor to follow the laws, rules and social norms of the country and society in which I am a guest. I am there at the pleasure and sufferance of that country's government. I travel to experience and witness a different lifestyle, geography etc. than what I have at home. I value diversity and if something is upsetting or unjust to me I always try to keep in mind that it is my option to go home. It is also best to keep in mind that any rights we enjoy at home are not universal world over.

I checked my itinerary to be sure and on April 1 the schedule for both trains changes so that they run but once a week. March 31 is also the last day of the special 30% offer for Gold Class which is what we booked. The cost of what we will drink will be but a small portion of the overall cost of the trip and although mentally painful to pay what is asked at the time of purchase, still no big deal in the larger picture. I'll try saying that over and over to myself in my mind as I pay $8.00 or more for a beer.

I looked up Darwin Stubbie and it does look like a tourist gimmick.
Beer Club - Glass beer bottle styles
Here we have something called a "Growler" which is a half US gallon it is something that one recycles to the pub and where it is refilled. It is not sealed like a crown cap so it is for fairly quick consumption.

Bests,
Wiley
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2013, 12:44 PM
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Default Re: Crossing Australia by rail

Gudday
Most Australian beers are between 4.5 to 5 per cent alcohol so you are basically getting more bang for your buck. There are of lower strength beers and they are getting more available and are just as flavoursome as the higher strength beers as they are brewed for there particular strength and not just watered down.
The standard serving size is 375 ml glass known as a schooner, but as you move further nth and the warmer parts most pubs dispense with the glass and serve straight in the can or glass bottle or stubbie with a foam stubbie holder to keep you beer cold
In the US the doors of bar are designed so the drinkers can not be seen in Aussie the bar doors can be left open and the drinkers can be seen from the street. Very inviting and makes you want to stop and have a quick one. Aussie pubs often have a beer garden an area outside the building where you can enjoy a beer in the open air.
Food is also available and you will find anything from snacks a plate of French fries or a meat pie usually right through to full meals which are usually good quality and very reasonably priced.
Aussie pubs are not bars and you can drink eat play darts, pool gamble listen to bands and even have a meeting of your fishing club.
Anyway I assure you if you like a cold beer on a hot day that Aussies do to but as had been mentioned before if you like fosters .... Sorry Aussies don't and we send it overseas......
Regards dave
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