Safe Four Wheel Driving

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Monday 9 November 6.30 – 7.30pm

Imagine sitting around a campfire, under a myriad of stars, away from the glaring lights of civilisation, in the company of family and good friends.

Four wheel driving can take you to some unique, amazing places off road that you just can’t access in an ordinary car, such as remote beaches, the outback and some fabulous fishing spots.

4WD poster photograph small

Joining a four wheel driving club is also an excellent way to find out how to properly operate your vehicle and learn about the regulations involved in four-wheel driving.  You get to meet and socialise with people with similar interests and go on trips. And driving is fun!

So whether you already own, or are considering buying a four-wheel drive vehicle to hit the open road, this session is definitely worth attending.

Greg Chase, vice president of 4WD Adventurers Club of SA, will speak about topics such as:  Different trip destinations, driver training, responsible 4WD activities, insurance, potential dangers and how to deal with them, such as how to recover your stranded vehicle.

You will also learn about the benefits of joining a 4WD club, what 4WD clubs do and how to choose and join one.

So why not come along and begin your adventure?  Book online or telephone the Library on 8397 7333.

When: Monday 9 November 6.30 – 7.30pm

Where:  Relaxed Reading Area, City of Tea Tree Gully Library

Cost:  Free.  Bookings are essential.

Safe Four Wheel Driving – provided by the 4WD Club of SA

4WD

Are you looking to explore the outback when you retire, or something to do in a friendly environment on weekends? Perhaps you have a 4WD and have yet to venture off-road?

Discover the exciting world of four wheel driving at a special info session provided by the South Australian 4WD club. Topics covered will include:

  • Why join a 4WD Club?
  • Responsible 4WD activities
  • Driver training
  • Trip destinations
  • Insurance
  • Potential dangers and how to deal with them eg recovering stranded vehicles

Free event.

Book online or phone 8397 7333.

4WD

Island Hopping – Easter Island

Each of us has our own “bucket list” of places we want to visit.  The top of Library manager Helen’s was Easter Island.  However, it is the  most remote inhabited island in the world, being over 3000km from Chile (the ‘closest’ mainland) so travelling there takes some planning.

Helen Easter Island statues2Helen says: I had wanted to visit for over twenty years to see the monolithic human carved moai for which the island is famous.  Strangely enough, my desire came from when I started working in a public library, from shelving a book on Easter Island.  I was intrigued by the images of the moai on the cover. The book was borrowed, and I marvelled at the statues, and from then wanted to see them in person. 

When Helen’s partner suggested travelling to South America for a holiday, the deal was if that was the destination, then Easter Island was on the list!

Our first stop in research was the travel section of the Library, borrowing a number of the books on South America to refine our trip.  One suggested catching a bus over the Andes Mountains to Santiago,  the best way to see the Andes up close – in the comfort of a modern two story bus.  This was added to our itinerary.  We also jumped on-line to get great suggestions on accommodation options and read reviews through Trip Advisor

Organising a flight to Easter Island from Santiago is easy, but the downside is the flight is 5 hours and requires an early morning start of 5am.  Despite this, it was truly worth the journey. The Island is inhabited by less than 6000 people and the main economy of the island is tourism.  There is one town Hanga Roa, which is close to the airport – walking distance even! 

???????????????????????????????There is great food to be had on Easter Island,  especially seafood.
In the mornings, you can see the fisherman selling the fish caught that day to the locals, along with locally grown vegetables, fruit and meat.  If your accommodation doesn’t enable you to cook, the restaurants in town are many and varied.  There are a few good patisseries which feature great cakes and doughnuts (filled with dulcha de leche), but they also specialise in empanadas.  These are very popular especially with the locals. 

The primary reason for visiting Easter Island is of course the famous Moai stautues around the island.  Helen explains to tour options: There are a couple of options, you can arrange a tour with local tour companies where you get a flavour for the history, or you can hire a car and visit any site at your own pace.  Bikes are available for hire – but word of warning, if this is your preference ensure the gears can change and you have a basic puncture repair kit as you don’t want to be stuck a long way from the town with walking as your only solution.

Helen Easter Island statuesThe statues themselves are truly a marvel.   The best site to visit for the statues on the whole island is Rano Raraku, where they were carved from the side of the volcano.  At first the site appears as if the statues were left where they had fallen over, or still in the process of being created.  The closer you get the side of the volcano you can see outlines of a variety of statues which were in the process of being created.  Just ensure you have good walking shoes!

It definitely sounds like Easter Island is a great place to visit. If this has sparked interest for you, start your research on Easter Island today!

Destination China

In  part four of our travelling staff series, Tricia talks about her travels through China. The land of the ‘unexpected’  – a vast and complex country with many layers of culture, political upheaval and history and amazing contrasts of ultra modern mega cities and beautiful idyllic wilderness.

Visiting China for 3 weeks only scratches the surface of this nation of friendly and inquisitive people we gave it our best shot visiting of the most well-known sites.

china2

Xian, The Forbidden City

First stop was the walled city of Xian.  Xian typifies China with its mix of ancient architecture, culture and antiquities contrasting with the modern business and hotel districts.  Followed by Beijing, including the Olympic village and a number of amazing cultural shows combining Chinese acrobatics, humour and culture with wonderful banquets. Treasures such as the Terracotta Warriors, The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Tai Chi in the park, the Winter Palace and so much more were explored and climbed and photographed! Our  Library travel guide was invaluable for locating many of these sites.She recites a hilarious misunderstanding on her last day:

Our guide  in China was a lovely, friendly man called Sandy ( his western name) who promised to give us a special present at the end.

What could we give him in return that wasn’t the usual kangaroo or koala made in China?  I decided we should give Sandy my tube of Vegemite which, I have to travel with no matter how far that may be. It was a sacrifice I was prepared to make to ensure our gift was of a comparable nature and cultural significance to the one he’d no doubt provide us.

Sandi was gracious in his acceptance and promptly proceeded to smear it all over his arms, face and neck. “It’s a sunscreen right?” 

China 1

The Boat of ‘Purity and Ease’ in Beijing

If we had to choose just one adjective to describe our China adventure I think it would be unexpected. Unexpectedly easy to travel within, organised, beautiful, charming, contrasting and comfortable. The people are friendly, knowledgeable, more open than we expected in discussing Chinese politics and we felt very lucky and privileged to have had even this small trip to such a great destination.

The Library has a range of travel guides for China, from basic overviews, to guide on Beijing, Shanghai and Xian specifically. We also have heaps of DVDs on this region too!

Stay tuned for next travel post when we go Island hopping!

 

The amazing travel adventures of our staff

Tea Tree Gully Library staff are definitely globetrotters. At any given time of year, there are always staff travelling and scaling the grobe,  discovering new territory and encountering new cultures.

In 2014,  staff have again travelled widely, including trips to the USA, Africa,  Japan, China and South America, as well as adventures closer to home here in Australia.

We’ve gathered a few of their travel anecdotes and pics here for you to enjoy!

Sonya’s USA Trip

Hp-Theme-Park-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-13691411-600-450Sonya, no rookie when it comes to overseas travel, has visited six of the seven continents on this planet. On a recent US visit she visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, open now for four years. She says: I just went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! It’s at Universal Studios, Orlando Florida. There’s a miniature sized snow-topped Hogsmeade Village with all the favourite Harry Potter characters. The centrepiece is Hogwarts Castle and inside is a great simulator ride that has you on a roller coaster adventure with Harry, Ron and Hermione. As you roam the village you can have lunch, (a hearty English fare) at the 3 Broomsticks, and tuck in to some yummy butterbeer! Actors roam the streets in robes and perform small skits for visitors.

We have loads of travel books on the US, and also some of the states including Florida. And of course we carry the entire Harry Potter saga by JK Rowling.

Out of Africa – Chris’ amazing experience

From the first world to the third, Chris talks about his unscheduled, yet life changing stop in the African village of Mpumba.

mpumba kidsSitting beside me on the old rickety mini bus late at night was a young local girl and her friend. Eventually I spoke up, and introduced myself. We discussed the usual – of where I had been and where I was going. I could see they were not sure of my ability to continue alone, and so Pamela, the one sitting closest to me asked if I would prefer to stay at their house for the night, and make my way to the hostel in town tomorrow during daylight. Chris took the offer and followed them back through their village to their house. He was introduced to the family, who were tobacco farmers. He continues: After an hour, Pamela returned, she brought out an impressive dinner. She had spent the last hour over a fire cooking away to feed us all. We sat in a circle, sharing this food, and I could not help but smile. I was invited into a home, fed, given a bed and treated as a life long friend and I had only just met them a few hours before on a bus in the middle of Africa. My friendship grew with this family and I stayed and worked with them for many days. Whether it was fetching water, working on the tobacco farms, helping to cook, I was treated as a true brother. They truly shared the pure kindness of a human being.

You can read the full story of Chris’ African family here. Check out our full range of travel books and DVDs on the catalogue, you may find ideas for your next adventure!

Helen and Penny heart Japan

japan generic

Penny first visited Tokyo as a 17-year-old exchange student, and dreamt of returning some time to live and work. Ten years later she realised this dream.

At 27, I quit my job, to live in the Land of the Rising Sun and become an English teacher in primary schools. I lived in the regional city of Takatsuki, located halfway between Osaka and Kyoto, which made it the perfect base for exploring and domestic travel. I travelled to Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima several times, which are all amazing but some of the most interesting places I visited are much less-known.

Naoshima

One of these was the island of Naoshima, located off the coast of Okayama. Naoshima is dotted with contemporary art galleries, built into the hills to soak up ocean and island views. One of the main galleries, Benesse House, consists of four buildings all designed by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It’s filled with works from artists all over the world, including Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Yayoi Kusama. One of the main pleasures of the island is encountering the large sculptures and artworks outside, whilst taking in the views of Japan’s Inland Sea region. For those who like their art near the sea, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Shigaraki ceramics

Another highlight for me was Shigaraki, a small town world famous for pottery located in the central Shiga Prefecture. Artisans have been making pottery here since ancient times and the area is rich with locally mined clay. The entire main street was lined with stores selling ceramics and in each store I visited, you could see ceramic artists working on their new designs. I bought 3  hand-crafted ceramic teapots when I was there and they are a nice reminder  of Shigaraki when I drink green tea, my favourite hot beverage.

shinkansen-train-japan-500

Helen adds for prospective Japan tourists; A visit to a cat cafe or a maid cafe is always a highlight! For transport gunzels, travelling by Shinkansen up and the country is a fabulous experience. Ensure you pick-up food from the supermarket before you jump aboard…. And if you are unable to identify it there is no doubt it will be fabulous!

Even though it’s 8000km due north, Japan shares the same timezone as us, so it’s generally jetlag free!

Over on our Facebook we talked about some new Japan resources that had recently come in. If you’ve been to Japan head over to that post and add what you recommend to see. Also, if you’re planning a trip, we have the most recent Lonely Planet and Eyewitness guides as well as a huge range of other Japan highlights books.

Tricia’s trip to China

Tricia talks about her travels through China. The land of the ‘unexpected’ – a vast and complex country with many layers of culture, political upheaval and history and amazing contrasts of ultra modern mega cities and beautiful idyllic wilderness.

Visiting China for 3 weeks only scratches the surface of this nation of friendly and inquisitive people we gave it our best shot visiting of the most well-known sites.

china2

First stop was the walled city of Xian. Xian typifies China with its mix of ancient architecture, culture and antiquities contrasting with the modern business and hotel districts. Followed by Beijing, including the Olympic village and a number of amazing cultural shows combining Chinese acrobatics, humour and culture with wonderful banquets. Treasures such as the Terracotta Warriors, The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, Tai Chi in the park, the Winter Palace and so much more were explored and climbed and photographed! Our Library travel guide was invaluable for locating many of these sites.She recites a hilarious misunderstanding on her last day:

Our guide in China was a lovely, friendly man called Sandy ( his western name) who promised to give us a special present at the end.

What could we give him in return that wasn’t the usual kangaroo or koala made in China? I decided we should give Sandy my tube of Vegemite which, I have to travel with no matter how far that may be. It was a sacrifice I was prepared to make to ensure our gift was of a comparable nature and cultural significance to the one he’d no doubt provide us.

Sandi was gracious in his acceptance and promptly proceeded to smear it all over his arms, face and neck. “It’s a sunscreen right?”

China 1

If we had to choose just one adjective to describe our China adventure I think it would be unexpected. Unexpectedly easy to travel within, organised, beautiful, charming, contrasting and comfortable. The people are friendly, knowledgeable, more open than we expected in discussing Chinese politics and we felt very lucky and privileged to have had even this small trip to such a great destination.

The Library has a range of travel guides for China, from basic overviews, to guide on Beijing, Shanghai and Xian specifically. We also have heaps of DVDs on this region too!

Ticking Easter Island off the Bucket List

Easter Island has been at the top of Library manager Helen’s travel list for years . However, as the most remote inhabited island in the world, located some  3000km from Chile (the ‘closest’ mainland) travelling there takes some planning.

Helen Easter Island statues2Helen says: I had wanted to visit for over twenty years to see the monolithic human carved moai for which the island is famous. Strangely enough, my desire came from when I started working in a public library, from shelving a book on Easter Island. I was intrigued by the images of the moai on the cover. The book was borrowed, and I marvelled at the statues, and from then wanted to see them in person.

When Helen’s partner suggested travelling to South America for a holiday, the deal was if that was the destination, then Easter Island was on the list!

Our first stop in research was the travel section of the Library, borrowing a number of the books on South America to refine our trip. One suggested catching a bus over the Andes Mountains to Santiago, the best way to see the Andes up close – in the comfort of a modern two story bus. This was added to our itinerary. We also jumped on-line to get great suggestions on accommodation options and read reviews through Trip Advisor

Organising a flight to Easter Island from Santiago is easy, but the downside is the flight is 5 hours and requires an early morning start of 5am. Despite this, it was truly worth the journey. The Island is inhabited by less than 6000 people and the main economy of the island is tourism. There is one town Hanga Roa, which is close to the airport – walking distance even!

???????????????????????????????There is great food to be had on Easter Island, especially seafood.
In the mornings, you can see the fisherman selling the fish caught that day to the locals, along with locally grown vegetables, fruit and meat. If your accommodation doesn’t enable you to cook, the restaurants in town are many and varied. There are a few good patisseries which feature great cakes and doughnuts (filled with dulcha de leche), but they also specialise in empanadas. These are very popular, especially with the locals.

The primary reason for visiting Easter Island is of course the famous Moai stautues around the island. Helen explains to tour options: There are a couple of options, you can arrange a tour with local tour companies where you get a flavour for the history, or you can hire a car and visit any site at your own pace. Bikes are available for hire – but word of warning, if this is your preference ensure the gears can change and you have a basic puncture repair kit as you don’t want to be stuck a long way from the town with walking as your only solution.

Helen Easter Island statuesThe statues themselves are truly a marvel. The best site to visit for the statues on the whole island is Rano Raraku, where they were carved from the side of the volcano. At first the site appears as if the statues were left where they had fallen over, or still in the process of being created. The closer you get the side of the volcano you can see outlines of a variety of statues which were in the process of being created. Just ensure you have good walking shoes!

It definitely sounds like Easter Island is a great place to visit. If this has sparked interest for you, start your research on Easter Island today!

Kathy’s Outback Aussie Adventure

This year Kathy had an adventure little closer to home.

A quiet falt campsite a little way from the dustbowl the main camping ground became

An avid 4WD adventurer, Kathy and her family recently returned from far west Queensland where they attended the Big Red Bash, an outback concert on the largest sand dune in the Simpson Desert. Not for the faint-hearted, a trip to Big Red requires some hefty 4 wheel drive work after a less-than-leisurely 1500km trek north from Adelaide to Birdsville.

As they say, the journey is half the fun with stop-overs in remote and character filled locales like Leigh Creek, Maree, Clayton Station and Mungerannie Pub along the way.

big red attempt

After finding the perfect campsite at Big Red, a 4WD adventure isn’t complete without actually driving up the dunes! After some Pajero practice out in the desert, Kathy’s daughter Stacey tackled the big one with a successful ascent on her first attempt!

Starting just after dinner, the outback concert carried on over two nights featuring classic Aussie rockers, Darryl Braithwaite, James Reyne and Ross Wilson.

big red concert

It’s not a 4WD adventure without the obligatory breakage of something, this time a starter motor problem ensured Kathy and family had a legitimate excuse to stay in the bush for a couple of extra days!

big red - susnset at Birdsville

The Library has an extensive range of 4WD and Australian adventure resources, so come see us (and Kathy!) if you’re planning an outback Australia journey.

Travellers abound at Tea Tree Gully

With Winter now really behind us, it’s been interesting to hear some of the travel stories from our staff who choose to escape the cold for a few weeks for warmer climates.

Hp-Theme-Park-the-wizarding-world-of-harry-potter-13691411-600-450Sonya, no rookie when it comes to overseas travel, has visited six of the seven continents on this planet. On a recent US visit she visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, open now for four years. She says: I just went to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!  It’s at Universal Studios, Orlando Florida.  There’s a miniature sized snow topped Hogsmeade Village with all the favourite Harry Potter characters. The centrepiece is Hogwarts Castle and inside is a great simulator ride that has you on a roller coaster adventure with Harry, Ron and Hermione.  As you roam the village you can have lunch, (a hearty English fare) at the 3 Broomsticks,  and tuck in to some yummy butterbeer!  Actors roam the streets in robes and perform small skits for visitors. 

We have loads of travel books on the US, and also some of the states including Florida. And of course we carry the entire Harry Potter saga by JK Rowling.

From the first world to the third, Chris talks about his unscheduled, yet life changing stop in the African village of Mpumba.

mpumba kidsSitting beside me on the old rickety mini bus late at night was a young local girl and her friend. Eventually I spoke up, and introduced myself. We discussed the usual – of where I had been and where I was going.  I could see they were not sure of my ability to continue alone, and so Pamela, the one sitting closest to me asked if I would prefer to stay at their house for the night, and make my way to the hostel in town tomorrow during daylight. Chris took the offer and followed them back through their village to their house. He was introduced to the family, who were tobacco farmers. He continues: After an hour, Pamela returned, she brought out an impressive dinner. She has spent the last hour over a fire cooking away to feed us all. We sat in a circle, sharing this food, and I could not help but smile. I was invited into a home, fed, given a bed and treated as a life long friend and I had only just met them a few hours before on a bus in the middle of Africa. My friendship grew with this family and I stayed and worked with them for many days. Whether it was fetching water, working to the tobacco farms, helping to cook, I was treated as a true brother. They truly shared the pure kindness of a human being.

You can read the full story of Chris’ African family here. Check out our full range of travel books and DVDs on the catalogue, you may find ideas for your next adventure!

Stay tuned for further adventures of our travelling staff.

 

 

Planning holidays… with some help from the Library

If you’re dreaming of a holiday, whether it’s an exotic overseas getaway or an exciting Aussie adventure, maybe we can help.

The Library has an extensive travel section, sorted by location so you can easily find what you’re looking for.  A couple of years ago we moved our travel DVDs to this section, so you can also grab a DVD or two while you’re there. 

Lonely Planet’s On a Shoestring series is only one example of books that focus on backpackers, or other people travelling on a budget. They suggest great places to eat and stay that don’t cost too much, so you can spend more on souvenirs!

A lot of our staff members enjoy travelling and are more than happy to recommend some books and websites where you can find all the information you need. You can also search the One Card Network catalogue and place up to 30 holds on any books, DVDs or other items you’re interested in.