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OT: ?? Australia Info: Townville, Queensland

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by pyrdek, May 11, 2009.

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  1. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

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    Have a daughter heading for Australia, James Cook University in Townville, Queensland. She will be leaving in July and staying there till November.

    I have a few questions about what she can expect there and what she will be needing in the areas of clothing, electronics (cell phone and computer in particular) and so forth. Since this group is a world-wide bunch, I figure that maybe some questions could be answered here. I know that I met a few shooters from "Down Under" at Vandalia and that "Bat" Thomas (noted for his LONG-LONG gun barrels shooting from the hip in a wheelchair) was good friends with some of the Australian shooters, so I hope I can get a bit of info.

    What cell phone system is used in Australia? I suspect it is different than that used in the U.S. What would be the better way to obtain cell service for the five months or so she will be there? Is it better to wait till your there to get a plan and phone or can arrangements ne made while still in the U.S.?

    Is there a "Trac" phone type of service (where you only pay for the actual minutes used) service available in Australia and does it support International calling or only domestic? Similar questions about the use of International Calling cards for her to be able to call home (probably asking for money ;-)

    She has a MacBook (Apple) computer. I took a look at the James Cook Univesity website but there was very little information about International students and their using their computers while in Australia. I do recall from setting up my routers that there was a setting or two that was specific to Australia. Any help you can provide about what may be needed, either hardware or software & settings, to make the transition to Australian connections would be appreciated.

    That would also include what AC power is used in Australia. I presume 220 Volt 50 Cycle. Are converters readily available for purchase in Townville or is it better to get one here before departure? Does Australia use the European round plug kind of socket (Sorry but I can not recall the specific socket type nomenclature.)? If so, I will have to find an adapter to fit the Macbook power brick to the wall plug. All that is on her computer is the standard American two flat blade plug. Apple does sell an International power adapter kit but if I could find out exactly which type of AC plug is used in Australia, I figure I could find one and not have to buy the other five or six that come in the kit.

    Any other suggestions or advice for her to have a safe, educational, fun-filled rewarding study abroad would be appreciated.
     
  2. claycruncher

    claycruncher TS Member

    Joined:
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    I lived in Australia for a number of years and have a business operation in Brisbane. I don't know much about cell phone technology in Aus, but I use a Verizon Blackberry World Edition which supports international calls. It is costly per minute to use. Unless you have a US plan that allows international calling I don't believe her current US based phone will work there.

    I frequently use a calling card from IDT that I bought at Walgreens. While the card appears to be for calls FROM the US I received an Australian access number so I could use the card to make calls from Australia to the US when I am there. The access code is 1 800 78 87 71. Just dial that number from a phone in Aus and then use the card as directed. I think the calls run about .03 per minute calling Aus from the US and about .10 minute Aus to the US. This will be an economical way for you to stay in touch, even if you get her an inexpensive cell phone for her to use for intra-Aus calls while she is there. BTW the card can easily be recharged with more dollars as needed.

    You are correct on the current, it's 220 50. Look at her MAC charger to see if it can handle the voltage and current. I have a Dell and the charger handles both US and Australian (or European for that matter) currents. If it will handle the current all you need is an adapter that will fit their outlets. The one I use allows a US type plug (female side so you can plug in her charger) and it has the Australian style prongs that will plug into their outlets. The charger converts the voltage to whatever the MAC requires.

    Their plugs are not like the ones in the UK. Theirs has two flat blades (3 if it's a grounded plug), but they are at an angle to each other rather than parallel like in the US.

    I suggest you get some transformer/adapters before you leave so she doesn't have to hunt them down when she arrives. I posted a link to Amazon regarding some adapters. I hope this helps.

    BTW its Townsville, with an "s".
     
  3. Carol Lister

    Carol Lister TS Member

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    See the above link...

    Carol Lister
     
  4. pyrdek

    pyrdek Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Thank you both.

    I have sent on your replies to my daughter.
    Claycruncher and Carol,

    Thanks for the info.

    Yes, the Mac "brick" will run on the 240/50 but will need an adapter to get the plug configuration right. SHe is hoping to use Skype (VOIP) to phone home. Do you have any idea if that service is availabler in Australia?

    The "Gadgets" link, and the other pages on the web site were very informative.

    She has her plane ticket and is really excited about her trip to Australia. She worked all this past year to cover her plane ticket and still kept a 4.0 GPA. She set her sights on going to Australia a little more than a year ago and took care of all the details needed by both school and travel to make this a "GO". With your help, she has a better idea of what might be left to do to complete her needs before takeoff.

    Thank you.

    Joe P.
     
  5. claycruncher

    claycruncher TS Member

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    Messages:
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    Hi Joe, Skype works well in Australia. We use it all the time when talking to personnel in our Australia and England operations.

    Check your PM I have sent you a message.

    Congratulations to your daughter for putting forth the extra effort to make this dream trip come true. It's rewarding as parents to see our kids grow, focus on a goal and achieve! Northern Queensland is beautiful and she is in for a treat. Being close to the Great Barrier Reef puts her in a great position to spend some time at truly one of the wonders of the world.

    If I can be of any further help call me per my PM.
     
  6. frey

    frey TS Member

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    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
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    I WOULD LIKE TO TELL U ABOUT SKYPE. I SKIPE COMMUNICATE WITH SOME PEOPLE IN BRISBANE. IF U REGILSTER FOR SKIPE AND UR DAUGHTER DOES ALSO WHEN SHE GETS TO AUSTRALIA U CAN TALK ON UR COMPUTER WITH HER FOR HRS AND NOT PAY A THING. JUST PUT SKYPE IN THE NET A PRESS SEARCH AND IT WILL TELL U ALL ABOUT IT.
     
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