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Old 26-10-2011, 02:28   #121
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
An interesting article however factually inaccurate. Sydney airport has NO nothing to declare line, everyone interacts with customs and AQIS to some degree and if this did happen at the inspection area it was AFTER all customs intervention. NO customs officers are encountered post AQIS inspection.
Another article by a lazy journo perhaps ??
That was a totally dopey article. 99% of what happened to the writer was beyond the control of Australian Customs.
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Old 26-10-2011, 05:00   #122
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

[QUOTE=gixerjen;804118]when I flew to oz we had the foot and mouth scare over here. and I lived on a farm - that had not had even the smallest hint of the disease. but I was worried that if I answered any of the "do you live on a farm" questions wrong I would ruin my the trip for the rest of my family? I was fairly young and it did stress me.



on my way! actually, I had heard that nz had a more varied landscape, and that it's absolutely stunning. . . . it is one of my aims to see the Finn brothers at home!

what are nz customs like?[/QUOTE]

The non-Mauris shag sheep, and win rugby matches...
The Mauris do the Haka, and win rugby matches...mainly because they're terrified they might look like a sheep...
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Old 26-10-2011, 10:32   #123
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

You Australians are such a charmingly rowdy bunch but if we could tone it down a bit it would be appreciated.

p.s. Just in case the other resident of Jersey should join I think the member from Jersey should try and set a good example as well .
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Old 26-10-2011, 11:56   #124
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

We sailed in and out of OZ from 1997 to 2001, and checked into the country 4 times. Never a hassle, except AQIS charged us $400 for OT in 1997. The best check in was Gladstone, where there were 4 boats waiting for the customs dock and we got inspected and checked in in under 10 minutes.

We boarded the customs boat in Ashmore reef--had a nice tour and cuppa. We spent 3 January's in Sydney Harbor, and only got told to move once. We did the over the top rally in 2001, and didn't have to have our thru-hulls treated because we had been launched in Brisbane only a few months before.

From an American's perspective, OZ is a lot like home except they drive on the wrong side of the road. It is even more of a nanny state than we are used to, with Brisbane requiring bike helmets for adults, and there are way too many lawyers. They have lots of silly laws and regulations, but they tended not to enforce the really stupid ones back then.

All in all, we really enjoyed our visit and would go back, except for recent negative events. The one that upsets me most is their introduction of the 96 hr advance notice rule. Read Australian Customs versus American Sailors

In this case, the yacht tried to comply with the regulations, and did comply with the instructions they were given by the Australian consulate in Noumea. They ran afoul of a new regulation which they were unaware of. A reasonable man would have cut them some slack, but they were treated like terrorists, not tourists, and given a huge fine. If that's the way things are in Oz, I will be giving the country a miss in the future.
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Old 26-10-2011, 12:22   #125
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

We entered Oz late 2009 and the main bugbear was cost - A$330 Quarantine. We knew, from their website, what to expect but they were slightly over the top, but pleasant enough with it. North of Broken Bay, the sailing is OK, but limited unless you like shallow seas and bars in most of the river entrances, conditions and tide times can hinder entrance. Very good snorkelling (excluding crocodile areas!) but on the whole, given the costs of entry dubious about whether it is worth it. Long distances between good anchorages on the east coast make for long days, miles and miles of sand and/or gum trees! Have to say, I think it over-rated and I was disappointed, didnt live up to the advertising.
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Old 26-10-2011, 12:37   #126
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

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We sailed in and out of OZ from 1997 to 2001, and checked into the country 4 times. Never a hassle, except AQIS charged us $400 for OT in 1997. The best check in was Gladstone, where there were 4 boats waiting for the customs dock and we got inspected and checked in in under 10 minutes.

We boarded the customs boat in Ashmore reef--had a nice tour and cuppa. We spent 3 January's in Sydney Harbor, and only got told to move once. We did the over the top rally in 2001, and didn't have to have our thru-hulls treated because we had been launched in Brisbane only a few months before.

From an American's perspective, OZ is a lot like home except they drive on the wrong side of the road. It is even more of a nanny state than we are used to, with Brisbane requiring bike helmets for adults, and there are way too many lawyers. They have lots of silly laws and regulations, but they tended not to enforce the really stupid ones back then.

All in all, we really enjoyed our visit and would go back, except for recent negative events. The one that upsets me most is their introduction of the 96 hr advance notice rule. Read Australian Customs versus American Sailors

In this case, the yacht tried to comply with the regulations, and did comply with the instructions they were given by the Australian consulate in Noumea. They ran afoul of a new regulation which they were unaware of. A reasonable man would have cut them some slack, but they were treated like terrorists, not tourists, and given a huge fine. If that's the way things are in Oz, I will be giving the country a miss in the future.
G'Day Don and Katie,

The referenced case of ridiculous prosecution sounds really nasty, and I do feel sorry for the yotties in question. But, I'm really amazed that they didn't know about the rules in question. We have cleared from Noumea numerous times in the time period in question, and in all cases the cruising community was well aware of changes in the regs. If these folks had but asked around the docks at Marina Moselle they would have been better advised. I surely don't condone the consulate giving out fallacious info, but talking to other cruisers should have at least raised a warning flag in their minds. I'm inclined to view these articles in TCP with several grains of salt due to their editorial hostility to all things governmental.

Most of the current bitching about entry into Oz is centered around the charges for AQIS inspection. The base fee of 330 AUD, augmented by doubling for entry outside of 8-4, M-F, is daunting to low budget folks and aggravating to those better funded. The additional possibility of a mandatory termite inspection/fumigation is a worry for us all. To me, this is a bigger obstacle than Customs.

But still, we will continue to base ourselves in Oz for our South Pacific cruising for now... for us the pluses outweigh the minuses.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 26-10-2011, 12:42   #127
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

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Originally Posted by hummingway View Post
You Australians are such a charmingly rowdy bunch but if we could tone it down a bit it would be appreciated.

p.s. Just in case the other resident of Jersey should join I think the member from Jersey should try and set a good example as well .
Yeah, it probably was a little harsh . True though
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Old 26-10-2011, 13:11   #128
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

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what are nz customs like?
I've only dealt with NZ Customs and Quarantine on one occasion* and they seemed really nice. The boat was a NZ registered vessel with an american skipper and NZ crew returning to NZ from Fiji and we arrived in Opua at about 9:30 am. We filled in entry cards, they took some of the uneaten fresh food and frozen meat and the trash and had a cursory look down below. Passports stamped, documents exchanged, all very pleasant. Took about 30 minutes.

There was no charge and they gave us a "welcome to NZ" package which included a miniature bottle of rum.

They did make us wait for about an hour for our clearance because there were 3 other boats entering port behind us so they wanted to come down to the Q dock only once for all 4 vessels ... which I thought was fair enough.

We were intercepted by NZ Navy in the early morning (just after daybreak) and asked to identify ourselves over the VHF and although we didn't see them, the other boats behind us had been buzzed by a NZ Airforce aircraft a day or so previously and had been asked to ID themselves.

* Not including leaving NZ for Fiji .... that was a real doddle.
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Old 26-10-2011, 14:10   #129
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

Every time I fly home for a visit I get sent to the "search" queue which alloys the **** out of me, especially last time as it meant I missed two connecting flights to Melbourne (was in Sydney) due to the horrendous queue.

Recently I have been watching the program "Border Security" which is from Aus and I get annoyed in the way some of the customs people act like a real dick, although when that attitude ends up breaking down a drug smuggler to confess, then maybe it is not so bad.

To the OP. Aus is a big country with lots of places to visit during whatever amount of time you get on your visa and cruising permits. A day or two dealing with some painful dicks will be quickly forgotten or at least put aside. Just go and put up with it. If we were just talking painful officials on a small pacific island, then maybe skipping it is a sensible option, but I think with Aus you will probably regret the decision
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Old 26-10-2011, 14:15   #130
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Re: Beware

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Melbourne clocked up the most livable city for 2011 in the worlds economists survey. Dont know if they included the weather in that survey.
After living in London, Dublin and Stockholm I can tell you Melbourne's weather is not so bad. I miss the mild winters.

Even a Banana Bender friend I worked with in Dublin realised that Melbourne's weather was not so bad and then went to live there a couple of yeras.
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Old 26-10-2011, 15:19   #131
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

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Originally Posted by Gillian Mulcahy View Post
We entered Oz late 2009 and the main bugbear was cost - A$330 Quarantine. We knew, from their website, what to expect but they were slightly over the top, but pleasant enough with it. North of Broken Bay, the sailing is OK, but limited unless you like shallow seas and bars in most of the river entrances, conditions and tide times can hinder entrance. Very good snorkelling (excluding crocodile areas!) but on the whole, given the costs of entry dubious about whether it is worth it. Long distances between good anchorages on the east coast make for long days, miles and miles of sand and/or gum trees! Have to say, I think it over-rated and I was disappointed, didnt live up to the advertising.
Did you visit Queensland? Sounds like you only sailed the NSW coast. Much of Queensland has fantastic anchorages only short daysails apart.

$330 is expensive to clear in, but in the context of a circumnavigation, pretty small change. I would have thought the price of food and fuel here would have been more of an issue, it's not as cheap as it used to be.

We've had none of the issues you read about in TCP. Coastwatch has over flown us a few times, they just call on the VHF abd ask where you're going and where you're from. I can't understand the people who find that to be so irritating - answer a couple of quick polite questions and you're done. Or simply ignore the call if you must.

BTW there are plenty of classic and highly modified cars here, being driven legally. Sure, if you stick a Merlin into a Mini, you'll need an engineer to look at it before they issue you with plates....
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Old 26-10-2011, 15:44   #132
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Re: Beware

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Katiusha,

Firstly, I will state that I have been living here in Sydney for most of my life and have travelled extensively both within Australia and internationally.

Australia is the Ultimate nanny state.

You live here by the grace of God, hoping that you don't get busted for SOMETHING, because, apart from going to work and working for a salary for a large corporate - everything else is more-or-less illegal in some way.

Every single day there is a new law banning something, or making something else more difficult, or increasing a tax etc etc..

It's a beautiful country, with nice people, but the government in all its forms and all its versions makes it a hell to live in if you wish to do anything apart from the aforementioned "work for a salary" and have some quiet time to yourself at home on the weekend.

So the baseline is that everything is illegal here, and you hope that the police/government etc aren't specifically looking at any given time for something to fine you for.

Stay small and under the radar and there is hope that you will get away living a normal life and doing normal things.. and maybe even having a pleasant cruise. BUT DON'T TAKE IT FOR GRANTED!

What do I mean by this?

Say you want to paint your deck with non-slip (my current task!) - sure, go ahead and do it, but officially, by law, you're not allowed to do any maintenance work on your mooring. So there's a 99% chance that nobody will care, but if they want you busted, you're gone.

Say you want to install some deck hardware... yep, Officially a no-no.

Say you want to change your oil filter... Officially nope.

Of course this is really stretching it - and if you took it to court it would probably be come out ok, but the point is that at face value, these are all unlawful activities.

In fact, there are a myriad of further specific examples like this in a boating context including the number of nights at anchor, the fact that it is officially illegal to live aboard, blah blah blah.... and it is impossible to know them all (but ignorance of the law is no excuse apparently)

Did you see what happened to the Sydney version of the Occupy Wall Street movement? They were evicted by dozens of police in no time, under the "no camping" law. Right to free speech? Not here.

There is always some law that can be used to shaft you for SOMETHING here.

My mooring is a few hundred metres from the wharf/boat ramp. I have a largish RIB with an outboard motor which I use to go back and forth - I don't go anywhere else, don't do circles and create a huge wash/wake and scream like the wakeboarding boats - just one boring trip in the morning and a boring trip back in the evening... All good... Just last week though, after hundreds of these trips, my number came up. On the way back, there was a police boat on the wharf checking every boat that came back, looking for SOMETHING (ANYTHING!). I was busted for.. wait for it.. not wearing a lifejacket. ARE YOU KIDDING!!?

It appears that there is now a new law, if you are in a vessel shorter than 4.8m (~15ft) and you are alone.. regardless of whether the vessel is a tender or not, you MUST wear a lifejacket. Even if your entire trip is only 10m/yards from shore in a protected bay, in full daylight, to your big-arse sailboat with your epirb, satphone, liferaft blah blah blah on it.

Other boats were being fined for various things ranging from not carrying a whistle/paddle/bucket to not having a fishing license. Police and almost anybody with any authority here is an intimidating bully. (and don't expect to rely on them for help if you call 000/911.. you're on your own. - but that's another thread!)

Roads are the same, breath tests for alcohol/DUI etc - at bizarre times - like Monday mornings on main roads (WHY?!?!?) Speed cameras in the middle of nowhere where there is no safety issue... you name it.. I was caught by the highway patrol on radar at 3am in a coastal holiday town some 10 years ago doing 60km/h (30mph?) in a 50km/h (35mph?) on a straight stretch, with no houses around.

So if you come here, chances are that - apart from your initial compulsory meeting with authority/customs etc - you might be lucky enough to "get away" with having a normal time and having a normal cruise, but if your number comes up, that's that.

I live in fear every day that yet some more of my freedoms will be taken away, or those freedoms which were already taken away by new laws months/years ago will begin to be enforced.
I bet you read TCP!
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Old 26-10-2011, 15:46   #133
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

I've read through all of this and feel that many responses were written to invite a reaction [and they got what they asked for]

Actually, I think there are so many people cruising the east coast of Oz already, so if you feel that someone elses' comments will deter you from sailing over here, then dont come over.

Australia is not worth visiting and dangerous as you can see by this

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Old 26-10-2011, 15:54   #134
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

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You need to make allowances - Factor sells Catamarans (and is therefore very defensive about everything).
Its very true - you should see his boat - clean and polished up to a mirror finish - it shows us all up - very un- grotty yachty like.

I have to walk past his show room quality cat every time I go to my yacht, just makes one feel guilty before you even step aboard

Even the birds dont poop on his catamaran, they go next door to my boat!
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Old 26-10-2011, 16:26   #135
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Re: Australian Customs - Deterrent to Visiting Oz ?

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Originally Posted by Gillian Mulcahy View Post
We entered Oz late 2009 and the main bugbear was cost - A$330 Quarantine. We knew, from their website, what to expect but they were slightly over the top, but pleasant enough with it. North of Broken Bay, the sailing is OK, but limited unless you like shallow seas and bars in most of the river entrances, conditions and tide times can hinder entrance. Very good snorkelling (excluding crocodile areas!) but on the whole, given the costs of entry dubious about whether it is worth it. Long distances between good anchorages on the east coast make for long days, miles and miles of sand and/or gum trees! Have to say, I think it over-rated and I was disappointed, didnt live up to the advertising.
Take the Quarantine/entry cost out i would be very surprised if costs of reprovisioning/eating would be more in Aus than the UK.

Aus is a big country with long distances and most sailers rush ,miss and sail past the best. If you visited Lizard Is did you visit the Code Hole nearby for example?
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