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AFF Gathering #14 in CBR on 4 - 6 December 2020

Added to Calendar: 04-12-20, 05-12-20, 06-12-20

**This event is now fully booked! For those who've already registered, this thread contains important information & updates about the weekend. We look forward to seeing you soon.**

Canberra has been chosen as the AFF Annual Gathering destination for 2020, occurring over the weekend of the 4th to 6th December; this will be the second time the event has been held in the final month of the year. The average temperature range for December is 11.9ºC to 26.3ºC. The average rainfall is 53.2mm with 7 rainy days. It is Australia's eighth most populous city (as of June 2018) representing 1.83% of Australia.

Canberra has previously played host to an Annual Gathering, as the fifth city chosen in the fourth year (2011). On that occasion, 13 attendees made the journey. Canberra is not the first city to play host twice, with Melbourne previously taking that honour as the first (2008) and eighth (2014); Adelaide as the second (2008) and twelfth (2018); and more recently Sydney as the third (2009) and thirteenth (2019).

Helping to organise this year will be @support & @Mattg.

If you're attending, we recommend downloading the Check in CBR App. Due to COVID-19, please be mindful to practice good hygiene and social distancing where possible. If you are unwell, please do not attend.




Schedule

Here is the itinerary for the weekend:

Friday 4th December
To start the weekend, we'll be holding a dinner at Southern Cross Yacht Club, Yarralumla. You are welcome to arrive between 6.30pm-7.30pm for drinks at the bar, and dinner will be served from 7.30pm-9.30pm. There will be a fixed 3-course menu (we can account for dietary requirements), and the cost is $59 per person. Drinks will be available for purchase from the bar on the night.

Saturday 5th December - morning activities

Saturday Activity Option 1 - Parliament House tour

We'll meet at Parliament House and join a 30-minute public tour of the building. There is no cost for this activity - you'll just need to make your own transport arrangements to/from Parliament House. You must be at Parliament House by 10.15am, in preparation for the tour which will take place from 10.30-11am. We'll meet outside the main entrance, before the security checkpoint.

Saturday Activity Option 2 - visit to Australian War Memorial
Join other AFF members for a visit to Australian War Memorial. Please note that tours are not currently available, so you'll be visiting as a guest. There is no cost for this activity - you'll just need to make your own transport arrangements to/from Australian War Memorial. Meet outside the main entrance at 11.30am.

Saturday Activity Option 3 - Full-day winery tour
This will be a full-day winery tour with a maximum of 10 people, running from around 9.30am until approximately 3.30pm. You'll be picked up from Pepper's Gallery Hotel in Civic in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle and visit 3 wineries in the Canberra region. The cost is $190/person and includes lunch at Olleyville as well as a professional guide for the day. Note: This tour includes visits to wineries in NSW and it is recommended that you eat breakfast before joining the tour.

Saturday 5th December - evening
On Saturday evening, we'll be holding a dinner at Kingston Hotel. Before the dinner, there will be an optional one-hour Frequent Flyer Points Masterclass + Q&A session hosted by AFF editor Matt Graham from 6-7pm. This event is sponsored by Frequent Flyer Solutions and attendance is free, but you'll need to register.

After this, the main dinner will commence at 7.15pm. There will be a guest speaker at this dinner. Members will be able to order and pay for food & drinks on the night - no pre-payment is required.

Sunday 6th December
On Sunday we're offering a sightseeing tour to some of Canberra's best outdoor spots.

Sunday Tour - Mt Ainslie, Lanyon Homestead & Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve
Departing from Pepper's Hotel at 9.45am on Sunday morning, we'll visit Mt Ainslie for panoramic views over Canberra before heading to the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve in the south of Canberra, where you'll see some of the local wildlife including koalas and we'll stop for a short walk. Along the way, we'll visit Lanyon Homestead for a homestead heritage tour and lunch at the Barracks Café. We'll return to the airport by 4.45pm & the city at around 5pm. The cost is $80/person excluding lunch. This tour will remain entirely within the ACT and we recommend bringing a bottle of water with you.
 
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straitman

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Did anyone else that's staying at Rydges get this email?

View attachment 234855

I clicked on the offer but it didn't say how much the extra night would cost.
I got the email.
After clicking on the offer I was told that no offers were available for me.
In ‘theory’ I should be offered a double UG for free due status.
 
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Bindibuys

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I received an email yesterday offering me an upgrade (already staying Sunday night) but when I clicked, next pages said - sorry no offers available.
 

Major

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I'm using LifeMiles points for 3 nights. No email for me
 

Happy Dude

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Has anyone been able to check using an ACT govt issued QR without downloading the ACT app?

The beauty of QR codes is that you arent supposed to need an app, most newer phones camera software just recognoses them and opens a URL.

Really hoping they direct to a URL, dont want to be installing more apps.
You don't need to download an app. Just scan and fill out the details, each venue, to register your whereabouts.
 

Hvr

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I've downloaded the app and filled out my details.

If you don't want to have your regular phone number all over CBR then get a $5 Aldi SIM, register it and put into an old phone, and scan that using your regular phone as a hot spot.
 

Happy Dude

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You don't need to download an app. Just scan and fill out the details, each venue, to register your whereabouts.
@Lynda2475 , actually I think I'm wrong here.

If you don't have the Check in CBR app, you can't use the QR code to sign in if that venue has registered to be the Check in CBR program. You'll be taken to a ACT gov Covid19 page inviting you to download the app. If you don't do that or want to use the app you use the sign in sheet to record your name/mob no. If the venue does not participate in the Check in CBR program they'll have their own QR code and system to record your details. They have to provide an alternative to the QR code scan method, which is usually a sign in sheet.

There's a FAQ on the covid19.act.gov.au website.
 

Lynda2475

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Thanks. Seems like poor design that the ACT govt issued QR codes can only be used by their app, so simple to also have web form that saves to same database - the Service NSW issued QR codes dont require you to use their app.

I'll download the app and then just remove it again on Sunday. I assume people trying app then having to switch to phone QR reader or vice versa will slow entry down unless its obvious from signage which system a venue is using. I dont trust manual sign-in.
 

Happy Dude

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Thanks. Seems like poor design that the ACT govt issued QR codes can only be used by their app, so simple to also have web form that saves to same database - the Service NSW issued QR codes dont require you to use their app.

I'll download the app and then just remove it again on Sunday. I assume people trying app then having to switch to phone QR reader or vice versa will slow entry down unless its obvious from signage which system a venue is using. I dont trust manual sign-in.
Yeah there's often a non-socially distanced queue for entry. And the manual sign ins are pretty useless IMO. I've seen plenty of illegible writing on the forms and there's no way to verify the information.
 
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If driving around CBR, watch out for the DC Blue licence plates that indicate diplomatic corp. Today, one came straight toward me going down the wrong way on the on ramp. So, they did a 10 point turn and went the right way straight across to the other side through a red light.
Typical driving. (When going through a green light intersection do a quick glance right and left to ensure they are not coming at you). They tend to be more numerous in the inner South CBR.
 

RG1

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If driving around CBR, watch out for the DC Blue licence plates that indicate diplomatic corp. Today, one came straight toward me going down the wrong way on the on ramp. So, they did a 10 point turn and went the right way straight across to the other side through a red light.
Typical driving. (When going through a green light intersection do a quick glance right and left to ensure they are not coming at you). They tend to be more numerous in the inner South CBR.
And then there’s DX plated vehicles as well, they can be just as clueless. I shudder to think what would happen if I got taken out by a DC/DX plated vehicle.
 
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I'm looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow and/or Saturday - I thought today was Wednesday so it's that much closer to Friday than I thought! I apologise in advance as I'm terrible with names, but I'll do my best!
Me two! I have followed many member’s adventures with jealousy and admiration and look forward to putting a name to a face
 
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Matt_01

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Well after what has seemed like an inordinate amount of faffing around:
  • Flights confirmed (these changed a few times) - check
  • Hotel accomodation - check
  • SA-VIC visa/ permit - check
  • SA-CBR visa/ permit - check
  • return to SA visa/ permit - check
Hopefully the flights stay on track and I will make the dinner tomorrow evening.
 

kookaburra75

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If driving around CBR, watch out for the DC Blue licence plates that indicate diplomatic corp. Today, one came straight toward me going down the wrong way on the on ramp. So, they did a 10 point turn and went the right way straight across to the other side through a red light.
Typical driving. (When going through a green light intersection do a quick glance right and left to ensure they are not coming at you). They tend to be more numerous in the inner South CBR.
No, that's just a typical day driving in Canberra, especially in the morning on the GDE or the Parkway - and not just the DC/DX plates. And don't get me started on any attempt by Canberra drivers to merge. Those of you who are driving in from other cities, beware. :)
 

JessicaTam

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I'm looking forward to meeting everyone tomorrow and/or Saturday - I thought today was Wednesday so it's that much closer to Friday than I thought! I apologise in advance as I'm terrible with names, but I'll do my best!

Me two! I have followed many member’s adventures with jealousy and admiration and look forward to putting a name to a face

Don't worry, everyone will have a name tag ;)
They are all packed!
 
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I think that Canberra drivers have actually improved. When we first stayed here in 1979 we noticed that no one seemed to have heard of speed limits, red lights were regularly ignored and indicators, what are they for?

At that time a joke was doing the rounds in Victoria: what secondhand car should I buy? One from Canberra of course, you will be sure the indicators have never been used!

Now the situation seems only marginally worse than in other big cities.
 

AIRwin

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View attachment 235089

Packed, should be hitting the road in about an hours time. See most of you tonight for dinner.
Oh wow, I'm on my way to the airport with only a backpack and a bottle of wine for my friend whom I'm staying with...

I noticed something odd about my return flight CBR-BNE on Sunday - the same flight number QF1554 is used for MEL-CBR on other days of the week for some reason?
 
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