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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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Mattg

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Thanks to everyone that came to the dinner tonight. We had 49 people in attendance, which I think must almost be a record?!

I had a lot of fun presenting the masterclass, and I would agree with Hvr that the guest speaker John was excellent. I really enjoyed the night.

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samh004

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Buy Australian!
In that case, pass me the Pepe Saya? :p

I've got as far as Sydney so far and looking forward to getting back on the GC and taking a swim!

On arrival to SYD it was a strange sight to be greeted with medical staff in surgical gowns to have a temperature check and quick survey about where we'd been in the last 2 weeks. Presumably related to the quarantine incident the other day.
 
Vinomofo is the best wine deals site on the planet. Good wines, real people and epic deals, without all the bowties and bs.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

Lynda2475

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Currently sitting in the Qantas Business lounge at CBR, waiting for boarding to be called for flight home. In worrisome news the lounge has run out of champagne!!

AFF weekend has been great, thanks @Mattg for organising everything. Was great to meet so many new people and reconnect with others.

Hope everyone has a safe trip home, i look forward to the next meet.
 

SydneySara

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samh004

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Made it back to the Gold Coast and it appears the officers in the airport randomly pick passengers to ask questions, much like the explosives test. Thought I overheard one of them ask if a passenger had recently been to Canberra, but they didn't ask me so I kept moving!

Thanks for all the great work in organising the dinners and activities. Until very recently it certainly seemed like it wasn't going to get off the ground, but I'm so happy to see it did, even if I was only able to come for one night!
In worrisome news the lounge has run out of champagne!!
I wouldn't have thought they ever had champagne! :p

How is the catering noting @samh004 other thread?
By the way, food was lovely on the way back, wine was acceptable (Red Claw) but it just irked me that I'd bought a ticket and under the guise of COVID they'd said spirits weren't safe, or at least, not as safe as wine and beer :p

They managed to spill a hot cup of tea over a lady a couple rows behind me... I'm sure she would have much preferred it was vodka! :D
 

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