• AFF Gathering #15 (October 2021) Postponed

    Unfortunately Covid got the better of us and we have been forced to postpone the 2021 annual AFF Gathering. The event will now be held in October 2022.

    Please see my POST for full details.

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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Lynda2475

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I wouldn't have thought they ever had champagne

Fair call, but didnt have any sparkling wine of any variety.

Boarding delayed, should have departed 15 mins ago, still trying to locate passengers. And now a announcement that catering hasnt been loaded, strange cause this aircraft has been sitting at this gate for an hour already. Happy i ate in the lounge.
 
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AIRwin

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Flight just landed in BNE but waiting on the tarmac for a gate to be available...
 

Matt_01

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I thought I would share my arrival experience when arriving back to the DPRSA. On arrival proceeded down the ADL arrivals lane, showed my approved re entry permit, ID and residency card (AKA drivers licence) to the people checking our credentials. After passing the checks I was handed my entry pass this was to shown to the waiting SAPOL officer in order to gain entry into SA.

IMG_2606 (1).jpeg

I am contemplating pasting this into my passport next to my Singapore frequent traveller stamp.
 
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Thanks Mattg for the huge effort in organising the events and under such difficult circumstances.

Thanks to John Blom, Arena (hope I got the spelling right), Gwilli1, Matt01 and Mattg for being terrific dinner companions. My non Affer +1 had a great time too.

Always lovely seeing Jess, although next time I would love to spend more than a fleeting 5 minutes chatting to you, so I propose we do a champagne crawl in search of Delamont! Tried a new one tonight Canard Duchêne - pretty good.
 
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serfty

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Back in MEL, I eventually got to the MEB hotel after three 'accepted' ride share drivers cancelled on me.

Thanks @Mattg for the organisation of a great weekend under very trying circumstances.

🥇
 
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Mattg

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I have a couple more photos from yesterday’s group at Tidbinbilla.

4A397192-3763-46C9-BAC0-D6E731EB45E6.jpeg
EFB177DD-0667-499E-A1FE-CE542809F6DC.jpeg

Thanks again to everyone for coming to Canberra last weekend. The hard part in planning for AFF#14 was dealing with border closures and capacity restrictions, but you were all great and made my job much easier! In the end it all went off without a hitch, but I do hope next year’s gathering will cause less headaches for the organisers. 😎

Oh, and I have provided feedback to the Canberra Southern Cross Yacht Club about the excellent service from Emma.
 
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After seven years of being an AFF member Mrs jxv and I finally made it to the annual Gathering! We very much enjoyed both dinners and the parliament house tour. It was great to meet some of the people who have helped educate me in the ways of the frequent flyer. Their information has enabled us to reach our destinations in business class comfort without breaking the bank, something we could previously only dream about.

Thanks to @Mattg for organising this event, which ran so smoothly that the problems with Covid and travel restrictions are now all but forgotten.

We can hardly wait to hear where and when AFF #15 will be and hope that we will be able attend again.
 

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