We all know that brand names matter when purchasing car audio hardware. There are brands that are surely more reputable than others. When you are at the store and they offer choice after choice after choice, suddenly you feel overwhelmed on what really to buy. But you can be assured of one thing, if they offer you an Alpine car stereo you can’t go wrong with it. Alpine car stereo and electronics, founded in 1978, is a world leader in the industry of high performance mobile electronics. They specialize in mobile multimedia, an integrated system approach incorporating digital entertainment, security and navigation products for the mobile entertainment. Alpine car stereos are a new breed of units which feature the convergence of high performance audio, video, navigation and telematics in the form of Mobile Multimedia. Navigation systems act as the resource center of the Alpine car stereo Mobile Multimedia lineup. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), DVD players, Dolby Digital systems, satellite digital audio radio, mobile data linking and communication through telematics devices will be fused with navigation systems to create a platform of products. Mobile Multimedia integrates Alpine's innovative audio, video, security and navigation products, as well as its new GUI for Drivers, human interface and information communications technology. To grasp what the Alpine car stereo Mobile Multimedia is, take a look at the IVA-D901 Alpine car stereo Mobile Multimedia Station/CD/DVD Receiver/Ai-NET Controller. The IVA-D901 has 400% more pixels than a conventional in-vehicle display, meaning that it has 1.15 million pixel elements. It has 50W x 4 built-in power and 3 PreOuts (4 volt), SAT Radio ready, a Hard Disc Drive (HDD), and Alpine car stereo Navigation. Key features include: - 7" Fully Motorized Wide Screen Monitor - 18W x 4 MOSFET Amplifier - Built-in Dolby Digital/DTS Decoder - Bass Engine® Plus - Subwoofer Level Control - Bass Center Frequency Control - Bass Band Width Adjustment - Treble Center Frequency Control - Subwoofer Phase Selector - Bass Type Control - 4-Ch Digital Time Correction - 3 Position 12 dB/Oct Crossover - MediaXpander™ - SAT Radio Ready - MP3 Text Information Display - Quick Search Function - CD/CD-R Playback - CD Text, Text Display, Text Scroll - M DAC - MaxTune SQ Tuner - 3 Auxilliary A/V Inputs with Remote Control Input - Dedicated Navigation Input - Dedicated Camera Input - 2 Auxilliary Monitor A/V Outputs - Navigation Audio Mix - 3 PreOuts (4 volt) - MM Driver (Hard Disc Drive) Ready - MobileHub Ready - Ai-NET Control Center DVD/CD/MP3 Changer Controller - "Digital Art" Spectrum Analyzer Display - RUE-4190 Universal Wireless Remote Control Included If these all seems too much for you, Alpine car stereos also have more conventional head units to offer. The CDA-9835 Alpine car stereo In-Dash CD Player/Ai-Changer Controller lets you fully customize both illumination and sound, with a range of 512 colors and super-versatile Bass Engine functions like digital time correction and parametric EQ. You can download audio parameter settings and connect and control as many as eight amps. The BioLite display, Menu key and rotary knob make operation extremely easy.Like most Alpine car stereo units, it is also SAT Radio Ready, giving you a much greater choice of listening options than ordinary local AM/FM radio. You can select from among a wide range of music genres, news, sports, and talk programs with digital quality anywhere.
Australia delivers a phenomenal range and depth of family holidays that include intimate encounters with our plentiful and unique wildlife, adventure in a stunning array of wilderness environments, authentic Indigenous experiences that offer insights into the world’s oldest living culture, a whole host of family learning opportunities not to mention some good old fashioned family fun.
Australia serves up family animal encounters in every shape and form. With our seas and bays brimming with dolphins, whales, turtles, coral and tropical fish there are a host of ways to get up close and personal with aquatic life from snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef, hand feeding the fish on Ned’s Beach on Lord Howe Island and swimming with the whale sharks on Ningaloo Reef. You can watch turtles nesting and tiny hatchlings make their way to the safety of the water and you can even have shark and crocodile encounters, if you dare, at places like Townsville’s Reef HQ, Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast, the Wilderness Wildlife Park outside of Broome, Darwin’sCrocosaurus Cove and Oceanworld Manly.
Australia’s iconic marsupials have long been a family favourite and all the major zoos and wildlife sanctuaries from Healesville to Taronga offer Aussie animal encounters alongside more exotic species. Brisbane’s Lone Pine Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary, Victoria’s Moonlit Sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula offers nocturnal tours, and all over Kangaroo Island families are likely to discover the entire diaspora of Australian animals from koalas to wallabies, kangaroos, emus and echidnas. You can even see Tasmanian devils at thehttp://www.devilsatcradle.com/ Tasmanian Devil Sanctuary.
Australia’s diverse birdlife also entrances the younger set who can hand-feed lorikeets at the Gold Coast’s Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, wander around the tropical bird enclosure at the Rainforest Tropical Habitat in Queensland’s Port Douglas, watch pelicans being fed at Kingscote on Kangaroo Island, and marvel at the nightly parade of the world’s largest colony of little penguins on Phillip Island.
There are also plenty of opportunities for adventures of a less wild kind, like riding camels along Cable Beach in Broome, hand feeding farm animals at Melbourne’s Collingwood Children’s Farm, and even watch performing sheep dogs at Norm’s Coolies Performing Sheep Dog shows in South Australia.
Adventure and Wilderness
From deserts to rainforests, from coral reefs to the Outback, the Australian landscape is tailor-made for adventurous family holidays. With 19 UNESCO World Heritage sites that range from the Great Barrier Reef, Fraser Island, and Gondwana Rainforests to the Tasmania Wilderness, Lord Howe Island Group, and Purnululu National Park as well as Australia’s 12 National Landscapes that span everything from Australia’s Red Centre to its Green Cauldron and include such dramatic adventure zones as The Australian Alps, Australia’s Coastal Wilderness, The Flinders Ranges, The Great Ocean Road, Greater Blue Mountains, Great Southwest Edge, Kakadu, Kangaroo Island, Ningaloo – Shark Bay, and The Kimberley there is so much waiting for families to discover.
Take a day trip to the pontoons on the Outer Barrier Reef off the Whitsundays, Cairns and Port Douglas where you can see the reef from the underwater viewing chamber and submarine as well as snorkelling and taking a beginners dive.
Enjoy an outback cattle station experience in the Kimberley, Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales. Horse riding is offered on a range of outback cattle stations in Queensland, Northern Territory, Western Australia and NSW.
Culture -Art, Music, Dance, Theatre
All the major art museums/galleries in Australia’s capital cities offer kids art programs that both help interpret exhibitions and offer hands-on art making activities. Some, like the National Gallery of Victoria, have dedicated kids’ art centres.
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) is a world-leading state-of-the-art centre for experiencing the moving image in all its forms – film, television, internet, games. It offers kids’ flicks and kids’ hands-on workshops and production programs in its digital studio plus some fabulous exhibitions about the moving image.
Australia has some unique settings for family learning experiences. There are a whole host of dinosaur adventures along Queensland’s Tropic of Capricorn while you can journey to the stars at the Melbourne Planetarium.
Budding science enthusiasts can visit the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex, test hypotheses with dozens of interactive hands-on exhibits at Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre, and watch real scientists at work at CSIRO Discovery.
For families more interested in social history, you can discover what it’s really like living at sea at Darling Harbour’s National Maritime Museumand learn for themselves how Australia’s diverse communities have shaped the Australian national landscape at the National Museum of Australia.
The list is endless: there are farm-based kids cooking classes at Tasmania’s Agrarian Kitchen, circus skills workshops at Circus Arts Trapeze School, opportunities to learn about how rich the desert is at the Alice Springs Desert Park and you can even see how kids in remote parts of the country go to school at the School of the Air.
Australia also offers a host of family experiences that delve into the country’s history. There’s nothing like historical villages such as Victoria’s Sovereign Hill and Flagstaff Hill to bring history to life. The interactive Discovery Zone at the Australian War Memorial gives kids graphic wartime experiences such as crawling through a WWI trench or climbing aboard a Vietnam War era helicopter.
There are family ghost tours of Sydney’s Quarantine Station, antique dolls and teddy bears to admire at the Toy and Railway Museum of Leuralla House in the Blue Mountains of NSW and opportunities to sail on the Lady Nelson replica tall ship up the Derwent River, jump on board 100 year old carriages of the Pichi Richi Explorers on the oldest section of the Ghan Railway in South Australia and explore a piece of living history at Tasmania’s Brickendon Historic Farm and Convict Village.
An Indigenous adventure is perfect for families who want to learn a little about the richness of Australian Aboriginal culture.
Kakadu, Uluru and Kata Tjuta National Parks in Northern Territory and Booderee National Park in New South Wales are all jointly managed by National Parks Australia and traditional owners. All offer remarkable Indigenous tours and adventures including tours to rock art sites, dot-painting workshops, spear throwing, bird watching, river cruises and introduction to traditional laws and sacred sites.
Bush tucker tours are offered everywhere from Kooljaman at Cape Leveque on the Kimberley’s Dampier Peninsula to the Bama Way in North Queensland and Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre in Victoria’s Grampians National Park.
Finally there’s no place better than Australia when it comes down to having some plain old family fun.
Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart all have numerous beaches within their city limits while Brisbane offers Streets Beach at South Bank and Darwin has the Wave Pool and Recreation Lagoon.
Families can swing through the trees at places like Victoria’s Otway Fly and Trees Adventure, Queensland’s Jungle Canopy Tours, go sand-boarding on Strahan’s Henty Dunes on the Stockton Dunes on the Central Coast of New South Wales or go for a ride on Puffing Billy, Australia’s oldest steam railway, in Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges.
While Daydream Island in Queensland’s Whitsundays serves up the perfect family tropical island getaway whose highlights include one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoon and an “Around Australia” 19-hole mini golf course.
Author Sue Henly
From experience I know that finding accommodation in Australia is a very delicate matter. Once you’ve saved the money to pay for your flying trip to Australia, you might think that nothing can come to you as a surprise anymore. (Yeah, that’s exactly what I thought). In Australia I was confronted with the brutal facts that made me realize that things aren’t that simple.
“They do things a little different down there” my grandmother said before I left. Just because they speak English in Australia doesn’t mean that you won’t be surprised once you get to the Land of Oz!
When I was there I learned that most popular types of accommodation in Australia are Australian hostels. I think this has to do with the fact that people down there travel a lot more than Americans.
A great share of the country is an amazingly beautiful and unspoiled wilderness and some places are rather remote. You can also find some kind of ruggedness in the Australian spirit that we Americans and Western Europeans have lost many years ago.
Most Australians don’t mind living in what I like to call “Spartan environments” if they can live relaxed and on the cheap, and that’s exactly what Australia hostels are all about
They are Spartan and they are cheap. But for my family sharing one room with 15 to 20 people and having only one toilet to share is kind of frustrating. Due to these circumstances we were forced to make another decision about accommodation in Australia.
If your facts about Australia are out-of-date, how will that affect your and decisions? Make certain you don’t let this important information slip by you.
So in the end we picked a fancy Australia resort to spend the rest of our vacation. The service was excellent as I remember. At the time the choice was very simple, we had to choose between a plain old hostel/camping or a hotel.
As you can imagine we were tempted to indulge in a few nights of hotel accommodation in Australia, where we could finally enjoy our privacy and well needed soft beds to rest our tired bodies.
Because the people living down under are always on the move, it isn’t hard to find some kind of outdoor accommodation in Australia.
The only thing we took with us were our backpacks and sleeping bags because we wanted to travel light. We found it was no problem at all to find a good tent, pans, pots and things like a portable stove, and other essential camping gear for a modest amount of money.
You can easily buy all these things or even better rent them. We found that renting our gear was very convenient since we had no plans on taking all this stuff with us when our vacation was over.
by Gonzalo Cain ……thanks Gons
Open a Wine Bottle Without a Corkscrew
It happens to every wine drinker at least once. After agonizing over the perfect bottle to crack open, you realize the corkscrew has gone AWOL. Luckily, there are plenty of other tools you can use to get into (and to the bottom of) your favorite bottle of wine.
What You’ll Need
- 2″ (or longer) Screw
- Regular Claw Hammer
Step 1: Prep the Area
Although this method is a reliable way to uncork a bottle, it’s not always the cleanest. Before getting started make sure your uncorking area has enough room for a wide, arching release when the cork finally gives. Also, a few standby towels couldn’t hurt.
Step 2: Twist the Screw Into the Cork
After removing the foil from the top of the bottle, use the screwdriver to gently twist the screw into the center of the cork. The goal is to get enough in to be able to yank the cork out cleanly, so make sure to stop about 3/4ths of the way through the cork. When you’re done most of the screw should be securely embedded, with just enough sticking out from the top to grip with the hammer.
Step 3: Scoot the Hammer Into Place
Grab the hammer and grip the exposed portion of the screw between the claws. Again, the goal here is getting a solid grip without loosening the screw.
Step 4: Yank The Cork
With the bottle held securely into place, it’s time to apply the muscle. One long, smooth tug away from the body should be enough to free most corks. Don’t get overzealous though. No bottle of private reserve is worth a hammer to the face.