Haven Win Summer 2019

CompetitionsNews
December 2, 2019

Australia's Big Things

The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, Woombye’s Big Pineapple, Ballina’s Big Prawn – according to a Wotif survey, 90 per cent of Australian’s have visited at least one over-sized Aussie monument in their lifetime. We’re looking for a ripper childhood photo in front of one of Australia’s Big Things. Dig into your family album and delight us with the nostalgia (we may award extra points for a yarn accompanying it!) for the chance to win $1,000.

How: send your Big Thing photo to havencompetitions@afgonline.com.au placing ‘Big Thing’ in the subject line.

Include: your name, address, email, phone number and the name of your mortgage broker.

Dates: opens on November 15 and closes on January 15.

Winner: will be decided on January 16 and notified by telephone after this time.

  • Drop files here or

Haven Answers

We are a country of well-travelled folk, and an avalanche of entries to our aeroplane horror stories competition proves the wanderlust. Congratulations to Elwyn, his collection of stories from travel in Russia during the 1990s are incredible! With so many tales, he is the deserved winner of the $1,000.

Living in Russia in the 1990s was a challenge, and air travel was one of the many situations where rules were flexible and safety optional. Some of my memories:

  • Being dropped on the edge of the tarmac by the airport bus with dozens of planes to choose from, and joining the ranks of the crowd with everyone asking “which plane went where?”.
  • Waiting on the tarmac while the plane got fuelled, while the crew stood by smoking. When safety was queried, the response: “well, there’s never been a problem before.”
  • Rolling down the runway on takeoff, watching the burnt-out wrecks either side passing by. But not to complain – they were a great source of spare parts if the aircraft had a problem. Never mind the gun turrets for instant conversion from commercial to military!
  • Foreigners generally had allocated seats and boarded after the locals. There were two seats left – one with no seat belt. My colleague’s wife refused to fly without a seat belt, so got the good seat. A wise choice, until liftoff when she discovered her seat wasn’t bolted to the floor!
  • Sitting on a plane for several hours wondering about the man with a funny hat several seats ahead. Turned out it was a dog, with its two ears above the seat back being the funny hat!
  • Refusing the inevitable “rubber” chicken meal and then being accused of stealing the plates and cutlery when another hostess returned to collect them!
  • Return tickets could not be purchased in the regions, to discourage refugees from coming to Moscow. Airlines could not get credit to buy fuel. So the pilot would pass the hat around at the departure gate – if enough money was collected to fund the fuel, the flight was on. But this arrangement ended abruptly when a cashed-up pilot was held up at gunpoint! The next option in getting back to Moscow was to hitch a ride with the military, who always welcomed some extra cash. Miserably uncomfortable, but always reliable.

Any advice contained in this article is of a general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regard to those matters. Information in this article is correct as of the date of publication and is subject to change.