Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Flinders Island settling, part 2

One of the single biggest difficulties with the island is getting stuff here. If you're moving your house here or furniture for a new holiday place, get a quote from various moving companies. Before you open any of them, sit down, pour yourself a strong drink. Drink it. Open the quotes. No, you're not seeing double. We got ripped seriously by our movers - Elliot International, coming across here. Their story was that it was twice the price of moving to Melbourne from South Africa because they had send a moving truck over on the ferry, and pay for the crew, and the truck to go back by the ferry, and the crew to fly off (because otherwise they had to wait a week etc etc.)

In the end they subcontracted to an Australian mover (you can search earlier posts if you want the name) - who left the family rock behind. And they put the stuff into a container and 1/3 of a second (so all that stuff we had to sell/give away before we left... could have come. And if we'd known, what we know know now, we could have filled that container. Then those rock-losers... subcontracted to Bowmans who were rather dismayed to be told we'd paid for it to be unloaded. Including the rock. Which Michael Bowman (not the dear people at the Melbourne movers) found and got brought over in triumph. Bowman's did a better job than most moving companies, although they're just general carters. So: get your things into a container, get the container shipped to Bridport, get the Ferry company to ship it over to Lady Barron, and get Bowman's Transport (bowtrans@bigpond.com) to deliver it. I suspect you will have achieved exactly the same thing, but at a lot less cost, and most of that money will come to the island or island related business, instead of elsewhere. You can try LD shipping, and that may get your container to island from Melbourne or Lonnie cheaper, but our experience says getting hold of them can be difficult, and sailing times variable.

If you need anything once you're here that you don't want to get (or can't get) on island... know that most so-called courier companies are not reliable delivery methods. That 'to your door' delivery the seller insists on your paying for does not happen. That 'more trustworthy than Australia Post' concept that some sellers have is definitely nonsense. Australia Post is the best and cheapest bet to Flinders Island. And on island, very reliable. You can address things to c/o the Whitemark Post Office, and you will get them.

The other thing you need to know, as some sellers will insist on sending stuff courier, is that it could end up 1)At the Post Office (if it is Australian Air Express). 2)At Roberts (if it has come from Joe Lyons or through Flinders Island Aviation. 3)At the Airport. 4)At the warf in Lady Barron. The PO will put a slip in your box, if you have one. Sometimes someone may ring you from the airport (but, get this straight, they have nothing to do with your delivery. They may just be being kind. They don't have to do this, and if they don't know you, won't.) With the others you have to go there and ask.

Joe Lyons (03 63491122) - on Tassie will take stuff to the ferry or to Flinders Island Aviation who actually do the post and most of the courier deliveries. You can also move things across from Victoria (and Northern Tassie) with Bass Strait Aviation My friend Peter has used them, and I trust his judgement. I haven't dealt with any of the others so can't comment, but if you look in the Island News there are other charter services. This is an island. It's not easy or cheap to get stuff here, although it can be quite quick. Factor that into your calculations.

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