Monthly Archives: June 2009

Cheapest Domain Names In Australia

If you’ve ever gone looking to buy an Australian domain name in the past, such as a, or even a personal like this site uses – you’ll have been frustrated by the number of options and the wildly varying prices on offer for a simple domain name.

Previously, I’ve seen domains for Australian businesses range from $15 per 2 years all the way up to hundreds of dollars per year. A lot of domain registers purport to offer the cheapest domain names, however very few actually do and most are inflating the prices quite a bit.

Last year, I came across a very simple but fantastic Australian domain comparison site named What’s In A Name. The site is run by Josh Rowe and compares the retail price of the .auDA accredited domain registrars throughout Australia.

Next time you need to buy cheap domains, check out Whats In A Name to see if the place you’re intending to buy from is selling well over the wholesale price or not.

Queensland Department of Transport Online Services

Within the first year of Claire & I moving to the Gold Coast, I had the pleasure of experiencing first hand the pressure a growing city can place on government departments when I visited the Queensland Department of Transport in Ashmore.

In 2005, I couldn’t understand why so many of the common services that people require of Queensland Transport were not available online, which was forcing people to come into their service centres to tend to their matters.

Over the last two years, Queensland Transport have been making more and more of their common services available as an online form through the Department of Transport web site, such as paying fines, registration renew, requesting replacement registration stickers and many more.

This evening I took advantage of two of their forms at 11:OOPM, to renewed by drivers licence and change my address in a matter of minutes, error free and without any fuss or queues.

I’d love to see the service numbers from people throughout Queensland from the Department of Transport since they began providing convenient online services and the awareness of those services. I’m confident they’d have plummeted and the people that have a valid reason to go into the service centres are much happier about not having to wait over an hour to get served.

Best Home Phone Plan & Telstra

For a very long time, I’ve had a chip on my shoulder about using Telstra for virtually anything to do with home phones, mobile phones or internet. My distaste for Telstra started back in the late 90’s when there was little to no competition in most markets that Telstra dealt in with the public and they were, in a manner of speaking, profiteering on the Australian consumer – who ironically are the same tax paying citizens who provided them the infrastructure; I digress.

When moving into our current place in Maudsland on the Gold Coast, Claire & I thought it was about time that we broke the mould so went looking around for the best home phone plan available at the time. In the end, we chose AAPT and their now discontinued $29/month plus line rental cap. It was a great plan, offering much more value than the sticker price and we thought it’d work for us as we used our mobiles so much. It wasn’t long before we were consistently using over the cap and increased it. The increased cap lasted quite some time, however since Hugo has been with it – we’re striding past the $120/m included value.

Investigating the best home phone deals available on the market again last week and I was surprised by the change. Most of the major telephone carriers are offering some sort of a capped deal, popularised by the mobile phone market in the last few years. The major guys had lots of great deals, some of their capped plans were quite impressive:

  • Optus Home Super Cap, $49.95/m includes $300 worth of calls
  • Optus Home Mega Cap, $89.95/m includes $500 worth of calls
  • AAPT, $103.95/m includes $200 worth of calls
  • iPrimus Home Choice 74, $74/m includes $120 worth of calls
  • iPrimus Home Choice 104, $104/m includes $250 worth of calls

Not wanting to spend the earth on our home phone plan, I went looking for something that gave Claire & I the flexibility but managed to save us some cash as well. The two Optus plans were fantastic, however they are not available Australia wide and were ruled out. AAPT and both the iPrimus deals, while they’d save us some money per month required lengthy contracts or the included value wasn’t as good as it could have been.

I went to the Telstra site, mainly to make sure I wasn’t missing out on something but expected every other mainstream phone company to beat them but was surprised to find that they were now offering a number of good packages. After comparing their plans with others available, the value of the Telstra Homeline Ultimate was hard to pass up at $89.90/m which included:

  • Unlimited Local calls
  • Unlimited STD calls
  • Telephone line rental
  • MessageBank,
  • 3-way chat
  • Call return
  • Call Back
  • Calling number display

Hugo Feeding Frenzy

Hugo Lattimore playing with his food in a high chair making a spectacular messDuring dinner a little while ago, Hugo managed to get his hands on the bowl with his dinner in it.

I didn’t witness the frenzy that followed first hand, however Claire tells me that the bowl was in Hugo’s hands momentarily before he plunged his other hand into it.

He was having such a fantastic time, squishing the food between his fingers, tipping it onto the table and wiping it all over the baby seat that Claire let him play for a while.

A baby can only get so dirty afterall!

Gold Coast Beach Weddings Are Spectacular

Phil & Fiona Paraskevas Gold Coast beach wedding on the 29th May 2009Last Friday Claire, Hugo & I attended our first beach wedding. Not having attended a beach wedding before, we were quite excited to see how it all turned out and it didn’t disappoint. After experiencing a Gold Coast beach wedding, I’m quite sure that Gold Coast beaches would rival any in the world for a spectactular venue with kilometers of golden sand and clear water.

We arrived at Currumbin Beach at about 10:00AM, found a park and walked briskly down to where the wedding venue was – as it took a little longer to get there than expected compounded by a wrong turn! I haven’t taken the pram onto loose sand before but with hard tyres it didn’t fair all that well so I parked the pram at the top of the beach. The entrance to the beach itself was down a relatively steep section of sand to get to the flatter section where the wedding ceremony as going to be held. While walking down it, I was actually thinking to myself that I hope noone slipped in the sand – good fortune prevailed and there were no accidents.

Gold Coast beach wedding view from Coolangatta on the 29th May 2009A couple things that were fantastic about the beach wedding, was that it had a magnificent outlook over the beautiful beaches on the Gold Coast and it was very intimate with about 20 guests. I always associated weddings with men in black suits dressed up to the nines and the women in beautiful gowns. It came as a small but funny surprise when the groom arrived in a slightly casual suit, with classy looking black thongs in place of black leather dress shoes! Likewise, instead of the bride wearing a flowing gown that would have dragged over the sand, it was ankle length and wore fancy sandles in leiu of high heels.

Ceremonies at weddings tend to vary wildly, some are short and to the point while others are long winded and drawn out. This particular beach wedding was the former, taking about 15 minutes from start to finish. It was incredible to have the ocean literally 20 meters away from where everyone was standing, with the waves crashing in the background. The only downside, if you can call it that, was that there was just enough noise from the ocean that it made it difficult to hear the celebrant in a few points but it didn’t last long.

I now know what the fuss is about regarding beach weddings, they aren’t for everyone but if they are – they are spectacular.