My time in Australia and New Zealand taught me several important lessons:
1) Winter is the best time to visit the antipodes. Most of the unpleasant wildlife is hiding from the elements. Humans, luckily, have mastered pants technology and can cope with inclement weather. Sadly, winter does limit the scantily clad on display. Take the good with the bad, I suppose.
2) Asia and Australia go to New Zealand to ski in austral winter. Sure, they have their own snow at that time of year, but New Zealand’s is nicer. Late June/late July is not yet peak season so good deals are still available for lodging. Cheap flights…less so.
3) New Zealand’s immigration/customs authority has gotten less friendly since I last visited 7 years ago after spending a year in Antarctica. They are quite stringent about you providing proof of a departing flight and a visa to prove that you can go where said flight declares as its destination. It seems that some cheeky monkeys discovered that quite a deal could be had by buying a one way ticket to New Zealand and then letting the Kiwis pick up the tab for sending them home by deportation. Not likely to permit you a return visit, but good value travel.
Now, on to more salient observations about beer.
I am to shocked to report that for the majority of establishments in Australia, their default serving size is a 330 fl.oz. (AKA half imperial pint) glass. This left my Stein of Science regularly half full and me pouting for more beer. I attribute this to the harsh summers of Australia where serving more than a half pint of beer at a time would leave it warm and unpleasant before the drinker completed their glass. It is a natural response, I suppose, when a superior drinking vessel is unavailable.
New Zealand, however, has hewed more closely to their cool Brittanic roots and still serves in proper imperial pints. The United States has no excuse for the bastardization “standard pint” that we serve. To me, it is as if the founding fathers are gypping me out of beer every time I go to the bar here.
However, the time of want for superior drinking vessel and BBotE is at an end! Behold, the new international listings! (edit: since superseded with a superior shipping module, all you have to do is enter you address anywhere in the world) The time has come, fair is fair…no longer must Australia suffer at the hands of warm beer, baked to 45 degrees just as Midnight Oil once sang. You too may enjoy a beer or cocktail that maintains a nicely chilled temperature.
Oh, and the rest of the world, this applies to you too.
P.S. – Still working on the bulk shipping option to other lands. A 12 pack of 1L bottles seems to be a bit heavier than the US Postal Service wants to cope with. More news as it becomes available.