A long time ago, in a city far far away (Dunedin to be precise), when we first started talking about linux.conf.au Ballarat, the first thing that came up was the 'issue' of traveling to Ballarat. To give a little background for those who don't know the geography, Ballarat is about 100km west of Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, which works out to be an hours drive along the freeway. If you're from somewhere that considers 100km a long way, the first thing to remember is that its 110km/h freeway the whole distance, honestly it can easily take longer to drive from one side of Melbourne to the other!
As things started to get a bit more serious for LCA Ballarat, we began talking to the Linux Australia council, who also expressed their concern about the transport 'issue'. They were confident that this was in no way a deal breaker, but definitely something we needed to address in our bid.
And address it we have! Given that the major concern, particularly for those outside of Victoria, is in how to get from the airport to the conference venue, we currently have 8 full size busses scheduled to run to and from both locations the weekend before and the days after the conference. These are offerred for a token price of $5 and a schedule can be found at http://linux.conf.au/register/busses
Even better, if there's demand for them, we're more than happy to look into getting more services schedule to make things even easier! In short, we're 100% committed to making sure 'distance' is no excuse at all for not coming along to linux.conf.au 2012 and will do what it takes to make sure anyone interested in the event is aware of this.
So with all of that said, I guess what I'm trying to point out is that I really can't see any reason why anyone should have any problem getting to Ballarat for the conference. Well, no more problems than they'd have getting to Melbourne anyway. However, if anyone still does consider this to be an issue for any reason, we really would love to hear from you! If there's something we've missed or any other ways we can make this easier, we're more than happy to look into them.
Finally, after all the comments we got from people around the schwag hint dropping in my last post, I thought I'd make a 'thing' of it. To that end, here's another artsy fartsy, tiny depth of field, pic of some of our recently arrived gear. No prizes for guessing the item itself :)