30 September 2005

The Return - Australia

We were last to disembark the plane and made our way to customs clearance.
Step 1: Immigration Control
This involves waiting in a line - one for either Australian or Other passport holders. Each passport was compared to each person and checked on the computer system.

Step 2: Quarantine Check
We passed through to the luggage carousel to collect our bags, using five of the courtesy luggage trolleys. We then showed the officers our immigration forms which showed we had a few things to declare. We had a tanned raccoon skin, some wooden products and some food (candy/lollies). The 'coon skin gathered a lot of interest with about four officers gathered around examining it, one saying, "poor thing." The other thing causing interest was our "train" of carts with me in the lead and Lana bringing up the rear.
An officer asked me to open one of our bags so he could have a look. He told me it was OK and I asked him what made him curious. He pointed to Lana's DMC cross stitch threads and then sheepishly pointed to a bag of Lego blocks. "Couldn't tell what it was on the machine," he grinned.

Step 3: Customs
Our next step was to meet with the customs guy to determine whether we owed duty or GST. Each adult coming into the country is allowed a duty free allowance of $900 and each child $450. As we had 6 children and two adults we had no problems and we were free to go.

Step 4: Find our transport
We exited customs through Exit D. Robert who had arranged to meet us was at exit A - of course. A quick phone call and we were on our way.

Step 5: Buy some Australian chocolates.
Before we left I had to buy a sample of chocolates we have missed for the last few years. A very important step.

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