Shooting as a tourist activity in Australia


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Spinner
August 23, 2005, 05:14 PM
I was watching a travel program on TV last night and there was an article about Hamilton Island in Queensland, Australia. The reporter showed a bunch of stuff to do there while the weather is good (most of the time) but because it was raining she also showed a bunch of stuff to do when the weather is bad. One of those activities was shooting.

They showed her rocking up to a shooting range in a golf cart (apparently everyone drives golf carts on Hamilton Island :rolleyes: ) and from the sign it appeared that they had some sort of clay games available but because it was raining she was shooting inside and amazingly, she was shooting handguns. :what:

She specifically stated that she'd never shot before, that guns scared her but that she was going to try something new. They started her off with a Ruger .22 semi-auto and she produced a group that looked like a shotgun pattern, but the most important thing was she was leaning forward and had a pretty good stance and had a huge smile on her face. She may have had quite a bit of coaching but that wasn't shown on screen. It seems that you have to shoot the .22 before they'll let you shoot anything else. They showed her next with a .44 magnum revolver. "This is the Dirty Harry gun ... the .44 magnum. 'Make my day!' " :rolleyes: They didn't show her target but that doesn't matter, she still had a big smile on her face.

Then they showed her with another handgun. "This is an Uzi - a gangster gun. Its a scary, very very dangerous gun and it scares me silly, but I'm going to try it anyway." :rolleyes: :scrutiny: :banghead: She took the first two shots in about 4 secs and then fired another 5 in about 3 seconds.

I was amazed about the article for several reasons:

1. They were suggesting that shooting was a great tourist activity (of course we all know it is a great activity .... and not just for tourists :) )
2. The reporter was shooting handguns in Australia :what:
3. The handguns were all tethered to the shooting booths. Each gun had some device attached to the muzzle that had two stainless steel wire cables attached to it. The cables were attached to either side of the shooting booth and restricted the movement of the muzzle so that it could basically only be pointed downrange.
4. That the reporter could happily shoot a .44 magnum without any sort of fearful pre-conceived ideas, but was "scared silly" by a "very, very dangerous gun" which was actually of lesser power. There was some evidence that after the first two shots she realised that it wasn't as bad as the .44 magnum and blasted off 5 quick shots.

Very interesting article on an otherwise unremarkable travel program.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that while the reporter was wearing earmuffs, she wasn't wearing any eye protection.

Spinner

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wizard of oz
August 24, 2005, 01:06 AM
I went to Hamilton Island for my honeymoon, but managed to find something else to do than go to the range. I have a Japanese friend, however who spent his entire honeymoon at the range here in Australia. The weird thing is that he is still happily married wheras I am now happily divorced. :rolleyes:

I looked around a bit and found this range in QLD (http://www.sipc.com.au/index1.htm). It must be a Queensland thing because I can't imagine such a set-up in NSW.

Prompted me to try and find some links to different tourist/shooting sites as a starting point if anyone is interested. There seem to be plenty of companies offering safaris etc - too many to list but found some good links pages on these sites.
http://www.gunsgame.com
http://www.ssaa.org.au/

The cult Australian comedy show "fat pizza" did several episodes in other countries recently, including a trip an indoor range in Las Vegas when they went to the US. They had great fun blasting away at Osama and Saddam targets with a variety of fully automatic weapons. (and actually seemed to be quite proficient). Poor guys working in the gunshop didn't seem to get the aussie sense of humour though :) Anyway, I thought it was a great advertisement for shooting in general - especially as it was on SBS which is a PC government broadcaster.

Here in Oz we have recently started to get "coastwatch" from NZ. That has had some interesting gunstuff on it. There was an episode involving a large vessel belonging to an environmental group. They had to hand over their weapons (50 cal. rifle and pumpaction shotgun and some pepperspray) to the NZ cops for safekeeping while they were in the country. Wonder if anyone else saw that episode ?

Bruce in West Oz
August 25, 2005, 04:30 AM
The reporter was shooting handguns in Australia

We're still allowed to have and shoot firearms in Oz; they're just very tightly controlled/restricted. Handguns are restricted by calibre (.38 is now the cut-off point), capacity and barrel length. They can be owned for sporting purposes only. There is no CCW. "Self-defence" is specifically barred from being a reason to own a firearm.

The handguns were all tethered to the shooting booths. Each gun had some device attached to the muzzle that had two stainless steel wire cables attached to it. The cables were attached to either side of the shooting booth and restricted the movement of the muzzle so that it could basically only be pointed downrange.

Yep, we had a spate of losers going to indoor ranges and committing suicide with the guns. That's the result.

Even here in Perth, we have one of these indoor public ranges; called Lone Ranges. (Bad pun :o ) Mind you, the coppers have in the past tried to close it down. Then they tried to restrict it to .22 RF -- that took six months in the courts, but the coppers lost. :D

dleong
August 25, 2005, 10:49 AM
I need to get my eyes checked, as I initially read your thread title as, "Shooting a tourist as activity in Australia." :D


DL

Tsonda
August 25, 2005, 10:10 PM
I almost did the shooting thing my last trip as i had some free time in Sydney, and had not pulled a trigger in 2 weeks. But given the price and having to attend a class before shooting i passed. What I should have done was set something up before hand with some of the ozzies i know. As for the article "good on her".

4v50 Gary
August 25, 2005, 11:40 PM
There's a range in Hawaii (Oahu) that caters to Japanese tourist. This was back in '88 or so.

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