From fan-cooled pith hel­mets to beer scoot­ers, the year’s top 10 travel gad­gets are de­signed to thrill, re­ports James Jef­frey

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Front Page -

GIAR­DIA, cryp­tosporid­ium and tape­worms are com­pletely passe as hol­i­day sou­venirs. Keep your di­ges­tive tract fash­ion­ably in­tact with a Ster­iPEN Ad­ven­turer ($279), a por­ta­ble wa­ter pu­ri­fier that uses UV light to leave as­sorted aquatic nas­ties scarcer than the Aus­tralian Democrats. More: www.pad­dy­ THIS pith hel­met with a so­lar­pow­ered fan fuses old-fash­ioned, ma­chete-wield­ing, G&T-sip­ping ad­ven­ture with the low emis­sions, Ky­oto-rat­i­fy­ing fu­ture. At only $US29 ($33), a finer way to keep cool with a touch of der­ring-do is hard to imag­ine. Its maker sug­gests it “re­quires the kind of damn ‘em per­sonal style sel­dom seen since Teddy Roo­sevelt”. If you’re not tak­ing the pith, you’re not tak­ing a hol­i­day. More: STEP be­yond the bull­bar men­tal­ity and avoid adding to Aus­tralia’s breath­tak­ing road-kill sta­tis­tics with ShuRoo ($495). At­tached to the front of your car, ShuRoo cre­ates a “force­field” of sound at a fre­quency that’s be­yond hu­man hear­ing but sounds like a siren to kan­ga­roos and other wildlife. Pro­tects hu­mans and beasts alike. More: SIDE­STEP the holes in Aus­tralia’s broad­band cov­er­age with the Thrane & Thrane Ex­plorer 110 ($1995 ex GST), a light­weight satel­lite ter­mi­nal that al­lows you to log on to the in­ter­net, Skype and the like in the mid­dle of nowhere. Satel­lite cov­er­age will in­clude the en­tire con­ti­nent from mid-2008. More: ON nights when the mos­quito net or the Aerog­ard lets you down, avoid un­sightly scratch­ing with Mos­quito-Click ($19.95), which uses a small elec­tri­cal cur­rent to stop mozzie bites from itch­ing or swelling. Also rec­om­mended af­ter en­coun­ters with sand­flies, midges and jel­ly­fish, but not if you’ve got a pace­maker. More: THE SOL8 ($US139) looks and feels like a 4.4kg brief­case but ex­pands into a pair of so­lar pan­els that can gen­er­ate enough power to run any­thing from a lap­top or global po­si­tion­ing sys­tem to a small re­frig­er­a­tor. All but use­less some­where like Eng­land, it’s a por­ta­ble pow­er­house in Aus­tralian con­di­tions. More: www.ram­sey­elec­tron­ WHY get stuck choos­ing be­tween land and wa­ter when you can get a hov­er­craft and have both. Built by Mariah Hov­er­craft on Vic­to­ria’s Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula, the Mariah 425 ($55,000) has room for six adults and has a top speed of 110km/h, trailer, GPS, VHF ra­dio, a com­pact disc player and a fetch­ing 69-seg­ment skirt. More: THERE are few things less con­ducive to the hol­i­day spirit than get­ting into a large spot of bother - say, on a sink­ing cruise ship off Antarc­tica - and dis­cov­er­ing the mo­bile phone’s not get­ting any re­cep­tion. It’s mo­ments like th­ese when the MT410 per­sonal emer­gency bea­con ($499; $649 with GPS) comes into its own. More: www. A BEER scooter makes it eas­ier to get there, get fes­tive and not get on the wrong side of your green mates. The 14mph Cooler ($US499) has a 500W elec­tric mo­tor that keeps the emis­sions right down while pro­pel­ling you and a good load of food, bevvies and ice at a shade over 22km/h. It can cover 24km be­tween recharges. More: www.ham­ GO like the clap­pers in com­plete style with an Ae­rion Su­per­sonic Busi­ness Jet. It looks like a winged ar­row on the out­side, a posh ho­tel suite on the inside. More im­por­tant, it can hap­pily cruise at 1.5 times the speed of sound. With a price tag of $US80mil­lion, it’s no sur­prise to learn the first buyer is Dubai ruler Sheik Mo­hammed. More: www.aeri­on­

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