Brisbane Travel Guide

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What It's Like to Sit Next to Angelina Jolie (and Kids!) on an Airplane

December 23, 2013 at 1:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

If any type of gossip magazine is your guilty pleasure, you know that Angelina Jolie and her kids have been hanging out in Australia. The star has traveled to Oz not just to escape the harsh American winter, but because she's directing Unbroken, her new movie, down under.

Despite her busy schedule, she has been finding times to take her brood of six out for little Aussie field trips, feeding the paparazzi with images of fun in the southern summer. While we're not paps, we did happen to sit next to the celeb on a Qantas flight from Sydney to Brisbane this last weekend.

Angie, flying commercial?! Yeah, if we hadn't of seen it with our own eyes, we wouldn't have believed it either. Jolie actually boarded a regular flight and sat with the common people, albeit up in the front. One of these 'commoners' just happened to this Jaunted Contributor.

Here's my account of sitting next to one of the biggest celebrities on the planet:

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Foreign Grocery Friday: The Anzac Biscuits of Australia and New Zealand

December 20, 2013 at 11:30 AM | by | Comment (1)

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

Late night somewhere over the Pacific Ocean, an entire Qantas A380 full of Los Angeles-bound passengers is asleep...except for us. We're up and out of our seats, hunting for a midnight snack in the rear "snack galley" of the A380's economy class. It's here we find a little package of "Anzac biscuits," cookies so engrained in Australian and New Zealand history and flavor that Subway chain restaurants even offered them for a time.

ANZAC is an acronym for "Australian and New Zealand Army Corps," and this cookie is so named because of its history as a popular treat to send to soldiers stationed abroad, as early as World War I. The key to the cookie's success lies in its basic ingredients of rolled oats, flour, dry coconut, sugar, butter, golden syrup, baking soda and water. Note that there are no eggs in the recipe, a fact which helps to give Anzac biscuits an especially long shelf life.

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Bieber Busted at Brisbane Airport

December 9, 2013 at 11:46 AM | by | Comments (0)

If it seems like trouble follows Justin Bieber around wherever he goes, you're right. The pretty-boy singer's 2013 Aussie tour ugly antics are no different from those in Germany, Brazil, and even his 2011 tour down under.

This time, Justin and his entourage found themselves in some hot water when arriving at Brisbane International Airport when one of Bieber's gang was found with some marijuana and smoking paraphernalia. The 23 year-old in question was ticketed and ordered to appear in court to pay a fine, before he was let go on his way working as Justin's shadow.

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The River, The River, The River's on Fire Down in Brisbane

August 30, 2012 at 1:28 PM | by | Comments (0)

When a city is situated on a body of water, be it an ocean, lake or river, we can appreciate when it uses said body of water to form the city's identity. Take for instance, Brisbane. Brisbane River in this, Australia's third largest city, winds through the CBD and has become as much part of the city as the people that call it home. So why not set it on fire in a festival called Riverfire?

Although Brisbane has a sordid past with the river from various catastrophic floods through its history, the river is not actually set a-light. Part of a larger festival (aptly name Brisbane Festival), Riverfire celebrates the Brisbane River itself and acts as a grand finale for various celebrations throughout the city. The giant firework show that uses bridges, buildings and barges as its stage make for an awe-inspiring experience.

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Cirque du Soleil's OVO Heads Overseas to Dazzle Down Under

July 19, 2012 at 9:58 AM | by | Comment (1)

The yellow and blue big top has been packed up to get more passport stamps. Cirque du Soleil's newest traveling show, OVO, has opened up shop for the start of its international tour. First stop, Brisbane.

After 3 years of ooh-ing and ahh-ing audiences around the US, Canada and Mexico, the creative minds behind the bug-themed circus show have launched their world tour. Bringing the insect world to life with bright colors, acrobatics, contortionists and the signature Cirque clowns, they seek to make it an escape (for a few brief hours) from the real world.

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Pure Plane Porn as Boeing Brings Their Dreamy New Toy to Brisbane

May 29, 2012 at 3:54 PM | by | Comments (0)

The 787 Dreamliner is surely getting some miles on the odometer. Every time we see some news about the new bird, it's touring another country. Of course this is on purpose as Boeing is proud of their new equipment and turned on by the idea of getting it out there, flying to buyers, potential buyers and potential flyers.

This past weekend, the Dreamtour was sponored by Qantas and Jetstar to announce their plans to welcome the aircraft into their fleet by August 2013. The red roo and its low-cost little joey chose to gain some exposure and up the excitement by flying the plane from Sydney to Brisbane for some showboating at the airports.

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Don't Forget About Brisbane, Or 'Bris-Vegas' As It's Called

December 20, 2011 at 2:20 PM | by | Comment (1)

Most tourists to Australia visit the more popular cities, like Sydney and Melbourne or the iconic tourist spots like The Great Barrier Reef or Ayers Rock. However, the nation's third largest city is finally getting it's moment in the spotlight.

You may recall our previous stories about Brisbane that involve either devastating floods or the Royal visit, but now we're going to tell you about the hot spots of the River City.

Situated on the east coast just over an hour's flight north of Sydney, the state of Queensland mostly specializes in rugby, the freshest produce and surfing. Brisbane, or "Bris-Vegas" to locals, is the state capital and boasts more than just beaches, pineapples and sport. The city is flourishing as a laid-back alternative to Sydney and a warmer choice over Melbourne.

Brisbane has near perfect weather year-round, with Queenslanders often selling their state with "Queensland weather: beautiful one day, perfect the next." Since the seasons are flipped from the Northern Hemisphere, this could be an ideal winter get-away. But be cautious since Summer is traditionally the wet season; it is sub-tropical after all.

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Inside the Virgin Australia Lounge at Brisbane Airport

December 15, 2011 at 9:36 AM | by | Comment (1)

From repainting planes to overhauling terminals, Virgin Australia has had their plates full trying rebrand their entire operation, while changing the image from an all-economy service to a full-service airline. From the looks of things, the livery is flying all over Australia with more planes to come and re-Virgin-ized airport spaces. This goes for new airport lounges in major cities.

We took advantage of the fact that Virgin allows lounge access to Gold and Platinum Velocity Rewards members without actually flying, and checked out the Brisbane lounge for lunch. Yea, we went to the airport just for lunch. On first impression, the design is slick and the check-in fast and friendly, as expected from the brand.

One thing worth mentioning are the new staff uniforms, done up in a sultry, yet professional, red with Virgin-purple color pops in the form of neck scarves. So super glam.

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Queensland Looking for Voluntourists to Help with Flood Relief

January 19, 2011 at 12:12 PM | by | Comments (0)

In the wake of the devastating floods that have impacted dozens of communities in Australia, including the city of Brisbane, the country's third largest city, Queensland has put out a call for voluntourists who would be willing to help with the clean up.

So far, there has been a great response from volunteers around the world, but it will take months before Queensland is back on its feet. If you're game to go Down Under and lend a hand, here's how to get involved:

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Swine Flu Takes Advantage of Cheap Flights to Australia

May 11, 2009 at 9:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

Although we travelers and city dwellers here at Jaunted haven't yet fallen ill with any suspicious coughing, we do like to keep a respectful eye on where the Swine Flu monster is making landfall, despite the overhype.

Since it seems like everyone has been daydreaming about grabbing a cheap flight to Australia lately, hearing that swine flu has arrived in the the land of kangaroos didn't shock us much. Over the weekend, the first confirmed case of swine flu was reported in Australia, when a woman who flew from Los Angeles to Brisbane gave a "weak positive" response to the virus test.

On the up side, authorities don't believe that the woman was contagious while she was on the flight, so although they are contacting fellow passengers, this single case doesn't appear to be the beginning of an Aussie pandemic.

As in other airports around the world, screening and testing procedures are in place at Australia's main hubs for flights that could carry passengers infected with the swine flu, and as a result the locals aren't all that concerned. In any case, H1N1 has got to be a pretty hearty virus if it wants to survive those ridiculously long flights all the way Down Under.

Related Stories:
· Passengers From Swine Flu Flight Found [The Age]
· Is Swine Flu Hysteria a US Tourism Conspiracy? [Jaunted]
· Swine Flu Coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: jnxyz]

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Brisbane Bikes Soon To Be Shared

January 14, 2009 at 10:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Bike sharing is green, cheap and spreading like a planet-friendly plague. The latest place to catch the craze is Queensland's capital Brisbane, although their plan looks a little shakier this week.

Originally set to roll out a 2,000-bike program sometime in the middle of this year, there might be some delays now that one of the main contenders to run the bike share has pulled out. The company is blaming that "the deterioration of the global economic climate," as they so nicely put it, and will leave the risk up to someone else.

Now the Brisbane council's not quite sure when the bikes will be on the street, but they are sure that it'll happen, with around 150 drop-off and pick-up points across the city. Someday. Soon.

Related Stories:
· Bike Share Plan Still on Track [Brisbane Times]
· Even More (Nearly) Free Bikes In Europe [Jaunted]
· Bike Sharing coverage [Jaunted]
· Brisbane Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: marie-ll]

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Snakes And Ladders: Disgruntled Virgin Blue Edition

December 4, 2008 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

There's one ex-employee of Virgin Blue who might not be getting a job in the airline industry again--but that's OK because he seems to have potential as a board game designer.

Torsten Koerting resigned from Virgin Blue's Brisbane office last month and in frustration left a lasting legacy: A board game he designed that looks like Snakes and Ladders, but is really all about the frustrations of working for this particular airline.

It might not be great publicity to Koerting's motivation for making the game:

The difficulty in reaching the end of the game [is like] making decisions in real-life at Virgin Blue.

But the fact that the airline employed staff who are this creative and clever in the first place is probably a strange pat on the back. Play the game at your own peril--there are a lot of nasty rescue slides to fall down.

Related Stories:
· NextGen Virgin Board Game [Brisbane Times]
· Ex-Staffer Plays Games with Virgin Blue [The Age]
· Virgin Blue coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: Age]