Australia Travel Guide

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Sydney Airport Doubles Your Pleasure with a Double Debut of Airline Lounges

December 15, 2014 at 2:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Flying through Sydney Kingsford-Smith's International terminal isn't always a pleasant departure, seeing as you're probably looking at 8-13 hours on a plane. Thus, those pre-departure hours are key for both relaxation and business, and the airport is finally upping its game in those areas with the debut of two completely new lounges.

Open as of yesterday, SYD welcomes its own American Express Centurion Lounge—which we recently called "the best $50 we've ever spent at an airport"—and a SkyTeam lounge.

Here's what you need to know about accessing and enjoying either:

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When Live-Tweeting a Flight Emergency is Not an Emergency

December 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

When Andy Warhol uttered that famous statement about everyone having five minutes of fame, we're pretty sure he didn't foresee those five minutes being dedicated to the live-tweeting of an emergency landing. Since the advent of social media, however, that's exactly what's happened. Every event, especially involving air travel, becomes possible fodder for headlines. This week's big story wouldn't actually be a story at all, if it weren't for a man named Nigel Richardson live-tweeting his flight.

It all began after Richardson tweeted a photo of the Burj Dubai rendered in chocolate at Dubai's Airport, and he then boarded Qantas flight 2, an Airbus A380 that would take 13 hours to travel the distance from Dubai to Sydney, Australia. Well into the flight, the aircraft's air conditioning system malfunctioned and the flight crew performed an emergency descent from 38,000 feet to 9,000 feet.

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Sydney Harbour Secrets: The Sailing Ship You Can Crew

December 5, 2014 at 4:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the ferry to Manly…every tourist to Sydney, Australia knows where to go, but Sydney happens to be home to the largest natural harbour in the world. It’s in and amongst those large sites you’ll find the smaller secrets, and we’re sharing a few of our favorites all this week.

Keep going. Beyond the beaches, the islands, the famous bridge, is the district of Darling Harbour and its nautical gem: Australian National Maritime Museum.

As with every museum, there's a building with glassed-in exhibits, explanation plaques, and priceless artifacts; it's outside, at the docks, where the Maritime Museum really shines. You see, there's a submarine docked there. And a destroyer. And a patrol boat or two. And a humongous tall ship that's a full replica of the Endeavor which Captain Cook sailed around Australia and New Zealand in the late 1700s. You're welcome to board them all and have a look around, because the Australian National Maritime Museum is home to some of the best preserved examples of nautical history still in the water, still welcoming the public.

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Sydney Harbour Secrets: The Perfect Picnic Oasis of Shark Island

December 3, 2014 at 4:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the ferry to Manly…every tourist to Sydney, Australia knows where to go, but Sydney happens to be home to the largest natural harbour in the world. It’s in and amongst those large sites you’ll find the smaller secrets, and we’re sharing a few of our favorites all this week.

It’s pretty, as a garden island covered in palm trees, fresh-cut grass, wild tropical blooms would be, but it’s Shark Island’s location and serenity that truly makes this patch of only 3.7 acres something special in Sydney. By the way...there are no sharks; the island is so named due it's shape.

Shark Island has no buildings other than an open-air, Queen Anne-style picnic pavilion at its highest point and a few other scattered picnic alcoves. This betrays Shark Island’s chief activity; there’s nothing much else to do than lay on the beach or gaze out to the sailboat traffic of nearby Rose Bay.

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Sydney Harbour Secrets: The Centenary of Seaplanes at Rose Bay

December 2, 2014 at 11:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the ferry to Manly…every tourist to Sydney, Australia knows where to go, but Sydney happens to be home to the largest natural harbour in the world. It’s in and amongst those large sites you’ll find the smaller secrets, and we’re sharing a few of our favorites all this week.

So we've already noted that Sydney Harbour is more than just some water, but an entire national park of 970 acres. Well, all that space includes some truly picturesque bays, utilized for private moorings, public swimming areas, or protected marine environments. One in particular, Rose Bay, is home to over a century of aviation history and the very founding of commercial air travel in Australia.

Rose Bay was Sydney’s first international airport, owing to regular flying boat service from 1938 clear through 1974, when the land-based airport we now know as Kingsford-Smith got going. The first seaplane flight actually happened in neighboring Double Bay in 1914, making this year, 2014, the centenary anniversary of seaplanes in Australia.

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Sydney Harbour Secrets: The 1 O'Clock Shot at Fort Denison

December 1, 2014 at 3:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the ferry to Manly…every tourist to Sydney, Australia knows where to go, but Sydney happens to be home to the largest natural harbour in the world. It’s in and amongst those large sites you’ll find the smaller secrets, and we’re sharing a few of our favorites all this week.

Fun fact: Sydney Harbour is itself a giant park. Some 970 acres of waterways, islands, shores, beaches, and historic sites make up the Sydney Harbour National Park, and there’s no one better place to begin exploring it than Fort Denison, a tiny island which claims much less space than even one of those acres.

Known as "Mat-te-wan-ye” to the Aboriginals and “Pinchgut Island” to the military who arrived with the First Fleet in 1788, Fort Denison only earned its Fort title after 1862 and the establishment of a tower and sandstone fortifications. These days it’s home to a small maritime museum and restaurant, not to mention a traditional 1pm cannon firing to help mariners keep correct timing.

So why should you go?

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A Weak Australian Dollar Means You Should Finally Book That Bucket List Trip to Oz

Where: Australia
December 1, 2014 at 11:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Alright you guys, listen closely because we have the some of the best news ever for travelers with Down Under on the to-do list. This very second is the best time to make moves on planning that trip to Australia.

Today may be the first official day of summer in Oz and sure, the temps are already very warm, but there's plenty season left for you to take advantage of the latest news: the Aussie dollar has hit a 4-year low against the U.S. dollar.

Basically what this means is that your money can now go much further than it has in the past 4 years. To be honest, we have battled with unfavorable exchange rates for about 8 years now. Looking at the numbers, each of our hard-earned greenbacks buys about $1.18 AUD, which turns out to be just under 25% more than in 2010. This can only mean one thing: souvenirs, tours and hotels booked in AUD are nearly 20% less expensive, and if you've been to Oz before, you know this is a helpful "markdown."

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Katy Perry Skipped the AMAs to Climb Sydney's Harbour Bridge

November 24, 2014 at 3:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

Katy Perry didn't make it to last night's American Music Awards, but she had a good excuse! Instead of on stage, she was busy sunning herself in Sydney and smiling on top of the famous Harbour Bridge.

The songstress did appear on the show via satellite from Australia after winning Single of the Year, Favorite Female Artist Pop/Rock, and Favorite Female Artist Adult Contemporary.

Katy spent most of Sunday hanging out with her entourage on a luxury yacht in Sydney Harbour. She went swimming, shared cocktails with friends, lounged on the deck and ate ice cream. She had plenty to celebrate, not only did she take home three AMAs, but it was also confirmed that she will perform at the Super Bowl in 2015.

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Beachgoers Kicked Off the Sand for Kardashian Photoshoot in Australia

Where: Australia
November 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

Kim Kardashian wasn't able to break the internet, but she did manage to break Australia's Jervis Bay.

This morning, beachgoers were turned away by Kim's entourage and security so she could pose for photos in peace. There's no word what the photo shoot was for, but whatever it was they were trying to keep the images tightly under wraps.

As more and more people arrived for a day at the beach, Kim's team ushered her into a tent and asked everyone to leave.

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See Morocco and Australia the 'Long Way Round' by Motorcycle

November 6, 2014 at 2:41 PM | by | Comments (0)

Charley Boorman has taken the Long Way Round, the Long Way Down, tackled Extreme Frontiers, accepted the Race to Dakar, and traveled around the world By Any Means. Charley's next adventures will take him to Australia and North Africa, and this time you can join him for the ride.

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The Best Way to Navigate Brisbane is by Boat

November 6, 2014 at 12:40 PM | by | Comments (2)

View of the Brisbane skyline from the city water taxi

A gateway and launching pad to explore the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, much of Brisbane's vibe and appeal revolves around the water. It's right there on the Pacific Ocean, and the river snakes its way through the city in every sense of the word.

Last week, while spending a one-day layover in the city, we set out from our hotel in Hamilton (chosen for its proximity to the airport) and discovered that, despite the extensive bus and rail lines, water taxis were the most convenient way to explore the city.

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Is Gate-to-Gate Recline the Next Big Perk for Business Class?

Where: Australia
October 28, 2014 at 8:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

We have seen all kinds of innovations and improvements when it comes to the wild, wild world of business class; however, one thing that seems to be overlooked is true comfort from gate to gate. No, we’re not talking about keeping the champagne flowing from takeoff to touchdown with a side of mixed nuts, but rather the ability to keep that seat reclined no matter what stage of the flight.

Qantas is looking to change that, as the kangaroo carrier is in the final stages of introducing a business class seat that would allow sleeping comfort from boarding to departing. It sounds like regulatory approval and associated paperwork are the final steps in the process, but soon sleep can be yours from the moment you sit down to the second before you step off into the jet bridge at your destination.

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