Australia Travel Guide

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Six Islands in a Single-Engine, Part 1: Planning to Fly the South Pacific

Where: Australia
August 27, 2014 at 12:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's the stuff of headlines, when a pilot ventures away from familiar runways to embark on an epic aviation adventure in a single-engine aircraft, and it's exactly what Jaunted contributor Joe Corrigan is doing. Follow along over the next several days, as Joe shares trials, triumphs, and terrific images from flying to remote corners of the South Pacific.

Island Hopping in a Single-Engine, The Series:

1. Flight Planning
2. The Point of No Return
3. On Island Time
4. Home Again, Jiggety-Jig

It is often a dream of private aviators to not only slip the surly bonds of gravity, but also those of their home country and try flying abroad. As my good friend/flight instructor Nick Pech and I readied my Cirrus SR20 for what we simply dubbed "The Pacific Trip," the complex preparations smoothed the way for what would be pure bliss, under our own power over the clouds.

Passports? Affirm. Over two weeks, our routing would take us from Bankstown Airport in Sydney, to Australia's Gold Coast, and then out over open water over to Lord Howe Island, continuing on to Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and then back to Australia, entering at Cairns.

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Last-Minute Labor Day Deals: A Long Flight to the Land Down Under

Where: Australia
August 22, 2014 at 10:50 AM | by | Comments (0)

We hate to alarm you, but the summer is quickly coming to an end. Before you know it, the cooler weather will be trickling in, and those pumpkin-flavored lattes will be hitting the bar at your favorite coffee shop. That’s why it’s time to plan one last quick getaway, and Labor Day Weekend is the time to do it.

We'll be the first to admit that Australia isn't the easiest destination to travel to, but sometimes all a bucketlist vacation needs is a holiday off to get the ball rolling. And, naturally, a our tips to making the best of the 14-hour flight. All things considered, this might be the time to score a great deal on a package to explore this beautiful country.

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Can a Gelato Bar Entice Travelers to Book Business Class?

Where: Australia
August 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

Flying can be exhausting, even if your itinerary involves lie-flat seats in the front of the plane. As such, you can imagine our jubilation when we passed by a low freezer case filled with creamy gelato goodness during some downtime in Qantas' Business Class lounge at Sydney International.

Along with the standard free-pouring champagne, hot dinner and bountiful desserts, the Red Roo's lounge serves up the icy treat for passengers traveling on international flights in Business Class (or holding Oneworld Sapphire status). Ice cream is a lovely little luxury, perfect to be present in a lounge for a level of luxury travel.

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Yes, Airplane Bathrooms are Shrinking (At Least on Qantas)

Where: Australia
August 4, 2014 at 10:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

It feels like everything from the seats to the bathrooms aboard airplanes keep getting smaller and smaller, and apparently that truly will be the case with some Qantas planes and their interior refurbishments. Not that you want to spend anymore time in an airplane lavatory, but just note it’s not you getting bigger it’s them getting smaller.

Qantas is in the middle of planning on adding and squeezing a few more seats into some of their domestic airplanes, and they’re doing so in hopes of boosting capacity by around three percent.

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Fraser Island Field Trip: Offroading Inland to Secret Creeks and Special Lakes

July 24, 2014 at 10:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

We may have stayed close to the shore yesterday, but now it's time to brave the sand dune tracks and head inland on Australia's Fraser Island. While it's rated as the largest sand island in the world, Fraser is shockingly easy to traverse if you've got the right gear, and we're not just talking low gear. A 4x4 is all you need to reach those corners of the island both so untouched and pristine, you'll think you're the first to ever view them.

It's important to note that there are a handful of lakes on the island worth the trek away from the beaches. Lake McKenize is the most famous, with its crystal blue waters ringed with white sand. McKenzie, Lake Birrabeen and Basin Lake are all perched lakes that depend on rainfall to fill their shores, so the waters are cool and fresh, and begging you to swim. Let's talk about a few of the other inland sites, however:

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Fraser Island Field Trip: Where Life is a Beach AND a Highway

July 23, 2014 at 4:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

No silly sayings or Tom Cochrane references here! Just the fact that Australia's Fraser Island has some pretty cool things to see and do.

While most activities revolve around nature, fresh air, and enjoyment of the outdoors, we couldn't pass up the chance to rent a 4x4 and head onto the Eastern Beaches for the island's most popular activity: speeding up the coast, on the coast. Yep, you've heard correctly; not only is driving on the beach legal, but it's actually encouraged and one of the best ways to see a huge portion of this island off Queensland.

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Wish You Were Here: Fraser Island, Australia

July 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

We come to you from a small dollop of land off the Eastern coast of Australia by the name of Fraser Island. This World Heritage Site sits about 120 miles north of Brisbane in the Hervey Bay region, and is a haven for some unique flora and fauna, including native dingoes, goanna lizards, and more.

Fraser's biggest claim to fame however, is the fact that it's the world's largest sand island, boasting awesome 4x4ing, meandering nature walks, and an easy tropical escape from the city. At this particular time of year, the island is home to some foreign travelers without the need of passports; we're talking about the massive whale migration from the Southern Pacific to these slightly warmer waters near the equator.

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Surprisingly Yummy Airline Meals: Eggs Royale in the Qantas First Lounge

June 26, 2014 at 12:09 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.

It's true--this yummy airline meal wasn’t technically eaten on a plane, but rather in the Qantas International First Class Lounge at Sydney-Kingsford Smith airport. That said, it was too good not to report on, several years after the lounge opened to much fanfare.

While some of the furniture could use a spruce up, we still make extra time when our travels take us through here, and the food has been - and is - right up there when it comes to why we do. The waiter-served restaurant, overseen by Neil Perry, actually lives up to its claims of serving restaurant-quality food. The Eggs Royale we had were delicious, and with a tea and orange juice the perfect way to start our day and ready ourselves for a long-haul flight.

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Surprisingly Yummy Airline Meals: A Bistro 'Brekky' on Virgin Australia

Where: Australia
June 20, 2014 at 2:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have all had a terrible meal on a flight before. In fact, we have shown you some of the sadder trays slid in front of us. With this new series of amazing airline meals, we can revel in the airline culinary delights and give kudos to the airlines that got it right.

Eggs on a plane often sounds just as scary as "Snakes on a Plane," and we usually recommend avoiding rubbery, egg-like substances that very rarely turn out nice. Virgin Australia has however eschewed the traditional cheese-filled omelets or scrambled egg substitute for a bistro-style offering that is not only delish, but making us rethink the importance of breakfast on a plane.

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How Australia is Marketing Itself as One Big, Gourmet Restaurant

Where: Australia
June 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM | by | Comments (0)

Some destination ad campaigns can be brilliant in doing their job to inspire travel, while others are simply awful. Luckily for Tourism Australia, they've decided to go in a different direction from that full-frontal kangaroo, in favor of the country's delicious food and wine.

Themed as "Restaurant Australia," the 3-minute commercial equates the country to one big restaurant. The menu is the journey, with obligatory shots of Sydney Harbour, Melbourne's Laneways, Uluru, and the Great Barrier Reef interspersed with glossy close-ups of glorious seafood, sippable vintages and, of course, tender Aussie lamb, all set to a powerful soundtrack by Aboriginal musician, Dewayne Everettsmith.

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In Search of Perfect Weather: When to Travel to the Great Barrier Reef

Where: Australia
May 29, 2014 at 4:59 PM | by | Comment (1)

The world's largest coral system sits just off the northeastern coast of Australia, an area synonymous with perfectly tropical weather. And while the Great Barrier Reef does boast warm water, skin diving, and a seemingly endless amount of sunshine, there are better times than others to visit.

Even though the reef can be seen from space, viewing it up close and in-person is a lifetime must-do. In general, right this second is the perfect time to do just that. Should you require a bit more advance notice—for much of the world's travelers, a trip to Australia is hardly a quick jaunt—so it's important to be mindful of weather.

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The Days of This Qantas Business Class Seat are Numbered

Where: Australia
May 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM | by | Comment (1)

What you see above is the original Qantas “Skybed,” the angled flat seats which are still found on the airline’s Airbus A330s and which we experienced on a recent flight from Bangkok to Sydney. They wont be around for much longer though, as an improved business class seat—fully flat, and all seats with aisle access—is being rolled out from the end of this year.

While we had a pretty good flight on this overnight sector, and spent most of it stretched out in our window seat trying to get some sleep, we’ll be looking forward to the refurb for a number of reasons. We’ll give you a quick rundown of what things are like today, and what you can expect going forward:

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