Australia Travel Guide

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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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On a Virgin Australia Turboprop, the Last Row is First

May 27, 2014 at 4:55 PM | by | Comment (1)

When flying Economy on a narrow-body aircraft, we usually aim to sit as far forward as possible. Most importantly, this move generally gets you served first and off the plane first after landing. And there's the added bonus of minimizing the number of rows in front of you, which makes the cabin feel less crowded compared to a sea of heads between your seat and the cockpit.

That strategy might work in the majority of cases, but here is one example where it didn’t. On a recent hop from Sydney to the Australian capital of Canberra, our aircraft was a Virgin Australia ATR72-600 Turboprop. The only aircraft doors (which incorporate steps, private jet-style) are actually at the back, just behind the last row (17). We originally had a seat near the front, but were asked while already on the plane to move to row 15, which worked out just fine.

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Inside the Amenity Kit: Qantas' Jack Spade Business Class Men's Pouch

Where: Australia
May 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM | by | Comments (0)

We come across some downright awesome airline amenity kits in our travels, and the surprises of each zippered pouch can often make or break comfort on a premium flight. With this in mind, here's to our new series: Inside the Amenity Kit, wherein we unzip, unwrap, and expose the loot inside:

We'll admit it; we love being handed kits filled with goodies to make a flight a little more comfortable. What we love even more is when those kits include the good stuff, like designer pouches or top-of-the-line skincare. Both are a major part of Qantas' kits, as the Aussie airline calls upon two New York brands for their long-haul business class amenity kits.

First off is the pouch itself; the men's kit comes from Kate Spade's men's line, Jack Spade. We've talked about them before, when the airline started sharing a runway with the design name, but being greeted with the familiar coated canvas zip pouch is like a little slice of home.

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The Last Virgin Atlantic Flight Has Left Sydney Airport

May 16, 2014 at 9:01 PM | by | Comment (1)

Earlier this month, we were spending a few early morning hours at Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport in the (pretty fabulous) Qantas First Class Lounge, which aside from rather swank surroundings comes with great views of the apron and city.

Sitting in one of the window-facing seats, watching aircraft taxiing here and there, we spotted an Airbus A340-600 being towed away with the Sydney skyline in the distance. At first, we didn’t think much of it among the rest of the aircraft movements, only realizing when we focused on the branding that we were in fact watching something a little more significant; this was one of the very last Virgin Atlantic aircraft to touch Australian soil, as the service from London discontinued just a few days later.

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Surprisingly Yummy Airline Meals: Three Courses on Qantas' Coast-to-Coast

Where: Australia
May 1, 2014 at 12:38 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.

"What's there to eat?" The answer to this question can make or break a flight when you're hungry. For our recent 4.5-hour Qantas nonstop from Perth to Brisbane, we got comfy in the A330 Business Class cabin and perused the menu which, on this transcontinental, is somewhat similar to the airline's long-haul offerings.

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