Tag: Australia Travel

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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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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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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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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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Six Islands in a Single-Engine, Part 4: A History Lesson Before Turning Homeward

Where: Australia
October 9, 2014 at 3:56 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

The islands and miles stacked up in our rearview as we left Vanuatu, with a flight plan that took us north to the Solomon Islands, initially to Guadalcanal and Honiara and then onto the New Georgia group.

The longest single flight of our trip so far would be five hours between Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu and Honiara, Solomon Islands, but the winds were on our side and, soon enough, emerald green mountains surrounded by white sandy beaches and coral reefs welcomed us to yet another island destination: Guadalcanal.

We descended through the foothills of the mountains to reach the northern shore and landed at Henderson Field, the second World War II-historic air field of our trip (the first being Santo).

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How Qantas is Celebrating Flying Their Largest Plane on the Longest Route

September 29, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

This week, the world's longest commercial flight route scores a few more points in the world of aviation. Today marks the inaugural arrival of Qantas' Airbus A380, traveling from Sydney to Dallas as Qantas 7, a route previously operated with a Boeing 747-400ER. The jumbo days are over now, in favor of a superjumbo future.

The inaugural flight, the duration of which rings in around 15.5 hours, is scheduled to land at DFW at 1.45pm local time.

Not only will this be the first time Qantas uses an A380 for the route, but it marks the first official arrival of the double-decker plane for DFW Airport. In order to welcome the beast, the airport underwent some minor construction for updates to the international terminal (Terminal D). No doubt the ground crew at DFW are readying the water cannons right now.

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Six Islands in a Single-Engine, Part 3: Where the 'South Pacific' Sky Meets the Sea

Where: Vanuatu
September 24, 2014 at 3:52 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

After arriving late at night into Noumea, New Caledonia following several days of flying, it was time to rest. The setting for this respite would be Ille Des Pins, a coral cay about 80 miles to the southeast of Noumea. As idyllic as it sounds, we had quite a large challenge to overcome when it came to actually flying there, one we had not imagined we would encounter and for which we had not prepared.

You see, the air traffic tower there speaks only French—view the landing plate to see what we mean. Luckily enough, I was able to scrape enough schoolboy-level French from the back of my mind (combined with some words remembered from cabin announcements on Air France, like piste equating to "runway").

By no means was our conversation with ATC smooth, but we were able to communicate well enough, whilst understanding both the tower and other aircraft on frequency. After the stress of getting the plane on the ground, we couldn't have appreciated the calm paradise of Ille des Pins more.

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It's Easy to See Why the Larapinta Trail is One of Australia's Top Treks

September 16, 2014 at 1:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last week, we went on a six-day excursion and hiked several sections of the Larapinta Trail, a walk that runs 139 miles through the Northern Territory of Australia. In the past few years, it has become known as one of the country's top treks due to its beautiful desert landscape and challenging rocky terrain. It starts in Alice Springs, is broken down into 12 sections, and is meant to take the average hiker 10-14 days to complete.

We did just over 60 miles of it over the course of the week, walking between 8 and 12 miles each day. It was an ideal time to tackle it, with the weather transitioning from winter to spring in the desert. Clear nights and moderate temperatures allowed us to sleep outside our tents under the stars, and it was hard to find a cloud in the sky on most days.

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