Tag: Australia Travel

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Qantas Introduces Virtual Reality Tour of Hamilton Island

Where: Australia
July 6, 2015 at 10:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

For those of us in the Nifty Fifty in Australia's Hamilton Island is a world away. But thanks to some creative technology — and clever marketing — it might soon feel a bit closer.

A partnership between Qantas, Hamilton Island, and Samsung has resulted in a new virtual reality experience that allows would-be visitors to check out the island remotely. Still images of the landscape and the ocean can certainly sell the destination on their own, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to also have a 360-degree view of things from the air, land, and sea.

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Big Things Are Already 'Happening' at LAX

June 10, 2015 at 9:05 AM | by | Comments (0)



We've told you before how Los Angeles International Airport is "happening" — and we're not just talking about tasings.

Much of LAX is under construction, including the runways and (most noticeably) its terminals as the airport continues to modernize and update its offerings. But while the jackhammering and plywood will remain for a few more years, new things are already starting to be revealed.

Yesterday, American Airlines announced its new nonstop service to Sydney. The flights will begin on December 17 in a OneWorld partnership with Qantas, flying the flagship Boeing 777-300ER (pending regulatory approvals). Here's a bit more about what will be on board:

American’s new service between LAX and SYD will be operated by the state-of-the-art, three-class Boeing 777-300ER with best-in-class premium customer offerings. The aircraft’s products and services feature all-aisle access, fully lie-flat seats and a walk-up bar in the premium cabins; Main Cabin Extra seating provides more legroom; and all seats feature personal, in-seat entertainment screens with up to 250 movies, over 180 TV programs and more than 350 audio selections, international Wi-Fi capability, and universal AC power outlets and USB ports.

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Finally! Qantas Gives 3D Experience for the Great Barrier Reef

Where: Australia
May 7, 2015 at 11:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

Remember a few months back, when Qantas wanted their customers to wear some bulky virtual reality headsets to experience the best of the Red Roo's destinations? Well, what we didn't realize is that the Great Barrier Reef was not included in this 3-dimensional experience. Seems like an Aussie airline would have that on the top of their list, right? Well, now we can announce that it's finally made the cut!

The airline has partnered with Hamilton Island to bring one of the hottest tourist attractions to first-class passengers flying on 27 of their A380 routes and in some of the international Qantas lounges around the world. The 360-degree experience flies high with the help of Samsung and Rapid VR and allows virtual visitors to get close to the coral while still staying dry.

Good thing the Qantas lounge at LAX just reopened and doubled in size!

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Check Out This 'Kingdom' Where Only Gay People are Allowed

Where: Australia
April 29, 2015 at 1:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

With legality of gay marriage before the Supreme Court today, contributor TipsyTraveler takes a look at an island near Australia for gay people, and created by gay people in protest of Australia's refusal at the turn of this millennium to recognize same-sex marriage.

As a member of the cisgender homosexual male species, I can get down with some LGBTQ cultural enrichment. Actually it’s a huge part of my existence. I live the lifestyle. I’ve done extensive volunteering and full-time work in the LGBTQ nonprofit sector. I educate myself daily on the current sociopolitical matters affecting LGBTQ people all over the world. It matters greatly to me.

So imagine my WTFreakout when I learn there is a place on planet earth – a bundle of islands scattered over some 500,000 kilometer slice of the sea – where only people like me, the mo’s of the world, are allowed to go. And live. Forever. Just a giant gay community on big chunks of sand strewn amongst the ocean.

This is the Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands.

And I kind of hate it.

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Why Australian Airlines Are Up In Arms Over Thongs

April 3, 2015 at 5:49 PM | by | Comments (0)

This is no April Fool's joke.

On April 1, Qantas begin enforcing long-standing dress codes at the many Qantas Clubs, Business Class lounges, and First Class lounges in their Australian lounge network. Passengers who were turned away due to the tightened door policy include those wearing hi-ves workwear, T-shirts, shorts, and/or flip-flop sandals.

The policy, which requests/demands "smart casual" attire in the lounges, has left passengers confused, not to mention angry, when, at hot weather and vacation-popular airport like Brisbane, they've been turned away for wearing sandals. Qantas takes issue with what Aussies call "thongs," the casual beach footwear that bares most of the foot. Women's dressier sandals and, as far as we can tell, men's Birkenstock or Teva-style sandals do pass muster.

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Qantas Tries Something...Um...Different for In-Flight Entertainment

February 3, 2015 at 10:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

Isn't it a little too early for April Fools?

Qantas is banking on the fact that international first class passengers paying beaucoup bucks for the comfy seats won't mind looking silly with a virtual reality headset loaded up with Hollywood blockbusters, destination tours and highlights of new services from the Aussie airline. (Looks like we spoke too soon last week.)

Partnering with Samsung, the red roo is offering high-rolling flyers, both in-flight and on the ground, an option to be transported to a new dimension with the headsets. Whether you're waiting for your plane in the First Class Lounge in Sydney or Melbourne or flying in first on selected A380 flights to and from Los Angeles, passengers can strap on and experience the trial service for three months starting in March.

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There's a New Kind of Shark Tank to Jump Into in Australia

January 7, 2015 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you’ve still never watched “Jaws”... don’t start now.

Visitors to South Australia now have a new way of getting up close and pee-your-pants personal with monsters of the deep: the “Aqua Sub,” an innovative shark diving contraption now in use by tour operator Adventure Bay Charters.

No wetsuit? No oxygen tank? No fear? No problem.

The Aqua Sub is a six-seat extension of Adventure Bay’s boat that slices down into the ocean water like a semi-submerged piece of Tupperware. Guests climb down a ladder and enjoy a glass-enclosed 360-degree view of Great White infested waters off Neptune Island, located two-and-a-half hours off the coast of Oz’s Eyre Peninsula.

You know, where no one can hear you scream.

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What Does Christmas Island Get for Christmas? Crabs. Millions of Crabs.

December 22, 2014 at 12:07 PM | by | Comments (0)

Let's draw attention to Christmas Island, a tiny little speck in the middle of the Indian Ocean which, while named for a festive holiday, is expecting a little more than Santa. In December of every year, tens of millions of freshly hatched red crabs cover the landscape on their annual crab migration and, if the weather and lunar cycles go to plan, this weekend will have been the peak of season.

The crabs call the island home year-round, but it's at this time that their life cycles causes them to spawn in the ocean. The female crustaceans make a trek from the wooded areas down to the water where the egg immediately hatches, thus multiplying the island's crab population. The forests, roads and beaches of the island are utterly inundated by the crabs (and the tourists who travel here to watch them), closing roads and parts of the national park.

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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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