Tag: Australia Travel

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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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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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