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Travel Snapshots / Australia Travel / Queensland Travel / Sunshine State / Travel Snapshot / Rental Cars / Road Trips / Cars / → All Tags
Here at home we’ve always just assumed that there’s one and only Sunshine State—Florida. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that the nickname has also been used for New Mexico, California, and South Dakota, but we just guess those locations aren’t as good as marketing the fun and the sun.
Well upon our arrival down under we quickly learned there’s another Sunshine State, and now it's definitely our favorite—Queensland. We’re hardly experts on the region, as we pretty much limited our exploration to Far North Queensland and spots in and around Cairns. However, with the Great Barrier Reef just off shore and more national parks than one knows what to do with we can only assume the rest of the area only adds to the state’s awesomeness.
Airports are fun! Playing host to a captive audience that's eager to get their butts on a plane, many airports offer unique features like local shopping, interesting entertainment and special eateries. With our new series called Odd Airport Finds we'll highlight the unique things we've encountered at airports around the world.
On a recent trip that found us wandering the terminal of Brisbane International Airport, a shop called Australian Produce Store caught our eye. Since we were intrigued by which 'produce' might be able to be taken over international borders, we had to have a browse.
Amongst the shelves of Aussie wines, candies and crocodile jerky, we noticed a section completely devoted to canned abalone. Yep, the edible mollusk that is usually acquired for its mother-of-pearl shell for jewelery and buttons. It's also a sought-after delicacy and is found off the coasts of Victoria and Tasmania. Used in a variety of dishes like sashimi, Korean stew or just plain grilled and braised, the shellfish makes any menu a bit more special.
Celeb Travel / Angelina Jolie / Foreign Grocery Friday / Australia Travel / Food Travel / Bizarre Foods / → All Tags
Here's one thing we know is a constant: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt will bring their brood to all corners of the earth. We're cool with the idea since it exposes the kids to different cultures, gearing them up to grow into well-seasoned travelers and ambassadors for their country. Still, Angelina's tutelage is strict; she insists that the kids eat local cuisine, going so far to make it a rule when traveling abroad. Her recent trip Down Under was no different.
Jolie packed up her litter and headed to Australia to direct her latest movie, Unbroken. Making the work trip a family vacation (sans Brad), she hopped around Oz with her six little ones, showing them all of the typical tourist spots like the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, and Taronga Zoo. When it comes to lunch and dinner, however, the kids much be in "local" mode and walk the culinary wild side by tasting kangaroo and emu pizza and whichetty grubs.
Airline News / Qantas / Australia Travel / Airfare Deals / Traveling With Children / Premium Economy / Business Class Travel / A330 / Airline Lounges / → All Tags
Lots of exciting news coming from Down Under with Qantas refreshing cabins, catering to kiddies, and filling the tummies of adults. While North America isn't directly affected by the new digs in the cabins, we can reap the benefits of enhanced meal service and an airfare sale for the littlest flyers.
The 'Red Roo' is expanding dining options for their hugely popular Select on Q-Eat meal service. Starting this week, if you're flying from Dallas to Australia in Premium Economy, you can pre-order your meals for the long, long flight. Don't worry west coasters, because next week LA gets in on the fun with flights from the west coast to Oz offering the service to PE passengers as well. The airline plans to expand this service to long-haul Economy later in the year.
Surfing Travel / Australia Travel / Beach Travel / Sydney Travel / SYD / Surfing / Qantas / Australian Open of Surfing / → All Tags
There's no doubt Australia is one of the best places on the planet to "catch a wave," which is why it makes complete sense to host one of the world's largest surfing competitions on an Aussie beach. Plan ahead, because, this upcoming February, Manly Beach will become the epicenter of hanging ten when it hosts the Australian Open of Surfing.
This second annual event features competitions between top international pro surfers and skaters, A-list band performances, and a host of summer activities. With just 160 days until the festival kicks off, it's time to start the travel brainstorming.
Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.
Thanks to a pretty active Facebook page, we can flashback to 75 years ago when Qantas launched their first Short Empire Flying Boat service between Sydney and Singapore. Boy, was this route once a doozy. The first services of the 3-night trip came in August 1938, and though the aircraft made a few stops along the way, passengers spent the long hours in awe of the new speed of air travel.
Apparently Oprah Winfrey just couldn't get enough of Australia on her last trip down under, because word on the street is that she's organizing another massive trip to film some shows and bring her feel-good network to a new country.
Last time we saw the TV star surprise her audience with a free trip to Oz was back in 2010. After all of the screaming, crying and general craziness, 300 audience members packed their bags hopped on a Qantas plane and crossed the equator for a memorable trip with Oprah.
Tourism advertisements are meant to attract more travelers to visit a certain region or country and there's no doubt that the most creative get the most attention. This week was like any other for Tourism Australia's official Facebook page as they posted stunning shots of sunsets over city skylines, beach vistas, and cuddly animals. Sounds innocent enough, right? Not so much.
The profile page then posted a picture of Baz the Kangaroo chillaxing at the Featherdale Wildlife Park in the Western suburbs of Sydney, and that's when it all when haywire. The roo was posing quite, well, provocatively, as if he was ripped from the pages of an adult magazine. While this natural display of the animal kingdom should not normally be racy, Tourism Australia made it so by pixelating his "anatomy," as if to maintain his modesty.
Royal Travel / Prince George / Prince William / Kate MIddleton / Baby Travel / Traveling with Children / Australia Travel / → All Tags
Hopefully the monarch-to-be will sit still for a passport pic, because at barely four weeks old, Prince George already has some plans to jaunt all over the planet on 'official' visits. Just yesterday, Prince William announced news to follow in his parents' footsteps by making Australia one of the first stops on the new family's 2014 itinerary.
William spilled the news to an Aussie couple at an agriculture show in Wales. No official plans have been released on the details of Will and Kate's down under trip, but we know that it will happen sometime next year. Hopefully they'll stop by a zoo to show the little prince some kangaroos and koalas.
Airfare Deals / Australia Travel / China Southern Airlines / Guangzhou Travel / China Travel / → All Tags
After a few years of unfavorable exchange rates, the US dollar is now trading with Aussie dollars at a favorable rate, thus going a little further when traveling the outback or climbing the bridge in Sydney. Usually a barrier of heading to the Great Barrier reef from the States is a high price tag on tickets, super long flights, or both. While we cannot magically make flying from the US to Australia shorter, we can let you know when they are cheap(er).
On a recent search for flights from Los Angeles to Sydney, we came across an interesting option that really never crossed our mind before, that of traveling through China. Before you stop reading because you're all about traveling with the fewest stops, please hear us out as this one could be pretty cool.
Foreign Grocery Friday / Food Travel / Australia Travel / Ice Cream / Ice Cream Travel / Chocolate Travel / Dessert Travel / → All Tags
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
Now there's more to scream about if you're heading down under, with a new flavor ice cream that marries the delicious flavor of Tim Tamsthe iconic, chocolatey cookie from Australiawith the creamy delight of chocolate ice cream.
We've talked about Tim Tams before, okay, maybe more than once (here and here). The moment the specialty ice cream flavor caught our eyes, we knew we had to give it a whirl, for research's sake. If you've had Tim Tams, then you know why Aussies treasure them.
It seems like travel contests are popping up everywhere lately, but it can be expected since it is the height of summer travel. Even the folks in the thick of winter are getting into the action. More specifically, The Whitsundays, a group of islands on the southern edge of the Great Barrier Reef, are kicking off a contest.
One of the ultimate Australian vacation destinations wants you to get your creative juices flowing by helping to write a movie about the tropical islands, appropriately titled The Whitsundays, A Movie That's Waiting to Be Written.