Tag: Australia Travel

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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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Travel Snapshot: This Bridge Only Serves an Island's Eight-Legged Residents

May 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

Traveling around the globe to experience new and exciting places is one tried and true reason to hop on a plane. The resulting numb butt and bloodshot eyes are only a small price to pay to see something you couldn't see in your own backyard, and that's why this travel snapshot is so neat.

We came across the above bridge with little understanding of what it could be, but once we figured it out, the cleverness of its design and function were a "duh" shocker. Before we reveal the full details on where and what this is, here are a few clues:

· The country in which this photo was taken has more crustacean residents (43.7 million-ish) than people (2,100).
· The above overpass has a heavy traffic season right around November-December.
· With about 3 flights per week, this destination is not easy to reach but completely worth the trouble.
· Although very tropical, this location is a far departure from cocktails and infinity pools.

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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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Towns Named Dull, Boring, and Bland Team Up to Lure Tourists

May 7, 2014 at 12:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

Those looking for something a little more interesting this summer have a few new options, and despite the name it won’t be bland, dull, or boring. Three towns that share less than welcoming names are joining forces on a little bit of a tourism campaign, as they try to ensure that travelers stop in for a visit rather than driving right on through.

Boring, Oregon joined forces with Dull—it’s over in Scotland—a couple of years ago, as they figured that they might be able to score some tourist dollars if they teamed up on a little bit of a campaign. Boring and Dull souvenirs have apparently been a little bit of a hit, and they’ve been enjoyed the sales of t-shirts, mugs, and other goodies.

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Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Tasmania, for More Than a Few Days

April 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM | by | Comments (0)


Above: Par Avion's remote airstrip in the Southwest National Park

Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

Learn from our mistakes. Two days in Tasmania did nothing to dampen our desire to visit this southernmost bit of Australia; on the contrary, as it only whet our appetite and now Tasmania is all we can think about.

The "Island of Inspiration" is also one of picturesque bays, wilderness walking tracks, incredible contemporary art (MONA!), and what happens to be the the world's best whiskies.

Tasmania is only 35,000 square miles, 45% of which is completely given over to national park and nature reserves. Arriving to Hobart from Sydney means overflying areas that tempt thoughts of "what if I just never leave?" To sum up the style of its capital, Hobart, we'd peg it as a mix of Vancouver and Nantucket. So, in other words, it's nearly perfection for fans of good air, good eats, good views, and good value for money.

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What Everyone's Buying in Tasmania: Single Malt Whisky

April 17, 2014 at 10:34 AM | by | Comment (1)

Welcome to "What Everyone's Buying," a new series on souvenirs, wherein we investigate what tourist trinkets are the hottest selling in hotspots around the world.

Open the duty-free catalog in your seatback pocket. Flip past the cosmetics, watches and cigarettes, and what's left? Booze, and lots of it.

Alcohol and travel have gone hand-in-hand throughout history, from rum runners in the West Indies to the Highland Malt Whisky which was, at times, the only thing keeping Ernest Shackleton's men sane during their expeditions in the Antarctic.

Speaking of Antarctica, Tasmania's location at 42° S latitude puts it into a last-stop-before-Antarctica position, and the climate and terrain is reminiscent of the Scottish highlands. In other words, it's ideal for the production of what's become a Tasmanian mainstay: cask-aged, single malt whisky. Tassie whisky even took the top spot in the World Whiskies Awards 2014, which didn't come as much of a surprise to Tasmanians who've always known they're drinking the highest quality.

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This Banana Vending Machine Proves That Not Everything in Australia is Trying to Kill You

Where: Australia
April 15, 2014 at 9:15 AM | by | Comment (1)

Who says vending machine food needs to be full of salt, high in fat or generally unhealthy? Definitely not the brains behind this little gem we found while walking through a shopping center in Brisbane. Forget the Chex Mix or even granola bars, as this machine went straight for the super-healthy stuff with bananas.

This little bit of genius, called the Banana Bar, offers up small bunches of the sweet tropical fruit for just a few dollars. A bunch of three go for $3, and a bunch for sharing scores a little discount at $4 for five bananas. That's already cheaper and more convenient than the basket of single bananas Starbucks keeps next to their registers, for impulse healthy breakfast buys. And if you're not too familiar with how these prices compare to a grocery store, the mark-up isn't terrible at just about $.50 per piece; it's all about convenience and eating-on-the-run.

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First Time to Australia: What's a 'Nullarbor' Flight?

Where: Australia
April 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

When we brought you our introduction to Aussie slang last month, we may have forgotten one very important travel term unique only to Australia. We knew that some words would be new to us on a trip down under, but we'd never think about taking a "Nullarbor flight."

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What Everyone's Buying on Christmas Island: Cheap Liquor and Special Stamps

April 8, 2014 at 1:36 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to "What Everyone's Buying," a new series on souvenirs, wherein we investigate what tourist trinkets are the hottest selling in hotspots around the world.

As you may have already gathered from our previous posts, Christmas Island has a good lot to offer when it comes to nature, beaches, diving, and endemic species. When it comes to souvenirs, however, the island runs a bit dry unless you're looking for crab toys, crab t-shirts or books about crabs. So the majority of visitors, both long- and short-term, opt to head to the island's supermarket and its duty-free liquor variety.

The selection is excellent, including even "traveler edition" flavors of Absolut, and prices are half that of mainland Australia, so wine and liquor is a huge score for those wanting to imbibe without breaking the bank.

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From Caves to Waves: What to Do on Christmas Island

April 7, 2014 at 1:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

A tiny stamp of land in the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island is a haven for crabs, birds, and, as a territory of Australia, even for asylum-seekers. Why would anyone pay the expensive airfare and trek so far to visit Christmas Island? This is the question we'll be answering all week.

Now that you've reached the island and braved the native crabs, what else should be on your itinerary while spending some time surrounded by ocean? Naturally you'll want some beach time, but there's also snorkeling or scuba diving, nature walks and animal-spotting.

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Crabs, Crabs Everywhere But Not a One to Eat: Spotting the Christmas Island Locals

April 3, 2014 at 4:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

A tiny stamp of land in the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island is a haven for crabs, birds, and, as a territory of Australia, even for asylum-seekers. Why would anyone pay the expensive airfare and trek so far to visit Christmas Island? This is the question we'll be answering all week.

Yesterday we showed you how to get to the distant tropical paradise of Christmas Island, so it's about time we highlight what's actually worth doing on the island.

Along with rocky shorelines, killer sunrises and sunsets, the island is home to a plethora of exotic animals. The most popular of these, and certainly the most visible, is the red crab, which migrates across the island to spawn and hatch their young once a year. Although the island is completely taken over by the crabs in the Southern Hemisphere's early summer, rest assured spotting the crabs isn't a difficult feat any other time of the year. These little red decapods can be found all over the place, mingling with plenty of other crab varieties, like robber, blue, hermit, little nipper and ghost crabs.

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Good Riddance to United's 747s Between the US and Australia

Where: Australia
April 2, 2014 at 3:23 PM | by | Comments (0)

April 1 may be known for April Fools' Day pranks, but the United 777s that dotted the tarmac at Sydney Airport were no joke. Yesterday marked the first day for United's regular LAX and SFO service to Sydney to be operated by all 777-200s, instead of the older 747-400s. The last UA 747 to depart Sydney said "so long" on March 31, and with it goes the worst plane to fly between the US and Australia, in terms of passenger comfort and entertainment.

Our friends at Australian Business Traveller detailed the change after it was announced, and noted that this means fewer seats in all classes. Overall, however, the news is excellent for travelers on the 14-hour non stop flights.

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