Tag: australia travel

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Wish You Were Here: Fraser Island, Australia

July 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

We come to you from a small dollop of land off the Eastern coast of Australia by the name of Fraser Island. This World Heritage Site sits about 120 miles north of Brisbane in the Hervey Bay region, and is a haven for some unique flora and fauna, including native dingoes, goanna lizards, and more.

Fraser's biggest claim to fame however, is the fact that it's the world's largest sand island, boasting awesome 4x4ing, meandering nature walks, and an easy tropical escape from the city. At this particular time of year, the island is home to some foreign travelers without the need of passports; we're talking about the massive whale migration from the Southern Pacific to these slightly warmer waters near the equator.

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How Australia is Marketing Itself as One Big, Gourmet Restaurant

Where: Australia
June 2, 2014 at 1:18 PM | by | Comments (0)

Some destination ad campaigns can be brilliant in doing their job to inspire travel, while others are simply awful. Luckily for Tourism Australia, they've decided to go in a different direction from that full-frontal kangaroo, in favor of the country's delicious food and wine.

Themed as "Restaurant Australia," the 3-minute commercial equates the country to one big restaurant. The menu is the journey, with obligatory shots of Sydney Harbour, Melbourne's Laneways, Uluru, and the Great Barrier Reef interspersed with glossy close-ups of glorious seafood, sippable vintages and, of course, tender Aussie lamb, all set to a powerful soundtrack by Aboriginal musician, Dewayne Everettsmith.

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A Pesky Volcano is Causing Problems on the Other Side of the World

June 2, 2014 at 10:04 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’re not really sure if there’s a volcano eruption season, but we do know another one has just blown its top. This time it’s over in Indonesia, as Mount Sangeang Api is pretty darn cranky.

Eruptions began on Friday, and over the weekend ash has started to blow in all the wrong directions. Things have been headed south towards Australia, and this caused carriers like Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin Australia to cancel plenty of their flights. Planes and people headed over to Bali were also affected, so we guess we can classify this as yet another big ash problem.

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Where to Chow Down on McDonald's Special World Cup Menu

Where: Brazil
May 30, 2014 at 11:18 AM | by | Comments (0)


McBrazil

World Cup fever is heating up with the first game's kick-off happening in less than 2 weeks. It's not just Brazil that's getting all excited for the world's largest soccer tournament - McDonalds is getting into the excitement with some really special burgers that are worldly in their own sense.

The Golden Arches is celebrating the world's most popular sport by creating a few new menu items with an international sport flair. Each new burger will be named after a country and feature some ingredients and flavors of that country all served up between a bun that looks like a soccer ball. All of the 800 restaurants in the host country will sell sandwiches "from" Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and U.S.A., and the fun isn't limited to Brazil since new snacks can be found on the menus in Japan and Australia.

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In Search of Perfect Weather: When to Travel to the Great Barrier Reef

Where: Australia
May 29, 2014 at 4:59 PM | by | Comment (1)

The world's largest coral system sits just off the northeastern coast of Australia, an area synonymous with perfectly tropical weather. And while the Great Barrier Reef does boast warm water, skin diving, and a seemingly endless amount of sunshine, there are better times than others to visit.

Even though the reef can be seen from space, viewing it up close and in-person is a lifetime must-do. In general, right this second is the perfect time to do just that. Should you require a bit more advance notice—for much of the world's travelers, a trip to Australia is hardly a quick jaunt—so it's important to be mindful of weather.

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The Days of This Qantas Business Class Seat are Numbered

Where: Australia
May 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM | by | Comment (1)

What you see above is the original Qantas “Skybed,” the angled flat seats which are still found on the airline’s Airbus A330s and which we experienced on a recent flight from Bangkok to Sydney. They wont be around for much longer though, as an improved business class seat—fully flat, and all seats with aisle access—is being rolled out from the end of this year.

While we had a pretty good flight on this overnight sector, and spent most of it stretched out in our window seat trying to get some sleep, we’ll be looking forward to the refurb for a number of reasons. We’ll give you a quick rundown of what things are like today, and what you can expect going forward:

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On a Virgin Australia Turboprop, the Last Row is First

May 27, 2014 at 4:55 PM | by | Comment (1)

When flying Economy on a narrow-body aircraft, we usually aim to sit as far forward as possible. Most importantly, this move generally gets you served first and off the plane first after landing. And there's the added bonus of minimizing the number of rows in front of you, which makes the cabin feel less crowded compared to a sea of heads between your seat and the cockpit.

That strategy might work in the majority of cases, but here is one example where it didn’t. On a recent hop from Sydney to the Australian capital of Canberra, our aircraft was a Virgin Australia ATR72-600 Turboprop. The only aircraft doors (which incorporate steps, private jet-style) are actually at the back, just behind the last row (17). We originally had a seat near the front, but were asked while already on the plane to move to row 15, which worked out just fine.

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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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