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Australia Travel / Lists / Great Barrier Reef / Travel Tips / Uluru Travel / Sydney Travel / Melbourne Travel / Winter Travel / Summer Travel / Brisbane Travel / Perth Travel / Tasmania Travel / → All Tags
When a destination like Australia comes up in conversation, what's usually called to mind are activities of the summer months, like surfing, beaches, snorkeling, and numerous other outdoor activities. Because of a little thing called global tilt, however, winter has just begun in Oz, but don't let that deter you from visiting the largest island on the planet.
Here's just a few reasons why winter is perhaps the best time to cross the Equator and head 'down under':
Flight Reviews / Virgin Australia / BNE / SYD / Business Class Travel / Photo Gallery / Sydney Travel / Brisbane Travel / → All Tags
After some time talking about the sexy new business class, the movie filmed onboard and even a new TV commercial, it was time for us to experience all the hooplah around the updates at Virgin Australia. We are huge fans of what Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America do, so we were excited to fly on the Aussie cousin.
Our flights were between Brisbane and Sydney which are pretty close to each other, but, along with Melbourne, create the Golden Triangle of Australian commercial aviation. Flights between these three cities are the busiest routes in the country and highly competitive. When we saw "Happy Hour" fares for $200 AUD each way in business class, we excitedly click "purchase."
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When a city is situated on a body of water, be it an ocean, lake or river, we can appreciate when it uses said body of water to form the city's identity. Take for instance, Brisbane. Brisbane River in this, Australia's third largest city, winds through the CBD and has become as much part of the city as the people that call it home. So why not set it on fire in a festival called Riverfire?
Although Brisbane has a sordid past with the river from various catastrophic floods through its history, the river is not actually set a-light. Part of a larger festival (aptly name Brisbane Festival), Riverfire celebrates the Brisbane River itself and acts as a grand finale for various celebrations throughout the city. The giant firework show that uses bridges, buildings and barges as its stage make for an awe-inspiring experience.
The yellow and blue big top has been packed up to get more passport stamps. Cirque du Soleil's newest traveling show, OVO, has opened up shop for the start of its international tour. First stop, Brisbane.
After 3 years of ooh-ing and ahh-ing audiences around the US, Canada and Mexico, the creative minds behind the bug-themed circus show have launched their world tour. Bringing the insect world to life with bright colors, acrobatics, contortionists and the signature Cirque clowns, they seek to make it an escape (for a few brief hours) from the real world.
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The 787 Dreamliner is surely getting some miles on the odometer. Every time we see some news about the new bird, it's touring another country. Of course this is on purpose as Boeing is proud of their new equipment and turned on by the idea of getting it out there, flying to buyers, potential buyers and potential flyers.
This past weekend, the Dreamtour was sponored by Qantas and Jetstar to announce their plans to welcome the aircraft into their fleet by August 2013. The red roo and its low-cost little joey chose to gain some exposure and up the excitement by flying the plane from Sydney to Brisbane for some showboating at the airports.
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Since we do a good amount of flying, we've been lucky enough to enjoy seat 1A but also thankful enough just to be onboard in the last row of economy. Recently, this Jaunted writer had the opportunity to sit in an all totally new area of the plane (to us). No, I didn't get to travel in the cargo hold as luggage, instead I got to fly the plane.
Long gone are the days when children were escorted up to the cockpit for a view of the brains of the aircraft, a visit with the pilots, and, inevitably, a set of plastic wings. Since 2001, airlines no longer allow passengers access to the flight deck for obvious reasons, but the dream still exists for many.
Last month we told you all about the British Airways simulator gift card idea. Obviously, my family and friends were listening since I received a boarding pass (gift voucher) for a 60-minute flight simulator experience with a company called Flight Experience. As someone whose interests are primarily consumed by travel, I am always looking for a way to upgrade. Naturally I went ahead and upgraded myself from the 60 to the 90-minute simulation.
New Year's Travel / New Year's Eve / Australia Travel / Sydney Travel / Melbourne Travel / Brisbane Travel / Perth Travel / Holiday Travel / → All Tags
New Years Eve plans don't have to include ways to stay warm while singing Auld Lang Syne, or fighting for a cab in a snowstorm. it's summer down under in Australia! And some time spent with friends and family on a beach or dining alfresco while watching a fireworks display of Olympic proportions can surely be on your December 31st agenda.
Australia is one of the first countries to ring in the new year. Each city center hosts a myriad of events showcasing the individuality of each region, while drawing domestic and international visitors alike.
Please make sure you leave the fireworks to the professionals, however, as they are illegal throughout the country. Here's what's going on, plus our own tips for what to go if you find yourself in Australia this weekend:
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Most tourists to Australia visit the more popular cities, like Sydney and Melbourne or the iconic tourist spots like The Great Barrier Reef or Ayers Rock. However, the nation's third largest city is finally getting it's moment in the spotlight.
Situated on the east coast just over an hour's flight north of Sydney, the state of Queensland mostly specializes in rugby, the freshest produce and surfing. Brisbane, or "Bris-Vegas" to locals, is the state capital and boasts more than just beaches, pineapples and sport. The city is flourishing as a laid-back alternative to Sydney and a warmer choice over Melbourne.
Brisbane has near perfect weather year-round, with Queenslanders often selling their state with "Queensland weather: beautiful one day, perfect the next." Since the seasons are flipped from the Northern Hemisphere, this could be an ideal winter get-away. But be cautious since Summer is traditionally the wet season; it is sub-tropical after all.
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From repainting planes to overhauling terminals, Virgin Australia has had their plates full trying rebrand their entire operation, while changing the image from an all-economy service to a full-service airline. From the looks of things, the livery is flying all over Australia with more planes to come and re-Virgin-ized airport spaces. This goes for new airport lounges in major cities.
We took advantage of the fact that Virgin allows lounge access to Gold and Platinum Velocity Rewards members without actually flying, and checked out the Brisbane lounge for lunch. Yea, we went to the airport just for lunch. On first impression, the design is slick and the check-in fast and friendly, as expected from the brand.
One thing worth mentioning are the new staff uniforms, done up in a sultry, yet professional, red with Virgin-purple color pops in the form of neck scarves. So super glam.