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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."
Today's travel snapshot comes to you from a land down under, where kangaroos roam and koalas are not exactly bears. The locals call it Oz and if you have ever been lucky enough to land in this "Lucky Country," you could understand why the nickname exists. Australia, the only country-continent on Earth is just about the size of America, so it has about the same amount of things to visit.
More specifically, we come to you from the nation's largest city, Sydney. The city plays host to iconic Aussie symbols such as the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach. Naturally there's much more to this city then just three things, such as fine dining, local designer boutique shopping and museums for all tastes.
Olympics Travel / Sports Travel / London Travel / Beijing Travel / Athens Travel / Sydney Travel / → All Tags
Love ‘em or hate ‘em the Olympics are here to stay—at least for another week or so. Unless you're already in the UK, it's a tad too late to plan a trip to London at this point, and who really wants to wait another couple of years to check out the athletes doing their thing? That’s why we suggest taking in the sights—and remaining sounds—of recent former Olympic cities and their venues:
· Sydney, Australia
In Sydney it’s kind of like the Olympics never left, as there’s always something going on at the city’s Olympic Park. There’s a chance to try your skills at archery, practice your BMX skills, and even check out the cauldron—it’s been lit to celebrate the games in London. As a bonus, you can even make your way over to the AMP Services building in Circular Quay to check out an exhibition showing off past Olympic torches.
Art Travel / Sydney Travel / Australia Travel / SYD / Videos / → All Tags
Is that someone sleeping on the Opera House?
Paris might be shaking in their boots with the newest installation art project that has Sydney lighting up like a Christmas tree. Currently artists are testing their light manipulating skills with projects all around the city as part of Vivid Sydney, as the city once again proves itself a playground for experimental art.
Using various buildings around the city, creatives will shine lights to morph the building into a museum gallery. The show is in its 4th year, with attendance and visitors increasing exponentially. The iconic Sydney Opera House is of course a major focus of the installation, as light and artwork are projected onto the famous architectural sails. Each night at 6pm, the Opera House and other buildings will flip the switch to shine. There are even purpose built structures like igloos made from gas cans lit from the inside.
Another week, another small new batch of Foursquare badges you can earn through traveling this fine world of ours. This time, it's Sydney finally getting its own city badge, while New York City gets another for exploring all five boroughs.
How to get the badges: First, follow 4sqCities, and just to be safe, it wouldn't hurt to also follow the individual city list for Sydney: here. For the New York badge, you must follow NYCGov on Foursquare. Then travel to Sydney or New York and clickety-click to check-in to the places on the recommended lists. Five places earns the badge.
Mardi Gras Travel / LGBT Travel / Sydney Travel / Australia Travel / Celeb Travel / Gay Travel / Party Travel / Events / → All Tags
Around this time of year, most talk of Mardi Gras parties primarily in The Big Easy. If you are lucky enough to travel a bit further south and take part in Carnival celebrations in Brazil, we will happily admit our envy. Either way, you're pretty much assured to have experiences of a lifetime...plus brags all over Facebook.
On the other hand. Let's just say you have some frequent flyer miles to burn and desire to celebrate Mardi Gras in an English-speaking country. Australia is the answer to your travel conundrum. More specifically, Sydney. The city plays host to a full month-long schedule of events culminating in a colorful parade and high energy dance parties.
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:
Airline Lounges / Qantas / Sydney Travel / Airlines / Photo Gallery / Australia Travel / SYD / Business Class Travel / → All Tags
Last time we were at Sydney Airport, we took you inside the Qantas First Lounge, with its living plant wall, Neil Perry restaurant, and Payot spa. You didn’t think it was the only Qantas lounge at the airport, though, did you? Oh nothe airline seems to love its airport lounges almost as much as we love visiting them. That’s why, when we were passing through recently, we dropped by Qantas’ Business Class Lounge to spend a few hours working, wine-tasting and washing up before our big hop across the Pacific.
TV Travel / Oprah / Australia Travel / Oprah Winfrey / Celeb Travel / Bridges / Sydney Travel / → All Tags
So, do all the stories about Oprah's adventures in Australia make you want to book a trip Down Under yet? We're betting that answer is "nope," but obviously the Aussies are betting that it's "ohh yeahhh" instead. Thanks to Winfrey's galavanting aroundfrom helicoptering out to see the Twelve Apostles in Victoria to hosting her show at Sydney's Opera House, she's really aiming to give those who watch her final season a good look at Australia's greatest sites.
Tour operators are gearing up to offer Oprah-centric packages in January, when the Aussie episodes air. Surely her most recent escapade (and world record) will be included: Oprah took 249 of her audience member trip buddies up onto the walk of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with her, creating a record and some photo ops in unflattering grey jumpsuits. It looks scary and thrilling, but it's kinda like a walk through Times Squarewe don't know anyone who's ever been to the city who hasn't done it, whether they wanted to or not.
Oprah has left the building. In fact, Oprah is finally down under in Australia, after announcing to her audience back in September that they'd all get to go the other side of the world to celebrate The Oprah Show's final season. So how are things going? Well, aside from the fact that the Travolta jet was cancelled on account of his child being born, Oprah isn't wasting any time. She's got 300 people with jet lag, and they're out helicoptering around.
According to Australia's International Business Times (who are bothering with Oprah why?), Winfrey and the gang are traveling in style: "nine helicopters have left Essendon Airport this morning to pick up Oprah and her lucky audience from Melbourne to be flown to the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. They will be touring Twelve Apostles which is only accessible by air."
One of the most sought-after tourist experiences in Sydney, and one that almost every visitor seems to do while in town, is climbing the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb. But it’s not just international travelers that come to admire the breathtaking views from the top of the “Coat Hanger’s” arch. Thirty-five percent of the over 2.5 million climbers who've scaled the structure since BridgeClimb began in 1998 have been Australians. Yeah, they seem pretty proud of it.
However, during a recent visit to Sydney, we were hesitant about booking a climb ourselves since the two traditional experiences—the classic Bridge Climb and the engineering fantasist’s Exploration Climb—last a whopping 3.5 hours. That’s a pretty daunting prospect for the small of bladder and the short of time. So imagine our excitement when we learned that the newest climbing experience at BridgeClimb, the Express Climb, takes only two hours.
Airport Lounges / Photo Gallery / Qantas / First Class Travel / SYD / Sydney Travel / Airports / → All Tags
Not only is the luxury oasis a sprawling complex of comfort with two deluxe snack bars, a restaurant helmed by one of Australia’s most famous chefs, and a spa with complimentary treatments designed to ease the stress of long-haul air travel, but the place is also just plain cool to hang out in thanks to its design by Australia’s golden boy designer, Marc Newson, who’s also responsible for the streamlined look of Qantas’ new A380’s.
On our way back from Sydney to Los Angeles last week, we got the chance to go inside the First Lounge and take a look around. Then we made ourselves comfortable, tried out a spa treatment, ordered practically everything on the restaurant menu, tasted all the Australian wines, and played around on the lounge’s free wifi. Yeah, we were a little early. So what? We did it all for you, and we’ve even got a photo gallery to prove it, as well as a video walk-through.