Qantas' Dreamliner Goes To Hong Kong

Qantas has announced Hong Kong as the next destination for its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

From December 2018*, customers travelling on selected Qantas flights to Hong Kong will experience the Dreamliner’s next generation Economy, Premium Economy and Business class cabins:

  • Brisbane to Hong Kong from 19 December 2018
  • Melbourne to Hong Kong between 13 December 2018 until 29 March 2019
  • Sydney to Hong Kong from 30 March 2019.

The changes are timed with the arrival of Qantas’ eighth Dreamliner and will join the national carrier’s A330 and A380 aircraft that also fly to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong joins Los Angeles, New York, London and San Francisco as international destinations served by the Qantas Dreamliner, as the more efficient aircraft gradually replaces the 747 on key routes.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster said the airline was pleased to share the Dreamliner experience with more customers across the airline’s network.

“Introducing the Dreamliner to Hong Kong reinforces our commitment to Asia, where we are seeing strong demand from premium travellers,” said Ms Webster.

“The customer response to the Dreamliner has been overwhelmingly positive. Feedback on the cabin environment, from the seats to the anti-jetlag measures, is fantastic. It’s an aircraft people really enjoy flying on.

“The combination of our 787, A330 and A380 aircraft operating between Australia and Hong Kong over the peak season will see customers enjoy a premium inflight experience on every flight.”

Qantas’ Dreamliner carries 236 passengers across three cabins. It features the latest version of the airline’s Business Suite, nicknamed “mini First Class” by some frequent flyers, as well as a next generation Premium Economy seat and a significantly improved Economy seat with extra storage compartments and more legroom.

Qantas will also bring forward the peak season upgrade of one of its two daily Sydney-Hong Kong flights from a 747 to the A380 aircraft to early December, offering four cabins on the route including First Class through to the end of March 2019.

Source: Qantas

Aqua Expeditions - Honeymoon and Anniversary Cruises on Mekong and Amazon

Aqua Expeditions has announced new Honeymoon and Anniversary cruise experiences, full of unmissable romantic touches and offering couples a truly immersive river safari experience – all for the same price as a regular departure on the boutique operator’s Aqua Mekong and Aria Amazon sailing schedules.

Throughout their journey, couples and newlyweds will get ever closer to some of the world’s most remote and beautiful locations, with each vessel featuring beautiful suite accommodation with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows as well as luxurious lounge and spa facilities for relaxation.

On checking into their spacious design suite, couples will be greeted with a heart-shaped chocolate cake or chocolate truffles, charming handwritten note and an indulgent bottle of Champagne ready to be popped. The bed will be romantically sprinkled with flower petals and topped with a folded pet towel.

Onboard highlights include a gym, artisanal boutique, massage rooms, indoor bar, lounge area and outdoor jacuzzi, while Aqua Mekong also features a library/games room, outdoor bar and screening room. Exclusive 1:1 crew-to-guest ratio ensures unrivalled levels of comfort and quality of service.

Active twice-daily excursions in groups of no more than eight by private speedboat are led by expert local guides, who know these two regions like the backs of their hands; feel the dense jungle underfoot, bike to local markets and temples, hop in the vessel’s kayaks, or jump in to discover unspoiled waters and rare indigenous wildlife close-up. For couples wishing to immerse themselves in local culture, activities include visits to exquisite markets, key nature spots and remote floating villages.

World-class local cuisine on board is designed by renowned Consulting Chefs, David Thompson on Aqua Mekong and Pedro Miguel Schiaffino on Aria Amazon – both of whom are known as authorities on the unique cuisine of each region. After dinner, couples can enjoy a beverage on the Observation Deck, as the night sky fills with constellations and shooting stars – the ultimate romantic setting.

Couples on Aqua Mekong are invited to head to the screening room for a range of movie classics or on more balmy nights can enjoy the outdoor cinema under the stars, whilst those celebrating a wedding anniversary on Aria Amazon will be treated to a special cake on the day along with songs by the onboard band.

All guests on Aqua Expeditions voyages have the unique opportunity to give back to the incredible people, flora and fauna in the environments they visit, for that moment in time becoming a part of the community – through the Room to Read scheme on Aqua Mekong sailings which supports school girls in increasing literary rates in local schools, and Pack with a Purpose on Aria Amazon sailings where guests can bring valuable supplies for local children and families in their suitcases.

Aqua Expeditions brings couples a unique and unforgettable experience – this is the way to enjoy South East Asia and Peru’s highlights, whether as part of a longer trip or a quick stop-over before embarking on more adventures.

Honeymoon and Anniversary Cruises are priced from USD4050 per person on Aqua Mekong and USD3825 per person on Aria Amazon based on twin share suite accommodation on 3-night Discovery Cruises including all meals on board, beverages (premium non-alcoholic, house wine and beer), shore excursions, laundry, bike use and intermittent Wi-Fi. Both vessels also operate 4-night Explorer Cruises and 7-night Expedition Cruises and a 30% discount will apply on bookings for all Aqua Mekong cruises until 14 August 2018.

Couples will receive the following additional amenities during these cruises:

Aqua Mekong

  • Bottle of Champagne and chocolate heart shape cake in cabin upon arrival
  • Special turndown on first night
  • Complimentary 60-minute couple’s massage in cabin
  • Private romantic dinner on upper deck
  • Private screen movie (weather permitting)

Aria Amazon

  • Bottle of Champagne and homemade chocolate truffle in cabin upon arrival
  • Special turndown on first night
  • Complimentary 50-minute couple’s massage in cabin
  • A special anniversary cake with Aqua band singing love songs

For information and bookings please contact your travel agent or Aqua Expeditions Australia on 1300 124 204 or

Source: Aqua Expeditions

Luxury at Southern Ocean Lodge with New Guest Lounge at Kangaroo Island Airport

Southern Ocean Lodge has revealed its exclusive guest lounge at Kangaroo Island Airport, which reopened this week following a $21 million upgrade. 

Created by architect Max Pritchard – who also designed Southern Ocean Lodge – the new lounge has opened as the property celebrates its tenth year of operations, having welcomed some 37,000 guests from Australia and around the world over the past decade.  

With access exclusively on offer to guests arriving and departing from Southern Ocean Lodge, the private lounge presents a new level of luxury for its guests and will offer pre-flight refreshments and luxurious lounging by Australian designers Jardan and Ross Gardam.

Locally-sourced snacks and beverages served at Southern Ocean Lodge, along with artworks from Kangaroo Island artist Janine McIntosh – whose leaf mandalas line the limestone walls in the restaurant – contribute to a lounge-away-from-lodge feel and extend the guest experience almost to the runway.

Kangaroo Island Airport was officially reopened on Wednesday, July 4 by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and South Australia Premier Steven Marshall among other dignitaries.

Visitors to Kangaroo Island Airport will enjoy new facilities including a new check-in area while a range of improvements has been made to the airside facilitates, New to runways and taxiways will enable direct air access to east coast markets including Melbourne*, and signal both easier access and reduced travel times for domestic and international tourists.

Southern Ocean Lodge owner James Baillie said the new airport facilities offered visitors a world-class start and end to their experience of Kangaroo Island, known as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of SA tourism.

“We’ve seen year-on-year growth in visitor arrivals to the island of more than 12 per cent this year, it’s important to create a lasting, positive impression,” Mr Baillie said.

“Our new private airport lounge means we can extend our guests’ connection with Southern Ocean Lodge and Kangaroo Island until the moment they board the plane.”     

This year, Kangaroo Island’s multi award-winning luxury retreat Southern Ocean Lodge celebrates ten years of excellence. Designed by architect Max Pritchard, Southern Ocean Lodge appears to float along its clifftop position and represents a new breed of luxury, where the wildly beautiful location is reflected indoors, and local artworks and custom furnishings create a timeless appeal.

*Qantaslink will offer direct flights between Melbourne and Kangaroo Island over the summer peak period December 16, 2018 to January 29, 2019.

For full details and bookings contact Baillie Lodges by phone 02 9918 4355 or email See also

Source: Southern Ocean Lodge

Krug and Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley partner to launch the Krug Picnic

This July, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley, Australia’s ultra-luxury, conservation-based resort will launch an indulgent culinary experience for guests – the Krug Picnic. In partnership with the house of Krug, Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley has created an unparalleled wilderness escape, pairing the finest produce with exquisite Krug champagne, served in the spectacular surroundings of the Greater Blue Mountains.

Available exclusively to those staying at the resort, guests will be whisked away by four-wheel drive to a secluded location where they can enjoy a complete food and champagne immersion within nature, whilst watching kangaroos and wildlife pass by. This experience takes guests ‘off road’ into the 7,000 acre resort with a Krug Picnic waiting on arrival in a private, picturesque location.

Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley’s Executive Chef Nancy Kinchela has worked with Krug Maison to develop a bespoke gourmet picnic that can be enjoyed simply, en plein air. Guests will be spoilt for choice with a selection of local produce and seasonal menu items, regularly updated, and hand- selected to perfectly complement the iconic Krug Grande Cuvée 166ème Édition.

This season the bounty includes a Victor Churchill charcuterie board, Maroochydore king prawns served with lemon, fresh lobster spring rolls and a Lyonnaise salad with confit duck leg, crispy lardons and frisée lettuce. An artisanal cheese board with house made lavosh, panforte and a deconstructed lemon meringue tart will complete the gourmet picnic experience.

Margareth Henriquez, President & CEO of the House of Krug is pleased that Krug has partnered with Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley to bring a memorable experience to guests. “Krug is the result of a visionary who pushed the boundaries to create the very best Champagne his House could offer, every year, independently of climate.

Arriving at the Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley in a secluded valley at the center of pristine wilderness, was an experience beyond limits,” she commented following a visit to the resort. “Tasting Krug Grande Cuvée, the 166th Édition of this multi-coloured Champagne, surrounded by the magic colours of untouched nature was, without a doubt, giving time to the unforgettable.”

Krug’s Grande Cuvée is the ultimate expression of the vision of Krug and is re-created each year. The current release, the 166ème Édition, is a result of exceptional finesse and slow maturation with a blend of over 140 wines from 10 different years having spent 7 years in the cellars of Krug. The result is a champagne of expression and elegance that transcends the notion of vintage.

The Krug Picnic launches as part of the Winter Culinary Festival at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley which sees the resort hosting a series of unique culinary experiences in partnership with some of Australia’s leading chefs, award-winning winemakers this winter.

Curated by Executive Chef Nancy Kinchela, each gourmet experience will reflect the resort’s culinary philosophy, celebrating the very best of seasonal, regional and, where possible, organic produce, sourced from local boutique farms, private growers and vintners.

The Krug Picnic is perfect for special occasions, for the ultimate romantic weekend getaway or for Krug-lovers who wish to indulge in a truly unforgettable moment and is available to resort guests for $895 per couple.

Two-night accommodation packages for two at Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley start at AUD $2,090 per evening in a Heritage Villa with private pool, including gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, local wines and beers with meals, non-alcoholic beverages with meals and two nature- based activities.

For more information on the Krug picnic and Winter Culinary Festival, please visit or for reservations please contact Emirates One&Only Wolgan Valley

Source: Emirates One & Only 

Travel + Leisure names Huka Lodge Number 1

Huka Lodge has excelled on the world stage, receiving global recognition as the Number 1 Resort Hotel in Australia & New Zealand in Travel + Leisure’s 2018 World’s Best Awards. Among the globe’s most impressive and inspiring properties, Huka Lodge has also been acknowledged as Number 25 in the Top 100 Hotels Overall category.

As one of the most highly-regarded and competitive awards on the travel calendar, the World’s Best Awards honour the top travel destinations and companies around the globe as rated by its readers. Huka Lodge celebrates this prestigious recognition from Travel + Leisure for the fifth time.

Kerry Molloy, General Manager, says: “This is a tremendous honour for our team. Our guests, our people and of course our rich heritage define the Huka Lodge story. To be recognised among the region’s most compelling properties is a wonderful testament to all involved. Travel + Leisure is one of the most respected authorities in the industry and we remain as dedicated as ever to delivering once-in-a-lifetime memories for our guests.”

Since it was founded in 1924, Huka Lodge has been consistently rated as a favourite destination for discerning travellers from every corner of the globe, making its way onto bucket lists and awards lists alike. To date, Huka Lodge has welcomed over half a million guests into its 25 guest suites including private cottages and recently announced its all-new series of unique experiences, including exclusive dining collaborations and never-before-launched ski packages.

The World’s Best Awards appear in the August 2018 issue of Travel + Leisure, on sale 27 July 2018 and online at this link:

Source: Travel & Leisure