Flying Kangaroo meets Jolly Jumbuck as first Dreamliner Service takes off to LA

Qantas today revealed the name of its second Dreamliner, and announced a new route, ahead of the aircraft’s first scheduled international flight.

Qantas International CEO Alison Webster was joined by the Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events, John Eren, at Qantas’ engineering base in Melbourne to mark the naming as well as the Dreamliner’s first passenger service to Los Angeles.

Often called Australia’s unofficial national anthem, Waltzing Matilda was one of the 45,000 suggestions received from the public to name the airline’s new fleet of eight Dreamliners.

“Banjo Patterson is said to have written Waltzing Matilda while working on a cattle station in the outback Queensland town of Winton, which was also the birth place of Qantas 25 years later,” Ms Webster said.

“The name of this aircraft will be seen by thousands of people a year when it pulls up at airport gates around the world. For Australian’s it’s a familiar touch of home. For some of our customers flying from overseas, there will probably be some googling to find out what it means.

“The Melbourne-Los Angeles flight was the first international service that we put our very first Airbus A380 on in 2008, so there’s a nice symmetry with this being the first for our Dreamliner as well,” added Ms Webster.

The Qantas Dreamliner will initially operate six days a week on the 14-hour flight between Melbourne and Los Angeles, complementing the existing daily A380 service between the two cities.

Qantas today also announced an all-new route to be operated by the Dreamliner, with the introduction of – Melbourne to San Francisco. The route will be on sale from early 2018 with flights expected to start by late 2018. Capacity between Melbourne and the US will be rebalanced to match demand for the two Californian cities, meaning that the Dreamliner will fly to Los Angeles some days of the week and San Francisco other days.

“A significant number of our Melbourne passengers flying to Los Angeles already connect on to San Francisco. We also see strong demand from San Francisco, both from a tourism perspective and because of the business links between Melbourne and Silicon Valley,” said Ms Webster.

The Qantas Dreamliner features 236 seats across three cabins including the acclaimed 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 device charging outlets.

Qantas has so far taken delivery of two Boeing 787-9’s. The arrival of its third and fourth aircraft early next year will enable the national carrier to start its historic Perth-London flight, which originates in Melbourne. All eight aircraft will be delivered by the end of 2018, with half based in Melbourne and half based in Brisbane.

Earlier this year, Qantas revealed all eight Dreamliner names; Great Southern Land, Waltzing Matilda, Great Barrier Reef, Skippy, Boomerang, Quokka, Uluru and Dreamtime. The sequencing of the names is being announced as the aircraft are delivered.

Source: Qantas

Wow: The Valley Muster and Kimberley Moon Experience next May

Save the date and start planning an unforgettable Kimberley experience at the 18th edition of the Ord Valley Muster held in Kununurra in north east Western Australia from 11 to 20 May 2018.

The ‘Muster’ is considered is a bucket-list must-attend event that evolves year on year. Nowhere else in the world can black-tie dining under a starry sky, Indigenous food, culture and dance, intimate dinners in secret locations, challenging bike ride, art exhibitions, a local talent quest where everyone has a go, rugby matches, a country rodeo and laugh-out-loud comedy be experienced in a 10-day window.

Last year, the ‘Muster’ attracted 15,000 people who attended a variety of events over 10 days with the Kimberley Moon Experience, the region’s biggest party, attracting 3,500 people plus 600 who were dressed in their finest at the sit down black-tie dinner on the banks of the Ord River.

The Kimberley Moon Experience will be held on Saturday 19 May 2018 and has been headlined by Australia’s biggest artists in previous years including Jimmy Barnes, Paul Kelly, Bernard Fanning, Daryl Braithwaite, Guy Sebastian and Eskimo Joe.

The breathtaking ancient landscape of the Kimberley with its magical energy deserves to be listed as a star attraction alongside the top Australian talent who’ll be announced in the coming months. It’s so impressive that visitors are urged to stay and explore nearby attractions including the Mirima National Park, El Questro, Lake Argyle, Purnululu National Park, or take an adventure down the Gibb River Road, a river cruise along the Ord, the life force of the region or a scenic flight in order to really appreciate the vastness and beauty of the world’s last wilderness frontier.

The Ord Valley Muster is a nine-time Festival and Events winner at the WA Tourism Awards and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011, again in 2017 and the Kimberley Moon Experience in 2008. In 2015, the Ord Valley Muster won ‘Best Regional Event’ at the Australian Event Awards.

Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Ord Valley, Lake Kununurra, spectacular fresh water gorges, national parks and stunning reserves, the Muster rewards visitors with magical and distinctive experiences. The host town Kununurra is situated some 800 kilometres from Darwin and more than 3,000 kilometres from Perth.

More information including talent line up, travel packages and ticket sales will be announced soon.

The Ord Valley Muster will take place from Friday 11 May to Sunday 20 May 2018 in and around Kununurra, Western Australia.

Source: The Ord Valley Muster

Qantas opens a new lounge in London

Qantas will welcome customers into the new spacious Qantas London Lounge at Heathrow Airport, as the airline counts down to its direct 787 Dreamliner flights between Australia and London.

Qantas has spent the past 12 months building a dedicated lounge at Heathrow as part of a multi-million dollar investment for customers on its existing London services as well as the landmark Perth-London route starting on 24 March 2018.


Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said investing in the first dedicated Qantas Lounge at Heathrow was key as the airline prepares to directly air link Australia and Europe for the first time.

“The Kangaroo Route is at the heart of Qantas’ identity and London is one of our most important destinations,” said Mr Joyce.


“We have worked with leaders in design, food and service to create a lounge that is modern and comfortable and incorporates the aesthetics of the Qantas lounges that make our customers feel at home.

“We are reshaping what customers come to expect from international travel with direct flights between Australia and London. It’s a long flight, so we’re taking a holistic approach to passenger wellbeing on and off the aircraft, and the new Heathrow lounge is an important part of that,” added Mr Joyce.

Key features of the lounge:

  • Seating for more than 230 customers to relax, work and dine before their flight
  • Split over two levels with views of the airfield
  • Follows the same concept as Qantas’ international lounges in Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles and Brisbane, with the food and interior design taking inspiration from the local region
  • Designed by Woods Bagot, the interiors reflect London at twilight with deep greens and rich blues throughout the furniture, while warm-coloured timbers, stone and brass represent the historic architecture of the city
  • A marble cocktail bar beneath a brass chandelier on the upper level serving cocktails designed by the Qantas Rockpool Mixologists, as well as Australian and European wine and beer
  • A gin bar on the lower level offers the finest Australian and British gins, alongside an all-day barista service
  • Menus designed by Rockpool with a Sofitel service experience, customers will enjoy á la carte service in the dining room with a selection of plates of the day including:
    • Quintessential British dishes such as ploughman’s platters, pot pies and scones with jam and cream
    • Australian favourites such as healthy brunch bowls with eggs, avocado and kale, and zucchini and haloumi fritters.
    • The signature salt and pepper squid with green chilli sauce from the Qantas First Lounges
  • Premium hot and cold buffets
  • ‘Quench’ hydration station with tisane, fruit infused water, sparkling water
  • Business facilities including Wi-Fi, flexible work spaces and workstations
  • Six shower suites with Aurora Spa amenities
  • The new range of Noritake crockery by David Caon and a collection of tea cups and saucers by Miranda Kerr for Royal Albert.

Qantas Creative Director of Food, Beverage & Service Neil Perry said: “We want to help our customers feel great throughout every part of their journey so we have been working with the University of Sydney to create dining options for the lounge that are light and fresh with a focus on hydration and nutrition, while continuing to offer a variety of locally inspired dishes and comfort favourites.”

In the last three years Qantas has built or refreshed nearly 30 lounges across its international and domestic network, with several other projects underway. Qantas has started building the new Melbourne Domestic Business Lounge and Qantas Club and the Perth International Transit Lounge will open in March.

From 25 March 2018, Qantas will offer the choice of three hub options between Australia and UK/Europe – a daily Sydney to London Qantas A380 service via Singapore, a daily Qantas 787 Dreamliner service from Melbourne via Perth to London and daily services via Dubai with partner Emirates. The airline recently announced a major cabin upgrade on its fleet of 12 Airbus A380s.

Located at London Heathrow Terminal 3, the Qantas London Lounge is open daily from 8am – 8:30pm to Qantas customers travelling in First and Business and Qantas Platinum One, Platinum and Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers and their guests. It is also open to eligible oneworld Emerald and Sapphire customers, Emirates Skywards Platinum and Gold customers and Qantas Club members and their guests.

Source: Qantas

Sustainable Slimming at Chiva-Som

Chiva-Som invites guests to lose weight and begin a journey towards a healthier lifestyle as they embark on a Sustainable Slimming Retreat at this benchmark resort destination for Thai health and wellness experiences.

Guests will undertake a comprehensive and tailored program of physical activities to assist in losing weight in a controlled and healthy manner whilst Chiva-Som’s expert culinary team support the regime by creating nutrient rich cuisine and qualified physiotherapists guide guests towards correct posture and increased flexibility.

Upon completion of this specialty retreat, guests will be equipped with the necessary tools, knowledge and a sense of empowerment to sustain optimal weight going forward.

The 14-night Sustainable Slimming Retreat is priced from $17,165 per person twin share in an Ocean Room for travel 1 March to 30 April 2018 including:

  • 3-7 Days Cleansing Diet
  • 1 Detox Supplement Set
  • 1 Fitness Assessment
  • 1 Nutrition Consultation
  • 2 Maya Massageor alternate with Manual Lymphatic Drainage (45 min)
  • 2 AcuSlimor alternate with Shiatsu or Seiketsu Shiraku Acupuncture
  • 2 H2O Therapyor alternate with Oxygen Power Fitness
  • 2 Holistic Healthselecting from Chi Nei Tsang, Ear-Ab Reflex, Cranio – Sacral Therapy or Acupressure Reflexology
  • 2 Metabolic Breathing Exercise
  • 4 Personal Training
  • 5 Super Stretch (25 min)
  • 1 Chiva-Som Spa Haven Cleansing Cocoon
  • One daily treatment per night of stay selecting from Thai Massage, Invigorating Massage, Relaxing Foot Massage, Oriental Scalp Massage, Chiva-Som Skin Haven Body Polish
  • 3 wellness meals

Chiva-Som is situated within seven acres of tropical gardens in the Royal city of Hua Hin on the Gulf of Thailand, 185 km south of Bangkok. The resort remains a popular destination for Australians offering guests a total lifestyle transformation to achieve wellness and longevity with a full range of health and wellness Speciality Retreats, integrating naturopathic and conventional medicines.

All components are set and overseen by expert health professionals including consulting doctors, naturopaths, fitness instructors, spa therapists, nutritionists and alternative health practitioners.

For bookings of the Chiva-Som Sustainable Slimming Retreat contact your travel agent or a Chiva-Som Specialist on 1300 857 437.

Source: Chiva-Som

For Just AUD$65 You Could Own Your Own Villa in Mykonos. If you’re lucky . . .

Want to live a lifestyle of the rich and famous with your very own Mykonos villa, for just AUD $65.00? Well now you can! One lucky ticket holder will be the winner of a dreamy Mykonos villa valued at AUD $6.6 million featuring uninterrupted, expansive views of turquoise Aegean water and white rooftops.

Nestled among a collection of luxurious villas, tickets are now available for the opportunity to win an incredible dream villa in the world’s most desired European destination, Mykonos, Greece.

Mykonos is undoubtedly the playground of celebrities and millionaires across the world, with the perfect combination of sea, sun, beaches, scenery, food and night-life ensuring that a holiday on Mykonos will be an unforgettable experience.

You now have the opportunity to live life as if you’re on holiday every day in your very own villa. The Mykonos property spans 4,900 sq. m complete with lavish landscaping including stone paved pathways and a private small church.

The villa package comprises of fully furnished:

  • 5 double bedrooms, complete with attached bathrooms
  • 3 individual double apartments
  • Double room facilities that can be easily converted to single facilities
  • Fully equipped staff quarters
  • Ecological infinity pool
  • Games room
  • Bar
  • Gymnasium
  • Alfresco dinning

Should you choose to rent the villa making full use of its hotel licence, the estimated rental income over the 4 peak months (coinciding with the Mediterranean Summer) from June through to end of September is the equivalent to AUD$404,000.00 per year.

The first prize package also includes a set of economy class, return tickets for the winner or a travel voucher up to the equivalent price for you to use to visit your prize home.

Purchase your tickets at and give the gift of Mykonos this Christmas with the winner being drawn on 28 February 2018.

Source: Dream Villa Mykonos