Reference for 2018 trip

To provide clarity on the many posts about our trip to Australia and New Zealand, I’ve created this wonderful post to serve as a Table of Contents and reference card.  It will be updated regularly to provide links to all relevant content.

Let’s get started!

There are three types of blog posts from our trip:  Planning, Daily Updates, & Full Posts.


These three posts were written before we left on our trip and was an attempt to provide context on what we were expecting for our upcoming trip.

Daily Updates

These were written near the end of the day while we were on vacation.  They act as a quick summary of what we did.  These short blogs are great to get an idea of what we did, how we felt and impression of what we saw, or did that particular day.

Full Posts

I hope these will be worth the wait!

These will contain many pictures to better describe what we did during our trip, including maps to provide context where needed.  The goal to publish twice a week, every Monday & Thursday (late afternoon Toronto time).  The timing on publication isn’t to draw the story of our trip out over a long period, instead it is to give us time to write the posts!

These will generally cover a day of our trip, however separate posts that specifically review hotels, and flights will also occur. As well, if we did a lot of neat things in one day, we might break it up into shorter posts.

At minimum we hope to post twice a week.

If heading to Australia

I hope these can serve as reference posts for future travellers who are off to Australia & New Zealand.


Yes there will be videos!  All videos will be posted on our YouTube channel.  Click here, to go to our channel.  As best as possible, videos will be linked in the full blog posts and will be available when the full post are published.

Table of Contents

If heading to Australia

Domestic Airlines: The four major domestic airline options in Australia

Full Posts

Lounge Report:Toronto KLM Crown Lounge

Flight Report: KLM World Business Class Toronto to Amsterdam (YYZ-AMS)

Stopover in Amsterdam – What we did in 9 hours, and Lounge Review of Amsterdam KLM Crown Lounge

Flight Report: KLM World Business Class Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur (AMS-KUL)

Stopover in Kuala Lumpur (KLIA), Flight Review: KLM World Business Class Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta (KUL-CGK)

Lounge Report: Garuda Indonesia International Business Class Lounge in Jakarta (CGK)

Flight Report: Garuda Indonesia Business Class Jakarta to Sydney (CGK-SYD)

Australia! Sydney Airport to Blue Mountains

Hotel Report: The Carrington Hotel, Katoomba, NSW

Blue Mountains & Katoomba

Katoomba to Canberra:  Bathurst’s Mount Panorama and National Motor Racing Museum

Hotel Report: Rydges Capitol Hill Canberra

Canberra: Royal Australian Mint, Mount Ainslie, Australian Museum

Road trip!  Driving 1,000km in one day

Hotel Report: Best Western Southgate Motel, Mt. Gambier, South Australia

Mt. Gambier: Blue Lake, Cacti, and Umpherston Sinkhole

Road trip, part 1 – Mt. Gambier to Warrnambool

Road trip part 2 – Great Ocean Road, Bay of Islands park

Road trip part 3 – Great Ocean Road, Bay of Martyrs park

Road trip part 4 – Great Ocean Road, The Grotto park

Road trip part 5 – Great Ocean Road, London Bridge

Road trip part 6 – Great Ocean Road, 12 Apostles park

Hotel Report: Novotel Melbourne St. Kilda

A wildlife inspired day trip from Melbourne

Melbourne: Albert Park, Botanical Gardens & South Melbourne Market

Hotel Report: Best Western Airport Motel Convention Centre, Melbourne Airport

Flight Report: Jetstar Melbourne to Hobart

Hobart: Mount Wellington & Botanical Gardens

Animals! Night Tour of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary

Driving Adventure – Great Eastern Drive, St Columba Falls & Tasmania Roads

Hotel Report: Mercure Launceston

Attending ANZAC Day sunrise service in Launceston

Back to Hobart and its harbour

Hotel Report:  Best Western Hobart, and Best Western Balmoral Motor Inn

Flight Report:  Hobart to Melbourne

When plans do go as planned

Hotel Review: Treasury on Collins, Melbourne

Scenic route between Melbourne and Sydney

Hotel Review: Twofold Bay Motor Inn, Eden, NSW

Hotel Review: Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

Plane spotting from the hotel room by Sydney Airport

Lounge Report: Air New Zealand Lounge, Sydney International Airport

Flight Report: Air New Zealand, Business Class, Sydney to Auckland (SYD-AKL)

Hotel Report: Ibis Hamilton Tainui, New Zealand

Driving across New Zealand’s North Island in one day

Hotel Report: The County Hotel, Napier, New Zealand

A Day in Napier, New Zealand.  A visit to an Aquarium, Winery, and Art Deco downtown.

Crossing New Zealand’s North Island, and visiting different things

Hotel Report: Ibis Budget Auckland Airport

Lounge Report: Air New Zealand Lounge, Auckland International Airport

Flight Report: Air New Zealand, Business Class, Auckland to Brisbane (BNE-SYD)

Hotel Report: Alexandra on the Pacific, Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast

Fraser Island – Day trip to a spectacular island of sand

Animal time!  The Australia Zoo

Sunshine Coast to Brisbane – highlight was Glass Mountains

Hotel Report: Ibis Brisbane Hotel

Flight Report: Jetstar, Economy Class, Brisbane to Cairns (BNE-CNS)

Hotel Report: Hilton Cairns

Let’s go Snorkelling: Great Barrier Reef

Impressions of Cairns

Flight Report:  Qantaslink, Economy Class, Cairns to Ayers Rock (CNS-AYQ)

Hotel Report: Luxury in the middle of Australia, Longitude 131

Hotel Report: Meals while staying at Longitude 131

Uluru Kata-Tjuta National Park – Tours taken

Flight Report: Virgin Australia, Economy X Class, Ayers Rock to Sydney (AYQ-SYD)

Hotel Report: Best Western Hotel Stellar Sydney

Sydney: Visit to the Australian Museum

Sydney: Visit to Sydney Tower & 360 Restaurant

Sydney: Circular Quay

Sydney: Bondi Beach

Sydney: Royal Botanic Gardens

Sydney: National Maritime Museum

Sydney: Australian Reptile Park

Lounge Report: Skyteam Sydney International Airport

Flight Report: Garuda Indonesia, Business Class, Sydney to Bali (SYD-DPS)

Lounge Report: Garuda Indonesia Business class lounge, Bali

Flight Report: KLM World Business Class, Bali to Singapore (DPS-SIN)

Flight Report: KLM World Business Class, Singapore to Amsterdam (SIN-AMS)

34 Hours in Europe

Flight Report: KLM World Business Class, Amsterdam to Toronto (AMS-YYZ)

Remember new posts every Monday & Thursday


These are links to the YouTube video pages, posted in chronological order of the trip occurring:

View of Malaysia Airlines Airbus 380 landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport from our KLM Boeing 777

Lap of Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst. Time-lapse video turning a leisurely drive into an exciting 30 second video

Canberra to Mt. Gambier.  Time-lapse video of our 1,000+km drive in one day

Lap of Melbourne F1 Grand Prix Track.  Time-lapse video of us doing a lap of the F1 track in Albert Park.

Mt. Gambier to Colac via the Great Ocean Road.  Time-lapse video of the sights behind the five blog posts about the Great Ocean Road.

More to come…

Trip Planning

Trip planning Update #1- Destination and items ready to go

Trip planning Update #2 – Idea to Plan

Trip planning Update #3- Which flight to take to Australia

Daily Updates

Daily Update #1 – Toronto to Amsterdam

Daily Update #2 – First post in Australia

Daily Update #3 – Blue Mountains to Canberra

Daily Update #4 – Canberra

Daily Update #5 – A Short 1,000km drive

Daily Update #6 – Sinkhole & Great Ocean Road

Daily Update #7 – Melbourne

Daily Update #8 – Melbourne Day 2

Daily Update #9 – Tasmania & Wildlife sanctuary

Daily Update #10 – Tasmania Day 2

Daily Update #11 – ANZAC Day in Tasmania

Daily Update #12 – Return to Melbourne

Daily Update #13 – CBD Melbourne

Daily Update #14 – Part 1 of return journey to Sydney

Daily Update #15 – Part 2 of return journey to Sydney

Daily Update #16 – Trip Planning vs. Life

Daily Update #17 – New Zealand Day 1

Daily Update #18 – New Zealand Day 2

Daily Update #19 – Being Tourists in New Zealand

Daily Update #20 – Sunshine Coast

Daily Update #21 – Fraser Island

Daily Update #22 – Australia Zoo

Daily Update #23 – Return to Brisbane

Daily Update #24 – Cairns

Daily Update #25 – Green Island

Daily Update #26 – In the middle of the country

Daily Update #27 – Uluru (Ayers Rock) & Kata Kjuta

Daily Update #28 – Uluru to Sydney

Daily Update #29 – Sydney Day 1 – Happy Mother’s Day

Daily Update #30 – Sydney Day 2 – Australian Museum

Daily Update #31 – Sydney Day 3 – Botanical Gardens & Bondi Beach

Daily Update #32 – Sydney Day 4 – Movie Day!

Daily Update #33 – Sydney Day 5 – Australian Reptile Park

Daily Update #34 – Sydney Day 6 – Maritime Museum vs. Migraine

Daily Update #35 – Flying home part 1 via Bali and Singapore

Daily Update #36 – Flying home part 2 – European Stopover

Daily Update #37 – Flying home part 3 – Return to Schiphol and flight home


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