Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Australian Adventure Post 1

From London to Sydney

When I set out to plan my first trip to Australia I had many questions that needed answering. This series of blog posts (whilst being my travel diary) are also aimed at helping people who are booking a similar Australian Adventure - I hope you find them useful. 

We flew with Cathay Pacific from London Heathrow to Sydney via Hong Kong. Being a fussy eater (I don't eat meat only fish and cheese makes me unwell) I was pleased to be able to order a Vegetarian Oriental Meal for all four flights via their website. 

On board the entertainment system was good, although I have been on flights with a larger selection of films and TV, however there was more than enough to keep me entertained throughout 40 hours of flying!

The flight to Hong Kong was 11 hours going out and 12 hours coming back. The flight from Hong Kong to Sydney was 8 hours going out and 9 hours coming back. 

I flew when we were on BST (British Summer Time) - Hong Kong was 7 hours in front and Sydney was 9 hours in front. 

Hong Kong

We had 6 hours between flights at our changeover in Hong Kong which is just enough time to go into Hong Kong, have a meal and get back to the airport. 

If you want to do this here's how:

1) Don't follow the signs for transfer. 
2) Instead follow the signs for immigration and complete a landing card, which takes about 2 minutes, these are available on little stands by immigration.
3) Go through immigration.
4) Follow the signs for the Express train to Hong Kong and buy a ticket HK$100 for a day return. 
5) Catch the express train in to Hong Kong - it takes 24 mins and Hong Kong is stop 3 - it's all very clear - you can't go wrong. 
6) Then you can wander down to the harbour or go through the shopping centre and into the streets of Hong Kong.
7) When you back to the airport you have to back through immigration and security so leave enough time to do this

We had a meal at the Majesty Restaurant, it was lovely but we ordered way too much as the portions are huge. 

When we arrived at Sydney we took a taxi to the hotel (we usually use local trains but my suitcase was very heavy and I couldn't be bothered this time). 

We asked the taxi driver how much and said A$30 to 40 - when we were in the cab he said the toll charges were extra and the final bill was A$52 - about £30 - still not bad.

We stayed at the Park Royal Darling Harbour have a look here. This hotel is 3 minutes walk over to Darling Harbour and is 5 minutes walk to the shopping centre. It is about a 20 minute walk to the Circular Quay (Harbour Bridge etc) so quite ideally positioned. The hotel has free internet access in the foyer and was very pleasant indeed. My only criticism was that breakfast was very expensive at A$38 each per day - we only ate there once and it was lovely - huge buffet choice. 

So there we were in Darling Harbour with 7 nights before we left for the next stage of our journey. What did we do? You can find out in Australian Adventure Post 2 - coming soon. 

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