There is something special about returning to the country where you were born so an unplanned trip to Australia (aka "Down Under") to catch up with family and friends we have not seen for a few years was a great gift. When travelling a long distance by plane we like to pack and leave for our international flight with lots of time to spare: arrive early at the departure airport, check with the airline agent that our tickets are the correct date, proper time (truly!) and our documents are in order. We then proceed through Security while there is lots of time – and no waiting in lines.
Security - a Long Flight then Australia
After going through security, we like to find a quiet area with a comfy chair and a table, and leisurely text, phone, check destination weather and enjoy the last few hours before departure. After a relaxing meal or snack we move to the departure gate to board the flight.
There you have it. No hassle, no hustle, no bustle and you are on your way to a great holiday.
Postscript: Remember always check baggage limitations – if travelling with carry-on luggage, weigh your bags unless you are ready to check them in. Always, carry any medications, cameras, computer equipment with you in the cabin along with a good book – or take your iPad so you always have something to read!
Welcome to Australia
Wow! We are here! What a wonderful sight after flying over the ocean all night to see “land”. It was minus 2 degrees when we left Canada and it is 24 degrees plus in Sydney, Australia with cloudy skies. Feels wonderful. We bus to the Domestic Sydney airport and catch our connecting flight – a short hop to Melbourne – always emotional coming home and very happy to be here. Let the fun begin.
Arriving in Melbourne at Tullamarine Airport, we again bus it to the Southern Cross train station (which used to be Spencers Street Railway Station) and caught our country V line air-conditioned train to the Gippsland area. Even after a 30 hour journey this was a great way to see the “real Oz" – downtown skyscrapers and familiar sights beside the Yarra River, colourful graffiti on the railside structures, lovely old buildings and palm trees and listen to the chatter of the people around us. We enjoy travelling through the smaller country towns like Warrigul, Rosedale and Pakenham where our Mum was born but which is now almost a suburb of Melbourne.
Travel by Train
This mode of travel may not be your cup of tea – but it is one of ours and a great way to meet the “locals”. Surprising family on arrival was pretty exciting – just a few days early.
After dinner we took a stroll along the river and was fascinated by the colony of flying foxes which in fact are extremely large bats hanging upside down on the elm trees along the river bank and occasionally fighting with, and squawking at each other! Doves, cormorants and parrots accompanied us on our stroll. What a great day!
“But no matter how far or wide I roam
I still call Australia home"
Lyrics : Peter Allen “I still call Australia home”
After a great nights sleep – it was exciting to be up early to watch the sun rise and listen to the many bird calls, and have an early morning cuppa while waiting for the rest of the family to rise and shine! Definitely back home - Australia !
- Flight time from Vancouver to Sydney : 15 hours (and loss of one day due to crossing International Date Line)
- Flight time Sydney to Melbourne : one hour and 10 minutes – we love Qantas !
- Bus from the Melbourne (Tullamarine) airport to downtown Southern Cross Stations – 20 minutes
- Train from Melbourne to our destination in East Gippsland – three hours 30 minutes
- A total of more than 20 hours travel time but an elapsed time of more than 30 hours
- V line schedule – a great way to travel in Oz
- Skybus from Tullamarine to Southern Cross
- East Gippsland Tourism
- "I Still Call Australia Home" lyrics & song
Idea: To offset international air travel carbon emissions make a (tax-deductible) donation to a tree planting organization in your home country.