Category Archives: Australia

Travel News: How to enjoy Uluru without climbing it

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Venice To Begin Imposing Tourist Tax On Day-Trippers From Next July 1

Associated Press reports Authorities in the Italian canal city of Venice say a tax on day-trippers will start being charged on July 1, 2020. The tax was announced nearly a year ago, but its implementation was delayed as officials worked out how it would be paid and enforced. Authorities said Wednesday that the level of the tax will be decided closer to the date, but a law establishing it set a range of 3-10 euros ($3.30-$11) a day. Visitors staying overnight already pay a tax as part of their accommodation charge. In the coming months, city officials will announce details of how visitors can pay the tax, with efforts focused on pre-payments over the internet or in neighboring provinces. Exceptions will be made for those visiting Venice for work, study or family reasons.

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How to experience Uluru’s magic without climbing the Australian rock

On Oct 26, people will no longer be allowed to climb Uluru rock in Australia. The country is finally honoring the Anangu people’s wishes for this sacred spot and climbing will be forbidden from that date. Instead, tourism is turning its attention to the spiritual aspects of the 1,142 ft high rock. Travel + Leisure details how to experience the beautiful rock’s aura without damaging its geology.

KLM Becomes First Airline To Hit 100 Years With Original Name

Aeronauticsonline reports KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has officially become 100 years old, having been launched on October 7, 1919. The airline has been operating continuously for the past century with the same name as it was originally founded with. The airline was officially established in a solicitor’s office in the Hague on October 7 but didn’t complete its first flight until the year after, on May 17, 1920. KLM’s first aircraft was a DeHavilland DH.16, which operated its first flight, from London’s Croydon airport to Amsterdam in two hours and 15 minutes at an altitude of just 90 meters. The airline purchased its first aircraft (The DH.16 was leased) in 1920, from bankrupt British carrier AT&T. KLM bought four DeHavilland DH.9B aircraft, which helped it to expand its network. KLM’s first intercontinental flight took off in 1924, departing Amsterdam for what is now Jakarta. A technical malfunction led to a delay in the flight, making the initial service take one month and 24 days, departing Amsterdam on October 1 and arriving in modern-day Indonesia on November 24. KLM was the first European carrier to launch flights to the United States after the Second World War, with regular Douglas DC-4 service commencing in May of 1946.

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The Netherlands Wants To Stop Being ‘Holland’

The Netherlands wants to stop being ‘Holland’! Dutch authorities will phase out marketing the country abroad as ‘Holland’ and will begin to use the name ‘Netherlands’, according to Amsterdam’s Adformatie. At the present time, the Netherlands, for the most part, is presenting itself internationally as ‘Holland’. The Dutch authorities are planning to actively use the name ‘Netherlands’ at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo and the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in Rotterdam. The name ‘Holland’ is widely used in regards to the Netherlands because of the name of the two historically most developed regions of the country, South and North Holland. Legally, in relation to the country, the use of the name “Netherlands” is correct. The Netherlands consists of 12 provinces in Europe and several islands in the Caribbean.

Fly Delta App Adds New Features With More To Come

Airline ratings reports Delta Air Lines is boosting its already feature-rich app to expand auto check-in to international flights and as well as give passengers a handle on security wait times in some markets. The US carrier this week released the latest version of its Fly Delta app with color-coding specific to the fare purchased. Each fare, basic economy, main cabin, Delta Comfort +, Delta Premium Select/First Class and Delta One, is assigned a color to act as a visual cue that mirrors those screens and signs at the gate during boarding. Branded colors are a new feature of the latest version of the Fly Delta app. The aim is to make the boarding process easier and help passengers recognize when it’s time to get on the plane.

New features on the way later this year include auto check-in for international flights, integrated security wait times in select markets and pre-select meals for Delta One and domestic First Class customers.

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Travel2 in Australia & New Zealand

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Looking to escape the winter snows this holiday? Book a couple weeks in Australia and/or New Zealand.

Travel2 is one of our favorite vendors in the South Pacific. They offer tailored packages for travelers in Australia and New Zealand, and beyond.

Want to hit the adventure and see the highlights of Down Under, but don’t want to figure out the logistics of a car and hotels? The folks over at Travel2 are your backup team — and Willamette Intl Travel’s got you even more covered!

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On a sample 11-day Sydney, Melbourne & Reef itinerary:

Take in the sights of Australia’s cities–Sydney and Melbourne. See the Great Barrier Reef, a fast-disappearing natural wonder of the world.

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On a sample 14-day New Zealand North Island Explorer Self Drive:

Hit the road and explore Auckland’s City of Sails and the geothermal landscapes of the North Island.

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On an 18-day New Zealand Grandeur Escorted Tour:

Take the Grand Tour of New Zealand, from Christchurch to Auckland. Hike through ancient forests, climb across glacier mountains, admire the historical railway and clear celestial skies.

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On a 22-day Explore Australia & New Zealand Escorted Tour:

Why choose between the two? Combine Australia & New Zealand on a Grand Adventure! Head out on red dirt roads in the Outback, enjoy a sunset cruise on a private yacht, witness the unforgettable glowworms illuminating the Waitomo Caves.

For more information on a trip to Australia, New Zealand or the Cook Islands tailored just for you, call Willamette Intl Travel: 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Infographic: 6 Destinations to Spot the Southern Cross in 2017

We at Willamette Intl Travel love tried and true destinations like these! Interested in one (or more) of the places below? Give us a ring! 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Antarctica, Australia, Brazil, Europe, Hawaii, New Zealand, South Africa, South Africa

First-Ever Drone Footage of Uluru, Australia

Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of Australia. People travel from around the world wake up at sunrise for some gorgeous views. But have you seen the first-ever drone footage of Uluru in Australia?

Willamette Intl Travel has sent countless of clients to their ideal destination in Australia. Margaret River, Melbourne, Great Barrier Reef, Kangaroo Island—the list goes on. Uluru is just one of the many incredible sights on this wild and ever-changing continent. 

Check it out! Footage is courtesy of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.

Read what some of our friends said about Uluru:

“We were literally up at the crack of dawn, actually before that, as we wanted to see the sunrise on the giant monolith at 5:46 to be exact!  We arrived exactly then at the “sunrise viewing” area. We were the ONLY folks there at first! The idea is to watch the colors go from black to the varying hues of browns, oranges and reds, looking quite different than at sunset. 

William Gosse, the first white man to see this rock in 1873, wrote: “An immense rock rising abruptly from the plains….this rock is certainly the most wonderful natural feature I have ever seen”. This is considered by some accounts, to be the largest monolith in the world and recognized by UNESCO on 2 lists, quite rare.  The first is its geological listing in 1987 and 10 years later, they added it as a cultural site due to its sacred value to the local aboriginals.

After seeing what we wanted of this experience, we drove closer to the rock to give it a different close up perspective, which I liked better.  So many crevasses, water lines colored black, large moon-like holes, really fascinating and really old!  It’s thought to have been created by the chaotic upheavals on earth about 700 million years ago!  How’s that for old!”

— Mary W., Dec 2015

Did You Know? While not illegal, climbing on Uluru is highly discouraged. The indigenous tribe, the Ananou, believe that climbing path crosses a highly sacred dreamtime track—a spiritual place beyond time where past, present, and future all exist together.

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Filed under Australia, Day Trips From..., Oceania

Conscientious Traveler: Goway

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Welcome back to Conscientious Traveler—our monthly series in which we showcase one of our fantastic partners with projects that support the environment, wildlife and local communities. This month, we feature Goway

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Goway is one of our favorite trusted vendors specializing in fully customizable trips around the world. We have worked with them for years organizing trips for our clients to Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Japan and more.

Goway has supported many foundations over the years, donating to causes that benefit local communities, cultures, wildlife and the environment. Here are just a handful:

tourismcareslogoTourism Cares. Goway participates in Tourism Cares initiatives that preserve and enrich the travel experience of travelers worldwide through giving back and volunteering.


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A nonprofit that helps Canadian children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness realize their favorite dreams. In 2015 & 2016, Goway received a Valued Partner Award for their efforts to support Children’s Wish, and last summer raised $10,000 for one child’s wish at their annual fundraiser.

canadianbloodservicesenglishlogofinalcolourrgbCanadian Blood Services. Goway had their first annual blood drive last month, during which staff donated blood to the clinic.

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Wildlands Conservation Trust. Goway has made two sizable donations to the Trust’s “Looking out for Rhino” campaign, supporting the latest tracking technology fitted for rhinos.

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So you can combine Travel with a Good Cause! Call your agent at Willamette Intl Travel and let us arrange a remarkable journey for you! Call 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Asia, Australia, Cambodia, Conscientious Traveler, Goway, Laos, News

Acclaimed Golf Voyages with Azamara Club Cruises

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Does your perfect day involve playing a round of golf at the most prestigious courses in the world?

If it does, you’ve come to the right place! Azamara Club Cruises and Perry Golf have teamed up to bring you worldwide golf voyages to some of the most acclaimed courses on the planet.

Call your agent at Wittravel for more details: 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com Let us plan your perfect holiday from start to finish, so you can enjoy a vacation without any hassles!

The golf packages on Azamara’s 2016 & 2017 British Open voyages feature venues such as Royal Birkdale, Gleneagles, and Turnberry, and also include attendance at the final round of the British Open Championship to watch the world’s finest players compete for the coveted Claret Jug.

Their voyages to Australia & New Zealand, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic Sea offer golf packages as well, with an outstanding collection of courses including Barnbougle Dunes, Cape Kidnappers, Bro Hof Slott, Continental Europe’s #1 Valderrama, and many others.

AND if you book selected voyages by June 30, 2015, you’ll receive 50% OFF the cruise fare of the second guest!

Hurry! PerryGolf packages sell out quickly.

Sample 11-Night Golf Cruise: Screen shot 2015-06-24 at 2.30.37 PM

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Filed under Australia, Azamara, Cruises, Europe, New Zealand, Oceania, Travel by Ship, Travel by Sport

Spotlight on: Melbourne

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Book your trip to Australia now–December is the height of summer, when the country bursts alive with festivals and venues.

Melbourne: Australia’s second largest city, it may as well be the capital when it comes to culture and design.

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No other city in the country has as much creative energy, as anyone can see in wealth of art indoor and out–from innovative art exhibitions and galleries, to the hipster-clad boutiques and iconic street art that dot the corners of this bustling cosmopolis.

This is a city buzzing with creativity. Graffiti itself as become so sophisticated in Melbourne that it has inspired a themed Google Maps site, Melbourne Graffiti Walks. Check out more art at the Australian Center for Contemporary Art, displaying marvelous exhibitions on cutting-edge visual arts.

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If you’re feeling hip, head down the block to Gertrude Street, to shop some truly eclectic designs. Or wander down Rose Street Artist’s Market on the weekend, where artists and designers pitch their quirky and one-of-a-kind wares to passersby.

If you’re needing to slow it down a notch, head to one of the city’s may parks. Melbourne isn’t dubbed the “Garden City” for nothing. For a glimpse of some spectacular flora–including cacti, bamboo, orchids and more–head over to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Dinnertime yet? Hop on a tram to one of the suburbs: St. Kilda, Fitzroy, Richmond or South Yarra, to sample succulent dishes from poached crayfish to double-roasted duck at casual but tasteful restaurants.

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In the evening, be sure to check out the unforgettable view of a starlit sky on the 360-degree Eureka Sky Deck. If you dare, you can step out onto “The Edge,” a glass-floored platform about 300m from the ground!

Melbourne is a terrific destination to explore new scenes, and we highly recommend adding it to your Australia trip. And if you’re in the area early March, don’t miss the annual Melbourne Food and Wine Festival–an exciting 2-week long celebration of yummies!

Melbourne has many big events that sell out months if not a year in advance. Accommodation during these hot events are also limited. It’s not too early to book for 2016! Book soon and reserve your seat!

Melbourne Cup: Nov 3, 2015 or Nov 1, 2016

Australian Open Tennis: January 18-31, 2016

Food & Wine Festival: Feb – March, 2016

Remember–book Australia now for travel in November to February! Several of our agents have traveled all around Australia and would love to organize your dream trip to this amazing continent!

Call 503-224-0180 or email info@wittravel.com today!

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