Category Archives: Australia

Hawaiian Airlines flies to South Pacific

Did you know that Hawaiian Airlines now flies to New Zealand?

Since March 2013, HA has offered nonstop service from Honolulu to Auckland, New Zealand. Planes fly three times a week. Hawaiian Airlines carries an average 8 million customers per year and serves 20 domestic and international destinations. Starting Fall 2013, HA will add two new, exciting destinations to Australia—Sydney and Brisbane. The best part? Travelers from continental USA can take advantage of free stopovers in Hawaii! HA connects to NZ from several cities across the country, including Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and Phoenix.

Planning a vacation in New Zealand? Why not stop in Hawaii? Spend a few unforgettable days on the beach of Waikiki before enjoying the natural mountains and fjords of New Zealand.

Book a Goway holiday from only 1799$ per person (double occupancy) with taxes, which includes:

  •   Roundtrip HA airfare from Los Angeles or Seattle to Auckland with a free stop in Hawaii
  •   Accommodation for four nights at the Copthorne Auckland City hotel
  •   Accommodation for five nights at the Ohana Waikiki West hotel

This package can be modified or upgraded to your preference! Let us book your perfect tropical vacation. This special is valid from 13 May to 18 Jul, and 06 Aug to 03 Oct. Max stay one month. Inquire for more details.

Sneak Peak: Starting in April 2014, Hawaiian Airlines plans to start nonstop service from Honolulu to Beijing. Service is planned to run three times a week.

Call Willamette Intl Travel to book your NZ or Hawaii package today! 503.224.0180 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Airlines, Australia, China, Goway, Hawaii, Hawaiian Airlines, New Zealand, SALES, Vendors

Self-Drive Downunder with Goway

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BONUS: Receive a FREE Map of Australia or New Zealand if you comment to this post! (Subject to Availability)

What is self-drive? For a great example of a real self-drive itinerary booked with Goway by Willamette Intl Travel agents, check out our previous post on it.

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Filed under Australia, Itinerary, New Zealand, News, Travel by Car

Vendor of the Month: Qantas Vacations

Today we feature one of our exceptional, preferred vendors: Qantas Vacations.

Qantas Vacations is a specialized tour operator who arranges tours and trips in Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. They can arrange a number of tours: from premium style with superior facilities, to cost saver tours, small group tours, 1-4 day tours that you can add on to an existing itinerary, and more.

Their tours are been carefully designed to ensure you get the most out of your trip—and include must-see sights such as Uluru, Milford Sound or the Great Ocean Road. Fully escorted tours are led by expert Tour Directors who share their local knowledge and insight; yet you still have plenty of free time to stretch your legs Take an Air Safari Scenic Flight over Mount Cook or book a day of sailing off the coast of Australia. Some escorted tours feature a special “You are Invited” program, unique meal experiences that welcome you into family homes and restaurants and speak with your hosts.

Qantas Vacations also offers customized air and land packages, as well as land-only packages. Willamette Intl Travel agents work side by side with Qantas Vacations to make sure that you get the best deal for your trip. Want extra comfort on your long flights Down Under? Book business class on Qantas Airlines, equipped with their new service upgrades: specially blended tea, nighttime mattress, quilted duvets, and pre-ordered dining options! Pam, one our agents here at WIT, flew with Qantas Airlines and had this to say about it:

I enjoyed my flight on Qantas – although it is a very long flight, the service was excellent and there was good on-board entertainment options with an individual screen at my seat and a vast selection of films, tv shows, music and games.   There was a good choice of meals, served with Australian wines, and snacks were available throughout the flight.

Now let’s take a look at some sample Qantas Vacations itineraries that tap into the natural beauty and cultural highlights of New Zealand and Australia:

Premium Tour: 9 Day Discover Australia. Tour through the highlights of Australia by luxury air-conditioned coach and prearranged domestic flights. Arrive in Sydney and take a guided tour to the beaches, botanical gardens, and Opera House. Board a cruise on Sydney Harbour. After you’ve had your fill, head to Uluru, or Ayers Rock, during sunset and view the spectacular colors with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. Stay at the Desert Gardens Hotel and wake up in time to view the sunrise dancing on the rock. In the afternoon, visit the Olgas, massive domes of red conglomerate rock, and hike through the Walpa Gorge between two of the tallest domes. Next, jet over to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef. Board a high speed catamaran for an unforgettable day with a marine naturalist. Snorkel in the colorful paradise and watch the wildlife glide by.

Small Groups: 3 Day Kakadu & Litchfield. Travel in the company of just 15 other travelers, enjoy the best of outback luxury—boutique accommodation, special dining, and 4WD vehicles. Start out from Darwin towards Litchfield National Park and swim in Wangi Falls. Explore the Meridian Termite Mounds, Buley Rock Hole, and the peaceful Batchelor Butterfly Retreat. You’ll stay at the beautiful Wildman Wilderness Lodge in permanent safari tents. The next day, travel to Kakadu, Australia’s largest National Park. Admire the beauty of Jim Jim Falls and chance upon a dozing crocodile. Explore to your heart’s content before retiring to the Gagudju Crocodile Holiday Inn in Jabiru. On the third day, explore more of Kakadu’s wetlands and woodlands, check out important indigenous sites, and learn about the park’s history at the Bowali Visitor Center. Continue to Ubirr, home to ancient Aboriginal rock art galleries.

Day Tours: Melbourne. Travel to the gorgeous Dandenong Ranges. Visit Grants Reserve and ride through the forest aboard Australia’s oldest operating steam train, Puffing Billy. Enjoy a lunch at Fergusson Winery before wandering around a wildlife park, spotting koalas, kangaroos and birds of prey.

Want to find out more? Wittravel is hosting a public event at their office in Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday Nov 14, at 6pm. Michael Powers from Qantas Vacations will be there, so here’s your chance to hear about the exciting new opportunities Down Under! Spend an evening chatting Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific! Bring your friends. Please RSVP to wailanak@wittravel.com and refer to code Q14. See you there!

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Filed under Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Vendors, VOTM

Unique Self-Drive Itineraries Down Under

Do you consider yourself an independent traveler? Searching for a unique, in-depth adventure in Australia or New Zealand? Why not book a self-drive trip exploring the natural wonders and stunning panoramas of Down Under? Our preferred vendors Goway and Qantas Vacations offer some incredible itineraries with this style of travel in mind—take a look!

Our vendor Qantas can arrange campervans for Australia or New Zealand travel. Take your family on an unforgettable trip across the stunning landscapes of Down Under. There are a number of campervans available: the compact HiTop, intimate and romantic Elite, and the expansive Frontier with room for up to 6 people! For optimum comfort and space, Wittravel recommends that couples rent a larger van that can accommodate up to four people—it isn’t much more to step up for some extra room to stretch! All vans come equipped with linen, bedding, unlimited kilometers, kitchen equipment, vehicle insurance, travel information, maps, airport transfer and more. Ride through rugged Queensland with your family or delve into the heart of the outback. Campgrounds in Australia tend to be comfortable and clean, with access to hot water and space between campsites. The larger vans also come with an equipped shower system. With flexible schedules and custom itineraries, you can go wherever you want, whenever you want! Willamette Intl Travel will work with you in organizing the trip of a lifetime!

Photo by Joan Campderros-i-Canas, Creative Commons

Our vendor Goway works on self-drive itineraries around Australia and New Zealand. They arrange hotels, car, and a co-pilot kit that includes maps, directions, discounts, and a backpack. These self-drive itineraries are designed based on your budget and pace, allowing you the flexibility and freedom to enjoy New Zealand as you like. Furthermore, the rental infrastructure in Australia and New Zealand also often eliminates the need to return any camper or car to the same location, with no drop fees—so you can start and end in two different cities. They can also add-on air and day tours if that catches your fancy. Want to helihike onto Fox Glacier? Thinking about spelunking in the glowworm caves of Te Anau or Waitomo? Ask Willamette Intl Travel about these options and more!

photo by Pluies, Creative Commons

Want to find out more? Wittravel is hosting a public event at their office in Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday Nov 14. Michael Powers from Qantas Vacations will be there, so here’s your chance to hear about the exciting new opportunities Down Under! Spend an evening chatting Australia, New Zealand and the islands of the South Pacific! Bring your friends. Please RSVP to wailanak@wittravel.com and refer to code Q14. See you there!

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Filed under Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Travel by Car

Top Roads of Australia and New Zealand

In anticipation for our evening Down Under (see post), we are moving from the lovely, diverse country of Argentina to feature our fun friends in the South: Australia and New Zealand. For the next two weeks, tune in to hear about these incredible, adventure-filled destinations! This Week: Top Roads of Australia and New Zealand.

Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road runs westward from Torquay (near Melbourne) to the small town of Warrnambool in Victoria, and features some of the world’s inspiring coastal scenery along Shipwreck Coast. Dubbed an Australian National Heritage, the track covers 243 km (151 mi), and was built as a memorial by returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932. Hug the coast through seaside resorts, dune-colored cliffs, and the lush canopies of Otway National Park. See koala, kangaroos and emus at Tower Hill. There are ample panoramas of oceans and parks to enjoy: the Bay of Islands, Point Addis, Teddy’s Lookout at Lorne, to name a few. Don’t miss the magnificently carved limestone and sandstone rock formations seen at The Grotto, London Arch, Loch Ard Gorge and the Twelve Apostles. If you go in winter, you may be lucky enough to spy whales and their calves off of Logan’s Beach in Warrnambool. Total driving time: 5 hours. Recommended tour time: 1-2 Days.

photo by Edwin.11

Golden Highway

The Golden Highway, or State Highway 84, runs between Dubbo and Newcastle in New South Wales. The road takes you through the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, fertile Hunter Region wine valleys and a series of remarkable national parks. There’s plenty to do on this inland route: wine and cheese tasting; olive oil tasting; golfing; visiting a rodeo; and checking out the Dubbo Observatory. More of an adventurer? Don’t miss the chance to spelunk in the Wellington Caves, picnic in the 140 hectares (346 acres) of the Hunter Botanic Gardens, bird-watch in Pilliga Forest or stargaze in Warrumbungle National Park. Total driving time: 5 hours and 30 minutes. Recommended tour time: 2-3 Days.

photo by Aidan-Sally

Rainforest Way

The Rainforest Way is a circular series of roads that extends through South East Queensland to New South Wales. It passes through a number of National Parks and runs along the extinct volcano Mount Warning. A road for naturalists, visitors can explore the rural landscapes of the Great Dividing Range, wander through rainforests in Lions Road, or take a scenic drive through the Tambourine Circuit. Stop by Minyon Falls that drops over 100 meters (328 ft) or drive out to Tweed Range and its 919-m high (3015 ft) Pinnacle Lookout onto the rim of Mount Warning’s magnificent caldera. Total driving time: Varies. Recommended tour time: 3-5 Days.

Southern Scenic Route

The Southern Scenic Route connects Queenstown to Dunedin in New Zealand. Officially opened in 1988, it remains a relatively unknown tourist road that exhibits some spectacular natural attractions of the islands—beaches, mountains, lakes and forests. Some amazing sights are Fiordland National Park, Te Waewae Bay, Purakaunui Falls, Otago Coast Forest and the tiny fishing village Taieri Mouth. There are ample activities on offer in the area, from camping, mountain biking, fishing, spotting wildlife (seals, seabirds, dolphins) and chancing on the Maori tribes in the South. Total driving time: 3h30-4 hours. Recommended tour time: 1-2 Days.

Planning a Trip to Australia and New Zealand? Willamette Intl Travel works with clients to customize any itinerary to suit their needs and check off that bucket list! Call us at 800.821.0401 or email info@wittravel.com.

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Filed under Australia, Features, New Zealand, Oceania, Travel by Car