Qantas Airlines reveal new Dreamliner design

Qantas Boeing 747-400 airplaneQantas Airlines have unveiled the final seating plans for their new Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes, including a new design for the premium economy class.

The new seats are wider than current premium economy seats and will allow passengers to relax even more thanks to additional reclining capacity. The class also boasts redesigned footrests, headrests and a new design that allows the seat to pivot while reclining, making it more comfortable for both the passenger and the row behind. In-flight entertainment screens are also now 25% larger than the previous design.

These innovations were revealed by Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce at the company’s Sydney headquarters in a dual announcement together with the half-year financial information. The design is based off a prototype by Thompson Aero Seating, which was then customised by Australian industrial designer David Coen.

The Qantas upgrades to the Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes were designed to make them as comfortable as possible, given their role as long-haul aircraft. Dreamliners fly some of the longest distances in the world – Melbourne to Los Angeles and the recently-announced non-stop flight from Perth to London, for example. The planes also include business, business suite and economy classes.

In 2008, Qantas became one of the first airlines in the world to introduce a premium economy class. The class features larger seats, more legroom and better food than economy class. It has become a popular choice for passengers on long flights who do not want to pay the high prices of business class.

The first of the new Qantas 787 Dreamliners will be unveiled in October, while the first international flight will take place in December, flying from Melbourne to Los Angeles. The new Perth to London flights will begin in March 2018.

Tiger cubs celebrate their first birthday at Australia Zoo

Australia Zoo’s Sumatran tiger cubs have celebrated their first birthday with a party! The institute’s two cuddly cubs, Scout and Delilah, ushered in their special milestone with staff members and visiting guests by tucking into some ice cream cake and playing with the new toys they received as birthday presents.

Sumatran tigers are unfortunately critically endangered, just like all other subspecies of tiger. But Australia Zoo has set up a conservation program to help protect this wonderful species. Since 2003, when tigers were first introduced to the zoo, they have raised and donated over 1.5 million dollars to support conservation in the tigers’ native habitat of South East Asia.

The two Sumatran tiger cubs have been proud ambassadors for their wild counterparts. Ever since their birth at Australia Zoo, Scout, sponsored and named by Scouts Queensland, and Delilah, who was sponsored and named by Wise Education, have attracted huge audiences. The cubs join the older tigers on a day-to-day basis, helping to educate guests at the zoo on the plight of the critically endangered Sumatran tiger.

Guests who visit Australia Zoo and donate, especially around the cubs 1st birthday, help the Wildlife Warriors raise the vital money needed to fund the Tiger Protection and Conservation Units who protect wild tigers on the ground in Indonesia at the Kerinci Seblat National Park. The Tiger Protection and Conservation Units program is made up of six patrolling units who monitor the forest to stop and deter poachers from illegally entering the site. The TPCU program is widely recognised as the most successful tiger conservation law enforcement program in South East Asia.

Australia Zoo is having a hugely positive impact on tiger conservation, not only in raising Scout and Delilah so well but also through their fantastic conservation efforts in the wider world.



Explore the history of Port Arthur

Australia is one of the most popular long-haul holiday destinations, and it’s not hard to see why. If you’re planning a personalised Australia holiday, there’s so much to see and do. You can visit wineries, hit the beach, go hiking in the forests, and enjoy some cosmopolitan city living. There really is something for every visitor. If you’re visiting Australia, it’s well worth taking the time to visit the small but perfectly formed island of Tasmania. Easily accessible by boat, Tasmania is a wonderful wilderness, which also boasts a rich history.


Discovering the history of Port Arthur

Port Arthur is one of Tasmania’s most significant historical landmarks. It started life as a timber station in 1830 before becoming one of the country’s most important convict settlements. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Britain sent hundreds of convicts to Australia, and many of them were detained in Tasmania. The site of Port Arthur is now a World Heritage Site, and it is the most visited tourist attraction in Tasmania.

Located approximately 60 km from Hobart, Tasmania’s capital, Port Arthur was famed for its penal colonies in the mid 1800s. To begin with, it became famous for housing the toughest offenders, including those who had committed crimes since arriving in Australia from the UK and those who were causing problems at other facilities across the country. Port Arthur was a symbol of discipline and rigidity, and it had a fearsome reputation. Port Arthur was one of the original examples of separate prison models. It was completed in 1853 and subsequently expanded to cope with demand in 1855. It closed its doors in 1877.

Port Arthur is surrounded by a body of water, which adds to its isolation, and there’s an eerie vibe, even after all these years. Despite its glum past, Port Arthur stands in a beautiful location, and it’s worth visiting just to enjoy the scenic views.


Visiting Port Arthur

If you’re keen to get to grips with Australian history, or you want to know more about the history of the convicts and learn about their stories, Port Arthur is a fascinating destination. There’s an excellent museum, and you can also follow audio tours. If you’re not afraid of the dark, and you fancy a tour with a difference, why not book onto one of the evening ghost tours?


If you’re visiting Tasmania, make time to explore the history of Port Arthur and learn more about its significance in Australia’s history and its modern culture.


The top five cricket grounds in Australia

Cricket is so beloved Down Under that it’s widely considered the national sport, and there are few better places to watch a test match than under the Australian sun with a beer in hand. This year, from 23rd November to 8 January, the legendary Ashes Series will be taking place around Oz, and you can sense the history in the air at the world-famous venues that will be hosting the action. Let’s take a look at a rundown of the top five venues that you can visit on a personalised holiday to this great cricketing country.


The Gabba

The Gabba is in Brisbane, Queensland. The stadium can seat 42,000 fans, and became the first venue in Australia to play host to an international Twenty20 in 2006. The sun-soaked capital is a great start to your time in Australia, and you can catch the first Ashes Test at The Gabba on the 23rd November.


Bellerive Oval

You won’t find many more beautiful cricket grounds in the world than the Bellerive Oval, the home of Tasmanian cricket. The stadium sits alongside the River Derwent, and is the only venue in Tasmania that hosts international matches. Aside from the cricket, Hobart is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, surrounded by beautiful hills and woodland, and it is well worth exploring if you decide to take a day’s rest from the sport.


Sydney Cricket Ground

The SCG is one of the world’s most iconic cricket grounds. It was built in 1848 and played host to the legendary Don Bradman during his record-breaking 452 not out. The SCG was also the venue for Australia’s demolition of England in the fifth Ashes Test in 2007, where the hosts became the first team in 86 years to achieve an Ashes Series whitewash. Catch the fifth and final Ashes Test at the SCG from January 4th, 2018.


Adelaide Oval

The Adelaide Oval is a stunning venue. The stadium is just a short walk from the centre of the city, and offers a superb behind-the-scenes tour which lets you walk in the footsteps of cricketing legends. Soak up the atmosphere by walking around the lower levels of the stadium before visiting the Sir Donald Bradman museum, which features a treasure trove of cricket memorabilia. The Adelaide Oval hosted the first ever day/night Test match in 2015, and will also host the first day/night Ashes Test in December 2nd, 2017. It promises to be a spectacular event.



For iconic status, the Melbourne Cricket Ground is tough to beat. With a capacity of over 100,000, it’s the largest cricket ground in the world. A Test match begins on Boxing Day every year at the MCG, and few Test matches evoke as much passion as Australia vs England. A record-breaking 91,092 fans watched the historic fixture in the sun in 2013, and you would be mad to miss this year’s installment!

Port Douglas: where ancient rainforest meets coral sea

Port Douglas is where the rainforest meets the reef; a relaxed seaside village combining beautiful views with a tropical sophistication. If you are after a honeymoon spot or somewhere to escape to during the biting cold of winter on the other side of the world, there are few places where you’d be better off.

Port Douglas is the only place on Earth where two World Heritage Sites come together: the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Port Douglas offers something for everyone to get into, whether you are looking to hike, snorkel, dive or experience a party like no other during the Port Douglas carnival.

The underwater botanical gardens of the reef here are home to some spectacular marine life, which includes some 2800 species of fish, 400 different types of coral, 6 different species of sea turtle and 215 different types of birds - and there are diving options for both experienced and beginner divers.

Moving from the ocean to the shore, the Daintree National Park is the oldest living rainforest on earth and stretches for some 900,000 hectares. This unique forest is home to a range of vegetation which is primarily tropical and also includes open eucalyptus forest, wetlands and mangrove. Daintree National Park is also the precious habitat of a number of must-see threatened species.

For the adventurous, activities on offer here include discovering the rugged terrain via the scenic walking tracks or looking out for the eye-catching colours of the rainforest’s flora and fauna on a guided tour around the lush tropical surroundings. Hidden amongst the trees are a range of pristine freshwater swimming pools where you can truly immerse yourself in the breathtaking surroundings. As this area is of cultural significance to the native Aboriginal people, guided discovery tours that will explain the local customs linked to the region are also recommended.

For some relaxing down-time in the village, soak up the atmosphere by discovering the galleries and historic buildings found in the area, or do a spot of shopping in the quaint shops that line the streets. On a Sunday, Port Douglas has a village market, where you can familiarise yourself with some of the local delicacies. Port Douglas is an amazing place to visit all year round, but for an extra-special trip, try and coincide your holiday with one of its famous events; these include the Port Douglas carnival and sporting events like the coral coast triathlon and Exemplar Clipper Cup.