Hamilton and Hayman Islands, The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
We usually drive the 110 miles to LAX to get to a non-stop flight somewhere far away. I was reminded why when my short flight (San Diego to LAX) made me miss a whole day of amazing Australia. Still, better than flying on a broken airplane. The next night’s very comfortable flight on a United Airlines 787, aka the Dreamliner, had me in Sydney 15 hours later. My economy plus seat was very spacious and comfortable, but I sure could have used a footrest. A couple of hours on the ground, another 2 ½ hours on Virgin Australia and Hamilton Island welcomed me warmly.
I managed an afternoon lunch and tour of qualia, where I was supposed to sleep the night prior. qualia is simply five star plus luxury, a self-contained paradise with 60 amazing villas, all with stunning views of Queensland’s’ beautiful water. Every villa has plenty of space, a private pool, and your own buggy to get around the property.
I continued, by helicopter, the best way to experience the reef, to the One and Only Hayman Island. By the way, thankfully, this is not the only One & Only. I -love- their properties in Cabo, Capetown, and the Maldives, and am pretty sure I’ll like the rest of them when I get to them! Meanwhile, the One & Only Hayman Island is beyond belief. My suite was beyond belief – spacious & welcoming, with scrumptious bedding and a fabulous bathroom. Chocolate & champagne on arrival, a beach bag in every room to use (and keep), beautiful beaches and bays for swimming and snorkeling, great hiking trails, terrific food (thank you Chef Karim!), over the top service, beautiful accommodations – all this and more make The One & Only Hayman Island the perfect home for a getaway to the Great Barrier Reef.
This was just the start of my great Australian adventure. What a country. Stay tuned for more, as this was only the first leg of a pretty epic journey.
Travel tips for Australia:
- Download all airline apps before you travel. Some onboard Wi-Fi options require the app to work. If you don’t want to use your data plan, downloading the app won’t work.
- Download XE Currency converting app. A must for international travel! Use it a bit before you go so you know how to make it work for you.
- Stinky smells happen; bring essential oils to wear around your neck or a drop in the palms of your hands so you can inhale the smells away. Certain oils also work well to calm travel nerves if you are an anxious traveler.
- Bring unsalted snacks. 15 hours is a L O N G flight.
- Always buy the larger water.
At the Sydney Airport, it’s a 12-minute bus ride from the international to domestic terminals.
2-2.5 hours was plenty to make my connection and have a coffee.
Questions or comments always welcome – firstname.lastname@example.org (760) 294-1022.