am i crazy????
- 08-17-2008, 10:37 PM #41Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
- Hong Kong
We've flown Virgin Atlantic twice now, once in cattle, and more recently premium economy. If you buy your little one a seat, you can pre-request (as they have a limited number) they equip a 'junior seat' to the adult seat (exactly like a carseat), which our (then) 16 month old reacted to just like his carseat in the car and it did help keep him settled (although he doesn't equalize well so we also had to sedate him.. as the first time we did SYD-HKG with him he screamed 8 hours of the flight despite our best efforts). The HKG-SYD leg is much easier as our kids sleep it most of the way. Most of the staff on the Virgin planes we've experienced are good.. exceptionally so in Premium Economy, where they couldn't do enough to help us with our son. We've decided it is worth the extra $$ from now on as the larger seats and extra service made the world of difference. We're going back in late November en-route to NZ to see family. Another useful thing to know about the Virgin Atlantic cabin on the HKG-SYD route is that 1/2 way down Economy on the right (as you head towards the tail) is a larger than normal toilet (almost double the size of a standard toilet) which makes nappy-changing much easier should you need to.
I don't like their cheap AU airline Virgin Blue... so tend to fly Qantas internally, but I've found Qantas's international flights recently to have dropped in service considerably (although not as bad as Air New Zealand yet).
There are so many wonderful places to stop north and south of Sydney.. inland and coastal. To the south, Wollongong, Kiama, Berry, Jervis Bay/Sussex Inlet (check if the whale-watching for the Humpback migration is running either here or in Port Stephens/Nelson Bay as it can be well worth a boat tour if they are around), Batemans Bay, Narooma, Eden... even if you take the inland southern route, there's the 'big marino' in Goulburn, Kangaroo Valley, Canberra..
To the north, Gosford (can recommend the Gosford Reptile Park), The Entrance, Port Stephens, Forster, Port Macquarie, Yamba, Coffs Harbour... all really great little spots.
If you enjoy your wine, there is also the Hunter Valley just north of Sydney which is quite picturesque as well as allowing you to pick up some good NSW wines. There are a few camping grounds in Sydney itself. Be aware in NSW you can camp in some of the National Parks, but they charge an entry fee and a camping fee unless you have season/annual passes. Some State Forests also have camping grounds, which I believe are still free (although don't quote me on that).
The bigger towns tend to have tourist information centres (as opposed to just an information 'board') where you can get the specific information for each region, including maps, camping ground information, etc.
We used a campervan (Maui) to tour the south island of New Zealand some years back, and we got a 6 berth campervan, which worked well for our needs (although no kids at the time). It was well equipped and easy to drive, even when one side of the road was on the edge of a sheer cliff. I agree with whoever said to take the full insurance... anything over 7 days tends to work out better value to do it that way.
- 08-18-2008, 11:05 AM #42
With a baby, I'd still go for a week or two, however much time you have - some highlights for us were Freycinet national park (some hiking, but beautiful even if you don't go hiking), Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake (again a bit of hiking, but probably "easier" hiking than Freycinet), Strahan is beautiful, there are some Gordon River Cruises that you can do that are very relaxing and beautiful - without the effort of walking!!
There is some GORGEOUS driving around Tasmania, you could probably even stay just in a couple of places and make day trips, just short drives - but it is reeeaaallly beautiful!!
Expect it to be cold though - we went in February (meant to be the hottest month of the year) and it was still really cool!!
OH - be SURE to check out things like berry farms and also (if it's the right season), the lavender fields - we just missed the lavender - but we stopped at a different berry farm nearly EVERY day - some places, we went berry picking, other days we just had afternoon tea there with AWESOME berry products - from baked goods to icecream, dessert sauces, jam, anything you can think of!! The berry farms are ALL over the place - we'd just see them on the side of the road and end up going!!
Tassie has awesome wood work stores as well, anything made out of wood - from kitchen things, to kids toys - and it smells SO GOOD!!
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