Indulge yourself at the Hunter Valley Food and Wine month - Travel_Australia

Imagine:  The cold winter air is breathing fresh life into the breeze outside. You’re relaxed by the warmth of fire and, as it crackles you take a smooth sip of red wine from the glass balancing in your hand. 

Now imagine this, you’re with your favourite people, you’re laughing, and your plates are empty following a gourmet feast at a fabulous restaurant complete with roaring fire. 

Sounds divine doesn’t it? 

Well, you won’t have to imagine it any longer if you get yourself to the Hunter Valley this May and June to experience the wonder of Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival. 

What can only be described as pure indulgence, the Hunter Valley Food and Wine events are the perfect antidote to the winter-blues.  

This two month-long celebration offers so much the first-world-problem will be choosing which events to attend. 

A quick sample of what’s on offer includes: 

By the Fireside
An Intimate winemakers series where you hear the stories and sample the latest releases of some of the Hunter's finest winemakers while you enjoy a 4-coutrse meal perfectly matched to the winemaker's best.

Chef’s Plate Lunches
Channel your inner foodie at a set-price lunch at some of the Hunter Valley’s best restaurants. Starting from just $39, you get a main meal and a glass of Hunter Valley wine. And, depending on where you book, maybe a sweet-treat to follow. 

Meet  The Grower
Learn about the cycle of the vineyard and olive grove as you wander with local growers who share their knowledge and stories all while you sample the goods. 

Pie and Wine Pairing Experience
A gourmet pie is the perfect remedy for the winter blues so head to one of the participating Lovedale restaurants on the wine trail and tuck in!Your ideal opportunity to learn more about your favourite wine, the different characteristics a vineyard can produce, and the essential steps in the wine-making process.  

Winter Warmers
Set by an open fire in Hunter Valley vineyards, cellar doors, guest houses and restaurants, this is described as the ‘perfect way to relax on a cool winter’s day’. Warm up at an elegant affair with chocolate, sweets, fine teas and locally roasted coffee; dine by a blazing fireplace; or share a hearty Hunter Valley red by an open crackling bonfire.

Burning of the Barrel
Blazing bonfire at Glendore Estate Wines. When the sun begins to set at Glendore Estate light the flame on the annual barrel bonfire. Warm up beside it with a drop of shiraz. Perfect.

The Original 100 Metre Meal
Margan Wines are leaders in 'Agri Dining' and their 100 metre meal showcases the provenance of their estate-grown, estate-made produce.
Everything on your plate and in your glass has been grown within 100m from of your restaurant table.

Heroes of the Hunter
A five-course degustation dinner with matched wines for $95 per person? Yes please! 

The full calendar of events during Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival is available at http://www.winecountry.com.au/events/wine-and-food-month
 

How to get there
The Hunter Valley is an easy 45-minute drive from Newcastle Airport. 

Flights to Newcastle from Brisbane in June start from $65 one way with Jetstar and from $89 one way with Virgin Australia* 

Flights to Newcastle from Melbourne in June start from $69 one way with Jetstar $89 one way with Virgin Australia* 

Book at www.jetstar.com and www.virginaustralia.com 

*All prices correct as at 4 May 2017.


Image source: Hunter Valley Wine Country Tourism

Fly to State of Origin - Travel_Australia

The Holden State of Origin Series, returns in 2017 with pride on the line for both teams. Its mate vs mate as superstar teammates go head-to-head, with friendships put aside in pursuit of the ultimate bragging rights. Witness first-hand the passion on display between these famous rivals in the event that captivates millions of fans around the globe and forces everyone to ask - are you blue or are you maroon?

With games 1 and 3 being played behind enemy lines at Suncorp Stadium, the New South Wales Blues will need all of the supporters help they can get when they take-on the Queensland Maroons in the first State of Origin Clashes of 2017. Lucky it is super easy to fly there from Newcastle!
Game Two will be held at Sydney's ANZ Stadium on 21 June and with two flights a day to Sydney from Newcastle there's some great opportunities to wow your mates or clients on a good night out!

Since the beginning of (State of Origin) time, the number of victories taken by each team was once extraordinarily even, until 2006 when Queensland won eight consecutive series before New South Wales reclaimed the shield. 

Queensland has had a 'bit of a run' these last few years. Could this be their year to reclaim what is rightfully theirs? See for yourself the adrenaline and the atmosphere of the games in the State of Origin series that really is unrivaled. Remember: nothing hits like being at the game.

 To be part of the Origin excitement, book your ticket to match two or three (or both!) through Ticketek. You can secure individual game tickets to both games at Suncorp Stadium, or you can purchase a two game package and save. Plus there are options for both QLD and NSW supporters to purchase in dedicated supporter bays.

How to get there
Origin Game One
Wednesday, 31 May 2017, 8.00pm AEST – Suncorp Stadium 

>       Flights
Virgin Australia will fly you there on May 30 from $125.
Jetstar can take you there on game day from $75 or you can head to Brisbane earlier in the week and score flights from $69. 
 

Origin Game Two

Wednesday, 21 June 2017, 8.00pm AEST – ANZ Stadium
>       Flights
Jetstar has starter flights to Brisbane on game day from $69.
Virgin Australia can fly you to Brisbane with fares from $99.  


Origin Game Three
Wednesday 12 July 2017, 8.00pm AEST – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

>       Flights
Jetstar has flights to Brisbane during the week of the series decider from $69
Virgin Australia can fly you to Brisbane with fares from $104 

*All prices quoted correct as at 12pm 4 May 2017.
Image source: wheretotonight.com

Gear up for Gold Coast Airport Marathon - Travel_Australia

In early July 2017 thousands will descend on the Gold Coast to take part in the annual Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

A rite of passage and/or pilgrimage for many, this marathon course is fast, flat, and scenic. Runners run next to surf beaches and Broadwater as the crowds cheer on with some ‘runspiration’.

An easy one-hour flight from Newcastle Airport, the Gold Coast Airport Marathon weekend event also offers shorter courses for those who are a bit daunted by a 42km challenge.  Why not try the half marathon, 10km run, 5.1km challenge, or the junior dash.

Take the challenge and enter here: http://goldcoastmarathon.com.au/enter/

The Gold Coast Airport Marathon website has some great training tips to get you started, including setting a goal, how to choose your shoes, and great apps to help keep you on track.  Check them out here: http://goldcoastmarathon.com.au/training/run-gold-coast/

See you there!

How to get there:

Jetstar has daily direct flights from Newcastle to the Gold Coast starting from $99 on Saturday 4 July and returning to Newcastle from $99 on Tuesday 7 July.

Note: All prices quoted correct at 1pm Tuesday 26 May.

Image source: goldcoastmarathon.com.au

Newcastle the first airport in Australia to trial brand new body scanner-Airport_News


From late November to mid-December 2016 Newcastle Airport will be the trial airport for new body scanning technology. Unlike body scanners you’re probably familiar with that are in other Australian airports—the ones that are a booth and make you raise your arms while a mechanical arm rotates around you—the Quick Personal Security Scanner is open to the surroundings where all you need to do is stand and hold your arms slightly away from your body. The scan takes just seconds to complete.




This new technology will assist in processing passengers with medical conditions that restrict movement and streamline the process for those passengers who volunteer to take part in the trial.


The graphic that the security staff see is a simple outline of a human body; it has no identifying features, meaning there’s no need to worry about your privacy. If the scanner reports an alarm, the location of the object is marked on a generic graphic of the human body. The person will then undergo a standard pat down. Body scanners use millimetre wave technology, not x-ray. The trial is open to any passengers who would like to take part.


FAQs

What are body scanners?

Body scanners are the most advanced passenger screening technology available and can detect a range of sophisticated threats on a person’s body or within their clothing. Body scanners can detect both metallic and non-metallic items, including prohibited items, components of improvised explosive devices and weapons. A new series of body scanner is being trialled by Newcastle Airport to enhance the passenger’s experience with an open, transparent scanning environment, easy to hold body posture (with arms down), and an extremely short scan time. 

How will people be selected for a body scan?

During the trial, the use of the Body Scanner will be voluntary. In most cases this will be customers who require secondary screening ie for medical needs. If a customer identifies themselves as someone with a metallic joint or internal medical device, they will be offered to be screened through the body scanner. Selection will not be based on race, age, or religion.

Is it safe?

The body scanner device poses no health hazard whatsoever. It operates on millimetre wave technology which omits frequencies much less than a mobile phone emission. If the scanner reports an alarm, the location of the object is marked on a generic graphic of the human body-- with no identifying features--preserving your privacy.

What if I can’t go through the scanner for health reasons?

The scanner’s new technology means a passenger is not required to raise their arms or turn around during screening. This makes for a more pleasant experience for those suffering medical conditions or with medical implants that don’t allow them to move easily through existing scanning equipment.

Will children be selected for a body scan?

Participation in the trial is voluntary. There is no age limit.

Gifts for the traveller in your life - Travel_Tips

Obviously a round-the-world flight ticket would be the perfect gift for the traveller in your life, but for those of us who aren’t millionaires or flush with cash here are a few gifts that are going to make someone’s next journey that much better.

A travel pillow

We have to admit these u-shaped mini beanbags look pretty silly hanging from the backpacks of travellers when they’re not in use. But, when you’ve been travelling for 24 hours you don’t care how silly you look, you just want something soft to rest your head on.

The carry-on travel pillow is a lifesaver on a long or short flight; whether you’re flying overseas or interstate, catching some sleep in transit makes every adventure better. The neck pillow pictured above can be purchased from NewsTravels in our terminal for $19.95

A book they can’t put down

A little more inspirational than a guide book, a travel novel makes a great gift – especially if the book is based in your receiver’s favourite place. The Beach, The Alchemist, Wild, or Eat, Pray, Love are some great travel favourites. Even without a holiday on the horizon, a good travel book can make you feel like you’ve been on the adventure too.

Colouring books are not just for kids these days; the repetition, pattern, and detail has a meditative effect on the brain and allows a time out from technology. This is the perfect gift for your traveller friend searching for their inner zen.

Find a last-minute book gift at NewsTravels for a friend or in-flight read for yourself. The books featured in the image above are Girls who travel by Nicole Trilivas ($32.99), The Travellers and other stories by Carys Davies ($29.99) and a selection of The Mindfulness Colouring Book collection ($16.99).

Portable, easy-to-pack snacks

As great as airline food is, it’s always a relief to know you have something that will satisfy your tummy rumbles until you arrive at your destination. We have a sweet-tooth and can’t go past a pack of Starbursts ($4.50 from NewsTravels) for any flight, even if it’s only a one-hour jaunt with FlyPelican to Ballina.

A bonus bag

A foldaway travel bag is the perfect item to secret away in your suitcase read for use on your flight home. Pictured above is one from Korjo ($19.99 at NewsTravels) that takes up almost no room and folds out to become a strong, spacious extra hold-all.

Perfect for a holiday that sees the traveller shopping until they’re droppin’ and wantin’ to avoid excess baggage fees on their flight home.

Noise cancelling headphones

Every traveller needs a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones; they protect you from the Economy Class Symphony that usually includes a solo from an upset baby and a back-up singers harmonising over another in-flight chardy.

Control your environment by only listening to what you want. Sony noise cancelling headphones are available from NewsTravels from $159.95—other headphones start from $59.95 at NewsTravels.

The story behind airport codes - Travel_the_world

Three-letter airport codes are part of the alphabet soup of travel, and while some are glaringly obvious others are completely cryptic. So what's really in an airport code? Let's start with some homegrown examples.

The airport codes for Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth – SYD, MEL and PER – make perfect sense, being drawn from the first three letters of each city's name. But this simple convention can't always be followed.

For example, Brisbane is BNE instead of BRI because that code had already been allocated to an airport at the Italian city of Bari. (Bari missed out on the more sensible BAR because that moniker was assigned to the now-abandoned Baker Army Airfield on a tiny uninhabited atoll in the Pacific Ocean).

Even when a few letters are skipped, airport codes like BNE, Adelaide's ADL, Auckland's AKL, and Hong Kong's HKG are still a close fit to their locale.

Other airport codes, however, step further away from making immediate sense.

The X factor

Almost every traveller knows that Los Angeles and LAX are one and the same – but where did that superfluous X come from?

That's a remnant from the early days of air travel when airports were referred to by a two-letter 'weather station' code, which in this case was simply LA.

When the growth of air travel created the need for three-letter codes, the airport’s original designation had an ‘X’ amended to ease the transition, as did Portland (PDX).

Dubai followed suit due to DUB already belonging to Dublin, Ireland – so the airport code of DXB was chosen with the ‘X’ having no meaning other than to fill out the three characters.

Closer to home, the proposed Sydney West Airport at Badgery's Creek has already been christened as SWZ for similar reasons.

One city, many airports

In the case of London, the city's three major airports take the first letter of the city's name and append a two-letter code for the airport itself. That's how we ended up with LHR for London Heathrow, LGW for London Gatwick and LCY for London City.

But even then things aren't always consistent, with London Stansted Airport – home to many low-cost airlines – tagged as STN instead of L-something.

WTF?

No, there isn't an airport burdened with WTF, but those three letters could well represent the reaction of first-time travellers to airport codes which bear no resemblance to their location.

Beijing is a well-known example, with the code of PEK.

PEK represents the old anglicised name of Peking, which was changed to Beijing after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Both Latin spellings are approximations of the city's Chinese pronunciation, which sounds a little like "pay-cheeng". Although the city name changed in the West, the airport code never did.

Another is Chicago's ORD. While officially known as O'Hare International Airport, the original O'Hare field strip was adjacent to a small farming community named Orchard Place. The airport soon took the name Orchard Field Airport, which became ORD. 

So, there you have it: airport codes are a little more than three randomly-assigned letters stuck onto luggage, and sometimes there's a bit of a story behind each one.

This article was originally posted on: ausbt.com.au

Airport community unites for charity appeal - Airport_news

During December, the businesses at Newcastle Airport and our travelling public showed how the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Our first ever Christmas Giving Appeal a total of $4,669 was collected during the four-week Appeal and was today donated to Newcastle Airport’s Charity of Choice, Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation.

Newcastle Airport’s food and beverage and retail business partners supported the Christmas Giving Appeal by selling hot pink baubles for $2 with any purchase.  The baubles were then hung in the departures lounge and became part of the terminal’s Christmas decorations.

“The generosity and willingness of our retail partners to help us raise funds for our Charity of Choice was so humbling,” said Newcastle Airport’s CEO, Dr Peter Cock.  

“We provided the avenue for the funds to be raised but, it was the enthusiasm and support of our business partners that lead to this amazing result.”

The outpouring of generosity of our community to support the Christmas Giving Appeal took us completely by surprise.

“We didn’t expect such a positive response to the Appeal. In fact, the response was so overwhelming that we sold out of the initial batch of baubles in less than 24-hours! We won’t make that mistake again,” laughed Peter.

“Each day during the Appeal I’d have relayed to me many stories that had been shared with our retail team about how breast cancer had touched their life or the life of someone close to them.

“There were many donations of $20, $30, and even $50 made for the $2 baubles. From the bottom of my heart I thank our community for your generosity,” Peter concluded.

Newcastle Airport thanks its business partners who helped deliver the Appeal: Cibo, Red Rooster, Epicure Kitchen Café, Hunter & King Coffee Co, Broughton & Bay (all managed by Spotless) and NewsTravels (managed by AWPL). 

Top 5 blog posts from the past year - Airport_News

The year 2015 was a year of vast change for Newcastle Airport, for travel in Australia, and around the world. Your want for information about these things was reflected in your reading habits on our blog.

We opened our new terminal in August and your desire for information was evident from your clicks. You wanted to know all about our new digs and what it meant for you and your next adventure. 

It is our team’s goal is to provide you with a blog that is filled with front-line aviation information, handy travel tips, holiday inspiration, as well as keeping you up-to-date with Newcastle Airport news.

So, which stories did you like the best? Here are the top five articles from 2015.

  1. Why fog can play havoc with your travel plans

    This is always one of our top blog posts year-round. We find our local readers love to know the reasons behind fog delays during the Australian winter and then our northern hemisphere readers find it during their winter! Newcastle Airport in the UK has already thanked us for this blog ;)  
  2. NTL terminal expansion update: We’re officially open


    Our terminal expansion project was big news in 2015. This blog post celebrated the official opening of the new and improved terminal in August 2015.
  3. How does Newcastle Airport secure a new destination?


    We’re often asked when “Newcastle Airport will fly to Adelaide, Perth, Cairns, Hobart, New Zealand…?” 

    The answer is, we’re working on it! 

    We’d love to see new destinations added to the Newcastle Airport network. In this article we explain what we’re doing behind the scenes to try and make this happen.
  4. How to avoid blowing the 7kg weight limit for carry on


    Nobody likes to be caught out with a too-heavy carry-on bag and have to check it in at the last minute. Learn from one of our own staff member’s mistakes and follow the tips to avoid blowing the weight limit.
  5. Car parking made easy


    With more than 18,000 people parking in Newcastle Airport’s car parks each month, it’s no surprise that this was one of the most popular blogs in 2015. This blog reveals a few insider tips to make your car parking experience as easy as possible at Newcastle Airport.

Cities without their famous tourist landmarks - travel the world

One of the great wonders of travelling the world is the excitement of seeing cities and their famous landmarks. The Opera House is iconic for Sydney, the Eifel Tower is iconic for Paris, and Machu Picchu is iconic for Peru.

This is why we were intrigued to see the website desgincrowd.com.au put the challenge out to designers to Photoshop 'Cities without their famous tourist landmarks'.

Below is a sample of the winners and submissions. It's strange viewing; Sydney, Paris and Peru just aren't the same without their landmarks!

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Eifel Tower, Paris, France

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, USA

Machu Picchu, Peru

Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia

You can view all the 'Cities without their famous tourist landmarks' design submissions here

How to immerse yourself in local culture when you travel - Travel_the_World

A real differentiator between a tourist and a traveller is how much you immerse yourself in the culture of your destination. Certainly, there are some ‘tourist’ attractions that should not be left off anyone’s itinerary, but there’s some experiences – no matter where you are in the world – that every ‘tourist’ and ‘traveller’ should go the extra mile to include.

  1. Embrace something out of the ordinary that’s actually very ordinary
    Such as my attempt to post a parcel in France – communicating with what basic French I knew – had the cashier reverting to English by the end of the conversation, but she appreciated my attempt and it gave us both a laugh in the meantime.
  2. Make yourself at home, in someone else’s home
    When you’ve saved every last penny to make this your trip of a lifetime, it’s very tempting to book the crème-de-la-crème hotel in the area. But in my experience, the best way to get a feel for a city is by staying in an apartment for a taste of life as a local. I’ve had great experiences in both Paris and New York using sites such as AirBnB or Stayz to find a place to call home.
  3. cast iron • soho

    A photo posted by Naomi Melati Bishop NYC 💕💕 (@naomibishop) on

  4. Don’t be afraid of public transport
    Transport yourself around your new ‘home’ like a local and you’ll travel much more efficiently and see much more than you would sitting in traffic in a taxi. Some tourists avoid underground trains because they don’t offer as many sight-seeing opportunities, but it’s the underground where the locals come alive. You’ll never know what you might see unless you try it.

    Bat mobile broke down

    A photo posted by SamAlive (@samalive) on

  5. Taste the local food
    Eating traditional foods of the places you visit is a great way to connect with the local culture. Food markets give a great insight into the local culture and are often really inexpensive. At the food market you see what the locals eat, how they dress, and how they interact.

#Souk #Jemaaelfna

A photo posted by 🌸 Laure Mace 🌸 (@lauremace) on

What have you found to be the best ways to soak up new experiences when you’re travelling?

Films that will ignite your sense of wanderlust - Travel_Tips

Movies, films, cinema.  Whatever word you use to describe them, there’s nothing quite like one to set your sense of wanderlust alight.

The films in this list are sure to set your imagination into overdrive as you picture yourself in the scenes of the lead actors.  Add them to your must-watch list and live vicariously for 90-minutes. 

Secret life of Walter Mitty
A movie about a man who thinks he has a boring life and dreams of something more.  Taking things into his own hands he embarks on a global journey that is a true adventure.  Walter Mitty has an adventure exploring some beautiful settings in Iceland, Greenland, Canada, Himalayas, Yemen, Afghanistan, and New York.

Image source: madestatic.com.au

The Bucket List
In a nut-shell, this is a story about two old guys who are dying.  In what could have been a morbid film, it is instead extraordinarily funny. These two men travel the world as they tick off destinations and experiences on their ‘bucket list’: Meeting monks in Tibet; watching the sunset over the pyramids in Egypt; visiting the Taj Mahal in India; riding along the Great Wall of China; going on safari in Tanzania; and racing cars and skydiving in California USA.

Image source: tour-gether.com

Lost in Translation
I was awed by this film when it was first released in 2003. I had yet to leave Australia and the idea that a city could continue for as far as the eye could see boggled my mind.  In essence a love story, ‘two strangers in a foreign land’ this film showcased the city and culture of Tokyo in a way I haven’t seen repeated in the years since its release.

Image source: www.archdaily.com

Eat Pray Love
Elizabeth Gilbert hit a raw nerve with a generation of women with her Eat Pray Love journey. Reeling from her divorce she took year out from her life, embarked on a round-the-world journey to discover herself.  In Italy she discovered the true pleasure of nourishment by eating, in India she discovered the power of prayer, and in Indonesia, inner peace and true love. It’s the journey almost everyone would love to take.

Image source: hipparis.com

Catch Me If You Can
Based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr who all before he was 19 successfully conned millions of dollars’ worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, and a legal prosecutor. Frank finds himself in luxury surroundings in America and Europe.  Frank’s audacity is as spectacular as the places he visits.

Image source: www.facebook.com (title image) 

Any James Bond film
Bond. James Bond. The man might have a licence to kill, but I think we’d all die with envy if we saw this man’s passport and the stamps inside!  You name it and Bond has been there: UK, Jamaica, Croatia, Turkey, Italy, USA, Bahamas, Japan, Mexico, France, Egypt, South Africa, Thailand, Brazil, Greece, India, Russia, Germany, China, Macau, and many more. 

(Note: it appears that Bond is yet to visit Australia; he doesn’t know what he’s missing out on)

Image source: www.swide.com

Any film set in a tropical location
In the cold winter months it seems the mind can concentrate on only one thing, the warmth of summer sunshine.  It’s little wonder that any film set in a tropical location, such as Hawaii, Bahamas, or Thailand is going to set your wanderlust into overdrive.  Coming to mind is Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 50 First Dates, Pirates of the Caribbean, Just Go With It, Fools Gold, Couples Retreat, and Finding Nemo.


Credit: Cristal Clear Images

7 tips to clearing airport security screening - Travel_tips

We know there’s nothing worse than when you go through airport security screening, and set off the walk-through metal detector, not once, twice, but three times and then have your hand luggage searched for a pair of scissors.

Here are some tips to help you proceed through screening with as little fuss as possible.

The walk through metal detector

  1. Remove your shoes. Unless you are wearing rubber thongs, your shoes are likely to have metal in them—most shoes have metal under the arch that support your foot, and these can sometime have enough metal in them to set off the metal detector.
  2. Remove heavy watches and/or jewellery. Heavy watches and jewellery often set off the walk-through metal detector.  We suggest you secure your jewellery in your carry-on bag or in our dedicated jewellery container to be x-rayed.
  3. Remove your belt. Some belts have heavy belt buckles or are studded.  Either of these is likely to set off the walk-through metal detector.  It can be easier just to take off your belt before you walk through.
  4. Empty your pockets.  Lose change, mobile phone and keys are all culprits for setting off the walk through metal detector.  Save yourself time, check and empty your pockets before you walk through the metal detector.
  5. Advise the security staff if you have a pace maker or have had a joint replacement.  If you have a pace maker, you should not proceed through the walk through metal detector, but instead, be ushered through and be manually patted down.  If you have had a joint replacement, you will be asked to proceed through the walk through metal detector, which will alarm, you will then be manually patted down.

If at any time when passing through the walk through metal detector the alarm does sound, the guard will simply ask you to remove any metal objects and place them on the trays provided.  You will then be asked to walk through the metal detector a second time.

The x-raying of hand luggage

  1. Remove any aerosol cans from your carry-on luggage.  This enables the security guards to quickly check that the can has a lid or a lock to stop it from accidently spraying during the flight.
  2. Remove any notebook computers from your carry-on luggage.  This provides the guards a clear view of your computer as it is x-rayed. 

Bonus tip

  1. Check your bags for any forgotten items that may be classified as ‘prohibited’, and remove them prior to entering screening.  This will save you time while you and the guard search your bag for the item and will save the item from being disposed of.

By following these simple tips as you enter the screening area, your chances of experiencing a smooth security process is very high.

A year in review 2015 - Airport News

On Friday 29 November Newcastle Airport hosted our annual business luncheon for our key stakeholders. This gave our CEO, Dr Peter Cock, the opportunity to provide an update to our stakeholders and business partners on the year 2015 at Newcastle Airport. Peter’s summary of the year that was is below:

The highlight of the past year was, without a doubt, the completion of the $14.5 million terminal expansion project, majority funded by the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund. The transformation of the physical terminal building has been remarkable. The finished terminal is now a modern and light-filled space that is ready for the future. Newcastle Airport’s new terminal really sets the benchmark for regional aviation in terms of design, build, and facilitating excellent customer service.

Although the team was up to their elbows in terminal redevelopment during the past 12 months, we also had other major projects that have been in the works. In any other year, these projects would be standing centre stage as massive achievements so, it’s only fair their completion is recognised.

The $1 million low pressure sewer system project was completed. This brought Newcastle Airport’s sewer system off the RAAF network and onto the Hunter Water sewer network. This project has been many years in planning. The completion of this project is a major milestone in ensuring that Newcastle Airport’s long-term infrastructure needs will be met.

This year our projects team also installed a major car park system upgrade. This upgrade included a new backend system and new customer-facing columns in the car parks and pay stations in the terminal. The team is continuing to work behind the scenes on our car park offering and I’m looking forward to sharing some news with you about this early in the New Year.

On an aviation front, the overall airline load factor at Newcastle Airport (how many seats on a plane are filled) was 78%; up 4% from last year.  And, almost half of our passengers travel for business and almost 30% of our passengers take 11 or more return trips a year. 

In June we had the pleasure of welcoming FlyPelcian into our fold, their Canberra services have been well received by the travelling business community. 

October this year was the busiest month to date for 2015 with 106,121 passengers passing through the terminal.

Major events such as the Asian Cup, Surfest, State of Origin, International Champions Cup and Victoria’s Spring Racing Carnival saw increased numbers of travellers making use of our terminal.

Change and projects haven’t been isolated to Newcastle Airport. On land immediately adjacent to Newcastle Airport, the Mercure Newcastle Airport officially opened its doors in August. This 95-room hotel is proving to be a positive addition to the Williamtown aviation precinct.

The Department of Defence is investing $1.5 billion into RAAF Base, Williamtown to improve infrastructure—including a 650 metre runway extension—and to provide RAAF’s air combat group with state-of-the-art facilities.

It has been a big year for Newcastle Airport. Looking towards 2016, my, and my team’s focus, will be on aviation development, working with our airline partners, and consulting with our community to help us develop a plan for Newcastle Airport for the next five, 20 years, and 50 years.

Read more about the past year in Newcastle Airport’s 2014/15 Annual Report.

Airports of the Future - Airport_News

Each year, Newcastle Airport hosts an annual business luncheon that is attended by its key stakeholders who hear from the Airport’s CEO and a keynote speaker. At this year’s luncheon, the keynote was Carly Wieland of Airbiz who spoke about ‘airports of the future’. 

Carly explained that planning for the next 30 years is a seemingly impossible task, particularly with the rapid advances technology takes in a few short years.

A perfect example is if you think back to your school days; if it wasn’t you, then certainly one of your peers would have had the argument with your teacher saying “I don’t need to learn to do that sum in my head because I can do it on a calculator.” To which the teacher would retort “you won’t be carrying a calculator with you everywhere once you leave school!” 

Enter: the smartphone. 

Ten years ago we might have still believed the teacher but, now we’re all carrying computers in our pocket it’s a different story.

The ever-changing nature of technology has flow-on implications to how we live and technology is changing how we travel. Some of Carly’s, seemingly far-out ideas and examples are explained below. We simply wonder how long it will be until they become reality …

Virtual shopping at the airport

When retail was introduced into airports it changed the passenger airport experience and large airport terminals now somewhat resemble shopping centres.
Some major airports are now offering, or soon will be offering, ‘virtual retail’, where you, the traveller, can browse items such as whitegoods and other household products (and talk to an expert salesperson about them). If you like what you see, you can place an order and have the product shipped to your house when you return from your travel.


Creating a fun environment 

Ensuring passengers having a great airport experience has become a huge focus for airports.

This slippery dip actually exists in Singapore’s Changi Airport. 

The slide is Singapore's tallest slide and the world's tallest slide in an airport. At 12 metres high, travellers shriek their way down to the bottom while reaching speeds of up to six metres per second! 


Changing bag drop

Futuristic plans for bag drop facilities include the drive through bag drop concept. This idea sees passengers check-in their luggage at a convenient that site away from the airport terminal. The luggage is kept in a bag store and is transported behind the scenes to the passenger’s aircraft when it’s time for it to be loaded onto the aircraft.

No more passports? 

Some companies are looking at how our humble passport can be integrated with our mobile device:

They’re even investigating on how we could do-away with passports altogether and instead use photo or thumb-print technology to pass through customs. 


Is the suitcase about to be revolutionised again?

The suitcase with wheels revolutionised travel making travel so much more convenient.

Now look what they’ve come up with!


Airbiz

Airbiz specialise in international aviation consultancy.

Their clients include airport owners, operators, investors, airlines, government agencies, and other aviation stakeholders. The Airbiz team consists of airport and terminal planners, business analysts, aviation marketing specialists, project facilitators, simulation experts, and creative strategists.

The Airbiz team has accumulated over 30 years’ experience in the aviation industry and has successfully completed more than 2,000 projects in 50 countries, on five continents.


Reasons to travel in your 20s - Travel_Tips

“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” Anthony Bourdain

The decade of your 20s is for exploration and experimentation. Make a choice to meet new people, taste new food, see new cities, and try new things, just because you want to. Make the choice to travel.

You might think your 20s should be the time to set yourself up for the future, but let me tell you that I’ve never heard anyone say “I wish spent more time at work instead of hiking the Andes and seeing Machu Picchu as the sun rose”.

Travel sets you up for the future in another sense; it allows you to immerse yourself in another culture and see how other people live. It will change your view of the world and how you live your life when you return home – for the better.

There are so many reasons why you should travel when you’re young. Here’s just a few:

  1. Because you can
    You are the exception to the rule if you have a 9-5 job, partner, a few kids, and a mortgage when you’re in your twenties.

    Most 20-somethings have the freedom to up-and-leave with little impact on those around them. Sure, your mum might miss you or your flat mate might be upset if you don’t find someone to pay your rent while you’re gone, but other than that you’re relatively free to do what you want when you want.

  2. To be intentional with your choices
    Making plans and making the ‘right’ choices can seem like a daunting task. But the important thing is that you just make a choice in the first place. Don’t be one of those people who reflects on a life that just happened, or worse, one that happened to you.  Don’t finish school or uni and roll on into a job (yeah, like it’s that easy K) because you’re expected to or because taking a break may hinder your career.


    There’s nothing wrong with starting your career at 27 or 37 or 47 – if you’ve been making intentional choices to learn, taste, and see something new you won’t have wasted any time.

    Equally, if you’re in a job that doesn’t inspire you, then taking some timeout may be just the opportunity you need to widen your horizons and work out what you really do want.

    Life is a result of intentional habits, decide what’s most important to you and do that first.

  3. Because science says it’s good to spend all your money on travel
    You might think that spending your money on a house or a car will make you happier than spending your money on travel, because these material things will last longer. But according to recent psychological research from Cornell University in New York, it turns out this is not the case. 

    Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who studies the relationship of money and happiness has said "We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them." 

    In a nutshell, you’re going to get used to the material things you buy and the happiness you derive from them will fade. Rather than buying the latest iPhone or new car, Gilovich says you'll get more happiness spending money on experiences like travelling.
     

    "
    You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you,” says Gilovich. “In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences.” 

    Sure, some assets and financial security are necessary, but nothing will make you richer than experience.
     

  4. To realise that the world is so big yet so small
    If you find yourself 20,000 kilometres away from home, in a city of 8.3 million people, you can still find a friendly face.

    Maybe it’s when you literally run into someone from your hometown in the middle of Oxford Circus (that actually happened to me); or you manage to become fast friends with your bunk buddy in a random hostel in Cambodia over a mutual love of obscure pop punk bands; or something as simple as Skyping your mum using the free wifi in the New York Public Library. Travelling has a way of connecting people over a common experience and making you realise what’s important (eg skyping your mum).

  5. Because your body can handle what you throw at it
    A wise man once told me that the best cure for a hangover is being under the age of 30, and as I edge toward this milestone and hangovers are harder to bear, I am starting to believe him. 

    One of the best parts of travel is the food and the wine. From my experience many-a-day’s activity is planned around what you are going eat and/or drink next and when you’re travelling there’s no time to be wasted lazing around with a hangover. When you’re young you can handle less sleep and worse hang overs and not waste any precious memory-making, life-experience-acquiring time.
     

What if I’m not in my 20s? 
Travel anyway.

The same broad principles apply:
  • You make it work. Maybe this means you take the kids with you; that’s ok, adventures are great when they’re shared. Plus, you’re never too old OR young for travel!
  • You can spend as much or as little as you like, maybe you stay at a hotel with a few less stars this time.
  • Your career can be picked up when you come home. There’s always work to be done, someone will always need you.
  • Your body can handle it, you may just be little more hungover for your picnic under the Eiffel Tower.  
The moral of the story is there’s no time like the present. Get out there and see the world.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream, Discover. – Mark Twain




Flight Without Fear course 2016 - Airport_News

For some people, flying is everything.  They love it and they can’t get enough of it. 

But for others, the idea of flying scares you to bits.  Do you become jittery or anxious before a flight? Indulge in a pre-flight drink to calm the nerves?  Or, do you simply ignore your fear of flying and make an excuse to travel to your destination by car instead?

If this is sounding all too familiar, we suggest you face your fear head-on and enroll in Royal Newcastle Aero Club’s Flight Without Fear course.

Starting Wednesday 10 February and running each Wednesday night for six weeks, the course will take you through every possible aspect of flying.  And, at the end of the course, you will have the pleasure of taking a return flight, with your mentor, to spend a day in a capital city. 

The course involves behind the scenes excursions to places the general public can only dream about, including the tour of a jet aircraft cockpit and cabin, and the inspection of a real-life air traffic control tower. This course is delivered onsite at Newcastle Airport.

These tours are supplemented by detailed information sessions by industry experts who’ll explain aviation safety, flight theory, aircraft design and maintenance, and how pilots and flight crew are trained.  This is all supplemented by sessions with Dr Kristine Kafer who’ll discuss best practice psychological strategies.

The course includes 18 hours of training, course notes, a return flight to Melbourne with your mentor, and supper during the training. 

This will be the last time the course will be held in the Hunter region. Full course information is available by calling Course Coordinator, Michelle Patten, on 0428 947 179 or emailing flightwithoutfear@gmail.com

Newcastle Airport is proud to partner with the Newcastle Aero Club to bring Flight Without Fear to our local community. 

The vision for Newcastle Airport - Airport_News

On Friday I had the privilege of participating in the official opening of the $14.5 million Newcastle Airport terminal expansion and redevelopment project, which was majority funded by the NSW Government’s Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund. 

The change in the physical building is remarkable. The building has increased in size by 50 per cent, light fills every public space in the terminal, and our customers now have the choice of six quality food and beverage outlets that provide a variety of offerings, which include many local products. In addition, these new outlets employ more than 50 staff.

We now have an airport that complements the spirit of our region - bright, modern, and ready for the future.  Our region now has an airport it deserves.

To unveil to our region the stunning finished product, which was the long-term vision of my predecessor, allows Newcastle Airport to achieve its next phase of growth.

My vision for our airport is to provide better connectivity, to work with our community, and provide a quality customer experience.

Recent announcements by local airlines showing they’re operating in the black combined with lower overhead costs - such as the price of oil being the lowest it’s been in five years - means the airlines are currently in a sweet-spot. These lower overhead costs combined with increased capacity in airline fleets are timed perfectly with the opening of our terminal; this gives us the ability to take on more services we couldn’t have previously.

Newcastle Airport has a catchment boundary of the Central Coast to the south, the Upper Hunter to the west, and Port Macquarie to the north. In total this is approximately 1.2 million people.

Hailing from Perth, I see the potential this airport has. Perth Airport has a catchment of 2.5 million people. This catchment sustains a significant number of direct international and domestic services. 

While Newcastle is different to Perth, in that our catchment has a choice to use Sydney Airport, it is my vision to convert the number of people who don’t use our airport to become Newcastle Airport passengers.  If Perth can sustain a slew of international and domestic services, there’s no reason why Newcastle can’t.

Having worked in the aviation industry for more than a decade, I am well aware that new services aren’t simply a light-switch that can be turned on. Just because we have a new terminal doesn’t necessarily mean that we will get new services. I’m working with my team to actively engage with airlines with the end goal of providing our region the services you have been long-demanding.

It is becoming difficult for the airlines to dismiss our region. The fact that Williamtown is becoming a real aerospace hub: on the other side of the runway to us is RAAF Base Williamtown which is currently undergoing $1 billion in upgrades; on our airport site we have the Jetstar heavy maintenance facility, BAE; and adjacent to us is Lockheed Martin and the Mercure Newcastle Airport.

Newcastle Airport recently recorded its best July on record, this shows that our market continues to love flying and our region continues to attract visitors to our wonderful and diverse tourism products. Being new to Newcastle I am one of those people that “never knew” how great this region is.

I am convinced that our region has the opportunity to provide not only one of the best tourism experiences in New South Wales but one of the best tourism experiences in Australia. I truly believe that is something we can capitalise on when attracting the domestic and international markets.

The Newcastle Airport you will experience today really sets the benchmark for regional aviation in terms of design, build, and customer service. The building we have today has been the work of local architects and local builders who have provided jobs for our region and the end result is connectivity for our region to the rest of Australia and beyond.  


Image | Newcastle Airport CEO Peter Cock and Chairman Peter Gesling at the unveiling of the $14.5 million Newcastle Airport terminal expansion.

NTL terminal expansion update: We’re officially open! - Airport_News

Our $14.5 million terminal redevelopment, of which $11.1 million was funded by the NSW Government’s Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund, has been officially opened by Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter and Central Coast Scot MacDonald.

The opening marked the end of the 12-month build which expanded and refurbished the Newcastle Airport terminal. The completed works include:

  • the extension of the terminal building by 50%
  • a brand new departure lounge and arrivals hall
  • dedicated facilities for customs, immigration, and quarantine to facilitate international services, and
  • six new food and beverage outlets.

The local design and construction team, Schreiber Hamilton Architects and Hansen Yuncken, have designed and built a vibrant space that will meet the growing needs of Newcastle Airport.

When we asked our CEO, Peter Cock, what the official opening represented to him he said that unveiling the stunning finished product is very satisfying.

He then went on to say “We now have an airport that complements the spirit of our region. It’s bright, modern, and ready for the future.

“The completion of this project begins an exciting period for our business and for the region.

“The Newcastle Airport you will experience today really sets the benchmark for regional aviation in the terms of design, build, and customer service. The building we have today will connect our region to the rest of Australia and beyond and is an airport our region deserves,” concluded Peter.

You know what Peter, we agree with you. Double thumbs up from us.

Click here to view more photos of the new terminal.

Planning an overseas holiday - Travel_the_World

Planning a holiday is exciting. Researching all the sights you can see, the foods you can taste, and the people you might meet builds the suspense for the excitement that’s to come once you embark on your journey. There’s another sort of suspense that can build when you’re planning an overseas holiday, and that’s around ‘have I thought of everything?’

Once you’ve decided that you’re taking extended leave (or even quitting your job to travel) and your flights are booked, there’s a few more things you need to consider when planning an overseas holiday:

Give yourself time
If booking your flights is the first thing you do, the second thing you should do is to ensure your passport is valid. If you need to renew your passport leave yourself plenty of time to complete an application, have your photo taken, send it off, and await its return all in time for take-off.

Become a list maker
Write everything down and tick it off as you go. This will help to make sure nothing is forgotten and you’re not worrying about what you did or didn’t pack. Any time you think of something you must do before your holiday, add it to your list.

Keeping a list with pen and paper is easy, but a list on your phone is just as good.

Ensure your safety
When you’re planning your holiday, you’ll not doubt spend some time on lonelyplanet.com or tripadvisor.com.au but, another important site to investigate is smartraveller.gov.au

The place you’re visiting may have certain customs or hazards you need to be aware of, or it may not. But you’ll never know unless you do your research and know what you’ll be in for before you get there.

You can register your travel plans with smarttraveller.gov.au so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.

Don't pack unnecessary items
When you’re trying to cover all your bases, it can be hard to shake your Scout’s motto of ‘always be prepared’ and pack everything but the kitchen sink.

But think about it; whatever you pack, you have to carry. Take enough shirts and underwear to last you a week, when you run out (or better advice might be, just before you run out), find a coin laundry.

Buy or rent bulky items once you arrive in the place you’ll need them. This will save you lugging around your ski jacket when you’re in Hawaii or your surfboard when you’re in the Swiss Alps. Also see our list of things you don’t need to pack to help you evaluate if you really need to pack your whole cosmetics cupboard or seven pairs of jeans.

Don’t forget about the home front
Don’t let yourself be so caught up in getting away that you forget to take care of things at home. If you’re moving out of your house/apartment, don’t leave it to the last minute to sell or organise storage for your furniture.

Your snail-mail is another important home-task to take care of, we suggest forwarding it on to someone responsible to mind until you’re home or who can pass on important-looking information to you. Where possible, have you mail sent electronically, especially in the case of bills, so you can attend to them on the go.

You know you should
You know you should photocopy your passport and itinerary – however vague it may be – and send to family and friends; you know you should make sure you can access your money while you’re away, organise a way to get hold of emergency funds if you lose your wallet; and finally, you know you should get travel insurance.

So, make sure you do.

Get healthy
Unusual sleeping arrangements and spending hours in close confines with others when you’re on a long-haul flight overseas can really test the strength of your immune system.

The last thing you want on your holiday is to have to spend time in bed, or worse, in the emergency room. Before you go on holiday, plan a trip to your doctor for a general check-up and to make sure you have any necessary prescriptions up-to-date. It’s also a good idea to make sure your vaccines are up-to-date for the specific destinations you'll be visiting. Nothing ruins your holiday quite like a bout of malaria.

Newcastle Airport has up to 16 direct flights a day to Brisbane, Gold Coast, and Melbourne. From these cities it’s easy to connect to anywhere in the world.

What it takes to work at Newcastle Airport - Airport_News

To keep Newcastle Airport’s terminal operating airline staff, ground handling staff, retailers, and our very own Newcastle Airport staff work together like a finely tuned machine. Everyone’s position is important to the overall success of the team.

Our Terminal Operations Officers are our front line. They’re our ladies and gentlemen in hi-vis who you’ve likely seen patrolling the front of the terminal. They’re on hand to provide a safe, secure, professional, and friendly environment for Newcastle Airport’s customers.

Our Terminal Operations team has eyes and ears everywhere – on the apron (tarmac), terminal, roads, and car parks. They escort VIPs, ensure the airfield is fit for use, and marshal non-commercial aircraft. It’s also their responsibility to ensure baggage is efficiently moved from check-in and through the Checked Bag Screening (CBS) System so the baggage handlers can load it onto aircraft, and to transport passengers to and from the Bronze Car Park on the AirBus.

The members of our operations team are mentally and physically fit and are not afraid to work in all weather conditions.

The Terminal Operations Officer is one of the busiest roles at the Airport and is not for the faint hearted. So how do you end up working in this role and what does it take to succeed?

Mikey has worked as an Operations Officer for almost a year and gives us an insight to the role:

How did you hear about the role of Terminal Operations Officer?
I regularly checked the careers page on the Newcastle Airport website, www.newcastleairport.com.au/careers and one day there was a role that sounded perfect for me.

How did you get started?
First day on the job I hit the ground running. This role follows formal on-the-job training.

What experience did you have before working at NTL?
I had a lot of aviation experience, I had worked as a customer service supervisor for an airline based at Newcastle Airport for 14 years prior before taking the job with Newcastle Airport.

Is there any special training you had to do for the job?
As part of this role you have to have first aid training qualifications. Newcastle Airport has also given me the opportunity to complete a Certificate III in Aviation. Many of my colleagues have also completed this qualification.
What’s your favourite thing about the job?
The hours; working shifts means most work days I still have half the day to do things outside of work.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Working in extremes of weather. We’re outside a lot of the time and in times like the wild storms we had in April 2015 or in the heat of summer, it can be hard.

What would you recommend to someone looking to find a job at the airport?
Approach the airlines and the airport (who is like centre management at a shopping centre), find out all you can about the industry, and keep trying if it’s something you really want.

If you weren’t working here where would you work?
Working on a geological site, I’m at uni part-time studying geology.

What makes you good at this job?
I’m patient, I have an easy-going nature, good communication skills, and dedication to the job.

Have you met any famous/VIPs while working here?
So many! Cher, Deborah Harry (Blondie), Bert Newton, Dawn Fraser, and Jason Alexander from Seinfeld were all highlights.

What’s the funniest thing that has happened while working at NTL?
Many years ago when working as a customer service agent for an airline, pets were checked-in over the usual passenger check-in counter. There was one dog that was really cute, so I opened the cage to give him a pat, and he escaped! He ran all through the terminal – with me running after him – and was headed for the exit doors, an electrician working on site was in the doorway so I called out for him to stop the dog, he quickly collected the dog in his arms…just in time for the dog to poop all over him from excitement. It was terrible, but hilarious.

 

Mercure Newcastle Airport opens - Airport_News

On Friday 31 July our newest neighbour, Mercure Newcastle Airport, was officially opened with a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon by former Governor of NSW, Rear Admiral Ross Sinclair (AC, AO, KSjk).

This means we now have a Mercure hotel within walking distance of our terminal.  This isn’t something that Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, or even Perth Airport can boast!

The $15 million, 95-room hotel features contemporary sound-proofed guestrooms, a 24-hour gym, and Mach One Restaurant and Bar which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The hotel also has four purpose-built conference rooms which can accommodate up to 120 people theatre style.

The opening of the hotel marks a major milestone in the growth of Newcastle Airport as a transport hub for the Hunter region. As the Airport continues to grow in the future, the ability for our passengers to stay prior to departure or upon arrival makes flying to and from Newcastle Airport an even more attractive choice for those from the Central Coast, Upper Hunter, and Mid North Coast.

Bookings for accommodation and conference enquires can be made at: http://mercurenewcastleairport.com.au/  

Terminal expansion 12 month recap - Building_Our_Future

Newcastle Airport’s terminal expansion has been a work in progress for 12 months and the finished product is set to be unveiled to our passengers this month. As the project comes to an end, we’ve taken a trip down memory lane to recount some of the highlights and milestones of the project so far.

June 2014

During a visit to our region, the then-Minister for Planning and Environment, Pru Goward, formally announced Hansen Yuncken as the successful tenderer for build of the project. 


Left to right: Adam Towner from Hansen Yuncken, Minister Pru Goward, and Newcastle Airport’s then-CEO Paul Hughes.

July 2014

Passengers began to notice visible signs that the expansion was underway; a portion of the covered walkway was removed, the footpath at the front of Arrivals was widened, and hoarding was craned into place.

A portion of the airside covered walkway was also removed, and works began on the demolition of the exterior of the old Arrivals 2 entry gate, ramp, rails, and covered walkway.


August 2014

A new fence was erected to the east of the existing terminal building to enclose what is termed a ‘Special Event Zone’. This let the construction site operate without the restrictions it would have been under if it remained an ‘airside’ zone.

The demolition works at Arrivals 2 entry gate were completed, and light poles along the fence line were removed.


Construction works began with the footings of the terminal. The footings are unique in that they sit on top of the current apron (tarmac) rather than being cut into the ground. 


August 2014 was the wettest August we’d experienced in 16 years; the constant downpours caused minor delays to construction, but the contractors managed to pour the concrete for the footings and columns as per schedule. The timelapse below gives a birds-eye-view of this activity:



September 2014

The first week of September was almost as wet as the month before, but the builders were able to work between downpours to keep the terminal expansion project on track. Can you believe the photos below were taken on the same day?


Once the footings, columns, and walls were completed, a concrete slab was poured for the roof slab of the extension. The concrete slab is a future-proofing exercise that allows the Airport to build a second storey on top of the extension in the future. The roof slab also minimised any potential/further impacts of Mother Nature on the project as all future work would be completed ‘indoors’.


October 2014

Workers started at 5.30am on 1 October 2014 in preparation for 100 concrete trucks to unload more than 700 cubic metres of concrete.


With the roof slab poured and set, preparation work started on the ground floor slab within the extension.

November 2014

In November pre-cast concrete panels were craned into place form the external walls.


The concrete slab for the floor was poured at the start of November which allowed contractors to begin building the internal walls, plumbing, electrical, and mechanical services. The photo below was the first glimpse the public had of the new Arrivals entryway:


By mid-November the terminal was beginning to look just like the architectural drawings as contractors installed concrete cladding on the exterior walls.


December 2014

Activity ramped up to achieve as much as possible before the Christmas shutdown. Works included:
  • Painting the external wall cladding

  •  Installing the structural steel for new covered walkway (airside and landside)

January 2015

The contractors were back to work in early-January. Works focussed on completing the plasterboard walls within the terminal and asphalting the baggage break-down area (where luggage is delivered from the aircraft to the baggage carousels) outside the terminal. 


Other works completed in January included the installation of lighting throughout the extension, tiling of new bathrooms and amenities, and completion of external covered walkways.

February 2015

The start of February saw the relocation of the baggage carousels, one at a time, to the new arrivals hall which was officially opened on 24 February 2015.

The opening of the new arrivals halls marked the completion of Stage 1 and was recognised with a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon by the then-Minister for Planning and Environment and Minister for Women, Pru Goward.



March 2015

Stage 2 of the redevelopment was in full swing by early March with hoarding installed to barricade off the demolition of the old arrivals hall, Sportsbar, and Hungry Jacks.

The hoarding split the terminal in two (arrivals and departures) with passengers no able to longer transit between the two sections.

The car park payment machines, rental cars, Transport and Information desk were relocated to the new arrivals hall.


April 2015

In April contractors finished painting the front façade of the terminal, allowing for the covered walkway at the front of the terminal to be installed. A second covered walkway airside (where the aircraft are) was also almost fully complete by this stage.

Behind the hoarding, works focussed on the demolition of the old Sports Bar and information desk (image below).


The end of April saw our region ravaged by wild weather with a ferocious storm lasting days. Surrounded by overflowing ponds, branches, and trunks of fallen trees, we were fortunate to emerge almost unscathed.

In the shelter of the old arrivals hall, works were able to continue. The floor tiles were laid, giving a real sense of the space to the area that has become part of the new departures lounge. 

May 2015

News Travels, Newcastle Airport’s brand new newsagent and specialty gift store, opened its doors to travellers on Saturday 16 May.


June 2015

In June three of six new food and beverage outlets were opened. Epicure Kitchen and Red Rooster, located opposite NewsTravels, and Cibo Café in the new arrivals hall.

Cibo Café


Red Rooster and Epicure Kitchen


Security screening point relocation

On the night of Wednesday 17 June the Newcastle Airport security and operations teams worked with our building contractors to move the walk-through metal detectors and x-ray machines from their old home, to their new home adjacent to the check-in counters.


July 2015

In July we announced that the terminal expansion will be complete and open to the public in August 2015.

Construction continued on the refurbishment of the old departures lounge and the fit-out of the final three food and beverage outlets, Broughten Bay, Hunter & King Coffee Co, and Giancarlo.



We look forward to showing you around the finished product when it’s unveiled at the end of August.

Stockholm will leave you wanting more - Travel_the_world

Sweden is beautiful. Especially in autumn. The morning air is crisp, the days are still warm, and if you’re lucky, the sun is shining.  This is certainly a country that will leave you wanting more and if it hasn’t already made it onto your bucket list, needs to be added quick-smart.

Stockholm in particular had me enchanted. In a way it reminded me of home; I think because the city is surrounded by water (the city is actually 14 islands connected by 57 bridges on an archipelago on the Baltic Sea).

The city is a wonderful combination of old and new.  Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s oldest district is one of the best-preserved medieval city centres in the world. The winding, cobblestone streets are full of handcrafts, antiques, and art galleries and it is easy to spend an entire day (or days) wandering these streets.

Sweden has its own Royal family, with the Royal Palace also in Gamla Stan. And, as I discovered by accident, just like Buckingham Palace, has a changing of the guard (that as a tourist you will be lapping up the pomp and ceremony and music of the blue-clad soldiers).

TIP: While following the herd is generally not known to lead to a good experience, sometimes when you do, you stumble upon a gem such as I did when witnessing the Swedish changing of the guard!
(image source: Rebecca Wilson)

A hop away from the Royal Palace is the Opera House and Parliament House. Both are beautiful and surrounded by gardens and water. The day I visited I was lucky to see a newly married couple out the front of Parliament House taking their wedding photos. It made my day (and theirs after I offered to take some snaps for them).

Moving into the new part of the city you will discover more museums than you can possibly imagine. There are more than 50 museums in the city and there’s bound to be more than one that takes your fancy.

In typical Swede-fashion, every museum I visited was well thought out and presented. My two favourites were:

>         Vasa Museum: showcasing the only preserved 17th Century ship in the world. Boys and girls will be amazed at Vasa, the 69-metre war ship that sank on its maiden voyage in the middle of Stockholm in 1628, only to be salvaged in 1961. The museum has been built around the ship and showcases 10 different exhibitions to tell about life on-board the ship.
(image source: images.visitstockholm.com)

>         ABBA Museum: forget any idea you have of stuffy museums because you won’t find it here. This museum is all about interaction, singing, and dancing. Take a friend and be prepared to laugh and sing your way through ABBA’s history.
(title image source: images.vistitstockholm.com)

If you have time, I highly recommend a day-trip visit to the Drottingholm Palace, roughly a 45-minute boat ride from the city centre. The palace offers entry to visitors where you then will find yourself gasping at the magnificent salons dating back to the 17th century, and delighting in the massive and beautiful parklands which also have their own Chinese Pavilion (or as I thought it was, a mini palace).
(image source: Rebecca Wilson)

Make sure you carve out time to enjoy the good food that Stockholm has on offer, both during the day and then at night. A chat with some locals and Aussie-expats (we’re everywhere!) put me onto the hottest places in town to enjoy some cocktails and then grab a bite to eat—every place recommended was packed to the rafters with locals.

For me Sweden was an unknown quantity, I went with no expectations, but even if I had I’m sure they would have been surpassed. I was delighted by what was on offer and I’d go back in a heartbeat.

How to get there
Newcastle Airport has up to 16 flights a day to Brisbane, Gold Coast and Melbourne. From here it’s simple to connect to anywhere in the world.

NTL terminal expansion update: 28 July 2015 - Building_our_Future

Newcastle Airport’s terminal expansion is in its final weeks of construction.

The final piece of the expansion puzzle is underway behind the hoarding where the old departure lounge once stood.

The contractors are finalising the refurbishment of this space and building another two new food and beverage outlets.

Broughton & Bay will offer departing passengers (and their leaving parties) a wide range of ales, local wines, bar snacks, coffee, and an upscale pub-grub-inspired menu.

Hunter & King Coffee Co will be the place for a quick café-style meal before you board your flight. Here, passengers can enjoy a quick cheese toastie or mouth-watering melt to complement your rich coffee.

Gate 4/5 is also having a coffee cart installed nearby. This cart will operate during peak times in the terminal.

These most recent additions will bring the total number of dining offerings at Newcastle Airport to six.

We’re looking forward to revealing the finished product at the end of next month. 

Car parking made easy - Airport_News

I was fascinated to learn this week that more than 18,000 people park in Newcastle Airport’s car parks each month.  I was even more fascinated to learn that over half of those parking, do so for two hours or less.

I have worked at Newcastle Airport for many years and know firsthand that many people are unsure about car parking at Newcastle Airport and have a lot of questions about car parking.

The Airport website has an entire page dedicated to car parking  information but, below is a quick guide and a few insider tips.

1. Before you even leave home, decide where you’re going to park and get an estimated parking cost from our online calculator
Getting an estimated cost for parking in each of our car parks is as simple viewing our car parking calculator , entering your entry and exit dates and times, then hitting ‘Go’.

The page will then show you the estimated cost for each car park for the length of your stay^.

Tip: did you know that you can park in our Premium, Short Stay, Long Say, and Long Stay Saver Car Parks for as long as you want? Be it an hour, a month, a year, you really can park for as long as you want.

 

2. Give yourself plenty of time to park and get to check-in
For domestic flights all passengers must be checked in at least 30 minutes prior to the departure time.

I recommend you aim to arrive with at least an hour to spare.

Remember you have to find a park, unload your bags, make your way to the terminal, check–in, and then make your way through security in preparation to board the aircraft!

Who wants to be rushed and miss the chance to chill with a coffee or wine before your flight?

3. To save some coin, think about parking in Long Stay Saver Car Park and getting the Long Stay Saver Shuttle to the terminal
Long Stay Saver Car Park is Newcastle Airport’s most economical parking option. It has the added bonus of being serviced by Long Stay Saver Shuttle – our dedicated, free-of-charge bus that operates between Long Stay Saver Car Park and the Airport terminal*.

Long Stay Saver Shuttle operates from 4.45am until the last arriving flight.  It’s really easy to use Long Stay Saver Shuttle when you park in Long Stay Saver Car Park, simply go to the bus shelter at the Long Stay Saver Car Park, hit the red button on the intercom (this activates to alert the driver you’re there) and hey presto, your driver will arrive shortly after.

Tip: When you return to Newcastle Airport, the Long Stay Saver Shuttle pick-up point is to the left of the arrivals exit doors.

Or, if you’re looking to increase your daily steps, the walk from Long Stay Saver Car Park to the terminal is around seven minutes.

4. Don’t park your car outside of a designated airport car park
With more than 3,000 car spaces you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a park. And, if you park in a designated park you won’t run the risk of being fined or towed. 

5. Best way to pay
You can pay for your parking either in the terminal using cash or card at the car parking pay stations located in the check-in and arrivals halls, or as you exit the car park by inserting your ticket at the exit boom gate followed by your credit card (the boom gate will not open until you take the receipt from the machine).

Paypass / payWave facilitates are also available for Visa and MasterCard at the pay stations in the terminal and at exit boom gates.

^ All prices are an estimate and guide only. There is no pre-booking of car spaces.

* Seatbelts must be worn by all passengers on Long Stay Saver Shuttle. Newcastle Airport provides one adjustable NSW legislated child restraint for newborns and children aged up to seven years old. 

Top 10 nature experiences in Port Stephens - Travel Australia

Port Stephens is a haven for dolphins, whales, beautiful beaches, and National Parks. Here are ten ways to get in touch with nature in Port Stephens.

  1. Dive right in

    Hit the water with your snorkel and goggles to discover a thriving underwater oasis at our famous Fly Point Park located between Nelson Bay and Little Beach.

  2.  Catch a break

    Port Stephens is known for its beautiful surf beaches from Samurai and One Mile to Birubi Beach, Zenith and Box Beach. Take a surfing lesson and learn beach safety tips, as well as basic board and surf skills.

  3. On your bike

    Port Stephens is a great place to explore by bike! From rugged mountain biking along coastal tracks to family friendly cycle paths. Bring your own, join an organised tour or hire a bike once here.

  4. Take a hike

    Walk to the top of Tomaree Headland Lookout to enjoy striking views of Port Stephens and the offshore islands. It will take you about half an hour or so to reach the top but it is well worth the effort. Video footage of the walk. Check out the view from above using a drone.

  5. Talk to the animals

    Enjoy a day out with the kids... bottle feed baby farm animals, get close to the kangaroos and koalas or plan a guided walk with Tilligerry Habitat to look for koalas in their natural environment.

  6. Something to spout about!

    With over 140 bottlenose dolphins calling Port Stephens home, it’s no wonder these friendly locals are sighted so often. And, from May to November, the waters off Port Stephens play host to the magnificent migrating humpback whales.

  7. Sandsational dunes!

    The Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton Bight Sand Dunes) are truly one of natures’ masterpieces, stretching 32 kilometres these are the largest dunes of their kind in the southern hemisphere. Explore by foot, camel or horse, in your own 4WD, on a quad bike or join a 4WD tour and sandboard down 40 metre high dunes! Awesome! Watch some footage of this spectacular place.

  8. Hull lot of love

    There’s a hull lot to love about Port Stephens if you’re into boats. BYOB or hire a yacht, jet ski, kayak, ski boat or cruiser and discover the rivers, bays, marinas, islands and off-shore adventures for old sea dogs and the little tackers.

  9. Wet your appetite
    Take a marine park day cruise, see the dolphins, visit Cabbage Tree Island, snorkel right under NSW oldest lighthouse on Fingal Island, hoist sail past the most scenic landscape on the NSW coast past volcanic islands and the magnificent Yacaaba and Tomaree headlands. Visit Broughton Island for a guided overnight camping adventure. See the little penguins, go snorkeling and enjoy breathtaking walks. Spend some time in the glorious Myall Lakes area, which boasts calm, glass-like waters and silence you have to hear to believe.

  10. Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Parks
    One of Australia's most extraordinary marine playgrounds, the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park is something to behold. The Park is home to many species; dolphins, turtles, fish, seabirds, sponge gardens, mangroves, saltmarshes, as well as some very special threatened species species and Indigenous heritage sites. Each year humpback whales linger along the Marine Park coastline during their annual migration north to rub barnacles from their sides on the reef offshore. 

This post was originally published on portstephens.org.au and has been reposted here with full permission.

6 things you don’t need to pack - Travel_tips

Packing for a holiday can present some unexpected challenges, mainly deciding between what you want to pack and what you need to pack.

Whether you’re going away for a weekend or for a year, there are some things that you might think you need but, from my experience, you won’t use at all.

These six things you simply don’t need to pack.


A towel
Towels take up so much space in your suitcase and weigh about 100kilos (may be a slight exaggeration) if they’re not 100% dry. There are so many other options for you to dry yourself than having to take your own towel.

If you’re staying with friends, surely they have a towel they can lend you? If you’re staying in a hotel, you’ll be spoilt for towel choice with most hotels offering both beach and bath towels; and if you’re heading off the beaten track consider doubling up the use of your sarong and using it as a towel.

A nice fluffy towel or your favourite Roundie beach towel are luxuries that, while lovely, aren’t entirely necessary when you’re travelling. If you can’t bear the thought of not having a back-up towel, consider a light-weight, microfiber travel towel.

Image source: thebeachpeople.com.au

A sewing kit
If I lose a button or rip a shirt, I never whip out my travel sewing kit to fix it on the spot. I don’t do this when I’m at home, and definitely don’t when I’m travelling.

If the item of clothing is completely unwearable, I’ll eventually book in a mending session with my Grandma, the token sewer in my network. But until it’s at that point, I generally keep wearing the clothes without the button or by hiding the hole with a strategically placed scarf. Lazy? Maybe. Practical? Definitely.

If you’re a new-age Martha Stewart who’s quite handy with a needle and thread, maybe reconsider my advice. But, if you’re like me and have only ever used a needle to get your sim card from your iPhone, probably best to leave the sewing kit at home.

Hiking boots
This one applies to holidays that aren’t specific hiking holidays. Which to my surprise people do go on. And enjoy?!

The sort of hiking other travels might impose on you is more the trekking-to-the-beach and wander-up-a-look-out sort of hiking. And for this type of hiking, a decent pair of joggers will suffice.

Joggers and jeans are no longer a sartorial sin. What was once hailed as the epitome of tragic tourist attire has become the uniform of a well-travelled.

Image source: sincerelyjules.com

More than one pair of jeans
Travelling or at home: I live in jeans. They’re comfortable, versatile, and warm. Yet, not too wintry-looking that they can’t be paired with a t-shirt for a warmer climate.

Yet even as such a wardrobe staple in my life, I won’t travel with more than one pair. A pile of denim in your port can add some serious kilos to your luggage.

Jeans are a great travelling companion and if you pack a darker colour, they won’t be too casual for an informal night out and won’t need to be washed too often – a gross reality of some adventures!

A full medical kit
Take the essentials: some paracetamol, antihistamines, band aids for impromptu blisters, maybe some Dettol, and stingoes. You’ll rarely need any more than this.  A first aid kit bursting at the seams with a zillion bandages, tapes, and gauze that you don’t know how to apply probably isn’t that helpful. Stick to what you know and if you find yourself requiring a zillion bandages I suggest rethinking your life choices and finding the nearest hospital.

The exception to this rule is of course if you’re travelling to a remote part of the world where medical help may not be close by.

An excessive amount of cosmetics
I’m only offering some tips, not telling you how to live your life, so I will leave it to you to decide how much is ‘excessive’.

Just generally avoid taking any creams and potions that aren’t entirely necessary, doing so will decrease the weight in your luggage and decrease the chance of something spilling all through your clothes!

If you’re brave enough to go on a travelling adventure, be brave enough to leave a few lippies at home. 

Image source: tvacres.com


Why you should visit Canberra with kids - Travel_Australia

Canberra is our nation’s capital, the home of Australian Parliament, and probably not the first place you think of when dreaming up a family holiday.

But, it should be. There is much more to Canberra than parliament and politicians. Here’s a list of reasons you should visit Canberra with kids.

Because Jurassic Park is cool again



Image source: nationaldinosaurmuseum.com.au/blog 

At the National Dinosaur Museum you’re greeted by full-size model dinosaurs before being taken on a journey through time; from the earth’s very beginnings to some more recent animals. 

For the aspiring archaeologist or simply a curious kid, the National Dinosaur Museum is sure to keep your children amused with its 23 skeletons, 300 fossils, and a Q&A sheet to guide you around the exhibits with the reward of a Dinosaur Hunting Licence at the end.

Find out more at: nationaldinosaurmuseum.com.au  

To tour the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)


Image source: facebook.com/theAIS 

The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is the cradle of Australia’s sporting success; it identifies, develops, and produces Olympic and Paralympic Champions.

A tour of the AIS will take you behind-the-scenes of world-class facilities where you might even catch some of Australia’s top athletes in training.

Every tour includes a Sportex experience where you can try wheelchair basketball, virtual downhill skiing, rock climbing, football penalty shootouts, and explore educational exhibits on the Sydney 2000 Olympics, heroes and legends of Australian sports, and sports science.

Visit ausport.gov.au/ais for more information. 


To begin a quest for knowledge


Image source: questacon.edu.au 

One of the best things to do in Canberra – regardless of your age – is to visit Questacon. Questacon is Australia's National Science and Technology Centre and cleverly disguises learning as fun, interactive games. If you want to highlight the educational factors, there are interpretive signs that explain what is going on scientifically.

Highlights include experiencing the effects of an earthquake in the Awesome Earth exhibit, testing your fear response on the six-metre free-fall down a vertical slide, and tricking your senses in the Rototron tunnel as it turns LEDs on and off to generate the visual illusion of movement. A highlight has to be peering into the ‘Disgustoscope’ to see both an ‘infinity mirror’ effect, and a ‘Disgustoscope’ illusion of writhing flesh.

For more information visit: questacon.edu.au


To remember


 

Image source: facebook.com/VisitCanberra

The Australian War Memorial combines a shrine and a world-class museum that commemorates the sacrifice of Australians who have died in war. At first thought, it may seem an unlikely destination for kids. But, in its mission is to assist Australians to remember and understand the Australian experience of war, The War Memorial offers a memorable experience for kids and families.

The exhibits are (mostly) child-friendly, while still maintaining respect of the fallen. The Discovery Zone is designed specifically for children where they can try on different war outfits, dodge sniper fire in a WWI trench, ‘fly’ an Iroquois helicopter, explore an Oberon submarine, and even imagine what Trench Foot would look like on their own little legs – thanks to some clever lighting.

Visit www.awm.gov.au for more information.


To visit a real life Fern Gully


Image source: facebook.com/VisitCanberra 

If outdoor adventures are what your family is into, an afterDARK Bush Tucker Tour at the Australian National Botanic Gardens is ideal. The one-hour tour is led by education rangers and a guest Indigenous presenter. Following a bush tucker tasting, your family will explore the varied biodiversity and habitat regions of the Gardens including the magical Rainforest Gully with a stunning lighting display. 

For more information visit: visitcanberra.com.au


For enlightenment 


If you’re planning a trip to Canberra in autumn, the Enlighten festival is a must-see. Enlighten transforms the Parliamentary Triangle into a dazzling arts precinct featuring free entertainment and the event’s trademark lighting projections, illuminating Canberra’s most iconic buildings.

After the sun sets, Enlighten still caters for youngsters with Swamp Juice, a puppet show that magically transforms household rubbish into shadow cartoons, and the Kaleidoscope Cubby. Facilitated by performance artists, people are invited to decorate the inside and outside of the clear-walled cubby with colourful static cling to create a stained glass window effect around the whole cubby.

Find out more at: enlightencanberra.com.au 


To celebrate Spring


Image source: floriadeaustralia.com

Floriade is Australia’s biggest celebration of spring, and runs from the mid-September to early October showcasing one million flowers in bloom throughout Canberra’s Commonwealth Park. 

While there are some activities that have an admission fee – the ferris wheel ($8), tea cup ride ($5), and giant slide ($5) – entry to the flower festival itself is free. You can also find some awesome activities for young kids that won’t cost a cent such as the circus playground where kids can try their hand at juggling, balancing on stilts, and walking beams; kite making workshops where kids can decorate their own kite and see it fly; and Matilda’s Farmyard Nursery which provides a chance to get up close and personal with some cute farmyard creatures.


Because kids love balloons 

 

Image source: facebook.com/VisitCanberra 

The Canberra Balloon Spectacular is considered as one of the best hot air ballooning events in the world. 

Held each year in March, pilots begin each day by inflating their balloons on the lawns of Old Parliament House before ascending into the sky and creating an exhilarating backdrop to Canberra’s national attractions.


How to get there

FlyPelican has direct flights between Newcastle and Canberra.  One way fares start from $149*  

To book go to www.flypelican.com.au 

*Fares correct as at 23 June 2015

Berlin, more than a party city - Travel_the_world

Berlin has a reputation as one of Europe’s best party cities.  While this is true, the night life is wild, there is also much to see during the day.  The modern history alone is phenomenal; combine this with the city’s ancient history and you have days-and-days’ worth of site-seeing. Be sure to leave yourself a few hangover-free days to explore.  

Listed below are the places I most enjoyed visiting when in this city.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I would go back to each of these places in a heartbeat.  

Brandenburg Gate
This triumphal arch is one of the best-known landmarks of Germany.  Built between 1788 and 1791 on the former site of a city gate, it marked the start of the road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel. 

This site has featured in many major historical events and is today considered a symbol of the tumultuous history of Europe and Germany, but also of unity and peace. (title image sourced: wikipedia)

Reichstag building
Image: Berlin tourism photos 

Adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate is the Reichstag building, Germany’s parliament house.  An impressive building from every angle, the glass dome on top of the building has walkways to the top, is open to the public, and offers spectacular views of the city. 

Checkpoint Charlie
Known as the border-crossing of the Cold War days, Checkpoint Charlie signified the border between West and East Berlin (or freedom and confinement).  Between 1961 and 1990 the site functioned as the main entry and departing point for diplomats, journalists, and non-German visitors who used to be allowed to enter East Berlin on a one-day visa.  Adjacent to the checkpoint is the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. This contains extraordinary detail on the many escape attempts from the East to the West. 

Bebleplatz
This square was planned in 1740 but today is better known as the venue for the Nazi’s first official book-burning bonfire on 10 May 1933.  This event has been marked by a monument, of empty bookshelves, set in the ground.  

Deutsches Historisches Museum
Germany’s history dates back 2,000 years and is as chequered as it is dynamic.  This museum does an amazing job of showcasing this wonderful and interesting history over its four levels (that equate to more than 8,000 square metres of floor space).  It is easy to while-away an afternoon in this museum, which caters exceptionally for its English-speaking visitors, and still feel like you’ve only scratched the surface.  

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Close to the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s stunning monument to the Holocaust, dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Nazi’s during World War II.  The monument, which has 2,711 columns and took 17 years to complete, is humbling to walk through.  Beneath the monument is an information centre where visitors can learn about the victims of the Holocaust and various places of horror. 

TV Tower
Image: Berlin tourism photos 

Located near Alexanderplatz, this is the highest building in Germany standing at 368 metres.  It can be seen from all across the city and, when the weather is clear, offers its 1 million visitors each year a great view of Berlin. 

How to get there
Qantas, Virgin Australia, Etihad, and Singapore Airlines all offer the ability for you to book flights from Newcastle, hub through another airport, and on to Europe. 

Five reasons you should quit your job and travel - Travel_tips

Almost everyone has at some stage dreamed about quitting their day-job and travelling the globe.  For most people, as quickly as this thought comes to mind, it is swatted away as a fantasy.  Here are five reasons you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the idea and instead quit your job and travel.

Air travel may be the cheapest it’s ever going to be
It’s now possible to fly around Australia for as little as $39 and fly to Europe or America for less than $1,000 return.  These prices are so good that, in our opinion, the only way they can go is up.

We’re not saying we can predict the future, but we can say this, the introduction of low cost carriers and a steady oil price has created a sweet spot for travellers.  Air travel is much more affordable today than it was a decade ago but, who knows how long this will last? 

More and more borders are being opened to young Aussies for working holidays
If you’re under the age of 30 and hold an Australian passport the world is your oyster.  The Australian Government has made arrangements with more than 30 countries for Australian citizens to work and holiday within. Ditching your job in Australia, doesn’t mean you can’t try your hand working in another country. 

So, if you’re looking for an America’s, European, or Asian experience, our government has negotiated bilateral agreements to provide our citizens the same opportunities overseas that are enjoyed by Working Holiday Makers visiting Australia.

Find out more information about working holidays overseas for Australians.

Travelling has never been easier
The internet has revolutionised the way we travel.  We carry a computer, an ATM, a travel agent, a map, and a camera everywhere with us in our pocket.  On my last trip from my phone I booked flights, accommodation, and tickets to a show; I transferred money into my travel spending account; googled the top attractions to see when I only had 24-hours in a city; and used my phone to communicate in different languages.

We’re living in a time of technology, prosperity, knowledge, and open borders.  Sure, the technology will get better and better but, what we have now is pretty great. 

You’ve been talking about it for ages
Lots of people have quit their job to go travelling and not one has ever said to me that they regretted it.  NOT ONE.

If you’ve been toying with the idea for ages, dropping it into conversation with your mates, or fantasise about it every day on the way to work, then do it. 

This is your life, you’re in the driver’s seat, and at the end of the day the only person you need to keep happy is you.  Don’t live your life for someone else; it’s you that has to live in your skin for the rest of your life. Trust me, your family will still love you if you quit your job and travel … even if they’re a little envious, they’ll still love you.

You’re in a ‘comfortable’ place
There’s something great about being comfortable.  Especially if you know what it’s like to be uncomfortable.  But, if you’ve been comfortable for months or even years, it’s time to shake it up.  Give your grey-matter a workout, quit your job, plan some travel and get out of your comfort zone.  It’s here that you learn, you grow, and ultimately become a better version of yourself.  What are you waiting for?

The best restaurants in Australia - Travel_Australia

Australia’s 100 best restaurants for 2015 have been revealed. The top 100 list was curated by The Australian Financial Review and decided by a vote among Australia’s top chefs and restaurateurs.

We’ve sifted through the list to share with you the best restaurants along the east-coast of Australia, easily accessed by direct flights from Newcastle Airport.

Queensland
Four Queensland restaurants received a nod in the top 100 list.

Esquire
Esquire offers a set multi-course menu of fresh food based on market availability; this means the menu and prices change accordingly. Located on Brisbane’s Eagle Street, Esquire has gorgeous views over the Brisbane River and Story Bridge.

Image source:
couriermail.com.au

Wasabi Restaurant and Bar
Wasabi Restaurant and Bar is a Noosa institution, serving creative, modern Japanese food. Traditional flavours and ingredients are complimented by organically grown produce – some of which are grown by the restaurateur at her own farm. This restaurant overlooks the river in Noosa.

 
Image source:
wasabisb.com

Urbane Restaurant
Urbane Restaurant is located one block from Brisbane’s Botanic Gardens, and offers a fine dining degustation menu and exceptional service.  The Urbane team is committed to organic produce and perfection, presenting each meal as a work of art, which is no small task with more than 40 dishes on the menu.

Image source: australiantraveller.com (title picture)

Gerard's Bistro
Find Gerard's Bistro in James Street, Brisbane’s urban lifestyle precinct. The mouth-watering menu is filled with a wide selection of seafood, meat, and vegetable dishes, inspired by some of the most appetising cuisines from around the world.


Image source:
gerardsbistro.com.au

Victoria
If you’re in Victoria treat yourself to a meal at one of the restaurants that claimed five of the top ten positions in the list.

Attica
At Attica, the modern cuisine is served in a relaxed dining environment. Located in Ripponlea (a suburb near St Kilda), this restaurant is approximately a 25-minute drive by car from the Melbourne CBD.

Image source:
attica.com.au

Cutler & Co
Cutler & Co. Dining Room is located in an old metal works factory on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. The open plan kitchen at the front of the restaurant creates a dynamic focal point allowing for ring-side dining, light bites, and drinks. The restaurant reflects Chef Andrew McConnell’s passion for exceptional and often unusual produce. 

Image source:
facebook.com/CutlerandCo

Vue de monde
Vue de monde, is the pinnacle of fine dining in Melbourne – literally.  At level 55 of Melbourne’s iconic Rialto building, you dine above the glittering city lights below. The prices match the sky scraping location but, the dining experience here is incomparable and a must-do on your Victorian gastronomical tour.

Image source:
vuedemonde.com.au

Cumulus Inc Eating House and Bar
Cumulus Inc Eating House and Bar opened in 2008 in Flinders Lane. The name – incorporating ‘eating house and bar’, rather than restaurant – gives away the relaxed vibe of the place. Open seven days a week, Cumulus Inc welcomes you to try breakfast, lunch, dinner, or to just grab a coffee or drink.

Image source:
broadsheet.com.au

Brae
If you want to escape the big smoke, Brae is the perfect place to dine. Set on 30 productive acres, Brae is a place to interact with nature and eat from the land. The menu is created with location in mind and reflects the restaurant’s pristine natural surrounds. Take a one and a half hour road trip from Melbourne Airport to reach Brae, it’s worth the drive.

Image source:
heraldsun.com

Australian Capital Territory 

Aubergine restaurant in the ACT is a simple yet intimate space that allows the product of creative and interesting food to shine. The kitchen is stocked by local farmers who share the Aubergine passion for fresh produce which means the menu is updated daily.

Image source:
facebook.com/auberginerestaurant

See the full list of winners here.

Japan, a hop, skip and jump away - Travel_the_World

In the past 18 months, flights to Japan have made this country an affordable and pretty simple destination for Aussies to visit.  Already this year, two of our Airport team has made the trek to Japan; and both decided to leave from home (Newcastle Airport) and hub through Melbourne to Tokyo.  Here our Director of First Impressions (aka our fab receptionist) Ashlee shares with us her experience and her hot tips for travelling solo. 

I’m a keen snowboarder and was super excited to have the chance to hit the Japan ski slopes with some friends earlier this year.  Travelling from all over Australia, we decided that it was easiest for everyone to meet in Sapporo Airport.  That meant that I would be travelling internationally by myself for the first time ever.

When I booked my flights I decided to try flying from Newcastle where my family could drop me off rather than deal with getting to Sydney with my four bags (12kg suitcase, 17kg snowboard, 7kg carry on bag, and a handbag).  However, when you’re travelling with this many bags make sure you have ALL of them before waving goodbye to your family; I realised after my family had left that my big winter jacket was still in the car.  Lucky for me my dad was only too happy to turn around and bring it back for me, it would have been a very cold trip otherwise.

My flight from Newcastle to Melbourne was non-eventful and on time.  When I arrived my priority was to find the oversize baggage collection to collect my snowboard, and get the rest of my bags. 

Well aware that I had broken the rule of travelling with only two bags, I pounced on the first bay of trolleys I saw and loaded my 36kg of luggage onto it. (Hot tip: prepare for getting a trolley by keeping loose coins in your pocket.)

At Melbourne it’s super easy to move between the domestic and international terminals.  I was literally able to push the trolley full of my luggage from domestic into the international terminal.  I had a few hours to wait before check-in for my international flight opened so I staked out a seat in a restaurant near the check-in counters.  I killed time by eating, reading, listening to music, and my favourite, people watching.

When check-in opened, I found the process simple.  I checked in my bags, took my snowboard to oversize baggage and made my way through customs.

With plenty of time to relax before my flight boarded, I found a seat near my gate.  Travelling alone, I wanted to be prepared and ready to go.  I also took the opportunity to charge my phone using a power point near the gate. (Hot tip: don’t pass up an opportunity to charge your devices.)

Before my flight boarded, I received a personal page over the PA to present myself to the staff at the gate.  To say I was a bit-panicked as I approached the gate was an understatement; I had never been called up before.  But it was a fuss over nothing, all the crew wanted to move me from my pre-selected seat. 

I explained to the ground crew member that I was happy to move as long as I was moved to an aisle seat as I get a bit claustrophobic.  He was understanding and asked if I was travelling alone.  When I responded yes, a big smile crossed his face.  It wasn’t until I boarded that I understood the reason for the smile.  I had scored four seats to myself!!  Claustrophobia was no concern and I had the chance to sleep, laying down, for the majority of the 10-hour flight.

I was particularly nervous about arriving in Tokyo as I don’t speak the local language.  But, I discovered if I followed those who were on my flight they too were heading for the baggage reclaim belts.

It was a smooth transition through customs and immigration; I even had time to freshen up and change my clothes before my last flight which would take me to the ski fields.

Arriving at my final destination, Sapporo Airport, it was freezing.  We were bussed from our aircraft to the terminal where I easily collected my bags for the final time.  This airport was fantastic but there was a lot less English signage and not a lot of English-speaking employees.  This made for very interesting ordering of food – lots of pointing and smiling and fumbling of YEN.  (Hot tip: smiling is international, make sure you give big ones when you’re in a foreign country.)

I am so glad I chose to fly from Newcastle to Melbourne to Narita to Sapporo.  I highly recommend this to anyone, especially when Newcastle and Melbourne Airports are so easy to navigate.

SALE ALERT:
Jetstar are offering FREE return flights to Japan!

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Grab a domestic fare Newcastle to Gold Coast and  take advantage of this crazy sale fare: Gold Coast > Tokyo (Narita) from $278!

Book here. But hurry sale end midnight February 7, 2017.

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