Author Topic: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?  (Read 1203 times)

a lower gear

  • Carmarthenshire - "Not ALWAYS raining!"
Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« on: September 11, 2012, 11:45:04 pm »
Next week I'll be attending a conference in South Australia: a day in Adelaide, five days up-country in small towns (conference and field trip), two days in Adelaide partly free time, then home. Flights are BA and Quantas: Heathrow - Hong Kong - Sydney - Adelaide outward; Adelaide - Singapore - Heathrow return. Accommodation etc is all arranged except for the last couple of days in Adelaide.

I've not flown further than the USA previously: any tips for what promises to be a gruelling 24 hours each way?

Save for a climbing holiday in East Africa over 20 years ago, I've not travelled outside north west Europe and North America: any tips for things to pack / not pack for spring in South Australia?

The Hong Kong layover is six hours, the Sydney connection is 1 hour 10 mins; the Singapore connection iss just under 2 hours. How (in?)efficient are these airports in processing passengers and should I worry unduly about making my connections? (Going to Oz, I suppose I should simply say "She'll be allright"?)

I'm not aware of any fellow UK delegates on my flights. It'll be a calm change not to fly with the family (Mrs.Gear and the two smaller gears) in many respects.

Any thoughts and advice from your experience will be greatly appreciated!

 

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2012, 05:59:51 am »
Short connections at Singapore are fine. The place is set up for them and you'll only have a short walk between gates.

There are free internet terminals, though you may have spent enough time staring at the screen on the back of the seat in front of you by then.

I've not hubbed through HK for years and a 6 hour connection is a real pain. Not sure whether that is enough time to get out of the airport and look around the place.

I've only had short connections at Sydney a couple of times and it was fine.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2012, 09:30:43 am »
Shoes you can kick off easily, so you can wriggle your toes and potentially curl up on seat.

Loose-waisted trousers - something as comfy and soft as pajamas.

Drink lots of water during flight - the air is dry and it is easy to get dehydrated. If you like a tipple, drinking g&t is good - lots of liquid compared to volume of alcohol.

Eat all the food they bring. It's never enough and if you miss one snack you'll be hungry.

<i>Marmite slave</i>

Biggsy

  • A bodge too far
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Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2012, 11:26:27 am »
Take headphones that block external noise (not necessarily "active noise cancelling" ones).

(I haven't been to Oz, have been to Vancouver).
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Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2012, 09:47:40 pm »
I had a 10 hour layover in HK yesterday. There are a few sleeper chairs. I bring a carry on blanket (as AC varies from meat locker cold to humid), some food (HK in flight catering is crap) and a few carabiner clips to secure stuff. Showers, food are expensive. IME wiith all the security its not worth the trouble of leaving the airport. Sg is OK as there are free city tours without security immigration, Sg airport food is better than HK. If you do exit immigration you have to pay another airport tax BTW Quantas has many code share partners so the plane could be any carrier (there will be no flight announcements) so its worth checking the boards ..

Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2012, 10:34:22 pm »
the last 3 times I've flown BA the inflight movies havent worked so if you've got an iPad or kindle, make sure its fully loaded with films / books. Or just take a good book and an ipod. 

and +1 for taking food with you, the foods either rubbish or later than you get hungry - buy stuff in the departure lounge.

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2012, 08:10:02 am »
HK airport is horrible, very oppressive people, seemingly trying to make sure you understand the Chinese are in charge now.  Why they need to security check you when you've already been checked and are merely in transit, I do not know.  The building is O.K., but on our flight to NZ, the HK folk were hopeless at boarding the plane properly, and made a right hash of it.

Luckily HK to OZ is shorter than HK to Auckland!  That is a loooong flight.  Kindle and music are vital, although the aircraft video thing can while away a few hours.  Take a captive bolt gun to murder any noisy kids on the plane....

Itsd just something you have to tolerate, it'll never be pleasant, just try to make it tolerable by the hints that others have given.
Wombat

a lower gear

  • Carmarthenshire - "Not ALWAYS raining!"
Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2012, 07:44:03 pm »
Thank you all for your considered replies in the light of hard-won experience!

Good to be reassured that the short connections at Singapore and Sydney should be all right.

The warnings about food are useful - in recent years I've only flown KLM and Delta (plus North West before it went under) and the food has always been tolerable in qulaity and adequate in quantity. Without your warnings I would have assumed that BA / Quantas / partners would have been similar.

Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2012, 07:15:52 pm »
Sorry to get to this so late. I have flown to Oz many times. How you'll fare depends on what class you're travelling in. Economy is something to endure whereas business is comparatively civilised.

As others have said, keep hydrated. Comfy clothes and socks are the go. Natural fibres. Wool is the best.
Pack some deodorant in your carry on. Or wipes or something to "refresh" yourself.
Wear flight socks. So important.
If you can, walk around every hour or so.
Take a book and/or spare batteries for toys.
Oh BTW it's Qantas. Not Quantas. (Pedant mode back off now)
Ear plugs are essential. You should get them in your flight pack.

Connections are fine.

Spring in Adelaide. The weather will be coolish - probably similar to a UK Summer. Days will be nice, nights cooler. Further inland you go, the colder the nights will be.
Enjoy the wineries.  :thumbsup:

a lower gear

  • Carmarthenshire - "Not ALWAYS raining!"
Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2012, 11:18:05 pm »
Returned yesterday. All the advice was helpful and pertinent  :thumbsup:. Had a very light frost 100 miles inland to our surprise. Quite green after a wet winter - will turn brown soon though. Food and accommodation jolly expensive.

Free internet access at Hong Kong and Singapore but our internet provider asked for security questions to be answered as I was logging on from a very unexpected location. Struggled to remember which of Mrs.Gear's childhood dog's names I should use...

Water fountains at all airports except Heathrow where the mean bu*gers make you buy water. At some airports you could refill waterbottles once past security so well worth carrying an empty bottle. Eastern food options as ever much more palatable than western ones. Definately worth buying sandwiches etc. airside to make up for the sparse catering on most flights. Qantas pillows are a decent size and have proper cotton pillow cases; they put BA's mini-pillows with papery cases to shame. Qantas also give out very useful eyeshades which I saved for the return leg on BA.

Worth avoiding returning early on a Sunday morning - due to enginering works I had over an hour's wait until the Heathrow Express began running at 6.20am, and for the same reason had almost two hours wait at paddington for the first south Wales train (which transferred us to bus for the Cardiff-Swansea leg again due to engineering works). 33 hours door-to-door on the return.

Seemed to be quite a few cyclists (no Yacf jerseys spotted though) at Paddington between 7.00 and 8.30am - was there something special on or was this usual? (I don't get up to that Lundun very often).

 

Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2012, 10:38:46 am »
Had a very light frost 100 miles inland to our surprise. Quite green after a wet winter - will turn brown soon though. Food and accommodation jolly expensive.

The interior can get very cold at night - absolutely clear skies and distant from the ocean. I've seen ice form on puddles overnight, then daytime temperatures get up into the 30s.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

a lower gear

  • Carmarthenshire - "Not ALWAYS raining!"
Re: Visiting Oz - tips and suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 10:14:24 pm »
The local mayor in his speech of welcome (the conference was a minor local event) claimed that the area (Goyder District) had the greatest temperature range in Oz - from -5 deg C to +45 deg C.

The other surprise was how wet and green the Fleurieu Peninsula was due to its very high rainfall (50 inches plus I was told). With the rolling hills (and rolling roads) it felt somewhat like the Welsh borders but with rather different vegetation. Certainly the day I spent on the peninsula felt rather Welsh as we had very heavy showers and strong winds.