Today was an exciting day for our airline as we heralded a new standard in flying to and from our nation’s capital.
Just in time for Canberra’s 100th birthday, we opened the doors to our brand new lounge.
The 300m² space offers sweeping views across the tarmac and exclusive design elements including Marblo bars, natural stone flooring, Walter Knoll chairs and a gourmet menu designed by renowned Australian chef Luke Mangan.
The lounge is located within the new state-of-the-art ‘Airvolution’ terminal, enabling a seamless journey from our check-in desks to new departure gates.
We have also completed the refurbishment program on board our Embraer E190 fleet, which fly to Canberra from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
This means that our guests can now enjoy a refreshed on board experience. This includes our new Business Class, which features luxury leather seats, a newly configured seating design with a 2:1 layout, gourmet menu options and coat-check service, complemented by the best of service.
We fly to the highest number of destinations to and from Canberra and we look forward to welcoming guests to the new Virgin Australia travel experience.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. If you’re looking to surprise your loved one with a romantic escape, then look no further…
We have a number of outstanding Valentine’s Day escape suggestions, guaranteed toshow that special person just how much you care.
Hamilton Island | Queensland
Situated on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef – in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands – surrounded by sapphire waters, beautiful beaches and captivating coral reefs, Hamilton Island is a paradisiacal destination. The island experiences year-round sunshine, and boasts a huge variety of romantic opportunities, including sunset charters, spa experiences, and fine food and wines.
Eat and Drink: Enjoy a cocktail or glass of champagne at sunset atop Hamilton Island’s lookout, One Tree Hill, and a romantic dinner at Bommie Restaurant and Bar with uninterrupted views of the Whitsundays.
Sleep: Be immersed in a tranquil atmosphere, and pampered with personalised service at adults-only resort, qualia – voted by Condé Nast Traveler readers as ‘Best Resort in the World for 2012’.
Hamilton Island Holiday Packages: Make planning your Valentine’s Day hassle-free, our partner Blue Holidays offers exceptional Hamilton Island holiday packages, which include flights, transfers, accommodation and much more.
Stay at qualia: Indulge your loved one this Valentine’s Day, our partner HotelClub offers great qualia deals.
Hunter Valley | New South Wales
Think crisp country air, rolling green hills and fruitful vineyards aplenty… The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s most romantic settings. Just an hour’s drive west of Newcastle and two hours’ drive north of Sydney, the Hunter is a renowned couple’s retreat, dotted with world-class wineries and cellar-door restaurants, and home to a jam-pack year-round calendar of events.
Do and See: Experience the magic of the Hunter from air, with a romantic hot air balloon tour high above the vineyards.
Eat and Drink: Enjoy a wine among the vines at award-winning Brokenwood Wines, and dinner at the cosy and romantic Restaurant Botanica at The Vineyards Estate – both are located in Pokolbin.
Sleep: Stay in luxury at the Château Élan at The Vintage – overlooking Greg Norman-designed fairways and the vales of the Hunter Valley.
Plan Your Hunter Valley Escape
Flights to Newcastle: Virgin Australia operates flights to Newcastle daily, direct from Brisbane and Melbourne.
Hunter Valley Holiday Packages: Make planning your Valentine’s Day hassle-free, our partner Blue Holidays offers exceptional Hunter Valley holiday packages, which include flights, accommodation and much more.
Unconventional, but full of unique and natural wonder, Hepburn Shire is an inspiring region. Just an hour and a half’s drive northwest of Melbourne, the shire provides for sensorial escape, with Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs that famous for their relaxing properties. The town of Daylesford is a jewel in the area’s crown, home to several spas, cottages, and bed and breakfasts.
Do and See: Explore the area’s mystical and healing appeal, bathe in the waters of one of the region’s many mineral springs.
Eat and Drink: Dine on modern Australian cuisine with regional flavours at Daylesford’s institution Mercato, amid a relaxing and welcoming environment.
Sleep: Recline is a setting that truly reflects the area’s off-the-beaten-track charm; Jolee Bed & Breakfast offers a romantic ambience surrounded by beautiful bush land.
Plan Your Hepburn Shire Escape
Flights to Melbourne: Virgin Australia operates flights to Melbourne daily, direct from all Australian capital cities and most major regional ports.
Daylesford Holiday Packages: Make planning your Valentine’s Day hassle-free, our partner Blue Holidays offers exceptional Daylesford holiday packages, which include flights, accommodation and much more.
Stay at Jolee Bed & Breakfast: Indulge your loved one this Valentine’s Day, our partner HotelClub offers great Jolee Bed & Breakfast deals.
The Freycinet Peninsula |Tasmania
Awash with marvellous colours – pink granite mountains, white sand beaches, grey-green casuarinas, and sapphire seawater – the Freycinet Peninsula is a breathtaking holiday destination. Rich with impressive natural settings and history, dotted with luxury accommodation, and removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Tasmanian drawcard is an ideal location for a romantic getaway.
Do and See: Visit Wineglass Bay, one of the world’s most stunning beaches, home to white, silica rich sands, and colourful granite rock formations.
Eat and Drink: Enjoy award-winning a la carte meals, complemented with local produce and wines, at The Bay Restaurant and Hazards Bar at Freycinet Lodge. Try the oysters – they are a renowned Freycinet specialty.
Sleep: Designed with privacy, comfort, relaxation and rejuvenation in mind, Saffire Freycinet connects guests with its stunning coastal surrounds in an inspiring and luxurious setting.
Plan Your Freycinet Peninsula Escape
Flights to Launceston and Hobart: Virgin Australia operates flights to Launceston and Hobart from all Australian capital cities. Freycinet National Park is located two and a half hours’ drive northeast of Hobart and southeast of Launceston.
Tasmanian Holiday Packages: Make planning your Valentine’s Day hassle-free, our partner Blue Holidays offers exceptional Tasmanian holiday packages, which include flights, accommodation and much more.
Steeped in heritage and tradition, the Barossa Valley’s vine-covered hills are sprinkled with historic villages, stone cottages and old wine estates. A little over an hour’s drive northeast of Adelaide, the Valley was deliberately settled and established as a wine region and today produces more than half of Australia’s wine. Fostering a relaxed and unhurried pace, the region provides for an authentic and intimate escape.
Do and See: Experience the best of the Barossa Valley – including its renowned Shiraz varieties – with a full day food and wine tour.
Eat and Drink: Plan a picnic at celebrity chef, Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. An assortment of picnic baskets can be bought on-site, to be enjoyed on Farm Shop grounds.
Stay: Discover peace and privacy, seclusion and space in the heart of the Barossa, Stonewell Cottages & Vineyards suites are set on the expansive private vineyard estate, overlooking a picturesque lake.
Plan Your Barossa Valley Escape
Flights to Adelaide: Virgin Australia operates flights to Adelaide from all Australian capital cities.
Barossa Valley Holiday Packages: Make planning your Valentine’s Day hassle-free, our partner Blue Holidays offers exceptional Barossa Valley holiday packages, which include flights, accommodation and much more.
Located just three hours’ drive south of Perth, Margaret River helms an awe-inspiring region, full of rolling green hills, fantastic food experiences, and breathtaking ocean and forest settings. Privy to warm weather and sunshine, and hosting some of Australia’s most famous wineries, the region is a celebrated haunt for lovers.
Do and See: Discover the region’s famous for chardonnays and cabernets with an on-site experience at wineries like Stella Bella, Cape Mentele, Leeuwin Estate, Watershed, Pierro, Voyager Estate and Vasse Felix.
Eat and Drink: Book a table at Voyager Estate’s restaurant and dine on complete food and wine degustation, amid a magnificent Cape Dutch architecture setting.
Sleep: Stay in idyllic 4-star accommodation by the sea, at Margaret’s Beach Resort – one of Western Australia’s best and most romantic beach resorts, and offering easy access to the South West’s world-class wineries, caves, national parks, nature walk trails and surf breaks.
Plan Your Margaret River Escape
Flights to Perth: Virgin Australia operates flights to Perth from all Australian capital cities.
Margaret River Holiday Packages: Make planning your Valentine’s Day hassle-free, our partner Blue Holidays offers exceptional Margaret River holiday packages, which include flights, accommodation and much more.
If you know your Chloe from Chanel and Marchesa from Missoni; pronounce Givenchy: ‘jhee-von-shee’; drop the ‘H’ in Hermès; and revere Anna Dello Russo as much as Anna Wintour – then we have a guide for you. Sartorialists rejoice, as we take you around the world for a year of fashion weeks.
The Big Four
New York City
Autumn/Winter: 7–14 February 2013, and Spring/Summer: September 5–12 2013
Every February and September the world’s fashion-forward converge on the Lincoln Centre, in Manhattan’s artsy Lincoln Square, to witness America’s most iconic and up-and-coming designers debut their latest collections at New York Fashion Week. This February, more than 75 designers will showcase their handiwork at official events, with names like Charlotte Ronson, Zac Posen, Badgley Mischka, Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren and Diane von Furstenberg all taking on the runway. Fashion zealot or not, fashion week is a great time to visit The Big Apple, as the city is abuzz with quintessential New York City energy and high drama.
Getting there: Together with partner airlines Delta Air Lines and Virgin America, Virgin Australia operates flights to New York City, from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Where to stay:ON THE AVE complements fashion week’s vibe, with stylish and contemporary facilities just 15 minutes’ walking distance from the Lincoln Center.
Autumn/Winter: 15–19 February 2013, and Spring/Summer: September 13–17 2013
Sporting sore heads from wrap parties, the fashpack moves across the Atlantic, without even a day’s reprieve, to Somerset House for London Fashion Week. Following firmly on the coattails of NYC, London showcases twice a year (February and September), with more than 5,000 visitors – ranging from buyers to TV crews and journalists and A-listers – in attendance. This February more than 60 catwalk shows and 30 presentations and salon shows fill the official schedule, while 45 shows will take place off schedule. Iconic UK names like Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith and Burberry will flaunt their wears alongside avant-garde heroes like Christopher Kane and Henry Holland, and Australian innovators like sass & bide, Antipodium and Dion Lee.
Getting there: Together with partner Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to London from Sydney and Melbourne.
Where to stay: Situated in the heart of London’s vibrant Covent Garden, Kingsway Hall Hotel offers comfortable and deluxe accommodations, a mere 9 minutes’ walk from all the action of London Fashion Week.
Women’s Fashion, Autumn/Winter: 20–26 February 2013, Spring/Summer: 18–24 September 2013, Men’s Fashion, Spring/Summer: 22 – 26 June 2013
Fashion is such big business in Milan that womenswear and menswear are dedicated separate week-long events. This year’s men’s event has already passed with names like Prada, Giorgio Armani and Dolce & Gabbana heralded as standouts. Come late February, the world’s biggest names are set congregate in the Italian hub once again to showcase their take on women’s runway and ready-to-wear looks. All the big Italian heavy-hitters will be present – including Gucci, Versace and Valentino, to name a few – alongside the world’s most innovative up-and-coming labels. Considered to be the most intrinsically stylish city in the world, Milan Fashion Week is highly revered and respected by those in the fashion know.
Getting there: Together with partner airlines Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to Milan from Sydney and Melbourne.
Where to stay: On a private street, situated in the cultural and commercial heart of a city, the Bulgari Hotel (of Italian design house fame) is one of Milan’s hottest locations during Fashion Week.
Ready-to-Wear, Autumn/Winter: 26 Feb–6 March 2013, Spring/Summer: 24 September – 2 October 2013, Men’s Fashion, Spring/Summer: 26–30 June 2013, Couture, Spring/Summer: 1–4 July 2013,
Paris is the fashion capital of the world, and consequently Paris Fashion Week is the hottest ticket item on the fashion calendar. Couture Week has just past, and saw Kanye West sit front row at Lanvin, Jessica Alba don all black for Christian Dior, Olivia Munn support Donatella Versace, and Diane Kruger pull off Parisienne chic at the Chanel. Ready to Wear womenswear is next on the agenda, and will see France’s most iconic fashion houses – such as Isabel Marant, Balmain, Céline, Dior, Chloe, Louis Vuitton and Chanel – inundate the Carrousel du Louvre. Fashion Week is an exciting time to be in Paris, at the city’s boulevards come alive with all things fierce and fabulous.
Getting there: Together with partner airlines Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to Paris from Sydney and Melbourne.
Where to stay: A favourite of Alber Elbaz and Carine Roitfield, and located just around the corner from Vogue Paris, and a mere 15 minutes’ walk from the Louvre, the Hotel De Crillon is a hot Fashion Week haunt.
Closer to Home
Autumn/Winter: 17–23 March 2013, Spring/Summer: October 2013
A frontrunner in all things progressive and out-of-the box, Tokyo has been steadily growing a reputation as a fashion powerhouse. Just weeks after Paris, the adventurous of the fashion set move from Europe to the east, to witness the radical innovations of Tokyo Fashion Week. Last season’s event saw intricate neon and leather laser cut garments, models caring manikins wearing dresses, and toe print textiles on pantsuits, command the runway and wow crowds. This March a who’s-who of Japanese designers – such as Alice Auaa, Beautiful People, G.V.G.V., Yasutoshi Ezumi, A Degree Fahrenheit and Yoshio Kubo – will line up at the Hikarie shopping tower in the trendy precinct of Shibuya. The focus will be just as much on fun and fantasy as it is on fashion.
Getting there: Together with partner airlines Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia operates flights to Tokyo from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth.
Where to stay: Featuring an elegant decor, pleasant ambience and comfortable accommodations, just 5 minutes’ walk from Hikarie, Shibuya Excel Tokyu is the perfect base for Tokyo Fashion Week.
Annual Event: April 8–12.
Australia’s biggest fashion event, Australian Fashion Week (Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival Sydney), has been responsible for launching names like Ksubi, Josh Goot, sass & bide, Romance Was Born, Dion Lee, and a whole host of prominent antipodean fashion labels. In recent years the event has also garnered attention from international celebrities like Whitney Port, Dita Von Teese and Erin Wasson, as well as prominent bloggers like Susie Bubble, Bryan Boy, Rumi Neely and Elin Kling. This year’s event features a new venue (Eveleigh’s Carriageworks) and new dates (moved forward a month), and is set to again showcase the best of Australia’s home-grown talent.
Getting there: Virgin Australia operates flights to Sydney direct from all Australian capital cities and most major regional ports, and from international destination such as Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, Nadi and Bali.
Where to stay: Nestled between the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, with water literally lapping at its edges, Park Hyatt offers the ultimate Sydney experience, just 15 minutes’ drive from Carraigeworks.
The eyes of the sporting world turn to Melbourne in January, as the world’s best tennis players battle it out for the first Grand Slam title of the year, the Australian Open. Global superstars like Nadal, Federer, Djokovic, Murray, Sharapova and Williams will take to the courts at Melbourne Park from 14–27 January and test each other’s skill, determination, courage and endurance.
Located just 6km south-east of the CBD, elite-neighbourhood-turned-red-light-district-turned-cultural-centre, Saint Kilda is one of Melbourne’s biggest drawcards. Home to the city’s most famous beach, Saint Kilda Beach, and popular attractions like Luna Park, the Esplanade Hotel, Acland Street and Fitzroy Street, Saint Kilda attracts visitors from all over Australia and the world.
Melbourne’s Art Series Hotels, The Blackman, The Olsen and The Cullen are set in the city’s hottest locations, within close proximity to vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment facilities. Each Art Series Hotel is unique, taking design inspiration from one of Australia’s artistic greats; and features suites that are well appointed with up-to-the-minute comforts and technology, and original artworks.
Melbourne’s inner-city is chockfull of laneways, which brim with unique Melbournian gems. Uncover local culture at is finest with a tour of the city’s hidden alleys. Sip a latte on a makeshift-esque cafe. Grab a meal from an in-demand food truck. Peruse the graffiti-strewn galleries. Try a cocktail at a hipper-than-hip bar. Dance the night away at a grungy club. Or pick up a local label at a fashion boutique.
Exclusive to Melbourne, King Kong sets up show at the Regent Theatre from 28 May to 14 July 2013. Five years in the making, King Kong boasts claim as the most ambitious theatrical event of the decade – featuring a team of puppeteers who command a one-tonne, six-metre tall silverback gorilla. Combining dazzling choreography, advanced animatronics and an impressive soundtrack, King Kong showcases a romantic and timeless love story.
To inspire you and help you discover the world in all its glory, we havescoured the globe to fashion a series of World’s Top lists.
This week, as the end of 2012 draws near, we bring you our top five New Year’s Eve destinations.
Sydney Harbour, Sydney | Australia
It is claimed Sydney’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are the most elaborately planned and the most exquisitely executed in the world. Families, friends and revellers gather by and on the harbour to witness Sydney welcome the New Year before most cities on earth, with one of the world’s greatest firework displays. This year’s event is co-curated by pop princess, Kylie Minogue, and highlights the theme of “embrace” against a backdrop of the glistening harbour and iconic Harbour Bridge.
Flights to Sydney: Virgin Australia operates flights to Sydney direct from all Australian capital cities and most major regional ports, and from international destination such as Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, Nadi and Bali.
Hotels in Sydney: Our hotel partner, HotelClub offers great hotel deals in Sydney.
CentralWorld, Bangkok | Thailand
New Year’s Eve in Bangkok has become synonymous with CentralWorld’s annual celebration. Each year locals and visitors gather in and around the shopping mall (the third largest in the world) and its beer gardens to welcome in the New Year with a flamboyant countdown, an incredible fireworks display and exciting performances by popular local artists. This year’s event is themed “Big Hug, Big Fun” – an apt message of what to expect in Bangkok on New Year’s Eve.
Flights to Bangkok: Together with partner airline Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia operates flights to Bangkok via Singapore from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth.
On any given day of the week prominent Tokyo landmark, Shibuya Crossing is abuzz with pedestrians, flashing neon signs and giant television screens. On New Year’s Eve the entertainment district causes sensory overload with fireworks, festive chants and revellers dressed in colourful costumes. Akin to Time Square in New York City, Shibuya promises a night to remember – surrounded by restaurants, nightclubs and hotels, all packed with merry-makers ringing in the New Year in extravagant fashion.
Flights to Tokyo: Together with partner airline Singapore Airlines, Virgin Australia operates flights to Tokyo via Singapore from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin, Adelaide and Perth.
Hotels in Tokyo: Our hotel partner, HotelClub offers great hotel deals in Tokyo.
Las Vegas Strip, Las Vegas | USA
It’s a no-brainer… Sin City is a must-experience New Year’s Eve destination. Revelry is a way of life in Las Vegas, and New Year’s Eve sends the city into overdrive. The strip is shut off to cars and turned in to one giant street party, complete with fireworks, music and light shows. Party-goers fill the casinos and nightclubs, as Hollywood’s biggest names host the world’s most ostentatious New Year’s Eve bashes.
Flights to Las Vegas: Together with partner airlines Delta Air Lines, Virgin Australia operates flights to Las Vegas via LA from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Could there be a more appropriate setting in which to ring in the New Year than midnight in Paris? The City of Light shines brighter than ever, ushering in the New Year with a spectacular showcase of festivities. Kids roam the Champs-Elysees selling fireworks. Landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are lit up for all to see. And thousands of Parisians fill the avenues, toasting with flutes of French champagne and offering well wishes of Bonne Annee!
Flights to Paris: Together with partner airlines Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to Paris via Abu Dhabi from Sydney and Melbourne.
Hotels in Paris: Our hotel partner, HotelClub offers great hotel deals in Paris.
Celebrate this New Year’s Eve in spectacular surrounds, we have a aircraft to take your there. Discover where we fly.
Overlooked by the cape’s iconic lighthouse, and enjoying a stunning view of Julian Rocks, Wategos Beach is one of Australia’s most picturesque beaches. Secluded by a beautiful forest bay, the water at Wategos is protected and calm, offering long, leisurely waves for surfers and shallow areas for families. On any given summer afternoon, the area is filled with picnickers, indulging in one of Australia’s favourite pastimes, a beach barbecue. Linked to lighthouse and back to town (via The Pass and Clarkes Beach) by a scenic walking path, Wategos is one of Byron Bay’s biggest drawcards.
The Backroom (at the Northern Hotel)
Located in the heart of Byron Bay’s vibrant town centre, the Northern Hotel is an old-style hotel with a twist… Adding to the traditional pub services on offer the hotel is also home to one of Australia’s best gig venues, The Backroom. Hidden from sight at the back of the hotel (as the name implies), The Backroom is a world-renowned live music hall. If its wall could talk, they would be able to share secrets from names like Bloc Party, Wolfmother and Two Door Cinema Club, just to name a few. Summer sees the best of the best call into the Northern Hotel. Discover what’s on this summer in The Backroom.
The Arts Factory Village (aka The Piggery)
In a move that can only be described as ‘so-byron’, what was once a pig slaughter house, was transformed in the 70s by hippies into an inspiring artistic community. Today, The Arts Factory Village is home to a diverse range of businesses, including accommodation, food, entertainment, arts, and health and well-being services. Catch an arthouse movie in a one-of-a-kind cinema setting at the Pighouse Flicks. Grab a bite and enjoy a brewed-onsite beer at the birthplace of the East Coast Blues and Roots Festival, Byron Bay Brewery. Or bunk down and share stories with travellers from all over the world at the Arts Factory Lodge.
The Byron Bay Arts and Industry Park
A haven for activists, scholars, freethinkers, adventurers and serenity seekers, Byron Bay has attracted gifted artists and creatives from around the globe. So much so, that the town has a dedicate Arts and Industry Park. Located off Ewingsdale Road, just outside the downtown area, the park offers a magnificent hotchpotch of retail outlets, workshops, studios and exhibition spaces; where artisans, craftspeople and manufacturers sell everything from clothing to crafts, surfboards to bicycles, art works to antiques and garden furniture to interior designs. The park is most notably home to the world famous Byron Bay Cookie Company.
The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
Set within 45 acres of stunning subtropical rainforest, just behind Tallows Beach, the multi-award winning Byron at Byron Resort and Spa provides for an idyllic escape. Ranked as Byron Bay’s No.1 hotel by Trip Advisor, the resort offers 92 one bedroom suites, exceptional service, stylish design and architecture, an acclaimed Spa and Wellness Centre, and a restaurant that showcases a seasonal menu of Northern River’s local produce. Indulge yourself this summer, our partner HotelClub offers great The Byron at Byron Resort & Spa deals.
To inspire you and help you discover the world in all its glory, we havescoured the globe to fashion a series of World’s Top lists.
This week, as the festive season draws closer and closer, we bring you our top five Christmas destinations.
Munich | Germany
Every November Munich transforms in to a winter wonderland. The historic city is strung with glittering lights, dotted with spectacular Christmas trees, and home to some of the world’s most magnificent Christmas markets – including the famous Christkindl Markt (in Marienplatz); a market that dates back to the 14th century, selling traditional and handmade Christmas gifts, stocking fillers, gingerbread and hot spiced wine. The city even features a fairytale-like Christmas Village, hosted in the Residenz courtyard.
Flights to Munich: Together with partner airline Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to Munich, from Sydney and Melbourne.
Hotels in Munich: Our hotel partner, HotelClub offers great hotel deals in Munich.
Moscow | Russia
Moscow at Christmas time must be seen to be believed. Draped in snow and lights, the city turns into a charming fairyland, spilling with Christmas fairs, markets and winter sports – namely ice skating, sledding and skiing. While many Russians celebrate Christmas on 25 December, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates on 7 January, and rings in the New Year on 13 January, making the festive season a drawn-out splendid affair. Throughout the season Moscow enchants with horse-drawn carriage rides, ringing church bells and performances of Russian classic, The Nutcracker.
Flights to Moscow: Together with partner airline Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to Moscow, from Sydney and Melbourne.
Hotels in Moscow: Our hotel partner, HotelClub offers great hotel deals in Moscow.
Dublin | Ireland
The Irish like to celebrate, and celebrate they do at Christmas time in Dublin. A city renowned for its high spirits, Dublin comes alive with seasonal cheer and a vibrant variety of merry events. In a tradition known as ‘The Big Switch On’ the city’s Mayor lights up the streets and a 15 metre high Christmas tree. The cobbled lanes of Smithfield fill with ice skaters. Kids post letters straight to Santa via special Santa post boxes. The famous Temple Bar fills with Christmas carols. While Dublin’s Docklands transform into the 12 Days of Christmas Market.
Flights to Dublin: Together with partner airline Etihad Airways, Virgin Australia operates flights to Dublin, from Sydney and Melbourne.
Hotels in Dublin: Our hotel partner, HotelClub offers great hotel deals in Dublin.
New York City | USA
Like a scene from a movie, New York provides a mesmerising backdrop for the festive season. Snow blankets the streets. Fifth Avenue is adorned with exquisite window displays. Ice skaters glide across the Central Park rink. Rockefeller Plaza glows with a thousand light, strung high from the city’s tallest Christmas tree. Carollers inundate the street singing yuletide favourites. And Radio City Music Hall comes alive with its annual Christmas Spectacular. Christmas in New York City is truly magical… the stuff dreams are made of.
Flights to New York City: Together with partner airlines Delta Air Lines and Virgin America, Virgin Australia operates flights to New York City, from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Christmas in Sydney is a far cry from the northern Hemisphere’s winter setting. Christmas Eve is spent at the local pub or RSL. Temperatures reach 40°C. Santa arrives on a jet ski on Bondi Beach. Prawns are pealed and consumed by the kilogram. The barbecue is lit up for lunch. And the day is punctuated with an afternoon nap. While Christmas Day is anything but traditional, the traditions of Christmas aren’t overlooked. In the lead up to 25 December, carollers take to the parks, the streets are draped with lights and wreaths, and the department store windows are frosted with faux snow and decorations.
Flights to Sydney: Virgin Australia operates flights to Sydney direct from all Australian capital cities and most major regional ports, and from international destinations such as Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi, Nadi and Bali.
Hotels in Sydney: Our hotel partner, HotelClub offers great hotel deals in Sydney.
Summer is in the air. The weather is warming, the sun is sticking around longer, and the beaches are beckoning. In anticipation of the season ahead, we’ve partnered with Surf Life Saving Australia to highlight the importance of surf safety.
Australia is fringed by some of the best beaches on earth; and while they are extremely enticing, many can be dangerous. Stay safe this summer, listen to surf lifesavers and always swim between the red and yellow flags.
To help inspire a safe and enjoyable sun-kissed summer at the beach, we’ve put together a state rundown of some our favourite patrolled beaches.
Queensland | Rainbow Bay
Fringed by pine and pandanus trees, and laden with soft white sand and sparkling blue-green water, Rainbow Bay is a picture-perfect Gold Coast setting. Just south of Coolangatta, straddling the New South Wales boarder, the north-facing beach is protected by the historic Point Danger and is home to sheltered conditions ideal for swimming. Surf lifesavers patrol the beach year-round from the iconic Rainbow Bay Surf Club.
Rainbow Bay is located just 4km south of Gold Coast Airport. Flights to Gold Coast: Virgin Australia operates flights to the Gold Coast daily from Sydney, Adelaide, Canberra, Melbourne, Auckland and Christchurch. Gold Coast South Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of southern Gold Coast holiday packages, from $349.
New South Wales | Scotts Head
At the southern end of Nambucca Shire, enhanced by peaceful surrounds, an abundance of flora and fauna, and a close-knit local community, Scotts Head beach is a popular Mid-north Coast summer holiday destination. Favoured by families, Scotts hosts calm protected waters, gentle waves, and an array of marine life – specifically dolphins and migratory whales. The beach is patrolled daily during the summer holidays and on weekends and public holidays from October to Easter.
Scotts Head is located an hour south of Coffs Harbour Airport. Flights to Coffs Harbour: Virgin Australia operates flights to Coast Harbour daily from Sydney. Coffs Coast Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Coffs Coast holiday packages, from $398.
Victoria | Bells Beach
Located near Torquay, in the stunning Great Ocean Road region, Bells Beach is Australia’s most celebrated surfing beach – home to large winter and autumn swells that peel into a famous right-hand break. Throughout the summer months Bells also provides a great setting for swimmers; a natural amphitheatre shadowed by towering cliffs and patrolled by surf lifesavers.
Flights to Melbourne: Virgin Australia operates flights to Melbourne daily from all state capitals and major regional ports like Gold Coast and Newcastle. Great Ocean Road Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Great Ocean Road holiday packages, from $400.
Tasmania | Boat Harbour Beach
Located on the north-west coast of Tasmania, nuzzled between a dramatic hinterland and the Bass Strait, Boat Harbour Beach is as picturesque as it is historical – steeped in Indigenous and European heritage. Home to some of the cleanest air and clearest water on earth, the semi-circular sandy beach has long been a favourite holiday secret for Tasmanians in the know. The beach is home to the Boat Harbour Surf Life Saving Club, whose lifesaving members patrol throughout the summer months
Boat Harbour Beach is located just over two hours west-north-west of Launceston Airport. Flights to Launceston: Virgin Australia operates flights to Launceston from Melbourne and Sydney. Tasmania Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Tasmanian holiday packages, from $376.
South Australia | Glenelg
Known locally as The Bay, the Adelaide beachside suburb of Glenelg is celebrated for hosting one of South Australia’s premier swimming beaches. Located on the shore of Holdfast Bay in Gulf St Vincent, Glenelg beach is famous for its long-reaching jetty, café littered promenade, sandy costal stretch and clean and safe waters – perfect for swimming. Glenelg is patrolled midweek from December to April and on weekends from November through to April.
Glenelg is located just under 9km south-east of Adelaide Airport. Flights to Adelaide: Virgin Australia operates flights to Adelaide from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth. Adelaide Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Adelaide holiday packages, from $388.
Western Australia | Cable Beach
Stretching for 22km, with the purest of white sand – washed clean everyday by massive tides that ebb and flow into Broome – Cable Beach is one of the world’s most stunning beach landscapes. The Indian Ocean’s aqua blue waters lap against Broome’s bright red-orange cliffs, in a magnificent display of unspoilt natural wonder. Cable Beach fosters ideal conditions for swimming, with Broome Surf Life Saving Club patrolling designated areas marked by red and yellow flags.
Cable Beach is located just under 7km north-west of Broome Airport. Flights to Broome: Virgin Australia operates flights to Broome from Perth. Broome Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Broome holiday packages, from $747.
Northern Territory | Nightcliff
Protected by a ‘stinger net’ and patrolled by Darwin Surf Life Saving Club, Nightcliff beach is one of the Northern Territory’s safest swimming environments. A 300m sandy stretch, flanked by claystone rock platforms and the Beagle Gulf, Nightcliff Beach is a picturesque holiday destination, most famous for hosting the Nightcliff Markets.
Nightcliff is located just over 5km north-west of Darwin Airport. Flights to Darwin: Virgin Australia operates flights to Darwin from Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Darwin Holiday Packages: Our partner Blue Holidays offers a fantastic array of Darwin holiday packages, from $629.
Make the most of your summer at the beach, remember to:
- Always swim between the red and yellow flags
- Read the safety signs
- Ask a lifeguard for safety advice
- Swim with a friend
- Stay calm and attract attention if you need help
For more information about Australia’s patrolled beaches visit Surf Life Saving Australia’s website www.sls.com.au.
When most people dream about a tropical paradise, images of swaying palm trees, deserted beaches, scattered coconuts, crystal clear water and friendly locals spring to mind. Spurred on by popular blockbusters like Cast Away and The Blue Lagoon, these images are most commonly associated with Fiji.
Located in the picturesque South Pacific, Fiji was formed hundreds of millions of years ago by volcanic activity, and inhabited in the second millennium BC.
Today, the beautifully remote island nation is rich with culture and tradition, and is a popular holiday destination for families and honeymooners, and solace seekers and adventurers alike.
Where to Stay
The island of Viti Levu is a great base from which to experience and explore Fiji. Located on the island’s west coast, Fiji’s major tourism hub, Nadi is a centre for Hinduism, Islam and commerce, and boasts a great mix of ethnicities and culture. Experience the country’s unique traditions and charm with a visit to a local village, and indulge in the South Pacific’s tranquility and beauty at resorts like Sonaisali Island Resort and Club Fiji Resort. Just west of Nadi, Denarau Island acts as a gateway to the Yasawa and Mamanuca island groups. The island is home to Viti Levu’s most plush resorts, including popular international chains like Sheraton, Sofitel and Radisson.
Located just off the west coast of Viti Levu, the Mamanuca Islands are the perfect playground for a tropical getaway. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, the islands encourage water sports such as boating, yachting, snorkeling and scuba diving, and boast world-class resorts like family-friendly sanctuary Plantation Island Resort, backpacker paradise Beachcomber Island Resort, and child-free retreat Matamanoa Island Resort.
What to Eat and Drink
Fiji has two main cuisines, indigenous Fijian and Indo-Fijian. Indo-Fijian cuisine largely consists of rice, spices and chili; while indigenous Fijian cuisine focuses on fresh seafood like fish, crab, prawn and lobster, and local fruits like sweet pineapple, mango and ripe papaya. Kava (also known as yaquona or grog) occupies a central place in everyday life in Fiji. Kava ceremonies are crucial elements of diplomacy, and can be experienced in most villages and resorts, where guests are asked to participate with reverence and respect.
Most resorts cater for guests with several dining options – the most traditional of which is a lovo night, where food is cooked in an underground oven. Restaurants and eateries can be found all throughout Nadi and Suva, however Viti Levu’s most celebrated dining options are located on the marina at Port Denarau – where western-style and Fijian eateries have been establish to specifically satiate guests in transit to the Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups.
What to Do
The Fijian archipelago boasts some of the world’s most striking scenery. Made up of over 300 islands and 500 islets, the country’s natural beauty is best experienced by island hopping.
The Yasawa and Mamanuca island groups are Fiji’s most idyllic settings for island hopping adventures. Cruise the stunning Yasawas on Capitan Cook Cruise, and discover a new atoll and coral reef every morning and afternoon. Take in the world-famous Mamanucas, from aboard a South Sea Cruise or water taxi service. Charter a private yacht and enjoy the South Pacific sea breeze while lazing on the deck. Or take it all in with a bird’s eye view, from high above with a helicopter charter. Island hopping offers perfect opportunities to dive, snorkel and surf Fiji’s beautiful waters. Most Yasawas and Mamanucas trips leave from Port Denarau.
How to Get There
Flights to Fiji: Virgin Australia operates to flights Nadi from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Fiji Holiday Packages: Our holiday partner, Blue Holidays has exceptional Fiji holiday packages from $758, per person, twin share.
Fiji Islands Holiday Packages: Our holiday partner, Blue Holidays has exceptional Fiji Islands holiday packages from $982, per person, twin share.
What would at the top of your list to do when you visit Fiji?
The hip and evolving beach-side suburb of Broadbeach is known as the cosmopolitan heart of the Gold Coast. The hub’s main strip, Surf Parade is dotted with atmospheric restaurants and trendy bars and nightclubs. Kurrawa Park and Pratten Park fringe the foreshore with landscaped walking tracks, children’s play areas, and free barbecues and picnic settings. While ample shopping opportunities abound at iconic retail malls like Oasis Shopping Centre and Pacific Fair.
Grab a coffee from No Name Lane. Indulge in gourmet delights at Manolas Brothers Delicatessens. Enjoy a flutter at Jupiters Casino. Or reserve a seat at Australia’s longest running and most successful dinner theatre, Draculas.
The Gold Coast hosts a spectacular year-round schedule of sporting events, among which we proudly sponsor the AFL and the Gold Coast Suns. Born through the support and love of the people of the Gold Coast community, the Suns are the coast’s newest sporting heroes, and are building a reputation as one of the most exciting football club in Australia.
Watch Suns’ players like Trent McKenzie, David Swallow, Karmichael Hunt, and Brownlow winner Gary Ablett Jr go head-to-head with Australia’s best at Metricon Stadium in Carrara.
Every year thousands of families flock to the Gold Coast just to visit Australia’s premier theme park, Dreamworld. Home to “So many worlds in one” the Coomera hotspot has something for everyone and makes for the perfect family day out.
Entertain the kids at Wiggles World and in the DreamWorks Experience precinct. Interact with nature in the Australian Wildlife Experience and on Tiger Island. Test your courage freefalling from 38 stories on the Giant Drop. Get swept away on the world’s fastest thrill ride, Tower of Terror II. Or try your hand at surfing on Australia’s first Flowrider.
One part rock star, one part designer chic and two parts grand opulence, the Palazzo Versace showcases the late Gianni Versace distinctive vision of, and commitment to, luxury and beauty. Boasting the slogan “Why stay in a hotel when you can stay in a palace”, the Palazzo enjoys a private marina at Main Beach, 200 glamorous light-filled rooms and timeless Italian interiors and furnishings.
If an overnight stay isn’t on your agenda, book a table at one of the Palazzo’s three award-wining restaurants, get your hair done at its private Oscar Oscar salon, shop at its on-site Versace boutique, or pamper yourself at its five-star spa. And keep your eyes peeled… the Palazzo is a favourite haunt of celebrities like Bono, Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
Just behind the infamous glitter strip, in the Gold Coast hinterland, the mesmerisingly verdant Lamington National Park covers the slopes of a gigantic ancient volcano. Thousands of years old, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed wilderness area contains Australia’s largest preserve of pristine sub-tropical rainforest, and is a great location for a camping trip or retreat getaway.
Boasting Gondwana derived flora and fauna, lush rainforests, ancient trees, spectacular views, extensive walking tracks, exceptional ecological importance and natural beauty, the ridge and cliff-lined Lamington National Park is an outstanding place to visit.