It is now 4.51am on Friday 24th June 2011. I am one very happy traveller! After the stress and anxiety of the past few days we are now making last preparations to head off to Coolangatta Airport to fly down to Hobart.
The volcanic ash cloud has moved away enough now for flights to go in and out of Hobart and Launceston. New Zealand is still grounded for most airlines, but Australia mainland and Tassie are all back to normal.
News reporters are saying that the volcano in Chile may erupt again, but at this point in time all is good for Aussies flying on domestic flights.
Once in Hobart we will meet our daughter, Tehillah, who is flying out of Sydney at 7.25am this morning and arriving at Hobart an hour before us.
We will then grab our hire car from Selective car rentals and set off on our fun family Tasmanian Holiday! The historic township of Richmond will be our first stop.
We are each so excited and will share with you over the coming days and weeks about what we get up to on our travels.
It is now only 21 hours until we leave at 6am Friday morning 24th June 2011 to drive to Gold Coast airport to fly to Hobart.
At this point in time we still do not know if we will be flying or joining with the many thousands of other passengers who are stranded, rescheduling or trying to find alternative ways to get to their destination.
It is even more of a challenge for us as Greg and I will be flying to Hobart from the Coolangatta airport, but our daughter is flying from the Sydney Airport to Hobart. We were meeting up in Hobart.
So if flights are cancelled we somehow need to rebook for both flights and try to arrive at times that allow us to meet up! Frustrating.
Jetstar and Qantas have just announced on the 8.30am news that they are grounding all flights today 23rd June 2011 to and from Tasmania, so this will affect Hobart and Launceston flights.
I am still packing and finalizing everything and at the same time checking @JetstarNews tweets on Twitter to see the latest updates so that we can better plan for trip that is hopefully starting tomorrow!
We did look into the option of hiring a car and driving down to Sydney to collect our daughter. Then driving to Melbourne and catching the Spirit of Tasmania over to Devonport. I was horrified to find out that even if the 3 of us sat in a deck recliner that we would be looking at around $600 for this trip without the cost to hire the car! So No that is not an option.
My husband, Greg, has just suggested finding a private charter flight that would fly us from Melbourne to Hobart. I personally cannot believe that this could be done for under $500, but I could be wrong. Greg is going to research and let me know what he finds out.
We will keep you updated as we find out more about our flights and trip to Tasmania.
In 4 days from now we should be on our flight half way to Hobart from the Gold Coast, but will this persistent Volcanic Ash Cloud cause problems with our flight? We pray that it won’t!
As we continue to prepare and plan for our 8 day family holiday in Tasmania, only four days away, we are also struggling with the fear that our trip may be postponed or delayed due to the volcanic ash that is continuing to interfere with more flights across parts of Australia.
Already Adelaide flights have been cancelled. So all flights in and out of Adelaide will not be running today, 21st June 2011.
Now the airlines have announced that Sydney Airport will close all flights from 3pm today. Some International flights leaving Sydney today have been brought forward slightly so that they can take off before the airport is closed at 3pm.
Canberra Airport is also having all flights cancelled from 12 noon today.
So once again many thousands of passengers are going to sitting around airports wondering when they will be able to board their flights!
As the airlines struggle to catch up on the thousands of stranded passengers from last week’s cancellations, they now have to also add in these new passengers who will be unable to fly today!
I can only imagine how the airline’s phones must be running off-the-hook as anxious passengers try to determine if their flight is going to fly as scheduled or how they can re-book or receive a refund! It must be crazy.
So at this point in time we can only sit, wait and pray that by Friday morning at 6am when we are driving to the airport that everything will be clear and we will be able to take off and land safely in Hobart as planned and begin our fun family holiday in Tasmania!
We will keep you updated as to what is happening with our flight.
Until then, Remember to Enjoy Life and Enjoy a Family Holiday!
We arrive Friday around 10.30am. So after we get our luggage we will then go and collect our hire car from Selective Car Rentals at Hobart Airport. Since we cannot check into the Wyndham Resort at Seven Mile Beach until 4pm, we thought that we would have a drive up through the Historic township of Richmond.
We want to especially see the famous historic Richmond Bridge and stop for some classic photos. All we need is a nice clear day so that we can capture the reflection of the bridge in the water.
Old Hobart Town is also in Richmond so we may go and check that out. This attraction includes models of how life used to be in the Hobart area back in the 1820’s. Old Hobart Town has won multiple awards for this unique tourist destination.
In the afternoon we will stop in Sorrell to do some grocery shopping, which we will take back to the resort. After checking in at 4pm we hope to unload the car and then have a relaxed stroll around the grounds of the resort.
Saturday we plan on staying in the Hobart area. Weather permitting we want to go up Mt Wellington and enjoy the view of the surrounds. On a clear day, fantastic views of Hobart and the Derwent River can be taken in.
On Sunday morning bright and early we will set off on a two-day trip. Our first stop will be the Hastings Caves. We will do the cave tour at 11am. We are looking forward to seeing the cave, as it has been many years since we have seen the insides of any cave.
We plan on having a relaxing lunch and afternoon sitting in the Hastings Thermal Spring pool. It will be nice to just sit back and relax for a few hours.
Later in the afternoon, we will drive to the Tahune Airwalk to stay overnight in the Airwalk Lodge. We will have Internet at the Lodge and so hope to publish a post or two while there.
Monday morning we check out of the lodge at 10am and then have a guided tour booked for 10.30am on the Tahune Airwalk. We are looking forward to just taking in the beauty of the Tasmanian forests and bush as we walk high above it all on the man-made walkway at the tops of the trees.
After the Airwalk, we are hoping to each have 2 rides on the Eagle Hang Gliding also at Tahune Airwalk. This would be the ride of a lifetime as none of the three of us have ever been hang gliding and are not likely to in the future! So we will see what happens and share it with you later on.
Monday afternoon we will then enjoy the hour and a half drive back to Hobart. I am sure that we will stop along the way to take photos and video and to absorb the natural beauty that we see along the road.
We should arrive back to the resort at Seven Mile Beach around dinnertime and can then relax before continuing our fun holiday on Tuesday morning.
There are no set plans yet for the second half of our holiday in Tassie, but there are still plenty of things on our list and so there is no doubt that it is sure to be a fun and exciting time.
These last few days before we fly to Hobart are going to be busy, so this may be the last post before we write from the Tahune Airwalk Lodge on Sunday evening.
After our lovely dolphin kiss at the Pet Porpoise Pool last time, we are now off to the famous Big Banana for some fun on the toboggans.
The day that Greg and I drove down to Coffs Harbour from the Gold Coast it was bright and sunny, but then the rain came. Most days it rained off and on and so it was hard to find a time to ride the toboggans.
The water on the toboggan slide causes the toboggans not to run correctly and hence they are not operational in the rain or on mainly rainy days.
Greg and I were blessed on our final day in Coffs to once again have a sunny sky! So after we checked out of our unit at Wyndham resort at the Terraces near the Novotel, we made our way once again to the Big Banana and went over to the entrance to the toboggan ride.
We have been on the toboggans in previous years when we have visited the Coffs region and so we knew how much fun the rides were. Greg went up first and I followed behind.
It is great because the rider controls the toboggan speed. Greg likes to go faster than I do so he made it down to the bottom faster than I did.
I enjoy going at a reasonable pace, but also taking in the scenery along the way. At the top of the toboggan ride you can actually see the glistening, blue ocean and part of the Coffs coast. You can also see the Big Banana Water Park down below with its inflatable slides.
The hill with its rows of banana plants is also clearly visible as you ride down the hill around each of the bends in the track.
We were happy that we each had two goes tobogganing. It is something that I could do again and again.
Next time we are in the Coffs Harbour region we will once again be back for more rides at this fun tourist attraction, that both visitors to the area and locals alike enjoy.
Next time we are going to look at some of the research we have been doing to prepare for our trip to Tassie that is now less than a week away. Our only concern is that the Volcanic ash that has affected flights to and from Tasmania over this past week will not still be around next Friday to cause problems with our flights.