Last minute biz trip to Australia = all night booking frenzy for the Pacific

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10 pm I got confirmation of a last minute business trip, for tomorrow, well already today, to Australia, the business travel jackpot. A birthday spent in Korean Air business class.

This unleashed a booking frenzy to figure out how to spend a week of vacation tacked on at the end. The opportunity could not pass.

I have had a crash course in the crushing expense of the South Pacific, Australian rental cars with ridiculously low mileages (33 km allowance from Thrifty at one airport!), a nasty surprise trying to book Air Niugini from CheapOair (never again attempting to use them), air passes that no longer exist and more. Fodder for future posts, but now is the time to pack.

Here is what I put together:

  • Sat arrive Melbourne and transfer to an Avios-booked trip to Tasmania on Qantas, back Sunday on the first segment of a Virgin Australia Pass.
  • Work all week.
  • Sat a lost day, will need to tool around Melbourne.
  • Sun over to Ayers Rock via Sydney, Qantas/Avios.
  • Mon to Brisbane via Sydney, Qantas/Avios.
  • Tue-Wed figure out something in Brisbane. I wanted to go to Darwin but the costs, especially for rental car for what I wanted to do were too high.
  • Thu to the Solomon Islands, Virgin Australia Pass.
  • Sat to Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini, an airline that bankrupts passengers.
  • Sun to the Bismark Archipelago of Papua New Guinea, Air Niugini.
  • Mon-Tue the long road back with a dash of Virgin and Qantas connecting up with Korean Air.
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[…] of the most poignant WWII sites to visit. I had the opportunity in September 2012, booking it in an all-night frenzy when a last minute Australia business trip materialized. It was just after 70th anniversary […]

James Kunz
James Kunz
10 years ago

That’s awesome dude. Wish being a teacher led to business trips in Australia

Million Mile Secrets
10 years ago

Happy birthday! If you’re in Melbourne, try to do the Great Pacific drive. It was one of the best drives I’ve taken!

Rapid Travel Chai
10 years ago

@Craig Ford – I booked it rather impulsively when this business trip came up, only have half a day around Port Moresby and then fly to Rabaul for a day, seemed cool and the Bismarks count for Traveler’s Century Club. I welcome your suggestions.

Craig Ford
10 years ago

Where are you going in PNG? I lived there for six years and just moved to the States. Air Niuguini rates have actually dropped a lot in the last 5ish years. With Airlines PNG at least there is some competition in the country and for flight to and from Australia.