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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:07 pm   #1
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Default MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

Ok so here it is. Just a few notes I made of our validation trip, so get yourselves a cuppa...or two. I hope its of some interest to you. Jackie x


Day 0

We set off from Manchester on our 14 hour flight to Singapore, with Singapore Airlines. Flight was excellent, no delays. We were very well looked after by the crew. They made a big fuss of the kids. The food was good, I liked the choice of menu and the way the kids got to eat first so we could relax when it came to eat ours. The inflight entertainment was excellent, on demand films etc and video games kept the kids and hubby entertained for the duration. We had an 18 hour wait at Singapore and we had booked a room at the Transit Hotel for 12 hours. We just got off the flight and headed over to the other terminal (2) and checked in straight away. We had a family room which slept 5. It had 1 kingsize bed and 2 singles. Jons mum and Jasmine had the singles and me jon and oliver shared the big kingsize. The room was huge, more like a suite and I think we paid about £83 for it which I thought was a bargain. Would definately recommend it to anyone with a bit of wait before their onward journey. We had a view out to the runway and could see all the planes landing and taking off. The windows were sound proofed so we didn't get the noise though.

As we had arrived at Changi airport at 0600 hours we all went to sleep and got up about lunchtime. We got changed into our swimwear and made our way to the rooftop swimming pool. The weather was glorious. The pool was lovely and warm and relaxing! Had a beer or 2 just to get into the holiday swing.

After lazing round the pool for a couple of hours we went back to our room and got showered and changed checked out of the room and went to get something to eat. The facilities at Changi are excellent. They do everything to help you relax and make your time waiting for your onward journey as pleasant as possible.

At midnight it was time to board the plane for our onward journey to Brisbane. The 7 hour flight was a breeze again and we were well looked after by the staff. We collected quite a few of the amenity packs with pairs of socks and toothbrushes in. I think they would make good secret santa presents for people! The entertainment system on this flight was on demand, but still it kept the kids occupied for the duration.....
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:14 pm   #2
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Day 1

09.35 Touchdown in Brisbane!

So begins our Australian Adventure. All went smoothly through immigration and so our visa's were stamped and validated! Luckily all our luggage arrived at the same time we did, so was pleased about that! I was a bit concerned though, when we were waiting for our cases, the customs officer with the sniffer dog asked jons mum to open Olivers back pack as the dog kept sniffing it, and every time the officer pulled the dog away...he went back to it. We told him oliver takes his packed lunches to school in the bag. The officer checked the bag and all was ok!

The taxi we had booked over the internet hadn't arrived, but one quick phone call and it arrived 10 minutes later. After about a 25 minute journey we arrived at The Gateway Holiday Village.....everything was running so smoothly we couldn't believe it!...or was it?
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:15 pm   #3
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

I love reading about reccies

We flew with singapore, but didn't have the stopover in between - bad idea will do as you did when we eventually move out there



next installment please
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:17 pm   #4
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs JFW
Day 1

09.35 Touchdown in Brisbane!

So begins our Australian Adventure. All went smoothly through immigration and so our visa's were stamped and validated! Luckily all our luggage arrived at the same time we did, so was pleased about that! I was a bit concerned though, when we were waiting for our cases, the customs officer with the sniffer dog asked jons mum to open Olivers back pack as the dog kept sniffing it, and every time the officer pulled the dog away...he went back to it. We told him oliver takes his packed lunches to school in the bag. The officer checked the bag and all was ok!

The taxi we had booked over the internet hadn't arrived, but one quick phone call and it arrived 10 minutes later. After about a 25 minute journey we arrived at The Gateway Holiday Village.....everything was running so smoothly we couldn't believe it!...or was it?
OOOH!!!! this is good more
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:23 pm   #5
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs JFW
Day 1

09.35 Touchdown in Brisbane!

So begins our Australian Adventure. All went smoothly through immigration and so our visa's were stamped and validated! Luckily all our luggage arrived at the same time we did, so was pleased about that! I was a bit concerned though, when we were waiting for our cases, the customs officer with the sniffer dog asked jons mum to open Olivers back pack as the dog kept sniffing it, and every time the officer pulled the dog away...he went back to it. We told him oliver takes his packed lunches to school in the bag. The officer checked the bag and all was ok!

The taxi we had booked over the internet hadn't arrived, but one quick phone call and it arrived 10 minutes later. After about a 25 minute journey we arrived at The Gateway Holiday Village.....everything was running so smoothly we couldn't believe it!...or was it?

WE had the sniffer dog treatment too and had to open all our luggage

Looking forward to more installments. Glad you had a fab time
Mandy
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:26 pm   #6
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Day 1 continued.....


Jon and I went into reception to confirm our booking and pick up the keys. However when Jon went to pay with his visa debit card....it was rejected! :scared: She tried a second time.....still rejected! :scared:

We couldn't understand why this would be and panic set in then! The lady told us not to worry (yeah right!) gave us the keys to the holiday cabin but told us we would have to settle the account by 10am the next morning! She didn't say it, but we knew that she meant if it wasn't we would be evicted!

The cabin we had was lovely. It was the 3 bedroomed holiday home. Just right for what we needed and immaculately clean. Had all the ammenities you would need dishwasher, TV, DVD, iron ironing board, washing machine and a clothes line at the back of the cabin....however we still needed to sort out the debit card problem. We were wondering how to get intouch with our bank as it would be saturday night at home...so we ended up ringing the emergency stolen credit card number. The guy was very helpful and confirmed what we already knew that funds were in the account and there was not a problem with the card. He suggested getting the lady at reception to try the card once more and if it failed again to ask her to do a manual authorisation. So off we trundled back to reception and hey presto! the card worked straight away! Weird! but we were very relieved. Now we could go and relax by the pool.

The facilities are good at the Gateway if anyone is thinking of staying there. It has a Tennis court, table tennis, free x box games for the kids. It very close to both the motorways the Gateway and the Pacific so easy enough to get around (well it was by the time we left).

As we had no food we walked to the local shops as we had no car yet. We saw our first big lizard, the kids were really excited! That night exhausted we stayed in and watched so good ol' aussie TV.
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:35 pm   #7
 
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

oo found it MORE MORE MORE
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:37 pm   #8
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Day 2

Awoke very early, the jet lag was taking effect. Oliver was awake at 4.30 am.

The weather was nice and sunny about 25 degrees. We got ready and headed off to Brisbane to pick up our hire car. We got the bus into the city. I was very impressed with the Busways there. The buses run on their own roads and not with the rest of the traffic so getting around is really quick and easy. We ended up hiring our car from East Coast Rentals and got a medium sized car ( i think it was a hyundi) for a month for £600. The place was a bit difficult to find as we had never been to brissy before, but my map reading skills came into play and we found it without too much bother in the end. We walked from Elizabeth street down the Queen St Mall with all the shops and pavement cafes. It was lovely. Once we got the car we headed over to the south bank parklands and took a walk along the brisbane river and ended up in the botanical gardens. We then walked back and the kids had a swim in the man made lagoon. That is so cool! We had a bite to eat in one of the many places you can eat there and then headed back to the Gateway where we all went to bed about tea time absolutely shattered!
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:51 pm   #9
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

More More.....
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 4:59 pm   #10
 
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In The Midnight Hour She Cried More More More
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 5:03 pm   #11
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

Brilliant - methinks we'll be reading this for weeks
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 5:04 pm   #12
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

be back in a mo....just sorting out tea!
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 5:04 pm   #13
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

Good reccie report so far Jackie!
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Old Nov 28th 2006, 5:10 pm   #14
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

Right, that's one cuppa done. I'm off to bath the kids and will be bakc with another cuppa to red the rest later. Sounds like you were having a great time Jackie.

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Old Nov 28th 2006, 5:36 pm   #15
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Default Re: MRS JFW's Australian Adventure!

i'm wondering if maybe this would have been better as a blog....hope i don't get into any trouble with the mods!

anyway here goes the saga again....

Day 3

Oliver was up again first at 4.30 am. little sod! so the rest of us got up at 5am.

We decided to take a trip to the Alma Park Zoo which is in the Northern suburbs. We found our way quite easily and arrived about 10am. It was a gorgeous day again. The kids loved seeing all the animals and especially enjoyed the kangaroo enclosure where they went in and fed the kangaroos! Its quite a small zoo but made a good few hours out and was reasonably priced for the 5 of us.

About lunchtime we left the zoo and headed over to Redcliffe to have a look around. It appeared from first impressions to be quiet and serene. We headed to one of the beaches which was full of lovely blue jellyfish....not sure if they were dangerous in anyway but didn't take a chance anyhow.

We found a lovely fish and chip shop, along the seafront...can't remember the name of it but it had an array of choice when it comes to fish and chips!
We were offered fat chips thin chips curly chips, battered fish, crumbed fish, skinned fish......OMG! what a choice! It was here that we were introduced to chicken salt! and we love it!

We left Redcliffe after a couple of hours and headed back to the Gateway Village. As we had no shopping in we went off to the local supermarket (Super IGA) not sure what thats the equivalent of, but I'm thinking perhaps I would compare it to say our co-ops or maybe morrisons.

We had to buy everything from breakfast cereals to sun scream and stocked up with about a weeks worth of shopping. It came to $200 so I thought that was comparable maybe a bit cheaper to what I would pay at home for a weeks shop with added extras like washing powder etc.. in morrisons. Jon also joined the local video shop. If you stay at the Gateway Village and show your cabin key you can join instantly you just need to give a $20 deposit. The kids took some of their own DVDs with them but unfortunately they didn't play on the player in our cabin.

Still jet lagged and knackered we were all ready for bed by 6pm.
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