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Darwin - a first experience so a few questions

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simongr

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Hi all

Bolted to the end of my DONE4 is a 4 visit to DRW to visit one of mrssimongr's friends and their new baby. We are going to stay with them for two days and then stay in a hotel (no Hiltons in DRW it seems) before flying back.

Just a couple of questions - how much is the cab ride from the Airport to the city - I think mrssimongr's friends live relatively close to the city?

Any recommendations for a hotel? We have a 5:45AM flight home on the Monday - and it is the A330 flight so skybeds home :D - so not sure if a hotel closer to the airport is an option or does it not really matter?

Also - given that this is an international flight number - is there an international terminal at DRW? Will we need D stickers on the way into SYD? For that matter as it routes through ADL will we need anything for ADL?

It is bizzare how my life has changed that I am more comfortable with international flights and domestic US flights than I am with domestic Oz flights ...

Cheers

S
 

Mwenenzi

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simongr said:
.. how much is the cab ride from the Airport to the city
Guess at $20 - $25. 10 to 15 minutes ride. Darwin is small.

simongr said:
Any recommendations for a hotel? We have a 5:45AM flight home on the Monday - and it is the A330 flight so skybeds home :D - so not sure if a hotel closer to the airport is an option or does it not really matter?
Does not matter. Stay a city hotel. No real choice. Have a look at Wotif.com: Australia Hotels, Accommodation, Motels. Will show the main options.
 
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SeaWolf

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Last time I was there, which is a few years ago now, there was only one terminal at DRW for all passenger traffic. It's very much a 'walk across the tarmac' kind of airport, even though I think there was a couple of bridges.

One interesting feature you'll have to look out for though is that the RAAF base is located just the other side of the runway (they share the runway with the military) and if you look across you'll be able to see FA-18s in their hangers.
 

markis10

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Recommend the Holiday INN Esplanade (not the Holiday Inn that was the old travelodge next door), the Priority Club triple points promo (quad points if booked online) at present should result in a free nights accomodation at a later date for every two nights you stay there if you book a "points break" night.

Taxi is around $15-20 and it is a 15 minute run to the CBD. Outside of the city there is the airport resort or casino but I would not bother, they reduce your dining options and morning coffee options!
 

simongr

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Thanks all - I will check with mrssimongr what she wants to do and plan accordingly :)

Now if only I can get her on this trip with hand baggage only ;)
 

JohnK

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simongr said:
Any recommendations for a hotel?
There are 2 Holiday Inns.

simongr said:
We have a 5:45AM flight home on the Monday - and it is the A330 flight so skybeds home :D - so not sure if a hotel closer to the airport is an option or does it not really matter?
Hotel does not matter as everything is close in Darwin.

According to QF timetable QF81 departs SYD-ADL-DRW-SIN on a Thursday and QF82 departs SIN-DRW-ADL-SYD on a Tuesday night and returns to Australia on a Wednesday morning.

When did the schedule change for QF81/82 going back through Darwin? Or are schedules changing regularly?
 

Mal

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Agree about a city hotel. Crowne Plaza is ok. I normally stay there, but hear Holiday Inn talked about more as a better hotel.

The Darwin CBD is very small. Not much to do. Most people use the place as a launch pad for Kakadu/Litchfield/driving to Alice Spring/Uluru etc.

Yes there is a 'pseduo' international terminal (or rather wing from the Domestic Terminal ;) ) at the airport that you enter through a double door from the domestic terminal (it's past security, checkin etc). Airport is nothing special. Get there as late as possible. Qantas Club will only be open for a little while before your flight - can't remember exactly when it opens in DRW (maybe 4:30? Best you call and ask) and the International wing will only open around 1 hour before your flight I think. Extremely little in the International wing so don't rush through immigration! Been a few years since I did the QF82 route though, so some things may have changed. Was in Darwin earlier this year though and spent something like 5 hours at the airport due to various reasons. Definately a boring place to be!

Yep, you'll need D stickers etc. I assume you have an Aussie Driver's license (Recall you having a British Passport). If no Australian driver's license, then passport is needed. You'll remain Airside in ADL. Not sure that there's a lounge airside in the new airport. Remember of course the new LAG rules (Liquid and Gels). They'll apply to your flight.
 

simongr

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OK just some final comments before tomorrow's trip.

I am flying BNE-DRW and mrssimong is flying SYD-DRW. My expectation was the same seat that I get on a SYD-BNE flight. Just checking in online (a first for me) and the seat map shows 1-2-2 in J. That to me looks like the region config that you get SYD-NRT for example - the millenium seat? Should I be expecting a little more comfort than a SYD-BNE flight?

S
 

serfty

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simongr said:
... Should I be expecting a little more comfort than a SYD-BNE flight? ...
Yep!
simongr said:
... My expectation was the same seat that I get on a SYD-BNE flight. Just checking in online (a first for me) and the seat map shows 1-2-2 in J. That to me looks like the region config that you get SYD-NRT for example - the millenium seat?
S
NUP!

1-2-2 is dreamtime with PTV.



http://www.qantas.com.au/infodetail/flying/inTheAir/ourAircraft/763-25J204Y.pdf
 
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simongr said:
OK just some final comments before tomorrow's trip.

I am flying BNE-DRW and mrssimong is flying SYD-DRW. My expectation was the same seat that I get on a SYD-BNE flight. Just checking in online (a first for me) and the seat map shows 1-2-2 in J. That to me looks like the region config that you get SYD-NRT for example - the millenium seat? Should I be expecting a little more comfort than a SYD-BNE flight?

S
Hello Simon,

It appears a Dreamtime configured 767-300 will be operating your flight tomorrow, as you mentioned a 1x2x2 configuration showing on OLCI. You can view a photo of the 767-300 Dreamtime seat here. Basically you get a nice seat with an aged and small PTV which plays IFE on a loop. These aircraft are used to ports such as Honolulu, Manila, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

The Millennium seat is what you get on the majority of domestic flights and majority of flights to Noumea, Christchurch and Auckland.

IME, Dreamtime seats are more comfortable and it's great if you can get the single seat in position A.

Now Simon don't be disappointed if you end up getting a ZX* series 767-300 with Millennium seats as I have done BNE-DRW in the 767 many times and it always ended up being a ZX 767-300. There could well be an aircraft switch at BNE tomorrow morning so I would go to the airport without keeping my hopes up.

With regards to QF81/82, well it will often operate via Darwin in order to uplift additional passengers. This often happens to QF51/52 BNE-SIN-BNE during the peak season. So basically it's nothing out of the ordinary.

Simon, when I was last in Darwin I stayed at the Crowne Plaza. Nice position and very friendly staff albeit a tad dated. I booked a basic room for my last stay and was inconvenienced so was upgraded to the Arafura Suite which had nice views and amenities. So overall a nice hotel and very nice staff but I hear the other IHG properties in DRW may be better.

Have a good time in DRW. It's a very nice place.

Copycat serfty :D hehe

Regards
 

simongr

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Thanks for the detail guys - I always get dreamtime and millenium confused :oops:

I dont really care about my seat BNE-DRW the main thing is mrssimongr - she also seems to be in a 1-2-2 per the OLCI check in. I will have my laptop (woo hoo) so that should be ok for a couple of hours without power, the ipod touch and 4 weeks of comics to read (just collected - think two phone books - might impact on my hand baggage limits ;)). I just want mrssimongr to have a great flight SYD-DRW as she will be by herself, a little nervous and wondering what to do for 4 hours :)
 

QF WP

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I'm wondering why you didn't fly back to SYD and fly to DRW with mrssimongr??

Hope you are enjoying BNE tonight...:D
 

littl_flier

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Simongr in Brissy! Though the city felt a bit "cooler" tonight. The Auditors are in town. :p

It looks like I'll be doing a transit through Darwin later this month. I arrive at 9:15pm and leave at 00:40 to SYD. Is it worth getting out and seeing something (only nightlife I'm guessing but open to anything and everything) in Darwin or should I just hang around the QP?
 

Mal

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littl_flier said:
It looks like I'll be doing a transit through Darwin later this month. I arrive at 9:15pm and leave at 00:40 to SYD. Is it worth getting out and seeing something (only nightlife I'm guessing) in Darwin (how far is the airport from the city in taxi time?) or should I just hang around the QP?
Probably just hang out in the club. It should be open for that period of time.

The taxi is only about 10 mins into town each way. But really, there is not much nightlife in town most of the year. I believe it picks up a bit more during the big tourist months.

I can't think of any "must do's" around Darwin that can be done in 3 hours at night.
 

simongr

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Lindsay Wilson said:
I'm wondering why you didn't fly back to SYD and fly to DRW with mrssimongr??

Hope you are enjoying BNE tonight...:D
Just for clarity - I flew to BNE this morning from SYD on my way to DRW. I bolted this trip onto my recent DONE4 and thus in an effort to get to DRW I need to have a stop somewhere due to the restriction on one SYD/DRW flight flight. IN retrospect I should have tried to get mrssimongr on these flights rather than sending her off by herself...
 

simongr

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Currently sat in the DRW QP waiting for mrssimongr - very kindly let into the lounge in a flagrant breach of the guidelines :D :D
 

JohnK

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littl_flier said:
It looks like I'll be doing a transit through Darwin later this month. I arrive at 9:15pm and leave at 00:40 to SYD. Is it worth getting out and seeing something (only nightlife I'm guessing but open to anything and everything) in Darwin or should I just hang around the QP?
I don't think there is anyworth seeing at that time of the night. Yes you can visit one of the pubs but for the ~$20 taxi fare each way it does not seem worth it.

As Mal advises your best bet would be to stay in the Qantas Lounge.
 
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