Qantas to Norfolk Island

henrus

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Perhaps Norfolk Island could become an interesting stopover option to/from NZ?
Back when Air NZ operated AKL-NLK it was possible to get this on a single ticket. Back then it wasn't cheap and nothings changed...

Brisbane to Norfolk is averaging around $420 oneway (drops by about $100 if/once Air NZ come back) and then Norfolk to Auckland $350. Totals to $770 for a oneway Brisbane to Auckland (via Norfolk) and that's just the flights.
 
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Hi kpc or anyone else who has been to Norfolk recently - we fly tomorrow and have just received an email from QF with some info about the flight. Regarding Cabin baggage it says: "Cabin baggage must not exceed 1 piece, weighing a maximum of 7kgs (15lbs) per passenger." Our air tickets state "Cabin bag combination + 1 personal item (7kg per piece). I carry a camera bag with several DSLR cameras and lenses as well as a laptop bag as a personal item and have never had a problem flying with this combination. Have you seen them enforcing this on flights to or from SYD? If so I'll have to ask my Wife to carry the laptop bag but she will still want to carry her handbag as well.

The email from QF also mentions "Limited onboard food and beverages". What was served on your flights?

Were you able to check-in online? When I try to do online check-in I get "Online check-in is unavailable for this flight. Please check-in at the airport". The seats I selected when I booked are still showing on our booking so it will be interesting to see if they stay the same when we check-in tomorrow.
 

Tiki

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This is from BNE but maybe SYD is similar. They weren't too strict about cabin bags but I noticed very few people were cabin bag only types. Outbound we checked one bag because we brought food and drink items that I thought would be expensive on island. Returning we each had about 7kg backpacks, one camera bag and one tote bag with a laptop. Download some movies to watch at night, They do have FTA channels but I like more choices.

No check in online, I presume this is because they check Covid permits. We got served a fancy biscuit and juice outbound, savoury biscuit and juice return and little individual mineral waters.

We got lucky, I booked window and aisle, no one took the middle.

I am taking a guess you are a birder based on your cameras. Don't miss Margaret's Bird finder tour, it was awesome and we got the Green Parrot and most endemics! Your hotel can book you.
 
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SYD

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If it works, the link below was from today’s SMH (and probably The Age) Traveller “One&Only” section covering NLK:

EDIT: see link in post below!
 
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kpc

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Ex Syd they didn't check or weigh carry on so I don't think carrying on your cameras will be an issue....We flew J and I got a meat pie for brunch and +1 got some sort of salad...eat a good breakfast b4 you go to airport as only one shop selling coffee post security...I guess you can buy Tim Tams and wine from the DF shop for breakfast ;) ; checkin in at airport as they want to see your Norfolk Island Travel pass. Don't get to airport too early, T -90 minutes is plenty of time...the airport will be deserted as NZ flights only start on Mon.
 
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Thanks Tiki and kpc for your helpful replies and SYD for the link to the article. I will definitely book Margaret's Bird Finder tour.
 
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Here are some articles I’ve found about Norfolk Island, including the Bird finder tour mentioned by Tiki.


 

henrus

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Don't get to airport too early, T -90 minutes is plenty of time...the airport will be deserted as NZ flights only start on Mon.
From next week the NZ flight start which means the QF first lounge in SYD (and lounge in Brisbane) will be open for those eligible for lounge access. In both SYD/BNE there will be NZ-bound flights leaving around the same time as NLK which means the lounge should open ~2-3 hours prior to departure for each of these flights.
 

kpc

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From next week the NZ flight start which means the QF first lounge in SYD (and lounge in Brisbane) will be open for those eligible for lounge access. In both SYD/BNE there will be NZ-bound flights leaving around the same time as NLK which means the lounge should open ~2-3 hours prior to departure for each of these flights.
but Ken1 is going tomorrow.... :(
 
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We're really enjoying our time on Norfolk so far. Our SYD-NLK flight on Sunday was full. There were no hand baggage checks at SYD. When we arrived at NLK everyone crowded together while waiting for baggage. While waiting for baggage an official asked to look at our arrival cards and then asked if we have any food with us - we said we have things like cereal, biscuits etc and I said that we don't have any types of food listed that has to be declared on the arrival card. He did say that we can buy food here and I didn't think until later that I should have told him that we had read about the shortage of supplies when the ship was delayed. After we picked up our bags there was a long line snaking around the terminal splitting into 2 lines when a second border force official went to the desk which sped up the lines. We did have to show our passports as well as the arrival card. After that for the border pass we had our name marked off the list of arrivals and she said she didn't need to see our border passes and told me I could keep them and we had our temperatures checked as we were walking out.

After leaving the terminal we were taken by bus to our apartments where our rental car was waiting for us. We were given 2 vouchers for wifi in the apartment each with 2GB of data. If we use all of that we can purchase more for $20 with 2GB. I've found the wifi slow at times.

Yesterday I bought a Norfolk Telecom "Tourist Mobile Plan" SIM card for $30 which includes the SIM card ($10). The SIM is valid for 21 days and gives you:
Data: 2GB
Local Landline: 25 minutes
Local Mobile: 25 minutes
IDD: 5 mins (AUS & NZ)
Local SMS: 100

You can recharge with another 2GB for $20. I have downloaded the Norfolk Telecom app which shows how much data etc is still remaining. This is faster than the wifi in the apartment. If the 4GB of wifi provided with the apartment runs out I'll just use the 4G on my phone. Our phones are with Vodafone and we have no connection at all, even for expensive roaming.

We were given a free 3 hour orientation tour yesterday morning which we found really useful as it gives you a taste of places to go back and visit with your car. We are here for 8 nights and I'm sure we will find things to do every day while we're here. Today was a mostly sunny day and we spent the day around Kingston and Emily Bay. Tomorrow we are booked on Margaret's Bird Tour.
 

WLGFlyer

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I've been trying to get a Norfolk Island Travel Pass but no luck - all I get is a blank page once I hit "apply". Tried several browsers and on mobile.

Any advice?
 

kpc

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I've been trying to get a Norfolk Island Travel Pass but no luck - all I get is a blank page once I hit "apply". Tried several browsers and on mobile.

Any advice?
OpenGov Try this link. I can get in on Firefox
 

henrus

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Some good news for those looking at going to Norfolk Island. Air New Zealand's General Manager of Networks made a comment saying that the Australian Government is looking at extending the Qantas agreement past the current date of 19 June.

Whilst not mentioned, there is the possibility of Air NZ losing the contract completely given it expires mid this year anyway.
 

jakeseven7

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Some good news for those looking at going to Norfolk Island. Air New Zealand's General Manager of Networks made a comment saying that the Australian Government is looking at extending the Qantas agreement past the current date of 19 June.

Whilst not mentioned, there is the possibility of Air NZ losing the contract completely given it expires mid this year anyway.

Great news!
 

SYD

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Some good news for those looking at going to Norfolk Island. Air New Zealand's General Manager of Networks made a comment saying that the Australian Government is looking at extending the Qantas agreement past the current date of 19 June.

Whilst not mentioned, there is the possibility of Air NZ losing the contract completely given it expires mid this year anyway.
Flying over on QF179, I overheard a bit of a conversation with the CSM and a J PAX about QF continuing the route. The response was something along the lines of “economics” etc But with a “contract” and current loads, you’d think that would be a no brainer for the immediate future?

Meanwhile, it was a Godsend that the 1st Lounge is now open (albeit very busy!). The Neil Perry inspired whY “morning tea” onboard would have left you wanting more…
 

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SYD

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Also, picking up a local SIM, NI Telecom seemed to think that roaming agreements might be up and running ~6mth.
 

henrus

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Flying over on QF179, I overheard a bit of a conversation with the CSM and a J PAX about QF continuing the route. The response was something along the lines of “economics” etc But with a “contract” and current loads, you’d think that would be a no brainer for the immediate future?

I guess freight is also a bit of a factor. It's worth noting that the NZ A320's can uplift more freight to Norfolk Island when flights are full so are probably more favourable for the route in the long run.

Unlike the Christmas/Cocos Islands flights which seem to be fully underwritten, the Norfolk flights seem to be (from what I can find online) a fixed amount that includes freight subsidies and locked in fuel prices. Whilst flights are full, Qantas may feel as if they can make more money with the 737 elsewhere. The days QF uses a 737 to NLK it typically is only able to operate one extra domestic leg after returning from NLK whereas Air NZ was able to fly NZ-AU-NLK-AU-NZ in a single day using a single aircraft.

Also, picking up a local SIM, NI Telecom seemed to think that roaming agreements might be up and running ~6mth.
haha, I'd trust that with a grain of salt. NI Telecom had planned to have the 3G/4G network in operation late last year but in the end, it started about 4 months late. They'd also planned to have roaming available from day 1 but that never happened either. If you're in desperate need of receiving calls whilst over there then it's best to make prior arrangements for the time being. At least Optus/Vodafone wifi calling should work on NBN satellite connections and Telstra wifi calling works on all connections now, just need an eligible plan/phone.
 

SYD

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I guess freight is also a bit of a factor. It's worth noting that the NZ A320's can uplift more freight to Norfolk Island when flights are full so are probably more favourable for the route in the long run.

Unlike the Christmas/Cocos Islands flights which seem to be fully underwritten, the Norfolk flights seem to be (from what I can find online) a fixed amount that includes freight subsidies and locked in fuel prices. Whilst flights are full, Qantas may feel as if they can make more money with the 737 elsewhere. The days QF uses a 737 to NLK it typically is only able to operate one extra domestic leg after returning from NLK whereas Air NZ was able to fly NZ-AU-NLK-AU-NZ in a single day using a single aircraft.

Yes, freight would be an important consideration. After I posted the previous, I ponder whether a JQ switch on some/all days might be on peoples minds in the long run?

As for a/c utilisation, QF could do the same (if they aren’t already) now that the Bubble is holding. It must be a similar scenario to the 737s that did NOU ex-SYD and BNE?

PS
Optus WiFi calling is working in my apartment - I noticed.
 

henrus

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Yes, freight would be an important consideration. After I posted the previous, I ponder whether a JQ switch on some/all days might be on peoples minds in the long run?

JQ could work quite well although it'd be a very expensive Jetstar flight. Whilst unlikely to happen, they should put the route back out for a competitive tender and see what they get.

Optus WiFi calling is working in my apartment - I noticed.
Good to know, I found my Optus wifi calling worked at the accommodation (NBN satellite) but not on the Norfolk telecom hotspots.
 

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