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Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef via Qantas First Class

Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef via Qantas First Class

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Old Jan 12, 19, 10:40 pm
  #61  
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We arrived at Gate 9 in Terminal 3 and very close to our connecting Gate 13.



We headed for the Qantas Club, or so we thought.









Unfortunately, at the top of the escalator, the Qantas Club dragon informed us that the Club was temporarily closed. When I inquire whether "temporarily" meant 30 minutes or a few hours, she replied "a few weeks". LOL. I'm thinking that a sign would be a little cheaper. Just saying.



We were directed down a long narrow corridor to the Business Lounge.



Past something called the Private Lounge, where a snooty dragon informed me that the lounge was indeed private and/or for Chairman's Club members.



Unfortunately, the Qantas Business Lounge was one of the sorriest lounges I've seen in a long time. When you start to miss the Admirals Club or even a United Club, you know this is a bad lounge. Tons of people and seats with very few power outlets. Yeah, who needs to recharge personal devices?















The most notable thing about walking around the lounge was how utterly and disgustingly flithy the place was. Either Aussies are slobs and/or the staff only cleans up once a week. This is only a sample at 9am.































And then there was the food offerings and the masses jockeying for position to scoop up the slop being offered.















Just love the perfect-size-for-horse carrots.





After my first walkabout, I asked the dragon if there was another Qantas Club or First Class Lounge available to One World Emeralds. She seemed taken aback when I told her that "this lounge is disgusting".



At T-40 we headed for the gate and our similar QantasLink 717.

Sydney SYD to Hamilton Island HTI
QantasLink QF 1572
10:35am-11:45am
717-200
December 31, 2018
Seats 3AC












QantasLink pillows, apparently washed once a month if ever.



About the same frequency as floors are vacuumed.



Or the arm rests or trays washed.





In the air, drink service.



At around 11:30a meal service. Choice of a classic reuben or the same breakfast frittata as on our previous flight. Unfortunately, QF only loaded 3 reubens for a 12 seat cabin and by the time our FA got to our row 3, the reubens were long gone. Apparently, no one at QF catering thought that many pax would actually want lunch... on a lunch flight. I just had the macadamia nut bun.



The Japanese couple next to so were apparently so hungry that they accepted the frittata.



Our FA disappeared and I got tired of waiting.





Mercifully, we began our descent 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Pretty scenery on the way down.

















Happy to arrive here after a long day on one of the worst airlines in the free world.

Last edited by SFO777; Jan 16, 19 at 11:03 am
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Old Jan 12, 19, 10:41 pm
  #62  
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From the air, the view of Hamilton Island with Qualia Resort in the foreground of this pic. Inside the HTI terminal, there is a Qualia transfer desk where reps greet Qualia guests and transport them to the resort. They would even collect any checked bags on your behalf and then deliver them to your bungalow (pavilion) a short while later. Since we didn't have any checked bags, we were driven promptly to Qualia in a nice van which we shared with the Japanese couple from across the aisle on our inbound flight.



About 7 minutes later, we arrived at Qualia.







First stop was the Long Pavilion, where checked in.











Since it was just a little after noon, our pavilion was not quite ready. Each pavilion has its own golf cart for unlimited guest use during your stay. We hopped into our cart and drove down to Pebble Beach Pavilion for lunch.









A cocktail to start.





Mrs. SFO777's prawn and pasta salad was delicious.



My reef trout was amazing.



By the time we finished lunch, our pavilion was ready.









Oh yeah, this will do.



















We relaxed the rest of the afternoon enjoying our pavilion and the view.











At around 7:15pm, we headed back to Pebble Beach and a special New Years Dinner.







Our 6 course tasting menu was amazing. Even better with sommelier Ben's wonderful wine pairings.



Our amuse bouche.



Hiramasu kingfish with tomato, kiwi, jalapeno and capsicum. Paired nicely with Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel.



Marron with green mango, nam prik and squid ink crisp. Paired with 2015 Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay from Margaret River.



OMG, the bread was incredible.



Next was our favorite dish of the night, the fabulous Duck, with swede, horseradish, celery and cinnamon jus. Paired with the 2015 Willian Downie Pinot from Mornington Peninsula.



The Wagyu, with beetroot, bone marrow and burnt onion. Paired with the 2015 John Duval Eligo Shiraz from Barossa Valley.



Yuzu sorbet with apple and sesame. Paired with 2017 Frogmore Creek Iced Riesling from Coal Valley, Tasmania.



And the finale: Mint aero, chocolate sorbet, mint ice cream. Paired with a glass of amazing 2015 Chateau d'Yquem.



What a wonderful meal and treat, and one of the best meals anywhere in the past year.
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Last edited by SFO777; Jan 16, 19 at 12:42 pm
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Old Jan 12, 19, 11:09 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by kcmd View Post
Another amazing trip thanks again for sharing and look forward to the rest!
Thank you kcmd.

Originally Posted by ant_west View Post
I was called on my UK mobile the day before my F flight on QF out of Melbourne to Singapore in October - they asked if I wanted to book a spa treatment and no offer was made of an escort (either on the phone or on arrival at MEL)
Interesting about the First Class escort service. Will definitely be proactive about it for our return in August.

Originally Posted by DanielW View Post
Another great TR, SFO777. Some beautiful scenery from the R44 in southern Tasmania. Those sea cliffs look so surreal and cinematic. The Qualia Resort looks stunning, and the to-die-for dining. A great flight over the Great Barrier Reef too
Thanks so much Daniel. I appreciate it. The scenery we saw was simply spectacular.

Originally Posted by lamphs View Post
Great report so far. Gives me some ideas for a future trip. It's too bad that QF's F service is not up to par. Two years ago, I flew SYD DXB LHR. I was quite comfortable in the 380, had the 'tasting' menu for dinner, and the service was impeccable, starting with the chauffeur service from the Marriott - Circular Quay. At LHR, I then had to transfer to a 'Eurofraud' BA flight to CDG...what a let down (although a great FA on the flight).
Thank you lamphs. I do recall a similar excellent tasting menu experience a few years ago.

Originally Posted by worldtraveller73 View Post
Oh my. I initially though that the Qantas Hobart Lounge was a "one off" that just needed a refresh but it seems like the other lounges have slipped. They used to be among the best domestic lounges in the world at one point (my humble opinion) with great wines and tasty food available.
Thanks worldtraveller73. The fanboys over in the QF forum are hilarious, apparently in denial about their lounges and insisting that they are wonderful.

Originally Posted by EuropeanPete View Post
Special recognition is deserved for the first helicopter vineyard-crawl that I've ever seen. I'm feeling inspired...
LOL. Thanks very much EuropeanPete.

Originally Posted by Flavio1990 View Post
Known as the organ pipes, they used to be much higher until the British used them as target practice, Mmmmmm

Wow, really? Target practice? That's crazy? When was this? Thanks for the info Flavio1990.

Originally Posted by olafman View Post
Lovely pictures. I always enjoy your reports. Meanwhile I'm stuck in my office thinking about future trips! Nice job.
Thank you olafman.

Originally Posted by offerendum View Post
People always liked to destroy things....
Crazy, isn't it?

Originally Posted by makin'miles View Post
As always, what a fantastic report. Sorry to miss you in the QF F lounge on the 26th. I was there for a few hours in advance of a CX to HKG an hour after yours - and had dinner right beside one of the guys in your picture! Looks like the trip kicked off 2019 well, and all the best for happy travels in the year ahead!
Thanks so much makin'miles for your kind comments. And what a small world about being in the QF lounge that same day. What did you have for dinner?

Originally Posted by paolo64 View Post
What a fantastic review! For anyone contemplating a visit to Hobart, it is worth mentioning that Marriott, Hyatt and IHG are all opening properties over the next 12 months ( Marriott will be LC, IHG Crowne Plaza and Hyatt is Centric, IIRC). The Islington is great.
Thank you paolo64. Wow, major adds to the Hobart hotel scene. That's great to see. We really enjoyed our short visit.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 8:25 am
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What a beautiful resort SFO777 the villa and pool look amazing!

Shame about Qantas though lol
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Old Jan 13, 19, 11:38 am
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Never seen such a disgusting lounge in my life and this was at 9 am?

Aussie savages. lol
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Old Jan 14, 19, 1:48 am
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Qantas: one of the worst airlines in the free world?

> Happy to arrive here after a long day on one of the worst airlines in the free world.


Thanks for an enjoyable report. I see you didn't experience Qantas at their best - and agree the state of that lounge was terrible - but I think this statement is a bit of a stretch.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by our_kid View Post
What a beautiful resort SFO777 the villa and pool look amazing! Shame about Qantas though lol

Thank you our_kid. Qualia is spectacular.

Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Never seen such a disgusting lounge in my life and this was at 9 am?
Aussie savages. lol
Aussie savages. LOL. Can I borrow that line for the Australian Frequent Flyer Qantas forum? That ought to get a nice reaction! Thanks enviroian. Actually I learned a new word there as one of the AFF posters called them bogans.

Originally Posted by martin79 View Post
> Happy to arrive here after a long day on one of the worst airlines in the free world.
Thanks for an enjoyable report. I see you didn't experience Qantas at their best - and agree the state of that lounge was terrible - but I think this statement is a bit of a stretch.
Yeah, I have to agree with you, but it was a long day that started at 4:30am. Thanks very much martin79.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 6:41 pm
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SFO777 great trip report. It is such a feast to have multiple trs from you and Seat 2A at the same time!

Mrs. jmj9905 and I were in Tasmanina in the spring of 2014. We did not do the helicopter but did do an incredible boat tour of the southern coast. Thanks for the memories!
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Old Jan 14, 19, 7:37 pm
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Great TR - I work with someone who is a many times repeat guest of Qualia - now I see why.

Awesome to see some of what Tasmania has to offer - have yet to visit the Apple Isle.

Qantas - yes full of bogans - what a disgusting state that lounge is - ashamed to say its happening in my country, sadly it is for reasons like this we decided to shove QF 20 years ago and went to Ansett - then after that debacle were very happy to shift our allegiances to Virgin Australia for our domestic travels.

The only thing I can think of is during the holidays lots of non travellers getting access thanks to family who travel often - but thats disgusting
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Old Jan 14, 19, 7:46 pm
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Another impeccable SFO777 trip report Wow, QF are waaaay down my list after reading this report
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Old Jan 14, 19, 9:57 pm
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Great report as usual SFO777. Thrilled you liked Tassie, we fell in love with the place on our first visit and have been back every year since.

I feel embarrassed on behalf of our country on the disgusting state of those lounges. It's the fault of both the slobs as guests and a complete lack of concern from lounge staff. Also Qantas gets frequent criticism for their joke of a "priority boarding" scheme. That's another reason I fly Virgin - premium guests & frequent flyers are boarded first, no exceptions.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 12:05 am
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wow those pictures of the pavilion look amazing. what a view! fantastic report as always, thank you for sharing.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 4:36 am
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You are a master.. Thank you for all the years of these incredible trip reports.. Kudos to you ...
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Old Jan 15, 19, 8:32 am
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Qualia is now on my list
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Old Jan 15, 19, 12:38 pm
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Thanks so much makin'miles for your kind comments. And what a small world about being in the QF lounge that same day. What did you have for dinner?
I kept it light-ish, with the salt and pepper squid and salad of bocconcini... and then ate a bit again on the plane. It really is a solid lounge and a great way to kick off a trip...!
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