Introduction to my journey to Australia and New Zealand

I've talked a lot about about planning my trip down under on V Australia via a Delta Skymiles award, and I have posted a few preview photos during my trip.  I spent much of November on this journey.  It is the longest vacation I have ever taken, 3 weeks off work.   

This will be quite a large trip report with various separate posts, and it will likely take me a while to get it all out, so please bear with me.  I will attempt to focus on the frequent flyer related items for the report, and plan to complete the more unique parts of this report first.  I don't foresee much interest in my experience on domestic Delta flights, so will likely not discuss those portions in any detail.

My trip began with Delta first class flights from MKE to MSP to LAX.  I visited SkyClubs in each airport as well.   I had a long layover in LA, thanks to some good suggestions from Angelinos Matthew and Darren, I made the most of my time before a 15 hour flight, with a run, some plane spotting, and an In-N-Out Burger.


Some planespotting after a run and a burger

I then returned to LAX, showered at the LAX SkyClub, then headed to Terminal 3 for the Boardroom and them my V Australia flight  I flew VA Business Class to SYD.  Instead of hopping right on my flight to Cairns, I spent the day in Sydney.  I flew to CNS, then went diving on the Great Barrier Reef for 4 days.  Then it was back to Sydney to meet up with my wife.  We had a night at the Westin Sydney, and the flew to Auckland.  

Over the course of our trip, we drove from Auckland to Queenstown, with many stops along the way.  I'll be sure to review our stays at Hiltons in Auckland, Taupo, and Queenstown as well as a few other stops in beautiful New Zealand.  We then flew a leg on Jetstar (gasp!), had a little time exploring the horrific damage in Christchurch, then were back across the Tasman to Melbourne and a suite at the Park Hyatt.  From there we retraced our steps back home, VA to LAX, then Delta LAX-MSP-MKE. 

In addition to the flights and hotels I will review various  lounges in SYD and MEL, and several interesting and sometimes unexpected experiences, including an unplanned leg on Air New Zealand.  Lots more details to come, please stay tuned for the first post, my review of V Australia flight 002 from LAX to SYD.













Darren November 30, 2011 at 02:54 pm

Looking forward to reading along. Love that picture... gorgeous sunset.