Up, up and away - Darwin here we come

Previous page - Packed and ready to go


Travelling from Bunbury to Perth

We left Bunbury at 3.55 a.m. ready for our two hour drive to the Perth domestic airport. We took one suitcase, two little bubby rucksacks and a round of peanut butter sandwiches each to eat for breakfast somewhere on the 200 kilometre trip between Bunbury and Perth.

Bunbury is not a big city but there were still several service stations open even at four in the morning. That surprised us. The roads were so empty - probably the fastest trip we've ever had to Perth. The first traffic light we had to stop for was out near the airport!


Parking at Perth airport

We drove into the airport grounds at exactly six a.m. Now where on earth does one park here? We saw a couple of long term parking areas but we weren't sure if one week constituted "long term". We thought maybe long term was meant for fly-in/fly-out people who work up north in the mines. We drove into the short term area and grabbed a ticket from the machine. Immediately we realized we were up for $26 per day in this section. We were saved by a helpful airport employee who told us we should be in one of the long term parking areas. He told us to go straight to the little parking ticket office and tell them we had made a mistake. He thought they would let us out of the parking area without a charge. He was correct.

We followed his directions and went to the correct parking area. He had mentioned a free airport transit bus which came through the long term parking areas every 15 minutes. Sure enough, not long after we parked the car, the bus appeared. We got dropped off right at the front of the main terminal building. In hindsight we should have looked at the Perth airport web site before we left home then we wouldn't have gotten into a flap about it. If you look here Perth Airport Parking then you will have all the information at your finger tips, unlike us silly pair.



Checking in at Perth airport

Ian waiting to board our Qantas flight Ian in the lounge waiting to board the flight

Checking in was dead easy. Didn't have too long to wait in the queue. We just had to supply our e-tickets (which were given back to us) and photographic I.D. We separated our cameras, mobile phone, keys and watches and put them in a plastic tray separate to our rucksacks. All went through the scanning machine anyway and we didn't set off any alarms, unlike an elderly lady whose baggage was being rummaged through. We settled in the lounge area waiting for our boarding call.

Cafe restaurant at Perth airport The cafe at Perth airport

Heading skyward with Qantas

The plane left precisely on time. We were quickly told by the pilot that we could expect to be in Darwin 15 minutes ahead of time. You couldn't help but notice the plane was grubby inside.


Interior of the plane was a bit grubby Interior of the 737 we flew in to Darwin

The interior of the plane

The hard plastic surfaces all needed a good wipe over. The windows were mucky, the plastic console area above our heads looked like it hadn't been wiped over in weeks. Similarly the pull down tray had food marks on it. It simply needed soap, water and a light rub. We couldn't understand why such a basic job had been neglected. The grot above our heads had obviously been there for ages. Things like that make you then wonder whether the engineering "housework" is up to scratch or not as well..

It was amazing how many people had to trot off to the toilet less than 15 minutes after take off. Also on board was a crying baby (poor little bub and poor mother too) and a lady who chewed gum with her mouth open continuously. She was so good at it that it was almost a form of art. The lady who is sitting next to Ian is totally absorbed in her book and doesn't have time to be even slightly sociable. We have plenty of leg room but the seats are quite narrow. It could be quite uncomfortable for a person of ample proportions.


Breakfast on the Qantas flight Breakfast on the Qantas flight to Darwin

Breakfast on the flight to Darwin

Breakfast was soon appearing. Ian and I were quite convinced we could smell sausages and bacon so we were a little disappointed when we were handed our trays. No cooked breakfast at all. We had a hot bread roll, Weetbix as cereal, milk, orange juice and strawberry yoghurt.

All very nice. Importantly, it was all far more suitable than the cooked bacon and eggs we had been dreaming of.


View from the plane window took your breath away Views from the plane window

Flying with Qantas

The flight was very smooth and uneventful really. Before landing we were all given a very large muesli biscuit plus a small bottle of water. The biscuit really was quite enormous. It was perfect for our needs and not too sweet. The flight took three hours and fifteen minutes.

Aerial photo close to Darwin This photo was taken quite close to Darwin



Tropical Darwin

As soon as the plane doors opened the heat flooded in. Off came our jumpers which we had been glad to wear on board. Luggage collection was a breeze. We quickly found the toilets - no using plane toilets for us! Out through the airport doors and we were immediately in the tropics. Beautiful colourful plants. My brother Peter would have loved the plants. A hotel shuttle bus appeared and for $11 each we got a ride to our hotel. It seemed to take a while on the bus but then we were dropping off other passengers at their hotels along the way too. Possibly a taxi may have been cheaper and quicker.




Next page - Sunday afternoon in Darwin

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