Tag Archives: USA

Sydney to Toronto via New York City.

From Sydney to New York flying with Qantas Airways takes you via Los Angeles with a quick transit of about two hours there. Clearing immigration at L.A. (as it’s the first point of entry into the country) is mandatory – which means collecting your luggage and rechecking it at a dedicated area before heading onto your final domestic destination within the United States. As with all fares and airlines ex Australia, two pieces of baggage to North and South America is permitted, and if all travel is ticketed as a through fare, then the luggage will go as well as part of the international ticket’s allowance. The piece system has very much the same rules as a round-the-world-airfare and with Qantas being part of the Oneworld Alliance and along with its affiliates, you can check the website for more information about sizes, weight and other services.

Flying time to Los Angeles from Sydney approximately thirteen hours and then another four hours to New York City with QF.


  • When separate tickets are issued on other airlines these will not be included on the international long-haul fare and you may be asked to pay for the luggage upon check in. Contact the relevant airline before purchasing if unsure.

For all other carriers, check with the carrier for their own stipulations in regards to checked luggage and carry on allowances.

Australians are required to have their ESTA application filled out online and paid for before departure and it’s valid for two years. https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

Upon arrival in New York City, JFK Airport offers passengers ground transport options which include services by rail to the NYC Transit Subway system and Long Island Rail; as well as buses and taxis with dedicated desks just before exiting the airport.

If taking a train, it will mean hopping off the free Air Train at Federal Circle then continue onto Jamaica Station (separate ticket US$5.00) which gives you the ability to catch another train onto Manhattan’s main Penn Station for further connections by train or bus.

If continuing onto another domestic flight and other destinations, the free driverless air train will whisk you across for all other terminal departures. Participating airlines are listed onboard for their respective terminals and should be printed on your electronic ticket.

Terminal 8 if connecting to American Airlines and it’s the last stop on the loop.

American Airlines provides passengers a more streamlined service with online baggage which is through checked if issued on the same international long-haul ticket – regardless if on a codeshare flight with Qantas Airways.

If travelling across to Newark Liberty International Airport for other flights, you can take a bus as there are a number private companies which operate between the three airports of JFK, Newark (EWR)  and La Guardia (LGA). However, if you’re savvy enough, a train may be the faster, better option if connections are tight. Traffic at times can be congested and somewhat stressful if going by bus, taxi or hire car.


Additionally, you can continue to travel with NJ Transit which will bring you directly from Manhattan’s Penn Station with its dedicated platforms for the train to the Newark Airport stop in New Jersey.

Shown here, it’s where the Rail Link station joins and allows passengers to alight for another free air train to all other terminals within Newark Airport (EWR).

Amtrak trains stop at Newark Airport as well and again, just walk across to/from the free air train for your onward journey. The NJ Transit system not surprisingly, can actually be much quicker than taking a cab or bus and much more affordable.

Pictured here at Newark’s P4 stop it’s also where all the major hotels’ shuttle services may offer a complimentary transfer. Check with your hotel to see if they participate, otherwise taxis are generally available. A hire car company is located within P4 too at the ground level.

Over 30 million passengers pass through Newark Airport annually and is the major hub for United Airlines making it one of the busiest in the States. Its makeover has been a huge success and long overdue.

Located in New Jersey, Newark Airport is 16 miles from midtown Manhattan shown here in the distance. Thankfully this train service has alleviated some of the congestion heading into the Big Apple and has been operational now for a few years. The NJ Transit cost is USD $13.00 one way per adult and takes about 40 minutes either way and can be much quicker while being far more affordable.

And sometimes you can be lucky while in the Subway to have the opportunity and watch a fantastic busker such as Lorenzo Laroc playing Led Zepplin’s Kashmir on an electric violin.

And not to mention of course, having a quick shop around with stores all lit up for the upcoming Christmas break and Happy Holidays. A real treat as they open late with eateries all around to choose from.

So long New York as I’m on my way to Toronto for another fabulous rail journey with Via Rail traversing Canada. Might be a bit cool but I’m expecting to see some snow this time!

The UP Express from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to Union Downtown Station is quick and efficient and a one-way ticket is about CAD $12.00 per adult. It’s fast, reliable and the trip only takes 25 minutes, with trains leaving every 15 minutes.

Great to see the CN Tower again displaying its colours and showing off as usual in Toronto as the major centrepiece within the city.

A stay at the Fairmont Royal York is the favoured hotel as it’s straight across the road from Union Station which makes it easier, especially if an early departure has been booked.

Anticipating the countdown for my departure on Via Rail’s The Canadian train crossing over the countryside for the next four days. Feeling very excited to be going from east to west this time and undoubtedly will expose a different aspect. What I may have missed out on a previous trip, I’ll most likely see now on a different schedule.

Stay tuned for my next blog – heading from Toronto onwards to Vancouver with The Canadian which is one of the most prized rail journeys in the world.

Knott’s Berry Farm, Shopping and Huntington Beach – Part Two

Knott’s Berry Farm is new to me although it’s been around since 1940. The park features 40 rides including roller coasters, family rides, children’s rides, water rides and historical rides.

160 acres of amusement park in Buena Park, California and as the 2014 Global Attractions Attendance Report states, Knott’s Berry Farm is the 13th most visited theme park in North America.

In 1983 Camp Snoopy was added and began the park’s present-day association with the Peanuts characters.

The Silver Bullet was fantastic to watch, I just let the others hop in line ahead of me … Just like to pretend.

With the renovated Boardwalk area, it’s a colourful Coney Island-style fun zone.  If you come along to Knott’s Berry Farm outside of American school holidays, you’ll be amazed at how  easily you’re able to move around without any major line ups.

Legs up! No waving.

After all the excitement, you’ll probably need to refuel.

Lots to choose from …

Don’t believe for a minute this cutesy ride slows down in a hurry.

Train ride by lunchtime is all we need.

I beat Rachel to sit at the back, being wet for sure and not having frizzy hair was the main reason I let her sit in the front …

Can’t go past a good old-fashioned wagon ride.

Lunch and then Rachel is showing me the way at South Coast Plaza to my favourite store in the world – Macy’s. Now the real fun begins.

Once we’ve exhausted our credit on shopping, it’s time for Dukes at Huntington Beach and the choices are sensational.

Even the everyday vendor couldn’t take his eyes off the sunset at Huntington Beach Pier.

Book early to gain a window seat at Dukes, you won’t be disappointed.

Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove Lobby - Copy
After a full day out and because all the hotels are so close together at Garden Grove, thought I’d check out the Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove next door to the Marriott Suites Anaheim. There is a bus stop outside here which takes you to Disneyland if staying at any of these hotels.

Hector_Jarryd Hayne
Glad I did venture over, watching a bit of American footy on TV only to be told an Aussie performer Jarryd Hayne had just redeemed himself on the field. So whilst our Barman doesn’t always look this blurry nor does Jarryd play a star every time I suppose.  I have to say Hector pours an outstanding glass of vino though. Full points!

Much rather stay here than go back and pack for next stop.

Disneyland Revisited 2015, Grove District Anaheim, Orange County, USA – Part One

I’m back to where I  started travelling internationally, and it’s the 60th Diamond Celebration of Walt Disney’s dream with added attractions and California Adventure  just next door.

What’s new for me is the light rail which transports you into the grounds and by purchasing a pass, it offers you all the rides – all day.

I’ve not been to Disneyland in almost 30 years and to return is a fun trip down memory lane, especially seeing some favourite rides.



You can choose from a Disneyland 1-day Park Hopper ticket or a 2-day Park Hopper. This ticket entitles you to:
1 or 2 Park Hoppers entitles you to same-day entry into both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.
• All Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Bonus Tickets expire 13 days after first use or on January 13, 2017, whichever occurs first.
• First day of use of a ticket constitutes one full day of use.

Waiting for the parade to begin, children (and parents) are entertained with fun dancing lessons.

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California Adventure has a parade of characters at 5:15 pm each afternoon – don’t miss it.

Cars Land was a new attraction for me and a big favourite – for both young and old.





Not sure I’ll be around to see it, but would be interesting …

And if you’re staying at the hotels around the Disneyland area, there’s buses which run on a regular service, particularly along Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove in Orange County or OC as it’s known. $5.00 will buy you a return ticket and you’re able to purchase it at your hotel as well.

Sheraton Double Queen Guest Room - Copy1 - Copy
Along Harbour Boulevard in Garden Grove, there’s a cluster of well-known properties from the Grove District Anaheim Resort and Hotel’s group which offer varying accommodation styles. The Sheraton Garden Grove – Anaheim South caters widely for families with quite a number of interconnecting rooms, and depending on availability, they can usually confirm at the time of booking.

One whole floor is dedicated to business travellers whereby they’re not impacted by families.

Anaheim Marriott Suites-1_Living Area - Copy The Anaheim Marriott Suites is the premier and largest Marriott with all suites. It’s a full-service hotel and located just one mile from the Disneyland Resort attractions.

Separate to the bedroom is wardrobe and luggage space, bathroom and huge flat-screen TV in the lounge area with fast free internet and desk.

If you’d like to try another hotel’s cuisine for a change, you can simply walk across the street and enjoy a delectable shared plate as a starter at the Hyatt Regency Orange County’s TusCA Restaurant. Renowned for its dishes of serving up hearty pastas and artisan pizzas baked in an authentic Italian oven, you can choose local Californian wines which tops it off for the night.