Aloha Brisbane!

Right on the heels of its Sapporo flight launch, Hawaiian Air started direct flights to Brisbane last week. I was fortunate to get a seat on the inaugural flight, thanks to chef Chai Chaowasaree. I brought one of my favorite travel partners, Catherine Toth (@TheDailyDish), along for the adventure.

If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, you know that I blog daily from my trips to complement the social media spurts and explain what I’ve been doing. Typical first world problems: wifi isn’t so good in Australia, so I have to blog a week late. This may actually work in our favor, since the delay gave me time to wrap my head around Australian culture (yes, it’s different down under!). This first blog is just going to show you shots from the flight over and the gala that follows each inaugural flight, but I hope you get a little more of the country’s flavor in the posts that follow. It’s also a good way to introduce Ed Sugimoto (@WorldWideEd) and Kaleo Lancaster (@IslandTrails), who were the invited bloggers on this trip.

Some quick facts: Brisbane is Australia’s third largest city, with about two million people. We’re told the city kind of came up by accident, and at one point gave a lot of payroll tax breaks, so it’s now also one of the fastest growing cities, as well. Although it’s not normally considered a destination in itself, Brisbane is often used as a transit point for going to other places — like the Gold Coast or the Great Barrier Reef. We didn’t go to any museums, since that’s not our thing, but if you are into art and culture, you may find quite a bit here for you.

Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so their weather is opposite from ours. At a time when Canada is getting snow, we were going through a heatwave. It’s currently cricket season (the game, not the insect) and cricket players are wickedly handsome. Just thought I should get that out there.

Aloha Brisbane!

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Thanks to chef Chai Chaowasaree, Cat Toth and I got to go on Hawaiian Air’s inaugural flight to Brisbane. Chai is the chef for all of Hawaiian Air’s first class meals, and whips up a mean breakfast for each inaugural ceremony.

If you want to see all of my photos from the first day, click here. You can see all the tweets and instagrams that everyone posted under the hashtag #AlohaBNE. We also did a quick little video before we landed. As you can see, these trips really are more fun with more bloggers:

Up next: Walking around the South Bank, and trying a delicious new pork restaurant!

p.s. Just wanted to send a shout out to @Miss_Burrill, who’s been tweeting with me since Sapporo and came to Honolulu on Hawaiian Air’s inaugural flight here.