If you can bear to spend 17 hours on a plane in one go, then Australia gets that bit closer from tomorrow.
The world’s first non-stop flights from the UK to Australia, launch on Sunday March 25. The Qantas Dreamliner flight leaves Heathrow at 13.15 and arrives in Perth at 13.00 the next day – flying 14,498 kilometres in 17 hours.
What used to take four days and seven stops in 1947 now takes a single hop.
The new flight is a tourism boost for Perth and Western Australia – one of 2018’s must-visit destinations. And it comes at a time when Western Australia’s sun kissed capital has never looked so appealing.
Since 2012, 25 new or redeveloped hotels have opened in and around Perth. By 2020, a further 14 will come online – including The Westin, QT, Doubletree by Hilton and the Ritz-Carlton, which will be its first Australian property in 10 years .
Other developments, such as the glittering waterfront Elizabeth Quay and several new bars, restaurants and new cultural and entertainment precincts, have transformed the city.
The city has 19 pristine city beaches, Kings Park (one of the largest urban parks in the world) and the Swan River offering kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding in the heart of the city.
Rottnest Island, home to miniature marsupial the quokka – named as the happiest animal on the planet – is a short ferry from the city. Then there’s the Swan Valley, Western Australia’s oldest wine region, and the closest wine region to a capital city in Australia, just a 30-minute drive from the city centre.
At more than 180 years old, wines include Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Shiraz and fortifieds, with local grapes producing nearly 30 million bottles of wine a year – it’s also home to breweries, distilleries, nougat, honey, chocolate, fresh produce and a wildlife park.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said: “The direct flights have the potential to change the way people travel between Europe and Australia and give us the opportunity to sell Perth and Western Australia as the place to start a holiday in Australia.
“Western Australia boasts stunning landscapes, unique wildlife, flawless beaches, wonderful wine regions, and endless sunshine and with the launch of these historic new flights it has never been easier for people from the UK to start their Australian adventure.
“Swimming with whale sharks and dolphins, exploring out-of-this-world landscapes like the Pinnacles or meeting the quokka, the happiest animal in the world are all things Brits could be doing this time tomorrow in Western Australia, thanks to these new flights.”
Qantas offer a great value way for visitors to experience Western Australia beyond Perth, with the option of flying to the pearling town of Broome in the North West or the pristine Ningaloo Reef on the Coral Coast where visitors can swim with humpback whales as well as whale sharks and manta rays.
Return Qantas economy seats from Perth start from £793 per person – travel period is October 23 to December 5. See https://dreamliner.qantas.com/ .
Abercrombie & Kent (www.abercrombiekent.co.uk) offers a trip from £1,675pp based on two people sharing, including nonstop economy flights with Qantas. six-night tailor-made holiday visiting Margaret River, Pemberton, Albany & Perth. Best time to go: October – April. See www.westernaustralia.com