Confusing flight arrangements…Needed help…More Yorkeys Knob photos…

There was a wide array of ocean going boats at the marina in Yorkeys Knob.

With the relatively slow wifi in our area and the cost of using the SIM card’s data, we decided that we’d visit Flight Centre, a full-service travel agency at the Smithfield Mall which we’d spotted on our many walks through the large indoor mall.

Also, with the small airports in Fiji, we needed an experienced agent to handle our best way to travel between islands for our two separate vacation homes over a period of four months.

We walked along this pier at the Yorkeýs Knob Boating Club.

Staying in Fiji over this extended period was planned as another opportunity to keep costs down, staying put in a reasonably priced location with reasonably priced vacation rental prices. 

The only other agency, we’ve used since the onset of our travels, almost 33 months ago, has been which has handled all of our cruises thus far. 

Many of the beach parks we’ve seen thus far as uninhabited and unspoiled.

It hasn’t made sense to use an agency when we stay in vacation homes, which travel agencies generally don’t handle. However, yesterday’s positive experience may inspire us to consider it again in the future when booking tricky flights such as these.

As soon as we walked into the digitally and visually contemporary agency, Flight Centre, we met Helen, who proved to be a highly competent rep. She did it in 30 minutes what could have taken us days with the slow wifi.  Plus, she was so fast typing on her keyboard, it made my head swim.

The Yorkeys Knob Boating Club.

Her keen ability to piece the dates, times and necessary flights were uncanny as her fingers flew across the keys. She totally got what we needed to accomplish. Of course, we brought along our passports and a copy (on my phone) of our itinerary with dates and locations and a photo of a map designating our vacation rentals on the two separate islands in the Fiji.

Sharing this map below again provides a clearer perspective of the reason for the number of necessary flights.  It’s a little confusing about Suva, on the main island, and Savusavu on the smaller island of Vanua Levu.

1.  September 7 – Cairns to Sydney – departing at 5:30 pm, arriving at 8:15 pm – overnight at hotel in Sydney
2.  September 8 – Sydney to Nadi – departing at 6:30 am, arriving at 12:20 pm
3.  September 8 – Nadi to Savusavu (separate island) – departing at 2:30 pm, arriving at 3:40 pm
4.  December 6 – Savusavu to Nadi – departing at 9:20 am, arriving at 10:20 am
5.  January 4, 2016 – Nadi to Sydney – departing 11:15 am, arriving at 2:10 pm – overnight stay in Sydney

The next day, January 5, 2016, we’ll board a 14-day cruise at Sydney Harbour to sail the continent and ultimately end in Auckland, New Zealand where we’ll rent a car and drive to our vacation home where we’ll live for 89 days. Whew!

At the time we booked the two islands, flight schedules were different and we wouldn’t have necessarily had to stay overnight in Sydney. However, staying over at the beginning and end of this list of flights ultimately is stress relieving. 

According to local weather reports, this June has been the rainiest on record. Hopefully, now that July is here, we’ll see fewer clouds and more sunshine.

We’ll book the first hotel at the airport and the second hotel near the pier further reducing rushing, taxis, and stress. That’s always the plan, especially when we have multiple flights such as indicated here.

Another issue we must face for these five flights is our overweight luggage, based on each airline’s baggage policy. Qantas, handling three of the above flights doesn’t charge for one checked bag each.  We have a third overweight bag. There’s no way to avoid this. 

Mountains surrounding the area create eye catching scenery.

Rather than break down the cost for each flight, we’re providing a total for both of us for all five flights which are AUD $3448.96, USD $2632.97 plus the estimated excess baggage fees of AUD $1049, USD $800.82. 

Although we chose our seats on the flights that we could, we haven’t paid for the excess baggage as yet. Over the next 60 days, we’ll continue to unload what we can from our bags, and a few days before we depart, we’ll weigh everything and go back to see Helen, paying for our bags with her help, which she’s offered to do. 

This is a park at one entrances to Yorkeys Knob Beach.

Based on the combined costs of  all of these flights and the estimated baggage fees, the average cost per person, per flight is AUD $449.80, USD $343.38. In this context it doesn’t seem like quite as costly. 

We’re glad this part is done and paid for. Now, we can return to the planning of the gaps in our schedule. At this point, we have good news to report…we know where we’re going, an exciting new location, and a portion of it is already booked and prepaid. The second leg of the journey is yet to be booked.

A typical street in the Yorkeys Knob area.

Over the next few days, amid trips to the fitness center and more exploration in the area, we’ll be working on the second leg in our 65 day gap. Once that is resolved, we’ll be posting all the news with photos, pricing, and details. Please check back. 

Have a great Wednesday or, Thursday depending on your side of the International Dateline!

                                                Photo from one year ago today, July 2, 2014:

Campanario is a quaint little village in the mountains of Madeira. Although little English is spoken in the area or in much on the island in general we had a wonderful time during our stay.For more details, please click here.

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