New Years Fireworks in Sydney, Australia #itwasbeautiful

Last month, in fact last year, I rushed out of the door to sit up in a Mercedes and head to the airport, and I only got back home in 2017! It was about 20 days of fun and winding down in Australia, something very much needed for me and Shipra both, since we had been putting up some amazingly long hours at work for most of the year.


We headed out of Mumbai on Etihad’s A380 service to Abu Dhabi, in the shortest First Apartments flight ever. No fun, but we lived to tell the tale.

We only had about 22 hours on the ground, which was good enough to sleep in a real bed and then have a look at a bit of the city. We visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is the 8th biggest mosque in the world, and very impressive.


Later that evening, we headed over to Melbourne, which took us a nice 13 hours to arrive at. The perfectly long haul flight to enjoy a night in your Etihad-branded jammies watching movies or eating the famous Steak Sandwich. Heck, I even got to sleep!


Melbourne was a food heaven for the both of us. But the best part of the experience was the ride to the Great Ocean Road which we made for a day, and an amazing Christmas display in Melbourne.


We then flew over to Brisbane, which was the start of our 5-day long drive on the Gold Coast. An interesting place to be at, and we could meet the Koala right outside our Airbnb there, and Kangaroos not far away!



Of course, it was my birthday and we had to celebrate it in Sydney at the fabulous Park Hyatt Sydney.



When you are in Sydney, you would definitely head to the Opera House for a view of the Harbour Fireworks over the New Year’s Eve, right? We did for sure.


We rounded up our stay in Sydney with a few long walks, and we even discovered Din Tai Fung around here. Sooner than later, we were on our way back home. It was time to board the Etihad A380 yet again, and we had a nice long flight with a lot of sleep this time around on our way to UAE.


Back home now, 500K points poorer but with some great appreciation of the life Down Under. More details will follow over the days ahead.


In the meanwhile, here is hoping you had fun and are all set for 2017! Wishing you a kickass one, my readers! How did you celebrate your Holidays?

About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. @Ajay missed you these 21 days. Looking forward to more updates and reviews of your trip in the coming days. Cheers!

  2. Welcome back Ajay – missed an opportunity to host you in Melbourne – but did pick up the Hong Kong e-channel entry in the New Year – valid for the duration of your current passport booklet – which for me is mid 2025

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