Travel Blog

Read all about our journeys, experiences and observations from the team at Gilpin Travel.

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4 Dec

Air New Zealand Airpoint Changes

Air New Zealand has made an announcement regarding upcoming changes to its Airpoints programme. The changes are designed to better recognise and reward their frequent flyers, following the largest review of the Airpoints programme in a decade, which included seeking feedback from tens of thousands of Airpoints members. Airpoints Dollars will now be earned on every regularly available fare and members can look forward to enjoying several million more Airpoints Dollars every year - with the majority of changes taking effect for sales and travel from 31 March 2014. Key changes include: ·         Airpoints Dollars now to be earned on every regularly available fare (excludes last minute grabaseat greenlight fares through and tickets purchased using Airpoints Dollars) ·         Every fare class will now have its own Airpoints Dollars and Status points earning rate. These changes result in a much fairer reward and recognition system as they are directly linked to value of the fare paid ·         Higher Airpoints Dollar earning rates on 62% of all airfares ·         Recognising more regional, domestic and trans-Tasman travellers, with 78% of all Smart Saver and Flexi fare classes on these routes offering higher Status Point earning rates ·         Easier to understand Airpoints Dollar and Status Point earning rates when flying on partner airlines ·         A new Airpoints website available from today which is computer and tablet optimised and enables members to make the most of their benefits, track their status progress and more. ·         Gold Elite members provided with a third Recognition Upgrade for use specifically on short haul routes across the Tasman and to the Pacific Islands ·         Top individual spenders can look forward to a personal invitation from Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon to be part of an exclusive Elite Priority One annual membership that will provide them a range of additional benefits and dedicated personal travel support services, details of which will be revealed to those members in the New Year. ·         Several changes to status tiers will also be rolled out over the coming months. Airpoints: The name of the programme entry level for Members. Silver: The first frequent flyer tier of the Airpoints programme (will continue to be recognised as they are today). Gold: Gold members will continue to be recognised as they are today. Elite: Gold Elite will be rebranded to 'Elite'. Providing a simplification of the current naming and representative of top tier status. Elite "10": The number of years someone has been consecutively at Gold Elite will be recognised on their membership card - a subtle acknowledgment of tenure for everyone to see. Elite Priority One: Reserved for top customers by invitation only.   Watch this space for more details in the coming months.
3 Jan

Hilton Sydney by Sophie Killgour

1329941198_sydney_hotel_001p.jpgI recently stayed at the Hilton in Sydney.  The hotel itself is on George Street and only a couple of minutes walk from the town hall train station which is quite convenient if guests are taking the train directly from the airport and across the road from the Queen Victoria building.

The hotel foyer definitely has a “WOW” factor on arrival – it is multi levelled and has a great cafe which I don’t think I saw an empty seat in for the entire duration that we were there, the cafe (Cafe Cinno) is suitable for a quick lunch, coffee or informal business meeting.  The hotel has some fabulous restaurants & bars on-site there is the famous Glass Brasserie where the executive chef is Celebrity chef Luke Mangan – it was booked out when we were there but friends of mine have dined at Glass & mentioned that it was fabulous. 

One bar that I would like to mention on-site is the Marble Bar regardless of whether you are staying at the Hilton Sydney or not it is an absolute “must see” whilst in Sydney it was built in 1893 and still boasts the original Victorian style decor – it is absolutely spectacular & has live music generally 3 to 4 nights a week.

The rooms are very clean & tidy, a little sparse but all in all nice rooms the only point that I would like to make is that they are very small, the size that you would perhaps expect in Hong Kong rather than a Sydney hotel.  We also had access to the executive lounge with our room which is a great selling point for an upgrade of room to guests as it gives you access to free internet/wi-fi, complimentary newspapers (various) & magazines daily, complimentary continental breakfast daily which is rather substantial, snacks & non-alcoholic drinks throughout the day, afternoon tea along with pre-dinner drinks & canapés early evening.  

All of the staff that I had dealings with at the hotel was brilliant with a definite “CAN DO” attitude so you can assure that our guests will be looked after.

1 Nov

Daylesford - A great place to relax by Tanya Dustin

Looking to go somewhere on a girl's weekend or for some rest, relaxation or rejuvenation...


Spa treatments are on the expensive side but well worth it and make sure you take some walking shoes – watch out for the dingo’s!

One of my favourite spots - The Mill Market. A market the size of a warehouse store containing everything old – a collectors dream! Retro, antiques, clothes, furniture, posters, nick knacks you name it it’s all there! Allow, 2 hours to peruse the store and take in history. Everything is for sale and entry is free. 

Try Daylesford a 90minute drive from Melbourne.

This is a quirky little township that offers multiple spa treatment facilities, natural mineral springs, wineries, art galleries and gorgeous cafes.

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