From Australia with Love: Relive Qantas’ first flight from Sydney to Joburg to celebrate 70 years of passenger flights

All aboard for a trip down under – we’re about to travel back in time and relive the magic of the first passenger flight between Australia and South Africa 70 years ago.

With similarities in their history, plush and thriving natural landscapes, and diverse ranges of native wildlife – South Africa and Australia are linked in many ways.

Did you know that the Australian airline Qantas first began its services to southern Africa in 1948 with a survey flight from Sydney via Melbourne, Perth, Cocos Islands, and Mauritius before landing in Johannesburg? Four years later, the first passenger service flight took place, on 1 September 1952. It became affectionately known as the Wallaby Route due to all the hops along the way.

qantas airways

From the original Qantas Airways SA – Australia flight.
qantas airways

From the original Qantas Airways SA – Australia flight.
qantas airways

From the original Qantas Airways SA – Australia flight.
qantas airways

From the original Qantas Airways SA – Australia flight.
qantas airways

From the original Qantas Airways SA – Australia flight.
qantas airways

From the original Qantas Airways SA – Australia flight.

Since then, Mzansies and Aussies have enjoyed the hospitality at both destinations, expanding the access to work, travel, and study opportunities alike. Today the flight from Sydney to Johannesburg takes about 14 hours, and the new Perth-Johannesburg flight will bring it down to 11 hours. The original flights took around 60 hours (about 3 days) and required mandatory fuel stops and overnight stays.

In honour of the achievements from yesteryear, we’re highlighting three key experiences to bookmark in some of the stops you’ll find along the original route:

Johannesburg

Taking off from SA’s business hub, there are plenty of exciting sights to see in and around the city, but some of the key experiences you need to indulge in while in Jozi include:

– History: You can deep dive into some rich SA history over at The Apartheid Museum, Mandela House, South African Museum of Military History, or The Cradle of Humankind about an hour away.

– Culture: For the art and culture lovers – stop by The Maboneng Precinct, The Lindfield Victorian House Museum, Wits Art Museum, or The Market Theatre.

– Nature: Grab fresh air and get wild at one of the nearby game reserves or parks, like a day trip to the Lion & Safari Park, Pilanesberg National Park, or the plush Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens.

Perth

And touchdown, you’ve made it to Perth. To ensure you have a pleasant stay, be sure to add the following to your itinerary:

– Surfing: Australia is a surfer’s haven – and Perth is no different. Whet your appetite for some waves and hang ten at these beaches: Cottesloe Beach, Trigg Beach, Rottnest Island, or the familiarly named Scarborough Beach.

– Culture: Music and art lovers can rejoice as Perth hosts a range of must-see attractions and spots to explore. You can find plenty of live music on offer in cultural hotspots like Perth City, Northbridge and Fremantle. Dive deeper into local culture, flora and fauna with a visit to the Lotteries West Federation Walkway, explore the indigenous culture in Karrgatup (Kings Park) and join a tour experience run by Whadjuk people who have an ancestral tie to Australia and knowledge of the land. Even a simple walk around the city will have you weaving through the open-air galleries of public art murals that tattoo the built-up areas and sculptures freckling various landscapes.

– Nature: Nature and wildlife fans can also get their fix in Perth by visiting Kings Park & Botanic Garden, Swan River, John Forrest National Park, Penguin Island, Caversham Wildlife Park, Cohunu Wildlife Park, or Perth Zoo.

Melbourne

The next Australian city on this route is Melbourne, known as Australia’s fashion capital. Melbourne’s arts scene, nightlife, and host status to world-famous sporting events make it a must-visit city.

– Culture: Home to a thriving arts scene, you won’t be short of a unique culture hit. Meander through headline exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria or masterpieces at Heide Museum of Modern Art and take in some of the best names on the comedy circuit at The Comic’s Lounge.

– Sports Trekking: If you like to explore on foot, then wander through the Royal Botanic Gardens which sits just across the river from the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground and National Sports Museum – a bucket list essential for sport-loving travellers.

– Pub Crawl: For a taste of what the local scene is brewing, you can stumble across some of Melbourne’s hidden laneway pubs, hole-in-the-wall cafes, or rooftop bars as you explore the city. It’s a big part of the city’s enduring charm.

Sydney

Finally, we have reached the final stop in the journey, Australia’s biggest city with an enviable climate and iconic sights all around – Sydney. A visit down under would be incomplete without exploring the iconic city’s laid-back vibe and beachside culture that sits comfortably alongside world-class restaurants, a vibrant arts scene, and popular retail hotspots.

– Nature: Your Sydney experience wouldn’t be complete without soaking up the splendour of the dramatic sandstone caves and the sweeping views of the ocean along the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.

– Hang 10: To catch some waves and chill out – you can visit Manly for a small surfer town experience and enjoy the relaxed vibe and boutique stores.

– Day Tripping: Take your pick of day trips. Get rugged from Sydney to the breathtaking Blue Mountains, sip up and savour luxury at the award-winning wineries in the Hunter Valley, or head south to kick back at the idyllic Hyams Beach with its crisp white sand and eye-catching aqua water.

Thank you for flying through these must-see lists with us. We do hope you’ve enjoyed the journey and bookmarked your itineraries, ready to go for your next Saffa to Aussie experience.

This post was sponsored by Qantas and produced by Adspace Studio.

Be the first to comment on "From Australia with Love: Relive Qantas’ first flight from Sydney to Joburg to celebrate 70 years of passenger flights"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*