HOME AND AWAY
TO celebrate its 30th anniversary, Bill Peach Journeys has added a 36-seat Embraer jet to its fly-cruise stable. The new aircraft can fly at 2000 feet (perfect sightseeing altitude) and flying time is halved — our trip from Sydney’s Mascot to Bathurst takes less than 17 minutes; too many blinks and we could have missed an aerial view of the Blue Mountains. From Bathurst we travel by coach to Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort for lunch — it’s a luxurious experience of pure Australiana with excellent local food and wine. The resort architecture takes its cues from woolsheds and sits well in a ruggedly beautiful terrain of escarpments and bushland. Bill Peach Journeys has structured a program of packages, including a 17-day Passage Through Ancient Cultures from Sydney to London, featuring Siem Reap, Muscat, Santorini and Prague. The separate return tour includes Dubrovnik, Abu Dhabi, Agra and Lombok, and flying time each day does not exceed three hours. As we zip back to Sydney after our Embraer sampling, I gaze out and daydream about the exotic destinations and World Heritage sites those lucky passengers will visit. Bundles of cumulus clouds cast map-like shadows across the landscape and look for all the world like continents. More: 1800 252 053; billpeachjourneys.com.au.