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Tangy Mystery: Qantas Surprises Travellers With A Trip To Orange

Qantas’ first mystery flight QF1255 from Brisbane landed in… Orange, NSW – a regional “foodie” town 3.5 hours drive Sydney (or a 1.5 hour Qantas mystery flight from Brisbane).

Qantas’ first mystery flight QF1255 from Brisbane landed in… Orange, NSW – a regional “foodie” town 3.5 hours drive Sydney (or a 1.5 hour Qantas mystery flight from Brisbane).

The first of three Qantas domestic mystery flights for travellers keen to enjoy unique travel experiences in Australia while international borders remain closed took off on Saturday headed for an unknown destination.

And the secret location was… Orange in regional New South Wales.

With a reputation for producing gourmet food and wine, stunning landscapes, and fascinating history, Orange was the place to be on Saturday for Qantas’ 737 full of mystery travellers.

Tell me more…

Qantas Mystery Flight

Tickets for the big day out, which included the flight, meals and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages plus activities on the ground, sold for $737 for Economy and $1,579 for Business and customers were provided with clues to ensure it was an appropriate outing for their areas of interest. 

The clue: This is the perfect getaway if you love:

  • country hospitality
  • gourmet food and wine
  • the great outdoors

Sound about right?

Qantas Mystery Flight

The day began at 7am with customers enjoying entertainment and hospitality in the Brisbane Domestic Business Lounge with entertainment by local Brisbane band Hamilton.

The 737 flight was operated by Qantas Captain Justin Gibb and his fellow First Officers Nikhil Shukla and Greg Choma.

Captain Gibb revealed the destination via the PA as the aircraft was at top of descent, which was met with a lot of cheer!

Customers were then transported to Borrodell Estate with a Welcome to Country by Wiradjuri Dancers on arrival, followed by a long-table lunch at the winery restaurant, Sister’s Rock.

Customers were then offered one of four experiences at Philip Shaw Estate, Heifer Station Vineyard, Printhie Wines or Millthorpe Village.

They enjoyed a variety of activities including local food tastings including gourmet preserves and pickles, vineyard tours and wine tastings.

After spending five hours in Orange, customers departed from Orange Airport, but not before enjoying one last local treat from Spilt Milk, with their delicious ice-cream, flying back into Brisbane Airport at 7pm.

Qantas mystery flights

Qantas Mystery Flight
Where to next Qantas?

The national carrier last operated mystery flights in the 1990s when travellers would turn up at the airport and be allocated seats on a scheduled flight to any of the airline’s destinations where they spent a day at their leisure before flying home.

Qantas has evolved the concept to offer three Boeing 737 mystery flight experiences (from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) that will include not just the flight, but an entire day of activities in a mystery destination – so all passengers need to do is book and turn up at the airport.

Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully, said the mystery flights are about giving Australians memorable travel experiences and promoting domestic tourism.

“Our customers tell us that where they can and can’t travel within Australia has been a bit of a mystery lately. These mystery flights are another way to support tourism operators in regional areas especially, who have been hit particularly hard by several waves of travel restrictions,” said Ms Tully.

So where to next? Any guesses?

18 April: Mystery Flight Adventure from Sydney

This is the perfect getaway if you love:

  • the tropics
  • saltwater on your skin
  • long lunching on the beach

1 May: Mystery Flight Adventure from Melbourne

This is the perfect getaway if you love:

  • the great outdoors (including a little walking)
  • gourmet food and wine
  • regional farmers markets