A vast land full of colour – the red rocks and soil of the centre of the country, the verdant greens of the lush rainforests and parks and the blues and corals of the Great Barrier Reef – Australia is the ‘promised land’ for many people …. With so many Brits having friends and relatives ‘down under’ Australia is a great holiday destination with something for everyone, and a very laid back pace of life! Weird and wonderful wildlife in it’s many unique forms can be found here, Kangaroos, Koalas, Cockatoos (did you know this is where budgerigars live wild?), Birds of Paradise, Echidnas and Tasmanian Devils …. A whole world of story book creatures in one place!
Being in the southern hemisphere, their summer is our winter, so it’s a great place to spend time when the weather is bad here for some winter sun! Due to distances involved though temperatures range dramatically from one end of Australia to the other so check before you book what time of year best suits your type of holiday. Many ports along the southern shoreline of Australia are visited as part of a round the world cruise.
Qantas and British Airways code share on flights to Australia and offer a range of stop over options and different booking options. Other carriers such as Emirates, Malaysian or Singapore Airlines also have great options to Australia. Fast becoming a favourite is the Airbus A380 with it’s fabulous new business class and first class suites, mood lighting, cocktail bar and private ‘rooms’!
When planning a holiday to Australia there are so many things to consider. The main thing is not to underestimate the distances and time it takes to travel between the major cities, afterall, there are several time zones in Australia! Once you have decided which part of the country you want to visit, think about the mode of transport, type of holiday and what sightseeing tours you want to include. There are various ‘hop on hop off’ buses for budget travellers and even if you book a private tailor made holiday, you can still add in excursions and activities. If you self drive, we can book ‘hotel passes’ which are pre-paid with a certain range of hotels so you can choose to stop where you like as you travel.
Highlights of Australia
Ayers Rock and Aboriginal Culture in the ‘Red Centre’; The Great Barrier Reef; Sydney Harbour and Opera House; Kangaroos & Koalas; Beautiful Queensland Beaches; Outback Western Australia; wine valleys and restaurants in the south.
One of Australia’s main attractions is the Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful tropical islands along the Gold and Sunshine coasts. Ultimate chill out or honeymoon destinations include the Whitsunday Islands; for wildlife make sure you visit the tropical rainforests of Daintree and Cape Tribulation, enjoy culture and beaches around Cairns, Palm Cove and Port Douglas or take a trip to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island with a mass of wildlife. The furthest island north in Australia is Lizard island, the ultimate in rustic-chic paradise escapes! There are many sailing trips or cruises around the islands.
From Darwin in the north down to the heart of the Red Centre, Northern Territory is a must see for all holidays to Australia. Stunning, breathtaking scenery stretches in all directions. Spend time at Uluru and let it cast it’s magic on you – especially at sunset and sunrise! Uluru rises over 1000 feet from the valley floor and has a girth of nearly 6 miles, making it the largest monolith in the world. Kings Canyon has a spectacular range of rock formations and desert oasis. Dine under the stars in the outback and listen to the sound of silence. Experience Aboriginal culture and arts and shopping for souvenirs is best at Alice Springs. Wildlife lovers should include Kakadu National Park near Darwin with aboriginal paintings and vast landscapes. It is home to around 75 species of replie and 1600 plants and is now a World Heritage Site.
The largest state in Australia with a wild coastline filled with dolphins, whale sharks and beautiful beaches such as Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park. Great wines and local foods and plenty of adventure – explore The Kimberleys, a vast and remote ‘frontier’ destination. If you want to snorkel with Whale Sharks, head to Ningaloo Reef from April to July. Perth has busy markets, lush parks and amazing beaches. Plenty of alfresco dining optinos and sruices downthe Swan River to Freemantle where you find lively bars and cafes with great fish and chips! South of Perth is the Margaret River wine region with amazing local food and drink. Fly over the Mitchell Falls and the Bungle Bungles.
New South Wales
Spend time around Sydney, summit the Harbour Bridge for breathtaking (and knee shaking!) views; trip to the Blue Mountains National Park for wildlife and walks; mingle with the surfers at classic Byron Bay or enjoy the beauty of Coffs Harbour; whale watching from Port Stephens (May – Nov); shop in the Hunter Valley for local wines and gourmet food. Note: if you want to experience the fabulous New Year fireworks at Sydney Harbour book well in advance!
Adelaide is a beautiful city with plenty of leafy parks and culture. Surrounded by winelands, the region is famous for gourmet restaurants. Just an hour from Adelaide is the Barossa Valley with world class wines. Visit Kangaroo Island and meet koalas, echidnas and kangaroos; walk amongst sealions. McLaren Vale is south of Adelaide and part of the Fleurieu Peninsula with a dramatic coastline, cliffs, surf and perfect beaches. Take a scenic flight across the Flinders Ranges, awesome outback! Visit the ‘Dukes Beehive Bottle House’ at Andamooka, traditional Aussie pub.
Although a small state (about the size of the British Isles), there is a lot to do here, with 10 national parks, Yarra Valley wine regions and cosmopolitan Melbourne. Take a tran to St Kilda and wander the esplanade or botanical gardens. Travel the world famous Great Ocean Road with rainforests and shipwrecks along the way. There are sweeping beaches an forests full of wildlife. Head to the Mornington Peninsula for coastal walks or swim with dolphins or travel north west of Melbourne to Daylesford which is famous for spa retreats with over 50 different natural therapies!
An island about the size of Ireland, Tasmania is very scenic with mountains, deserted beaches and great cuisine. There are plenty of walking trails or enjoy boat trips and kayaks. Climb remote peaks, breath in fresh air and explore ancient forests and glacier lakes. Hobart is a vibrant city with lively pubs and music where you can explore our convict past with a visit to Port Arthur with ghost tours and historical sites. The west coast is full of rugged beauty in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park and the wilderness area of Cradle Mountain, which contrasts with the calm waters of the harbour at Strahan, a fishing town.
Modes of Travel
Self-drive – If you have time and want to stretch your budget, book a self-drive option. Motorhomes can be hired and are really comfortable and well equipped, you can also hire iconic VW Campervans! You can off course hire a normal car and we can pre book hotels for you if you prefer. By self driving, you can set your own pace, shop at local supermarkets and eat out without being tied to a timetable of an organised group.
Escorted Tours – as Australia is so vast, if you are visiting for the first time, or want to fit quite a lot in, escorted tours are ideal. Lead by a knowledgeable leader, you will have the friendship and safety of travelling in a group and knowing that excursions and hotels are all pre-booked for you.
Small group adventures – a great way to get into the outback, join a small group and enjoy camp outs and adventure in a range of regions in Australia.
Rail travel – Australia has great options to enjoy the country by train. Spanning the country east to west is The Indian Pacific railway, one of the longest rail journeys in the world and the Ghan Journeys trains travel the heart of the outback connecting north to south. There are also shorter train journeys, along the Queensland coast or linking the major cities, such as the Tilt Train or the Sunlander.
Family Holidays to Australia are amazing – children of all ages cannot fail to be enchanted by the wildlife, beaches and incredible sights. Ask me to tailor a family holiday for you taking in your choice of adventures, whether it’s camping in the outback, holding a koala or snorkling on the Great Barrier Reef.
There are so many ways to enjoy Australia with different time zones, climates and habitats, it’s a year round destination. Though peak travel is in our winter around November to March time, so book early to avoid high flight fares! Contact me for your own perfect holiday to Australia.
Thank you for all your hard work in planning our holiday to Singapore, Australia and Bali, the entire trip including 6 flights and 4 hotels was flawlessly planned from start to finish. How fortunate we were to find Julie by chance on the internet, and most of all how refreshing to find someone who truly cares about clients and goes the extra mile in providing a superb service. Julie was exceptionally generous with her time, answering all our questions often communicating out of office hours, including checking that everything was going well whilst we were actually on holiday. I am pleased to be telling our friends and family how delighted we are with the service we received from Julie, and without hesitation our future holidays will be placed in Julie’s hands to organise.
Ray & Kay Ward – Singapore, Australia & Bali (Oct 13)
I wanted to let you know we thought you did a wonderful job in organising our tailor made holiday to Queensland, Australia and we had an amazing time and met some great people. We’ll definitely go back, thanks again and won’t hesitate to recommend you to our friends.
Some of the things we did on Hamilton Island included fine dining at the Beach Club & gourmet pizza at the Manta Ray Café, lots of water activities, day trips to the other islands and dinner cruise on the Denison Star, and even a scenic helicopter ride over the island. Really friendly staff and can’t fault the service at the Reef View Hotel or the amazing sea view from the very spacious room. We also spent a couple of afternoons on the beach with a picnic and relaxed in the sports club sauna. Not forgetting breakfast with the koalas!
The Kuranda sky rail excursion gave us a full view of the rainforest and a visit to the wildlife park where we fed the kangaroos and cuddled even more koalas. We did a boat trip to the outer Great Barrier Reef to snorkel – a breathtaking experience. We also visited the Daintree rainforest where we were shown how to fish for crabs by an aboriginal who then took us back to his house and cooked them for us to eat!
Rashmi & David – Australia (April-May 2013)
Off the north east Queensland coast sits the Great Barrier Reef – an amazing site of natural beauty and the most extensive coral reef system in the world. Visit any number of the islands surrounding the reef or take an amazing diving holiday.
Drive the sights of Australia’s west coast from Sydney up to Brisbane, enjoy beautiful open roads and coastal scenery on this flexible tour enabling you to tailor things to your own pace but still with pre-booked accommodation, directions and maps!
See Ayers Rock at sunset and sunrise, snorkel over beautiful corals of the Great Barrier Reef, see the sights of Sydney and wonder at the wildlife – kangaroos, wombats, koalas, possums and penguins are just some of the creatures to be seen here.