• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Australia Holidays & Australia’s Most Must-See Attractions

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WSI

 

Because Australia is so big, one of the most common questions which people planning 3-4 week in length holidays to the area ask, is which parts of Australia are absolutely unmissable? As part of your upcoming trip to Australia, we’ve therefore selected the three most experiential places of interest in Australia, areas which we feel personify the very best of the country both climatically and culturally.

Credit Australian Tourism

Credit Australian Tourism

Cairns

Credit Australia Tourism

Credit Australia Tourism

Australia holidays are typically about sun sea sand and the unique spectacle of the Australian Outback. However, Australia holidays can be just as much about lush tropical rainforest. As well then, as being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns in Australia is the ideal place to experience not just the Great Barrier Reef in all its glory but also some of the world’s oldest natural bush and rainforest areas.

Australia Holidays In Australia’s Red Centre  

Credit New Mexico Tourism and Sedona Centre of Commerce

Credit New Mexico Tourism and Sedona Centre of Commerce

 

Of course, the red glow of the Australian Outback is just as iconic as quintessentially Australian places of interest such as the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef. This being the case, no trip to Australia is complete without venturing off into the infamous Red Center of the country. The only thing to keep in mind is the fact that in summer especially, a trip to Australia’s center will be accompanied by excessive heat high UV exposure.

Sydney

Credit Australia and NSW Tourism

Credit Australia and NSW Tourism

Lastly, Australia holidays which don’t take the time to experience one or more of Australia’s cities are definitely missing out. In this case, we’ve chosen Sydney as the best place to start or end a trip Down Under due not just to the cosmopolitan vibe of the city, but also it’s proximity to the nearby Blue Mountains. Even better, from Sydney itself, trips can be taken directly out onto the Great Barrier reef and on to a number of surrounding islands.   

Visit Ningaloo Reef, Australia’s other Great Reef, in 2016

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Vicki Tester

 

We have just received some exciting news and a great addition to any bespoke, tailor made holiday. From June 2016 visitors will be able to swim with humpback whales at Ningaloo Reef as the West Australian government has granted licenses for a select number of operators. Western Australia’s humpback whale population had steadily recovered since the end of commercial hunting of this species in Australia in 1963. It is now the largest population in the world, with an estimated 30,000 whales migrating along the coast each year.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said the safety of whales and participants was a key consideration of the programme and there would be strict operational guidelines and monitoring of in-water interaction with humpbacks. Tours will run until October.

Picture courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Picture courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Take a humpback whale or whale shark swim or guests also have access to stand-up paddle boards and kayaks on board the company’s Concorde cruiser – a purpose built, 14.5 metre expedition power vessel.

See stunning footage of two humpback whales as they swam alongside a paddle boarder in Western Australia earlier this year https://www.youtube/watch?t=3&v=g6U3VCneKfs

If you feel inspired by this and would like to incorporate it into your own bespoke, tailor made holiday then please contact us on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk  where we can help with plenty more great ideas and accommodations.

Picture courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Picture courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

 

Picture courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Picture courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

 

Kangaroo Island – South Australia

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Vicki Tester

 

KAngaroo Island South Australia

Courtesy of Angie Watson

Kangaroo island is a must for any visitor to South Australia. I was lucky enough to visit just last week, and was hugely impressed with the amount of wildlife and natural attractions to be found- with long sandy beaches, plenty of walking tracks, geological formations, stunning vistas from lookout points and of course, the plethora of wildlife here there really is something for everyone.

Getting to the island is easy, with either a short flight from Adelaide or a coach ride or hire car and ferry crossing from Cape Jervis to Penneshaw. The island is deceivingly vast and as such needs a good amount of time to explore- I’d suggest two nights as an absolute minimum, but three would be ideal. Once on the island, consider joining a small group tour by four-wheel drive providing the best opportunity for viewing wildlife with the knowledge of your expert driver/guide an important element.

Kangaroo Island South Australia

Courtesy of Angie Watson

 

See kangaroos, Tamar wallabies, koalas, echidnas, numerous bird species, New Zealand fur seals, Australian sea lions, penguins and platypus- a large number of species are endemic to the island and it’s unspoilt predator-free environment enables them the flourish. Much of the island is made up of National Park, Nature Reserves or Marine Reserves, providing plenty of chances to explore using walking tracks and small roads.

In Flinders Chase National Park in the west of the island, visit the Remarkable Rocks formations, and Admirals Arch. In the east of the island, admire the views from Prospect Hill, explore the beautiful Pennington Bay and Stokes Bay areas.

For more information about Kangaroo Island, and how a visit here can be incorporated into a wider Australian holiday, call our office on 01323 446550, email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk or see our website- www.experienceholidays.co.uk.

The Great Ocean Road..

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Vicki Tester

 

Great Ocean Road

Courtesy of Angie Watson

The Great Ocean Road is a world renowned driving route located in the state of Victoria, Australia, running along the south coast. It is an iconic drive that can be enjoyed by car, campervan, motorbike or bicycle, or by escorted tour if you’d prefer. This iconic drive begins in Torquay, not too far from Melbourne, and wends it’s way west hugging the cliffs and providing stunning views across bays, down to rocky shores and of beautiful beaches. Look inland and you’ll see lush green forest, cascading waterfalls and a plethora of activities to enjoy. Stop in the seaside towns along the way, and browse the eclectic mix of shops, galleries and restaurants on offer. Watch the surfers and fishermen, or take in a lesson and have a go for yourself.

Great Ocean Road

Courtesy of Angie Watson

 

The drive is best done in two days, and we’d suggest breaking the journey with a night in the seaside town of Apollo Bay. From here, embark on the second part of the journey, where the road heads slightly away from the coast, but with plenty of stopping points where short walks take you to awe-inspiring views of dramatic coastal scenery caused by erosion of the limestone cliffs. Consider taking a helicopter flight over the renowned 12 Apostle formation (although there are only actually 8), see the Grotto, London Bridge and the Arches. Learn about the Loch Ard- one of the many ships that was wrecked along this dangerous coast.

At the end of the Great Ocean Road, stay overnight in Warrnambool or quaint Port Fairy, enjoying the laid back Aussie lifestyle apparent here. From the coast, you could then choose to head inland to the Grampians National Park or the gold mining town of Ballarat, head back along the coast to Melbourne or head into South Australia- there are plenty of possibilities. For more information on how the Great Ocean Road can be incorporated into a wider Australian holiday, call our office on 01323 446550, email us at  info@experienceholidays.co.uk or see our website- www.experienceholidays.co.uk.

Winter Sun ….. The Options

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Peter Ellis

 

Winter holidays

Courtesy of Fundu Lagoon

 

Where to go if you want to have a burst of warmth in the middle of our winter? As always it all depends upon how long you have to spare and how much you want to spend.

Looking for the short break and not travelling too far then places like the Azores and Sharm el Sheihk, Egypt (still considered safe by the Foreign Office) will give you the best chance of sun and warmth. Other parts of the Mediterranean may be warm or even hot but there is a good chance of rain and cold snaps here as well.

For the mid distance travel you could be thinking of the Caribbean Islands – a perfect time to be going here. Do remember that some of the islands are very popular with the North American travellers who are also getting away from their winter. It is well worth looking at the options and perhaps considering one of the less popular destinations.

Winter holidays

Courtesy of Fundu Lagoon

 

In this category, and for something completely different, the Middle East should be considered. Many of the countries here, such as Oman, have expanded what they can offer tourists – giving you a chance to explore their history, wildlife and beautiful sea life.

While discussing middle distance destinations, we would also mention that Kenya is still a wonderful winter destination. There have been plenty of reasons to avoid Kenya this year, but the Government there has acted swiftly to ensure tourists are well protected and most of the country should be considered safe. A mixture of safari and beach is always a great get away. By travelling a bit further to Tanzania you avoid the security risk of Kenya but have the same experiences on offer.

For those lucky clients that have more time to travel even further afield then the countries in the Southern Hemisphere are very much on the agenda. Do remember that in parts of these countries their summer (our winter) can be the rainy season making travelling very difficult – well worth chatting to someone about these areas. Many of our clients choose this time of the year to head to New Zealand and Australia with a short break on the flight to and/or from their destination. Wonderful destinations with spectacular beaches, activities and experiences but worth spending time to make the most of the places you choose to visit. These countries are huge and travelling between points can take a lot of time.

Finally Southern Africa remains a terrific winter destination. Some of the best wildlife experiences are to be had now and the beaches are welcoming after the rigours of a safari. Add in the fact that the Pound has remained strong against the Rand and there is very little time difference to UK time (less jetlag) making it a good place to put on your list.

Start planning now.  Give us a call to discuss where you would like to go for your bespoke/tailor made winter sun break.

Tel: 01232 446550
Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Coast Australia

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Coast Australia

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Anyone that has been watching the series of Coast Australia on BBC2 (Wednesday evenings at 21.10) will know that the coast of Australia has an enormous amount of attractions to offer every kind of visitor. With stunning scenery, fantastic wildlife and marine life, fascinating history and interesting science it is no wonder we’ve seen a great surge in interest from our customers.

The eight part series takes in the wild and almost untouched Kimberley region, iconic Sydney and it’s important history, the Great Barrier Reef and it’s many attractions, rugged Tasmania’s wildlife and penal colony history, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts with their beaches and laid back lifestyle, Victoria and the incredible scenery of the Great Ocean Road, Darwin and the Top End’s remote beauty, and finally the stunning Coral Coast of Western Australia.

Every one of the regions covered will make for a fantastic holiday – exploring just one area or if you have the time combining several. The key is to visit at the right time of year. For northern Queensland (Great Barrier Reef), Darwin and the Top End, for the Kimberleys, and for the Coral Coast of Western Australia, this means travelling between May and October as this is the dry season. For Tasmania and Victoria travelling between November and April is best, as this is when the weather is warmer. Sydney, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts are almost year-round destinations.

If you would like bespoke holiday itinerary ideas for Australia, please see our websitehttp://www.experienceholidays.co.uk/index.asp?pgid=250  where there is plenty of inspiration, call our office on 01323 446550 to talk to us, or email us at  info@experienceholidays.co.uk.

Christmas in Sydney…and a Cruise

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Peter Ellis

 

Sudney

Pictures courtesy of Peter Ellis

Sydney for Christmas this year and have yet to decide how to see the festivities in, then the following should definitely be on your consideration list.

Adventure cruise specialists North Star Cruises are offering the ‘Sydney Rocks’ cruise 25th-29th December 2014 sailing Sydney – Hawksbury – Sydney.

Without doubt, the epicentre of excitement over the Christmas and New Year festive season is Sydney Harbour, and being outrageously spoilt aboard True North with your friends is the perfect way to enjoy the holiday! The Sydney Rocks voyage begins with a gourmet Christmas dinner harbour cruise, before waking on the water on Boxing Day for the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race! True North has the box seat as the fleet charges up the harbour toward the heads, and the excitement of the event is evident across the whole city. The cruise continues with a gentle two-day recovery at Maitland Bay and the beautiful Hawksbury estuary, with the opportunity for shore visits and a trip over the Blue Mountains escarpment in the ships helicopter.

Sydney

Credit Peter Ellis

 

North Star Cruises’ ship, the True North, is 164 feet long with a seven foot draft. The ship was purpose-built to sail deep into the very heart of wilderness areas that larger ships simply cannot access. The True North features a sundeck, a forward observation lounge, a ship’s lounge, an alfresco bar and a sports deck. The ship’s naturalist presents interpretative information on plasma screens and, an internet café enables convenient communication with the outside world.

The ship’s modern Australian cuisine is supplemented with locally sourced ingredients and complemented by an outstanding selection of Australian wines. Signature dining includes freshly caught barramundi – a revered sport fish possibly caught by guests, Angus or delicate Wagyu beef, or exquisite Australian lamb.

Places are very limited so give us a call to book your place for a Christmas to remember.

Tel: 01323 446550
Email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Lord Howe Island: Australia’s Best Kept Secret?

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WSI

 

Ever heard of Lord Howe Island? If you’re like 99% of people who travel to Australia each year, you probably haven’t. Few mainstream travel agents and guide books after all, ever venture far from promoting Australia’s most iconic of travel and holiday destinations. However, at Experience Holidays, we’re passionate about providing the best and most bespoke tailor made holidays that our clients have ever experienced. In this case, our holiday experts always try hard to promote more off the beaten track places of interest.

Copyright Renderings

Copyright Renderings

Secreted away in the Tasman Sea approximately 500km off the golden coast lines of Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbor, Lord Howe Island is one such destination. In fact, Lord Howe Island is so different to mainland Australia, that the island itself is almost like a little known mix of Australia and the country’s southern neighbour New Zealand.

Usually visited as part of our New South Wales tailor made holidays, Lord Howe Island is a volcanic, crescent shaped destination with breathtaking mountainous topography. Why do our holiday experts recommend visiting? That’s simple. 75% of Lord Howe Island is made up of permanent park reserve. Lush tropical forest and palm studded beaches subsequently make up the main part of the island, whilst the island itself is surrounded by the pristine and spectacular beauty of the world’s southernmost true coral reef.

For nature lovers and enthusiasts, Lord Howe Island is at the same time almost just as much a floating aviary as New Zealand, with the forested dip and swim of the island being home to a spectacular variety of unique bird species. The best part? Lord Howe Island is host to everything from spectacular walking and underwater activities, to exclusive dining and lodging. In fact, when you visit Lord Howe Island, you visit an island with just 400 tourist beds, making it the place in Australia to really get away from it all.

Ready to sample Australia’s best kept secret for yourself? The best part of our tailor made holidays, is that you get to tell our travel specialists where you want to go and what you want to experience. So call or contact us and talk to us about visiting Lord Howe Island yourself and let us start putting together a truly one in a life time travel itinerary.       

Australia: Independent Travel vs Tailor Made Holidays

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WSI

 

Australia has long been associated with epic expanses of untouched outback wilderness. This and the idea of finding oneself by going walkabout and sampling everything from turquoise blue bays, rustic red desert and the unique cosmopolitan atmosphere of cities like Sydney and Melbourne. However, is it better to sample Australia as an independent traveller who makes their plans and necessary travel and accommodation arrangements as they go? Or to book tailor made holidays with dedicated travel experts and specialists?

Credit Australia Tourism

Credit Australia Tourism

Well, for younger people especially, the former of these two options is often the most appealing. However, the truth is that Australia doesn’t really have an independent travel circuit anymore. Wait, what? How is that even possible? Well it’s simple really. Back in the glory days of the backpacker and serial adventurer, the last thing which would be on the mind of such travellers, was the suspected restriction of set travel itineraries and the advice of at home travel agent experts and specialists. It used to be simple, you’d just land in Oz, hire a car or camper and start your adventure on your terms.

However, things aren’t as simple as they used to be. Independent camper and hire car services have fast been gobbled up by singular operators with fixed places where people can pick up and return vehicles. In fact, with this being the case, almost all supposedly independent travellers to Australia follow the same set travel circuits. To make matters worse, Australia has experienced a significant cost of living increase in recent years. In this case, landing without any kind of pre-booked or pre-planned travel arrangements can be costly.

Secondly, because everyone always seems to be heading in the same direction in Australia, a lot of the country often goes unexplored, even by the most ardent of adventurers.

In a way then, Experience Holidays is one of the last remaining providers of truly bespoke Australian Holidays. What are the benefits of our tailor made holidays over independent travel down under? That’s simple. We’re as passionate about travel as you are. In this case, our travel experts listen to each of our clients and we put together individually based travel itineraries guaranteed to give you the holiday experience of a life time. Even better, because we vet each of the tour operators and transport and accommodation providers we work with, you’re always guaranteed to get the best prices and the best quality of service, wherever and however you plan your ultimate Australia get away. 

Call or contact us now to start your holiday planning

Join us at the Telegraph Travel Show, Excel Centre, London 8 – 10 January 2016

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

With Christmas and New Year just around the corner, you may well have time to start thinking about your next adventure for your holiday next year. To help you consider all of the options why not come and join us at the above show – and free of charge!

We will be on stand H30 and pretty difficult to miss as we will have a Cruise America Motorhome on the stand – difficult to miss both from size and colour. We will be there to discuss all types of holidays but be glad to show you around the motorhome if you ever thought of free wheeling through the USA or Canada.

For your free tickets to the Show just go the following link and register:

 http://travelshow.telegraph.co.uk/guest-tickets  and enter the code EXPERIENCE16

 An eticket will then be sent to you.

We would love to see you there.

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