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

Walking in New Zealand

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Vicki Tester

 

New Zealand is a country known for its varied and stunning scenery, from rolling farmland, lush forests, deserted beaches and boiling mud pools to rugged mountains, dramatic glaciers and crystal clear lakes. A favourite pastime for locals and visitors alike, tramping (or hiking/walking as we would call it) is a wonderful way to get out and explore some of the most pristine wilderness the country has to offer.

Whether you’re interested in a short walk, a long distance walking track or something in between, the tracks are well marked, well maintained and the operators very professional.

Walks can be self-guided (making sure to follow sensible safety protocol such as ensuring the authorities know your intended route and timeframe), or you could opt to join a small guided group, with a knowledgeable expert on the region. In some cases, luggage can be transferred to the next accommodation each day, enabling you to simply travel with a day pack whereas on other routes, all luggage required for the walk will be carried by you. The long distance walking tracks should be planned and booked well in advance, and can be easily combined within a wider holiday to New Zealand.

There are nine designated ‘Great Walks’ in New Zealand, which are all long distance tracks:

 

Tongariro Northern Circuit

Winding its way past Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngauruhoe, the Tongariro Northern Circuit offers dramatic volcanic landscapes and a rich geological and ancestral past. From Alpine herb fields to forests, and tranquil lakes to desert-like plateau, you’ll journey through a landscape of stark contrasts with amazing views at every turn. To the north is Lake Taupo, to the east the rugged Kaimanawa ranges and on a clear day you may even catch a glimpse of Mount Taranaki on the west coast.

Tongariro Northern Circuit Oturere Hut_99914

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Tongariro Northern Circuit Taranaki Falls_99913

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a four day walk over a total distance of 43.1 kilometres. It can be walked in either direction, and is a looped route from Whakapapa Village. It is also possible to take just a one day section of this trip, which is called the Tongariro Alpine Crossing.

 

Lake Waikaremoana

A refuge amongst prehistoric rainforest with access to some of New Zealand’s most iconic birds, this Great Walk around the shoreline of Lake Waikaremoana is truly outstanding. Marvel at giant native trees, stumble upon beautiful remote beaches and be enchanted by the area’s fascinating cultural history. A visit to the heart of Te Urewera on the eastern side of the North Island will offer a glimpse of how New Zealand used to be.

Lake Waikaremoana, Suspension Bridge_99909

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

This is a four day walk covering a total distance of 46km. It can be walked in either direction, and goes from Onepoto to Hopuruahine Landing.

 

Whanganui Journey

This is technically a canoe or kayaking trip rather than a walk. Paddle your way from mountains to sea through a landscape of remote hills and valleys on the magical Whanganui Journey. Experience the scenic beauty, history and cultural significance of the winding Whanganui River in the southwest of the North Island.

Whanganui Journey On The River_99906

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Whanganui Journey_99905

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choose a five day journey from Taumarunui to Pipiriki (145km), or a shorter three day journey starting at Whakahoro (87km), featuring the most scenic stretches of the river.

 

Abel Tasman Coast Track

Blessed with a mild climate, golden beaches and lush, coastal native bush, the Abel Tasman Track has it all. Located in Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island’s northern shores, this gentle Great Walk showcases the best that the park has to offer. Marvel at naturally sculptured granite cliffs and crystal clear waters. Choose to hike the whole track, or water taxi and kayak between different locations at any time of the year.

Abel Tasman Coast Track Onetahuti Bay_99911

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

The whole track will usually take five days and covers a total distance of 55.2km. It can be walked in either direction.

 

Heaphy Track

If it’s varied and rugged landscape with mountain views you’re looking for, you’ll be spoilt for choice on the Heaphy Track. This is located in Kahurangi National Park in the northwest of the South Island and has a range of options to suit different fitness levels. Tackle the track in four or five days, or take your time and soak in the views over six days.

Heaphy Track Images_100655

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Heaphy Track Images_100658

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Heaphy Track Images

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

The track covers a total distance of 78.4 kilometres, and can be walked in either direction. It goes from Brown Hut to Kohaihai river mouth. There is also a popular two-day overnight return trip on the western side from Kohaihai to Heaphy Hut.

 

Routeburn Track

This is the ultimate alpine adventure, taking you through ice-carved valleys and below the majestic peaks of the Southern Alps. A short trip from bustling Queenstown, this Great Walk links Mt Aspiring and Fjordland National Parks in the Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Weaving through meadows, reflective tarns and alpine gardens, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular vistas over vast mountain ranges and valleys.

Routeburn Track, Earland Falls_99923

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

This is a three day walk, covering a total of 32.1 kilometres. It can be walked in both direction, and runs between Routeburn Shelter and The Divide.

 

Milford Track

Follow this historic route through Fjordland National Park, part of Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Take a pilgrimage along valleys carved by glaciers and through ancient rainforest, before reaching your final destination: the spectacular Milford Sound.

Milford Track, Anita Bay_99917

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Milford Track, Bridge Over Arthur River_99920

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

 

This is a four day walk that can only be taken in one direction, from Glade Wharf to Sandfly Point. It covers a total distance of 53.5 kilometres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kepler Track

This is an incredible wilderness experience right on Te Anau’s doorstep. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience the most accessible of Fjordland’s Great Walks. It traverses Fjordland National Park in the southwest of the South Island and is part of Te Wahipounamu – South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. The remarkable scenery includes everything from remote lakes and peaceful beech forest backdrops to rocky peaks and exposed alpine tussock lands.

Kepler Track View From Ridgeline_112643

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Kepler Track, Ridgeline_99915

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

It is a four day walk that can be walked in either direction, and is a looped route from the Kepler Track car park. The total distance covered is 60.1 kilometres.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rakiura Track

Escape on an island adventure, and exchange the hustle and bustle of the mainland for the tranquillity of the Rakiura Track. Located in Rakiura National Park on Stewart Island, the Rakiura Track is a leisurely three day hike suitable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. Relax and unwind in the peaceful surroundings with the bush, birds and beach at your side. Stewart Island is one of the few places that kiwi birds can be found in the wild.

Rakiura Track, Log Hauler_99919

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

Rakiura Track_99918

Picture courtesy of The Department of Conservation NZ

 

 

 

The track is circular and can be walked in either direction. The total distance covered is 32.1 kilometres.

Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 2 – Further Afield

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Vicki Tester

 

Hobart, Tasmania 2 – by Peter Ellis

 

So having had a couple of days to explore the City of Hobart and now with your hire car in hand then consider the following destination. To ensure you have seen a Tasmanian Devil I would strongly recommend that visit the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary where they are working hard to ensure these much maligned creatures have a future – along with many other orphaned or damaged wild animals. The Devils numbers are down by 90% due to a virus that has spread through them but the good news is that scientists have found a vaccine that is seems effective and there is also evidence that the remaining wild animals have built their own immunity.

Tasmanian Devil, Hobart, Tasmania

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Kangaroo, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You will have a chance to see most of the other indigenous Tasmanian wildlife and even feed the kangaroo who are very friendly. A short drive from here brings you to Richmond which truly has a feel of being back in the UK. The Gaol here was built in the 1820s to provide slave labour for the booming farming community. It is still almost intact and well worth a visit.

For another full day out, drive down to the World Heritage site of Port Arthur, the destination of many of the convicts from Great Britain. Built as a modern and ground breaking penal institute it became a town in its own rights. Many of the buildings are ruins while others have been restored to their former glory – particularly the homes of the officers. There is much to see and do here so plan to be there early. Also ensure you join the cruise of the Bay taking you past Point Puer Boys Prison (for convict aged below 17) and the Island of the Dead. The staff play there parts convincingly and the exhibits are well thought through and very hands on. For the brave there is ghost tour in the evening. Do NOT get left in the isolation cell – not a chink of light anywhere and pass through 4 doors to get there.

One evening when the weather is clear, drive to the top of Wellington Mountain for spectacular views over the city and harbour.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

New South Wales (NSW)

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This itinerary combines Sydney with beautiful countryside and a popular wine region.

Summary

New South Wales

The chequered past of this state has evolved into the cosmopolitan city of Sydney and state of New South Wales that we know today.  Thankfully most accommodation these days has an en-suite bathroom and the bars on the windows have been removed!

Day 1: Sydney

Day 4: Port Stephens

Day 6: Hunter Valley

Day 8: Blue Mountains

Day 10: Sydney

 

 

Description

Description

The states of Australia are often combined into one itinerary, but here we explore a few ideas for New South Wales alone.  You might be surprised at just how much there is outside Sydney.

Day 1: Sydney
Welcome to Sydney where we suggest at least 3 nights in a central hotel. Start off with a harbour cruise; this will give you your bearings whilst enjoying your morning coffee or cocktail. Agility permitting, the Bridge Climb is highly recommended.

Sydney 3 nights

Day 4: Port Stephens
Collect a hire car and head for the coast and on to Port Stephens for a 2 night stay. Port Stephens is comprised of a scattering of seaside villages with white sandy beaches and a resident population of over 140 bottlenose dolphins. Between late May and July, and between September and November, whales can be found in the area as they migrate north and return south. Explore Tomaree National Park from here.

Port Stephens 2 nights

Day 6: Hunter Valley
Just under an hour away and nestled amongst the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges in the heart of the Hunter vineyards is Hunter Valley Gardens, one of Australia’s premier tourist destinations. Whether you’re a lover of wine and great food, an enthusiast of natural beauty and wildlife, or a keen golfer, the Hunter Valley has it all.

Hunter Valley 2 nights

Day 8: Blue Mountains
Today your destination is the Blue Mountains; the characteristic blue haze that envelopes the sandstone cliffs and valleys of this beautiful area is said to come from the oil suspended in the atmosphere from the ubiquitous eucalyptus trees. The Blue Mountains are indeed blue, at least when seen from a distance. The overall effect with the warm sandstone cliffs and the dull green eucalyptus is uniquely Australian, and the subject of many an artist’s work. The extraordinary vertical cliffs, innumerable waterfalls, suspended lookouts and quaint walking tracks make it an ideal destination for bushwalkers and hikers, as well as the more adrenalin-addicted who like to go canyoning or rock climbing.

Blue Mountains 2 nights

Day 10: Sydney
Return to Sydney to continue your Australia trip. Here are 3 suggestions…

  • Fly from Sydney airport to another region
  • Drive one of the Sydney – Melbourne Touring Routes down to Melbourne, via the Coastal Drive or inland (including Canberra) on the Heritage Route
  • Spend a few days in luxury on Lord Howe Island, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and unspoilt Pacific Islands

Photographs Copyright Australia Tourism

Blue Mountains Jamieson Valley      5.0.2

 

NSW      Sydney; Aerial

Little Gems

Little Gems

Use the ferries to explore Sydney Harbour – they are cheap, accessible and regular.  Not only will you meet Aussies going about their daily business, but you’ll also get the best views of the city skyline, the Opera House and the Bridge, to name but a few.

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‘Everyone should visit Sydney once in their life and New Years Eve in Sydney is like no other that I have every experienced’

Country: New Zealand

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Self Drive Holidays in New Zealand

A country of wild mountains, rugged glaciers, deserted beaches, stunning lakes, boiling mud pools and rolling farmland, New Zealand is a photographer’s dream with fantastic scenery around almost every corner. Couple this with friendly people, a laid back way of life, and a fascinating culture and you have the key ingredients to a fantastic tailor made or bespoke holiday.

Comprised of two main islands – aptly named North Island and South Island, as well as a number of smaller islands, the most famous of these being Stewart Island, New Zealand is roughly the size of Britain, but with a population of only 4.5 million – meaning plenty of space away from crowds, and plenty of unspoilt beautiful highlights.

Whether you have a keen interest in tramping, kayaking, mountain biking, wildlife, wine tasting or simply enjoy driving the open road, New Zealand has so much to offer. ‘Aotearoa’, is the traditional Maori name for New Zealand, and a vital element of any visit to the country is to learn of the Maori culture – perhaps best known for the ‘Haka’ but with so much more to learn than this alone.

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Country: Australia

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Australia – Tailor made holidays and adventure travel

Variety, variety, variety… in terrain, weather and experiences – that is Australia and here a destination that truly offers something for everyone. Cosmopolitan cities with world-class culture, shopping, cuisine and wines, Outback adventure, Tropical Rain Forests, Unesco World Heritage sites, Coral Reef’s … the list goes on and on.

Sit back and enjoy a coach tour, or experience one of the world’s great train journeys – the legendary Ghan from Adelaide to Darwin, or the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney across the Nullabor Desert.

Self-drive by car or camper/motorhome giving you complete flexibility and freedom or venture off the beaten track with a 4WD. Whether this is your first exploration, or a return visit, Australia has so much to offer. Explore with us each State in turn. Fit a bit of each into your itinerary, or given the time, see each region properly – click into each for further guidance.

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney

Credit Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top End

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Explore the tropical ‘Top End’ of Australia beginning in Darwin. The perfect time to visit the Top End is in our summer and this itinerary combines beautifully with an extended holiday through the Kimberley and Bungle Bungles

Summary

Top End

The perfect time to visit the Top End is in our summer and this itinerary combines beautifully with an extended holiday through the Kimberley and Bungle Bungles.  It could also link to a rail journey on the Ghan.

Day 1: Darwin
Day 2: Kakadu Adventure
Day 4: Darwin
Day 5 Bamarru Plains
Day 7 Darwin

Description

Description

Here is a suggestion for a week’s itinerary that may be added on to the Red Centre – link by the Ghan Train or by air

Day 1: Darwin
Darwin is a small but sprawling city with bags of character. Take a town tour, or ride the Tourist Tub, but however you get around, ensure that you are on a harbour cruise as the sun goes down. The Top End is famous for its sunsets – the colours of the after glow are spectacular.
Darwin 1 night

Day 2: Kakadu Adventure
An early start this morning for the start of your Kakadu adventure. Here we suggest a two night camping tour but longer options are possible. The first day takes you into the Kakadu National Park, visiting the rock art site at Ubirr, before taking a leisurely cruise on the Yellow Water Wetlands – you will almost certainly see your first crocodile here, to say nothing of the wide variety of birdlife and your first taste of the paperbark swamp. Whilst enjoying the cruise, your guide will have stoked up the campfire and have dinner on the go ready for your return.

Day 3: Kakadu Adventure
After a hearty cooked breakfast, break camp and head on to Nourlangie for a morning walk. Here, again, you will see examples of rock art – your guide will walk with you and explain and interpret these fascinating sites. A quick visit to the excellent interpretation centre near Cooinda and then head south to Gunlom Falls. The road roughly follows the line of the Escarpment and as you head south he scenery becomes more rugged and dramatic. Your overnight camp is at Gunlom. For the energetic a climb up a steep rock path brings you to an idyllic pool – ideal for an early evening swim. Dinner around the campfire before retiring to your tent for the night.

Day 4: Darwin
Break camp again this morning after breakfast – there may be time for another swim before leaving the Kakadu Park behind. Longer tours may include Katherine Gorge and/or the Litchfield Park; this tour takes you to the small mining town or Pine Creek and Adelaide River before finally returning to Darwin in the early evening.
Darwin 1 night

Day 5 Bamarru Plains
After breakfast, depart by road, or light aircraft to your luxury lodge home for the next two nights. A low swoop over the airfield clears any wildlife grazing the edges of the runway before the little plane touches down. A bus will be waiting to whisk you away to your wilderness lodge. Fine food, a well stocked wine cellar, a welcoming and shady pool and exquisite views across the sparkling water await. The lodge offers guided walks and safaris for the adventurous, fishing trips or simple relaxation in beautiful surroundings. 2 nights is lovely, 3 even better
Bamarru Plains 2 nights

Day 7 Darwin
Light aircraft or road transfer back to Darwin and civilisation before continuing your travels…

Photographs Tourism Australia Copyright

NT Kakadu

Little Gems

Little Gems

For a luxurious interlude in this adventure, do plan a stay at the Wild Bush Luxury Lodge at Bamurru Plains.  In their words… Bamurru Plains is located just to the west of Kakadu National Park on the Mary River floodplains. A profusion of bird and wildlife are on the doorstep of a unique bush lodge that exudes ‘Wild Bush Luxury’ and brings a touch of style to the discovery of a remote and beautiful wilderness.

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Destinations Show, Olympia

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Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Sydney and Melbourne are two cities that often feature on the wish list for a visit to Australia. Whilst the cities can be linked with a flight or rail journey, if time allows we suggest driving between the two – taking time to explore the beautiful scenery along the way.

Summary

Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive

Sydney and Melbourne are two cities that often feature on the wish list for a visit to Australia. Whilst the cities can be linked with a flight or rail journey, if time allows we suggest driving between the two – taking time to explore the beautiful scenery along the way.

There are two key routes to choose between – the Coastal Drive and the Heritage Drive. In description, we have suggested an itinerary for the Coastal Drive.

Description

Description

 

Day 1: Sydney

With its compact city centre and efficient public transport, Sydney is an easily accessible city with many of the main attractions close by. Enjoy a morning harbour cruise, a concert at the Opera House and blow away the cobwebs doing the Bridge Climb. Visit Bondi Beach and watch the surfers on the waves, shop in Paddington’s markets, enjoy a stroll around the Rocks and Circular Quay, or head out to glamorous Double Bay for designer shopping.

Three nights Sydney

Day 4: Wollongong

Take the stunning Grand Pacific Drive down the coast today. Starting south of Sydney at the entrance of the Royal National Park, this drive passes through picturesque seaside villages, coastal rainforests and the iconic Sea Cliff Bridge. With plenty of un-crowded beaches, a relaxed café culture and a plethora of activities on offer, Wollongong is a great place to stop along the way.

Two nights Wollongong 

Day 6: Jervis Bay

The Grand Pacific Drive continues south, through Shell harbour and Kiama before ending in Shoalhaven. Continue on to Jervis Bay – this is a beautiful marine park with stunning white sand beaches. Dolphin watching cruises are popular here, and you may be lucky enough to see migrating humpback and southern right whales (June/July and September to November).

Two nights Jervis Bay 

Day 8: Narooma

Continue down the coast to Narooma – from here explore Bateman’s Marine Park, or visit the Montague Island Nature Reserve and view the wildlife there – shearwaters, little penguins and fur seals.

One night Narooma

Day 9: Mallacoota

Crossing into Victoria today, for an overnight stay in the pretty coastal town of Mallacoota. Explore Croajingolong National Park and the many walking trails in the region. Gypsy Point is well worth a visit – a beautiful peninsula home to plenty of kangaroos.

One night Mallacoota 

Day 10: Lakes Entrance

Continue along the coast to Lakes Entrance. This is located on the edge of Ninety Mile Beach, where the Gippsland Lakes meets the Southern Ocean. Boating is a key activity of the area – take a cruise on the lakes, or enjoy some of the amazing fresh seafood that this region is known for. Explore the quaint seaside village of Metung and try your hand at fishing.

Two nights Lakes Entrance

Day 12: Wilsons Promontory

Drive towards Wilsons Promontory today. This park is a haven for native wildlife and has a plethora of walking trails. It’s the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria, and is home to kangaroos, wombats, echidnas and emus amongst others.

Two nights Wilsons Prom 

Day 14: Phillip Island

Drive on to Phillip Island today. Here, see the little penguins as they come ashore at dusk, or explore some of the islands many cycle and walking trails. Phillip Island is also home to fur seals at certain times of the year, as well as koalas.

One night Phillip Island

Day 15: Melbourne

Complete the drive to Melbourne today. A free tram service circles around the edge of the Central Business District, enabling easy access to many attractions. Take in a sporting event at the Telstra Dome – a sliding roof here means there are no stoppages for rain. For an interesting dinner, try The Tram Car Restaurant, which tours the suburb of St Kilda with an excellent meal (remembering to hold onto your wine glass as the tram passes over the points)! Take a tour out to Pin Oak Court, the home of Neighbours’ Ramsey Street, or enjoy an adventurous city tour by Harley Davidson motorbike. Visit the Eureka Tower, which has a viewing platform 88 floors up, as well as The Edge – a cubed glass room which projects out from the building allowing you the view straight down.

Three nights Melbourne

Day 18: Depart Melbourne

Depart Melbourne today, for the onward or homeward journey.

Sydney Opera House Credit Tourism Australia

Sydney Opera House Credit Tourism Australia

 

 Jervis Bay, NSW, Credit Jarvis Bay Kayaks - Tourism Australia

Jervis Bay, NSW, Credit Jarvis Bay Kayaks – Tourism Australia

 

Beach at Wilsons Promontory, VIC Credit Hamish Ta-me, Tourism Australia

Beach at Wilsons Promontory, VIC Credit Hamish Ta-me, Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island, VIC Credit David Hannah - Tourism Australia

Kitty Miller Bay, Phillip Island, VIC Credit David Hannah – Tourism Australia

 

Koala Phillip Island, VIC Credit Ross Holmberg - Tourism Australia

Koala Phillip Island, VIC Credit Ross Holmberg – Tourism Australia

 

Wilsons Promontory; Coastlines Credit Jeff Drewitz - Tourism Australia

Wilsons Promontory; Coastlines Credit Jeff Drewitz – Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phillip Island Credit Tourism Australia

Phillip Island Credit Tourism Australia

 

Australia's Coastal Wilderness Credit Sorrel Wilby - Tourism Australia

Australia’s Coastal Wilderness Credit Sorrel Wilby – Tourism Australia

 

Skyline, Melbourne, VIC Credit Cameron Ernst - Tourism Australia

Skyline, Melbourne, VIC Credit Cameron Ernst – Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba - Tourism Australia

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba – Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba - Tourism Australia

St Kilda, Melbourne, VIC Credit Roberto Seba – Tourism Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Gems

Little Gems

Why not experience the exhilaration of a helicopter flight.  See Sydney’s most famous landmarks bathed in the glow of the setting sun above the glistening waters of Maroubra Beach and tracking north over the water at 500 feet for approximately  25 min.

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Good News For Locals!

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Vicki Tester

 

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Picture courtesy of Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd

Good News – Cathay Pacific has announced that they will be launching a new service offering direct flights from Gatwick to Hong Kong four times a week. This is in addition to their longstanding routes between Heathrow and Hong Kong, and between Manchester and Hong Kong.

This new route is great news for those living in the South East wishing to visit Australia and New Zealand, as there will be connections through to key hubs in both countries from Hong Kong.

The new service is due to commence in September 2016 with Cathay Pacific’s new Airbus A350-900 with refreshed Business Class cabin and new Premium Economy Class seats.

Hong Kong makes a great stopover location, as well as a holiday destination in its own right. For more information on this, and how these flights could work well for your future holiday plans, give us a call on 01323 446550, or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

The Red Centre

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Whether you arrive by rail or air, your first impression of the Red Centre will be awesome; a vast area of arid outback, punctuated by strangely shaped rocks and small hills that change in colours according to the time of day.A short itinerary incorporating Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kings Canyon and Alice Springs

Summary

The Red Centre

Uluru/Ayers Rock was originally named by the Pitjantjatjara people and subsequently by surveyor William Gosse in 1873, but it is only since 1993 that the feature was officially given its dual name.  It is, none the less, not only one of the major attractions of the Red Centre and Northern Territories, but of the whole vast continent of Australia.

Day 1: Alice Springs

Day 2: Glen Helen

Day 3: Kings Canyon

Day 4: Uluru (Ayers Rock)

Description

Description

 

Whether you arrive by rail or air, your first impression of the Red Centre will be awesome; a vast area of arid outback, punctuated by strangely shaped rocks and small hills that change in colours according to the time of day. This itinerary offers a four wheel drive self drive itinerary following the Mereenie Loop Road…

Day 1: Alice Springs
Pick up your 4WD and spend the first night in Alice Springs itself. This little town nestles at the base of the MacDonnell Ranges, and formed a vital link in the laying of the Telegraph line from the new lands of Australia to England. A visit to the Telegraph Station gives an impression of the original settlement, before the centre of the town grew on its current site. Visit the School of the Air and the Flying Doctor base.
Alice Springs 1 night

Day 2: Alice Springs to Glen Helen
Today’s drive takes you through the West MacDonnells to Glen Helen – a drive of a little over 100km as the crow flies. Along the way, you may linger at the many chasms, gorges and creeks clearly marked from the main road.
Glen Helen 1 night

Day 3: Kings Canyon
Your entire journey today will be on the gravel road, joining the Mereenie Loop Road. The scenery will change dramatically from the rugged hills of the West MacDonnells to the flatter scrub of the desert. Gosse Bluff should not be missed; allegedly a crater formed by a meteorite crashing to ground and with spiritual significance for the indigenous people. Arrive at Kings Canyon in time for an evening walk in the base of the canyon.
Kings Canyon 1 night

Day 4: Uluru (Ayers Rock)
Rise early to walk along the canyon rim – about 6 km of spectacular scenery but not for the faint hearted as the first stage involves a steep climb. Today’s drive takes you to Uluru. You will be rewarded with your first sight of the Rock itself – inspirational, eerie, quiet – decide for yourself. Two nights at Ayers Rock Resort will give you time to visit Uluru at dawn and dusk, visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), take part in the Sounds of Silence dinner, or sunrise breakfast. Finally, drop your car at Ayers Rock Airport before continuing your adventure…
Two nights Uluru (Ayers Rock)

All photographs: Tourism Australia Copyright

      Canoeing on Katherine Gorge      Kings Canyon

Little Gems

Little Gems

The true spirit of the outback is the ice cold ‘stubbie’ thrust in your hand as a welcome to Glen Helen – before you’ve even checked in!

What our clients say

Client Feedback

 

Well, where do we start? The itinerary you devised for us could not have been better. Everything worked out so well and the accommodation was great, although when you said that Glen Helen was rather basic, you were not wrong! We were glad it was only the one night, but the staff were friendly and helpful enough and the food was good. It all added to the ‘experience’! So, all in all, we couldn’t fault any of the accommodation you booked for us. All the flights (all nine of them!) worked out fine, the worst delay was San Francisco to Honolulu where we were delayed by only around 50 minutes! Ayers Rock was a fantastic spectacle. 43 degrees and billions of flies! It’s a not-to-be-missed sight, one of those ‘icon’ destinations.

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Experience Holidays is fully bonded under the Civil Aviation Authority ATOL scheme and is a member of the Worldchoice Consortium.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays sold by us on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate
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