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

Have you considered Western Australia?

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Kirsty Saunders

 

With 12,500 km’s of stunning coastline, 550 species of birds, 12,000 species of wildflowers, and just a little short of 2 million people, Western Australia is a destination in its own right, and without a doubt, Australia’s best kept secret.  With the Indian Ocean lapping the western shores, and the Southern Ocean to the South, the state of Western Australia quite literally smothers the western end of the vast country of Australia.  Perth is the gateway, the major city, and home to a large number of the total population of WA (1.4 million actually which doesn’t leave many for the rest of the State!).

View of the city from Kings Park. Photo courtesy of Nick Walker

Perth has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. It is the sunniest capital city in Australia! Perth is a modern city with a good choice of internationally recognised hotels and apartments. The shopping is good, the city is clean and friendly, and the surrounding wine regions stunning. It boasts the scenic Swan river with its famous black swans, nearby hectares of natural bushland in Kings Park, beautiful beaches, whales, dolphins and the little Quokka on Rottnest Island (a protected nature reserve). It is not too difficult to see why Perth is a popular lifestyle city.

Rottnest Island – photo courtesy of Nick Walker

Quokka – Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Perth is the hub, the starting point to explore the rest of Western Australia, and whilst it is possible to visit several places of interest outside Perth on a day trip – for some of these places the distances are huge, with day excursions leaving early in the morning and returning late in the evening.

As far as day trips are concerned once you have cruised along the Swan river to Fremantle and spent a day or two at Rottnest Island, you could consider a trip to Rockingham. Here you can swim with the wild dolphins with or visit as a spectator to see these beautiful animals in their natural environment. They are not fed or made to perform, they simply come because they enjoy human interaction.

If you hire a car, not too far outside the city you can visit Yanchep National Park, where you can enjoy nature-based activities, you will find caves, the Koala boardwalk (home to a colony of Koalas), and a tree adventure park for the kids, with ziplines and rope walks. You are also likely to see wild black cockatoos as well as other parrots and possibly kangaroos too!

A venture out to the famous Cottesloe beach is another day trip to consider. This pretty beach looking out across the Indian ocean boasts beautiful white sand and numerous cafes and bars. In the evening enjoy beautiful sunsets and watch the Rainbow Lorikeets as they come in their hundreds to roost in the pine trees.

Another suggestion is a trip out to the Pinnacles. This will be a long day but worth it. The Pinnacles are limestone formations found within an otherworldly desert landscape in Nambung National Park. An extraordinary site and a great photographic opportunity! You could make this a stop en route if you were driving along the west coast.

The Pinnacles – photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

South of Perth will take you into the Margaret River wine regions of the south west, well worth exploring. There are day trips available if you are using Perth as your base, or you could stop by for a few days. A must see for any visitor to the Margaret River region is Busselton with its heritage listed Jetty. The longest wooden-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere it extends over Geographe Bay for 1.8 kilometres. You can take a leisurely train ride down the jetty to the underwater observatory at the end, where you can experience one of Australia’s greatest artificial reefs. Bunbury is also a great place to stop with its basalt rock formations and where bottlenose dolphins visit close to the shore.

Busselton Jetty – photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

If you continue around the south western tip of Australia, the point where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean,  you would discover the beautiful rugged coastline of Albany and its natural wonders ‘The Gap’ and the ‘Natural Bridge’. The first European settlement in Western Australia, see Albany’s colonial architecture and the historic whaling station – now a museum.

The Natural Bridge – photo courtesy of Nick Walker

Albany – photo courtesy of Nick Walker

Whilst you are in this region visit Denmark with its wineries, and the remarkable Treetop Walk  ‘valley of the giants’  in Walpole -Nornalup National Park. The Ariel walkway is 40 metres above the ground amongst the canopy of huge Red Tingle and Karri trees, which are unique to this area.

Tree Top Walk – photo courtesy of Nick Walker

Whilst you are in this neck of the woods we can recommend another wonderful way to spend your day, which is to take an Eco cruise boat trip around the secluded inlets of Walpole and Nornulup. This wilderness is a very special place, a naturalist’s paradise and a real hidden gem.

Continuing along the southern coast of WA, you will reach Esperance. Here you will find beaches amongst the finest and whitest anywhere in the world. Offshore, Fur Seals and Sealions shelter on the islands of the Recherche Archipelago. You can take a scenic flight to see the surreal ‘pink’ lake Hillier on Middle Island.

Esperance – photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Heading inland from Perth, head to the Outback town of Kalgoorlie. Originally founded during the gold rush of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, this little town has thrived and continues to mine the precious ore from the Super Pit.  Make sure you take the drive up to the viewing platform for views of one of the biggest holes you will ever see!!

Wave Rock – photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

Or by taking a different route inland discover the little town of Hyden, famous for the Wave Rock!  You could combine the two if you made it part of a self-drive route.

If you drive North from Perth, along this remote coast, you will eventually reach Kalbarri (which would take over 6 hours). You can drive through the Kalbarri National Park and see the spectacular Murchison Gorges and take the opportunity to go on a river cruise on the Murchison River. Kalbarri is a delightfully unpretentious fishing village at the mouth of the River, with several simple but wholesome restaurants. As with each community on this route, the locals are genuine, friendly, welcoming and very typically Australian – proud of their country and their heritage without any brashness. Drive to Shark Bay from here and the dolphins at Monkey Mia.  Shark Bay is another gem; pristine coastline, dolphins and dugongs by the dozen and a delightful lack of tourists.

Monkey Mia – photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

It’s another 5 hours drive from here to Ningaloo Reef via Coral Bay.  Coral Bay is a remote and secluded treasure, and second only to the Great Barrier Reef itself. This area is not inundated with tourists and it does not have a huge choice of international resorts and accommodation and but there are some excellent fish restaurants!

Ningaloo Reef – photo courtesy of Tourism Australia

The bay itself is contained within the Ningaloo Reef which offers it perfect protection from the ocean outside.  Here, glass bottomed boats take you to view the coral, whilst longer expeditions will take you further afield, skilfully negotiating the narrow channels through the reef. The Ningaloo Reef is little brother to the Great Barrier Reef.  Closer into the shore, it is easily accessible to all. 500 species of fish are to be found here, plus sharks, enormous manta rays, turtles and dugongs – there is always something to see:

March to May – Coral spawning

March to June – Whale Sharks

June to November – Manta Ray

June/July to October/November – Humpback Whales

November to March – Turtle nesting and hatching.

However long you plan to stay here will probably not be long enough. You could fly to Exmouth in order to visit Coral Bay and Ningaloo Reef if you weren’t planning on driving.

Finally, another destination that you must consider is The Kimberleys, three times the size of England straddling the states of Western Australia and Northern Territories, The Kimberleys offer a perfect location for ‘getting away from it all’ – literally!!  Broome is the major gateway to this region of canyons and gorges and freshwater swimming holes.  Plan the timing of your visit carefully, avoiding the cyclone season when many roads are impassable due to flooding.  Out of the cyclone season, the adventurous traveller will find gorges and rock formations to rival those anywhere in the world. Consider a small group escorted tour here, using 4WD vehicles and a mixture of camping and motel accommodation – this area will leave an indelible mark on your memory. A visit to this region would certainly involve an internal flight, either directly from Perth or from another location during your travels around Western Australia.

There are many options for exploring WA and if you want to see it all, a combination of driving and air would be best.

Contact us to help you put together your tailor-made Western Australia itinerary.

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney to the Hunter Valley Wine Region by Rail

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Vicki Tester

 

If you are planning a holiday to Australia and fancy visiting the Hunter Valley but are not keen on self drive, then why not include a rail trip in your itinerary?

You can travel to the Hunter Valley, which takes about three hours by express train, from Sydney Central Station. Along the way you will only experience seven stops. The modern trains are very comfortable and feature an on board café and toilets. Large windows offer views of the stunning scenery throughout your journey.

The package would include:

  • Return train tickets from Sydney’s Central Railway Station to Singleton Station
  • Meet and Greet transfers to and from Singleton Railway Station via private Mercedes
  • Two nights’ accommodation in a choice of guestrooms and cottages at the Hunter Valley Resort.
  • Onsite Vineyard Tour followed by a private tasting with a Cellarmaster
  • Hunter Wine Theatre experience showing the onsite winery in action followed by wine tasting
  • Accommodation, breakfast, and wine activities are included in the package.

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Hunter Valley Resort is a superb country inn or lodge with 35 rooms and cottages surrounded by 70 acres of countryside and 50 year old shiraz vineyards.

Whilst there see the Hunter Wine Theatre Experience, explore and enjoy the facilities in the resort, visit the Brewery, souvenir shops, go bike riding, visit local wineries and a cheese factory, try a segway, horse riding, enjoy a relaxing massage in the Hunter Valley Heaven Massage Centre, take a carriage ride, play tennis, or go swimming – there really is something for everyone!

 

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Picture courtesy of Hunter Valley Resort

Sydney to Brisbane

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An interesting coastal drive between two iconic cities on the east coast of Australia.

Summary

Sydney to Brisbane

Australia is a vast continent and virtually impossible to explore in one holiday.  The lengthy distances will often be linked with a flight, but do consider getting behind the wheel and linking some of Australia’s iconic cities by road.  Here is one such itinerary idea:

Day 1: Sydney
Day 4: Hunter Valley
Day 6: Port Stephens
Day 8: Port Macquarie
Day 10: Coffs Harbour
Day 12: Byron Bay
Day 14: Coolangatta
Day 16: Brisbane

Description

Description

Australia is a vast continent and virtually impossible to explore in one holiday.  The lengthy distances will often be linked with a flight, but do consider getting behind the wheel and linking some of Australia’s iconic cities by road.  Here is one such itinerary idea:

Day 1: Sydney
Arrive into Sydney for a 3 night stay. 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 in Sydney

Day 4: Hunter Valley
Collect a hire car this morning and drive north from Sydney and into the Hunter Valley for a 2 night stay. This does take you inland slightly, but is well worth the detour. Renowned for producing award winning fine wines and gourmet dining, the Hunter Valley has developed in recent years to offer a wider range of activities such as hot air balloon flights, golf and horse riding.

Two nights in the Hunter Valley

Day 6: Port Stephens
Head back to 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.

Two nights in Port Stephens

Day 8: Port Macquarie

Continue north today through the Great Lakes region and the Manning Valley and on to Port Macquarie for a two-night stay. A vibrant town with plenty of shopping, entertainment and dining possibilities, Port Macquarie is also a great base for visiting nearby Camden Haven.

Two nights in Port Macquarie

Day 10: Coffs Harbour
Drive north to Coffs Coast, where the mountains meet the ocean. Coffs Harbour is a bustling town where you can surf the waves and just an hour later be bushwalking in the Dorrigo rainforest, where you can see a number of spectacular waterfalls.

Two nights in Coffs Harbour

Day 12: Byron Bay
Your destination today is the laidback surfer town of Byron Bay. With galleries, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, Byron Bay attracts an eclectic mix of surfers, backpackers, families and couples.

Two nights in Byron Bay

Day 14: Coolangatta
Leave New South Wales behind today as you drive north into Queensland and the border town of Coolangatta. The Gold Coast is known for stunning beaches and spectacular surf and is also home to a number of theme parks, water parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Wildnight Adventure evening for something unique.

Two nights in Coolangatta

Day 16: Brisbane
Complete the drive north to Brisbane today, dropping off the hire car on arrival. Dissected by the Brisbane River, this city is an eclectic mix of culture, shopping and the laidback lifestyle that epitomises this part of Queensland. Take a riverfront walk, enjoy a sight-seeing cruise or climb the Story Bridge – one of only three bridge climbs in the world.

En route from Coolangatta to Brisbane, you could opt to add in a stop at Lamington National Park – beautiful rainforest, with opportunities for walking, wildlife watching, zip lining and much more. For a little luxury and relaxation before arriving in Brisbane, stop at Willowvale in the Gold Coast Hinterland for a stay at a luxurious lodge.

Photographs courtesy of Australia and NSW Tourism

ATE 2011 Gold Coast      Ballooning, Hunter      Gold Coast hinterland

 

Lamington NP      Summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge

Little Gems

Little Gems

You might choose to slot in a couple of nights in the Lake Macquarie area en route to Port Stephens. This is one of the largest saltwater lakes in the southern hemisphere and consists of long stretches of unspoilt coastline and beautiful beaches.

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Cruise to West Papua and Papua New Guinea

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Kimberley – Picture courtesy of North Star Cruises and the TRUE NORTH

North Star Cruises, the company that takes you to adventurous and exciting destinations and in style, have refined the above cruise to ensure that you experience of the highest quality.
This is a wonderful opportunity to cruise on their True North Cruise for between 5 and 13 nights to diverse destinations and daily changing adventures. The cruise takes you in to parts of the world that are untouched by modern life and you will receive a very warm welcome from the Melanesians where ever you go.
Depending on your interest, you could be swimming with whale sharks, flying over an active volcanoe in the helicopter that is part of the cruise experience, exploring rain forests and the advantage of having an expert on board to explain what you are seeing and doing.
Add in all those tropical island and coral reefs to be explored and snorkelled over and you will wish that you had booked a longer trip.
True North have cruises around Australia that take you to the wild and scenic places that are difficult to get and all with the luxury of their onboard life. Explore the Kimberley Wilderness, sail north from Perth on the Montes Cruise or take the Southern Safari as an add to your trip to Australia.
It truly is a different, exciting and unique way to see Australia, West Papua and Papua New Guinea.

Visit our Cruising page on our website for more ideas or contact us direct for more details or to book on Tel: 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk 

pwp-wpdbayandislands-440x292

West Papua – Picture courtesy of North Star Cruises and the TRUE NORTH

 

 

Melbourne to Adelaide

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An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested bespoke itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Summary

Melbourne to Adelaide

An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Day 1: Melbourne

Day 4: Apollo Bay

Day 5: Port Fairy

Day 6: The Grampians

Day 8: Victor Harbour

Day 10: Kangaroo Island

Day 12: Adelaide

Day 14: Depart Adelaide

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Description

Description

An interesting and varied tailor made driving route, providing a great combination of city, coast and wildlife. The scenery is stunning throughout and this suggested itinerary can be easily dovetailed with other regions of Australia.

Day 1 – Melbourne

Arrive into Melbourne today for a three night stay. 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 4 – Apollo Bay

Collect a hire car today and drive to Torquay, recognised as the surfing capital of Australia, and also, the start of the Great Ocean Road. From Torquay, travel first to Lorne, and then onto Apollo Bay, through what is considered by many to be the most picturesque section of the Great Ocean Road, with the highway carved into sheer cliffs that drop away into the ocean, offering breathtaking views of the waves crashing onto the rocks below.  For keen walkers, there are some excellent guided and self-guided walks along the coastal path here, taking 3 to 4 days.

One night Apollo Bay

Day 5 – Port Fairy

Continue your journey along the Great Ocean   Road, where you will see the amazing rock formations of the iconic Twelve Apostles – huge stone pillars rising up out of the surf, carved by millions of years of erosion of the limestone cliffs. Sunrise and sunset offer particularly impressive views of the twelve apostles. Take a helicopter flight for a different perspective of this unusual formation. Drive on to the charming fishing village of Port Fairy for an overnight stop, perhaps taking in a round of golf in the afternoon.

One night Port Fairy

Day 6 – Grampians National Park

Journey inland, a scenic drive through the Grampians National Park. The Grampians provides a diverse array of wildlife, scenery and walking tracks. Highlights include Mount Victoria Lookout, McKenzie Falls and Reids Lookout. Stay in the picturesque town of Halls Gap, set in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Spend two nights here, giving you a full day to explore the National Park.

Two nights The Grampians

Day 8 – Victor Harbour

A long drive west today, as you head across into South Australia and to the town of Victor Harbour on the Fleurieu Peninsula. With its historic horse-drawn tram across the causeway to Granite Island, and its population of Little Penguins, this region is also known for its wineries and lovely scenery.

Two nights Victor Harbour

Day 10 – Kangaroo Island

Take the ferry across to Kangaroo Island today. Kangaroo Island remains one of the most unspoilt natural wonders of our world.  One third of the island is protected as conservation or National Park, and half the Island has never been cleared of native vegetation.  Walk amongst huge weather-sculpted granite boulders at Remarkable Rocks, and roll down the snowy white dunes of Little Sahara.  Stretch out on your own little spot on the Islands 480 km’s of coastline. Kangaroo Island is best known for its wildlife, and here you’ll find seals basking on the quiet beaches, koala’s munching on gum trees right beside the road, echidnas wandering in search of insects and kangaroos, goannas, wallabies, penguins and birds at just about every turn.  Spending two nights on the island will give you time not only to see, but also to enjoy this wonderland.

Two nights Kangaroo Island

Day 12 – Adelaide

Return to the mainland today, and drive up to Adelaide. Two nights is a must in this city – where great shopping and internationally recognised hotels stand alongside historic buildings, great sporting venues and cultural attractions.

Two nights Adelaide

Day 14 – Depart Adelaide

Head to the airport today for the onward or homeward flight.

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

 

Angie's pic

Photo courtesy of Angie Watson

Little Gems

Little Gems

Taking a flight over the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road is a fantastic way to see this rugged coastline from a different perspective, and with the opportunity to take excellent photographs.

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Kangaroo Island was a fantastic experience – we were thrilled with the amount of wildlife we saw there!

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

 

Experiencing Hobart, Tasmania – 1

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Vicki Tester

 

Hobart, Tasmania with Peter Ellis

Having just got back from my holiday in Victoria and Tasmania, I thought that I would share some of my experiences and suggested activities while in Hobart. Coming in from the airport has you driving over an iconic bridge giving you a good glimpse of the city. We stayed in an apartment on one of the piers in the harbour, which worked very well – views of the ferry going across to the Mona Museum, plenty of restaurants on the piers and waterfront, and a well appointed flat.

We did not bother with a car for the first couple of days as Hobart is an easy walking city. The first place I would recommend is Mawson’s Huts Replica Museum, located right in the harbour. Not large (they are actual size huts) they are full of information of the Antarctic Expeditions that set sail from Hobart through the 20th. Century. Just a few yards from here is the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery which is well worth exploring and then sitting in the courtyard with an excellent cup of coffee.  We failed to go the Mona Museum, as we ran out of time but would definitely suggest catching the ferry to see what is a controversial spot in Tasmania.

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

Picture courtesy of Peter Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are a number of food places to tempt you – along the waterfront and Salamanca Street nearby, in fact coffee houses and restaurants abound in the city.

If you would like some more information on Hobart and what to see or do then please give s a call on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk  You could also take a look at one of our visit Australia suggested itineraries in Tasmania, Hobart click here

More on what to do just outside of the capital next week.

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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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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