This time of year always a bit of a reminder of a previous life. October and November was the time of year Damian and I would have our ‘big holiday’. We’ve been to some fabulous places, one highlight being Australia for our honeymoon.
I’ve been talking about Australia with the children recently so thought I’d share some of our tips.
Choose your destination – and don’t be afraid to travel around
Australia is a HUGE country and is so varied. A lot of the main cities are around the coast, and when Damian I decided to head there our plan was to fly in to one side of the country and out from the other. We opted to fly into Brisbane and then travel down and across, leaving from Perth.
It’s worth looking at internal flights too. We flew from Brisbane to Sydney and there’s something fabulous about flying in over Sydney and spotting those famous sites of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
We then opted to hire a car to drive from Sydney to Canberra then to Melbourne; driving by car was a fabulous experience and watching wild kangaroos and wombats it thrilling and you get to see the country in another way.
Nex,t we travelled from Melbourne to Adelaide by train, before flying from Adelaide to Perth.
Check you Visa requirements
Before you head anywhere you should always check if there are any Visa requirements. Australia has a range of visa requirements, but it’s not a particularly onerous task to get a visa for Australia sorted. You will need to make sure you meet the various requirements and it’s always worth making sure that your passport has enough time left on it – it’s simple enough to renew it if you need to and most countries require a passport to have at least six months left on it.
Australia is a long way to go, so it’s not surprising that some people plan to visit for a longer period of time, but with that comes a need to be earning in order to fund the longer trip. If this is in your plans then you need to consider applying for a working holiday visa for Australia. This wasn’t a consideration for us as we went for a month, but I know friends who have taken off for six months or so and opted to take a working holiday.
Backpacking or suitcases?
We went to Australia on honeymoon so we opted to stay in nice hotels rather than the more basic accommodation we had stayed at for other holidays away. But Australia is a really easy place to backpack around and there’s plenty to see when you do! If you’re taking plenty of bags then be aware of weight limits if you’re taking any internal flights! Our flights from Manchester to Australis had generous baggage allowances but the internal flights once there were less generous. It pays to take care here so you don’t get caught out with any additional airport charges. Als,o make sure you have the appropriate insurance for anything you’re taking with you.
Deciding where to go
There’s a lot to see and each city was, in our experience, very different. We wanted to go to Sydney and Canberra (although to be honest Canberra wasn’t really worth it). We travelled in the Australian summer so we weren’t too keen to head North to Darwin and the outback as we were already struggling with the heat as it was without going to the hotter part of the country! Had we travelled in the cooler months then we might have headed inland to Uluru and stayed there for a day or two. As it was we decided to tick off a few of the cities as we travelled from Brisbane to Perth.
We were keen to experience the wildlife of Australia and we stayed at a space called Eagles Reach. It was a beautiful spot in the Blue Mountains and just perfect. There was something quite magical about watching the kangaroos as we ate breakfast and it was a wonderful quiet weekend there, away from the cities.
Do your research
Visiting Australia is, for most people, a once in a lifetime opportunity and so it pays to do your research. Take time to read about the cities you’re visiting and learn a little more about them. Sort out your transport options and make sure you get your visa on time. Whilst there should always be flexibility make sure you know what is on whilst you’re there. We were able to get tickets for Cricket matches whilst we were away as well as tours of various things as we had researched when they were open. And book ahead for the things that you need to, such as the Harbour Bridge climb.