EHT goes to Australia

If you’re like many people in the Seattle area, you’re probably starting to look up at the gray, rainy skies and saying to yourself, “Meh.” Your thoughts turn to a fantasy of blue skies, balmy breezes – perhaps lounging on a beach, or tramping through the low desert. If you’re ready to turn thought into action, it’s time to consider spending a few weeks next winter in Australia. 

Why wait until next winter? Because when it’s winter here in the northern hemisphere, it’s summer down under! That means this time next year, you can exchange your heavy coats and scarves for flip flops and shorts. 

When planning your Australia trip, it’s important to have realistic expectations. First off, Australia is huuuuge – surprise!  That means that you need to set some realistic expectations. You can’t see it all in one trip, so you’ll have to pick the places you want to see first. 

And since Australia is so large, things are very far apart. When selecting your destinations, you’ll need to factor in the time it takes to reach them. A rewarding Australia vacation – one that doesn’t make you feel rushed, offering enough time to explore each place – should be at least two weeks long. 

Kangaroo Island is a great place to get started. You can fly into Adelaide, explore that charming city for a day or two, and then take the ferry to the island. Island tours will take you through the diverse areas of the island.

One great attraction is Remarkable Rocks. It’s a gigantic natural rock formation, but eons of erosion by wind and water make it look like some alien sculpture dropped from the sky.
 
   
 
 
There are also fun tours that take you around to unique local businesses. Eucalyptus farmers, distillers, even beekeepers are a fun way to sample the products that Australia is famous for.
 
 
 
 
 
If possible, every Australia adventure should include a visit to the Great Barrier Reef. There’s nothing quite like scuba diving or snorkeling in the warm ocean, diving down to the coral or chasing the colorful fish, while everyone back home is shivering in their parkas. This particular destination should be seen sooner rather than later—the reefs are under threat from global warming and pollution, so it’s important to see this magnificent underwater world soon. The tours offered are ecologically minded and have zero impact on the reef.
 
Another must-see is Uluru, which is the Aborigine name for Ayers Rock. You’ve likely seen it in photos, but a photo can’t do justice to the sheer size and scale of this singular rock formation. Tours will you take you right up into Uluru’s canyons and share the aboriginal folk tales surrounding Uluru’s creation. You can also take special night tours that include watching the sun set on Uluru with champagne and tasty bites, followed by dinner under the stars. After dessert, you’ll be treated to a tour of the southern hemisphere’s constellations.
Accommodations around Uluru can vary quite a bit. From roughing-it tent camps to five-star resorts with every amenity on tap, you can find accommodations to fit your style and your budget.  
 
 
If you prefer a more resort-like experience, Hamilton Island fits the bill. The entire island is different resorts, with tons of great restaurants and activities. Many of the excursions include a boat trip to a neighboring island, where you can lounge for hours on the beach, take a nature walk, or swim. One interesting note—in Australia, the jellyfish come out in the summer, so swimmers are issued a body suit for protection. Its thin, light material protects against stings, but doesn’t diminish the pleasure of being in the gorgeous blue water.
 
 
 
And lastly, Sydney! There’s so much to do there—dining, shopping, entertainment, you’ll literally never run out of things to do. Two things to do for sure: first, take the Sydney Opera House tour. This structure is world-famous, but the story behind’s its creation is truly amazing. And second, take the Sydney Harbor Bridge walk. Don a helmet and a safety cable and take a 2-hour walk up through the massive bridge’s foundations and climb up to the bridge’s apex for a truly spectacular view of Sydney. Be warned—safety is so important on this tour, every guest takes a breathalyzer test before they’re allowed to climb.
As we said before, Australia is simply immense, so it’s impossible to cover it all. We’ve picked just a few things to write about, enough to start you thinking about where you’d like to visit down under. Some of our agents just returned from Australia, so we’ve got the latest and great tips on Australia travel for you. G’day!

 

Elizabeth Holmes Travel

Elizabeth Holmes Travel – who has written posts on Elizabeth Holmes Travel.