Australia is back in business!

Leia Morales on 02 April 2022
After almost 2 years Australia has reopened its borders to visitors and there is no better time to plan a trip down under.

Australia is a bucket list destination for retirees and a backpacker haven for gap year students. Whilst budgets might be a little varied, Australia offers something for everyone. The first thing to say is that Australia cannot be done in a 2-week holiday, which is why to “do Australia” it is best done when you aren’t restricted by annual leave allowances. Not to say you shouldn’t go while of working age but prioritise what you want to see, perhaps using the following itineraries as a guide.

Pre-covid there were international flights to all major Australian cities and as the world starts to open up again it we should see a return to possible stopovers in Singapore and Dubai amongst others. But to avoid travel restrictions of an additional country, Qantas offer direct flights to Australia via Perth (or Darwin until at least June 2022) thanks to the Boeing Dreamliner.

Fly between the major cities and sights Sydney-Cairns-Ayers Rock-Melbourne Starting in Sydney with those iconic sights of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. If you are feeling brave enough, climb the Harbour Bridge for a unique view of the city. See what all the fuss is about visiting the iconic Bondi Beach. Fly up to Cairns to access the Great Barrier Reef. Whilst backpackers might be at home in Cairns, heading an hour up the coast to Port Douglas is recommended for most travellers to this area. The reef itself spreads right down the coast but with rainforests to explore in the tropical north you can make much more of your visit to Queensland.

A flight to the Red Centre embodies primal Australia. Whilst Ayers Rock has an airport, you might find that Alice Springs offers a better route and the possibilities of seeing more of the outback on the 5.5 hour drive. Once at Ayers Rock, enjoy visits to the giant monolith at sunrise and sunset and take time to learn about its significance to the Aboriginal people.

After a short stay in the centre, fly on down to Melbourne to experience how this city contrasts to Sydney. A more laid back and hip city, with quirky cafes and it’s signature lanes and arcades. Melbourne is also the access point for the Great Ocean Road which can be driven in a day reaching the climax at the Twelve Apostles in time for sunset.

Queensland Coast The coast from Brisbane to Cairns offers a range of tourist gems that can easily fill 2 weeks. Whether travelling in a motorhome for flexibility or booking hotels for more structure, you will find plenty to keep the drive enjoyable. Just south of Brisbane is the Gold Coast with stunning beaches and home to Australia’s theme parks. Just to the north of Brisbane you reach Fraser Island, the giant World Heritage Listed sand island; where shipwrecks and unique landscapes or sand dunes, rainforest, rivers and lakes make it one of the top tourist attractions in the country.

Further up the coast at Airlie Beach travellers can head out to the Whitsunday Islands at the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and relax on a tropical island while enjoying the marine life. Continue to Cairns for your onwards journey.

Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road Whilst the Great Ocean Road can be driven in a day, stopping en route to Adelaide is a great way to slow the pace. Leave Melbourne and visit the Mornington Peninsula for outstanding wineries, gorgeous beaches and bubbling hot springs.

Continue to Phillip Island, home to the world’s smallest penguins before starting the 243km journey along the Great Ocean Road. Stop at golf courses with kangaroos, lighthouses and wooden walkways through the forest before reaching the Twelve Apostles. Continue to Adelaide heading inland via Grampians National Park.

Perth As a direct access point from the UK (from June STC), Perth is worth a stop for a city break or to explore the coast to places like Monkey Mia, one of the few places in the world where you can interact with wild dolphins. You might also meet whale sharks, mantra rays and sea turtles. For the wine lovers, Western Australia is home to over 90 wineries and the Margaret River area prodices 25% of Australia’s premium wine.

Darwin Often missed, the Northern Territory’s Top End has some epic scenery for those willing to explore it. Kakadu National Park is another of Australia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites overflowing with indigenous culture and extensive wetlands.

Tasmania An island apart from the mainland, Tasmania is a holiday in itself. National parks, beautiful beaches, wildlife, wineries, rainforest, mountains and small cities with heaps of character.

Getting around Australia could involve a mixture of car, motorhome and flights. It also has come icon train journeys for those looking for the romance of the journey. The Ghan and the Indian Pacific are luxury train journeys travelling from North to South vice versa and East to West vice versa respectively. Whilst planning a trip to Australia, particularly post covid, may seem daunting, I can help you plan from start to finish.