Australia may not be close to Ireland, but in some ways, it mixes the best of what we love about our own country and blends it with fantastic scenery, beaches, and natural beauty that can only be found there. Australians are friendly people who know how to throw a good party, eat great food and enjoy the best things in life. A city like Sydney has all those things, plus treasures like the opera house and the gorgeous harbour. For us, it’s often our first introduction to Australia and it makes quite the impression! From there, you can explore the Great Barrier Reef, take a boat to a dive and snorkel site and discover the abundance of diverse creatures under the sea. Stay longer at a resort on the Whitsunday Islands, and use it as a base to discover other islands. Or you could bask in the warmth of the aptly named Sunshine Coast, wander the quaint streets of Brisbane, and lounge on the Gold Coast while you watch the surfers catch a few waves.
Be sure to veer inland to see Ayres Rock, or Uluru. It has an almost mystical presence, especially in the changing light of the day. It appears golden at times, but also fiery red and cool citrus orange too. The wide open landscape gives you a feeling of just how big and diverse Australia is.
Venture to the opposite coast to see Perth in Western Australia. It’s a pretty city that’s probably bigger than you might think with over 1.5 million residents. It has all the good things we expect on holiday – excellent restaurants, captivating museums, and a lively sports culture where rugby and football rule.
For a driving holiday, both Australia and New Zealand are perfect destinations. Australia has the Great Ocean Road, from Melbourne to Adelaide. It is ranked among the world’s most scenic road trips. You’re likely to take hundreds of photos along the way. The South Island of New Zealand is a favourite for those who want to wander and explore by hiring a car or a camper van. The snowy mountains in the Mount Cook area are as equally stunning as the low-lying, emerald green meadows, covered by grazing sheep. Wherever the road takes you, the beauty of these two countries unfolds before you. The memories will last forever.
Why you should go:
Australians and New Zealanders, like the Irish, understand how to enjoy life to the full
Where else would you find a kangaroo hopping across the grounds of your hotel?
Excellent wines and hearty beer are plentiful, inexpensive and the ideal way to celebrate being on holiday.
Australia - Brisbane to Cairns
Tuesday 26th October 2010
Travel Counsellor: Gail Buckley
This was my 3rd visit to Australia. I travelled with my husband and our 2 sons aged 7 & 1. I hope you enjoy the read and will be inspired to travel to this amazing Country.We flew via Hong Kong to Brisbane - see separate Journal for Hong Kong
From Brisbane we hired a car and drove to Hervey Bay/Fraser Island - see separate Journal for Fraser Island
From Fraser Island we travelled inland to the Hinterland where I have family. This is a very picturesque area and is particularly popular with Artists. We visited areas such as Conondale, Maleny, Eumundi & Montville. Conondale is a small little Town set amidst rolling hills and creeks a very tranquil area.
Maleny is a bustling town with loads of little Art & Craft shops, many stock homemade produce. Montville is similar with amazing views over the Hinterland. I especially loved the Christmas Shop there! Eumundi although quite similar had a cool hippy market which is set up every week. In total we spent 4 days here and enjoyed the scenery.... view full story
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