Potted Suggestions - Australia
January 2016

Potted Suggestions

Here is a preliminary - including Queensland’s World Heritage listed places + the Whitsundays + Lord Howe Island – there are LOTS of other places – the Blue Mountains, Port Stephens (whale-watching in season, dolphins always in season!), Tasmania.....

AUSTRALIA-WIDE: Take a look at these Western Australian properties - they are in spectacular situations, close to nature and impeccably presented. Contact MTCi for a tailored program if you are interested.

Also, the recommended places look interesting at Wilderness Australia - haven't used them before and don't know prices...; and some superb properties Australia-wide here.

Hope that you have fun planning!

Reef and Rainforest activities – please do check them, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest are magic places! We snorkelled on the Reef and it is the most exhilarating feeling of being close to something very special in nature.  The last snorkel of the day is on the edge of the continental shelf, the water was crystal clear and the depths visible for 30 foot straight down, with huge fish feeding around the shelf and near the coral.  Such a  different world.

Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree (just north of Port Douglas) is an extraordinary place to stay. Lizard Island is reputed to be extraordinary.

We have also stayed at Paradise Bay on South Molle Island (Whitsunday Islands). This is an Eco-Holiday place where one Helicopters in - and the kangaroo is on the landing circle to greet! Drinks are served on the shore in the gazebo, and dinner around the campfire on the beach, at the end of a day where one may have been out on the catamaran and seen a whale or giant tortoises swimming in the channels around the islands, or climbed to a pinnacle on another island and had a bar-b-q lunch on the beach etc. Magic, unwinding place.

The Whitsundays themselves offer endless potential - if you sail, you can hire a yacht and sail around the islands - they are simply splendid. We haven't been on a sailing holiday here, however we have looked at Sunsail Paradise Adventures.
If you play golf ..... Sea Temple Golf Club, Port Douglas (resident croc on the course!); Laguna Quays Resort, The Whitsundays

A different feel again is Lord Howe Island, two hours flight in a small Qantas plane off the coast from Sydney.  We stayed at Pinetrees  - Capella also looks wonderful.  You can only go to the island if you have accommodation sorted out - no day-trippers, and it is the southernmost coral reef anywhere in the world (and is just metres off the island!)  If you haven't caught the fish that day, you can stand on Ned's beach at sunset and hand-feed them - they take the bread, while swimming all around you and between your legs!  And there are wild birds that come into their nests between the canopy, on top of the mountain.  Just "plomp" and they are there, right at your feet - and not frightened of humans....  

The Hunter wine-growing region is documented on the Hunter Meeting web site and at Sydney under travel on this site. Port Stephens (whale-watching in season, dolphins always in season!)

You may like to engage in cultural (Sydney Opera House Tour/Dinner/Show) or other activities (like Bridge Climbing!) or eat in Gastronomic (and picturesque) delight in Sydney or surroundings - Magic Touch websites list fun things to do and the best places to dine – they ply you with details of superb restaurants (Seafood and others), spectacular views, and/or Sea-Plane journeys to get there! There is a SmartCard for visits to places, museums, restaurants etc.
Also Sydney Harbour:

  • the Rocks
  • Awesome Foursome (Fabulous!! - Sailing, BridgeClimb, Harbourside Dinner, Accommodation... worth a look, especially if 2 hours sailing the Harbour appeals)
  • EastSail on the Harbour
  • the Blue Mountains  close to Sydney, Wilderness
  • .. and don't forget a ferry ride on the Harbour to our famous beaches and Zoo (Ferry ride from Circular Quay to the Zoo, Chairlift to the top and meander back down to the ferry jetty...)
There are many places - Barossa and Clare Valleys ... but peek at this spectacular Lodge on Kangaroo Island!  Haven't been there, but....

WA is further away, but an amazing state to visit – superb wine and wineries at Margaret River....  a short-list of the Premier Wineries accommodation at Basildene Manor.

The North of Western Australia is SPECTACULAR - national parks and the rugged and remote Kimberley and Pilbara regions. El Questro Homestead is worth looking into...

The Northern Territory is equivalent in size to France, Italy and Spain combined - not surprising the NT is blessed with an abundance of natural environments. (Care should be taken when travelling here - distances are great, restrictions and seasonal warnings apply to some routes.) Darwin and Kakadu. If you haven’t been to the Red Centre - then Alice Springs and Ayers Rock. Katherine and surrounds; Award-winning luxury camping in the wilderness of Uluru? try Longitude 131!

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area protects one of the last true wilderness regions on Earth. Spectrum of accommodation options here. Wilderness, walking, fishing and sailing!  Be prepared for wet weather and strong winds - anytime, anywhere on the west coast. Perhaps check the advantages of a See Tasmania Card. National Parks and Reserves - From Cradle to Rocky Cape, from Freycinet to the Gordon, you're never far from a park or reserve. Forty per cent of Tasmania is protected in national parks and reserves. This includes the Southwest, Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers, Walls of Jerusalem, Mole Creek Karst and Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair national parks, which together make up the world’s last temperate wilderness.

Long list of printed and electronic resources here and suggested itineraries. We plotted our travels around Tasmania with TasVillas, whose website features a comprehensive plan for a 10-day (or 2,3,5,7-day) tour. A list of the popular tourist attractions may assist in planning. Start here to plan your Great Bushwalks. Spirit of Tasmania (car Ferry) crosses the infamous Bass Strait from Melbourne and their site also has tour suggestions and packages.

Cradle Mountain - Requirements for walking the famous Overland Track, maps, permissions etc. are listed on this site. Franklin-Gordon Rivers - rafting etc. Strahan is the region's main town - beautiful spot with great accommodation, trips to the rivers, across Hells Gates on the amazing Lake Macquarie to Sarah Island penal settlement, and a railway journey like no other... “We find a way or make it”. Historic Queenstown is the largest town in the region, and an historic copper mining centre. A chairlift ride will give you a bird's eye view of the damaged landscape. Spectacular natural waterfalls - and underground mine tours. Lake Pedder - exceptional wild-trout and fly-fishing. And a tour of nostalgia for those who built the Hydro - and those who opposed it... Port Arthur - convict past associated with hauntingly beautiful ruined buildings and grounds, and the scene of a recent, distressing massacre. Vineyards - Tasmanian Wine routes and specifically Tamar Valley region.

Hobart - capital of Tasmania and finishing line of the Sydney-Hobart Blue Water Classic - on entering the Derwent River, Charles Darwin announced: "If I was obliged to emigrate, I certainly would prefer this place". Yachting holidays (but be wary of the water - MAST has details for would-be sailors...) Fly-fishing at London Lakes and I don't imagine it is cheap... but it does look amazing! The Lodge, trout fishing.

Potted suggestions (AU) | North Island (NZ) | South Island (NZ)