• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Sydney to Brisbane

Posted on:
Posted by:

Avatar

 

An interesting coastal drive between two iconic cities on the east coast of Australia.

[wptabs style=”wpui-dark” mode=”horizontal”]

[wptabtitle] Summary[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Sydney to Brisbane

Australia is a vast continent and virtually impossible to explore in one holiday.  The lengthy distances will often be linked with a flight, but do consider getting behind the wheel and linking some of Australia’s iconic cities by road.  Here is one such itinerary idea:

Day 1: Sydney
Day 4: Hunter Valley
Day 6: Port Stephens
Day 8: Port Macquarie
Day 10: Coffs Harbour
Day 12: Byron Bay
Day 14: Coolangatta
Day 16: Brisbane

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] Description [/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Description

Australia is a vast continent and virtually impossible to explore in one holiday.  The lengthy distances will often be linked with a flight, but do consider getting behind the wheel and linking some of Australia’s iconic cities by road.  Here is one such itinerary idea:

Day 1: Sydney
Arrive into Sydney for a 3 night stay. With its compact city centre and efficient public transport, Sydney is an easily accessible city with many of the main attractions close by. Enjoy a morning harbour cruise, a concert at the Opera House and blow away the cobwebs doing the Bridge Climb. Visit Bondi Beach and watch the surfers on the waves, shop in Paddington’s markets, enjoy a stroll around the Rocks and Circular Quay, or head out to glamorous Double Bay for designer shopping.

Three nights in Sydney

Day 4: Hunter Valley
Collect a hire car this morning and drive north from Sydney and into the Hunter Valley for a 2 night stay. This does take you inland slightly, but is well worth the detour. Renowned for producing award winning fine wines and gourmet dining, the Hunter Valley has developed in recent years to offer a wider range of activities such as hot air balloon flights, golf and horse riding.

Two nights in the Hunter Valley

Day 6: Port Stephens
Head back to the coast and on to Port Stephens for a 2 night stay. Port Stephens is comprised of a scattering of seaside villages with white sandy beaches and a resident population of over 140 bottlenose dolphins. Between late May and July, and between September and November, whales can be found in the area as they migrate north and return south. Explore Tomaree National Park from here.

Two nights in Port Stephens

Day 8: Port Macquarie

Continue north today through the Great Lakes region and the Manning Valley and on to Port Macquarie for a two-night stay. A vibrant town with plenty of shopping, entertainment and dining possibilities, Port Macquarie is also a great base for visiting nearby Camden Haven.

Two nights in Port Macquarie

Day 10: Coffs Harbour
Drive north to Coffs Coast, where the mountains meet the ocean. Coffs Harbour is a bustling town where you can surf the waves and just an hour later be bushwalking in the Dorrigo rainforest, where you can see a number of spectacular waterfalls.

Two nights in Coffs Harbour

Day 12: Byron Bay
Your destination today is the laidback surfer town of Byron Bay. With galleries, boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, Byron Bay attracts an eclectic mix of surfers, backpackers, families and couples.

Two nights in Byron Bay

Day 14: Coolangatta
Leave New South Wales behind today as you drive north into Queensland and the border town of Coolangatta. The Gold Coast is known for stunning beaches and spectacular surf and is also home to a number of theme parks, water parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Visit Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s Wildnight Adventure evening for something unique.

Two nights in Coolangatta

Day 16: Brisbane
Complete the drive north to Brisbane today, dropping off the hire car on arrival. Dissected by the Brisbane River, this city is an eclectic mix of culture, shopping and the laidback lifestyle that epitomises this part of Queensland. Take a riverfront walk, enjoy a sight-seeing cruise or climb the Story Bridge – one of only three bridge climbs in the world.

En route from Coolangatta to Brisbane, you could opt to add in a stop at Lamington National Park – beautiful rainforest, with opportunities for walking, wildlife watching, zip lining and much more. For a little luxury and relaxation before arriving in Brisbane, stop at Willowvale in the Gold Coast Hinterland for a stay at a luxurious lodge.

Photographs courtesy of Australia and NSW Tourism

ATE 2011 Gold Coast      Ballooning, Hunter      Gold Coast hinterland

 

Lamington NP      Summit of Sydney Harbour Bridge

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] Little Gems[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Little Gems

You might choose to slot in a couple of nights in the Lake Macquarie area en route to Port Stephens. This is one of the largest saltwater lakes in the southern hemisphere and consists of long stretches of unspoilt coastline and beautiful beaches.

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] What our clients say[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Client Feedback

‘What a wonderful holiday – thank you to all at Experience Holidays for fulfilling our dream’

[/wptabcontent]

[/wptabs]

New South Wales (NSW)

Posted on:
Posted by:

Avatar

 

This itinerary combines Sydney with beautiful countryside and a popular wine region.

[wptabs style=”wpui-dark” mode=”horizontal”]

[wptabtitle] Summary[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

New South Wales

The chequered past of this state has evolved into the cosmopolitan city of Sydney and state of New South Wales that we know today.  Thankfully most accommodation these days has an en-suite bathroom and the bars on the windows have been removed!

Day 1: Sydney

Day 4: Port Stephens

Day 6: Hunter Valley

Day 8: Blue Mountains

Day 10: Sydney

 

 

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] Description [/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Description

The states of Australia are often combined into one itinerary, but here we explore a few ideas for New South Wales alone.  You might be surprised at just how much there is outside Sydney.

Day 1: Sydney
Welcome to Sydney where we suggest at least 3 nights in a central hotel. Start off with a harbour cruise; this will give you your bearings whilst enjoying your morning coffee or cocktail. Agility permitting, the Bridge Climb is highly recommended.

Sydney 3 nights

Day 4: Port Stephens
Collect a hire car and head for the coast and on to Port Stephens for a 2 night stay. Port Stephens is comprised of a scattering of seaside villages with white sandy beaches and a resident population of over 140 bottlenose dolphins. Between late May and July, and between September and November, whales can be found in the area as they migrate north and return south. Explore Tomaree National Park from here.

Port Stephens 2 nights

Day 6: Hunter Valley
Just under an hour away and nestled amongst the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges in the heart of the Hunter vineyards is Hunter Valley Gardens, one of Australia’s premier tourist destinations. Whether you’re a lover of wine and great food, an enthusiast of natural beauty and wildlife, or a keen golfer, the Hunter Valley has it all.

Hunter Valley 2 nights

Day 8: Blue Mountains
Today your destination is the Blue Mountains; the characteristic blue haze that envelopes the sandstone cliffs and valleys of this beautiful area is said to come from the oil suspended in the atmosphere from the ubiquitous eucalyptus trees. The Blue Mountains are indeed blue, at least when seen from a distance. The overall effect with the warm sandstone cliffs and the dull green eucalyptus is uniquely Australian, and the subject of many an artist’s work. The extraordinary vertical cliffs, innumerable waterfalls, suspended lookouts and quaint walking tracks make it an ideal destination for bushwalkers and hikers, as well as the more adrenalin-addicted who like to go canyoning or rock climbing.

Blue Mountains 2 nights

Day 10: Sydney
Return to Sydney to continue your Australia trip. Here are 3 suggestions…

  • Fly from Sydney airport to another region
  • Drive one of the Sydney – Melbourne Touring Routes down to Melbourne, via the Coastal Drive or inland (including Canberra) on the Heritage Route
  • Spend a few days in luxury on Lord Howe Island, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and unspoilt Pacific Islands

Photographs Copyright Australia Tourism

Blue Mountains Jamieson Valley      5.0.2

 

NSW      Sydney; Aerial

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] Little Gems[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Little Gems

Use the ferries to explore Sydney Harbour – they are cheap, accessible and regular.  Not only will you meet Aussies going about their daily business, but you’ll also get the best views of the city skyline, the Opera House and the Bridge, to name but a few.
[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] What our clients say[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Client Feedback

‘Everyone should visit Sydney once in their life and New Years Eve in Sydney is like no other that I have every experienced’
[/wptabcontent]

[/wptabs]

Lord Howe Island: Australia’s Best Kept Secret?

Posted on:
Posted by:

Avatar

 

Ever heard of Lord Howe Island? If you’re like 99% of people who travel to Australia each year, you probably haven’t. Few mainstream travel agents and guide books after all, ever venture far from promoting Australia’s most iconic of travel and holiday destinations. However, at Experience Holidays, we’re passionate about providing the best and most bespoke tailor made holidays that our clients have ever experienced. In this case, our holiday experts always try hard to promote more off the beaten track places of interest.

Copyright Renderings

Copyright Renderings

Secreted away in the Tasman Sea approximately 500km off the golden coast lines of Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbor, Lord Howe Island is one such destination. In fact, Lord Howe Island is so different to mainland Australia, that the island itself is almost like a little known mix of Australia and the country’s southern neighbour New Zealand.

Usually visited as part of our New South Wales tailor made holidays, Lord Howe Island is a volcanic, crescent shaped destination with breathtaking mountainous topography. Why do our holiday experts recommend visiting? That’s simple. 75% of Lord Howe Island is made up of permanent park reserve. Lush tropical forest and palm studded beaches subsequently make up the main part of the island, whilst the island itself is surrounded by the pristine and spectacular beauty of the world’s southernmost true coral reef.

For nature lovers and enthusiasts, Lord Howe Island is at the same time almost just as much a floating aviary as New Zealand, with the forested dip and swim of the island being home to a spectacular variety of unique bird species. The best part? Lord Howe Island is host to everything from spectacular walking and underwater activities, to exclusive dining and lodging. In fact, when you visit Lord Howe Island, you visit an island with just 400 tourist beds, making it the place in Australia to really get away from it all.

Ready to sample Australia’s best kept secret for yourself? The best part of our tailor made holidays, is that you get to tell our travel specialists where you want to go and what you want to experience. So call or contact us and talk to us about visiting Lord Howe Island yourself and let us start putting together a truly one in a life time travel itinerary.       

Sydney, Rock and Reef

Posted on:
Posted by:

Avatar

 

For those with limited time, this itinerary covers three iconic attractions of Australia.

[wptabs style=”wpui-dark” mode=”horizontal”]

[wptabtitle] Summary[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Sydney, Rock & Reef

For many first time visitors, the triangular route of the iconic city of Sydney, the magical Red Centre and magnificent Great Barrier Reef is a must.  Here is our version, with a difference!

Day 1: Sydney
Day 4: Alice Springs
Day 6: Glen Helen
Day 7: Kings Canyon
Day 8: Uluru – Ayers Rock
Day 9: Port Douglas
Day 10: Cape Tribulation
Day 12: Palm Cove
Day 15: Cairns

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] Description [/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Description

Australia is a vast country and if visiting for a limited time, domestic flights are likely to be the best way to get around. This itinerary gives just one option, but the possibilities here are almost endless…

Day 1: Sydney
Arrive into Sydney today for a 3 night stay. With its compact city centre and efficient public transport, Sydney is an easily accessible city with many of the main attractions close by. Enjoy a morning harbour cruise, a concert at the Opera House and blow away the cobwebs doing the Bridge Climb. Visit Bondi Beach and watch the surfers on the waves, shop in Paddington’s markets, enjoy a stroll around the Rocks and Circular Quay, or head out to glamorous Double Bay for designer shopping.

Three nights Sydney
You could choose to add in a little extra time in Sydney and take a day or overnight trip to the Blue Mountains or the Hunter Valley.

Day 4: Alice Springs
Fly to Alice Springs in the Red Centre today for a 2 night stay, collecting a four-wheel drive vehicle on arrival. This little town nestles at the base of the MacDonnell Ranges, and formed a vital link in the laying of the Telegraph line from the new lands of Australia to England. A visit to the Telegraph Station gives an impression of the original settlement, before the centre of the town grew on its current site. Visit also the School of the Air and the Flying Doctor base.

Two nights in Alice Springs

Day 6: Glen Helen
Your drive today takes you through the West MacDonnells to Glen Helen – a drive of a little over 100km as the crow flies. Along the way, you may linger at the many chasms, gorges and creeks clearly marked from the main road.

One night at Glen Helen

Day 7: Kings Canyon
Your entire journey today will be on the gravel road – joining the Mereenie Loop Road. The scenery will change dramatically from the rugged hills of the West MacDonnells to the flatter scrub of the desert. Gosse Bluff should not be missed – allegedly a crater formed by a meteorite crashing to ground, and with spiritual significance for the traditional people.

One night at Kings Canyon

Day 8: Uluru – Ayers Rock
Get up early this morning and take time to walk the canyon rim – about 6 km of spectacular scenery – not for the faint hearted as the first stage involves a steep climb. As you leave Kings Canyon, you will re-join the sealed road as you head towards Uluru. You will be rewarded with your first sight of the Rock itself – inspirational, eerie, quiet – decide for yourself. Visit Uluru at dawn and dusk, visit Kata Tjuta (The Olgas), take part in the Sounds of Silence dinner, or sunrise breakfast.

One night at Ayers Rock

Day 9: Port Douglas
Drop your hire car at the airport, and fly to Cairns in northern Queensland. Collect a second hire car and head north. Stay overnight in Port Douglas – a pretty little town with an attractive marina, good shopping and home of the Iron Bar on Macrossan Street!

One night at Port Douglas

Day 10: Cape Tribulation
Take a full day drive north to the Daintree and on to Cape Tribulation. See the perfect white sandy beaches as Captain Cook saw them many years before. Stop at the one of the many excellent ‘boardwalk’ trails into the Rain Forest, or climb the observation tower giving you fabulous views over the canopy.

Two nights at Cape Tribulation

Day 12: Palm Cove
Return south to Palm Cove for three nights. Treat yourself a little at one of our favourite colonial style hotels on the esplanade. Palm Cove is the perfect base from which to take a day trip to the Great Barrier Reef – your boat will take you to the pontoon where you will have the opportunity to dive, snorkel or view this amazing living garden from the underwater observation decks. From Palm Cove you could also take a journey on the Kuranda Skyrail.

Three nights at Palm Cove

Day 15: Cairns
Drive the short distance back to Cairns today, dropping off the hire car and checking in for the onward or homeward flight.

Photographs courtesy of Australia Tourism

Ayers Rock      Cape Tribulation

 

Great Barrier Reef      Sydney Australia Tourism

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] Little Gems[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Little Gems

Difficult to know where to start on this itinerary, there are so many Little Gems which might include a night at the Opera in Sydney, a picture from the top of the bridge of the perfect underwater shot at the Great Barrier Reef, but for a true Aussie outback experience, there is little the beat the cold ‘stubbie’ that will be thrust in your hand before you have even checked in at your accommodation at Glen Helen – one very good reason to drive the Red Centre!

[/wptabcontent]

[wptabtitle] What our clients say[/wptabtitle] [wptabcontent]

Client Feedback

Content coming soon

[/wptabcontent]

[/wptabs]

Region: New South Wales

Posted on:
Posted by:

Avatar

 

New South Wales – The Opera House, the Bridge, the Harbour, Bondi and Manly Beaches – no prizes for guessing that Sydney is of course the principle city in the State of New South Wales.  But don’t treat New South Wales simply as an excuse to enjoy the highlife in Sydney.  Drive to the north, the west and the south to see NSW from a different angle.  Within easy reach of the city are the Blue Mountains, the Hunter Valley and Port Stephen, a little further away are the coastal towns of  Coff’s Harbour and Byron Bay – inland to Broken Hill and south to Wollongong and on to the Snowy Mountains.  Travel east (yes, east) to little known Lord Howe Island.

New South Wales - NSW fishing - orange

Credit Australia Tourism


NSW hot air ballooning

Credit Australia Tourism


New South Wales - 5.0.2

Credit Australia Tourism

           

Iconic Trains of Australia

Posted on:
Posted by:

Avatar

 

The vast country of Australia can be explored using various different means – by road, by air, by sea or by rail. Often, a combination of these is preferable, either to see more of the country in a limited timeframe, or to enjoy different experiences and landscapes along the way.

There are a number of iconic trains of Australia, which were built to transport goods as well as to provide a lifeline to many of the remote outback communities found there. Taking one or more of these rail journeys provides a chance to meet the locals, realise the sheer vastness of the country and to enjoy the varied and beautiful landscapes at leisure.

The Ghan

Originally named the ‘Afghan Express’, the route took its name from the migrant cameleers that created a trail into the Red Centre over 150 years ago. The first Ghan train departed from Adelaide in 1929, bound for Stuart (now called Alice Springs). In 1980, a new standard gauge rail track was opened alongside the now obsolete original narrow gauge track. In 2004, the link from Alice Springs to Darwin was completed, and it became possible to travel length of the country by rail. Taking three nights and four days, covering 2979 kilometres, the Ghan now runs from Darwin in the north of the country to Adelaide in the South. With stops in Katherine, Alice Springs and Coober Pedy it is possible to take the whole journey or just a section of it.

There are three key classes of travel to choose between – Red Service, Gold Service and Platinum Service. For those on a budget, Red Service offers a reclining seat and communal facilities. However, if the budget allows our recommendation would be to opt for Gold or Platinum Service. Gold Service offers a private cabin with upper and lower berths, en suite facilities, meals, selected drinks and off-train excursions included. Almost twice the size of the Gold Service Cabin, and in addition to the Gold inclusions, a Platinum Service Cabin provides ample space to relax in, double or twin beds, transfers at the start and end of your rail journey, in-cabin breakfast and access to the Platinum Lounge.

A journey on the Ghan can be easily combined with a self-drive itinerary between Adelaide and Melbourne (taking in Kangaroo Island, the Grampians and the Great Ocean Road), or from Alice Springs to Kings Canyon and Ayers Rock to explore the Red Centre.

Trains of Australia

Picture courtesy of Great Southern Rail

Indian Pacific

As the name suggest, this rail route links the Indian Ocean in the west with the Pacific Ocean in the east. The route began with two separate routes – one from Perth to Kalgoorlie and one from Port Augusta to Sydney but in order to improve accessibility to the remote colonies of the west, it was determined that a track be run between Kalgoorlie and Port Augusta to complete the route. In 1917, the middle section was completed enabling the west and the east to be connected. Originally, passengers had to change train at least five times between Perth and Sydney due to different rail gauges but in 1969 this changed, and it was finally possible to travel from the breadth of the country uninterrupted. The Indian Pacific train took its first journey from Sydney in 1970. Taking three nights and four days, covering 4352 kilometres, the Indian Pacific runs from Perth in the west of the country to Sydney in the east. With stops in Kalgoorlie, Adelaide and Broken Hill en route, it is possible to take the whole journey or just a section of it.

As with the Ghan, the same three key classes of travel are available – Red Service, Gold Service and Platinum Service. A journey on the Indian Pacific works perfectly dove-tailed with a self-drive itinerary at either end, or perhaps alight in Adelaide and explore South Australia.

Trains of Australia

Picture courtesy of Great Southern Rail

Queensland Rail

In Queensland, there are a number of iconic train journeys to consider. These include:

  • The Spirit of Queensland runs from Brisbane to Cairns covering 1681 kilometres in 24 hours
  • The Tilt Train connects Brisbane with Bundaberg and Rockhampton, taking 4.5 hours for the former and 7.5 hours for the latter.
  • The Spirit of the Outback takes passengers from Brisbane to Longreach – connecting the coast with the outback. It covers 1325 kilometres in approximately 24-26 hours.

Other routes include The Westlander, The Inlander, The Kuranda Scenic Railway, The Gulflander and The Savannahlander. Whichever route you choose in Queensland, there are a number of classes of travel to choose from, as well as beautiful scenery to enjoy. These can be easily combined with a self-drive in Queensland or New South Wales.

In summary, Australia offers a fantastic range of beautiful rail journeys – to include one or more in your Australia holiday will enhance your experience and is easily combined with travel by road and by air.

img.centered { display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; }

Newsletter

To receive all the latest tips an advice enter your email address below

 

CLICK HERE >>> to see Newsletter Archives.

Follow Us

 

Experience Holidays is fully bonded under the Civil Aviation Authority ATOL scheme and is a member of the Worldchoice Consortium.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays sold by us on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk
Book your holiday with confidence, safe in the knowledge that your money is protected and your holiday is in safe hands.

Not all holiday or travel services offered on this website will be protected by the ATOL scheme. Those package arrangements which do not include any flights and therefore not protected by our ATOL are covered by TRIP. See TRIP statement here.