Stay above the tropic of Capricorn if you are visiting Australia in June, July or August – you’ll be sure to have 30 degrees, blue skies, and no jelly fish in the sea or flies in the air to annoy you!
I put holiday itineraries to Australia together almost every day, but now I had a chance to make one of my own – I must admit, it was a Master Plan!
Starting in Darwin and Kakadu National Park – and the first sight of the huge Outback – I’ve looked at rock art, seen it so many times in brochures and now I was here, close to the drawings on the cave walls at Ubirr Rock, they are quite beautiful in real life. At Yellow River, crocs were all over, in the river and on the banks – sleeping and still … but ready to pounce if a little snack wandered too close!
Travelling south from Darwin, I was heading to Alice Springs on The Ghan! Everyone was so excited as the train stood gleaming in the sunshine at the station – anticipation rising for its departure! We had a quick stop at Katherine and visited the gorge – while other passengers chose other more active pursuits … like canoeing in the river, but my cruise was an enjoyable and more sedate affair.
Continuing my journey to the centre of Australia – a whole 2 days and 1 night – time passed with beautiful cooked meals in the dining carriage, paired with fine Australian wines, and pleasant company to have a drink with in the lounge. All the while gently swaying and rocking and watching the desert go by… cocooned.
I waved a fond farewell to my cosy cabin after breakfast on arrival in Alice and picked up a hire car. Here in the desolate centre of Australia the magic of the Aboriginal Dreamtime is everywhere – you feel it in the earth, in the dust and in the rocks at Ayers Rock and the Olgas. The names are changed to their Indigenous origins Uluru and Kata Tjuta and you feel connected to Australia. Then on to Kings Canyon – there is so much to do here but I choose 2 extremes – the arduous but exhilarating sunrise walk of Kings Canyon’s rim, to a very romantic and
fine dining experience in the moonlight, under the stars!
As if my itinerary couldn’t get any better – I was soon then out on the ocean, on the Great Barrier Reef on a small ship called The Coral Princess II. For four days I explored reefs as far away from any civilisation as we could find – snorkelling, diving, or staying dry in a glass bottom boat. We called at Lizard Island one morning and picnicked on the beach and climbed to Cook’s Look. One day we refuelled at Cooktown – Australia’s northernmost town – full of history and heritage, for this is where Captain James Cook landed in 1770 to repair his ship. All the while The Coral Princess II crew looked after us in 5 star style – it was hard to leave them all as we waved goodbye, shiney faced, brown and grinning from ear to ear!
I always recommend to stay a couple more days after an adventure like that to soak in your experience and not rush off to a 24 hours flight home. So in total contrast, an apartment by the beach at Trinity Bay was ideal – no set meal times, a washing machine and space to unpack everything and repack for travelling home!
But… Trinity Bay, near Cairns has lots of things to offer and I was soon off to see
Mossman Gorge and Cape Tribulation’s rainforest. The Kuranda railway and Skyrail cable car were also a spectacular day out, encountering Ozzie animals and scarily skimming the rainforest treetops in a glass bottom cable car!
Yes I did enjoy my Master Plan Itinerary – lots of surprises, lots of quirks, lots of special moments and lots and lots of fantastic memories