A land of confident optimists

We flew to Australia to meet our son in Melbourne and start exploring this massive country in February 2018.

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 11.02.06

Screen Shot 2018-08-10 at 11.03.18
Guangzhou to Melbourne

We wanted to fly business class – it really is a long way – but couldn’t justify the massive price British Airways or Qantas wanted to charge. Instead, having looked at SkyScanner, we flew China Southern. 13 hours to Guangzhou (just north of Hong Kong) then another 10 hours down to Melbourne at – wait for it – one third of the price!

They have brand new A330 and 787 planes, enthusiastic, helpful cabin crew, great food and lots of it. Worth a look.

Trip Summary

  • 3 nights – Melbourne
  • 5 nights – Tasmania – driving
  • 1 night – Melbourne
  • 6 nights – Sydney & The Blue Mountains
  • 3 nights – Great Barrier Reef – Whitsunday Islands
  • 9 nights – Melbourne & The Great Ocean Road

Day 1 – 26/2 Fly
11:10 LHR (T4) to CAN 06:40 (Guangzhou) China Southern 787

Day 2 – 27/2 Fly
09:05 CAN to MEL (T2) 21:30 (A330)

After the long flights down to Oz, we reckoned the best thing to do would go straight to the hotel take a sleeping pill and wake up bright as a button in the morning. Which is why we picked a flight that landed in Melbourne in the evening. Alternatively you can land in the morning, lurk about a bit until you can check in at your hotel, get grumpy, fall asleep, wake up at 2am…. you choose.

You’ll notice we chopped our trip up by visiting Melbourne 3 times, this was so we could meet our son as many times as we could throughout the trip. 

Day 3 – 28/2 Explore Melbourne

Blog – Melbourne – A fantastic city

This is the only place I’ve visited that I would want to live other than England.

The city overlooking the Yarra river.
Melbourne to Hobart
Melbourne to Hobart

Day 5 – 2/3

Melbourne then fly to Tasmania 

18:55 MEL to Hobart 20:10
MACq 01 Hotel, Hobart – 3 nights
Hire car Thrifty via Rentalcars

Blog –Tasmania

We spent 5 nights exploring the eastern side of this lovely island, the wilderness of the west coast beckons.

Day 10 – 7/3

Hobart then Fly to Melbourne

14:45 Hobart to MEL 16:05

Hotel – Holiday Inn on airport

Blog – Melbourne

Day 11 – 8/3 Fly to Sydney
10:25 Mel to SYD 11:50 Jetstar £43ea
Hotel Shangri-La – Sydney 4 nights
Echoes Peak Hotel Katoomba – Blue Mountains 2 nights

An iconic tourist town.

Sydney Harbour

Blog – Sydney

Melbourne to Sydney
Melbourne to Sydney

The Blue Mountains north of Sydney are famous for the oil of the gum trees creating a blue haze.

Sunset over the Blue Mountains.

Day 17 – 14/3 Blue Mountains then drive to airport to Hamilton Island
12:15 SYD to HTI 13:45 (Hamilton) Jetstar
3 nights – Reef View Hotel.

Blog – Great Barrier Reef

Hamilton Island is part of the Whitsunday Islands archipelago and is very near the Great Barrier Reef. Happily and despite what the doomsayers say, the reef is in very good condition.

Flying over the Great Barrier Reef

Day 20 – 17/3 Hamilton then fly to Melbourne
11:35 HTI to MEL 15:30 Quantas booking ref BUK-8145996
Hire car and drive down the Mornington Peninsular

Blog – Melbourne

Screen Shot 2018-08-11 at 16.21.45

We hired a car at the airport so we could drive a large circular route down the Mornington peninsular, take a ferry to Queenscliff, on to the Great Ocean Road heading inland past the Twelve Apostles and up to the Grampian hills before driving back to Melbourne via the interesting town of Ballarat.



Day 29 – 26/3 Fly to London

Day 30 – 27/3 Fly


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