A land of confident optimists
We flew to Australia to meet our son in Melbourne and start exploring this massive country in February 2018.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
Blog – Sydney
The Blue Mountains north of Sydney are famous for the oil of the gum trees creating a blue haze.
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.
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
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