In general, a two-week holiday in New Zealand or Australia will cost from £4,500 per person excluding flights. The holidays are usually very inclusive.
Australia is like nowhere else: a remarkable continent and a land of huge contrasts – untouched deserts, ancient rainforests, mystical Uluru, productive wine country, the mighty outback, the vast unknown interior, idyllic Barrier Reef Islands, cresting surf beaches and sophisticated cities. It is wild, vast, untouched and yet cosmopolitan, cultural, cool.
Whether you’re after tropical paradise, luxury escapism or an epic overland adventure, Australia has it all.
First time travellers will be keen to experience such icons as Sydney, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef. They are icons for a reason and are truly wonderful to see: let us show you how to best experience them – away from the crowds. Australia is about more than just the icons – it is a place to explore off the beaten track, to seek out hidden gems and to amble along empty beaches. Any genuinely Australian experience must include time with the locals and a chance to experience the warmth of their hospitality, their ‘down to earth’ friendliness and that dry Australian sense of humour.
Our highly experienced consultant Georgina will be happy to provide you with ideas and inspiration. Our portfolio extends from rustic B&Bs to super luxury lodges, from small group walking tours to high flying helicopter sightseeing, from private boats to remote wilderness experiences. Much of the key to making a holiday stand out in Australia comes through the characters, hosts and guides that clients spend time with and our relationships with these individuals is key to the experiences that we pull together. We will start with your holiday duration and what you have on your ‘wish list’. Don’t be influenced by others who claim to have seen the lot – no one has! Give yourself a few days on arrival to relax, get your bearings and adjust to Australia’s pace. Australia is all about lifestyle.
- Kangaroo Island: the essence of Australia – protected wildlife, dirt roads, sheep farms, stunning beaches and few people. Buffeted by the waves of the Southern Ocean, KI (Australians love to shorten a name!) boasts one of Australia’s most spectacular coastlines.
- Clare Valley: this wine region was described by James Halliday as one of Australia’s most beautiful wine producing regions. The Riesling Trail is a favourite cycling route, linking local towns and passing restaurants, cafés and cellar doors.
- Arkaba Station at the foot of the Elder Range is possibly the most beautiful outback property in the country and the best place from which to experience the Flinders. Either stay in the homestead or join the Arkaba Walk, swagging out under the stars in style!
- Gawler Ranges: in our book there really is only one way to visit the Gawler Ranges and that is with our local safari guide, Geoff Scholz. His patch includes the outback ranges of South Australia as well as the coast of the Great Australian Bight. A safari might include trekking across great salt pans, swimming with sea lions in Baird Bay, traversing giant sand dunes by 4WD and learning the difference between a kangaroo, a wallaroo and a wallaby.
- Sydney: most journeys will include three or four nights here. We recommend spending time with a local guide who will help you to find your bearings far away from the tourist crowds. It is a must to get out onto the harbour by chartered yacht or ferry. Join the locals for a coastal walk from Bondi to Bronte or browse one of the weekend markets. The gourmet dining scene is top stuff.
- Lord Howe Island: an idyllic Island where you can swim with turtles before breakfast! A closely kept secret, this tiny Pacific Ocean Island – where tourists are capped at 400 and most people get around on bicycles – is an easy two-hour flight from Sydney.
- Byron Bay is the Australian mainland’s most easterly point and has a population dominated by surfers, hippies and those after a ‘sea-change’ – a move from the big city to a small coastal town for a better quality of life: beautiful beaches, lots of small and quirky shops, a wonderful array of restaurants, weekly roving markets and the iconic Cape Byron Lighthouse.
- Hobart: an intriguing blend of heritage sites, modern lifestyle, stunning scenery and vibrant culture. On Saturday mornings be sure to discover Salamanca Market; one can also visit MONA art gallery’s private collection, take a day trip to Bruny Island for coastal bush walks and wildlife viewing, or board a coastal boat to see dolphins, fur seals, albatrosses and, at certain times of the year, humpback whales.
- Freycinet, a sunny peninsula on Tasmania’s mild east coast, is a place where you can wind down and relax. Stay in luxurious boutique accommodation: nature by day, luxury by night – what could be better? It is essential to visit the internationally acclaimed Wineglass Bay.
- Craig “Bushie” Williams: never a city slicker, Craig was born in a small town in a remote corner of Tasmania and from a very early age felt at home in the bush. While more than capable of catching a trout, identifying an astonishing number of colourful bird species and tracking down a platypus, Craig’s real speciality is bush tucker. Try Craig’s wallaby steaks with pepperberry sauce, lemon myrtle spiced local trout or fresh lobster complemented by a glass or two of fine Tasmanian wine. Craig’s love of good food, his sharp wit and his knowledge of the wilderness make him one of Australia’s top guides.
- The Red Centre or Desert Centre: home to Uluru (Ayers Rock) and the remarkable rock domes of nearby Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).
- Kakadu National Park: Australia’s largest national park, extending nearly 200 kms from north to south and over 100 kms from east to west.
- Bamurru Plains is located on a 303 sq km buffalo station on the west side of Kakadu National Park and offers the ultimate safari experience. Home to huge numbers of birdlife and wildlife, this floodplain is Australia’s own version of the Okavango Delta.
- Sab Lord is a legendary guide; the word ‘character’ doesn’t begin to sum him up! Renowned for his irreverent humour, in true Aussie style he ends every sentence with ‘mate’! The best way to experience a top-end safari is to be guided by Sab who has an extraordinary knowledge of this area. Whilst his guests may be allowed the luxury of a room, Sab whatever the weather would always rather sleep out in his swag. He is a great bush cook, too, kangaroo fillets in beer being his favourite dish.
- Margaret River is an area responsible for producing almost 15% of Australia’s wines and is set in beautiful scenery. Boutique breweries, dairy products, jams and condiment producers, a marron (freshwater crayfish) farm, olive groves and even chocolate and fudge factories all add to the gourmet experience.
- Ningaloo Reef is the longest western fringing coral reef and one of the last healthy major coral reef systems in the world. Each year between April and July whale sharks swim past the reef on their migration north. Enjoy the up-close-and-personal experience of swimming with these harmless sharks.
- The Kimberley in the far northwest is an ancient land formation of rugged mountain ranges with deep, spectacular gorges and pristine sandy beaches that fringe the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. A safari here combines remote bush camps, luxury homesteads and camping hosted by legendary local guides.
- Tropical North Queensland is where the rainforest meets the reef. Few places on earth can boast such unique natural attractions, with the Great Barrier Reef offering dazzling coral and sea life and the superb World Heritage listed tropical rainforests within easy reach.
- Willie Gordon, a Nugal-warra elder, is passionate about his culture and spirituality and generously shares the wide-ranging knowledge of the bush which was handed down to him by his father. As a small boy Willie would accompany his father on hunting trips, learning about the land, its bush tucker, bush medicines and stories of old.
- Melbourne: one of the most buzzing cities of Australia, it is often referred to as its “cultural capital”. The city offers something for everyone. It’s a heaven for foodies with its many top quality restaurants, cafés, bistros and bars. Culture vultures can also eat their hearts out here on the world-class arts and cultural heritage institutions, cutting edge design centres and dynamic festivals it has to offer. Shopaholic? One extra thing that we love about Melbourne is its plethora of small local designer boutiques.
- Great Ocean Road: recognised as one of the world’s most scenic drives, it follows the stunning coastline of Victoria’s south west. Stop to photograph the 12 Apostles and visit the famous surf beach “Bells” and the Great Otway National Park which is a great place to spot a koala!
- Grampians National Park: explore the park on foot, choosing from an extensive network of trails which criss-cross the area and offer a wonderful variety of vegetation and landscapes.
- The finest beaches in New Zealand, lovely islands, world record game fishing, yachting, diving, and the heart of Maoridom.
- Spend a day with a Maori chief of the country’s most warlike tribe: Nga Puhi. See the battlefield where the Maori invented trench warfare, the hot pools where wounded warriors bathed and recuperated, and the stately grounds where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed with the British.
- Swap your car at 90-Mile Beach for quad bikes and a wilderness whizz on a pure white silica sand beach – sand so pure it was used for making glass.
- Unappreciated by many: a vibrant city with an equally vibrant dining scene, complemented by a beautiful, island-dotted coastline. Magnificent private garden tours with a charismatic botanist.
- Enjoy funky and offbeat Waiheke Island for great landscapes and art and wine tours.
- Walk on the black sand beach where The Piano was filmed: crashing surf, lush rainforest, clifftops, marshes and sand dunes.
- The geothermal centre of New Zealand: lakes, top fly fishing, cycling, volcanoes, hikes and Maori.
- Head into the wilderness by four wheel drive to Maori land for a thrilling and genuine chief’s welcome. Feast on a hangi (traditional meal cooked underground) and learn with the locals about carving, weaving, cooking, food gathering, traditional hunting and taiaha (quarterstaff) combat.
- A gentleman farmer’s region used mostly for wine production. Relaxed and boutique.
- Cycle from vineyard to vineyard on any one of three acclaimed cycling routes.
- Play golf at one of the world’s best courses, Cape Kidnappers.
- Take a day with a guide visiting vineyards, art deco buildings and artists in their studios.
- Beautiful pink sand beaches, awesome fiords, abundant wildlife, rugged national parks and boutique accommodation.
- A day on an old classic launch exploring the Marlborough Sounds from a Maori and ecological perspective.
- A day tripping around Abel Tasman National Park on a launch, going ashore for hikes, sea kayaking and seal watching.
- Lush farmland, rugged coastline, leading into the mountains of the Southern Alps.
- Boutique lodges with superb chefs: interactive cookery lessons and seafood gathering.
- The self-proclaimed “Adventure Capital of the World”: the place where bungee jumping was invented and the home of a multitude of extreme sports.
- Zoom out on a private jetboat and perhaps drive it; then enjoy a typical Kiwi wild food barbecue on the banks of the river.
- Take a helicopter over to the West Coast – snorkel for some crayfish and paua (lobster and abalone), and land by a remote river to cook and eat your catch.
- Hike, mountain bike, ride, canyon ride, raft, fly-fish, and experience farm life.