Travel

TRAVEL: Around Australia in 15 days

The Perth skyline by night is one of many sights to take in during a 15-day trip across Australia.
The Perth skyline by night is one of many sights to take in during a 15-day trip across Australia. Ellen Hanwright

THEY say life throws you curve balls when you least expect it and last year was no exception. My mum lost her battle with pancreatic cancer last June and it hit all of us hard.

This cruel blow made my dad realise that we needed to stop putting things off. One of the things he's always wanted to do was go around Australia - so that's exactly what we did.

My dad, sister and I left Brisbane on November 21 as we attempted to see all of Australia in 15 days. We tackled seven cities on this trip: Cairns, Darwin, Alice Springs, Perth, Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney.

We spent two days in every city except Perth and Hobart, where we spent three, so we could cover more ground outside of the cities.

It's amazing that in one country you can go from deserts to beautiful beaches, from cultural cities to outback towns - we saw it all.

To explore each city we made the most of explorer buses. These take you on a tour of the main sites and give you the option to hop on and hop off whenever you please. It makes sightseeing so much easier knowing that the bus will come around every half an hour.

If you're considering this trip be prepared for the crazy weather changes. We went from Darwin, where it was so humid outside that my glasses fogged up and it felt like you were walking through a waterfall, to Melbourne, where you needed a full overcoat to deal with the freezing wind and the cold.

If someone asked me would I do this trip over again, I would in a heartbeat.

I might have added an extra day here and there and I might have wanted to do a few other things but overall it was the perfect amount of time. I loved being able to spend the time with my dad and sister seeing all these incredible places. I would recommend doing this trip to anyone, just be warned you will be tired by the end.

But you'll look back and say did I really go around Australia in 15 days?

 

The view during a chopper ride in Alice Springs; right, one of the first cells used by prisoners at Fremantle Prison. The basins in later cells were removed as they became disease-ridden; and the typical tourist shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The view during a chopper ride in Alice Springs; right, one of the first cells used by prisoners at Fremantle Prison. The basins in later cells were removed as they became disease-ridden; and the typical tourist shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Ellen Hanwright

Seven must-do experiences:

Fremantle Prison, Fremantle - This prison was a working prison until 1991 but when you walk inside you swear you are entering the 1800s. The "doing time" tour gives you a great overview of the prison. The tour runs for an hour and 15 minutes and departs every 30 minutes between 10am and 5pm.

Crocosaurus Cove - Darwin is known for crocodiles so it's no surprise this made my top seven attractions. But I wasn't expecting it to be right in the main street of Darwin, next to a supermarket. There's a mix of reptiles, crocodiles and fish as well as keeper shows.

Kinky Boots the Musical - One of the things I really wanted to do on this trip was to see a musical. This musical is one of my favourites now, full of catchy songs, lots of colour and a brilliant and important story. Kinky Boots is playing at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne until March 26 then Sydney's Capitol Theatre from April 12. Tickets available from Ticketek and Ticketmaster.

Helicopter flight over Alice Springs - This experience really gives you a perspective of just how far away Alice Springs is from anything. The views you get from the chopper are incredible and it makes you appreciate how beautiful our country really is. Scenic flights leave from Alice Springs Airport Precinct and vary in price and time.

Alice Springs School of the Air Visitor Centre - This school uses computers to broadcast lessons to students who may live up to 2000km from Alice Springs. We looked at the classrooms the teachers use and also got to watch a recorded class with some cute prep children. It is about a 40-minute walk from the town centre.

Port Arthur - It was interesting to learn about the lives of the convicts who were housed here as well as visit the memorial for the 1996 massacre. Port Arthur is a 90-minute drive south-east of Hobart.

Freycinet Peninsula/Lodge - On the eastern side of Tasmania, this peninsula is absolutely stunning. The lodge is nestled among the trees, resulting in amazing views when you wake if you're lucky enough to have a cabin with a view. A peninsula cruise is also recommended to take in the coastline.

 

The typical tourist shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
The typical tourist shot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge Ellen Hanwright

Topics:  australia cancer opinion travel



Councillor's stern warning to latest Goondoon St vandals

Most recent vandalism and destruction on Goondoon St.

Councillor says disrespect toward property affects ratepayers most.

Rural school gets brand new tuck shop

TUCKING IN: Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher (front) with Ambrose State School principal Andrew Collis and students (L-R) Angus Gordon, Emerson Weir, Tahli Westwood, Nicholas Hiron, Olivia Geiger and Charlotte Pomeroy.

Ambrose State School will soon be able to host functions.

MOCK WEDDING: Paul gets frocked for good cause

BIG DAY: Paul Koen promises he won't get cold feet at the Boyne Tannum Rotary Club's 'A Mock Wedding', to be held on September 2. Brenda Smith (right) is organising the event.

A man in a wedding dress: Not something you see every day.

Local Partners

Buzzing local lady recycles old idea into modern, revamped product

A woman on a mission has embarked on the journey to reduce the amount of plastic people use in their homes by recycling an old concept into a modern product.


Get Set for Summer

Win One of Ten Prize Packs
Learn More

Jemma's bewitching voice

STAGE PRESENCE: Suzie Mathers and Jemma Rix in a scene from Wicked The Musical.

Wicked musical theatre star Jemma Rix has released her debut album.

This laughter yoga video will have you in fits of giggles

BEST MEDICINE: Karen Flannery is spreading happiness through laughter throughout Hervey Bay.

New members needed for a laughing good time

Dancers show off skills at Toowoomba Eisteddfod

Milla Rowbotham and Rebecca Gill from All Star Dance Academy .Toowoomba Eisteddfod, Empire Theatre. August 2017

Poems and dances dominated the 72nd City of Toowoomba Eisteddfod

What's on the small screen this week

JESSICA Marais returns in The Wrong Girl and The Block's kids bedrooms are sure to inspire.

Playing Tom Cruise's wife was a dream for Sarah Wright

Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in American Made.

The actress stars opposite Cruise in the action comedy

Taylor Swift wipes presence off social media

Singer Taylor Swift has deleted her social media accounts

Social media wipeout prompts rumours of a new album

Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.

Scandinavian crime thriller goes troppo

Aboriginal artists' call to action

Anwar Young, winner of this year's overall prize and last year's young artist prize.

Important messages of survival and healing

Radio host Matt Okine leaps to small screen

Valene Kane, Matt Okine and Harriet Dyer star in the TV series The Other Guy.

First foray into acting a long time in the making

Hollywood’s new highest paid actress

Jennifer Lawrence had to settle for third this year behind Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston.

CAN you guess who has dethroned Jennifer Lawrence?

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry