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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Coast bushfire has burned for two months near homes

AFTER THE FIRE: Swampland near Coolum in the wake of the January fire. The swamp is brown and still smoking.

Fire broke out in January, still burning in swampland

Footy teens fundraising for island charity swim

CHARITY SWIM: The island at Mudjimba.

Young group of Dolphins players in it for a good cause.

Local Partners

Meth dealer cops $800 fine for lighting fires

A MOUNT Coolum man fined $800 for lighting two fires at Mount Coolum and Yaroomba last year is serving a four-year prison sentence for dealing drugs.

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Daredevils of Nitro Circus to thrill Lismore

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

The (in)famous 55-foot high Nitro Giganta ramp is the centrepiece

CHOOSING LIFE: Emu Park veteran leads way out of PTSD

WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend.

Andrea Josephs will officially launch Matilda Poppy in new hometown

Housewives’ shocking public fight gets physical

THE Real Housewives of Sydney air their dirty laundry at an art gallery opening this week, screaming vile insults as members of the public look on.

Married At First Sight's shock vow renewal decisions

Nadia’s final decision at the vow renewal ceremony leaves us stunned.

NADIA and Susan's decisions stun viewers.

Family Feud host Grant Denyer in hospital after rally crash

He’s OK. Grant Denyer has survived a serious car crash near Melbourne. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Grant Denyer airlifted to hospital after horror crash

Would you like 90 weeks of paid parental leave?

“It’s changed the culture,” say the Latte Papas of Sweden’s generous parental leave provisions.

Why not move to Sweden: the world’s best place to be a dad

Only one woman nominated for the Gold Logie

Love Child and The Wrong Girl star Jessica Marais is nominated for a Gold Logie this year.

Jessica Marais is about to star in a new Logies controversy

Beer in boot makes lasting impression at CMC Rocks

Country music star Tyler Farr posted this picture of himself drinking a 'booty' at the CMC Festival.

American country star Tyler Farr debuts at CMC Rocks

Our Caitlyn a No.1 hit at CMC Music Awards

RISING STAR: Caitlyn Shadbolt at the CMC Music Awards on the Gold Coast.

Caitlyn Shadbolt enjoys one of the most exciting weeks of her career

Location and lifestyle

426 Oceanic Drive South, Wurtulla.

When you want it all

Prominently positioned showroom, workshop on offer

Drive in to a high-profile Kunda Park commercial property

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!