Our readers give a lowdown on their favourite places in Australasia. Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea are some of the nations which make up Australasia.
‘Australia had always been the dream for me and finally this was it. Flying over Sydney’s Royal Opera House is a moment I’ll never forget. Here I was, and reality did not disappoint. Amongst the obvious attractions of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, a highlight for me was surfers’ heaven Bondi Beach—something of an upmarket Newquay.’
Amie Trewin, London
‘As I booked my three day sailing trip I was a little hesitant as me and boats equals a possible vomiting disaster! But, I thought, I cannot come to Australia and not sail around these beautiful islands, and I am so glad I did it.
‘Our days were packed full of snorkelling and diving in secluded bays where we saw turtles, Nemo fish and sharks. We visited Whitehaven Beach which is the only place I have visited which looks like the picture on the postcard. The pristine white sand felt like fluffy snow as you walked through it and turquoise blue sea stretched for miles. I was so glad I booked the trip and was sad to leave after just three days.’
Helen Wardley, Manchester
‘Australia has so much to do. There’s a real backpacker culture and it is easy and safe to travel around. The highlight of my trip was doing a 14,000ft skydive over Mission Beach – one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done, closely followed by scuba diving and seeing the Great Barrier Reef. Sydney was stunning with classic views, lots going on and great nightlife. I went on a sunset cruise of Sydney Harbour which was absolutely beautiful and I would definitely recommend that people to do it! Cairns is right on the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, perfect for scuba diving lovers. It is also the gateway to Cape Tribulation (beautiful rainforest) and has friendly hostels, with lots of cheap deals on food and drink at night.’
Natalie Jinks, Derby
‘My three month trip to Australia was life changing. I went by myself and it was the best decision I have ever made. I met so many lovely people; a lot of them I still travel to visit today. I stayed in hostels or camped out under the stars at night and saw some of the most amazing scenery – Uluru at sunrise and Kings Canyon being my favourites. I loved the atmosphere of Rainbow Beach, Byron Bay, Coober Pedy, Darwin and Broome. I also got the chance to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb and go sledging in the snowy mountains. Each place you visit has something different to offer.’
Emma Harold, Essex, www.the-daisychain.com
‘I had a great time in Australia. Byron Bay is an amazing beach town, brilliant for surfing, sun, sand, BBQs and having lots of fun. I met some amazing people here, who completely made my experience; it is the most relaxed chilled out place I have ever visited. A visit to Nimbin is a must. It’s the oddest place I have ever been to!
‘Sydney is a great city full of exciting places to see. Walking to the Harbour at night and sitting looking at the Opera House and the bridge was lovely. Sydney has lots of gorgeous beaches, Bondi was my favourite but Coogee and Manly were also beautiful. A visit to the Blue Mountains is a must!
‘The highlights of my trip were sailing around the Whitsundays and camping on Fraser Island.’
Laura Neylon, London
‘I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Australia. It’s fun, but culturally it’s not all that different from the US or the UK. But nobody can deny it has some absolutely breathtaking natural wonders.
‘The biggest highlight was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef. I couldn’t get over the colours: the water, the multi-hued reef and the brilliant tropical fish. It’s one of the world’s greatest treasures and it’s disappearing fast.’
Stephanie Yoder, Washington DC, www.twenty-somethingtravel.com
‘I headed down under for a year on a working holiday visa and it’s the best decision I’ve ever made. From the dive mecca of the Barrier Reef to the iconic Opera House everywhere you turn in Oz is full of adventure.
‘My top highlight has to be Byron Bay – the perfect balance of surfing and beach lifestyle during the day and party carnage by night. it’s truly living the Aussie dream! If you have the time and fancy something a little different, hit up the West Coast – campervanning from Perth to Darwin was an amazing chapter in my backpacker bubble!’
Chris Stevens, Devon, www.backpackerbanter.com
As you can see, Australasia may be on the other side of the world but it holds a world of opportunities. What parts of Australasia are you adding to your bucket list? Let us know in the comments!