I lived in Australia for the first eight years of my life. My parents joined the great post-war emigration in 1960 and we migrated to the Netherlands in 1968. As I still feel a strong connection to the country where I grew up, I wanted to treat myself to a trip to Australia for my 60th birthday.
I am so happy that I prepared my trip with A Journey DownUnder because I was not looking forward to spending countless hours on all the research that's involved in such a trip. After joining one of A Journey DownUnder's destination days, it became clear to me that the company mostly worked with small-scale accommodations and tours. From that moment, I knew I wanted them to design my holiday. Together with Mandy, we created a 3-week itinerary along the East Coast, based on my wishes and needs.
My trip started in Tropical North Queensland. Snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef was one of the most amazing experiences, I've ever had! Much to my relief, I didn’t find a single piece of plastic in the reef. Onboard a small and charming ship named 'Coral Sea Dreaming,' I floated around the Great Barrier Reef for 2 days together with a small group of other tourists and a 3-man crew.
The bed & breakfasts were all very lovely as well. Imagine a bedroom that overlooks a tropical rainforest and a Kookaburra sitting on your porch!
I found the contact with locals very pleasant and it added value to my experience in Australia. One of the most unique places I stayed in was in GlassHouse Mountains. I took the train thereafter a 3-day stay in Brisbane (a beautiful city!!!). The owner has some old Victorian railway wagons on his property (a self-made tropical paradise) which he has converted into self-contained 'cottages on wheels'. I wish I could have stayed longer!
In my third and final week, I flew to Sydney. I still have a lot of childhood memories in this city. Such a beautiful and green city!
And what I certainly noticed was how nice and relaxed people were. A few times someone would come up to me and ask “Can I help you?” Even before I had time to unfold my city map. In Sydney, I also visited the school I used to go to. A friendly employee even gave me a tour of the schoolyard. And it was very special to see that the school uniforms had remained almost the same after 50 years!
From Sydney, I took the train to Leura, a charming town located on the edge of the Blue Mountains. This nature reserve had already impressed me as a child and it was overwhelming to see this impressive landscape again!
I really had an a-ma-zing trip, especially thanks to the help of A Journey DownUnder!
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