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A tale from Down Under: travelling across Australia

Amanda Angus / 18 June 2015 ( 05 December 2016 )

Australia is a land filled with history and mystery! Our expert Holiday Creator Evgenia Kourkouli tells us all about her recent trip to the land down under…

The city skyline of Melbourne, Australia
The city skyline of Melbourne, Australia

I visited Adelaide first – I was very excited to see the city. It’s a very walkable place, with massive pavements, and it’s very relaxed and friendly. 

Everyone you pass will smile, and say hello and that makes such a difference to your day! I felt at home, even though the city itself is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever been. It’s unique; very colonial and pretty, and everyone seems to gravitate to the banks of the river that runs through the city. 

It’s for all of these reasons that we included Adelaide as the final stop in our holiday to Australia, Ultimate Australia – a decision I’m very pleased we made!

We also went to four different wineries, each of which had their own history. We stopped at Jacob’s Creek, which you might have seen in the supermarkets, and Chateau Tanunda that looked like a castle.

I’m not really a big fan of wine, but I still really enjoyed the whole experience – it’s definitely worth doing.

Discover more about Australia and its famously laid-back pace of life on the holiday of a lifetime.  Find out more here

Fantastic beasts!

During my trip I made quite a few new furry friends, like koalas and kangaroos; I was overjoyed to be able to have a cuddle with a koala named Charlie who didn’t like having his photo taken. 

I met a Tasmanian Devil named Enzo, and a wombat named Patrick, who is 30 years old this year – the oldest and biggest wombat in captivity, and he was huge – they called him the Wombassador! 

I saw a five-metre crocodile named Crunch – I actually have a phobia of crocodiles so I was very pleased he was in an enclosure, but at the same time I was intrigued because they are truly fascinating creatures – so long as I get to observe from a distance! 

I saw emus too; they make a really peculiar sound, like music – like someone playing the drums very softly – it was lovely. They were very tall too, much taller than I thought, and so beautiful.

And the birdlife out there is amazing – they have flocks of wild cockatoos like we have seagulls, they’re just everywhere and they can really make a rumble!

Discover 5 of the world's most fantastic beasts and where to find them!

Driving down the Great Ocean Road

The biggest highlight was driving the Great Ocean Road, which was amazing. It has three different sections, the first is all about the surfing; in fact it’s called the Surf Coast. 

You can watch the surfers as you go; the waves are big, it’s quite impressive! I loved the rugged scenery and the sparkling sea; as I’m from Greece I’m very familiar with this sort of scenery, and it didn’t disappoint! 

The weather was lovely, warm but not too hot, perfect weather for a journey – in fact this was true of the whole holiday.

Then the road heads inland and takes you through a rainforest – this is the bit that I absolutely adored. I think some people think holidays to Australia might be dry and arid – it is the Red Continent, after all – but that’s just the interior, the Outback. 

As we drove though the rainforest the trees were so enormous you couldn’t even see the sky. It was such a contrast to come from the bright blues that surround the coastal road to the lush greens of the trees and ferns.

The third section of the Great Ocean Road is called Shipwreck Coast, and you can see why! The landscape is much more dramatic; I think I liked it better. 

We took a helicopter flight over it to see the Twelve Apostles; I tried to count them but I got so carried away with how incredible the flight was that once we were in the air I completely forgot to count! 

Then when we alighted the helicopter we were able to put a foot into the Southern Ocean, which is actually very cold, but I’m so pleased to be able to say I did it!

Australias ancient history: essential historical sites to visit

Memoirs from Melbourne

I finished my Australian holiday in Melbourne, which is where our Australian Adventure tour ends, so I thought that was quite fitting! 

Melbourne has to be one of my favourite cities – in fact, if I could live anywhere, it would be Melbourne, which is why I wasn’t surprised when I found out it was voted the world’s most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability survey of 140 cities – although I could have told them that for free!

Find out more about the wonderful land of Oz here

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