But on the other side of the world it’s winter in Australia – the northern regions being splashed in sunshine and wonderfully warm without being oppressively hot. The perfect time, then, to take your whole family on an Antipodean epic they’ll be delighted to write about when they go back to school.
The eerie awesomeness of Ayers Rock. The adventure of camping in the remote outback and watching strange wildlife, colourful birds and fearsome saltwater crocodiles. The perfect relaxation of mile after mile of unpopulated white sand beaches. It’s what you call a summer vacation.
London – Sydney
Travel to Sydney
Sydney is regarded as one of Australasia’s premier destinations. Small wonder; this scintillating city offers you wide-ranging cultural opportunities, sizzling restaurants and bars, outstanding architecture, the harbourside and any number of different experiences. Like strolling past the Opera House and around Circular Bay, taking photographs at every other step. You can take a half day introductory city tour, then catch a ferry to Manly and Darling Harbour – the trip takes you beneath Sydney Harbour Bridge – or wend your way to world-renowned Bondi Beach for swimming and surfing lessons.
Stay: Five nights in Quay West Suites.
Will anything prepare you for the sense of wonder you’ll feel when you first view the phenomenon that is Uluru or Ayer’s Rock? Especially at sunrise. The monolithic red rock domes of Kata Tjuta, the miles of red earth and uncompromising bush are pretty awesome too. And the whole experience is heightened by the chance to take dinner under the stars, or go on a sky-by-night tour.
Stay: Two nights at the Sails in the Desert Hotel. Or, alternatively, you can take a camping safari from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock, via Kings Canyon.
Time to visit the far north with a flight through Alice Springs to Darwin and a stopover in a hotel with a pool and spa.
Stay: Two nights in a two bedroom family suite at Mantra on the Esplanade.
Kakadu and Darwin
Now your family can thrill to a real Crocodile Dundee-style adventure. You can go camping in the northern outback, where you’ll see crocodiles galore. Your expedition will also take you through the astonishing landscapes of Kakadu National Park to see Aboriginal rock art and remote sites like Ubirr Rock, Twin Falls and Jim Jim Falls, and Yellow Waters – famous for its salt water crocs and teeming birdlife. You’ll also visit Barramundi Gorge and spectacular Nourlangie Rock and – of course – camp out overnight.
Stay: Two night in a luxury bush camp in Kakadu National Park.
From Darwin you’ll take a short hop – by Australian standards – to Cairns where the aptly named Four Mile Beach awaits. It’s here that you’ll discover why Australian beaches thoroughly deserve their reputation as being amongst the best in the world. And you’ll have ample time to relax beneath the sun, on the sand and in the warm surf. You’ll also be able to pop into Port Douglas, just three miles from the beach to wander round the typical outback town, taking in the shops and trying out the restaurants. On day 18, sadly, you’ll begin the journey home.
Stay: Five nights in a luxury two bedroom apartment at Coconut Grove, Port Douglas.
Cairns – London