Matt’s wonderful journey could be summed up with these words: culture, wine, wildlife and epic coastal scenery.
Ambassador Matts incredible journey started with coffee and street art in Melbourne’s quirky laneways, continued with scenic flights over Tasmania’s beautiful coastline, then ended not only with wildlife spotting on Kangaroo Island but wine tasting in the Barossa.
See the highlights of Matt’s journey:
Aussie Specialist Trainer Alison asked Matt some questions about his trip.
Alison: G’Day Matt! Welcome back! Tell us, how would you summarize your time in Australia?
Matt: Incredible! I always love heading down under and feel very privileged to have been able to experience the remarkable food, from fine dining, 7 course meals, to simple fish & chips, every meal was an experience and they never disappoint! Sampling a huge variety of wine from the different regions we visited, combined with the local culture, nature & stunning scenery to top it off! I really enjoyed meeting the native wildlife, especially the kangaroos & koalas. It’s always fun spending time wandering round the bushes and trees, trying to spot and capture some of the best photos of them in their natural environment.
Alison: You started in Melbourne, and we're keen to hear what you thought of it.
Matt: I love Melbourne! It’s my favourite Australian city. I have been on several occasions and each time feels so different. I always like to take pictures of the commissioned artwork around the city, then compare them from my previous visits to see how they’ve changed. The beautiful side streets are filled with lovely little eateries and shops. Every time I’m there, I make sure I check the local festivals and events going on around the city. If there’s one thing Melbourne loves, it’s a pop-up festival! We were lucky enough to relax on the edge of the river at the food and wine festival.
Alison: You can’t forget THE night at the ‘footy’!
Matt: Wow! What an amazing experience. Being a seasoned Rugby fan myself, I’ve spent many occasions sat in the stands at different stadiums around the UK, but the MCG? It’s another level entirely! 100,000 footy fans all rooting for their favourite teams, enjoying a beer and shouting their chants at the top of their lungs. It’s fair to say I’ve never seen anything like it! I love that they don’t separate the fans, everyone mixed in together, just loving the many sports they so passionately get to support, from the many stadiums around Australia, just like the MCG. A truly amazing Aussie experience! Fun for all the family!
Alison: So, after a quick stay in Melbourne, you were off exploring regional Victoria. Can you tell us more about the Great Ocean Road?
Matt: The Great Ocean Road is a beautiful journey along the coast. An amazing opportunity to stop at one of the many ocean vistas along the route, including the Twelve Apostles. Sometimes you can even see whales splashing about in the distance. We stopped off at a few towns along the way to grab some food, sit on the beach and chill with friends. You can even head inland to get in and amongst nature, watch wild kangaroos jumping around, search for a koala in the trees and take a walk through one of the stunning forests!
Alison: You then continued to the Grampians region. I didn’t know much about this region beforehand. How would you describe this area?
Matt: I really enjoyed the Grampians, such a beautiful part of Victoria! Fun fact, 86% of Victorian Indigenous rock art can be found in the Grampians National Park alone, so plenty of culture and history to immerse yourself in. So easy to include this region with the Great Ocean Road, too – it’s called the Great Southern Touring Route and is a circular journey that people can do from Melbourne. I’d recommend doing this to give them a better experience than a rushed trip. A brilliant place to take a walk and stop at one of the many viewpoints in the mountains, such as Baroka lookout!
Alison: Then, onwards to Tasmania. Tell us more!
Matt: Tasmania! What an amazing place. It’s such a shame we didn’t get to spend more time here as it really gave me some of the highlights of my trip. For example, our flight with Par Avion up the east coast of Tassie. We flew out and were able to see Wineglass Bay! This really is magnificent from above. We then carried on up the coast before stopping on Maria Island, home to an old penitentiary, which is now somewhere you can stay if you wish! Some lunch and a little walk around the stunning beaches. I also loved finding wild wombats. Perfect morning! There’s so much to do around Tassie that I would definitely recommend 10 days to see it all.
Alison: After a busy few days in Tassie, you then travelled on to a place that is often called a ‘zoo without fences’ – Kangaroo Island. What can you say about your time there?
Matt: I always have a great time on Kangaroo Island. It’s a short 20-30min flight from Adelaide, or you can do a coach/ferry trip which takes roughly three hours. I would recommend staying for at least a night, preferably two, as the island itself is huge. I love heading down through Flinders Chase National Park to see Admirals Arch & Remarkable Rocks before heading to Seal Bay to admire the Australian sea lions. The conservation work that takes place on the island to preserve their natural environment is incredible. It’s such an amazing experience to see the wildlife in their natural habitat.
Alison: No visit to South Australia is complete without heading to a wine region, and one of the most famous is the Barossa. What did you think about this region?
Matt: It was great to experience 2 of the most famous wine regions of South Australia. The Barossa Valley & McLaren Vale are both a short distance from Adelaide and offer some of the most amazing wines, including the famous sparkling red! I really liked making my own bottle of wine. I’m not so sure the concoction I came up with would have tasted very nice, but it was fun to see how they make the variations of wine and put my signature on my very own bottle. We went to d’Arenberg which is a purpose-built cube in the middle of a vineyard. Inside the main building is a mixture of incredible artwork that have been put together by the creators and it makes for quite an interesting tour. They also had a Salvador Dali Exhibition on when we were there. Finishing off with wine tasting and a stunning view over the vineyards was a really nice way to end our trip.
Alison: Thank you for sharing details of your awesome journey, Matt.
Matt: No worries! I had an amazing time and can’t wait to go back and explore more. There’s nothing like Australia!
Hear more about Matt's trip and the great selling tips he has for you in our webinar. Watch now!