Stacey's coast to coast adventure saw her learn to surf, scale the Sydney Harbour Bridge, float over the nation’s capital, snap a quokka selfie, and meet a Hemsworth!
Our Kiwi Aussie Specialist Ambassador packed a lot into her short time in Australia. After flying in comfort on Qantas, Stacey's trip started with a few days harbour side in Sydney, before flying north to the coastal paradise of Byron Bay. The nation’s cool capital, Canberra, was next up, before jetting across the country to Perth, for an activity filled couple of days – including a visit to the idyllic Rottnest Island.
Read on to discover the highlights of Stacey's journey and gain some inspiration for your clients next trip.
Our Aussie Specialist Executive has a quick Q&A session with Stacey on return...
Amber: G'day Stacey. Tell us, how would you summarise your time in Australia?
Stacey: I just love Australia! No matter how many times you may have visited, there's so much to explore and I always have the most amazing time! I was blown away with the changes in the different cities visited and all the experiences we managed to fit in during the short time away.
Amber: Let’s start with your journey across to Australia with Qantas. How did you find it?
Stacey: The Qantas journey started off with lounge access in Wellington where I relaxed, had a bite, and got excited before my trip ahead! I flew on the direct Wellington to Sydney service on QF162 on a boeing 737-800 for the short 3 hour jump across the ditch. Was all very comfortable and inclusive with meals, bag and entertainment. Also, within Australia, I was fortunate to be upgraded to Business Class, which was such a great experience. Plus super thankful for lounge access at all airports with a chance to check them out and experience what they have to offer. Fantastic service overall!
Amber: Your first few days were in Sydney and action-packed! Can you tell us more about what you did there?
Stacey: Action packed for sure! Best way to start a trip though, right? Sydney was awesome. Started off with an Aborigional guide who walked us through the Royal Botanical Gardens on an Aboriginal Heritage Tour, learnt how to surf in Bondi with Let's Go Surfing (I even managed to catch a wave!), sailed like a VIP on a Sydney Princess Cruise, climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, went to the Handa Opera which was Westside Story and one of my real highlights. Have never been to anything like it before. It was all happening on the harbour, with the Opera House lit up in the background and even had fireworks go off! EPIC! Dined at some stunning restaurants and stayed in luxury at the beautiful Shangri-La Hotel Sydney.
Amber: Where was next on your itinerary?
Stacey: We flew about an hour north to Byron Bay on Jetstar. I would describe Byron as a super chill, laid-back coastal town. We stayed at the beautiful Byron at Byron Resort & Spa, and experienced a taste of what Byron has to offer. We went out kayaking with Cape Byron Kayaks, visited The Farm, did beer tasting at Stone & Wood Brewery and checked out some of the cool shops in town. Byron is a place you can go and unwind. The sunrises and sunsets here are seriously amazing and I would call firey!! The food again was sensational. We dined at the Beach Byron Bay for dinner one night and 100% recommend it. Before we were due to leave we bumped into Byron’s most famous resident, Chris Hemsworth! Still cant believe it.
Amber: You then headed to Australia’s capital city, Canberra. Which I know was a first for you. How did you find it?
Stacey: I seriously didn’t know what to expect and didn’t really think of it as a touristy destination, but wow, was I surprised! Not only is it 7 minutes to get anywhere, it's got a funky vibe going on. We started off bright and early hot air ballooning over the city with Balloon Aloft. You feel extremely safe and its stunning views from above. Afterwards, learnt more about the Australian history at the National Museum of Australia. We also took a trip out to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve with Dharwra Aboriginal Cultural Tours and saw some wild roos and emus and gained more insight into the Aboriginal history in the region. We did a site inspection at Jamala Wildlife Lodge, such a cool place, wine tasting, a sweet tooth walking tour with Eat Canberra plus beer tasting at Capital Brewing Co. This capital is a foodie heavan! My highlight would definitely be attending the last post ceremony at the Australian War Memorial, with Canberra Secrets. Canberra is so accessible from Sydney (only 3 hours away by car or a short 1-hour flight) or even from Brisbane, where we departed from - it's only a 1.5-hour flight. Worth visiting, even for a long weekend!
Amber: All good things come to end and your latest Australian adventure finished out West. Tell us about your time there.
Stacey: Perth, Perth, Perth ... I have been many times but not as a tourist, so saw a different side this time. I love this city! The history, cafes, markets, most of all the beautiful beaches. Loved the walking tour of Freo with Fremantle Tours, and in Perth with Two Feet & a Heartbeat, but also seeing how much the city has developed over the years. Some exciting things to come. We headed to the Swan Valley for wine tastings and lunch at Mandoon Estate. Explored the Crown Perth before our departure and OH MY, its amazing! We even got to have dinner at Nobu which is co-owned by Robert De Niro and tried literally everything on the menu.
Amber: You also got to experience Rottnest Island too, correct?
Stacey: I did, and Rottnest Island is a must for anyone heading to Perth! Even if it’s a day trip or staying a couple of nights, its such a beautiful island with loads of history, cute eateries, and the most stunning beaches. Rotto is so accessible from Fremantle, only a 30min ferry ride away. We started off on a Rottnest Express adventure boat around the island and it was so much fun. We saw seals and different types of bird life. We then hired bikes from Pedal & Flipper and had a bike around before stopping for a site inspection at the new glamping accommodation, Discovery Rottnest Island, located on Pinky Beach. Of course, got an iconic quokka selfie, which is much harder than you think! We returned via scenic flight back to Perth with Swan River Seaplanes landing on the river. Was the most spectacular view from the air!
Amber: Thanks so much for sharing your Aussie experiences with us, Stacey. It sounds like you had a brilliant and memorable trip!
Stacey: HAD THE BEST TIME, its a trip l'll remember forever! Cannot wait to head back and have sold a few of the experiences already.