Speak to Sue about
- Australia's Nature Coast
- Cook Islands
- North Island
- South Island
- Beaches & boats
- Culture & history
- Escorted tours
- Food & wine
My passion for travel started as a child when I was lucky enough to be taken on a lot of long-haul family holiday. I left school and did an advanced GNVQ in Travel and Tourism, and have worked in the industry ever since. I’ve been sending people on holidays to Australia and New Zealand for 13 years, and working for Austravel for seven of them. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to have been on multiple trips to both countries and have also seen a lot of Asia, the South Pacific and the USA along the way. I love sharing my knowledge of all the places I’ve visited and you never stop learning new things about these amazing destinations.
This is a tricky one as I find it very difficult to pick just one place but it would have to be the Cook Islands. I love the fact that there is no commercialism here. You won’t see a McDonalds or a Hilton, and the islands feel totally unspoilt by tourism. The people are so friendly and welcoming and you can eat out in local restaurants, unlike other parts of the world where you have to dine in your hotel. The scenery is the most stunning I have ever seen; crystal-clear lagoons and powdery white sand that squeaks under your feet.
My trip to Lady Elliot Island on Australia's Nature Coast. The short flight over from the Australian mainland to this stunning Great Barrier Reef island was so exciting. We were the only people on the small plane, the views over the reef were to die for and the runway was just a patch of grass! It felt like being on our own private jet to a paradise island. The island offered some of the best snorkelling I have ever experienced including swimming with manta rays, turtles and fish of every colour.
I love the culture in Asia, visiting local markets and trying the street food. Whereas in Australia and New Zealand it’s not just about the cities and culture, but hiring a car and getting out into the countryside to see the stunning scenery. This is the type of exploring I enjoy most when I travel.
Tip 1: Always do a stopover on the way to Australia and New Zealand. It helps with jet lag if you break up the long journey. The airlines don’t charge if it’s a re-fuelling stop, so it’s just the cost of your accommodation that you’ll need to cover. You’ll also get to experience another country.
Tip 2: Australia is such a huge country that you simply can’t do everything in one trip. I’d recommend trying to do less places thoroughly than trying to do everything and not getting to see very much at all.
Tip 3: Hiring a car is the best way to see Australia and New Zealand, and will help make the most of the time you’ve got. It’s also so easy to drive over there as they drive on the left like us.
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