Two weeks in Oz

By | Category: Travel destinations
The world famous Sydney Opera House

The world famous Sydney Opera House

To see a sprawling country like Australia in just a fortnight sounds like an impossible task. And it is. But Tourism Australia is actively promoting two week holidays in Australia. Why?

Denise von Wald, Regional General Manager UK/Northern Europe, Tourism Australia says, “Inspiring consumers with two week itineraries which are rich in diverse experiences but don’t involve taking on all the whole country, will help move Australia off the ‘wish list’ and on to the ‘shopping list’.” So a campaign begins in April to persuade us, to persuade travel agents who will sell to us and to persuade media to write stories extolling what can be seen in just 14 days.

The tourist authority is trying to remove the idea that Australia is just a dream destination. By that they think a dream destination is one you save up for and travel to just once. They would like us to visit them often and to visit it in bite-size chunks.

We are already the most valuable international leisure market in terms of visitor nights spending 19 million nights there which is 16% of all the visitor nights spent in the country. Arrivals from our shores were up 6.8% in 2013 compared to 2012 when 634,100 of us went there. What the authority doesn’t say is that the Aussie dollar has weakened quite a bit against the pound and you’ll get about another 10-12% more for a pound than last year. That will help.

But can you see enough in fourteen days? They suggest something like a few days in Melbourne before travelling up to the wine areas in the north of the state of Victoria or the Barossa in South Australia.  Or you can base yourself in Sydney for a few days, see the Blue Mountains for  a couple and head up to the Hunter Valley for the vineyards before winding up at a beach at somewhere like Nelson’s Bay.  That would work but don’t attempt to do things like combining a few days on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland with a visit to Ayres Rock (Uluru) in the centre of Australia and a visit to the lush countryside of Tasmania. Why? Because you’ll spend a lot of time travelling. Tasmania is the smallest state and I spent a week there not even seeing  a quarter of it. And it nothing to do with the hotel I stayed in or its lively bar!

So by April, your travel agent should be able to suggest a sensible itinerary that won’t tire you or waste hours and hours standing in airline queues, seated on coach journeys or highway sightseeing from the back of a four by four.

The idea of a bite-size trip is sensible given the huge distances involved. You could spend fourteen days in Sydney and still not see the same thing twice!


For more about Australia, click here.


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