It’s the last day of 2017 and that can mean only one thing – it’s time to round up the best places to go in 2018!
One of my all-time favourite destinations is Western Australia and so I was thrilled that the Sunday Times selected it for this list. That new direct flight from London may have had something to do with it!
Read my top tips on visiting WA in 2018 in the Sunday Times today.
I love a train journey. For me, there is nothing better than sitting in a bar car, drink in hand, watching the world slide past the window, and on my most recent trip to Australia I finally got to travel on the Indian Pacific.
This luxury train crosses Australia from Sydney to Perth (and vice versa) once a week, a journey of some 2,700 miles. I saw countless kangaroos, travelled on the world’s longest section of straight railway track and hopped off to check out the Barossa Valley, Broken Hill and the ghost town of Cook. The journey takes three nights but didn’t last a moment too long – especially with those included Aussie wines!
Read my article about the journey in today’s Times.
Australia is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations – so it can get pretty crowded, especially in the hotspots such as Bondi Beach, Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.
Fortunately there are plenty of places you can head to that are far less busy, and just as wonderful. I was delighted to share some of my favourite alternative Aussie destinations with Sunday Times readers this weekend.
Read my Alternative Guide to Australia to find out which places made the list.
Few questions elicit quite the response Down Under as this one – which is better, Sydney or Melbourne?
No Sydneysider would even entertain the idea that Melbourne might have anything at all to offer besides the latest hipster joke, while Melburnians tend to think they’re, well, just a cut above the Sydney scene.
But visitors needn’t get embroiled in which city is best – both make for great city breaks, with fantastic restaurants, beaches nearby, culture aplenty and a variety of day trips on the doorstep.
I weighed in on the great debate recently for Rough Guides. So, which do you think I picked?
I’ve been visiting Perth for many years and, yes, it did used to live up to its Dullsville name.
But not any more. On my most recent visit to Perth I found a hip city shaking off its early-to-bed past and emerging as a city break destination to rival any other in Australia.
My article for Rough Guides introduces the new Perth, one of hip bars, cool restaurants and luxury hotels.
You can also find out more about Perth here.
With A level results now out it’s time to decide – what next?
If you’re planning on the next big thing to be a big trip, the Sunday Times has you covered.
Check out today’s paper for gap year guides to Southeast Asia, the USA, South America India and Australia. I wrote the guide to Australia, recommending my favourite party hotspots, the best places to chill out and of course, what not to miss.
You can also read these gap year guides on the Sunday Times website.
On August 1st 2016 for the first time people were allowed to swim with the world’s largest migration of humpback whales, off the coast of Western Australia.
I joined the very first group to head out from Sal Salis near Exmouth, with Murray on his boat Wave Rider. But finding a whale that was moving slowly enough, without a calf, and in the right place, turned out to be more difficult than I had imagined.
We swam with whalesharks, watched humpbacks breaching and diving just a few metres from the boat and soaked up the ‘winter’ sunshine (25 degrees) – but there was no humpback whale swim before lunch.
Fortunately in the afternoon our luck changed and finally, after much trial and error, we shared the water with a humpback whale. It was incredible.
Read more about my experience in my article for The Times.
Photo courtesy of Jana of Soul and Sea Photography.