On my first trip to Australia I almost didn’t visit Western Australia. I had all of the usual hot spots on my checklist, from the Sydney Opera House to the Great Barrier Reef, but nothing out west appealed. It seemed that it was a part I could skip. And lots of visitors agree.
Fortunately, though, my husband didn’t, so we did head west, and I promptly fell head over sandy heels for the place. Now I rarely visit Australia without some time in WA, as the locals call it, and some of my favourite memories are of its beaches and dirt roads.
To find out where my very favourite spots are, check out my feature in today’s Times.
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.