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Client Blog: Chris and Rachel's big Australia holiday

I was recommended to Chris and Rachel to help arrange a long-awaited trip down under. I visited them at home on a cold dark October evening to start making plans...


With family near Melbourne, it was a perfect excuse to organise a big trip to see more of Australia. It's a long time since I had last visited and with it being a first for Rachel, we had a wish list but didn't know how to start.

Sarah kindly offered to visit us at home, and we felt in good hands from the moment we met. She gave us suggested flight options, and Premium Economy with Singapore Airlines allowed a short stopover.

Frustratingly, the outbound flight had been overbooked, so one of us had three seats in economy, but the airline partially refunded us and offered a lovely business-class lounge to soften the disappointment.

The sustainable PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay was breathtaking, a beautiful hotel in a perfect location and an ideal base to visit the famous Gardens by the Bay. Our Singapore highlight, however, was a wonderful dinner at Ce La Vi on the rooftop of the Marina Bay Sands hotel with its magical views across the city.

We flew from Singapore to Perth with Scoot Airlines, and although a budget carrier, the Premium Economy seats were spacious and comfortable.

Perth is a lovely city, and we crammed a lot into our few days, including taking a tour of the Swan Valley to enjoy the local wines and produce, and visiting the residents on Rottnest Island: the quokkas!

The next stop was Melbourne, where we stayed at the Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens, a stone's throw from the Queen Victoria Markets and a great location to spend a couple of days exploring the city.

We hired a car to visit family in the Dandenongs, north of Melbourne; an area of lush forests, scenic drives and a relaxing antidote to the busy city.

Unfortunately, we missed out on tickets for Puffing Billy, the historic steam train, but we did catch sight of it on our drive to Emerald Lake Park for a picnic lunch.

The world-renowned Healesville Sanctuary focuses on the conservation and protection of native Australian animals, and we enjoyed an excellent day here observing kangaroos, koalas, wombats, dingoes and the elusive platypus and Tasmanian Devil in their natural habitats.

A drive across to the Blue Mountains was next, and not being city folk, we preferred to stay here and visit Sydney by train. At this stage of the trip, we were feeling a little homesick, but a rail strike and replacement bus service quickly made us feel at home!

Sarah had recommended the Carrington Hotel in Katoomba, the main town in the Blue Mountains, and we loved its old-world Victorian charm and comfort.

On our shorter-than-expected trip to Sydney, we explored the historic Rocks area with its local markets and stunning views of the harbour.

The final leg of our Australian adventure was to relax and explore Queensland. Although we had originally wanted to stay in Cairns, Sarah suggested Port Douglas would be more relaxing and she was right - what a lovely place!

The Meridian Hotel was another brilliant location, perfect to stroll out and enjoy the fantastic restaurants - and some of the best food of the trip.

We had to visit the Great Barrier Reef, of course, and chose a cruise with Quiksilver, where I tried diving and Rachel was able to marvel at the marine life from the glass bottom boat.

Our day at Kuranda village was another highlight of the holiday - travelling by scenic railway and over the rainforest canopy by cable car allowed us to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the ancient rainforest surrounding the village.

This was the most wonderful holiday – the perfect combination of exploring new places and visiting family, and the hotels Sarah chose were excellent and helped to make this trip truly memorable.

It was good to be able to relax about the planning and have the confidence of knowing that we had someone to consult if any problems arose.

We thoroughly recommend Sarah, especially for tailor-made holidays, as she goes above and beyond to make sure you have the very best time.

Thank you, Sarah. We’re looking forward to planning our next big trip.

Chris & Rachel


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