There’s Nothing Like Australia – Self Drive Holiday
We used to stay in a suburb in New South Wales Australia a few years ago. The town’s name is Wagga Wagga and it means the “land of crows”. We had a small car and we drove around when we were free especially during weekends.
Driving during winter, an experience of a lifetime.
Winter in Falls Creek, loved the snow.
We drove to Canberra for three hours, Melbourne for four and Sydney for five. We even drove up to Falls Creek, a popular ski area in Victoria. The experience was memorable as we breezed through scenic Australian wildness and nature.
Since it was self drive, I can plan my itinerary and travel with ease. Some of the highlights of my Victorian holiday include the Yarra Valley Hot Air Ballon ride, wine tasting at Domaine Chandon, cheese tasting at Yarra Valley Dairy, Penguin watching on Philip Island, Koala Conservation Centre, Peninsula Hot Springs and many more.
For a different view of a new place, one of the best things to do is take a hot air balloon ride – I did this in the Yarra Valley and the view was magnificent. We had to stay in Yarra Valley overnight and go to the hot air balloon site as early as 4 am. Then, the fun begins with the setup of the hot air balloon and then the one hour ride.
As the sun starting to bright up the sky, there is a brisk moment when the mist appears and we ride through the mist with the breathtaking landscape of Yarra Valley beneath us. The one hour hot air balloon ride then concludes with the customary champagne breakfast.
One of the best parts of traveling in Australia is getting to savour some of the best food and wine experiences. Wine tasting is something I really enjoyed on my trips as you can pick and choose the finest wineries to visit and one of the highlights of the wineries in Victoria is Domaine Chandon.
The history of Domaine Chandon goes like this. In the 1960s, Moët & Chandon began exploring the potential to produce sparkling wines outside France and they saw the opportunity in Australia. Thus, they found the ideal site for growing traditional cool climate champagne grape varieties in Yarra Valley. In addition, they found an old daily farm named “Green Point” and since 1986, this has become Domaine Chandon.
Give them a call and arrange for a wine tour with wine tasting, you will understand more about the wine as well as the different types of wines available in Domaine Chandon. You will love it.
The other experience you can’t miss in Victoria is to taste their scrumptious cheese. In Yarra Valley, you can’t miss the award winning Yarra Valley Dairy. It might not be a huge commercial dairy company but it is a darling for the locals and some of their cheeses are exported to many regions in the world.
If you are there, you must try their goat cheese, charcoal cheese and their infamous Fetta cheese. The owner is a humble lady and it is the freshest cheese you can get. Take your time, have a coffee, have a cheese with biscuits and enjoy the old wooden ambience.
Frankston in Victoria.
The beauty of self drive is you can customize your stops at your pace and at your ease. There is no one rushing to move from spot to spot and you can choose where you want to visit.
Little Mule is a cafe and a bicycle shop.
Back in Melbourne, I did the small experiential tours such as Bar Tour and Coffee Tour. These short tours can be customized from an hour to a day and you will be guided by a professional English speaking guide. More info at www.hiddensecretstours.com
Well, that was Victoria and this year I did another self drive trip to Tasmania. I visited Victoria, New South Wales and Canberra in the past but Tasmania was a new experience. You can spot more animals from the road, from wallabies to wombats.
They were everywhere and if you lucky enough you can spot a Tasmanian Devil. Tasmania has the world’s cleanest air and nature at its most original state. The Cradle Mountain and Wine Glass Bay is some of the famous sights in Tassie. Short walks, hiking and biking are some of the things to do in Tasmania.
Wineglass Bay in Tasmania.
Your holiday in Tasmania will not be completed with the famous seafood joints at Constitution Deck in Hobart, fresh oysters in Barilla Bay and their infamous curry scallop pies. You can also stay in National Parks and experience the stay in the wild at Freycinet Lodge.
There is no better way to understand and to experience the nature, wilderness, food and the scenery than self drive. Furthermore this is the only place you will be greeted by unexpected wild animals such as Kangaroos, Wallabies, Wombats and many adorable wild animals. That’s why There’s Nothing Like Australia.
Want a different type of ride? Try renting a van instead!
If you are a Malaysian and you plan to self drive in Australia, please check with the car rental company if they will accept your Malaysian driving license. Most places do, but best to double check ahead of your trip. If you are still worried and unsure, you can change your Malaysian driving license to International driving license in JPJ (Road Transport Department) for a small fee.