A JOURNEY ACROSS A QUINTESSENTIAL SELF DRIVE DESTINATION: AUSTRALIA
Posted by Avis on July 28, 2017|
It’s always great to host a wonderful couple who have a constant desire to explore this wonderful journey of life. Priyanka and Akshay from Travelineage rented Avis across Australia to explore the great landscape “The Island Continent” has to offer. They have shared this beautiful story about this journey down under, we hope this inspires you to take your own road trip.
The destination Down-Under is an explorer delight with wide open spaces offering breathtaking backdrops, stunning beaches, exotic wildlife, wonderful wineries, enthralling adventures and whatnot. It was just a perfect holiday idea for us to get behind the wheel to experience the bliss of nature and gets soaked in the energy of the largest cosmopolitan of the southern hemisphere.
It was something my wife, Priyanka has yearned since we first started traveling and having fulfilled this together with a pannier of wonderful memories makes me a happy hubby. Earlier having explored some interesting destinations across Asia and the European continent together, we discovered our love for traveling, cuisines, fashion and adventure sports. With travel, we not only connect with this world, we connect more with each other. This was a vacation we had been planning for quite some time and Priyanka made sure that this time it has to be her Dream Tour to Australia. It offered us everything that makes for a memorable journey and fuel our love for travel.
Australia is a huge country with destinations far away from each other. So, the best way to explore the country, we figured out, was by a car through a self-drive tour. To travel a country extensively in just 10 days you need someone that allows you freedom and is also reliable. With AVIS self-drive Australia car services we could plan the trip according to our preferences and conveniences. We had planned so much to do every day and driving on our own had saved us a lot of time. Spontaneous plans and halts at suburbs on the highway were possible only because we had chosen to drive.
We took a tour of 10 days and visited the cities of Sydney, Gold Coast, and Melbourne. We took a flight from New Delhi and reached Sydney after a journey of 16 hours with a halt at Kuala Lumpur.
Having boarded the flight at 11 pm on Friday, we reached Sydney in the night at 9 pm on Saturday. With a 15hr 30 min long flight and a 4hr 30min time difference, we had no time to waste at the airport. I had already booked an Avis at the airport and frankly, Priyanka was a bit sceptical about it but we were greeted by a very hospitable lady at the desk who handed over all the documents and the key in just 2 minutes and also helped us finding the best mobile plan as it saved us on the GPS cost and also assured our folks back at home that we have reached.
As we came to the parking, a brand new SUV from Mitsubishi welcomed us and we were all set to start our journey in this beautiful island nation. A 30-minute smooth drive across the city and we were at our hostel bang on Darling Harbour.
Self-drive cars in Australia
Without wasting any time we rushed out to make the most of the Saturday night. Sydney, the biggest city of Australia surprised us with its fast-paced life and cosmopolitanism.
This place, full of excitement and vibrancy is aptly called the Gateway to Australia! The energy of the city inspired us to explore the different shades of its colourful nightlife. After nearly 4 hours of pub hopping, dancing to electro music and meeting great people from across the globe, we walked our way back with the calming winter breeze and a beautiful view of the harbour.
Australia is home to some of the most exquisite wildlife, and you can’t really say you have been down under until you have seen a Kangaroo and an elusive Koala. On the second day, we planned to explore the exotic wildlife and visited more than 4,000 animals from various native species including Snakes, Reptiles, Crocodiles, Gorillas, Australian Devil, Australian Sea Lions, kangaroos, and koalas. The Wildlife Park in Sydney is highly educational and has a lot of fun shows which you can attend.
We weren’t able to get over the fascinating, exotic Australian wildlife; an underwater experience at the Sea Life Aquarium was already waiting to captivate us. Sea Life Aquarium is a walk through ocean tunnel and can be best described as “Magical”. This is the biggest Aquarium in the world and offers a vivid variety of over 700 different species and 13,000 animals in an impressive six million litres of water.
It was bewitching! It was spectacular! Watching those fishes swim, move and swirl, left us absolutely thrilled. The Sea Life Aquarium is also first ever one-of-its-kind Penguin Exhibit, Penguin Expedition.
After the explicit and wonderful experience amidst the wildlife and sea life, we drove back and decided to spend a peaceful evening at the Observation Desk – Sydney Towers. The lights, the ambiance, the astonishing view took our breath away.
Day three was meant for Sydney markets, streets, and food to get explored. Of course, we visited Darling Harbour and the Harbour Bridge, which is an engineering marvel. We climbed the bridge to enjoy the panoramic view.
Not to forget the Victoria Building that reminded us of its rich history. This architectural beauty is a hub of amazing jewellery shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. This delightful place has been beautifully restored.
But the biggest attraction was our visit to the Opera House, which is an astonishing artwork of the twentieth-century architecture that offers intrinsic performances and musical nights by renowned artists. A marvelous combination of expertise talent, skill, and art.
Thanks to AVIS for providing the comfortable services to rent a self-drive car. This enabled us to move freely and save a chunk of time without depending on the local transport and we could visit Manly Beach as well later that day. We did not want to miss out on anything before heading back to our hotel. The day was well spent and ended with a relaxing dinner at the Rocks.
Our next destination was the Blue Mountains. It was a beautiful drive of about 140 km with the scenic highway and the picture perfect cliffs. With small suburbs alongside, we made short stoppages to breathe the fresh free air away from the bustling Sydney city and explore the laid-back lifestyle of these small towns. It almost took us two and a half hour to reach.
We visited the astonishing valley, river, eucalyptus jungle and ancient rocks at Australia’s own wilderness canyon – World Heritage National Park. The lush rainforest and majestic waterfalls made us fall in love with them. The drive through the hills was both enthralling and relaxing with short treks that lead you to a limitless view of an untouched landscape. Priyanka was now thanking me for the decision of a self-drive holiday. After this rewarding day, we went to a Salsa night to end the day with some creamy, domestic wine.
The best part about having a car at your disposal is all the independence or else we would have definitely missed our Bondi beach encounter. With our flight at 1, we still had enough time to leave our hostel at 10 and go out to feel the bright sunny morning and blue winter sky at this pristine beach in the middle of the city. What a playful delight it was to see the surfers riding the huge waves and water of these waves splashing against the boulders. As we walked across the beach, the ocean water caressed our feet.
The vibrant cafes at the beach offer exquisite, lip-smacking food.
From Bondi Beach, we went straight to the airport to catch our flight from Sydney airport to Gold Coast.
The first morning in Gold Coast was reserved for Sky Diving in Byron Bay to enrich our souls with adventure. Reaching Byron Bay on time was important because we had the entire day schedules, and AVIS self-drive car solved our purpose and that too in style. As we rented our car from Surfers paradise, we got a beautiful shiny red Holden and it set the tone for the day helping us to comfortably make it in time.
All set to Sky Dive at Byron Bay, it was something to cherish for a lifetime. We breathing heavily as we were going up and when it was time to jump off; our hearts were in our mouth. WE FINALLY DID IT! And the feeling cannot be expressed in words, as the fear is conquered by the adrenaline and we felt ecstatic. The beautiful landscape added to the entire experience as you dive from 14000 ft. you see an ocean on one side and green pastures on other separated by a golden beach strip. Byron Bay is one of the ideal places to take this plunge.
Later that day we explored the markets at Surfer’s Paradise and Joined the Pub Crawl to celebrate our adventurous experience and another ‘Tick Mark’ in our to-do list.
Visiting Dream World was a playful and fun experience. The water world and the zoo that is alongside the amusement park are a perk for the visitors. This was another one hour fifteen minutes’ drive approximately. The day ended with an exotic dinner and drinks at a pub with some of our new friends.
Before our flight to Melbourne the next morning, we visited the Sea world, where we hired a Jet Ski and unfolded the mystery of the islands.
As soon as we reached Melbourne, we were again greeted by a Holden at the AVIS parking and we explored the whole city from St.Kilda to the Ferris wheel before we checked in at Flagstaff. Melbourne is rightly the Food Capital of Australia – we visited four different restaurants to relish different cuisines. We started with Vietnamese Food, followed by Exotic Chinese, an Australian brew and a Cider and finally a traditional Arabic dish.
On day nine of our trip, we felt like there is so much left to Melbourne that we haven’t seen. So, we decided to go around the city as we took a cycle ride to explore it. We went to the Yara Riverside and then to the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
From here, we went to the very popular Rod Laver Arena which is a colourful market with different arenas. We found the street performers as the key attraction of the place who was entertaining the crowd.
To end the day, we visited the Crown Casino Clubs and this place is the epicenter of the nightlife in Melbourne and offers everything from live entertainment, high-end clubs to a huge and crowded 24/7 casino.
How could we return from Australia without exploring the Great Ocean Road?
Travelling on the Great Ocean Road was an experience that can be best described as out of this world, and driving on it was simply amazing. As we on-boarded a beautiful Self Drive car, we had all the freedom to stop at the local suburbs and click beautiful pictures of the serene beaches and most importantly spend some quality time together amidst the picturesque natural backdrop.
It was a beautiful drive and very engaging to visit the village town of Torquay. We conversed with the locals and learned about their lifestyle at Lorne. The best part was a detour we took to explore a Wine tasting at Gosling Creek Winery!
We had an early flight to catch so we took a quick nap and woke up to a beautiful sunrise over the sea. We directly drove back to the airport and were just in time to board our flight, with a bundle of memories to cherish and an unforgettable self-drive experience.