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Ask the Experts: Can you Help me Plan my Christmas Aussie Adventure?

It’s that time again! Our Experts are ready and waiting to answer your pressing travel questions.

They’ve come up trumps every week so far so will this be the week they finally trip up? I seriously doubt it! This week’s question is from Emily who’s keen to get plans in place for her Christmas and New Year trip to Australia – nothing like being prepared eh?!

My husband and I really want to go to Australia at Christmas time for about 3 weeks – ideally to be in Sydney for New Year. We’d like to visit Sydney, Cairns and Perth and have about £7,000 between us but don’t really know how far our budget will stretch in the time we have. Can you advise anything? Emily

An excellent question and one which many of our readers will be keen to know the answer to. So experts, show us what you’ve got!

Claire Whittington from STA Travel Brighton says…

What a great trip Emily, Sydney is such an iconic place to spend New Year! Flight prices generally go up around the 13th December so I would recommend leaving just before that and visiting Perth and Cairns before getting to Sydney for New Year to really make the most of your budget.

The West Coast has so much to offer, why not rent a Highball campervan for a week or so and head down to the Margaret River wine regions or venture up the coast to Monkey Mia to swim with the wild dolphins or to see the limestone rock formations of the Pinnacles Desert? A campervan is brilliant way to keep costs down as it covers accommodation and transport leaving you more money to spend on the important things, like days trips and Australian wine!

From here we can book you a flight over to the East Coast where you can spend some time exploring Cairns and the surrounding area. Whether it is learning about Aboriginal history in the Daintree Rainforest, testing your nerves as your go White Water Rafting, sea kayaking around the beautiful Fitzroy Islands or spotting crocs as you cruise the Daintree River there is something for everyone in the amazing part of Queensland. I would also recommend a day or two chilling out at Port Douglas, this is a great place to splash out on a fabulous hotel such as the Hibiscus Resort for a couple of nights. The resort is set in tropical gardens with gorgeous pools and is just 400 meters from Four mile Beach, just what you need before you head to Sydney for New Year.

And then it is onto Sydney to see in 2014 in style. I would definitely recommend getting your accommodation booked as soon as possible otherwise you will end up paying quite a lot of money to be stuck at an airport hotel miles from the action, it’s amazing how quickly the accommodation gets fully booked.

Since most of the accommodation has a minimum stay of 7 nights over New Year make sure you make the most of your time in Sydney by taking a day trip out to the Blue Mountains and paying Bondi Beach a visit. A new “must do” in Sydney is taking in the views of the city and Opera House from a different angle by climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can climb in the day or for something really different why not climb at sunset or at night for those “wow” views and photo’s!

New Years Eve has to be spent doing a Harbour cruise, with great food, free drinks and views of the fireworks over the bridge, you might only “do” Sydney New Year once so this has to be the way to do it hasn’t it?

Amy Pearson from STA Travel Leeds Vicar Lane says…

Sydney is absolutely amazing at New Year, the fireworks over the harbour are out of this world, so I’m particularly jealous of your trip. Firstly your flights are going to be the biggest expense. Obviously prices depend on availability and dates of travel, but you will tend to find they will be around £1500 per person for your main international flights.

I would always recommend doing an ‘open jaw’ flight whereby you fly into Perth and out of Cairns, as this will be the most economical. December is one of our main peak seasons so unfortunately you are always going to have to pay more for airfare. Secondly you will also need to budget for internal flights, as you are only there 3 weeks you are going to have to fly between all three destinations, so may need to allow around £400-£500 for these. But there are options with certain airlines where you can get internal flights at discounted prices.

This allows you a nice healthy chunk of spending money. You are definitely going to have to book accommodation over new year in Sydney as soon as possible as already the best and cheapest places are getting booked up. Most hotels in Sydney also allow a minimum of 7 days booking over the Christmas period. A double room in Sydney for 7 days will set you back around £900 for a standard mid range hotel.

If you were willing and wanting to save money there are plenty of dorm room options in hostels, ‘Base backpackers’ is £448 for two beds in a mixed dorm for the whole week. Accommodation in Cairns and Perth will be cheaper than Sydney, so with careful planning your £7,000 should stretch to an amazing trip.

Our Experts have done it again, and come up with masses of ideas for an amazing Christmas and New Year trip to Australia. Have you got a question for our Experts? Drop us an email!
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