I was lucky enough to travel to Queensland, Australia in April of this year. I flew to Singapore first - a 13-hour overnight flight with British Airways and, I have to say, the flight was excellent. On arrival it was so easy to either pick up a taxi or a shuttle bus, which were all readily available in the arrivals hall and neither of them were expensive. Singapore is a perfect stopover destination as there is plenty to see and do. I chose to stay on the river at Clarke Quay - I preferred this option to staying in the city, which is what I have done on previous visits. Clarke Quay is buzzing at night as it's full of bars and restaurants and about a 5 - 10 minute walk from Chinatown. No visit to Singapore would be complete without a visit to the legendary Raffles Hotel for a cheeky Singapore Sling.
From here I flew to Cairns in Northern Queensland and transferred via the scenic coastal Captain Cook highway to Port Douglas, a perfect holiday choice. Port Douglas has lots of character and stretches along the aptly named 4-mile beach. Quite an upmarket resort but very low key. I chose Port Douglas as it is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the main reason for our visit. We picked up a ‘Quicksilver’ tour, though expensive it's worth every penny and should be on everyone's wish list. The trip to the reef takes about 90 minutes, so take the travel pills, just in case! But what a privilege to see such amazing marine life and coral.
We then flew down to Brisbane where we spent a week catching up with some old friends. Brisbane is very modern and smart, particularly the South Bank area with its galleries and riverfront restaurants and even a man-made beach. From Brisbane it is so easy to visit the Sunshine Coast, which is about an hour's drive north, and the Gold Coast - an hour south. Byron Bay, only about a 2-hour drive south, is well worth a visit - if for no other reason than just to see the stunning lighthouse.
I decided to stop over in Bali on the way home which, although possible, means a flight via Sydney and Melbourne - so with hindsight not the best routing. We also had a bit of a nightmare when arriving late into Bali to find our luggage was lost in Melbourne! Every girl's nightmare!
We stayed at the Melia Bali Resort and Spa, Nusa Dua which was a stunning hotel, probably one of the nicest I’ve stayed in. Thankfully the rooms were well equipped with kimonos, slippers and plenty of bathroom amenities. After a few Mojitos later in the Beach Bar, I didn’t care that I was wearing the hotel slippers! 30 hours later the luggage turned up, it was just like Christmas!
Bali one of the nicest places I’ve visited and well worth a stopover en route to Australia or as a holiday destination in its own right. All in all an amazing holiday!