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Want to fly to Australia for Christmas 2010? Here’s some options…

Image of christmas tree on 4-mile beach, Port Douglas, Tropical Northern Queensland, Australia
Fancy Christmas on 4-mile beach, Port Douglas?

As ever you all seem totally obsessed with flying to Australia for Christmas. I could write about this every week I am sure and you won’t tire of it 🙂 (don’t worry – I would tire of it!)

BUT as I know I am going to get asked again and again, I’ve done some research (OK, hands up –  I cheated and got the lovely people at Freedom Australia to do all the research!) and I’ve found you some options for flying to Australia for Christmas. AND (be impressed!) some of the flights are less than £1k.

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Kids to the Great Barrier Reef – taking babies and children to ‘find Nemo’

Image of seaplane flight over Whitsundays and reef from Airlie Beach, Queensland Australia
Baby on seaplane flight over Heart Reef. Start that GBR experience early, I say!

I’ve seen the Great Barrier Reef in lots of different ways – from the air (in a seaplane), from a boat, from an island, on foot (yes!), snorkelling, in a semi-submersible, and of course if I was a little more accomplished I could have also seen it from a dive.

There are lots of ways and places to access the Great Barrier Reef – but here are my tips for getting there with babies and children.

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Reining in the Rainforest – easy ways to experience the Australian rainforest

Image of small person in Daintree Discovery Centre rainforest in Tropical Northern Queensland Australia
Small person in a big rainforest

When you think Rainforest then you might immediately conjure up an image that’s more ‘jungle’ than what’s sometimes the case. Now of course parts of the Rainforest in Australia are in the Tropics in Queensland, and it can definitely get quite hot and steamy in there, but you still don’t need to be an intrepid explorer to enjoy them.

Here’s my mini guide to how you can ‘rein in’ the rainforest – and when I say ‘easy’ ways to explore the rainforest I mean ‘so easy you can take your baby and small children with you easy’…

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I’m baaaaaack. Unfortunately! Here’s my ‘best of’ list of Tropical North Queensland

Image of Lucy snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Australia
Intrepid me snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, from the beach of Green Island

So I’m back. Back from the land Down Under. Returned from Australia fair. No longer chucking shrimps on the barbie and swimming in the stinger net. Sob sob.

First off – yes I realise it’s taken me a few days to write but there’s this thing called jet lag you know… not to mention the unpacking. Why oh why did we take so much stuff? I do know the answer to that actually and it’s called ‘children’ 🙂

So what did I love the most, what did I forget was fab, what did I wish I could do every day…? Let me tell you:

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On a Mission!

Image of Lucy swimming in the pool at Castaways, Mission Beach, Queensland Australia
Lovely beachfront pool at Castaways

Am currently residing in Mission Beach, Queensland and loving it. Am a HUGE fan of Mission beach and this is our third visit here on our many travels Down Under. Mission Beach is actually a number of beaches all in a row (making up around 14kms of the sandy stuff) about 2 hours drive south of Cairns. We are in ‘North Mission’ (as opposed to Wongaling or South Mission).

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What do you call a 4-mile beach without a spade on its head?

Image of small person at helm of Sailaway Low Isles cruise, Port Douglas, North Queensland Australia
Small person at helm of Sailaway – Low Isles cruise, Great Barrier Reef

Answer: Port Douglas

An old joke the Douglas (dug-less) one, and probably more funny if you’ve had a nice glass of wine (which I’d had when I wrote that).

I want to do a ‘while I am here’ post about lovely Port Douglas in Tropical North Queensland.

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THIS is why I LOVE Australia

Image of bucket of prawns and a glass of fizzy at George's feeding time at On the Inlet restaurant, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia
My ideal diet: prawns & bubbles!

I got asked a question this week (thanks Frank!) that I actually get asked all the time… why am I not living in Australia? (given that I am clearly quite taken with the place!). Well the answer is…

… actually there are a few parts to this answer, and in explaining it I’ll showcase exactly why I love Australia.

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My new favourite airline to fly to Australia

Image of Cathay Pacific 747 preparing to fly to Hong Kong
Our Cathay Pacific 747 about to depart London

OK, it’s joint first place with Singapore Airlines, but I couldn’t call it! Cathay Pacific were really great to fly with to Australia and the stopover options are really good…

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My near perfect plan for eliminating jet lag to Australia

Image of small people and the flight attendants on Cathay Pacific
We received brilliant service and attention on Cathay Pacific, as did small people

So I think I’ve (finally!) worked out how to manage jet lag when flying to Australia. And be impressed – this is also when travelling with a baby and a toddler!

If I can whip jet lag into shape in these circumstances then any grown-ups on their own should have no problems (my challenge to you!)…

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G’day!

Just a quick “G’day” from Down Under! Yes I am in Australia. I am ‘loving it’.

Have heaps to tell you soon, but first I need a little bit more sleep (oh, and a cold beer!)…

Quick summary of what’s to come…

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