Oceania comprises Australia, New Zealand, new Guinea and variety of small neighbouring Pacific islands .
The story of my one and only trip to Australasia is a crazy one and as so often it revolves around sport.
In 2003 I was offered a ticket to go and see England play Australia in Sydney in the Rugby World Cup final. With 72 hours to get there from Fuerteventura where I was on a work conference I hot footed my way back home to Sussex in order to pack a bag. I then embarked on a route that took me via Manchester, Dubai, Perth and then to Sydney for a visit of the Taronga Zoo, Sydney Opera House and the Telstra Stadium for the game before returning home just a few days later with a lifetime of memories. You could call that a weekend down under!
As my only experience of a trip down under demonstrates, Australia and for that matter New Zealand are both countries with easy access from around the world. The hubs in Dubai and South East Asia provide popular connections to all corners of these countries. In recent times there has been the launch of an incredible Qantas service direct from London to Perth taking 17 hours.
Both Australia and New Zealand are a backpackers dream. I know many a teenage kid including myself has longed for that outback adventure. Thoughts of VW campervans, surf shacks and sunny days lazing on white sandy beaches while drinking fosters and having a barbie.
Nature & Wildlife
The wildlife is unique and in many cases endemic to the region. The stereotypical three K’s – kangaroos, kiwis and koalas are always going to be some of the major attractions. However from an early age the echidna, a long snouted hedgehog, always held my fascination for me. No idea why…. just one of those random animal connections.
The glaciers and mountains of New Zealand together with the wild and beautiful countryside are matched in Australia with Ayers rock and the awe inspiring Great Barrier reef which is so desperately in need of protection from the effects of climate change and pollution.
Take your time in Oceania and explore. Its certainly the stuff of those childhood dreams.