Australia with Julia Bradbury
TV presenter Julia Bradbury recently documented her voyage to the four corners of Australia in a fascinating ITV series, Australia with Julia Bradbury, which served to highlight the breathtaking beauty and immense scale of this unique continent.
For those fortunate enough to be looking forward to a holiday here – or those who have been inspired to plan one – Julia’s epic adventure will undoubtedly have offered food for thought or made the countdown even more exhilarating.
This was an epic Australia holiday itinerary put together to shine the spotlight on Oz’s most precious gems. But you don’t need to be followed around by film crews to have Down Under experiences like Julia’s: here’s how you can recreate them yourself!
A ‘Julia Style’ Australia Holiday Itinerary
The hit TV series featured eight episodes, with each programme focusing on a different area of the country. For those who fell in love with the documentary, here’s an itinerary based on Julia’s journey that offers remarkable opportunities to see the best that this giant, wild wonderland has to offer.
Sydney Opera House
Starting in the charismatic city of Sydney in New South Wales, visitors can follow in Julia Bradbury’s footsteps by exploring the beautiful, buzzing harbour, and discovering the many sights that make this city such a popular choice for tourists from all over the world. The iconic Opera House is the standout for many, and it’s well worth seeing if there’s a show on and trying to get tickets in advance.
Unlike Julia, it may not be possible to get backstage and mingle with performers without the heft of a major national broadcaster helping you out, but a Sydney Opera House day tour affords the opportunity to explore the building, learn all about its history and enjoy breakfast in the green room, giving visitors a glimpse of stardom.
Just across the water, it’s impossible not to spot another of Sydney’s most famous landmarks, the imposing Harbour Bridge. While many will be content to marvel upon its striking aesthetics from afar, those with a head for heights or a lust for adventure will love the adrenaline rush – not to mention the spectacular views – that come from climbing the arch of the iconic structure.
Before leaving the city, make time for one of the best-loved of all Sydney’s activities: hitting the beach! Join crowds of eager sun-seekers at arguably the most famous stretch of sand in the world, the stunning Bondi Beach.
Just a short drive, bus trip or train ride from Sydney lies the magical and mystical Blue Mountains. A day tour from Sydney is designed to treat visitors to the best views of this natural playground and its distinctive rock formations, and is well worth the trip even if you can only spare a few hours.
The highlight here for most visitors is the Three Sisters, a tripod of stone stacks that protrude from the cliff edge, but a day tour also provides opportunities to see and photograph the Katoomba Falls Cascade and to enjoy views of the verdant jewel that is the Jamison Valley. Hiking is a popular pursuit in this area and there are plenty of trails that are suited to all fitness levels.
Cape Tribulation, Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef
North of New South Wales lies the state of Queensland – certainly one of the most spectacular and geographically diverse places in the world. This region plays home to enough beauty spots to take up a whole trip’s worth of itinerary, but some of the best the region has to offer lie within a few hours of the charming base of Cairns.
A tour of Cape Tribulation is a great way to explore the state’s canopy-covered, tropical forests and learn about local wildlife, flora and fauna. This day trip includes everything from a leisurely, relaxing cruise on the Daintree River and an al fresco lunch in the heart of the forest to a stroll along the powdery sands of Cape Tribulation Beach. Hiking through the forest trails, visitors can take in incredible vistas of the Mossman Gorge and the Alexandra Range.
While staying in Cairns, visitors should also take full advantage of the city’s proximity to the vividly-coloured, underwater coral labyrinth that is the Great Barrier Reef. A jaw-dropping feat of mother nature’s engineering, this vast reef is home to hundreds of different species of fish and marine mammals, and it provides unrivalled snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities.
Dotted around the reef, there are several tiny islands, which offer idyllic bases for catching rays, swimming and meeting the area’s native turtle populations. A Great Barrier Reef day tour from Cairns offers visitors the chance to spend five hours at Marine World Pontoon, a hub that provides an array of activities, from swimming and snorkelling to fish feeding, informative talks by marine biologists and glass-bottomed boat tours.
Perth, Broome and the Outback
Located in the West of Australia, Perth is a city that is bathed in sunlight almost every day of the year and it acts as a gateway to explore the North West of this vast country.
Having seen the sights in Perth, including Kings Park, Swan River and nearby Rottnest Island, most visitors heading North will fly to Broome, a charming town surrounded by pristine beaches and dusty plains. Cable Beach is a must for those keen to top up the tan and a camel sunset safari is an ideal way to round off the day in style. Take inspiration from Julia Bradbury’s trip and take in some of the horse racing at Broome Turf Club, located right next to the beach – an epic setting for a day at the races!
Following National Highway 1 for 1,872 km from Broome to Darwin, visitors will experience the rugged, untamed beauty of the Kimberley region, taking in national parks, traditional Outback towns and plunging gorges along the way.
Having covered thousands of kilometres and gained an appreciation of the scale and majesty of the Outback, visitors will arrive in the bustling city of Darwin ready and raring to go on a Top End Tour that takes in Kakadu National Park, Adelaide River, Pine Creek, Katherine Gorge, Yellow Waters and Litchfield National Park.
The itinerary is designed to provide travellers with plenty of time to take hiking trails and tracks to reach the region’s most spectacular natural features, and there will also be chances to swim and enjoy boat rides. Wildlife spotting is another popular pastime on this trip. Most people are keen to spot crocodiles in the water, albeit from a safe distance!
Darwin is also the home of the famous Ghan train and the surrounding area is also scattered with rustic cattle stations and ranches which offer authentic experiences for those keen to try their hand at herding.
Uluru and Alice Springs
It’s no wonder that Julia Bradbury admitted that she was particularly excited about this part of her trip, given the splendour and majesty of Uluru. This giant, red monolith is a sight to behold, but it’s also an incredibly interesting and intriguing site. An area of unparalleled cultural significance for the Aboriginal population, there’s a tangible sense of serenity and an ethereal quality to the Red Centre.
A four-day tour of the Red Centre affords tourists the chance to enjoy both Alice Springs and Uluru, visiting the burning red rock itself, enjoying a desert camel safari and a trip to the Uluru Kata Tjuta Cultural Centre. The bucket list moment for most is watching the sunset from a designated viewing area. As the sun fades, the colours change, creating dramatic scenes that look like they’ve been lifted straight from a coffee table book. Having taken full advantage of the sorbet shades of the sunset and raised a toast to unforgettable moments in Uluru, the next port of call is Kata Tjuta, the home of the Olgas and Walpa Gorge.
Adelaide and South Australia’s Wine Regions
A cosmopolitan, cool coastal state capital, Adelaide is a city that offers a host of sights and attractions, as well as the option to explore further afield with some fantastic day trips. Close to the heart of the city, visitors can embrace the hustle and bustle of the busy Central Market, meet Australia’s famous cuddly creatures at Adelaide Zoo and take some time out in the exotic, tranquil surroundings of the Botanic Gardens.
For wine lovers, a day trip to the Barossa Valley will undoubtedly be a highlight of the trip. One of the world’s best-known wine producing regions, a day tour is an opportunity not only to sample local produce, develop wine tasting skills and learn about the processes involved in turning grapes into award-winning wines, but it’s also a great opportunity to take in breathtaking views of the verdant vineyards and rolling hills that characterise the area.
For those keen to hit the beach and spot some wildlife, Kangaroo Island is an excellent idea. As well as being a fantastic spot to kick back and relax in a peaceful retreat, the island is also a wine-producing area of some repute and is an ideal place to take in the best of both worlds.
The Great Ocean Road and Melbourne
The final stretch of Julia Bradbury’s adventure in Oz was along the Great Ocean Road. Renowned for being one of the most scenic road trip routes on the planet, this winding maze of coastal road treats visitors to a seemingly never-ending display of natural feats. From deep gorges and rock arches battered by powerful waves, this extraordinary coastal pathway climaxes with a trip to the famous 12 Apostles. A series of imposing limestone towers, which stand resolutely out in the water, this is a view that graces many a guidebook cover and it’s not hard to see why. Watch the waves roll in, listen to the call of seabirds searching for prey and enjoy the wild beauty that characterises Victoria’s coastline.
A self-drive tour is the best way to see the Great Ocean Road in all its magnificence but before setting off, or at the end of your journey, take the time to meander around central Melbourne and visit its hip seaside hangouts. This is a chic and trendy city packed with everything from boutique shops and fine dining restaurants to cosmopolitan bars and clubs, lively music venues and artisan cafes, markets and street stalls. Lovers of sport won’t be disappointed with the array of events on offer either: cricket, horse racing, Formula 1, rugby and Aussie Rules all draw huge crowds here.
If watching or reading about Australia with Julia Bradbury and her monumental tour of this amazing country has given you inspiration for a trip Down Under, this corner to corner itinerary is a perfect way to enjoy the very best sights, views, attractions and experiences Oz has to offer. And if you haven’t quite got the time to cover it all, pick out the bits that appeal to you most with a tailor made Australia holiday. Speak to an Australia Expert about your Australia itinerary today.