Have you ever wanted to visit Australia? This week we talk about the Land Down Under with native Erin Bender about what you can fit into a two-week trip to Australia — if that is all you have. We cover a sample itinerary, what to do with kids in Melbourne, Sydney and the Great Ocean Road. Plus, we learn about fairy bread, Vegemite, and where to find those adorable koalas and kangaroos.
ON THE PODCAST
1:00 Shout out to Lance for giving Vacation Mavens our first review on iTunes!
1:20 Kim talks about her recent trip to Phoenix including hot air ballooning
4:40 Spring training with the Cactus League
8:20 Eating in Phoenix — Hilton at Squaw Creek
9:55 Erin Bender from Travel with Bender
13:02 Nomadic travel challenges
15:00 Australia in two weeks
17:00 Getting from place to place in Australia
21:00 Koalas and kangaroos
21:30 Must try Australian foods
24:00 Four days in Sydney
25:20 Driving Great Ocean Road
27:00 Phillip Island and Fairy Penguins
27:45 Where to find koalas and kangaroos
28:45 Best place to take a family photo
29:30 Surviving the long flight to Australia with kids
31:30 Favorite travel outfit or gear
33:35 Tip of the week
ABOUT ERIN BENDER FROM TRAVEL WITH BENDER
Erin is the driving force behind the world’s leading family travel blog, Travel With Bender. With her husband and 2 young children (ages 6 and 7), she’s been on a nomadic journey since 2012 across 64 countries and counting. Most recently she is touring the US on the #motherofallroadtrips.
Erin and her husband were both born in Australia and have been together for 18 years. Erin and her husband Josh took a seven-week round-the-world trip pre-kids and loved traveling so much that they decided to embark on a nomadic lifestyle when her kids were two and three. What was going to be a six-month journey has turned into four years of travel.
Erin and her family are currently in Orlando and will be traveling through the U.S. for a few more months, but she took time out of her busy schedule to tell us about her native land — Australia. While she suggests spending at least a month in Australia, she shares a two-week itinerary that covers a few of Australia’s highlights. You can follow their travels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat.
TWO-WEEK AUSTRALIAN ITINERARY
Erin recommends flying into Brisbane on the Gold Coast and starting with four-nights in Queensland where you can see some of the best islands in the world, including the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday. In Brisbane, you will also find many amusement parks and attractions.
She would then spend four nights in Sydney, taking in sights like the Sydney Opera House and a walk across the Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Aquarium is also a highlight for families with kids. Ferries around the harbour are also a great way to get a view of the city.
Next, she would do four nights in Melbourne, including two nights driving the Great Ocean Road to see the Twelve Apostles rock formations. (Note: there are not Twelve Apostles, but the water is magnificent and the formations are quite beautiful.) If you get a bit further to see the great Australian “bite” with wonderful cliffs and views. Also, near Melbourne you can go out to Phillip Island to see the Fairy Penguins. At dusk, the penguins come from the ocean to their homes on land. You can sit in the grandstands to watch this phenomenon.
Finally, finish up with a trip to see Uluru or head over to western Australia and visit Margaret River, one of the best surfing destinations in the world.
MUST-TRY FOODS IN AUSTRALIA
WHERE TO FIND KOALAS
BEST PLACE TO TAKE A FAMILY PHOTO
Erin recommends taking a photo with the Sydney Opera House in the background. If you are clever, you can manage to get the opera house and the Harbour bridge in the same photo. In Darling Harbour, walk on the lower level on the way to the opera house and you will be able to get both.
TIPS FOR FLYING WITH KIDS
FAVORITE TRAVEL GEAR
TIP OF THE WEEK
When flying with kids, be sure to pack a lidded cup or a sippy cup because airlines tend to only have open cups that can get really messy with younger kids.
MENTIONED ON THE PODCAST