Meet Janette...

...And discover her best finds

Melbourne, NSW.  Photo credit: Emily Fitzgerald/Tourism Victoria

Janette’s Profile

It took Janette a while to finally visit Australia. First she and her husband had to raise four children, then she had to build herself up to travelling that far outside her comfort zone. Still, she got there in the end…

First visit?

I arrived in a Perth that was cold and rainy – much like the weather we’d just left. I was expecting baking heat and the smell of snags on the barbie. I really should have done a bit more research.

My Australia Visiting Australia is one big adventure. It is endless confusing time zones; heat, humidity, dust and even cold. It’s teeming rainforest and empty desert – a place where every living thing looks as if it’s been designed by committee. I love it.

Off the beaten track?

Visit the Top End. It really is Crocodile Dundee country, with straight, endless roads on which you’re the only traveller. I’ve watched the cool burning of the brush in early summer.

I’ve listened to the Aboriginals’ Dreamtime stories and been lucky enough to share the connection these ancient groups have with the place they inhabit. And I’ve still never been quite bold enough to dive into a water hole.

Favourite experience or city?

I love the quiet places that sneak up on you; the places you don’t find in the guide books, and the ordinary everyday places with people who have time for a yarn over a cold beer. But if you’re pushing me for a city, I’d say you must explore Darwin. It has an appealing not quite European, not quite Australian, tropical feel to it.

Favourite experience? The Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. Yes, I know I’ve picked a rather ‘standard’ Sydney tourist attraction – it’s pricey too – but it’s just an amazing thing to do, and to say you’ve done.

Top tip? Do your research! It’s not just a question of fitting it all in; book in plenty of time and you can save money on flights too.

Also, try to take domestic flights in the evening. That way you keep more of your days, rather than losing them sat on an aeroplane.

And finally… Visiting Australia is the biggest blast you can experience. No matter how familiar you think a place will be (eg Sydney) nothing can prepare you for the reality.


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