Perth: Why 2015 is the year to visit Australia's sunniest city
In praise of Perth
Think Australian holidays, and the east and southeast typically spring to mind.
Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Great Barrier Reef are mainstays. Beyond that, Uluru (Ayers Rock) is on many first-timers' radar. The north and west of this awesome country, however, have traditionally been an afterthought.
That's changing. A brash Buzzfeed post caught my eye recently - entitled 27 Reasons Western Australia Should Be Off Your Bucket List. It was tongue-in-cheek, of course, and went on to mention amazing beaches, jaw-dropping landscapes and wide-open skies as things you would never want to see.
As more Irish people work and travel in Western Australia, the rest of us back home are starting to learn how much it has to offer - once you get over the long flights (Perth is 4.5 hours by air from Sydney).
Now comes the news that Australia's sunniest city is looking to a bumper year in 2015. Visitors to Perth were up 7.3pc last year, and there are now almost 2,000 extra seats from Dubai (through which many Irish connect with Emirates).
A new hotel is set to open in Perth's Old Treasury Building, there's now a high-flying trapeze at Scarborough Beach, and foodies can take a cycle rickshaw food safari (leedervillefoodsafari.com.au), or gourmet walking tours (foodloosetours.com.au).
Adding to the hype, Western Australia will hit the big screen this month with the release of Son of A Gun on January 30th. With its headline star, Ewan McGregor, claiming that the destination was ‘home to the most amazing sunset’ of his life, the sunny state look set for a sweet 2015.
Tempted? See westernaustralia.com for more.
Deals & Steals: Splash!
There’s no cheap way of getting to Australia. There are ways of lowering the cost, however. Abbey Travel (abbeytravel.ie) had return flights to Perth from €802pp with Emirates as we went to press, and Trailfinders (trailfinders.ie) has a Cathay Pacific flights sale with return fares from €779. In terms of packages, Australia Sky (australiasky.ie) offers 15-day tours from €1,559pp, Travel Department (traveldepartment.ie) does a 21-day escorted trip, and Joe Walsh Tours (joewalshtours.ie) and GoHop.ie will be able to provide options too.
Deals & Steals: Bargain!
Australia is a bucket list trip for most, but there are affordable options at home while you wait. Flynn Hotels’ January Room Sale runs to Monday, for example. The group’s four hotels include the Old Ground in Ennis, Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny, the Imperial in Cork and the Park Hotel, Dungarvan. The sale offers nightly room rates from €69 in total, including breakfast. That’s just €34.50pp for a four-star night away, presuming two people are sharing a room. The sale applies to select dates between now and June 1. See flynnhotels.com for more.
Book the best value holiday packages to Australia on travel.independent.ie.