Our local knowledge makes the difference for your bespoke holiday through New Zealand or Australia. Your journey Down Under starts here.
Are you a family considering a holiday to Australia? Take a look at some of our frequently asked questions to help you make the most of your time Down Under.
What types of accommodations should we stay at?
We have hand-selected a range of great places to stay all throughout Australia that offers the facilities to suit all ages of kids. Mix it up. A treehouse in the bush, cottage by the beach, holiday villa by the lakeside or a farm in the countryside. Or get “off the grid” in the outback, away from the mainstream.
When it comes to cooking, we can recommend our favourite restaurants. Or we can arrange accommodation with a fully-equipped kitchen and Aussie barbeque!
Will our children have their own room during our trip through Australia?
We can make sure that your accommodation has enough bedrooms and bathrooms to suit your family’s wants and needs.
Is it safe to drive in Australia?
Yes, Australia is a safe country to drive. The locals are easy-going and are generally not in a hurry on the roads, outside of the bigger cities. In the city, you do not need a car and the public transport system is of high quality. The roads in Australia are easy to and well maintained. When visiting national parks, it’s best to only drive during day time because of the possibility of wildlife crossing the road.
Do we need a car?
To get the most out of your holiday in Australia, we recommend travelling by car. You can go wherever you want and also reach the less touristic places. And you can stay at small-scale accommodation, away from mass tourism and meet the locals. It’s possible to build an itinerary without the need of a car. You could go on day or multi-day tours in different parts of Australia and travel by plane, train or transfer from your accommodation.
Do we need a 4WD drive?
To reach approximately 99% of our accommodation on the East Coast of Australia, you won’t need a 4WD. On the other hand, in some Western and Northern parts, a 4WD is needed. There are plenty of roads located in national parks, that can only be visited with a 4WD.
How much will we need to drive in Australia?
We believe that you should drive less and see more. Therefore, we try to keep the driving distance between your accommodations 2-4 hours. And you will be staying 2-4 nights at each accommodation. This way, you can enjoy the best of what Australia has to offer. And waste less time during your holiday on the road, driving.
What is the flight time to Australia?
The flight time to Australia is dependent on which airline you fly with. However, the average flight time to Australia is on average between 18-24 hours. And of course, it is possible to stay at a stopover location for longer too.
What flight schedule do you recommend?
When travelling with young children, we recommend taking your time to get to the other side of the world. You will always need at least one stop in order to get to Australia. Some airlines offer an ideal flight schedule which gives you plenty of time during your stop to use a dayroom in an airport hotel. This allows you to rest, take your kids for a swim in the pool and freshen up before you start your second leg to Australia. This makes travelling more relaxed and you won’t start your holiday in Australia exhausted.
Which airline should I choose?
Generally, we choose to travel with Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Air New Zealand. However, we have contracts with all the major airline companies. We will ensure you fly with a suitable airline to enhance your journey.
Which stopover destination do you recommend?
Our two favourite and most popular stopover destinations are Hong Kong and Singapore. This is because of the convenient location of both cities. You’re already half-way to your destination and both cities offer plenty of opportunities for exploring, sightseeing, shopping and relaxing. If you have more time, you can consider stopping over in Bali, the Cook Islands or Fiji. Each a tropical haven with friendly locals, exotic cuisine and stunning beaches.
What are the options to ensure that I have a comfortable flight?
The cheapest way of flying to Australia is in Economy Class. We can arrange a comfortable seat at the aisle or window for you. If you prefer more leg space we can also book emergency exit seats for you. Premium Economy is a good step up from Economy with more leg space, better food and service. First and Business Class is the most comfortable way to fly. You can enjoy fine dining, more privacy, excellent service and your seat converts into a fully lie-flat bed.
How can we minimise the impact of jet lag?
We will select the best suitable flight schedule. During your stopover, we will organise a hotel stay or a day room at the airport, so you can shower, rest and relax. We will ensure that you arrive relaxed in Australia. This will all help you get used to the time difference.
What types of activities do you recommend?
It very much depends on your interests but also on the age of the children you are travelling with.
Travelling with children 0-5 years
We would recommend activities that involve animals such as koalas, kangaroos, wombats. Think farm tours. Scenic flights and short sailing trips are usually a good option too.
Travelling with children 5-12 years
In this age group, you’ll probably want to do something a little more active such as bike tours, sailing trips and even ziplining. If you want to get involved in cultural activities, it’s good to think about the language barrier and if your kids will actually understand the guide. If you do choose to experience something cultural, we recommend a half-day tour.
Travelling with children 12+ years
Surfing, indigenous/cultural trips, whale watching, rafting, mountain biking, snorkelling great barrier reef. Diving would be optional if your kids are over 16.
Health & safety
Is it safe to travel with children?
Yes, overall it’s a safe destination to visit. Australia has a low crime rate and generally, Australians live a safe lifestyle. And Aussies are renowned for being friendly. Of course, we still recommend using your common sense as you would if you were at home.
Do you provide assistance in case of an emergency?
Yes, we have a 24/7 emergency number you can call in case of an emergency. Our local hosts are also there to assist you if you need. We work directly with all of our hosts in Australia, so if anything were to happen, we can act fast if necessary.
Can I buy baby products while travelling in Australia?
You can buy infant formula, baby food and diapers basically anywhere in Australia. Of course, you should check in advance in case your baby has any specific needs. It goes without saying, that you shouldn’t count on finding everything you need in the outback, so we recommend stocking up in bigger towns.
Which areas are best suited for families?
A lot will depend on the age of your children and the time of travel. Most families that travel will go during the school holidays. This means during the European summer or at Christmas time. In general, the British summer is the best time to visit the outback, Queensland and the Tropical North. This is, therefore, the best area together with your family. Please be mindful that it will be winter in Australia’s south and south-east. It will be less busy, but also a lot colder and there is much less to do, as some activities close down for winter.
Will there be other kids?
We understand that you would like your children to have other children to play with. It goes without saying that it depends on the area where you stay and the type of accommodation, whether there will be other children or not. If you prefer, we could take this into account and carefully select the right type of accommodation and area for you.
What kind of wildlife can I expect in Australia?
This depends on which regions you visit in Australia and which month you travel. We know what animals you can find where and in which period of the year. So if you really want to see kangaroos, koala’s, wombat, cassowaries, emus, platypus, whales, dolphins, turtles or whale sharks, please let us know and we will try to fit it into your schedule.
Is it possible to add a Pacific destination to my trip?
Yes, we recommend Fiji and the Cook Islands as a tropical ending of your journey Down Under. The best time to visit these beautiful and remote islands in the South Pacific is between April to October.
What is it like travelling during the Christmas period?
Christmas time is Australia’s peak season, Australians are enjoying their 6-week summer school holidays during this time. Seeing Santa in summer is a strange sight! It will be summer in Australia’s south and south-east coast and wet season in the North. In the south, it will be busy and more expensive than in other months. It’s strongly recommended to book 9-12 months in advance if you would like to travel during this period.
How much time do I need?
You need at least three weeks in Australia to make your journey worthwhile. To visit everything you probably need a year (or 2). Most people travelling to Australia have 3-6 weeks. This allows you to get a good experience of the variety and diversity Australia has to offer.
What travel pace do you recommend?
We recommend a relaxed travel pace, instead of rushing past all the highlights and returning home exhausted. Spend 2-4 nights at each location and discover each place through the eyes of the locals.
Do you recommend travelling to Australia during the Australian winter (July - August)?
Yes! It’s the best time to visit the Red Centre, the national parks of the Top End and the Tropical North, including the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The weather will be on average 25-30 degrees. Even on a good winter’s day in Sydney, it could be well above 20 degrees!
Should I pre-book or travel on the go?
If you book your holiday in advance, we can organise the best route, accommodations and activities for the best price. We will do all the work for you to create your dream holiday. If you travel on the go, you will stay at the last choice/leftover accommodations and often there is no availability. You may also not be able to join an activity because it is full. Booking last-minute domestic flights are also generally more expensive than pre-booked flights. If you want to make the most out of your holiday, please contact us.
How long in advance do I need to book?
Because we work with small scale suppliers, they generally tend to book up very quickly. Therefore we advise booking 9 - 12 months in advance. Of course, we can still tailor a holiday 3 months before departure. But be aware that the options may be limited and ticket prices might be higher than expected.
Why would I book my journey to Australia with TravelEssence?
Over the last 12 years, we have sent more than a 1000 families on a holiday to Australia and New Zealand. We know ourselves what it’s like to travel to the other side of the world with kids and learned from the experience of our clients over the years. Every year, we travel to Australia to find new accommodations and experience new tours. By doing this, we are able to fit the most suitable accommodations and activities to each traveller. Because everyone is different and so is every trip that we plan. We will tailor your trip based on our experience and your wishes. We work, you enjoy.
Do you have presentations especially for families travelling to Australia?
Yes, please take a look at our destination day page here.
Is the food in Australia suitable and something that our kids would like?
Australia has a large variety of food to satisfy your families needs. Go on a journey and discover Aussie food together with your kids. There are many new taste sensations to discover. Australia has many child-friendly cafes and restaurants to choose from. Most restaurants have a children's menu and supermarkets sell products similar to European supermarkets.
Purchase some take away fish and chips and sit on a picnic table in the park. Or take advantage of a ‘free’ barbecue. Taste some of Australia’s fresh seafood. No matter how fussy the kids are, Australia has something to tantalise their taste buds!
How is the WIFI and internet in Australia?
Please be aware that some remote accommodations, Down Under have limited WiFi access or none at all. In some places, you may also need to pay for WiFi and internet access. This, of course, varies from accommodation to accommodation.We recommend buying a local sim card when you arrive in Australia. This means you get to use the local mobile data and you will also have an Australian phone number for making local calls.
Do I need to purchase a travel adaptor?
You will need to purchase a travel adaptor to plug in your electrical goods in Australia. Because they use a different plug to the UK. The adapter required for Australia is Type 1 Australia plug. They have two flat metal pins, and sometimes a third pin to form a ‘V’ shape. The electrical current in Australia is 220-240 volts, AC 50Hz.
Can you arrange a babysitter?
Some, but definitely not all, accommodations have this option. We can discuss this in more detail when you contact us.
I want to make a trip with my family before my children start school. Is Australia suitable for that?
Yes, Australia is a great option due to its diversity and different climates. You could actually travel through Australia year-round and have good weather wherever you go. For example, you could start in Queensland for a few weeks or months until the wet season starts and then head south to Melbourne or even Tasmania to enjoy summer and finish your trip in Western Australia.
Do you offer group tours?
We specialise in individual tailor-made journeys. We don’t offer a complete group holiday. However, we can include several (multi) day group tours in your itinerary.
How much does a holiday to Australia cost?
This depends on your choice of level of comfort, flights and time of travel. Please take a look at some of our suggested journeys to get an idea of the possibilities.
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Our local knowledge makes the difference for your bespoke holiday through New Zealand or Australia. Your journey Down Under starts here.
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