Cradle Mountain Huts Walk Group Track Walking

Frequently asked questions for friends

Are you considering a holiday to Australia with friends? Take a look at some of our frequently asked questions to help you make the most of your time Down Under.


What type of accommodations should we stay at?

Our carefully selected down-to-earth hosts will make you feel at home with their welcoming Aussie hospitality. Get to know them over dinner. Or join them for a tour of the farm or vineyard.

Australia is best experienced when you stay with the locals. A cottage on a rural vineyard. A charming bed and breakfast. A beachfront house. A modern holiday house perched on a hill. A lakeside lodge. Glamping in the midst of nature.

At some accommodations, breakfast and dinner may be included. We can also recommend our favourite local restaurants in the area. And if you prefer to cook, we will ensure that you have a self-catered kitchen. An Aussie barbeque is also common at many of our accommodations.

Do we have to share our room and bathroom?

We can ensure that your accommodation has enough bedrooms and bathrooms to suit your travel party.

Stay at unique accommodation with local hosts
© McLaren Eye


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.

Discover Flinders Ranges by 4WD
Discover Flinders Ranges by 4WD
© TravelEssence

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.

Do you recommend travelling together in one car or separately in two cars?

In general, we recommend a large SUV for any party of four. However, if there are two couples travelling together you might want to go for two smaller SUVs. Sharing one vehicle will be cheaper but having two vehicles gives you more flexibility.

Can we all drive?

Yes, in our standard rate two drivers per car are included. More drivers can be arranged when picking up the car, with an additional charge.

Go "off-road" and discover places only the locals know about
© Francois Peron
Beach Fraser Island | Australia holiday
Conquer Australia's sand highway on Fraser Island
© Tourism and Events Queensland


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?

This depends on you. We can make the journey as quick as possible with a short stopover in Asia or the USA. Or add a couple of day’s stopovers in metropoles like Singapore, Hong Kong or San Francisco. We can select the best flight times for you with only one stop.

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.

Can I book my own flights?

Yes, you can. We also can arrange an Australian holiday without flights.

Benefit from world-class service on your flight to Australia
Benefit from world-class service on your flight to Australia
Capture stunning views over Australia's vast landscape
Capture stunning views over Australia's vast landscape

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 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.

Can we sit together on the plane?

Yes, we can choose your seats well in advance. It is recommended to book early for the best choice.

Fiji is an ideal stopover destination with friends


What types of activities do you recommend?

It very much depends on your interests and fitness level. From authentic cultural experiences, wildlife encounters, meetings with the locals, kayaking, wine tours, cycling and sailing trips, sightseeing flights and more. Our focus is on nature conservation and small-scale locally owned companies. We can also arrange private tours if you wish. Check here for more suggestions.

Kayak the Noosa Everglades, one of the two only everglade systems on earth
Cycle through the Outback
Dive and uncover the treasures of The Great Barrier Reef

Health & safety

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.

Is it safe to travel in Australia?

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.

Australian | Australia holiday
Aussies are world renowned for being friendly


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 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.

Enjoy relaxing days on the beach
Enjoy relaxing days on the beach
Go diving in the tropical waters of Flinders Reef
Go diving in the tropical waters of Flinders Reef

Travel Time

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!

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 other months. It’s strongly recommended to book 9-12 months in advance if you would like to travel during this period.

Christmas on te beach | Australia kids holiday
Soak up the Aussie beach vibes at Christmas time


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 should I book with TravelEssence?

Our travel specialists have worked and travelled extensively in Australia. 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.

Where can I sign up for a presentation about Australia?

You can find our destination day page here.

You're welcome to join one of our informative presenations


How is the WIFI and internet in Australia?

Please be aware that some remote accommodations, Downunder 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.

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.

Should you go on a group tour or explore DownUnder on your own?

We can design your holiday the way you want. Whether you would like to join a small group for an activity or explore places by yourself with help from our local tips. It's your holiday. Together, we will decide how much free time you want and how many days you would like to spend with a group. We don’t offer a complete group holiday.

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.

A local guide showing a tour group around the Daintree Rainforest
We have a great range of multi day tours with local guides


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.

Dolphin watching from kayak | Australia adventure holiday
Australia is waiting to be explored

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