In a world of ever-growing travel wish lists, we want to be able to see it all, do it all and live it all. But as your wanderlust grows hungrier and your feet get itchier, how do you know where to start? Allow us to present the ultimate bucket-list holiday. This expertly curated 15-night trip around Indonesia and Australia is guaranteed to sate your appetite. We’ll start you off in the gorgeous Indonesian archipelago where, with its treasure chest of emerald green islands and turquoise waters, you’ll take in the colourful sights of Ubud and the stunning vistas of Uluwatu. Then, to a land down under – Australia. Take a walk on the wild side, alongside wallabies, dingoes and those infamous crocs, before diving into the incomparable Great Barrier Reef and getting a bird’s eye view over Sydney. Our travel experts have hand-picked the most out-of-this-world experiences and the most luxurious hotels to showcase the best of Indonesia and Australia. From secluded retreats in untouched archipelagos to scorching bush camps in the sprawling outback, this will no doubt tick off a few of those pesky bucket-list items. So what are you waiting for? Grab your passport and let’s go.Read more
Your journey begins on perhaps the most famous of Indonesia’s islands – Bali. Whilst this buzzing island is well known for its beautiful beaches, we’re whisking you away to somewhere a tad quieter and one of the island’s best kept secrets. Perched atop a limestone plateau on the Bukit Peninsula, Alila Uluwatu is a real showstopper; and your trip is only just beginning. Boasting dramatic views of the Indian Ocean, a jaw-dropping infinity pool and gourmet dining on high, it makes for a seriously special spot to spend your first three nights relaxing in blissful luxury. Pampered and ready to go, you’ll then get to know Bali’s cultural side as you head through the lush jungle and verdant paddy fields to the luxurious Amandari hotel. True to its Sanskrit name, meaning ‘peaceful spirits’, this is the place to escape the stresses of everyday life as you take in the stunning scenery of Bali’s cultural capital of Ubud. One of our favourite corners of the world, head into Ubud where you can wander the colourful streets of this cultural hot-spot and explore the cafes, the markets and the vibrant local galleries that are dotted all around.
Tomorrow, Bali’s adventurous side kicks in. Now, we would never disturb your beauty sleep if it wasn’t totally worth it. But this morning definitely is. So, it’s a bright and early start at 2.30am as you set off on a hike to the summit of Mt. Batur. Just remember, this trip is all about ticking off your bucket list and what we have up our sleeve, definitely will. After a gentle hike, arrive at the 1717m summit just before sunrise. With stunning views stretching as far as the distant Mt. Rinjani on the neighbouring island of Lombok, you’ll already be thanking us for that wake-up call. But it gets even better when the sun starts to rise, with the light creeping in and illuminating Bali’s otherworldly landscapes. With views like this, it won’t just be the hike that’ll have you needing to catch your breath. To cap off this most unforgettable of mornings, head down to a well-earned picnic breakfast before unwinding in the natural hot springs.
Walking with Wallabies
Your days at Amandari will no doubt fly by, but (apparently) all good things must come to an end. So it’s goodbye to charming Ubud and the dazzling Indonesian archipelago, and down under to Australia. From Darwin, you’ll board a light aircraft and soar over Northern Australia’s spectacular wetlands to your home in the outback at Bamurru Plains. Blending in with the sunburnt landscape, this luxury bush camp is anything but rustic and boasts all the luxury trimmings that discerning travellers look for. Think sumptuous king-sized beds, en-suite bathrooms and a gorgeous infinity pool overlooking the plains. The only thing this bush camp doesn’t have? Mobile signal, WiFi or TVs. So, leave the office behind; they can’t reach you here anyway. Oh, but they have provided an alarm clock – a chorus of magpie geese and whistling kites, accompanied by the thumping of wallabies.
There is so much to see at Bamurru Plains – and so many different ways to see it. Your stay is completely bespoke, with knowledgeable guides on hand to help you make the most of the abundant wildlife. Why not take a walk on the wild side on a walking safari? Follow your guide through the bush and unleash your inner explorer as you search for brumbies, dingoes and wallabies. Or, how about exploring Australia’s answer to the Okavango Delta? Board a traditional airboat and soar down the Mary River, keeping your eyes peeled for rustlings in the grass and those infamous saltwater crocs. But if there’s one thing you have to do – it’s the Treetop Sleep Out in The Hide. Six metres above the ground in a tree canopy overlooking the Mary River floodplain, it’s another tick on the bucket list. Sleep out under the stars and tune into the night-time orchestra of the bush, led by the dulcet tones of the Barking Owl.
Robinson Crusoe in Style
From bush to beach, Lizard Island is akin to three nights in paradise. This private island resort is a masterclass in the Aussie good life with 24 private beaches, exclusive to hotel guests, and crystal clear waters to tempt you in. And be tempted you should. Lizard Island puts you just a boat ride away from one of the ultimate bucket-list hot spots – the legendary Great Barrier Reef. Grab your fins and dive in for some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world where you’ll marvel at an underwater rainbow of coral gardens, giant clams and schools of tropical fish. Or, if you’d prefer to stay dry, hop on board a glass-bottomed boat and admire the Ribbon Reefs from above.
Lizard Island isn’t only incredible underwater though and one of our ultimate ‘don’t miss’ experiences is the walk up to Cook’s Look. This spectacular viewpoint offers some of the best panoramas around; looking out over this oh-so photogenic island and its surrounding world heritage reefs, it is yet another ‘catch-your-breath-it’s-so-beautiful’ moment. Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera. If you really want to escape though, there is no better way to do it than to be marooned on a secluded beach, with just a swimming costume and gourmet picnic. We’ll see you in a few days.
The Grand Finale
For your final stop, it could only be Sydney. After all, how could you tick off an Aussie bucket list without a visit to Sydney? The Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach; you don’t travel halfway around the world not to see them. To see them properly, there’s only one place to stay – the Park Hyatt. Tucked beneath the Harbour Bridge, this slick hotel has just about the best views in town. Get your bearings on a private city tour, where your expert guide will get you under Sydney’s skin as you visit its most exclusive suburbs, picturesque beaches and impressive bays. At Watson’s Bay, you’ll explore the ocean-side of the South Head with dramatic cliff views from The Gap and on towards Sydney Harbour. Next, grab a board as you hit the golden sands of Bondi Beach and dive on into the Pacific, before drying off and heading back into town to the fashionable suburb of Paddington, with its trendy shops and high-end galleries. If you want to live like a local, this is the way to do it.
Back on the harbourfront, we’ve arranged a VIP evening for you at one of the city’s most iconic venues. The Sydney Opera House. Get behind the scenes on an exclusive tour of its principal theatres before enjoying an intimate pre-theatre dinner at one of the city’s top restaurants. But it doesn’t stop there. We will also sort you out with the best seats in the house to that evening’s performance. After all, if you’re going to do Sydney, do it in style. Spend the next few days exploring the city at your own pace, cruising through the harbour, or maybe heading out of town to the breathtaking natural beauty of the Blue Mountains, before returning for one final tick on that bucket list. In a trip as sensational as this, it is only fitting that you end it on a high, a 134 metre high to be exact. Harness up and clip on as you wind your way up through hatchways and over girders to reach the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Looking out over panoramic views of the city, you’ll forget any inklings of vertigo you may have had with the word ‘breathtaking’ not even beginning to do these views justice.
Feeling on top of the world and with a sizeable chunk of your bucket list now ticked off, it’s time to return to reality and make your friends’ eyes as green as those unforgettable Indonesian islands. We’ll be there for you when your wanderlust no doubt kicks in again.