Tasmania offers colonial history, architectural treasures, vibrant festivals, a thriving artisan food scene and a wild and rugged beauty. Hobart, its capital, has a strong colonial feel with its handsome old buildings sitting along the waterfront. One of the best things about it is that you are able to walk almost everywhere and get sweeping views along the way. From Hobart you can also visit the Mona, a largely subterranean art gallery with a winery attached, hike along Wineglass Bay, a crescent of powder white sand set against turquoise waters, or drive to the Bay of Fires, a string of near-perfect beaches.
Katherine, Australia & Hawaii Specialist
My dad was a navy pilot and we moved a lot as I was growing up. I quickly learned that I enjoyed going to new places but my passion for travel only really ignited when I was 20 years old. My brother was backpacking around Europe so I decided to study abroad in Prague to be closer. While in Prague I became friends with several Australians and decided I just had to go there.
After graduating from college I made the big move and based myself in a university surf town called Wollongong, south of Sydney. I worked at a whiskey bar and got to travel the country. From Tasmania to Port Douglas and everywhere in between, I fell more and more in love with the country. After Australia I went on and backpacked around Southeast Asia and Central America for six months, but getting back to Oz was always on my mind.
Since joining Audley I have also become an Hawaii specialist, visiting and experiencing its four main islands: Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Big Island.
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Unlike anything I've ever seen, the views at the Thala Beach Nature Reserve in Queensland are endless. The drive to the property through a field of coconut trees was oddly familiar though, I soon discovered why: it's pictured on the front of the Quantas in-flight menu. When you arrive you are warmly greeted and shown to one of the tropical bungalows from where you can wander down to two pristine beaches. Lie on the sand, relax in a hammock in the shade, gaze at the turquoise water or feast on some of the best food in Australia. It's blissful here.
I'll never forget when…
For as long as I can remember, I've been scared of sharks. My parents visited me in Australia and we spent a week on a boat on the Great Barrier Reef to get scuba certified. On our last evening we did a night dive. Dozens of sharks were circling our boat as I was told to get in. Several black tips were an arm's reach away and throughout the dive I could see green eyes nearby. Though I was terrified, I was happy I did it and oddly, feel less afraid now about being near sharks.