It’s easy to feel at home in Australia. Our Australia Expert Carol Stocki made it her home for two short years and loved every moment of it. It’s her favourite place in the world. She immersed herself in the culture, explored every state, and considers herself an honorary Australian. Here she shares her expert travel tips and what not to miss when you’re Down Under.
1. How many times have you visited Australia?
Once – I lived there for two years!
2. What makes you an expert in Australia?
For the two short years I lived in Australia, I was able to work and travel in every state. I fully immersed myself in the culture and saw everything I possibly could. Australia is my home away from and I hold it very dear to my heart!
3. What is your favourite city in Australia?
It’s a tie between Melbourne and Cairns. I love the shopping, nightlife, art scene, THE FOOD, and beauty of Melbourne. I adore Cairns because of its small size and proximity to the Great Barrier Reef – one of my all time favorite scuba diving destinations!
4. What surprised you the most about Australia?
How similar to Canada it is but with a much more laidback vibe.
5. What made you fall in love with Australia?
The natural beauty and diversity of the landscape. From the dry heat of the Kimberley region to the humid Daintree rainforest, the country is full of contrasts. The wildlife is incredible as well, spotting kangaroos hopping beside our car just never got old!
6. What’s your favourite memory about Australia?
There are so many. One that definitely stands out is getting my Adventure Diver certification at the Great Barrier Reef. Diving into such a vibrant ecosystem was an experience of a lifetime. Also, shark fishing and mud crabbing in the Kimberley was an incredible experience that ended with a very tasty dinner!
7. What are your top 3 Australia tips that you would give a client travelling there?
- Don’t miss seeing Northern Queensland. A lot of people travel the East Coast but stop somewhere around Brisbane. You will find so much incredible beauty when you keep going north. See the oldest rainforest in the world and the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns or Cape Tribulation – it’s an absolute must.
- If you don’t have months to explore, go on a tour! There are so many great tour operators that cater to every age. The tour leaders are full of information and will really help you make the very best of your time.
- Tea tree oil! ‘Midgies’ and ‘mozzies’ (that’s Australian for “mosquitos”) tend to bite first and ask questions later. Tea tree oil was a life saver when it came to itchy skin. It’s also very reasonably priced in Australia as it comes from there!
8. Why do you think it’s important for people to visit Australia?
There is no other country like it. The people are wonderful, the weather is beautiful, the beaches are incredible, the history and aboriginal culture is fascinating, and the beauty is undeniable. It is my favourite place in the world!
9. What things would you recommend someone pack for a trip to Australia?
Sunnies (sunglasses), cozzies (swimsuit), and thongs (flip-flops). I would also recommend packing a journal so that you can go back and re-live every moment of the amazing vacation you are sure to have!