I’m guessing I’m not the only one asking where did 2012 go?
And the older you get the faster the years seem to pass. Just reinforces the point that there is no better time than now to go travel and create lifelong memories.
The world won’t explore itself as they say.
Taking a look back over the past twelve months, the year has been filled with new adventures and fun-filled activities for our family. The kids are a year older and soon we’ll be sitting around a tree ripping open presents. And summer time in Oz means beach days, BBQ’s, beers, and playgrounds.
But looking back over the past year there’s been road trips, flights, cruises, short breaks, wildlife experiences, UNESCO World heritage sites, hanging with natives, and a whole lot of eating and drinking!
Putting together our top 5 moments is always tough, and below we have broken them up into six categories.
As always, we hope our stories through 2012 have helped to inspire and inform you to go travel, and travel more often.
Top 5 Destinations
Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia
Having lived in Bangkok in 2002, we understand the need to getaway from the craziness. Caz discovered one of the best side-trips merely an hour away, a bike and boat tour of Auyutthaya, the former capital and now World Heritage site.
Margaret River, Western Australia
Margaret River, you had me at food, wine, and beer. Possibly my favourite food and wine destination in Australia. Plus add on the great beer, coffee and stunning beaches.
Port Macquarie, NSW, Australia
I grew up holidaying as a kid in Port Macquarie, and going back this year with my own kids brought back fond memories. It’s an excellent family destination and if you are making the trip form Sydney to Brisbane you should visit Port Macquarie too.
Bright, Victoria, Australia
A new discovery for us this year was the hidden gem of Bright in Victoria. If you enjoy small town charm, alpine mountain scenery, cosy cafes, good coffee/food, and nature then go visit!
Top 5 Cities
You could call me biased, but I never get tired of exploring this city and we haven’t spent this much time in Sydney in YEARS. Check out our list of 33 things to do in Sydney.
My visit to Hong Kong was only short, two days, but I was back in Asia (joy). It was SO great to have no plans and just feel the beat with my feat and just wonder and take in the sights and smells of this vibrant city.
We lived in Bangkok in 2002, and it remains one of our favourite cities period. Caz was lucky enough to return this year and experienced the city in a different way via long tail boat and a dragon walking tour of Chinatown.
If you have the time (and money) do yourself a favour and get off the east coast and visit Perth. It’s a young, modern city and the location on the river and near the beach make it a great Aussie experience. Check out my list of 12 things to do.
Top 5 Beaches
Secret Beach, Vanuatu
Yallingup Beach, Western Australia
Seal Rocks, NSW
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Palm Beach, Sydney
Top 5 Accommodation
Shangri-La Resort, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Best resort stay of the year: Book your stay at the Shangri-La, Sabah
Yamba YHA Backpackers Beach Resort
Best hostel stay of the year, – Book your stay at the Yamba YHA Backpackers Beach Resort:
River Red Gum National Park, NSW
Best camping experience: read story
The Upper House, Hong Kong
Best hotel stay- Book your stay at The Upper House, Hong Kong
Mantra on Salt Beach, Kingscliff, NSW
Another top resort stay: Book your stay at the Mantra on Salt Beach, Kingscliff
read more about our stay at the Mantra Kingscliff
Top 5 Experiences
It took me 38 years to go on my first cruise, now I am hooked.
Savannah meets Alida in a Vanuatu Village
Savannah meeting Alida was one of the most touching moments we have ever experienced travelling and affirmed for us why travel with our children is the right choice for us.
Lighthouse Cottage Seal Rocks
Staying in a lighthouse keepers cottage has been on my bucket list FOREVER. So when the opportunity came up this year to spend three days at Sugar Loaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks we jumped at it.
Caz was very fortunate to visit the Orangutan Sanctuary in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. There are only 20,000 left alive in Borneo and 5,000 in Sumatra, and spending time with them re-inforced how they desperately need to be protected.
A weekend getaway to a Billabong retreat in western Sydney filled with yoga, relaxation and healthy eating was the perfect end to a busy year. Caz learnt to let go and reconnect with her mind and body and learned the power of honouring herself.
Top 5 Food / Drink
The Greenhouse Restaurant, Perth
Sky Bar Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Samudra Cafe , Dunsborough, Western Australia
Rail Trail Cafe, Bright, Victoria
We hope you had a sensational 2012 filled with travel and the creation of lifelong memories.
Thank you for following our journey!
Happy Christmas and may 2013 be even bigger and better.
Craig, Caz, Kalyra and Savannah