Day 1: Arrive in Hobart, stay at the Henry Jones Art Hotel. Wander the waterfront and Salamanca Markets (only on Saturday). Eat lunch at Brooke St Larder and dinner at Frank Restaurant.

Day 2: Travel by boat (20mins) to MONA an amazing art museum. Easily spend half a day here if not more. Must do – eat lunch at Faro restaurant at the museum – absolutely amazing. In the afternoon drive 2.5 hours to Freycinet Peninsula. Stay at the Freycinet Lodge.

Day 3: Hike Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach look (12km). Swim at Wineglass Bay (cold but worth it).

Day 4: Return to Hobart – stop at vineyards along the way (Devils Corner or Craigie Knowle)

Kakadu Three-Day Excursion out of DarwinThe purpose of this trip was to have a father-son adventure out of Sydney and to get the son out of Sydney to a place that he was unlikely to go during his semester abroad living in Bondi.

With only three days to spare, this adventure was tight and had no margin for error.

Father and son met in Sydney and took an early evening flight from Sydney to Darwin, arriving after midnight. Flights from Sydney are a few hundred US dollars round-trip. We booked a night at the Palms City Resort (a mid-range hotel in the US$75 range – which is perfect for the 7 hours we were in the room). We also booked a night (or half-a-night) before taking a red-eye back to Sydney at the end of the trip.We had booked the itinerary through Territory Expeditions (Kat Noonan was a big help with follow-up questions) a few weeks in advance.

Our guides picked us up at our hotel at 7:30 in the morning. It was great to experience the trip with 10 other people. There were couples, married couples and singles all enjoying the experience. Nothing stands out more than the waterfalls. 5 of them, each more spectacular than the previous… The water temp was fantastic. You could swim in every one of them with little to no fear of crocodiles. The scenery is amazing. I also loved the aboriginal art and the discussions about its origins.

The group bonded quickly and enjoyed both the outdoor activities and the evening food and beverage.Our accommodations were nothing to write home about, but they were authentic in a great Outback sort of way. We had a campsite the first night and tin roofed outback shack the second. But, it was great to cook out with the group and to be close to either nature or the “you can’t make this stuff up” Outback residents in the restaurant the second night.

The only downside for the trip is the hours in the van, but if you are looking forward to time with your son, then even the three+ hours out and back were what you were looking for. Our guides with Territory Expeditions were really good. Sorry I don’t remember their names, but the guy had tremendous Outback knowledge – both with flora and fauna and with the aborigines. They were a fontain of knowledge, but also knew when to back away and let bonding happen with the trip and with couples of participants.

The weekend ended at 4 on a Sunday evening. The group enjoyed each other’s company so much that we went to dinner together in Darwin for one last outing. Following dinner, the father and son had 4 hours or so to kill in the hotel room before catching a red-eye back to Sydney.Mission accomplished. Got son out of Sydney. Check. Bonding time with father and son. Check. Beautiful scenery. Quadruple check. Good knowledge gain about the outback and the aborigines. Check.

Flew out of Sydney the morning of the first day. After arriving in Melbourne around 10 AM we took a bus into the city to pick up the car that we were renting. After sorting the car out we hit the road and drove a couple of hours to Wilson’s Promontory, a national park with wildlife, beaches, and many scenic views. After seeing some kangaroos and wallabies, hitting Squeaky Beach to hear the sand and get our feet wet, and taking many photos, we got back on the road to head towards Phillip Island, about a two-hour drive. After paying the admission fee (around 25 dollars AUD) and waiting for the sun to set at the Phillip Island nature park we got to watch the Penguin Parade, when all the Little Penguins return to their nests and chicks on the shore after spending the day out fishing in the ocean. Once the parade was over we drove about 10 minutes to a nearby hostel (~20 dollars AUD for a night).

The next day we drove back towards Melbourne where we explored a little more of the city than the day before. We saw some of the sights and poked our heads into a few museums, but our favorite thing, and what we spent the longest time at, was the market. There are hundreds of stalls selling a variety of clothes, toys, and souvenirs, as well as stalls selling produce, meats, and fish. We were able to try kangaroo for the first time which one of the butchers cooked up for us (it is delicious and very sustainable!). After stocking up on fruits and other snacks at the market we got back on the road to drive the Great Ocean Road and see the Twelve Apostles.

The drive was very pretty, but we were not able to spend as much time in the towns along the drive because our flight left that night. After seeing what remains of the Twelve Apostles we had to speed all the way back to the airport in order to make our flight.

Highlights of the trip: Penguins, kangaroos, saw a few seals at a dock we stopped at along the GreatOcean Road, ran into a snake at one of the Apostles

Regrets: We did not map out our trip as well as we should have. If I were to do it again I would do the Great Ocean Road first and leave the market until before the flight so we would not be as stressed about making the flight.

We found Reset