How Long should the Big Lap take?

Published: May 25, 2011

When plotting their Big Lap, grey nomads are faced with an impossibly difficult dilemma … how long do I need get a true taste of this magical country … two months, two years, two decades, two lifetimes?

Of course, the answer is always the ‘longer the better’ but time restrictions, financial restrictions and family commitments mean – sadly – that most of us have to draw the line somewhere. And that leads on to the next big question … at what stage do those commitments and restrictions mean time will be so short that there is simply no point hitching up the van and hitting the road?

Well, according to our friends across the world in the UK … Australia is a destination that can satisfactorily be knocked off in just a fortnight … and that’s taking into account jet lag recovery as well!

No less an organ than the respected London Daily Mail has jumped on the ‘you-can-do-a-continent-at breakneck speed’ bandwagon.

“Even if you have just two weeks’ holiday available there’s no reason why you shouldn’t consider a trip to Australia,” says the Travel section. “You’ll be amazed at just what you can fit in.”

Strewth, fellas! You’ll be amazed at what you’re missing out on, as well!

“You’re on a ‘holiday of a lifetime’, with the implication being that you are unlikely to pass this way again,” says the Mail. “And you should have come for a month, everyone says, so that you can see absolutely everything.”

Everything in a month! Tell them they’re dreaming.

The Mail says that, according to travel companies, visitors to Australia have seven experiences on their ‘to do’ list:

1. The Outback

2. Nature

3. Cities

4. Journeys

5. Aboriginal Australia

6.Aussie coastal lifestyle

7.Aussie food and wine

Now, a quick glimpse into the mindset and itinerary of the Mail’s travel team.

“In Sydney you can tick off three of these at a stroke,” they say. “A city, a coastal lifestyle and excellent food and wine.”

Great, been there, done that … what’s next?

“Fly further afield to Ayers Rock – about a four-hour flight,” says the Mail. “And you can tick off another three great Aussie experiences the Outback, nature and Aboriginal Australia.”

Of course, the ‘two-week Poms’ have the luxury of jumping on a flight or two or three but can you realistcially even get a taste of a country as varied and as interesting and as huge as Australia in two weeks? And how long is the minimum you can set off on a big Around Australia as a grey nomad?

Of course, we can have trial runs just chasing the sun in the southern winter, or a separate checkout of the Kimberley or some other region run … but how long do you need to ‘see Australia’?

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