Escape to Victoria & South Australia April 2017

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Victoria & South Australia 2017:

Total duration 16D15N
Melbourne is 2hrs ahead of Singapore. Flight time is 7hrs 25mins on Scoot from Singapore to Melbourne.
Adelaide is 1.5hrs ahead of Singapore. Return is 7hrs on Singapore Airlines from Adelaide to Singapore.

Flight from Singapore to Melbourne at 115am, arriving at 1040am in Melbourne. Return flight from Adelaide to Singapore is at 910am and touching down in Singapore at 310pm.

Day 0-1 – Arrival in Melbourne and R&R
Day 2 – Victoria Market, Federation Square and Newquay promenade
Day 3 – Melbourne to Belgrave, Puffing Billy train ride
Day 4 – Belgrave to Squeaky beach and overnight at Phillip Island
Day 5 – Inverloch, the Caves beach and Penguin Parade
Day 6 – From Phillip Island to Queenscliff Big4 Beacon Resort
Day 7 – Coogoorah Park, Split Point lighthouse and Koala spotting
Day 8 – Otway lightstation, 12 Apostles and the other rocks
Day 9 – Port Fairy to Robe – Tower Hill Reserve and the Blue Lake
Day 10 – Robe to Victor Harbour – Kingston Lobster, Meningie and Victor Central
Day 11 – From Victor Habour to Kangaroo Island Emu bay – R&R
Day 12 – Flinders Chase National Park and Vivonne bay
Day 13 – Raptor Domain and Seal bay
Day 14 – Arrival in Glenelg, harbour town outlet shopping and Beachouse
Day 15 – Botanic Gardens and Rundle Mall
Day 16 – Home Sweet Home

This trip was planned to as one of our annual trip for 2017. There were 2 days of public holiday in May and therefore to maximize the usage of our leave, we chose to do it at this time of the year. Torn between the choices of going to Central Europe and South Australia, we ended up with SA because of the ease of logistics arrangements.

Budget – Not cheap.

Costs of food were expensive since food court was not usual in towns outside the main cities. Costs of accommodation were not cheap either especially when we need a kitchen to cook. Fuel was thankfully way cheaper than Singapore and with the not too bad exchange rate, costs were balanced out.

Complexity – Easy with GPS downloaded into the phone in a car

The initial traveling plan was to drive around with a data enabled phone but since we could actually download the google map onto the phone, we didn’t need data at all! Paved roads most of the time was easy to drive though some of them were a little bumpy for an Elantra. Signboards were everywhere. Since attractions were far from one place to another, driving would be the best option for a family traveling from one spot to another.

Escape plan to Perth August 2015

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Perth 2015:

Total duration 5D4N
Singapore is in the same time zone as Perth.
Flight time is 5hrs on Scoot from Singapore to Perth. Return flight on Qantas is 5hrs 20mins from Perth to Singapore

Afternoon flight on 6th August at 12:30pm and arrival in Perth at 5:25pm.
Return flight is on the 10th August at 12pm and arrival in Singapore at 5:20pm.

Day 1 Arrival at Perth
Day 2 Fremantle markets and Watertown
Day 3 Perth City
Day 4 Caversham Wildlife Park and King’s park
Day 5 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was to make full use of the super long golden jubilee weekend in celebrations of SG50. We chose to go south instead of north because it would be cooler in the south during this period. The available flights that were under 6hrs was to Perth and since we had’t been there before, this was the opportunity.

Budget nature: Highest rate of Sing vs Aussie dollars made trip of value.

Travelling during this period was expected to be expensive in terms of airfares. That was also the reason for us to travel in Scootbiz since there weren’t much difference ($100) between the economy with the add ons and the biz. Also, Qantas return provided a better timing with a slightly higher charge vs Scoot.

Buying stuff in Aussie was much easier on the pockets given the almost 1:1 exchange rate. With the TRS, buying stuff that allowed tax refund almost guarantee a 10% discount compared to Singapore.

Complexity: Perth was easy to get around in a car.

Driving in Perth was pretty straight forward since it was not a big city comparatively and far less people and cars. Parking was quite easy to find and multi-storey ones were available at the malls. Carparks were nonetheless expensive.

Escape plan to Australia and Fiji in August 2014

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Australia and Fiji in August 2014:

Total duration 18D17N
Singapore is 2hrs behind Australia and 5hrs behind Fiji.
Flight time is 6hrs direct flight on Scoot from Singapore to Gold Coast.
Night flight on 25th July and arrival in Gold Coast at 8am on the next day.
Return flight is 8hrs direct flight on Scoot from Sydney to Singapore. Day flight on a Monday afternoon (off in lieu for National Day) at 1240pm and arrival at 7pm on the same day.

Day 1&2 Arrival at Gold Coast
Day 3 Sea World and Movie World
Day 4 Brisbane Parklands and shopping
Day 5 Arrival at Nadi
Day 6 Nadi town, Port Denarau and Robinson Crusoe Night cruise
Day 7 Arrival at Matamanoa Island
Day 8 Matamanoa Island
Day 9 Modriki Island
Day 10 Nadi Transit to Melbourne
Day 11 Arrival in Hobart
Day 12 Bonorong and Port Arthur
Day 13 Freycinet National Park
Day 14 Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake
Day 15 Strahan and Lake St. Clair
Day 16 Penguin, Cataract Gorge and Lauceston
Day 17 Platypus house, Sunday Market, City Park and Launceston town
Day 18 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was planned as our last overseas holiday for 2014 before delivery of little one. As it was summer in the northern hemisphere, we had to choose to head south. Only Australia was presented an option that was not too far away based on flight time. Fiji was a side trip as it was cheaper to fly to Fiji from Australia then from Singapore.

Budget nature: Budget buster.

This is definitely not cheap for the duration, the weaker currency of Singapore dollar against the Australian dollar, the higher prices of food and accommodation in Australia and a side trip to island resort in Fiji.

Complexity: Easy to get around if you drive in Aussie. Fiji travel by taxi is manageable.

The various cities of Australia is easy accessible by their advance network of public transport but driving would be the easier way to get around. This is even more true in more countryside Tasmania.

Getting around in Fiji is hassle free by taxi but expensive. If you are adventurous enough, you could take their cheaper local transport.

Escape Plan to Sydney in January 2014

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Sydney in January 2014:

Total duration 4D3N
Singapore is 3 hr behind of Sydney, Australia.
Flight time is 8hr direct flight on Scoot from Singapore to Sydney.
Friday early morning flight on 31st Jan and arrival in Sydney at 1240pm on same day.

Day 1 Arrival in Sydney and shopping at QVB
Day 2 Featherdale Wildlife Park, Darling Harbour
Day 3 Blue mountains, Manly Beach
Day 4 Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was to take advantage of the long weekend for Chinese New Year to escape to Sydney, where it was still operational, unlike a Singapore that was pretty much shut down. Also, the tickets were pretty cheap, SGD $350 all in for return on Scoot and presented a good opportunity to test out this budget airline.

Budget nature: Really expensive city. 

Transportation costs were so much higher than Singapore, be it parking fees or taking the train to the city from the airport. Be ready to pay if eating in restaurants for all 3 meals.The accommodations were expensive too. The only cheaper stuff were probably Ipads and Quiksilver.

Complexity: Easy by public transport, madness to drive in Sydney

Travelling around Sydney by public transport was easy peasy. It would be effortless if there were some preplanning down before by checking this site as it a search engine to provide all the possible routes from your location to your destination. Driving in busy Sydney was frustrating if you weren’t familiar, and so was parking. Read all about it before attempting.

Escape Plan to Uluru, Ayers Rock February 2010

A brief summary on the itinerary

Escape Plan to Uluru, Ayers Rock 2010:

Total duration 4D4N
Darwin and Ayers Rock is 1.5hrs ahead of Singapore.
Flight time is 4hrs 35mins to Darwin International Terminal in Darwin, transit of 3hrs 25mins followed by 2hrs flight to Alice Springs Airport in Alice Spring, transit of 4hrs 30mins followed by 50mins flight to Ayers Rock.

Flight was overnight flight on Jetstar Airlines on the 12th February at 9:55pm and arrival in Darwin at 4:05am.
Flight departure on Qantas Airlines on the same day at 7:30am and arrival in Alice Spring at 10:30am and departure on the same day at 2pm and arrival in Ayers Rock at 2:50pm.

Return flight was on Qantas Airlines on the 16th Febuary at 9:35am in Ayers Rock and arrival in Alice Springs at 10:20am and departure on the same day at 11:00am and arrive in Darwin at 12:55pm.
Flight departure on Jetstar Airlines on the same day at 4:10pm in Darwin and arrival in Singapore at 7:10pm.

Day 0/1 – Short visit to Alice Springs town, arrival in Ayers Rock and Sunset at Ayers Rock
Day 2 – Sunrise at Ayers Rock, Ayers Rock climb, Mount Olga visit and sunset
Day 3 – Rest and Relax at accommodation
Day 4 – Sunrise at Ayer’s Rock and Home Sweet Home

This escape plan was planned as a getaway for Valentine’s day and Chinese New Year super long weekend in 2010. We chose a place where it was not cold so we went south where it was summer time in Australia. And a short Ayers Rock fit the bill for a short getaway.

Budget nature: A little bit pricey

There were at least 2 flight ransfers required to get there and thus plane tickets alone were not cheap. Ayers Rock is in the middle of a desert and accommodation is also expected to be not cheap for a simple place to sleep in.

Complexity: Not too difficult

Other than timing the flights so that there was enough time for transfer, the tour around Ayers Rock can be done with self drive which really simple.