Sunday Herald Sun - Escape

Swell times ahead


What’s your travel resolution for 2021? Other than the obvious – to travel safely – I resolve to go somewhere, anywhere! A new year has helped me crystallis­e plans for two internatio­nal trips I hope to book for 2022-23.

When my husband and I got married, we honeymoone­d in Samoa – partly because the surf was swell, and partly because we didn’t have a lot of money and it felt like an affordable but interestin­g getaway. We made a commitment on that trip to spend the next year saving for a dream holiday in Athens and the Greek Islands – I had never been but desperatel­y wanted to. Then our children came along faster than anticipate­d, and we never managed to get there. Hence it’s first on my internatio­nal hitlist.

Our kids are now avid travellers and they’ve been steadfastl­y lobbying to tour Sri Lanka and the Maldives (more surf), so let’s see who wins the vote for our next big trip as we start to save for the year ahead. (Safe passage, and budget, will certainly play a role in that decision.)

I also want to tick off some bucket-list experience­s in Australia, and holiday a little more like an internatio­nal tourist would here this year. Our cover image this week features one of the most unique experience­s I’ve had on assignment for work, and it’s one I want to relive with friends or family.

The Heart Reef Experience is a short chopper flight from Hamilton Island (over shimmering Whitehaven Beach) to Heart Island. You can also opt to land on a small purpose-built pontoon that houses a glass-bottomed boat, along with a comfortabl­e lounge area and basic kitchen. Snorkellin­g equipment is provided, and the turquoise water beckons. Everything was built to ensure minimal impact on this more remote part of the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a fantastic daytrip, with capacity for six people, and one I remember thinking I would book one day for a special occasion – my parents’ wedding anniversar­y, say, or a milestone birthday with friends. Maybe, if all goes well, this will be our year.

For more in the way of dream holidays for 2021, pick up our latest glossy edition of Escape magazine, on sale now in supermarke­ts and newsagents. It’s a special issue filled with the best spots to see or dream about this year.

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Heart Island, Queensland.

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