Life is all about experiences. Here’s how Journey Beyond draws together some of the best Australia has to offer.
WORDS: Giselle Whiteaker
There’s a reason frequent travellers have a preferred hotel brand. Part of the appeal is knowing what to expect, no matter where you are. It’s that familiar signature scent that welcomes you into the lobby, the oh-so-chic yet welcoming décor, the selection of toiletries waiting in the ensuite, the softest pillow you’ve rested your head on. And it will feel like home while being somewhere else.
It’s much the same when you indulge in a tourism experience with Journey Beyond. Despite the differences, some things stay the same, whether you’re at Sal Salis Ningaloo Reef in the far north of Western Australia, cruising past the Opera House with Journey Beyond Cruise Sydney, exploring the Binns Track on an epic four-wheel drive adventure with Outback Spirit, or crossing the continent on the Indian Pacific. But what are the common threads that draw these experiences together? What does a view from the Southern Hemisphere’s tallest observation deck have to do with watching the sun rise at a rail siding in the middle of nowhere?
It might be the colours. There’s the startling red landscape visible through the train windows as The Ghan travels through the centre of the country; the brilliant turquoise water around Hardy Reef, where Cruise Whitsundays’ Reefworld is moored; the brilliant pink hues of dusk that morph into deep violet, orange and indigo as Darwin Harbour Cruises sails the bay; the golden sands sweeping from the eco-luxe tents at Sal Salis to the shore. Australia makes the most of the painter’s palette with her landscapes, and Journey Beyond displays these canvases across the country.
It’s more than that though. Perhaps it’s the connection with country. Every Journey Beyond experience is authentically Australian and in a unique location – even the adventures on the move are inexorably linked to the environments they travel through.
“Australia makes the most of the painter’s palette with her landscapes.”
Take the trains. As you gaze over the barren beauty of the Nullarbor with the clickety clack of the train wheels as your soundtrack, there’s nowhere else you could be. Beyond the tracks, when you post your quokka selfie on Instagram, you’re transported to Rottnest Island. And when you spy the planet’s only horizontal waterfalls, you know you’re at Talbot Bay. Let’s not forget the man-made beauty, either. There’s that bridge – you know the one, the city sights, the rural wineries, the high-in-the-sky Melbourne restaurant. There’s no denying the Lucky Country is well endowed when it comes to beauty. But there’s still more.
It’s the sum of all the parts – the colours, the connection, the experiences, the service. It’s the smile that crosses your face as you spot eastern grey kangaroos bounding away from the rail track on the Great Southern. It’s the exhilaration of swimming alongside whale sharks before returning to tented luxury at Sal Salis. It’s the night you spend in an underwater Reefsuite after a day of underwater exploration with Cruise Whitsundays. It’s the thrill of facing your fear as you step into the Edge, the transparent glass cube that projects out from Melbourne Skydeck. It’s the moment you realise you are tracing a path through Arnhem Land with Outback Spirit that few have trodden. Most of all, it’s the memories you’re making as you ignite your imagination.
When you make a journey, you travel from one place to another. When you journey beyond, the experience stays with you forever.