At the end of every financial year, some lucky Australians get a windfall to fuel their wanderlust. Whether travellers are wanting to unwind on a tropical island, explore a new city and its surrounds, or book a long weekend away – KAYAK.com.au has revealed some of the world’s most sought after destinations that will suit any tax return budget.
Tax return of $1,000
Bali’s capital is famous for its chaos and lively atmosphere and offers travellers the perfect getaway to escape the winter chill.
Denpasar has a rich culture, which can be uncovered by exploring the temples and seeing a traditional Kecak Fire Dance, while a number of day tours allow travellers to explore the city’s surrounds.
Independent souls may want to hire a car and build their own itinerary; driving to Uluwatu for its spectacular beaches, or exploring the beautiful Bedugul Village and Jatiluwih Rice Fields.
Auckland, New Zealand
Famous for its vibrant yet laid-back culture, as well as the breathtaking landscapes of coast, forests and vineyards that surround it, Auckland caters to all travellers.
Those wanting to take a walk on the wild side will enjoy the West Coast, with its lush native rainforests and black-sand beaches. Off the east coast, Waiheke Island is just a 35-minute ferry ride away from downtown Auckland and is the ultimate luxury escape – home to a number of first-class vineyards and lovely beaches.
Travellers heading to Nadi can expect to experience a lively multicultural town with great places to eat, drink and shop. It’s also known as a base for scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, jetskiing and hiking.
The regions outside Nadi are worth discovering too, in particular the vast and beautiful Coral Coast; an eighty kilometre stretch of beaches and bays along the Ocean Road between Nadi and Suva.
Tax return of $1,500
For both first-timers and repeat offenders, Hong Kong never fails to disappoint. After all, this is one of the world’s most fascinating destinations; ethnically diverse, historically rich, and full of natural wonders.
From bars and clubs, live entertainment, and of course, great food – Hong Kong has something for every itinerary. Outside the city limits and to the west lies the town of Tuen Mun, with a number of historic monasteries, and in close vicinity to Castle Peak – the highest mountain this side of the New Territories that provides sweeping views over the surrounding landscape.
Renowned for being one of the world’s greenest cities, Singapore offers travellers a refreshing take on the typical holiday. Travellers can easily reacquaint themselves with nature by wandering through the Singapore Botanic Gardens; a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to thousands of orchid species.
This is also an incredibly global city, with fascinating pockets of culture at every turn. Barter for spices in Little India or fabric in the Arab Quarter, visit the Mariamman Temple in Chinatown, eat dinner in a bustling Hawker market – and end the day sipping a classic Singapore Sling at the colonial-style Raffles Hotel.
Noumea, New Caledonia
Located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, New Caledonia has a temperate tropical climate, perfect for basking in the sun on its heavenly white-sand beaches all year round.
Australians can make the most of the great weather by enjoying the many outdoor activities available on the island, including sailing, diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing, as well as fantastic hiking trails. Those wanting to take it up a level can paraglide or skydive to get a unique perspective of what the island looks like from above.
It’s impossible not to be swept up in the energy of Tokyo, a city that’s constantly on the move. From lively karaoke bars to vast fish markets and entertaining Harajuku girls, Japan’s capital is fast-paced and vibrant.
Two of the city’s biggest draw cards, the neighbourhoods of Harajuku and Aoyama, offer a fascinating window into Tokyo’s culture. Yoyogi-kōen park is an oasis where travellers and locals alike take time out from the chaos to relax on the grass and enjoy impressive street performers, including hula-hoopers, African drum circles and dancers.
Tax return of $2,000
Spanning the southeastern shores of Oahu from Pearl Harbour to Makapuu Point, and including the world famous Waikiki beach, Honolulu is the lively heart of Hawaii. From here it’s easy to access nature at its most spectacular, and nowhere more so than Kuhio Beach Park, with its protected beaches, water activities such as canoeing, and free evening shows with sunset hulas. T
he true ‘grassroots’ of Hawaii can be found at Lyon Arboretum, where walking trails wind amongst an array of exotic plants and wildlife.
Lucky travellers who receive a substantial tax return can book a trip to experience Paris, the city of love.
Beyond the popular tourist attraction sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Arc De Triomphe, travellers can experience something a little out of the ordinary by walking through the Les Catacombes de Paris. Be warned, this isn’t an activity for the faint hearted – the underground ossuaries are in a network of ancient mines directly under the city, and hold the skeletal remains of over 6 million people.
Tax return of $2,500
London is on every traveller’s list, and for a good reason. The capital is packed with rich history and iconic landmarks, and food and fashion markets including Brick Lane Market, Borough Market or Covent Garden Markets.
Royal fans will take pleasure in watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace; where pristine and uniformed guards perform a precision drill to bands.
London also offers Aussies a taste of some of the world’s most highly-regarded restaurants with plenty of Michelin-Starred eateries for travellers to choose from. Those wanting to try their hand at fine dining should check out the venues run by celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal for a real star-studded experience.
Debby Soo, KAYAK Vice President, APAC says it’s a great time to plan your next trip.
“The end of the financial year is prime time for last-minute holiday bookings in Australia, with many tax returns going towards that one big overseas trip, or an extra vacation added to the annual holiday schedule,” she says.
“It’s the perfect time for travellers to fuel their wanderlust and get the holiday they’ve been looking for within their set budget using Explore, which is a handy tool that enables users to define searches by criteria including travel season or month and length of trip”