BIG4 members’ secret winter getaways: Part 3
Gary Bourke and his wife ride the winter winds throughout Australia on their motorbikes. Here's the destinations they've hand-picked for you.
When you go on winter escapes in Australia, where do you go? Why do you choose this location?
Answer: My wife and I travel on motorcycles for 10-12 weeks (June- August) covering on average 15,000km per trip. Escaping the cold Victorian winter, we head to warmer and drier parts of Australia. Usually aiming for the north west coast of WA and the Northern Territory.
Far North Queensland gets a visit for family get-togethers and special celebrations. We live in a dry part of Australia so being near the sea or large bodies of water is a plus for us on our holidays. We don’t have travel plans set in concrete, just an overview of what we would like to see and do.
The most time we spend in one place is 7-10 days; other times it is an overnight stop.
We don’t carry camping gear or cooking utensils, we do however carry snorkelling masks and fins for the great snorkelling on the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. This is one of the few must-visit places on our trips. The other is the Head of the Bight in South Australia.
Which BIG4 Holiday Parks do you stay in during your winter escape, and why?
Answer: BIG4 Crystal Cascades in Redlynch near Cairns accommodated over 35 members of our extended family for a recent 50th birthday. Being able to stay all together in proximity to the birthday party and the attractions in Cairns and beyond made the family get-together so much more enjoyable. Each part of the large family could pick the accommodation that suited their budget and requirements.
What are your favourite activities during your winter holidays?
Answer: Finding warmth, new places to visit, experiencing new things like swimming with the manta rays and whale sharks and snorkelling at Ningaloo. Great roads and wide open spaces appeal especially if they are near water.
Seeing the whales in their natural environment at the Head of the Bight is one experience I never tire of. Watching the mothers and calves swim and frolic right near the rocks below the viewing areas is amazing.
Looking out into the horizon and seeing the whale spouts kilometres away gives me a better understanding of how they could have been spotted by the whalers all those years ago.
With riding motorcycles the enjoyment in travelling is as much of a holiday as an actual destination. Haven’t found a boring road in Australia yet.
Why would you recommend this location to BIG4 members and other travellers?
Answer: Experiencing marine life in their natural habitat is a truly unique opportunity. Whether it be observing the whales at Head of the Bight, snorkelling off the Great Barrier Reef out of Cairns, stepping off the beach into a coral reef at Ningaloo, swimming with the whale sharks and manta rays (very safe, no barbs) also at Ningaloo.
Absolutely well worth the effort.
What cafes/attractions and restaurants do you visit when at this location?
Answer: When travelling we like to visit the local cafes and bakeries especially in small towns. Your support keeps these business alive and “there is no knowledge like local knowledge”.
Any trips on the water are always something we investigate and look forward to doing.
Complete this sentence. I’m a BIG4 member because…
Answer: I get great value and service.
And finally, my dream destination in Australia for my next holiday is? And why?
Answer: Purnululu National Park to see the awesome ranges, waterfalls and wildlife. Travelling there means we get to experience so many things we like to do, up the WA coast and then home via the landscape of the Northern Territory. We are so lucky we can just ride or drive to these places, no passport, no border checkpoints.