We all know that secret feeling – after facing the horrors of doing your tax forms there’s an unspoken hope that your efforts will yield a massive and unexpected return, allowing you to pack-up and take-off. Well, good news. Every year more of us than you think do exactly that, and use that windfall, no matter what size to fuel their wanderlust. To cater to all sorts of tax returns, big or small, weekend getaway or luxury resort, we’ve put our heads together and come up with some perfect return-based holidays.
Tax return of A$1,000:
Bali’s capital is famous for its chaotic and lively atmosphere, offering Aussies a top getaway when escaping winter. Denpasar is a city rich in culture, seen when exploring the many temples or attending a traditional Kecak Fire Dance; and if you want to get out of the city and check out the surrounding there are plenty of day tours. 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.
Total cost: A$758
Auckland, New Zealand
Vibrant yet laid-back, coastal but surrounded by forest, wild yet exquisite, Auckland caters to all travellers. If you want rugged, black sand beaches and intensely green native forest take a walk on the wild side along the West Coast. Off the east coast, Waiheke Island, just a 35-minute ferry ride away from downtown Auckland, is the ultimate luxury escape – home to world-class vineyards and much gentler beaches.
Total cost: A$778
Aussies heading to Nadi can expect pacific island perfection. The city itself has great places to eat, drink and shop, but it’s best known as a base for scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, jet skiing and hiking. The regions outside Nadi are worth exploring too, in particular, the vast and beautiful Coral Coast; an eighty kilometre stretch of beaches and bays stretching between Nadi and Suva. Postcard perfect photos every time.
Total cost: A$901
Tax return of $1,500:
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Whether a first-timer or repeat offender, 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 the city, has something for everyone. But don’t forget the world outside the city limits; the town of Tuen Mun lies to the west, at the base of Castle Peak – the highest mountain this side of the New Territories, providing uncanny views of the surrounds that most other tourists have never seen before.
Total cost: A$758
Craving inner-city living and the feeling of being lost in a forest at the same time? Singapore is your city. Already one of the world’s greenest, you can push the nature envelope even further by wandering through the Singapore Botanic Gardens; a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to thousands of orchid species. Balance this out by stepping onto the pavement. Test your haggling skills by bartering 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.
Total cost: A$1,118
Noumea, New Caledonia
If a horizontal holiday is what you’re after then the constant sun and white-sand beaches will tick all the boxes, but Noumea is also perfect for sun-obsessed Aussies looking to get active outdoors Sailing, diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing, and top-notch hiking trails are all readily available all year round. Those wanting to take it up a level, literally, can paraglide or skydive for that extra adrenaline hit.
Total cost: A$1,154
It’s impossible not to be swept up by the energy of Tokyo, a city that really doesn’t sleep. From lively karaoke bars to vast fish markets and Harajuku girls, Japan’s capital is fast-paced and vibrant. Make sure to get lost in the neighbourhoods of Harajuku and Aoyama; both offer a fascinating window into the real Tokyo. Yoyogi-kōen park is an oasis where travellers and locals alike take time out from the chaos to relax on the grass and enjoy the world’s craziest array of street performers.
Total cost: A$1,219
Tax return of A$2,000:
Stretching from Pearl Harbour to Makapuu Point, and featuring Waikiki beach, Honolulu is the lively heart of Hawaii. The nature here is some of the world’s most spectacular, and nowhere more so than Kuhio Beach Park, with its protected beaches, water activities galore, and free sunset hula shows. For the tropical ‘grassroots’ of Hawaii head to Lyon Arboretum, where walking trails wind amongst an array of exotic plants and wildlife.
Total cost: A$1,925
Ah, Paris, je t’aime. It’s a given that you have to check out all those super famous tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Arc De Triomphe, and it’s worth every second, but Aussies wanting to do something totally different should take a wander 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.
Total cost: A$1,795
Tax return of A$2,500:
London, it’s on every traveller’s list and with good reason. The capital is jammers with history and iconic landmarks; food and fashion markets, and all the pomp and ceremony that go along with the home of our Monarchy. From Big Ben to Covent Market, to the changing of the guards, London is as only London can be. London also offers Aussies a taste of some of the world’s best food; from Michelin-Starred eateries, run by celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal, a curry on Brick Lane or a pie at Borough market; Aussie bellies are going to be more than satisfied.
Total cost: A$2,297
Debby Soo, KAYAK Vice President, APAC comments,
“The end of the financial year is prime time for last-minute holiday bookings in Australia, with many tax returns going towards the big one, or an unexpected vacation added to the annual holiday schedule. 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 fantastic tool that enables users to define searches by criteria including travel season or month and length of trip”
Note to editors:
*The hotel prices (including taxes and fees) are for the total stay in a double occupancy room, and were collated on 16 June 2016 on kayak.com.au for a 4-night stay in September 2016, for the respective hotels mentioned in the release with a minimum 4 star rating. Prices are subject to change and offers may no longer be available.
**The flight prices (including taxes and fees, excluding baggage fees) are for one round-trip economy flight from Sydney, Australia, and were collated on 16 June 2016 on kayak.com.au for travel in September 2016. Prices are subject to change and offers may no longer be available.