We waited, waited a long time, until this date of February 21, 2022 announced…
A February 21 like no other, mixed with joy and relief, with the reopening of the Australian borders. What to give balm to the heart with a horizon that is finally clearing up and the pleasure of once again offering beautiful perspectives to travelers eager to discover or rediscover these distant lands.
Written by Valérie ONNO, Premium Travel on Monday February 21, 2022
Immediate boarding for Australia with Aurélia
© Premium Travel
If there was one enthusiastic person on February 7, 2022 when the reopening of Australia was announced, it was Aurélia Devilliers, Product Manager for Australia Toursone of the group’s à la carte brands PremiumTravel.
She gives us in all sincerity “her” Australia and believe that just listening to her, makes us want to immediately pack our bags
Aurélia, Can you briefly tell us about your itinerary and your missions at Premium Travel?
Passionate about Australia since my first DownUnder trip at the age of 17, I had the chance to join Australia Tours directly in 1998 after my internship in the land of kangaroos and obtaining my diploma.
Since 2005, I have been working in production and designing, as Oceania product manager, the brochure Australia Tours, always on the lookout for new things, better highlighting destinations and all they have to offer: the must-sees but also lesser-known regions, off the beaten track, more confidential and unusual products. As an expert on Australia, Premium Travel Australia Tours must offer an ever more extensive, innovative, constantly evolving offer, in line with the needs, expectations and desires of passengers. Our expertise and mastery of the Oceania zone and in particular of Australia associated with the relationships created with local service providers for more than 20 years allow us to present a very nice range of products and itinerary ideas.
Australia is a land of contrasts that offers so many different landscapes and varied experiences that everyone finds their little corner of paradise. My mission is to offer an Australia for everyone: young and old, solo or with a tribe, free or guided, on iconic destinations or on the edge of the Outback, in all seasons.
In 2021, following the consolidation of all our brands under Premium Travel, my expertise in Oceania production for Australia Tours was extended to the La Française des Circuits brand, a specialist in GIR. It now offers a richer offer of circuits and autotours in Oceania with, in particular for Australia, a program dedicated to a first discovery of the country but also a more confidential circuit for repeaters, lovers of the destination. or those wishing to go off the beaten track in search of a more authentic experience, with an unprecedented extension in Tasmania. More than a job, selling Australia is a real passion for me!
How did you feel on February 7 when you learned of the imminent opening of Australian borders?
© Aurelia Devilliers
A great surprise, I no longer thought it could happen so soon and of course a very great joy, after almost 2 years of closure, Australia is finally opening up again to the world.
This green light, we were all waiting for it, us as TO, but also the airlines to be able to reposition more rotations and frequencies on the destination, our partners at the destination to relaunch the activity… After two years of dreaming our passengers, to maintain the passion for Australia, to exchange with our service providers…
We will be able to travel again and above all share our love of the destination with our passengers who have been very patient and are eager to take off to discover the island-continent of the antipodes.
What is Australia for you?
For me, Australia is synonymous with wide open spaces, ocher desert land, an infinite variety of natural and urban landscapes as grandiose as they are unusual, unique fauna and flora, the oldest culture to the world and a relaxed Beach Culture lifestyle. Traveling in Australia means making several trips as you can be out of place from one region to another.
Which region do you prefer?
© Aurelia Devilliers
What region ? I would rather say which regions!!
I love the serenity of wide open spaces and deserts, the ocher earth and red sand of Australia in particular. It is therefore naturally that the regions of the Kimberley (WA), the Flinders Ranges (SA) and the Outback in general are among my favorites.
On the sea side, I like the authenticity of the southern part of Queensland with the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast (QLD) and the still secret and preserved islands like Lord Howe (NSW) or Pumpkin Island small confetti of the Keppel Islands ( QLD).
And then Tasmania, this green island in the fresh air with a well marked identity and very different from the rest of the Australian continent, an extraordinary playground for lovers of nature and hiking.
Finally, Australia is a destination that can be enjoyed on land, but also at sea: encountering whales, exploring the Great Barrier Reef (QLD) or Ningaloo Reef (WA), swimming with whale sharks (WA ), tunas, sea lions or giant cuttlefish (SA) or even from the air: the magic of flying over the Great Barrier Reef (QLD), Sydney Bay (NSW) or the incredible domes of Purnululu ( Bungle Bungle Ranges WA).
To discover Australia is also to see the country through its original people, to understand the attachment of this community to this land, to listen to the legends of the Dreamtime. Everywhere in Australia and even in town, you can learn more about the Aboriginal people and their ancestral culture.
What was your greatest moment lived there, the one that really made you vibrate?
My first night in Kakadu National Park (double classified by Unesco for its natural richness and its cultural importance), under the stars in a swag (a kind of Australian sleeping bag).
At the heart of this park, we feel very small, overwhelmed by the natural and cultural history that surrounds us. At nightfall, the immense starry celestial vault appears and the Milky Way takes shape clearly in the sky, a magical moment!
For a first discovery, what would you recommend?
© Aurelia Devilliers
Our individual program Good Day Australia (Australia Tours) whose itinerary allows you to discover the contrasting landscapes and unmissable sites of Australia: Sydney – Red Center (Ayers Rock/Uluru, Kings Canyon and Alice Springs) – Darwin with Kakadu & Katherine – Cairns.
For people who prefer to be guided for their first steps in the antipodes, our GIR Lumière tours from Australia (La Française des Circuits) and Splendors of Australia (Australia Tours) allow a very beautiful first approach to the country of kangaroos: Adelaide & Kangaroo Island – Red Center (Alice Springs, Kings Canyon and Ayers Rock/Uluru) – Sydney – Cairns – the Great Barrier Reef and the tropical forest.
If I am going as a family with children, which program would be best suited?
© Aurelia Devilliers
Australia is a family friendly destination, I traveled there myself with my small family, the island-continent is a paradise for young and old, regardless of age, meeting kangaroos, koalas or again the smiling quokkas is always a magical moment.
My recommendation: an à la carte trip, to be put together with our team of experts who will know how to orient the program according to the age of the children or teenagers, their desires and the budget. We can thus alternate stays in apart-hotels with autotours or even roadtrips in a motorhome, which is very popular with the tribes. Among our sample programs, theaustralia with family is an Australian adventure very well suited to young and old.
Why choose Premium Travel to go to Australia?
Thank you Aurélia for sharing your expertise and your passion for this destination. To really discover as you want, by GIR, self-guided self-drive or entirely tailor-made since Premium Travel offers all the travel formulas for Australia.