How to spend the tax return you'll hopefully be getting
(Hint: it's on a holiday!)
It’s hard to believe, but it’s nearly that time of the year when the tax man comes calling. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll be patiently waiting in hope that you’re on the right side of the ledger with a nice, fat refund.
According to Australia’s financial watchdog, ASIC, the average tax return is $2,112 (sweet!) - but only about 5 per cent of us spend our hidden savings on a holiday (boo!).
We think that’s a bit of a shame, because we know how hard you work (people leaving the office after 8pm – we’re looking at you…), so we’ve asked our friends at Flight Centre Barangaroo where $2,112 can take you for a well-deserved break.
There's nothing like seeing the Sydney Opera House and city skyline reflected in the harbour at night. Sydney is calling - treat yourself to a glamorous staycation and see your home city in a new light.
If you're keen to escape the (02) area code, bag yourself a cheap domestic flight and a couple of nights’ accommodation in one of Australia’s glorious destinations. Soak up Melbourne’s laneway vibes and check out the Dior exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (27 Aug – 7 Nov), browse the foodie delights at Adelaide’s Central Market and go winery hopping in McLaren Vale; or kick back and relax along the white sandy beaches of the Whitsundays.
Old Favourite (sort of)
Bali may be the most popular island in Indonesia, but there are 18,305 more islands waiting to be discovered – so here are a couple to think about.
Lombok, a volcanic island west of Bali, is attracting a trail of tourists looking to get off the beaten path. There's a host of palm-fringed beaches and great surfing spots on the south coast, but the best of Lombok is the island’s centre - a velvet-green cornucopia of valleys, soaring mountains, waterfalls, rice fields and plantations that remain practically untouched by the modern age.
A 30-minute cruise from Bali (but a million metaphorical miles away), Nusa Lembongan is a small island discovered by surfers about a decade ago. Originally a backpacker destination, it’s now a growing hub for yoga, and a mecca for diving following the recent creation of the Nusa Penida Marine Park.
Willing to splash a bit more cash? Nearby Asia offers a host of exciting three or four-night holidays that are still shy of blowing your whole tax return.
If you’re looking for some urban hustle and bustle, look no further than Manila, capital of the Philippines. Take a food tour of Chinatown for flavourful pork asada and lumpia; check out the 64-hectare Intramuros citadel for a dose of Spanish colonial history; or gather your thoughts in the green oasis that is Rizal Park.
Alternatively, find yourself in Vietnam’s vibrant Ho Chi Minh City, with its glass skyscrapers, boutique hotels, wartime tunnels, thriving markets, ancient pagodas, and French colonial influence. Elsewhere, Hong Kong has a mix of British colonial charm and southern Chinese customs, with towering skyscrapers and frenetic streets below; and the ever-popular Bangkok has plenty to see and do, including the Grand Palace, shopping at the Chatuchak Weekend Market, plenty of temples, and the famous nightlife along Khao San Road.
If you’re keen to head off on a longer adventure, put your tax return towards a flight to somewhere in the northern hemisphere. See the Northern Lights in Finland, travel through the Canadian Rockies, or do that bucket list drive along U.S. Route 66!
To plan your next holiday, say hello to the team at Flight Centre Barangaroo - now open on the corner of Hickson Road and Shipwright Walk.