Down under with Chris Hemsworth
Star of Thor and the Marvel Avengers movies, Chris Hemsworth is rising up the ranks of Hollywood royalty. After a decade away from his homeland, the actor heads back to Australia with his family for some well-earned downtime.
Spending the past 10 days exploring Australia with my family has been the most incredible experience and one I will never forget. Growing up in Australia, you can sometimes take it all for granted. But after being away for 10 years and coming back, exploring some of the most beautiful places I've ever seen has reminded me how unique and impressive Australia is and how lucky we are.
When we started planning the trip, I wanted to experience the diversity of our landscapes, from the warm tropical sunshine of the Great Barrier Reef to the rugged waterholes of the Kimberley and the Australian outback. I was really surprised by how vastly different each place was, that’s the amazing thing about Australia.
In the Kimberley, we went fishing in one particular spot that could of rivalled Jurassic Park, with crocodiles, snakes, buffalo and an abundance of other amazing native wildlife. Being in a place like this, where very few people have been and feeling completely off the grid, is a pretty special feeling.
Sunset dinners in the Kimberley are an absolute must. The colours of the skyline are rich and vibrant; and it is pretty special to see the millions of stars above the Australian outback in the night sky. We stayed at a beautiful place called Berkeley River Lodge. Having dinner each night on a sand dune, barefoot in the desert sand, was pretty cool.
One of the best afternoons in the Kimberley was swimming in a secluded waterhole at the base of a waterfall, where very few people have been. We helicoptered down along the winding Berkeley River and then boated across to this really private spot. It was amazing to spend the whole day there with the kids swimming and fishing. It's something I'll never forget.
Great Barrier Reef
We stayed at One&Only Hayman Island, which was a real highlight. You can enjoy amazing food and wine while overlooking the reef, plus they have an awesome kids’ club with face painting, fish feeding, jewellery making and some great swimming pools for us to chill out in as a family.
On the Great Barrier Reef, I went scuba diving for the first time which was amazing. There is more sea life and vibrant colours from the coral than I’ve ever seen. It’s like visiting another planet.
The most romantic part of the trip was being dropped off by helicopter on Whitehaven Beach with my wife, a picnic basket and bottle of Champagne. It was pretty special. Flying over the reef and seeing the changing blues and greens was incredible. Such intense colours and contrast to the white sand of the beaches. We spent the afternoon at Whitehaven Beach, which was absolutely stunning and has the most pristine white sand and crystal clear water. It’s the perfect spot to just unwind surrounded by the reef.
The next day we took the kids for a picnic and a bit of beach cricket on Langford Island, just off Hayman Island. The kids loved running along the sand and playing in the shallows.
Uluru & Kata-Tjuta National Park
Seeing Uluru for the first time was really awesome. We had the very special experience of meeting with Sammy Wilson, a local Anangu Traditional Owner. Listening to the local Indigenous people speaking with us about the cultural and spiritual significance of Uluru was fascinating and inspiring. The kids loved running around the base of the rock and exploring all the little caves and trails. And there was a really cool art installation on called Field of Light; the colours at sunrise were amazing.
The natural beauty of Australia is what always surprises me. From the Red Centre and Uluru with rich desert landscapes, to stunning gorges and remote waterholes of the Kimberley, to vibrant islands like Hayman Island where you have crystal clear water and white sand beaches. Australia really does have it all. If I had one bit of advice for people thinking about Australia, I’d just say hurry up and book. You won’t regret it. It’s a truly unique experience.