The Family Escape

The Brief

Having recently arrived on Singapore shores, after relocating from London, this family was keen to start exploring the nearby regional offerings with Singapore as a base. Personal Advisor Sheena arranged an afternoon tea session at The Grand Lobby at Raffles Singapore for an initial discussion about their travel wish list. She quickly learnt that the family all shared a common love for the ocean. The parents were eager to obtain PADI diving certifications to further their exploration of the underwater world and its hidden unknowns, while the eldest child was particularly interested in ocean ecology and conversation efforts, aspiring to become a marine biologist. They also let on that their youngest loved sports and was a keen rugby player in school. As the discussion progressed, Sheena learnt that the parents had been to some parts of Asia before they had kids but never had the chance to tick Australia off their list as the family grew and the logistical challenges of long haul flying with young kids meant they had to postpone their plans of visiting the land down under. With their new home now situated a few hours away, Australia became a clear choice for their upcoming trip and Sheena fully understood that the getaway had to be immersive and educational with a good mixture of time set aside for recharging together as well as time to break away and do their own things.



The Experience

To kick things off, the guests arrived in Sydney, heading to Bondi Beach where the parents enjoyed some beach time and well-deserved cocktails, whilst the young ones caught the waves with a private surf instructor who arranged for them to meet Kelly Slater, widely regarded as the greatest professional surfer of all time and their surf idol. Later in the day, the family scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the largest steel arch bridge in the world, where they enjoyed incredible panoramic views of Sydney and a beautiful sunset. The day wrapped up with an exceptionally sumptuous dinner on board a private chartered yacht that offered stunning views of the Sydney Harbour and Opera House.

Early the next day, the guests experienced the expanse and sights of the magnificent Blue Mountains from a helicopter, before meeting up with the head conservationist at Featherdale Wildlife Park for a personal behind-the-scenes tour where the kids assisted with the daily duties to care for Australian native wildlife such as wombats, kangaroos and koalas.

With their final day in Sydney coinciding with the finals of the Bledisloe Cup featuring Australia versus The All Blacks, exclusive VIP tickets and a private suite at the ANZ stadium had been pre-arranged. Sheena had also arranged for legendary All Black players Sean Fitzpatrick and Ritchie McCaw to drop by the family’s suite for an intimate meet-and-greet session where they shared some pre-game insights before taking some pictures, much to the delight of their youngest son. Meanwhile, Mum had been whisked off for a private shopping tour with a celebrity stylist. While the boys enjoyed the game, she spent the day sipping champagne and shopping to her heart’s delight, across the city’s finest suburbs scattered with international and Australian boutiques, as the entire experience completely tailored to her personal style preferences.

The following day, the family headed to the Hayman islands where a luxury yacht was chartered through the Whitsundays, providing the perfect opportunity for the parents to attain their PADI diving certifications before heading north to the Great Barrier reef where the family spent the next few days exploring the incredible scenery and vibrant wildlife below the water’s surface. A special educational course had also been specially arranged for the eldest child, where she boarded a helicopter for a short ride to UQ Research station, the largest island-based research station in the Southern Hemisphere. Here she experienced being a marine biologist while accessing restricted research areas and learning more about the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef. Knowing that it was prime nesting season, a personal guide had been arranged to lead the family to a secluded beach area one evening. In the darkness and as the waves gently lapped at the coast, the family silently witnessed a magical and life-changing sight as female sea turtles dutifully made their way to shore to lay eggs. For their final night, the family took an out-of-hours visit to an underwater observatory where they got a sneak peek at night time marine life before they set out for a boat ride in the dark to admire the twinkling constellations of the Southern Hemisphere’s night sky, experiencing a different side of the Great Barrier Reef.

Finally, they adjourned via a private flight to soak in the wonders of the Australian outback. Here they explored the concealed caves and admired rock art in its folds with an expert private guide. They also met with a local aboriginal tribe to learn more about Uluru’s ancient past steeped in Aboriginal history and lore before ending the trip with a hearty Aussie-style BBQ dinner beneath the desert stars.

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