Good old January: as if being the coldest month of the year wasn’t bad enough, it’s also the traditional time of resolutions. But there’s no rule says they have to be tough to achieve. For example, if your New Year resolution was to find somewhere warm and sunny for a January holiday, that would be significantly easier than taking up running or starting your first novel.
Sydney for New Year’s fine, but anyone with a hankering for gorgeous beaches, wild islands and one of the friendliest cities in Australia, wants to be on the Gold Coast come January.
Getting the most out of an ultra-long haul flight is what the Gold Coast does beautifully at the start of the year. With average temperatures of 25˚ it’s hot and sunny for beaches like Burleigh and Rainbow Bay. Brisbane’s easy to like and a free, themed city tour is a great way to introduce yourself and the kids. Then catch the ferry to North Stradbroke Island. The locals say, ‘Straddie’, but it’s the ancestral home of the Quandamooka people and they call it ‘My Mother Earth’: sink your toes in the sand, go in search of Koalas and dolphins, swim in the lake and you’ll see why.
South Africa’s oldest city’s a warm 30˚ in January but shares the same time zone as the UK and doesn’t do jet lag. If you need extra persuasion, try direct flights from London with flying time of 11 hours 30 minutes – just sneaking under the wire as long haul rather than ultra-long haul.
Cape Town’s great for kids from city beaches to the cable car ride up iconic Table Mountain. Wild wanderers can spend an entire holiday roaming hills and valleys minutes from V&A Waterfront. Cool urbanites will love Two Oceans Aquarium, Greenmarket Square and the sensationally colourful Bo Kaap district. Then head south for the African Penguins on Boulders Beach and compulsory selfies at the Cape of Good Hope.