If I Won Our $4,500 Travel Sweepstakes I Would Cross “Seeing a Platypus in the Wild” Off My Bucket List!

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Jason:   In case you haven’t heard the news, through May 31, 2018, we’re having a travel sweepstakes to give away a dream trip to one lucky reader worth up to $4,500!

To enter, all you have to do is head over to the contest page and follow the instructions.  You’ll need to use the contest widget to sign-up for our email newsletter, tell us where you want to go if you win, and leave a comment on the contest page with your best travel secret, trick, or tip!  That’s it!

Even though I’m not eligible for the prize, if I won I’d cross “seeing a platypus in the wild” off my bucket list!

Million Mile Secrets Travel Sweepstakes Jason
Platypuses Grow Much Larger in Tasmania. And Latrobe, Tasmania Bills Itself as the Platypus Capital of the World! It Might Just Be Good Marketing, but I’m Sold

The platypus is definitely my spirit animal.  It’s so strange that when explorers returned with the first specimens, British scientists thought it was a hoax!  They are one of the few mammals that lay eggs, and the males are actually venomous!

Except it’s not their bite you have to worry about, it is burrs on their hind legs.  It’s almost like the platypus wants to feel tough with the big bad label of “venomous,” but they don’t care enough about it make it their venom anywhere near practical.

That’s the kind of animal I can get behind.

Where to See Platypuses in the Wild

Link:   Travel Sweepstakes

Platypuses are native to Eastern Australia and Tasmania.  But the platypuses you find on Tasmania grow 2 to 3 times bigger than the ones on the Australian mainland!

Latrobe, Tasmania has declared itself the world capital of the duck-billed platypus.  And the Warrawee Forest Reserve, just outside of town, is a great place to catch of glimpse of these strange creatures.

The best time of day to go platypus spotting is dawn or dusk, because they are nocturnal.  You’ll also have a better chance of seeing one if the weather is overcast.

But platypuses aren’t the only animal in Tasmania I want to see.  I’d like to take a gander at one of those devils I’ve heard so much about.

Million Mile Secrets Travel Sweepstakes Jason
The Tasmanian Devil Looks Cuter Than I Imagined

How I’d Use $4,500 to Get to Tasmania

From my home airport, I can fly to Melbourne and then to Launceston, Tasmania (~1 hour from Latrobe) for ~$1,500 a person round-trip in coach.  Latrobe doesn’t have many chain hotels nearby (only 1 Choice Hotel option), so I’d find a nice Airbnb for 4 nights for ~$400.

I’d also spend a few days in and around Melbourne, so I could watch a cricket match and see the Twelve Apostles in Port Campbell National Park.  In Melbourne, I’d splurge for 3 or 4 nights at either the Grand Hyatt or Park Hyatt, which could cost ~$1,050.

Million Mile Secrets Travel Sweepstakes Jason
The Twelve Apostles Would Make a Nice Side Trip After Seeing a Platypus in the Wild

All told, I could spend a little over a week visiting Australia with my wife.  And the flights and accommodations could be covered with our travel sweepstakes prize!

CostNumber of People or NightsTotal Cost
Flights~$1,500 per person2~$3,000
Airbnb~$100 per night4~$400
Hotel~$350 per night3~$1,050
Total CostUp to $4,450

How I Can Get There With Miles & Points

United Airlines flies to Melbourne from my home airport with only a single stop in Los Angeles.  Round-trip awards in coach for this flight cost 80,000 United Airlines miles.

Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer to United Airlines at a 1:1 ratio, my wife and I would have enough points to book this flight if we each earned just 1 sign-up bonus!  The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card comes with an 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point bonus after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Getting to Australia couldn’t be easier!

Award seats to Australia can be harder to find during peak season.  So I could also get the United MileagePlus® Explorer Card, which would allow me to book more awards at the saver level.

And once I’m in Melbourne, I could use my Chase Ultimate Ultimate Rewards points to splurge on a nice Hyatt hotel.  Because Chase Ultimate Rewards points also transfer at a 1:1 ratio to Hyatt.  The Grand Hyatt Melbourne costs 15,000 Hyatt points a night and the Park Hyatt Melbourne is 20,000 Hyatt points for a free night.

Million Mile Secrets Travel Sweepstakes Jason
You Could Use Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to Book Your Award Flights to Australia & Get Free Nights at a Swanky Hotel, Like the Grand Hyatt Melbourne!

I could earn the points I need for my hotel stays with the bonus from the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.  It currently comes with a 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

That’s only 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points shy of being able to book 4 nights at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne or 3 nights at the Park Hyatt Melbourne!

Bottom Line

We’re giving away a trip worth up to $4,500 to one lucky reader!  You have until May 31, 2018, to enter our travel sweepstakes!

To enter, use the widget on the contest page to subscribe to our email newsletter, tell us where you’d go if you win, and comment on the contest page with your favorite travel tip!  And come back daily for more chances to enter!

If I could win, I’d use that money to go to Tasmania and see a platypus in the wild.  But because I can’t win, I’ll probably end up transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United Airlines to book award flights there.  And then transfer the rest of my Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Hyatt for some free luxury hotel nights in Melbourne!

Have you ever seen a platypus in the wild?  If so, let me know where it was in the comments!

Jason Stauffer was a writer for Million Mile Secrets where he covered points, miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels and general travel. His work has appeared in The Points Guy and NextAdvisor.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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