The travel agent with this tour company put together a well-planned and wonderful trip. We had many stops with many tours, events, transfers, and flights. Everything that the agent put together and reserved for us worked beautifully. Our hotels, locations, and quality of tours were wonderful. Her familiarity with Australia and New Zealand was just what I wanted.
We were never disappointed by anything except slightly less than desirable weather once or twice and until you figure out how to arrange for sun and blue skies every day we won't hold you responsible.
Our agent was always quick to respond to inquiries, plans, or adjustments. During our trip, she communicated with us and rescheduled a tour that had changed what it originally offered and would have not met our expectations. She supplied contact information in case we needed help even if we couldn't reach her quickly. You can tell she "knows her stuff!"
New Zealand: We loved Russell and the Bay of Islands. It was a great low-key but charming place to begin our trip. I highly recommend going there and the Half Day Cape Reinga Fly/Drive was one of many highlights. The Rotorua area things (Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton, Geothermal were all fun. Wilsons Abel Tasman Cruise and Kayak was another highlight. We had beautiful weather and really enjoyed it. The Coastal Pacific train ride was fabulous! The Trans Alpine – Christchurch to Arthurs Pass, was also beautiful. And our driver was there to greet us with fresh cherries to share, and he was a wonderful guy. He showed us many things and took great care of us.
When our Heli-hike was canceled he was a great help in trying to get us rebooked on a sightseeing flight (also canceled due to weather). The Rainforest hotel in Franz Josef was a real gem for our accommodations (lots of extras like a stocked open minibar and breakfast, a basket of fruit plus a beautiful room and view). We loved it there.
We also enjoyed Queenstown very much.... so many wonderful restaurants. Milford Sound was another highlight even though the weather was far from ideal. The clouds and rain however gave us a look that is special in its own way. The hotel was a very nice hotel (we upgraded to a Lakeview room).
Australia: The boutique hotel in Melbourne was a very nice, very relaxing room with special services like a happy hour glass of wine, the breakfast included was great and the rooms were like a suite. We loved the proximity to the Australian Open. We loved the AO. The Limousines service was always excellent, very nice cars and drivers and always on time. Our time in Port Douglas was relaxing and fun. For some reason, I didn’t realize it was the “rainy season”. It poured the first day and night but we still ended up with pretty good weather and we don’t mind hot and humid, which it was.
We enjoyed the Snorkeling. They are very safety conscious and give a good trip… had a beautiful day snorkeling the reef. The Wildlife Habitat was also very enjoyable and we got to hold the koalas just as you promised … also held a snake and alligator! The Walkabout Cultural tour was very different and very interesting. Our guide was very good and unfortunately about to retire.
In Sydney we did a Bike Tour and it was a great way to see Sydney which we loved (and we are not usually as enthusiastic about cities). We also liked the Darling Harbor Hotel… very nice. The tour of the Opera House resulted in our desire to see an Opera there and we were able to get tickets to Don Giovanni. That was a plus.
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