My husband and I took a wonderful 24-day trip to Australia and New Zealand. Although we only scratched the surface of those great countries, we visited some beautiful places and thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Our agent with this travel company was terrific to work with. As a native Australian, her knowledge of the country as well as New Zealand was extremely helpful. Planning the entire trip by phone and email, I was very pleased with her responsiveness and attention to detail. Everything she booked for us lived up to expectations, and the itinerary schedule went like clockwork.
Port Douglas, in northeast Queensland, Australia, was a perfect place to begin our vacation. A lovely coastal resort town and a great location for visiting the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, amazing! The Opera House is a must-see in Sydney, and the Blue Mountains and Featherdale Wildlife Park west of the city are worthy of a day tour.
With only six days in New Zealand's South Island, our first stay was in beautiful Queenstown. The Milford Sound excursion provided spectacular scenic views on the coach trip, and the cruise on the sound was gorgeous. Queenstown is a great place for adventure seekers or more relaxing sightseeing and winery visits in the area, as we chose.
A highlight of our trip was a heli-hike on Fox Glacier. We couldn't believe we were snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef one week and tromping on a glacier the next! The Trans-Alpine Scenic train was an enjoyable way to get over to Christchurch, a quick stopover on our way to the North Island.
Napier and the Hawke's Bay region on the east coast is lovely. The town and its art deco architecture are interesting, and the many wineries (we could only visit a few!) are fun to visit. Our next stop in Rotorua was fascinating, with a tour of Whakawerarewa, an historic village where Maori families still live on top of an active geothermal area.
We wrapped up our vacation with a few days on the coast of west Auckland, touring the area with a Kiwi friend. Auckland and its coastal areas are beautiful, and we concluded that the North Island, while not as spectacular as the South Island, is definitely worth a good visit.
We heard also that Doubtful Sound is a breathtaking fjord and a shorter day trip than Milford Sound. Other than that, we were more than happy with the excursions and itinerary we chose.
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