Our travel agent met all of our expectations for our trip to New Zealand and Australia. We provided her with an outline of places and activities that we felt we would enjoy and she hit the nail on the head by providing us with great travel plans. We preferred to travel independently rather than with a tour group and chose to join small groups for side trips. Our goal was to meet and visit with people while enjoying the sights of both countries. The plan was to stay in bed and breakfasts and/or smaller hotels. We came home feeling that we had done everything that we wanted. Our travel agent's planning was perfect for us - we did not have any complications with connections, accommodations, or events. The trip was totally hassle free.
In New Zealand we ferried across the Cook Strait, then took the train along the Pacific Coast, took the Tranz Alpine train to the east coast, and then made our way by coach to Queenstown. This was such an enjoyable way to travel with plenty of time to visit with others and enjoy the beautiful country. The stay at Raetihi Lodge was a pleasant, relaxing break from travel. And then a few days at a B&B in Queenstown gave us time to enjoy that area. In Australia, our ride on the Ghan into the outback was relaxing. Small group events with Aborigine guides in Alice Springs and Port Douglas gave us the insight into the history and culture of the people and left lasting memories. Of course snorkeling on The Great Barrier Reef was also a highlight. Ending our vacation in Sydney proved to be a good ending for a great trip. A private surfing lesson on the famous Bondi Beach, a tour of Sydney Opera House, and a cruise on the harbor was great.
Were we to take this trip again, we would probably add a couple more days along the way to have a free day in Christ Church and Fox Glacier.
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