The travel company and especially our travel specialist, who worked with us, did a fantastic job. She chose great hotels that were in our price bracket and terrific tours with interesting, and sometimes humorous tour guides. The tours had iconic sights to see, as in Sydney, beautiful nature walks such as rain forests and waterfalls and fun trips to animal nature parks with native animals. We were always picked up on time for all tours. I requested small group tours and this worked out very well.
Our drivers at the airports were always there waiting for us and also picked us up at our hotels on time to bring us to the airport. They actually gave us more than enough time to get there. Our travel specialist took care of our international flights and the domestic flights within Australia and New Zealand. We were very happy with the airlines chosen.
Our trip was 19 days. The way it was planned, we never felt rushed. If there was more than one tour in a day, each one was short and there was plenty of time in-between. Some days we had combined trips for a whole day tour but we rested in the van or bus.
1. We did a "Fly, Nature Tour, Fly" to Milford Sound. This was probably our most favorite tour. We did this while staying in Queenstown New Zealand. The scenery was spectacular. The flight was on a small plane (45 minutes) and you felt as if you could touch the snow on the mountain tops. The cruise on Milford Sound was also beautiful. We flew back as well. The skipper of the boat said that the weather was the best in a year! We were lucky. The flights are canceled in the rain.
2. Walking through the "bush" (the rainforest) and going right up to waterfalls (with a rainbow in front of it) in the Waitakere Ranges outside Auckland, New Zealand, was beautiful. It made it even more fun doing this in the intermittent rain. We came armed with rain jackets and umbrellas. From here we walked on a black sand beach. This was the last part of our Best of Both Worlds Tour with the city tour in the morning.
3. We had a great full day tour to the Blue Mountains, outside of Sydney. These mountains are beautiful. We also had fun riding the Skyway, Railway and Cableway and then a beautiful walk in the rainforest. We had an Australian BBQ in the woods and then visited a Wildlife Park and I fed the kangaroos and wallabies form my hand. We also saw Koalas and different types of birds. We ended with a cruise on the Parramatta River to Sydney Harbour, sailing under Harbour Bridge and Past the Opera House. This was our first full day of our trip and it was a wonderful introduction to Australia.
4. Tour of Sydney Opera House. This was beautiful and very interesting.
5. We walked over the Sydney Bridge from one end to the other and took a ferry back. We did this on our own instead of the Bridgewalk. Also, on our own I made arrangements for different restaurants in each city. One of the best was a cafe in Sydney, which is overlooking Harbor Bridge and the opera house. Great food and service too. You need to reserve way in advance but it is worth it.
6. Phillip Island: penguin parade with a ranger tour. The tiny penguins are adorable and the ranger was excellent.
The river cruise in Melbourne was not that good.
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