Description: Family vacation to Australia and New Zealand (two parents and children age 14, 18, 20). 15 days, December+January 2018. Best luxury accommodations and private tours. Children want high-energy activities.
I interviewed two travel agencies specializing in AUS NZ. The travel company was best at creating a draft vacation plan, and after several conversations with the travel planner we had a great itinerary, something that I could never have created myself. It would be impossible, or have taken forever, to identify the private excursions and hotels. Also the travel planner was candid about issues we might expect (such as a typhoon at the Barrier Reef, which was very cool but not great for snorkeling). Another trip planner did a lot of followup with trip details. Quick responses to questions.
The travel agency we did not use was also professional, but I felt that the proposed trip was more routine, paint-by-numbers.
We visited Sydney, Hobart (Tasmania), Port Douglas (Barrier Reef), and Queenstown NZ. Activities included: Sydney harbor bridge climb, private Sydney harbor cruise, Tasmania wilderness flying tour (highly recommended), Barrier Reef scuba diving, Aboriginal guided tour in rainforest (kids loved it), Kawarau bungy jumping in Queenstown, Milford sound helicopter flight from Queenstown (this flight was shortened because of weather; evidently flights on over 100 days a year are cancelled because of weather).
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