Every hotel and service was of high quality, delivered on time and exactly as described in the material supplied by our travel agency. Further, the trip was well thought-out and matched to what we asked for in the way of activities and interests. All questions we asked before the trip were answered completely and immediately. Copies of all vouchers and other material were available well before the trip started for review.
Each activity included a clear description of "what to bring" with the result that our luggage contained only what was needed. Many, probably most, of the travel and event providers that our travel agency selected were small, family-run companies so that our touring groups were small. Nonetheless, each of the providers had engaging, knowledgeable tour guides and clear, well-established, processes and procedures.
In summary, we found that a major benefit of having used a travel agent is that is it is unlikely that we could have found the same or similar highly competent providers on our own. We chose this company precisely because their proposal was complete and detailed, exactly reflecting the interests we described to them. Their competition proposed a much lower cost for a similar itinerary, but it was also clear that the proposal was very much less "personal".
We particularly liked the day-long cruise of Sydney harbor, with a casual meal cooked on-board. The fact that there were only a dozen or so total guests on the boat meant that we ended up having many engaging conversations with the other guests. Another attraction, the Field Of Lights exhibit in Uluru, was also engaging, even though an overcast sky hid most of the stars so that the astronomy lesson was greatly abbreviated. Lastly, the city of Melbourne and the surrounding valleys was the setting for a number of very relaxing, if long, days. I suspect that I'd find a lot of "city" stuff to do there, especially given its user-friendly downtown transport system.
I would probably eliminate the duplicate visits to the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. The evening dinner and show largely duplicated the activities from the day before. With a different traveling companion, I'd probably would have spent many more hours indoors in museums and even concert halls. This was my first trip to huge continent and the prime objective was to get a close-up taste of the over-all culture of the country. Just as I have made dozens of visits to cities such as San Francisco, Tokyo and New York, I'm sure that I'd spend more time in Sydney and Melbourne if the opportunity ever presents itself.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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