Overall we had a fabulous trip! All of our airport transfers and pick-ups for our activities were flawless, and most of the tours that we went on were amazing! I really felt like we were able to see the best things that Australia has to offer in a very short period of time. I was very impressed with the hotel choices in Ularu and Cairns, and the company that was recommended for our Great Barrier Reef tour was incredible!There were just a few things that we were disappointed with. For starters, due to a breakup I did have to make a change to my trip about 3 months out. This travel company was very accommodating of this change, however many of our tours were left booked under my ex-boyfriend's name, and the surf lesson for him that was supposed to be cancelled was not. The other things that we had issues with were mostly things that we felt the travel agency should have told us about. Most of our domestic flights in Australia were through Quantas, which has no weight restrictions at all on your bags. However, when we flew to Ularu we were on a local airline, and they tried to charge my mom $240 because they charge $15 per kilo for anything over 20 kilos. We were able to move some things between our different suitcases and bring the price down to $120, but we definitely felt blind-sided and irritated by the whole ordeal. The only other thing that we felt we should have been warned about was one of our tours while in Port Douglas. Our hotel had plenty of recommendations for rainforest tours that were very close to Port Douglas, but this travel company booked a tour for us with a company out of Cairns that went up into the Tablelands. We had no idea that from Port Douglas to the Tablelands would be roughly 2 hours of driving each way down the most sickeningly curvy roads man has ever made. So we spent 4 hours total that day riding in a van and trying not to vomit. Even though the tour itself was great and we got to see some really neat wildlife, if we had known about the drive we definitely would have planned something different for that day.
The absolute best part of the trip was our tour of the Great Barrier Reef! This travel company set us up with a local tour company. The boat that we took out to the reef was quite comfortable. Once we arrived there was a permanent pontoon set up where we had lunch and they offered scuba diving, snorkeling, and a glass bottom boat tour. Our agent strongly recommended taking a helicopter ride back to Port Douglas from the pontoon, and I'm so glad that he did! The helicopter was so much fun, and we got to see the reef from an entirely different perspective. Not to mention it got us back to town faster so we had some time to explore and do some shopping. This was by far the best day of our trip!
If we could do it again, we would probably plan for an extra day in Sydney, as we felt there was still a lot left to explore there. We flew to Ularu on a Tuesday morning and did a sunset tour that night followed by a sunrise tour the following morning. In hindsight, we probably would have flown out of Ularu on Wednesday afternoon rather than Thursday morning since there wasn't all that much to see there. In Port Douglas, we definitely would not have gone on that tour to the Tablelands (mentioned above) and we would have liked to have an extra day there as well. Lastly, we might have changed the order of our trip slightly so that we finished in either Sydney or Melbourne. We had to leave Port Douglas at 3 AM for a 4 hour flight back to Sydney, which made an already long journey home even longer.Travel Company Comments
Thank you for your review, I’m happy you enjoyed your trip to Australia with us, however, I’m sorry to hear that some aspects of your trip did not live up to your expectations. I sincerely apologize that your ex-boyfriend’s name was still attached to some of the reservations. This was an oversight on our part - we should have double-checked that his name had been removed with all the suppliers and we fell short in this regard.
Regarding your internal flights, I know it can be frustrating when different airlines have different luggage restrictions. For this reason when we mailed you your e-tickets, we included information regarding the free luggage allowance for each specific flight, however, perhaps we should have made an effort to highlight this information better as it may have been easy to overlook in all the documentation we sent you.
Your trip to the Atherton Tablelands was selected as you specified a particular interest in wildlife. You are correct that there are many rainforest tours closer to Port Douglas, however, unlike the Atherton Tablelands tour you took, these are not wildlife focused tours. Thank you for the feedback regarding the sickening journey there and back, we will be sure to advise future clients about this, which may discourage others from taking the same tour.
I’m delighted you enjoyed the Great Barrier Reef tour so much, particularly the helicopter flight back. I look forward to having the opportunity to assist you with your future travels.
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