We had a perfectly delightful time from beginning to end. Our travel agent called us in preparation for the itinerary and spoke to us for 1 1/2 hours to discuss what we would like to accomplish in the two countries: Australia and New Zealand. Everything was considered and thoughtfully prepared for us and the trip went flawlessly. We spent a memorable and beautiful 50th wedding anniversary gift to ourselves in lands just short of heaven.
Sydney on Australia day! Loved the Harbor Cruise (appreciated the centrality of the Intercontinental near the wharf), the beauty of the day with all the boats, seeing the Opera House and my husband and I had great fun with the Bridge Climb.
Hamilton Island is so lovely and relaxing and the accommodations at the Beach Club were great! Really enjoyed Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach.
The Penguin Parade on Phillip Island was such fun with the tiny animal daily migration to their rookeries. Amazing to see how they are "wired" to know where to go each day.
It was important and informative to us to learn more about the history of Australia through our tour in Port Arthur. The Aussies are a hardy bunch and weathered a lot to create the amazing country they have today.
Was thankful for the full body snorkeling suits as we went on the tour to the Low Isles also in Port Douglas. They think of everything! So sad that much of the beautiful Great Barrier Reef is not as pristine and beautiful as it once was.
Daintree Rainforest lodge was lovely in every way. We really enjoyed taking a walk through the rainforest with the guide to learn about the vegetation and to see the moss covered trees in brilliant green and otherswrapped with vines and struggling to catch the hidden sun deep in the forest.
The Kuranda Railway and Skyrail in Queensland was so lovely...the views were spectacular.
One of our particular favorites was the Great Ocean Road - Drive/Fly - breathtaking. It looked like a giant had take a bite out of the coastline and left a few teeth behind in the form of the 12 Apostles:) Cannot imagine having that as my back drop and easy access for all the Aussies who live in/near Melbourne. Anything in Melbourne is a must see. The food was spectacular there too!
Tasmania was another of our favorite spots. Loved the Seafood Cruise - delicious food and the scenery of the cliffs of Bruny and the scary but spectacular cruise on the other side of the island with the rough waves (thanks for the rubber suits provided:) and the scenery of the highest cliffs into which we were taken when there were apertures large enough for the boat! Wow!
The TranzAlpine Train from Christchurch to Greymouth was also spectacular. From the comfort of our train, we could view the vast and varied geography across the South Island. When we arrived the trip down to Queenstown was such fun stopping along the coast in various towns.
My husband's happiest moment was fly fishing with the very experienced and super nice guide in Queenstown. Neither one of us had ever fly fished and not only did we learn the techniques of this beautiful sport but we both caught pretty darn good sized brown trout to cap off an outstanding and beautiful day walking through the most pristine river waters of the very manicured and stunning farmland in Queenstown.
Would have loved to have gone on the Milford Sound expedition but the weather just wouldn't allow for it.
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