Our travel agent did a great job. The pace was good, with enough activities planned, but also days of free time interspersed. Execution was flawless. We were impressed that each of the appointed drivers and tour operators arrived as scheduled. Hotels were comfortable, clean, and well located so that attractions were within reasonable walking distance.
The tours were each thoughtfully planned. We liked the fact that they were generally small-group tours of no more than 14 or so (often much fewer, perhaps due to the time of year). The tours that stand out included the Blue Mountains National Park daytrip out of Sydney; reef snorkel daytrip out of Port Douglas; cruise and Port Arthur daytrip out of Hobart; tour of Phillip Island and the famous penguin parade out of Melbourne; and the Food and Wine Tour Yarra Valley daytrip out of Melbourne.
Our guides were personable and knowledgeable. Special kudos go to our guide in Sydney; our guide whose irreverent commentary was most enjoyable; our most excellent captain; our guide on the land portion of Tasman Island daytrip who was a delight to be around, and our guides on water leg of the journey, who did a fantastic job of describing the beautiful rock formations and wildlife that we encountered; our guide for the Phillip Island daytrip, an excellent guide, who was most informative and enjoyable company; and our guide for the Yarra Valley food & wine tour excellent tour guide.
Our connection in Melbourne/Hobart meant that we arrived rather late in the evening. This made for an early morning rendezvous for our daytrip to Phillip Island. Probably should have been a free day in Hobart, and tour the next. Also, owing to the unavailability of direct flights from Melbourne, we had to connect to Sydney for our trip home. In hind sight, we would have preferred spending more time in Melbourne or one of our other destinations to accommodate a direct flight.
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