Our travel agent was very helpful and always very prompt in her responses. Super friendly whenever we spoke. Very accommodating with our requests for changes.
There were many!
Sydney Bridge Climb
Sydney Opera House tour
Blue Mountains were beautiful. Steve was a great guide. See additional comments below.
Great Barrier Reef tour (see additional comments below)
Tjapukai tour was fantastic! The gift shop was one of the best gift shops we came across (quality goods) but had no time to peruse or make any purchases
Kuranda Gondola tour to the top and stopping in the rainforest was beautiful (see additional comments below)
Tour in Kakadu National Park. We had a fabulous guide and driver.
Kata Tjuta and Uluru were spectacular! Wish we had more time there (see additional comments below)
Great Ocean Road tour wasn't as long and drawn out as I thought it would be - Our guide was an excellent guide and driver and plenty of opportunities to stretch our legs and walk about at the relevant stops. This company a good tour going here!
Phillip Island was fantastic but tour was drawn out (see additional comments below)
Having the time to walk about Sydney and Melbourne was great.
We were short on days (we had 17 full days) so most of the comments that follow are in terms of spending the time in a better way to our liking (note that all of the tours included an element or more of what we requested, so some of the comments that follow are based on what we know now having experienced them):
Was hoping for more hiking in Blue Mountains. Hike was only an hour long considering it's a full day tour. We are active people and, unfortunately, it felt more like and old folks' bus tour - for example, no one else did the one hour hike - they ate their lunch in a restaurant while we went off.
Spend time in the Gold Coast. Go to the Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane. In Brisbane, we only spared enough time to go to the Australia Zoo.
Great Barrier Reef had beautiful coral but lack of fish was a bit disheartening. Knowing what we know now, we might have eliminated this altogether - it literally was a check off the bucket list and not too much more.
Kuranda rail provided a very scenic view but was too long - can't imagine doing it in the heat of the summer months in the carriage style seats (as opposed to individual seats - good thing it was assigned seating). My husband and I are active people so painful to sit in a carriage for 1 1/2 hours (and we weren't the only ones complaining so something for the tour operator to think about). Kuranda shopping was a little disappointing - mostly cheap souvenirs - wish we had shopped at Tjapukai (see comments above). Knowing what we know now, we would have probably eliminated this tour altogether.
That all being said, spend less time in Palm Cove/Cairns. Tjapukai was by far the best part.
Have a personalized tour of Kakadu to save time and spend one day instead of two - again to reallocate elsewhere. We had a great guide but the big bus did feel a bit like an old folks' tour.
Only stayed overnight in Ayers Rock - wish we had at least another night to tour King's Canyon, walk the Walpa Gorge, etc. This was a bit rushed and really was one of the best parts of the trip. Our tour was fantastic (that was the Uluru sunrise tour) - small group tour is more appealing to us. The sunset tour on the big bus felt like an old folks' tour and we didn't get the chance to walk through Walpa Gorge which we really wanted to do. Next time, would do the hop on, hop off and do it on our own if we had the same limited amount of time.
Shopping at Ayers Rock was fantastic, so were the various airports (Yulara, Cairns, and Sydney Domestic and International stood out). Aboriginal goods were by far the best gifts and souvenirs.
Philip Island penguin parade was fantastic - thank you,to our agent, for arranging the Guided Tour tickets (no racing for seats and it was informative) - well worth the cost. The only negative is that the overall tour for the day was dragged out because the Penguin Parade is at sunset (8:45 for us) with a two hour drive each way. We were picked up at noon and made various stops along the way which we could have done without and used the time elsewhere. Beach boxes and Moonlit Sanctuary were fine but we would have been happy to just head straight to Phillip Island and just take in some of the sights there. Not sure if there is a tour that would do that and something for the tour companies to think about. Unlike the Great Ocean Road tour, these stops felt more like 'fillers'. Would have been better to be picked up at 4 or even 3 at the earliest, especially given we returned home at midnight.
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