Our family of 5 planned a very special trip w/ Zicasso to Australia. It was the only time that all 3 of our daughters would be in college at the same time and would be able to take a 17 day trip. They set us up with our New Zealand travel agent, Karen, who was from New Zealand and she interviewed us extensively to insure that the trip was everything that we were hoping for. I have one daughter into cultural/arts, another into kangaroos and Koalas and the 3rd is pretty open to anything. We all love to hike and wanted an adventure and that's what we got. I couldnt have asked for a smoother trip or better service. The accommodations were great too.
You can see our photos here:
We had An Aboriginal guide for the Daintree Rain Forest day and that was so beyond our expectations. He even caught our lunch and brought us back to his house, had fresh coconut, and he knew every single plant in the forest and what was poisonous, what could be eaten, told us a gazillion stories. It was definitely a highlight. We also loved the Penguin Parade, Mellbourne, hiking in the Grampiens, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney bridge climb and opera house, the great ocean drive with alot of stops along the way for hikes. Simon was our private guide through most of that and he was awesome to be with. The girls enjoyed him too.
We did mostly private tours which were fantastic, and I'd recommend those over the group tours, which, except for Great Barrier Reef, were a disappointment. Karen, however, was so great because after a disasterous group tour in the Blue Mountains, she went above and beyond to try to get us a refund and then changed out a couple other group tours to private from the US while we were in Australia. The only other tour that could have been better was the Yarrow Valley Wine tour where our tourguide was obviously bored w/ her job. That was a small group tour too. I realize that the small group tours you spend more time on a bus or van than you do at a destination. If you're active and like to explore, it's worth the money to do private. At Blue Mountain, we had no more than 10 minutes to expore the waterfall and we wanted to do the hike through the falls like other visitors were doing but couldn't because we had to be back on the bus.
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