Rick was our agent and we feel he did an outstanding, superb, wonderful job. My wife and I have made several trips overseas and were a little concerned about going on a three country trip on our own. But we have to give Rick major props!!! All our transfers, tours and connections went exactly as scheduled. absolutely no hiccups or late shows by any of our tours or transfers. All the tours were professional, courteous and clean and small group. The hotels were exactly as promised and directions were spot on. The pre-web based review turned out to be a wonderful addition and really helped us during our transfers from country, city and tour.
The island of Matamanoa Island in Fiji was wonderful. The adult only island was small enough to give a real tropical getaway feel and had all the necessary amenities to make us feel well taken care of. Walking 50 feet out our room and snorkeling in the reef was just what we had hoped for. The trip to Castaway island (where the movie was filmed) was fun. The snorkeling here was incredible!!! The staff was friendly and helpful and the restaurant had a variety of dishes that both my wife and I were pleased with. The table side crepe suzette was to die for.
Port Douglas is a wonderful seaside tourist town with lots of great restaurants and night life. The Great Barrier Reef snorkel was one of highlights. The sea was especially calm the day we went out and the water was clear. The fish and coral were magnificent. The reef tour was exceptional and the staff very knowlegable and took great care of us. In town, we especially liked "The Inlet" restaurant. Our hotel was right downtown close to all the restaurant's, but far enough off the street as not to have any street or bar noise. We went to the Sunday market and enjoyed the people, street entertainment and venders.
Sydney is a wonderful big city. Again, our hotel was very nice and short walking distance to everything. The Circular Quay, Opera house, Darling Harbor . The small group city tour was just what we wanted. We climbed the bridge at sunset, went to the Opera house and took a ferry to Manley and had a sunset dinner in a beach side restaurant, "Manley's". Returned on the 8:30 ferry under a wonderful clear full moon night to see the city lights, Opera House and the Bridge" welcoming us. A truly wonderful view!!!
We found it to be quite cooler in New Zealand (Christchurch). We arrived the morning of the Rugby World Cup, The New Zealand All Blacks won so everyone was in good mood. What's left of the city (after the earthquake of 2011) is slowly being rebuilt. Ricks suggestion of the Botanical Gardens was perfect. They are breathtaking and the museum was very worth while. The hotel was wonderfully comfortable and the courtyard beautiful. We left early to catch our train to Greymouth, which was spectacular!
We rented a car in Greymouth and drove south down the coast. Unfortunately we were weathered out in Franz Josef for our heli-hike. It turned out to be no problem as 20 miles down the road the weather cleared and we were able to stop and see the waterfalls and blue pools. We had a leisurely drive down the coast to Wanaka where we stay in a B&B. The owners are from England and are wonderful. They helped us with restaurant recommendations and reservations. They have a happy hour for all the guests and real fun. We got to meet other couples from other countries and shared travel stories. The nature hike was a hoot. Our guide was very informative, funny and took wonderful care of everyone on the trip. A real must do.
We had the most spectacular view of the lake from our room in Queentown. A highlight of the trip was the Dart River jet boat tour. What a fun ride and hike through the forest. At night we took the Gondola up the mountain and had dinner overlooking the city. Milford sound was also spectacular.
We ended our vacation in Dunedin and arrived early enough to go to the beer tour (fun). The following morning tour took us to where we saw giant Albatross' and the endangered yellowed eyed penguins with a boat cruise.
When we contacted Rick, we had a time line, a budget and a general idea of where we wanted to go but no specifics on anything. Rick put together an outstanding trip for us with many great tours and accommodations. We especially appreciated all the personal time Rick gave us with our numerous questions and concerns. We are highly recommending him.
The adult only island in Fiji (Matamanoa). Really got a feel for a tropical island removed from the big tourist resorts noise.
The Great Barrier Reef snorkel tour. The reef was vibrant with color and fish.
The Sydney bridge climb. WOW!
The Dart River Jet Boat Tour. Fun.
Finally, the Wildlife Cruise and the Peninsula cruise, the Albatross and Penguin tour.
Absolutely nothing. Everything went perfect.
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