Our trip was awesome! Our travel agent stayed in contact with us while planning our trip. All of the hotels we stayed in were booked by her. Each place could take your breath away. We were always made comfortable and if we needed anything, they would make sure we had it. We even had turn down service in some of the hotels. We felt so pampered! We are not use to this. This trip was a lifetime of experiences and memories.
You are awesome at what you do! We will never be able to repay you for all your services to us in helping us plan our trip! We have also given your name to our Sisters' in Law because they plan on making a trip to Australia and New Zealand in a few years. I hope you are still there.
We were able to sit back and enjoy all the views because we did not have to drive anywhere! To us, that was a plus, plus, plus! Our agent made all travel arrangements for us in Australia and New Zealand.
Itinerary: day 1: flew into Sydney, Australia. Slept for about an hour and then took a cruise around the harbor-took the premium cruise and had a glass of champagne. We were taken around the harbor and saw the water view and learned of the history of Australia.
day 2: Took the tour of the Opera House-this was a back stage tour. After this we took a guided tour of the harbor in land. We were the only ones on this tour. Our guide was so patient with us and took into consideration that I had a problem with stairs. He was awesome. I am bad about names, but I would recommend him anytime. We had a fabulous lunch at the Crusing Yacht Club of Australia. We were able to walk some of the beach and see sights from a different view. All along we are being giving the history of Australia. He was very nice!
day 3: Took a guided tour to the Blue Mountains. Our guide was really great. I want to tell him that he is a good Story Teller! In the Native American Culture, that is what he would be considered. He even brought a snack that he prepared himself. This was pretty much an all day tour. We had lunch at a restaurant in the Blue Mountains. I so loved this part of the trip. An absolute must to see this part of Australia.
day 4: took a shuttle to the Airport to Cairns, Australia. Checked into the hotel-It was so beautiful! We were across a small street from the beach and ocean.
day 5: took a full day tour through sailing and snorkeling in at the Great Barrier Reef. It was awesome. It was a catamaran. We had lunch while we were out.
day 6: Took a 1 hour hot air balloon ride. It was so exciting. You just have to do this.
day 7: Our transportation company took us to the Cairns Airport and we flew to New Zealand. We checked into the Auckland hotel. It was beautiful. We asked the concierge for a place to eat that would give us an idea of the culture. We walked and went to Danny Doolans. We loved it.
day 8: We took a guided tour to the Glow Worm Caves. Our driver was so nice. There was only one other person that joined us. Even though I have a problem with stairs, I was able to walk this tour. It was so cool to see this. We then ate at a farm that had a luncheon set up. I loved the potatoes and the chicken.
day 9. We were picked up by a private chauffer who took us to the Hobbiton Shires. It is exactly as I expected! We also had the buffet. It also was wonderful. He was a wonderful chauffer. He took really good care of us. We returned at 11:30 pm at our hotel. We were exhausted.
day 10. flew from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney Austrailia. Then flew from Sydney, Austrailia to LAX, Los Angels, California. Then flew from Los Angels, LAX to Medford, Oregon.
There was so much to remember! Both countries are beautiful!
The most enjoyable part of the trip to me was not having to worry about driving in different countries. Our travel agent made all the plans for pick ups. She never missed one thing. A driver or whomever was due to pick us up, was always there and knew our names. This was a load off of us. They were always there and on time. Some of the guides we had were private tours or close to private. The time of year was perfect and on some guided tours there was only 1 or 2 other people. We so enjoyed this. We felt so pampered.
Our tour guides would pick up our tickets for us, so we did not even have to do this. All the guides were eager to share all they knew about their countries. I enjoyed listening and learning. Our guide to the Blue Mountains in Australia was fantastic. We shared things about both our countries. If someone could tell this guide that he is an awesome Storyteller. In the Native American Culture, someone that shares stories is called a Storyteller! I am sorry that I did not ask him how to stay in contact with him after our trip. The other driver that sticks out is the one who took us to the Hobbiton in New Zealand. It is a private chauffeur. I had never had a private chauffer. He also was very knowledgeable and I so enjoyed talking with him. I felt like we were so important to him. We also enjoyed conversing with him However, most important was our Travel Agent. She planned most of our trip for us. I would give her a gold star for what she does. Not one thing was missed by her. We will never be able to thank her enough for all she did for us. She is responsible for us being able to enjoy our vacation in Australia and New Zealand. I plan on doing something special for her to show our gratitude.
The differences we would make would be to spend more time in the places that we were in. We also needed to take some down time especially when we were leaving. We really pushed it. We got back to our hotel in Auckland, New Zealand at 11:30pm after visiting the Hobbiton. We had to be up at 2: 00 am to get prepared for our flights back to the United States. It was a long haul. A flight from Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia. Then caught a flight from Sydney, Australia to LAX, in Los Angeles, California. Finally caught our last flight from LAX to Medford, Oregon. We flew approximately 22 hours, not counting any lay overs. This is just too much all at one. I recommend spending the night in Sydney, Australia before leaving for the United States. The way we did it, just made us too tired. We also would have visited Auckland, New Zealand first and then Australia. We could have saved some flying time because after we left Sydney, Australia on our flight back, we actually backtracked toward New Zealand. Would have saved a few hours of flying. No regrets though!
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