We were happy with almost all aspects of our accommodations. The staff people were helpful and friendly in every place we stayed. Everything was set up well and our travel agent called the places for us to make sure they knew we were coming because our ability to make calls was limited. We were glad to discover that everything we paid for was for the most part, as promised.
Our travel agent called me when we first hired her and found out about our likes and planned a trip for us that we would totally enjoy. It was a great trip and things were arranged for us to do and yet we still had free time to do other things. This travel specialist was a wonderful travel agent for us.
We especially enjoyed New Zealand. The people we met on our journeys were incredibly kind and caring. Our favorite part was Hobbiton. Our second favorite excursion was Miford Sounds. In Sydney, our favorite excursions were: Kuranda and the Great Barrier Reef. We enjoyed the Sydney bridge climb, the Waitomo tour, ( with our guides was wonderful), the Skyline Gondola with the luge rides. The Lord of the Rings tour was good but the weather made it not as enjoyable as it could have been and that was not the fault of anyone. They made it very special for us. On our own, we did the Sydney Opera House and that was also wonderful. We took the ferry to Manly and had a good time with a real Aussie for a guide.
The hotel in Queenstown was exceptional for its staff. They truly were the best of all the places we stayed.
If we ever came back, we would spend more of our time in New Zealand. It is an outstandingly beautiful country. The people were wonderful and friendly. We would have also flown from Sydney to Cairns and then a few days later flown back from Cairns to Sydney and finished our trip in Sydney. It made no sense to have to fly from Cairns to Sydney then to US on the same morning. It did not occur to us that we had done that until it was too late but it made our day of flying over thirty-two hours. That was totally our fault not anyone else's that we did not catch it sooner.
We would find different accommodations in Cairns. The staff were helpful and friendly but they did not clean the room while we were there. We did not realize this hotel was a "no service" hotel. You could get new towels if you took the old towels down to the lobby. You had to join their program to get limited free Wifi, and that WiFi was very pathetic. The room was very small and it was the least enjoyable place we stayed. We would not have done the Tamaki Maori Village. It was very small and not at all what we expected.
In contrast, the accommodations in Queenstown were wonderful. The staff went above and beyond in giving us wonderful service. It was the most impressive of all the places we stayed.
The Blue Mountain with our tour company started fifteen minutes late and we were to get to Circular Quay at approximately 5 pm, instead, we were back at our hotel by 4:30. The entire day was spent on a schedule that we had to keep to. We were constantly told we had ten minutes here, twenty minutes, forty minutes. etc., it felt more like a children's excursion rather than an adult excursion. Our guide was really nice and helped our understanding of places but it was just too rushed. It made no sense to be so rushed when we were all dropped at a ferry site which ran constantly and we could have been dropped there later than 3:45. Lunch was very good but we were squashed into a long table with no room to move. The place was fairly empty and we could have been given more room. The Blue Mountain trip said it included morning tea but instead we were given the "opportunity" to buy our own morning tea.
Kuranda trip information said we would be picked up at app. 7:15 and after waiting for 10 minutes, we called and found out that our pick up time was 8:30. That being said, the rest of the trip was great. We were on our own and we could decide how much time we wanted to spend at the different places. The koala cuddle was awesome.
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