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Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

Leesburg, VA.
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Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

Planning a 20+ day tour of Australia and NZ in early 2012 to celebrate my retirement. Looking for recommendations from anyone who has taken an escorted tour there in the last 2 or -3 years.

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Australia
Australia
South Pacific
Sydney, Australia
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for Sydney, Family Travel
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1. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

Hi

Most of the posters here are after information about independent travel in Australia so you may not get many replies from those who have taken tours.

By early 2102 do you mean Jan/feb? If this is the case you may not find many tours going to the Great Barrier Reef or Northern Territory due to the heat/wet season.

Some well known tour companies

www.aptouring.com.au/content.asp…

http://www.aatkings.com.au/au/

www.qantasvacations.com/escorted-tours.asp

It is very easy to organise your own holiday to Australia, there is lots of information on both sides of this page that would be worth a read including these trip reports from the top questions/FAQs tripadvisor.com/Travel-g255055-c121018/Austr…

The official Australia tourism site has a search box for locating Australia travel specialsts close to your home australia.com/planning/find_travel_agent.aspx

For information re New Zealand you would be best to post on their forum tripadvisor.com.au/ShowForum-g255104-i125-Ne…

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Australia
Australia
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Great Barrier Reef
Great Barrier Reef
Queensland, Australia
Wiltshire
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2. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

I'd second that

When we decided to have a few weeks in Aus to celebrate big birthdays, our first thought was to do a tour, so we got a number of brochures to see which one we fancied

We built up a list of the places we wanted to go and things we wanted to do when we got there but found that none of the tours matched our list.

Our next thought was to get a tailor made trip via a holiday company but the resulting quote was ridiculous, so we spent a few nights hunched over a laptop and booked flights, hotels, day tours from the info we found in brochures and on this site's reviews and forums

We had a great time and, if we were ever on a coach with some annoying little wotsits, we consoled ourselves that we were lucky we were only stuck with them for 1 day rather than a full holiday!!

Have a good time planning (it's part of the fun of the trip) - the folks on here are great, just as long as you don't come on specifically to complain about a car hire company

Regina - Canada
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3. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

Hi,

Tauck do a 20 day tour of Australia and New Zealand. Their 2012 schedule is not out yet, but I imagine it will be shortly.

They are pricey, but get consistently rave reviews for their tours.

We are doing their Australia New Zealand tour in October, and I'll post a trip report afterwards, but that's probably too late to help you.

I can say, we did their tour of Ireland, and at least 8 people on that tour had done their Australia/New Zealand tour, and raved about it.

Joe

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Australia
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Regina - Canada
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301 posts
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4. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

I found Tauck's 2012 Aus/NZ schedule.

You can see their online brochure here.

…yudu.com/A1sa90/…index.htm

Or you can request a printed version from their website.

Joe

Leesburg, VA.
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5. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

Thanks for your reply; actually planning late March-early April hoping to hit the best weather for both New Zealand and Australia, particularly the Great barrier reef. We have always developed our own travel plans and arrangements until we took an escorted tour with CIE in Ireland and had a great time leaving "the driving to us" so to speak. Will thoroughly review the sites you recommended.

Gary

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NJ
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6. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

Hello,

I am considering the Tauck Tour to Australia and New Zealand this December, hopefully before the rainy season. . I've been in the event production business for 30 years and traveled mostly on my own so have not sure about traveling with 39 other people. Apparently, Tauck had so many requests for this trip they added another one in December. Any reviews of this trip would be greatly appreciated.

Edited: 31 July 2011, 22:20
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New South Wales...
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for Fiji, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory
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7. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

Depends on how long you've got for your whole holiday as to how you travel and how much you get to see. Most around NZ trips are about 3 weeks and around Australia trips are 3-4 weeks.

My parents recently did Scenic Tours trip in NZ - small group luxury tours with a lot of extras you don't get with the usual tour packages. For Australia - it's really difficult to do "around Australia" like they do in NZ due to the distances but they did this one australianholidayspecialists.com.au/tabid/65… a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it. It is 3 weeks and doesn't include Qld at all but it was a fabulous experience. You could always add a trip to Qld either side.

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Regina - Canada
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8. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

We have just returned from Tauck's Grand Australia and New Zealand tour. The tour was fabulous in every way.

We had travelled one other time with Tauk to Ireland in 2007.

The Australia/New Zealand tour was well paced - we got to see so many things - our tour director was amazing - hotels were excellent - meals were excellent. I can't say enough.

We were affected by the Qantas lockout. We were in Port Douglas, and supposed to fly to Sydney on Monday Oct 31. Qantas was shut down on Oct 29/30, and started limited flying again on Oct 31. That meant our flights were cancelled, and had we tried to fly out Qantas, we would have been stuck for at least 3 days.

Tauck, and our tour director, arranged for a charter flight instead on Nov 1 (I expect arranging a charter during a full Qantas shutdown was no small feat). They took us to Cairns for some sighseeing and overnight stay, and then we got to Sydney, about 26 hours later than planned. All our tour mates agreed, that had we been handling our own arrangements, we probably would have missed Sydney altogether - plus we wouldn't have been enjoying ourselves on Oct 29-31, as we would have been on the phone/computer constantly trying to re-work flights and hotels etc.

Our tour director also reworked all our Sydney sightseeing, and meals, to ensure we weren't missing anything. Some people had planned some things in Sydney on their own (we had a free day there) - our tour director even rearranged those for people! We ended up losing our free day in Sydney, but that was small potatoes considering what might have been.

As to the itinerary, I won't list everything, as you can look at it online. But we had stops in Melbourne, Ayer's Rock, Port Douglas, Cairns (due to Qantas) and Sydney. Then Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Queenstown in New Zealand.

We arrived 6 days early in Melbourne to spend time on our own, and stayed 4 extra days in New Zealand on our own.

If you have specific questions about the trip or locations/attractions, just ask. But all in all, it was a great experience. We were already sold on Tauck as a tour company, but the way they handled the Qantas issue on this particular trip, further solidified our feelings.

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Port Douglas
Port Douglas
Queensland, Australia
Sydney
Sydney
New South Wales, Australia
Cairns
Cairns
Cairns Region, Australia
Melbourne
Melbourne
Victoria, Australia
Rotorua
Rotorua
Rotorua District, New Zealand
Wellington
Wellington
New South Wales, Australia
Queenstown
Queenstown
Otago Region, New Zealand
Silver Spring, MD
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9. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

Has anyone traveled with Odyssey Tours on this trip. I love Tauck but Odyssey is much less expensive and I wonder if anyone has had experience with them. I'm sure you probably get what you pay for but anyway, am asking. Many thanks.

Silver Spring, MD
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10 posts
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10. Re: Recommended Escorted Tour of New Zealand and Australia

I am adding to the above message. Has anyone traveled with Vantage to New Zealand and Australia and if so, what was your opinion. I am trying to compare Vantage, Odyssey and Tauck. Thanks for any info.

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Australia
Australia
South Pacific