Thank you from Bonnie & Scott Morton

Dear Karen,

We are pleased with our custom trip to Australia and Tasmania. We enjoyed our excursions – Davidson’s Safari Camp, Flinders Range, Kangaroo Island, and Tasmania.

Morton - Flinders Ranges 2015

Photo credit to Bonnie & Scott Morton

We enjoyed Davidson’s Safari Lodge a lot. We had excellent meals. The cabin was comfortable and the guides were excellent. We enjoyed seeing the aborigines’ art and the billabongs. We saw a number of birds, alligators, and wallabies.

Mick is an excellent guide. We enjoyed his sense of humor and knowledge of the area around Flinders Range. We learned a lot from him. It is a beautiful area. We saw the wildflowers in full bloom.

Steve was our guide on Kangaroo Island. He is a farmer and works as a guide part time. Steve and Scott enjoyed talking about their farms. Steve gave us a tour of his farm which we thoroughly enjoyed. Mandy and Paul, the owners of Seascape were excellent hosts. Mandy is a great cook and the meals were delicious.

Morton KI 2015

Photo credit to Bonnie & Scott Morton

Adelaide was the perfect place to be our jumping off point from Flinders Range to Kangaroo Island to Tasmania and the Adina Apartment Hotel served us well. The hotel is within walking distance to Chinatown which has a very good selection of Asian restaurants, and Rundle mall for shopping.

I found some very warm merino gloves for the forecasted cooler weather in Tasmania. Having a washing and dryer in the unit was very helpful. We started our 6 days in Tasmania with a full load of clean clothes.  Also having a small kitchen in the unit allowed us to purchase food for a continental breakfast.

Cradle Mountain (photo credit Morton)

Photo credit to Bonnie & Scott Morton

Karin was our guide in Tasmania. In addition to being very knowledgeable about the area, she is very thoughtful and helpful. She surprised us with a gift for our 25th anniversary. I just happened to mention it to her. We didn’t want to publicize the event, but we appreciated her thoughtfulness.

We enjoyed Sarah Island, Cradle Mountain, all the walks, Cataract Gorge, the Walk to Wineglass Bay lookout, seeing and learning about all the rock formations.

We felt the organization and coordination of the drivers and guides were excellent. We enjoyed the adventures, learning about the history and seeing the beautiful views of Australia.

Thank you for such a nice job.

Bonnie and Scott Morton

Bespoke Australian Gourmet Extravaganza

Bespoke Australian Gourmet Extravaganza

Designed Exclusively for

14 Food & Wine Lovers

 

 

DAY 1    Fly to Sydney, Australia by your own arrangements      

Your Adventure in the Lands Down Under commences when you depart ***your home city for Los Angeles. When you arrive in Los Angeles Airport you will board your onward flight to Sydney, Australia. International airline tickets to be purchased by your own arrangements. Your flight should arrive in Sydney between  7.50 A.M and 8.45A.M. ***

DAY 2    In Transit        

During your flight over the Pacific Ocean your will cross the international Dateline and lose a day.

DAY 3    Arrive in Sydney, Australia. City Orientation Tour     L                                                You will arrive in Sydney early this morning and clear customs. After you have completed the Australia Immigration formalities your luggage will be collected and transferred to your hotel while you join our local private Sydney tour guide, Suzanne who will lead your elite group of 14 wine and food lovers on an introductory tour of Sydney Downtown. As part of your day you’ll visit the exclusive Eastern Suburbs, and famous Bondi Beach where you’ll stop for lunch at a local trendy bistro overlooking the beach.   Your day of exploration will conclude with a privately guided tour of Sydney Opera House commencing at 3.45P.M.

Park Hyatt Sydney - Exterior Cameo Horizontal

Photo Credit to Park Hyatt Sydney

Since 1996 readers of Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines have voted Sydney the World’s Best City for sixteen years in succession. You will enjoy this cosmopolitan city with its impressive harbor foreshores, glamorous homes and coastlines dotted with jagged sandstone cliffs and thirty seven golden beaches. With its Mediterranean climate where the temperature rarely falls below 50F, arcade shopping, restaurants, parks, gardens, museums, the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge- you’ll find Sydney a gem.

Following your tour you will be transferred to your hotel where your luggage will have been stored awaiting your arrival.

Park Hyatt Sydney - City Harbour Room

Photo Credit to Park Hyatt Sydney

During your four nights stay in Sydney you will be accommodated in eight city view rooms at the Park Hyatt Sydney with views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney city skyline Your luxury hotel is uniquely positioned on the very edge of Sydney Harbor with spectacular views of the Harbor Bridge above and the Opera House at eye level. Architecturally designed guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling glass that open onto private balconies affording exquisite views of Sydney Harbor, Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Skyline. Join  Check in time: 2.00P.M. 

Suggestions for a light dinner to be enjoyed at a variety of Sydney restaurants (at own expense). Reservations to be made by your hotel Concierge

*****Optional tour at additional expense 

Massages in hotel rooms

DAY 4     A Foodies Delight Private Gourmet Tour of Sydney    B L

Sydney Fish Markets 2An early start at 6.20A.M.this morning. Join Suzanne at the well-known Sydney Fish Markets for a Behind the Scenes Auction Tour where you will have the opportunity to join a vibrant, leading edge commercial auction at the largest fish market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere where over 100 species of fish are auctioned daily. During the 1 ½ hour tour you will experience all facets of the fish markets operation from the auction floor to the sashimi pavilion and the crustacean pen. At the conclusion of the tour you’ll be able to sample tastings of fresh sushi, sashimi and famous Sydney rock oysters while speaking to the locals about the catch of the day.

You will return to Circular Quay to meet any members of your group who would prefer to sleep-in or take an independent stroll around Circular Quay or The Botanic Gardens. Your day will continue along the Harbour Foreshores to Woollahra with its fine array of food provisioners including Victor Churchill’s Butchery and Simon Johnson for an introduction of Australia’s finest products. You’ll soon appreciate Australia has moved a long way from its British roots and “Bush Tucker” days.   Visiting a fine wine shop to   look at the wide regional variety of Australian wines will be the last stop before you are introduced to another cultural event, the Long Sydney Lunch. Your luncheon experience at the award winning Catalina’s overlooking Sydney Harbour at Rose Bay will reflect the very essence of Sydney’s gastronomy. An inspiring spot to contemplate the joys of Australian cuisine and to develop an appreciation of the Sydneysiders mantra. “Nobody cares about the meaning of life – it’s Harbour frontage that counts”

You’ll return to your hotel via water taxi suitably impressed and ready to write postcards boasting of your introduction to Sydney, The Best City of the World”

*****Optional tours at additional expense 

Massages in hotel rooms

Personal shopping

Visit to Sydney Aquarium

Visit to Sydney Wildlife Park

Suggestions for a light dinner to be enjoyed at a variety of Sydney restaurants (at own expense). Reservations to be made by your hotel Concierge.

DAY 5     The Ultimate Sydney Day. Lunch at Suzanne’s Beach House    B L

After breakfast at your hotel You will meet your Harley Davidson tour gides outside your hotel this morning to be kitted with helmets and leather jackets before taking a scenic ride across Sydney Harbour bridge, past Luna Park and through the Northern Suburbs. During your putt you’ll stop for photo ops at Balmorral Beach. Your tour will continue along the Northern Beaches to Church Point on the edge of, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park the 4th oldest national park in the world where you’ll meet Suzanne and board your private water taxi for a cruise along Pittwater en route to your luncheon site at Suzanne’s splendid beach house on Towlers Bay. Meet the local caterer and Suzanne’s husband Piers Akerman as the BBQ is lit and the wine cellar opened. Join in the preparation in the kitchen or relax on the verandah feeding the local parrots and kookaburras. You’ll find Towlers Bay on Pittwater an affluent yet unpretentious hideaway.  It’s casual, stimulating and breathtaking. Far too quickly your day will pass and you’ll bid your hosts farewell as you return to Church Point where you’ll meet your limo driver to return to your hotel in Sydney. A day of Aussie culture like no other!   This will be a fantastic day so not forget your cameras!

Barrenjoey Pittwater from SeaplaneFar too quickly your day will pass and you’ll bid your hosts farewell as you hop in the dingy to board your seaplane to return to Sydney flying low along the rugged Sydney coastline and over the Harbour to Rose Bay. From Rose Bay you’ll hop on the local ferry to return to Circular Quay and take the short stroll to your accommodation. Ferry ticket will be at additional expense and will be purchased once you have disembarked from the ferry.

Suggestions for a light dinner to be enjoyed at a variety of Sydney restaurants (at own expense).

DAY 6     Sydney Harbour Cruise. Performance Sydney Opera House  B L D

Sydney Harbour CruiseAfter a leisurely breakfast at your hotel you’ll join Suzanne before boarding a luxury motor launch on a 4-hour private luncheon cruise to discover beautiful Sydney Harbor and its many picturesque coves. During your cruise Suzanne you give good commentary on the Harbour’s history, scenic sights and unique marine biology. Canapés and a two course buffet luncheon will be served while anchored at a scenic cove on Sydney Harbour. You will return to Circular Quay at 3.00P.M. and have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to return to your hotel to relax or to explore the city independently.

*****Optional tours at additional expense

  • Massages in hotel rooms
  • Personal shopping
  • Visit to Sydney Aquarium
  • Visit to Sydney Wildlife Park
  • Early morning Bridgeclimb

Sydney Opera House

The famous Sydney Opera House is a matter of minutes’ walk from your hotel.   Early this evening you ‘ll take a leisurely stroll to Sydney Opera House to enjoy pre-theater dinner at Aria Restaurant before enjoying the spectacle as you attend a performance of opera, ballet, music or drama in one of the three halls in the world renowned Sydney Opera House.

Note:  Sydney Opera House Diary for 2016 performances will be released in November 2015.

DAY 7   Fly to Melbourne. Food Lovers Melbourne Walk     B L

After breakfast you will be transferred to Sydney Airport in time to board your onward flight to Melbourne. On arrival in Melbourne you will be met by your local specialist guide to discover the diversity of Melbourne’s cuisine.   During your four hour private walking, talking and tasting tour you’ll discover Melbourne’s best kept foodie secrets and learn of Melbourne’s culinary history, culture and architecture. You’ll visit Federation Square and meander through the beautiful lanes, arcades and alleys that define Melbourne.   You’ll visit the best and most interesting chocolate stores, bakeries and spice stores and meet local artisans and baristas. In Chinatown you’ll enjoy Chinese egg tarts, dumplings and roast duck. You’ll discover the latest and greatest restaurants and bars often hidden in basements and on city rooftops.   Your tour will conclude with lunch of substantial small plates a glass of wine at renowned dining hot spot Cumulus Inc on Flinders Lane.   Following lunch you will be transferred to your hotel.

Park Hyatt Melbourne Lobby

Photo Credit to Park Hyatt Melbourne

During your three night stay in Melbourne you will be accommodated in eight Club King Rooms at Park Hyatt Melbourne, a luxury hotel. Overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fitzroy Gardens and the cosmopolitan mix of Victorian and modern architecture your hotel offers exclusive, luxury accommodation in the heart of the city. It provides a warm ambience and exceptional levels of personalized service. With walk-in closets, Italian marble bathrooms and open windows your hotel provides an unparalleled experience of elegant, contemporary luxury. Guests are invited to enjoy the award-winning ‘radii restaurant and bar, the decadent lounge and Melbourne’s favourite day spa featuring an indoor aquamarine pool, spa, sauna, gym and private sun deck. Check in time: 2.00P.M.

This evening you’ll be transferred from your hotel to Coda, an award winning Asian restaurant that’s fusion cuisine reflects its French Vietnamese origin.   Following diner you will be transferred to your hotel.   Dinner and beverages will be at your own expense.

****Optional tour at additional expense

  • Performance at Melbourne Art Center

DAY 8    Drive/ Fly tour of the Great Ocean Road     B L

On any given Sunday, this very James Bond Road, (in terms of its sheer geographical theatricality) is threaded with “Hogs” and sleek 750s twisting & dipping between forest and surf while we regular journey-makers proceed Indian file, too intent on drinking in the scenery to manage much more than 30 mph. Which, as it turns out, is pretty OK – for Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is one of the loveliest, and most dramatic, coastal drives in the world.” Christine McCabe

Twelve Apostles, Vic

Photo Credit to Tourism Australia

Following breakfast at your hotel you’ll join your specialist guide on a day of exploration. As you are driven to Apollo Bay via luxury 28 seat motor coach you’ll gain an insight in to the Australian surfing culture at Bells Beach. You’ll visit the historic Split Point Lighthouse that’s beacon of light has been credited with having saved thousands of lives aboard hundreds of ships that sailed along Australia’s treacherous “Shipwreck Coast”. During a stop for freshly roasted coffee and delectable pastries you’ll have time to enjoy the spectacular beach and ocean views and   see koalas in the wild at Kennett River before enjoying an indulgent gourmet picnic lunch on the sand at Apollo Bay. Following lunch you’ll board your Piper Chieftain fixed-wing aircraft to enjoy one of the world’s most scenic flights   as you fly above the Great Ocean Road you’ll enjoy breathtaking aerial views of the rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles, Moonlight Head, The Cape Otway Lighthouse Station, Gibson’s Steps and Loch Ard Gorge. On landing at Apollo Bay you’ll board your motor coach to relax and enjoy the return journey to your hotel in Melbourne.

This evening you’ll be transferred from your hotel to Movida, a fabulous Spanish eatery serving tapas. Following diner you will be transferred to your hotel. Dinner and beverages will be at your own expense.

DAY 9     Full day tour of Yarra Valley Wineries    B L

Dominique Portet Vineyard

Photo Credit to Dominique Portet Vineyard

After breakfast at your hotel you will join your private specialist guide to travel to the Yarra Valley, one of Australia’s oldest and most diverse wine producing regions where commercial enterprises and boutique wineries produce Pinot Noir, fine Chardonnays, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz varietals. The Yarra Valley offers a unique food and wine experience, with many wineries specializing in the foods of the region at the cellar door and adjacent restaurants. There’s an organic, artisan style bake house and a unique coffee bean-roasting facility. There’s something incredibly connective about wine tasting in the very place the wine is crushed, fermented, bottled and stored. Commence your day with an exclusive behind the scenes French Oak barrel room tasting with carefully matched Yarra Valley produce at the renowned Dominique Portet vineyard owned by the Portet family who have been making wine in France, Napa Valley and most recently Australia for ten generations. Commencing with Sparkling Rose, guests will be guided through a private tasting of four wines from the Dominique Portet Premium Range and come to understand the aromas and nuances of making wine in a cool climate winemaking region.   Just down the road you’ll enjoy a signature food and wine master class experience at Oakridge Winery. There you’ll taste eight wines from Oakridge multi award winning 864 range with canapés to match each wine variety. As part of the experience you’ll be treated to a one hour private tutorial discussing food and wine matching principles.   A three course lunch with matching wines will be served overlooking the vines.   Following lunch there will be time to explore the region where you’ll meet the local characters and sample wine from boutique wineries such as Yarra Yering, Coldstream Hills, Pimpernel and Yering Farm. You’ll return to Melbourne in time to prepare for dinner.

You will be transferred to Cutler & Co. Dining Room, located in an old metal works factory in Fitzroy, Melbourne’s first suburb and industrial area. The open plan kitchen at the front of the restaurant creates a dynamic focal point and allows for ring-side dining, light bites and drinks. The restaurant, opened in February 2009 by Chef Andrew McConnell reflects his passion for exceptional and often unusual produce. It strikes a balance between elegance and simplicity.  Following dinner you will be transferred to your hotel. (Dinner and beverages will be at your own expense)

DAY 10   Fly to Adelaide. Grange Hermitage Wine Tasting at Penfold’s Magill Estate. Chef’s Dinner at Appellation    B L D

Winery, Carnarvon, WA

Photo Credit to Tourism Australia

After breakfast at your hotel you will be transferred to Melbourne Airport in time to board your onward flight to Adelaide.   When you arrive in Adelaide Airport your private tour guide will meet and escort to Penfolds Magill Estate where you’ll join the local wine expert to tour the magnificent property nestled in the Adelaide Foothills before entering the underground cellars to taste a selection of Penfolds Premium wines including iconic Grange Hermitage.   Tapas, wine and cheese platter are included as part of your Great Grange Tour. Following your tour you’ll be transferred to your accommodation in The Barossa Valley.

During your two night stay in the Barossa Valley you will be accommodated in four Vineyard Suites and four Stonewell Suites at The Louise, an idyllic luxury vineyard retreat set atop a gentle hill with sweeping vistas across the internationally renowned Barossa Valley. The vineyard views will get any wine lover’s blood pumping.

This evening you’ll enjoy a Chef’s Tasting Dinner with wine pairings at The Louise, Appellation where Executive Chef Ryan Edwards’ menu is prepared daily.   The chef’s innovative and meticulous preparations are based on the freshest ingredients available sourced from an extensive network of local Barossa suppliers. Appellation Restaurant was honored with top marks in the 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide by Australian Gourmet Traveler Magazine. At the Annual Wine List of the Year Awards sponsored by Traveler WINE magazine and Fine Wine Partners Appellation was named for the sixth year in a row as the restaurant with the Best Wine List in South Australia. For the fourth year in a row the international Wine Spectator Magazine granted Appellation with an Award of Excellence in the magazine’s list of “The World’s Best Wine Lists”.

DAY 11     Full day Private Tour of The Barossa Valley    B L D

Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia

The Centennial Cellar at Seppeltsfield Wines Barrossa Valley ~ Photo credit to Tourism Australia

After breakfast at your hotel you will join your wine specialist guide to travel through the famous Barossa Valley that’s backdrop of rolling hills is enriched by the hospitality and traditions of the German heritage. The Barossa Valley renowned for producing some of the best table wines is also one of the most   picturesque parts of South Australia. During your day you’ll visit a selection of wineries for private tastings. Among those will be Seppeltsfield. With a proud and priceless legacy dating back to 1851, Seppeltsfield is Australia’s iconic wine estate famed for the Centennial Collection, an irreplaceable and unbroken lineage of Tawny Port from every vintage commencing in 1878 to the current year.  It is the only winery in the world to release a one hundred year old single vintage wine each year. In addition to tasting the current 100 Year Old vintage you’ll be able to taste, and be given the opportunity to purchase port created in the year of your birth.   A private Barossa Shiraz Masterclass cellar door tasting will be included at Turkey Flat Winery along with a gourmet picnic lunch in the winery.

Seppeltsfield Wines ~ Photo Credit to Tourism Australia

At the award winning Henschke winery you’ll enjoy a tasting of Hill of Grace wines, surely one of the most evocative phrases in the world of wine. “Whenever I visit the Hill of Grace vineyard, perched up in the Eden Valley next to the angular Gnadenberg Lutheran Church, its cemetery and some old ruins, I inevitably catch myself alone, standing and staring at the oldest vines planted in 1860 by a bloke called Nicolaus Stanitzki. It’s a state of wonderment in which I stand, in awe of the more than 150 years these vines have witnessed and the implied wisdom of their gnarly, wizened old bodies.

Known today as the Grandfathers, these are the centerpiece of the Hill of Grace vineyard, sitting among thirteen plots of variously aged vines. Of these plots, just seven are planted to Shiraz, the others comprising Riesling, Semillon and Mataro. Aside from the 1860s plantings, which sit right at the center of the vineyard, other shiraz plantings date from 1910, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1965 and 1989, with a section of the 1952 Church Block replanted in 1997.”

You’ll be returned to your accommodation in time to relax and freshen up for dinner at 1918 Bistro Grill set within an old villa in a delightful garden setting in the Barossa Valley.   There you’ll enjoy some of the best modern Australian cuisine in the Barossa Valley. (Beverages and wine will be at additional expense)

DAY 12    Fly to Kangaroo Island.     B L D

Sealion on Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Sealion on Kangaroo Island ~ Photo Credit to Southern Ocean Lodge

Following an early breakfast you will be transferred to Adelaide Airport in time to board your onward flight to Kangaroo Island departing at 9.30A.M. You will stow your excess luggage and board your Rex Airlines flight to Kangaroo Island to commence your three night stay on this

extraordinary island, one of the world’s few remaining unspoiled natural wonders.

Widely regarded as Australia’s Galapagos and brimming with diverse wildlife and natural beauty, Kangaroo Island is a place of extraordinary contrasts. With a rich heritage and a world-class food and wine culture, Australia’s third largest Island offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

During you three night stay on Kangaroo Island you will be accommodated in eight Flinders Suites at Southern Ocean Lodge. With floor to ceiling glass to embrace an uninterrupted view of the magnificent Southern Ocean and foreground of rugged coastline. Each suite features spacious interiors at 700 square feet king or twin beds, curved sunken lounge with bespoke soft furnishings, walk-in closet, ensuite with oversized rain shower and in-suite bar. An outdoor terrace with day bed invites.

Southern Ocean Lodge, Luxury Lodges of Australia, South Australia

Southern Ocean Lodge Kangaroo Island ~ Photo Credit to Southern Ocean Lodge

Wines at Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island, SA

Wines at Southern Ocean Lodge ~ Photo Credit to Luxury Lodges of Australia

Located at Hanson Bay on the Island’s south west coast, the Lodge adjoins the Flinders Chase and Cap Bouguer / Kelly Hill National Parks. Set back from a cliff above the pounding surf the sensitive design showcases a full frontal panorama and is within easy reach of all of Kangaroo Island’s major attractions. Modern luxury and design integrity meld with the Kangaroo Island vernacular and an amazing coastal color pallet, creating a unique eco chic style.   Its location, stunning views, contemporary environmental design, locally sourced food and beverages, personalized interpretative activities and modern wellness spa will ensure its status as a South Australian icon.

Included daily in your stay: All meals with inspired daily dinner menu, open bar with premium wine and spirits, in-suite bar and signature experiences and island airport transfers.

DAY 13    Private Wildlife Tour on Kangaroo Island    B L D

Echidna at Hanson's Bay Sanctuary

Echidna at Hanson’s Bay Sanctuary ~ Photo Credit to Tourism Australia

Following breakfast with your fellow travelers you will join your specialist guide to spend a day in the Aussie bush on Kangaroo Island where things take time….where drivers wave as they go by – or even stop for a chat… You’ll stop for a “cuppa and home-made cakes before taking a walk down a country track through tall eucalyptus trees where koalas snooze overhead, or perhaps wake briefly for a feed.   You’ll travel through some of the Island’s best farming country to the north coast. At Lathami Conservation Park you’ll walk quietly through the bush with your guide – what makes that noise, whose tracks are those, and who left THAT little pile there? Look for wallabies that are almost extinct on the mainland, and a kangaroo found only on Kangaroo Island.

Seal Bay, Kangaroo Island, SA

Seal Bay Kangaroo Island ~ Photo Credit to Tourism Australia

When you break for lunch you’ll enjoy a delicious meal featuring King George whiting (local sea fish), fresh salads and fine South Australian wines at a private bush location.

At Seal Bay Conservation Park you’ll walk with your guide among Australian sea lions on a beautiful sandy beach.   You’ll watch pups nursing, or playing in the surf, see old bulls bearing the scars of territorial disputes and learn about their unique breeding biology. The remainder of the afternoon is spent exploring more of the south east region of the Island with destinations and experiences chosen to reflect seasonal opportunities.

DAY 14    Full day Private Art of Nature Tour    B L D

KI Private Art of Nature TourFollowing breakfast you’ll join your specialist guide on a full day tour to discover Kangaroo Island’s creative side.   As you traverse the island you’ll visit a variety of studios and galleries where you’ll meet local artisans whose work has been influenced by the solitude, wildlife and stunning coastal landscapes of KI. From ceramics, to fine arts, bronze sculptors, photography and jewelry your creative juices will be sated.

DAY 15      Fly to Sydney. Farewell Gala Dinner in Paddington.     B D    

Following breakfast you will be transferred to Kangaroo Island Airport in time to board your onward flight to Adelaide.   On arrival in Adelaide Airport you will walk to the baggage area to collect your stored excess luggage that will have been placed on the carousel along with the luggage you had taken with you to Kangaroo Island. Once you have collected your luggage you will check-in at the Qantas Airways counter in time to board your onward flight to Sydney. On your arrival in Sydney Airport you will be transferred to your overnight accommodation in City Harborview rooms at Sydney Park Hyatt.

Lucio's interior 2

Photo Credit to Lucio’s

Take a moment to freshen up before being transferred to Paddington to join Suzanne and Piers for dinner at a local Italian trattoria. Your host Lucio, an avid collector of Australian art will be delighted to introduce you to the art displayed on the walls of his restaurant. You’ll enjoy the creative cuisine of one of Australia’s young chefs paired with Australian wines in the perfect setting to reflect on the past two weeks of your ‘Epicurean Extravaganza’.  Following dinner you’ll bid your new Aussie friends farewell before being transferred to your hotel.

DAY 16    Depart Sydney     B     

Say farewell to Australia today. Before breakfast at your hotel early morning risers may wish to take a stroll along the Grand Boulevard in Circular Quay or pass by the Sydney Opera House and continue through the Sydney Botanic Gardens. You will be transferred to Sydney Airport in time to board your ***onward flight to Los Angeles. Once you have cleared customs in Los Angeles you will board your onward flight to your home city. Flights from Sydney should depart Sydney between 10.30A.M.a and 11.40A.M. *** You will return to your home in USA after having experienced the kind hospitality of the Aussies, stayed in an eclectic mix of our hotels and loges, visited our cultural, historic and natural icons, and explored the usual and the unusual from extreme perspectives. You’ll have seen the sights, found time to share a yarn with the locals and perhaps somewhere along the way you’ll have made a new mate. (That’s Aussie for friend)

*** Indicates international airline tickets are NOT included. Such tickets may be purchased by your own arrangements or through Australia 2000 Travel ***

Your 14-Day Gourmet Extravaganza includes:

  • Economy class flights within Australia
  • 13 nights deluxe hotel & B&B accommodation – twin share basis
  • Services of professional tour guide throughout
  • 11 Professionally guided private tours with local specialist guides
  • Performance at Sydney Opera House
  • Airport arrival & departure transfers
  • Baggage handling
  • 32 meals as denoted by B, L, D code
  • Australia goods & services taxes
  • Park entry fees
  • Selected wine lists at the included lunches and dinners
  • Travel Insurance

Does not include:

  • Optional tours and meals not listed
  • Items of a personal nature
  • International airfares
  • Roundtrip airfares from your home city to international departure city
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Gratuities

Please be aware that:

  • International air fares in economy, premium economy, business or first class may be purchased from Australia 2000 Travel. Please consult to airline information as part of your itinerary
  • Tour will run for 14 passengers.  Price will vary if numbers falls below 14 passengers.
  • Tour will run for a minimum of 10 passengers.

Australia 2000 Travel retains the right to modify the itinerary or venues due to unforeseen circumstances.

Occasionally one hears of an unusual and unique business where the relationship is harmonious from the beginning. Where quality is the only measure of success. Where everyone emerges from the experience fully satisfied with the end result. Australia 2000 Travel in Birmingham, Michigan is such a business. 

Customize a Wedding or Honeymoon to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti or Fiji with the Down Under Specialists at Australia 2000 Travel

Our customer service, extensive local knowledge of each destination and twenty three years spent developing relationships with our hand selected tour guides and unique boutique accommodation owners and hosts set us apart.  Nothing about Australia 2000 Travel is cookie cutter.  Dreams come true. Memories are created that last for a lifetime. 

Jim Krystal Brown - OZ Wedding

Photo Credit to Jim & Krystal Brown

“Thank you to the staff of Australia 2000 for making this a trip of a lifetime for our wedding/honeymoon.  We couldn’t have asked for it to be more perfect!  The attention to detail was phenomenal and we can’t wait to contact you again for an anniversary trip!” Jim & Krystal Brown

“Hi Karen, We’re back! You put together a wonderful itinerary for us. The honeymoon was fantastic, wonderful and spectacular!!! Did I mention that we really enjoyed ourselves??? Everything went off without a hitch. Your staff we met throughout our journey couldn’t have been any friendlier! We felt relaxed and at ease our entire trip. We hope to come back some day!  Thank you so much for a wonderful and unforgettable three weeks.”  Dan & Erin Garfin

Dave & Crystal Geiser OZ DEC 2014

Photo Credit to Crystal & Dave Geiser

“Australia is such a large country and we had no idea how to start the process of planning a honeymoon that would cover all the highlights.  The Australia 2000 team took over and created us the most phenomenal, carefree honeymoon we could ask for!  They really took into account our active lifestyle and personalities to make sure we were busy rafting, scuba diving, hiking, etc. while getting to see several of the diverse ecosystems around Australia.  All in one trip we were able to see Cairns, Ayers Rock, Kangaroo Island, and Sydney!  It was a perfect mix of city and nature with no worries for us as far as logistics of transportation (air, land and sea)!  It was the best decision I could have made to put the planning of this trip in the hands of these talented professionals and I would definitely go to them again for our next adventure (New Zealand is looking pretty awesome…)!” Crystal & Dave Geiser

Greg & Ashley Walker Honeymoon #2 - Fiji & OZ May 2014

Photo Credit to Greg & Ashley Walker

“Hi Karen! Passing through the Adelaide Airport and just wanted to let you and the team know we are having an amazing adventure. Everything has been perfect.”  Greg & Ashley Walker

“Much appreciation on the hard work of setting up our honeymoon. We had such a great time and felt that Australia became a part of us. We just did not want to leave. We will have memories for a lifetime.” Aaron & Anna Spork

Aaron & Anna Spork Aussie Honeymoon - April 2010

Photo Credit to Aaron & Anna Spork

“We had such an amazing trip to New Zealand that we didn’t want to come home!   The food was great and the atmosphere everywhere we went was so hospitable and inviting! Everyone was very nice and gave us well wishes on our recent marriage. We definitely want to go back and see some of the places we didn’t get to this time.  Thanks again for organizing this trip for us. It will truly be something we will never forget.”  Mike & Jess Wiley

Thank you from Greg & Ashley Walker

Hi Karen!

Passing through the Adelaide Airport and just wanted to let you and the team know we are having an amazing adventure.

Everything has been perfect.

Greg & Ashley Walker Honeymoon #2 - Fiji & OZ May 2014

Thank you!

Greg and Ashley

Thank you from June Fasang

Dear Karen,

My trip was wonderful!  A big THANK YOU to you and your associates for your help in planning it.

I never really thought I would take this trip until I found out about your agency from the write up in the Sunday Detroit Free Press.  I had to keep pinching myself that I was really there after wanting to go for 60 years!

I am very glad you advised me to spend the extra money to upgrade my seat on the Air New Zealand flight to Auckland.  I cannot say enough good things about Air New Zealand and the flight attendant you alerted ahead of time to watch over me.  She was incredibly kind to help me through immigration and customs.

Auckland was lovely, the personal tour guides, Pete and Christine, were so helpful and went out of their way to welcome and show me their part of New Zealand.  City Life Hotel upgraded me to a suite and it was very comfortable. I only wish that I had more time there.  My last day in Auckland Pete showed up at 7 a.m. all spiffed up in suit and tie to transfer me to to the airport for my flight to Australia.

A friend was waiting for me in Adelaide and I really think that was my favorite part of the trip. Adelaide is a beautifully laid out city and the surrounding country is gorgeous. I loved Kangaroo Island.  It was perfect weather wise and it was there that I first saw kangaroos and koalas. Other places I enjoyed were the wineries at McLaren Vale and Granite Island where we hopped aboard a horse drawn carriage tour.

On to Melbourne on Virgin Australia, where I was upgraded to business class for the short flight and yet another reunion with friends.  After resting for a couple of days at their lovely home, their mother, who is my lifelong friend, arrived.  We visited the wonderful botanical gardens and enjoyed viewing the wild life.  Joanne made a Kangaroo supper one night and it was surprisingly good. The next day we set off to Canberra where we toured the new Parliament building and the War Memorial.  They were both amazing.

On to Sydney… The Sydney waterfront was all that I expected and that is where we met my sister and husband. I parted with my Melbourne friends and spent the rest of the day with my sister and family over in Manly Beach. I walked to the Quay to explore the Rocks and took a tea time harbor cruise.

I enjoyed the food but found Australia very expensive both in restaurants and grocery stores. Lamb was cheaper than here and I brought back Vegemite which I love (like British Marmite).

The Sheraton Hotel in Los Angeles that you arranged for me was just fine.  I took advantage of both the lovely accommodation and the limo transfers you arranged for me.

Thank you again, Karen, I could not have done it without you.

Regards,

June Fasang

P.S. I will not hesitate to recommend your agency.

Thank you from Dave & Nona Church

Hi Karen,

We wanted to send you a note to bring you up to date on the progress of our trip. We arrived in Hobart this morning (Sat., Feb. 9) and had the good fortune of this being the town’s Market Day with lots of activities in the town center. It is also the occasion of the World Wooden Ship Festival in Hobart Harbor (3 days every two years).

We received your wonderful fruit basket upon our arrival in Sydney after our cruises to New Zealand and New Caledonia Islands. We have enjoyed some of the fruit each day. Your thoughtfulness is most appreciated.   (Our tour guide) Suzanne was a most delightful, informative and personable guide on our tours of the environs of Sydney and the Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park north of Sydney. She sends you her greetings.

Each link of our trip has flowed perfectly, thanks to your planning and arrangements. An unexpected delight has been the friendliness and helpfulness of strangers asking if there is anything they can do to help us when we look confused or lost.

We really appreciate having the Grace Hotel as our center of operations in Sydney. This Hotel is first class in every way….great staff people, available laundry, wonderful breakfasts, luxurious atmosphere, walking distance to places of interest. We really enjoyed our tours of the Sydney Opera House yesterday morning and attending the Verdi opera last night.

We look forward to our 3 day walk on Maria Island beginning tomorrow, and the experiences waiting for us at Port Arthur and Adelaide. We are grateful for this adventure you have organized for us.

Best regards,

Dave & Nona Church

Thank you from Dr. Gunta Wheeler

Hello Karen,

Our trip to Australia & New Zealand was absolutely a dream come true.

Sydney was everything you told us to expect. We thoroughly enjoyed our luxurious hotel and all of the wonderful tours planned for us, especially the small group city orientation tour. Our guide was totally awesome, he even brought us to the market so that we could do a bit of shopping and then to the Yacht Club for a fantastic lunch.

Lizard island was as we dreamed it would be “out of this world” with absolutely the best food and service. The weather was as we ordered, sunny when we needed it to be and cloudy when we had a slight sunburn. Adelaide, the wineries and Kangaroo Island were also just perfect.

Our favorite part of New Zealand was Queenstown. On arrival we enjoyed a hot springs spa treatment and then headed into town where we joined in a Bar Crawl at the Ice Bar. That was the best night ever. My friends were trying to remind me my age, but I could not care less.

I must tell you that there is a new restaurant in Queenstown called Flame Bar and Grill where the ribeye steak is to die for. Also the Irish pub, Pog Mahones Stone Grill, has the best cuisine next to Lizard Island. Our favorite tour was the jet boat ride on the Dart River. It was thrilling fun and we had the best captain. I have to admit that I am totally ready to drop everything and move to Queenstown if I am ever offered the opportunity.

We also thoroughly enjoyed our chartered boat tour in Nelson. The captain was great and the Tasman Sea was at its best with lots of sun and seals, penguins and very artistic jelly fish. We sun tanned, swam and enjoyed our lunch tremendously. A highlight of the day was the terrific driver who told all about the Nelson area and even stopped at the local market so that we could purchase fresh fruit.

WOW was as wow could be, we were shocked out of our pants, that Nelson has a magnificent museum. After visiting the museum our private guide took us to the wineries where we savored the best ever smoked salmon. Paired with a prized Chardonnay, the salmon was simply splendid. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed Nelson thanks to the tours and fantastic tour guides.

Now the toughest part is to get back to ordinary food and work. I truly feel that New Zealand is calling me to return as I felt so very much at home there.

Thank you so much for a truly glorious trip!

Dr. Gunta Wheeler

Journal Entries from Down Under Travelers

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:30 PM

Hi Karen,

So our stories continue….yes, yes we found room for Vicenzo’s….it was an outstanding dinner and Lara & Heath were wonderful in their service. But the quality of the food, flavor, and presentation were truly remarkable.

Mollydooker….OMG…we spent 4 1/2 hours there! Russell, the production manager, provided us with a more than 1 hour tour thro the vineyards, and through all the stages in processing. They were harvesting so we saw that, the grapes coming in, the crushing, followed the juice through the winery, tasted out of tanks, saw barrel filling..and then…we were invited to lunch (which they provide to all the winery workers). Big deal because the food was amazing (lamb shanks, Helmut’s favorite) and we were invited by Janet, Sparky’s (owner) mother. With lunch, a bottle of Velvet Glove, their flagship wine. It was an amazing day. We went to no other wineries. Even Mary Anne said that nothing else would top this. So off to Adelaide, the Firestation and Vincenzo’s.

I thought I would die when we returned to our room.

So off to Tassie!!!

Till later,

Marlies

Thank you from Colleen Berry

G’day Karen,

What a wonderful trip to Oz! You and your staff did a fabulous job in helping to make my second trip to Australia wonderful and helped me see new and exciting parts of the country.

I loved Tasmania, Adelaide and the Margaret River area. Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island was just amazing, a once in a lifetime experience, and so wish I had stayed a third night. The small group tours across the itinerary were perfect.

Thank you for your patience in putting together a trip for someone visiting for a second time and my traveling companions visiting for a first time. The only downfall was not having more time or more money!

Thank you for making so many wonderful memories for me, Marianne and Rose.

Best,

Colleen

Adelaide’s Cellar Door Wine Festival

If you are like us, you may enjoy a glass of Aussie wine now and again. If you do, now is the time to tantalize your taste buds and join wine aficionados and enthusiasts alike as you explore 12 iconic wine regions of South Australia at Adelaide’s Cellar Door and Wine Festival.

John Duval Wines at Boneta

Photo Credit to Megan Mallen

Over 150 wineries join under one roof at the Adelaide Convention Center for 3 days only, February 24-26, 2012, to swirl, taste, smell the boutique aromas and enjoy unlimited samplings of the regions finest wines.

Among the many reasons to attend are the Master Classes where you will learn the secrets of wine and cheese pairing and the ever-popular ‘Varietal View’ where those interested in a particular varietal of wine learn the ins and outs from the wine makers themselves.

South Australia is the perfect host for this wildly popular event, as it is the world’s 7th largest wine producer and 4th largest exporter of wines. With an international reputation for producing refined and distinctive varieties, grown from some of the oldest grape vines in the world, Australian wines are sold to over 100 countries and are savored in the finest restaurants.

Whetted your appetites, have we? Lift your glass high Mate and let us personalize a once in a lifetime journey for you to the GLORIOUS South Pacific where we will weave your dreams around this well loved festival and you’ll toast to the beginning of an amazing adventure.

Australia’s Capital Cities

ADELAIDE

The wine and festival capital of Australia, Adelaide in South Australia is one of the most vibrant, stylish and innovative cities you’ll ever visit. With rolling hills, pristine beaches, a lively nightlife, galleries, cafes, pubs, bookshops, fashion houses, antique stores, cellar doors and National Parks (all within Adelaide’s boundaries!), it’s a city you’ll want to come back to time and time again…

BRISBANE

Brisbane, capital city of Queensland is Australias third largest city. It has been built around the Brisbane River that snakes its way through the downtown. Be sure to check out the Botanic Gardens and the unique Customs House that have become part of Brisbanes heritage icons.

[Read more…]

Delectable Sampling of South Australia

This nature filled state has everything Australia is famous for ~ golden beaches, lively cities, vast outback, unusual wildlife, endless sky and welcoming people.

Adelaide
Bounded by rolling hills and pristine beaches, Adelaide is a vibrant, stylish city. And as the wine and festival capital of Australia, you’ll always find something going on.

Do: For parents and older children, the city has plenty of diversions – galleries, cafes, pubs, bookshops, fashion houses, antique stores, nightlife, cellar doors and national parks. Young children and adults alike will love the wildlife park where you can hold a koala.

Learn about Australia’s indigenous peoples’ culture and art at Tandanya, Australia’s oldest Aboriginal-owned and managed multi-arts center. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples guide visitors through exhibitions in the art galleries and give performances in cultural arts such as the didgeridoo and traditional dances.

The Adelaide Central Market buzzes with life all year round with fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood, cheeses, cakes, and other gourmet delights. Along with the food, it’s a wonderful introduction to the colorful Aussie lifestyle.

Stay: In a Fire Station – a classic fire engine station that has been fully restored to meticulous historical standards but with welcome modern features such as a king-size spa bath and kitchen facilities. Among the inn’s many antiques and memorabilia, children love the full-size fire truck.

[Read more…]

14 Day Luxury Australian Highlights Tour

DAY 1 Arrive in Sydney, Australia
DAY 2 Private Sydney Tour
DAY 3 Sailing on Sydney Harbor
DAY 4 At leisure in Sydney. Evening performance at Sydney Opera House
DAY 5 Fly to Kangaroo Island
DAY 6 Full day touring on Kangaroo Island
DAY 7 Private tour in the Australian Outback
DAY 8 Adelaide orientation tour
DAY 9 Private tour in the Adelaide Hills
DAY 10 Fly to Cairns and the Daintree National Park
DAY 11 Full day cruise of the Great Barrier Reef
DAY 12 At leisure in the rainforest
DAY 13 Full day rainforest tour
DAY 14 Fly to Sydney
DAY 15 Depart Australia [Read more…]

Thank You from Patrick

G’day Karen!

We’ve only been back 2 days and all I can think about is when can we go back? Even with the jetlag, I have to say this was one of the best experiences in my life. I’d like to thank you for all your help in making this a ‘Lifer’ experience for us! So many wonderful memories we’ve brought back, that it’s tough to know where to begin.

Premium Economy seating – While the price tag was higher, the seating was definitely worth the extra cost. So much more comfortable than regular economy seating. And the Qantas staff was fabulous.

[Read more…]