Thank you from Marlies and Helmut Kraemer

Hi Karen,

The “Down-Under Travelers” of 2012 have now enjoyed a second trip with Australia 2000 Travel – this time to New Zealand! How can we really thank you for putting together another amazing journey for the Kraemers? The answer became apparent these past few weeks. We spent 5 incredible weeks in New Zealand (February 1 – March 8, 2014) and while the experience was a once in a lifetime, the retelling to friends is a special way of reliving the trip. And that is how we can really thank you. It is an ongoing experience with us every time we get the iPad out and share pictures and memories. And we see the looks on our friends’ faces…..first a bit of envy, then joy, and then….the question….who did you use for this amazing trip? Then we can return the favor and say, well of course, Karen at Australia 2000 Travel! It was also interesting that during our New Zealand travels we met other guests during our stops who upon hearing our itinerary asked that same famous question…..who was your agent? Again, the joy when we could share your information with them!

Kraemer #3 NZ Trip 2014

Our 5 week journey took us from Auckland to Queenstown with our overnights at some of the most beautiful places one can imagine. Though each were wonderful, Helmut and I had some favorites: EdenHouse in the Nelson region, Otahuna Lodge outside of Christchurch, Huka Lodge in the Taupo area, and both the Farm at Cape Kidnappers in Hawke’s Bay and Matakuri Lodge in Queenstown. And we should not forget Mollies in Auckland and Hapuku Lodge in Kaikoura! But a trip is not about lodges, it is about what one learns. We met such wonderful “Kiwis”, hospitable, kind, and fun-loving. We learned so much about New Zealand, its history, culture, and its life today both economically and politically. I have told so many friends that we attended the “University of New Zealand” for 5 weeks!

Kraemer #2 NZ Trip 2014

I must confess that I was a bit hesitant to travel to New Zealand because I am not a “sports” person and rather risk adverse to things that the locals find just plain fun-like jet boat rides and bungee jumping! But one need no athleticism to eat and drink one’s way through New Zealand….only stamina!! With an agro/aquaculture based economy one certainly has access to the best foods in the world. The concept of paddock to table is everywhere and we were in good food withdrawal for days upon our return! The wines…..shall we say most of the good wines remain “home” in New Zealand!

Kraemer NZ Trip 2014

Finally, the natural beauty of New Zealand, alone, is worth a trip. I have likened New Zealand to California on steroids…..ocean, mountains, desert, rainforests, volcanoes, tectonic plates…..you name it, it is there! And the animals….for all my days I will remember my “baby”…..Vortex, the kiwi bird, who has been so fortunate to be in a sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers and be able to grow up in safety in his natural habitat.

In a nutshell, New Zealand touched each one of our senses: our eyes took in the magnificent scenery, our ears heard the calls of native birds and the wind, our noses smelled the beautiful flowers and sheep, our taste buds burst with the amazing flavors of the foods we ate, and our hands touched and felt so much of the texture of this incredible world. All perfection…and because you helped to bring all of that into our lives by paying attention to every detail of our journey. That brings smiles of joy to our faces!

The three pictures say so much…….we enjoyed and we thank you, your US team, and the New Zealand team that made it all a beautiful reality for us!

Fondly…..Marlies and Helmut Kraemer

 

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 Bob & Susie Ufer

Beginning with a beautiful sail on Sydney Harbor and ending with the Sounds of Silence in Doubtful Sound this indeed was a fabulous holiday! Australia 2000 planned every detail to make our journey one that we will always treasure.

Whether arriving late into Auckland and having our ride waiting or simply getting to a destination with a ride waiting was the best. We met people that we will now have more Christmas cards to send and the accommodations were lovely. We already know we will return to the Punatapo Lodge in Queenstown, gorgeous land of the long white cloud.

Thank you Australia 2000!!

Susie and Bob Ufer

Dazzling Holiday Festivities in New Zealand

Holiday festivities abound in the glorious South Pacific!  Join the Kiwis this holiday season from the 1st of December through Boxing Day (December 26th) to watch the night skies come to life as dazzling lightshows beam from Telecom Christmas trees.

Telecom Christmas Tree - Ponsonby, Auckland, 2009

Photo Credit to Daniel Ngu

For the first time ever, three twinkling Telecom Christmas trees will be displayed, bringing the joy of the season to New Zealanders at Te Wero Island on Auckland’s busy waterfront, Waitangi Park in Wellington and in the heart of Christchurch at Hagley Park.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors gather each year to take in the awe and splendor of the seven story Telecom Christmas trees as they burst to life when 375,000 twinkling light bulbs illuminate the sky at dusk each night and warmly glow until the break of day.

Featuring a light sequence that offers 16 million color combinations, this dazzling show not only delights crowds of all ages, but also in the true spirit of Christmas, gives back as gifts are collected for the children of Christchurch who have been affected by tough economic times.

New Zealand Spectacular Golf Tour

DAY 1: Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand. City Orientation Tour
DAY 2: Golf at Formosa Country Club
DAY 3: Golf at Gulf Harbour. Private Cruise to Waiheke Island
DAY 4: Fly to Queenstown. Wine Tasting in Blenheim
DAY 5: Milford Sound Helicopter Flight. Hiking and Lunch at a Sheep Station
DAY 6: Golf at Millbrook Resort
DAY 7: At Leisure in Queenstown
DAY 8: Fly to Wellington. Arts, Culture and History Tour
DAY 9: James Bond Day
DAY 10: Fly to Napier. City Tour and Wine Tasting. Golf at Cape Kidnappers Golf Club
DAY 11: Coach to Taupo. Golf at Wairakei International Golf Course
DAY 12: Golf at Taupo Centennial. Cruise on Lake Taupo
DAY 13: Fly to Bay of Islands. Golf at Kauri Cliffs
DAY 14: Cruise on Bay of Islands
DAY 15: Fly to USA

19 Day Elegant New Zealand Discovery Tour

Day 1 Arrive in Auckland. Fly to Waiheke Island
Day 2 Private discovery tour on Waiheke Island
Day 3 Fly to Taupo
Day 4 Private touring in Taupo
Day 5 Private transfer to Napier
Day 6 Private touring in Hawkes Bay
Day 7 Private guided touring to Palliser Bay
Day 8 At leisure in Palliser Bay
Day 9 Private transfer to Wellington
Day 10 Gourmet walking tour. Touring on private Maori marae
Day 11 Fly to Nelson
Day 12 Helicopter tour to Farewell Spit
Day 13 At leisure in Nelson
Day 14 Full day private touring in Nelson Region
Day 15 Fly to Queenstown
Day 16 Helicopter Milford Sound & Jetboat Dart River Tour
Day 17 Fly fishing or spa treatment
Day 18 Fly to Auckland. Private City Tour
Day 19 Depart New Zealand

[Read more…]

10 Day Luxury New Zealand Discovery Tour

Featuring

  • Canterbury Country Estate
  • Kaikoura
  • Christchurch
  • Queenstown
  • Dart River Cruise
  • Milford Sound
  • Auckland

IN BRIEF
Day 1 Arrive in Christchurch / Transfer to luxury country lodge
Day 2 4X4 Discovery Tour
Day 3 Whale Watching Tour / Transfer to Christchurch
Day 4 City Tour of Christchurch.
Day 5 Fly to Queenstown
Day 6 Lord of the Rings Tour – Dart River and Milford Sound
Day 7 At leisure in Queenstown
Day 8 Fly to Auckland / Private City Tour
Day 9 Private Touring with a Maori Guide
Day 10 Depart New Zealand

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Thank you from the Berminghams and Elders

Karen, Hillary, Shelly and Wendy,

Our Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania trip was spectacular. Everything was perfectly planned and we experienced a new adventure every day. We loved Sydney – the bridge climb, sailing the harbor and great shopping. A highlight has to be the Blue Mountains with such spectacular views, the opportunity to see kangaroos jumping about it the bush and lunch on the Wollondilly River.

We were very brave and drove on the opposite side of the road for our tour of Tasmania. We experienced Bruny Island with all the massive cliffs and just incredible views on our drive on the coast to Freycinet National Park. The Park has beautiful beaches with clear water and a nice secluded feel. It seemed there was one beautiful sight of beaches, waterfalls and rainforest after another as we drove to Launceston.

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Thank You from the Luginbills

Karen and Hillary,

Our second trip from Australia 2000 was as sensational as the first. In January, we visited Fiji and New Zealand; and as was the case for our trip to Australia in 2007, it was expertly planned and went off without a hitch. The diversity of the vacation was ideal. There were so many highlights that one cannot be singled out. Each day was an adventure.

On the island of Nukubati, the lap of luxury awaited us. We toasted sundown with campaign at sunset, viewed the undersea world snorkeling on the pristine reefs, ate gourmet food at every meal cooked from fresh island ingredients, and had every whim taken care of by an excellent staff.

After a totally relaxing week, New Zealand beckoned from top to bottom, north to south. We arrived to our own limo in Auckland and after a grand couple of day’s visit, we were off to Waitomo to do Black water rafting. Since hiking is our thing, Karen had us walk the Tongaririo Crossing, an amazing 7 hour trek across a volcano with some of the most amazing scenery to be seen.

The South island proved to be as dramatic and varied as the North island of New Zealand. A three day 28 mile hike along the Abel Tasman coastal trail was followed by sipping wine in Marlborough. Next we had a spectacular drive to Kaikoura where whale watching was no fluke. Christchurch was a bustling city between earthquakes (no big ones when we were there) and off to Queenstown, a must see vacation wonderland, where we just might have seen Gandalf and Frodo. Finally but definitely worth waiting for was a two day trip to Fiordland National Park where the scenery was so awe inspiring that it could have only been created by our Lord.

Every aspect of our trip was taken care of. All we had to do was follow the customized, fully complete itinerary and have FUN doing it.

Ron and Barb Luginbill

Traveled to Fiji and New Zealand January 2011

Thanks from Debbie and Mike

Hi Karen & Hillary,

We are still talking to everyone we see about our incredible trip to New Zealand and Australia. We were met upon arrival in Auckland, Queenstown, Sydney and Cairns by your fun and interesting local guides who delivered us to our fabulous hotels/apartments as well as providing us with your detailed itinerary that included vouchers for our total convenience.

Karen grasped the personality and needs of Mike and I perfectly. The unique and spectacular journey to New Zealand took us to the Waiheke Island with fabulous visits to wineries, artist’s studios, and a taste of the local cuisine. However, we fell totally in love with Queenstown with its view of the Remarkables and our exciting ride up the Dart River.

[Read more…]