Thank you from Donna Mann

When my husband and I decided to go to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, we turned to Karen and her team at Australia 2000 to help us plan it.

Photo Credit to Chris & Donna Mann

At our first meeting, we talked to Karen about the places that interested us, the types of things we liked to do, and discussed our budget.  Then Karen used her knowledge of the area and her extensive contacts to develop the itinerary and recommend hotels, tours and experiences for us.  After some discussion and advice from Karen, we decided to fly Premium Economy on Air New Zealand for our flights over the Pacific, and it was worth every penny.  We were so much more comfortable that we would have been in coach, and we arrived in New Zealand ready to begin our adventure.

Photo Credit to Chris & Donna Mann

Karen also arranged transportation for us when we needed it so we didn’t have to worry about driving in unfamiliar places on the opposite side of the road.  That worked flawlessly.    We felt so spoiled!

Karen chose a nice mix of B&B-type lodgings as well as traditional hotels.  All were well located and offered excellent service and food.  She also arranged a number of excursions for us, including:

  • A guided hike on the Routeburn Track
  • A luxury overnight cruise on Milford Sound
  • My husband’s fly-fishing trip
  • Touring Kangaroo Island to see koalas, kangaroos, seals, sea lions and even an echidna in the wild
  • A day long tour of Sydney
  • Our farewell dinner at Cafe Sydney, where we were seated at one of the best tables in the restaurant

We really appreciated Karen’s suggestions and her expertise.  There is no way we could have put together this kind of trip on our own, and we would have missed some amazing experiences had we tried.  Plus we met so many wonderful and interesting people along the way who not only helped us out, but also were excited to share the places they lived with us.  Knowing there were local people we could call if we had any problems made us confident that we would enjoy our trip to the fullest.  If you want a customized and personal vacation, turn to Karen and her team at Australia 2000.  They won’t disappoint!

Donna Mann

 

Thank you from Hillary & Andrew

Photo credit to Hillary & Andrew

We used Australia 2000 Travel to plan our honeymoon to New Zealand. Karen planned an amazing honeymoon for us that allowed us to experience the country like a local rather than just going to all of the tourist destinations. We met with her and told her our budget and what we enjoyed.  She handled everything else and developed a customized itinerary for us. The day before our trip started a major earthquake hit New Zealand. Karen and her crew worked tirelessly to rearrange our trip so that we stayed safe and away from the impacted area.

Photo credit to Hillary Andrew

She communicated frequently and had our new itinerary to us before we made it to the airport.  All the accommodations that she booked for us were astounding with amazing views. Everything from our progressive wine dinner to our trip to Doubtful Sound couldn’t have been better. She included numerous sites to see and places to eat at every city we visited as well. This was our first time to New Zealand and our first time using a travel agent and were extremely impressed with both.  We highly recommend Australia 2000 Travel!

 Thanks, 

 Hillary and Andrew

Thank you from Chris & Sandy Mullins

Our trip was organized by Karen Hodgson and her brilliant team of professionals. Our trip was tailored to suit our requirements. It is a “bespoke” vacation for the individual taste of a couple or any number of travelers. Karen organizes customized vacations to Australia/New Zealand/South East Asia. My wife and I are in our 60’s, so we are limited to what we can physically do but are not disabled. All the designated times of pick-up, no matter how early in the morning to take us to the airport/train station, they were there! Even by BMW 7 series!! How good is that? Australia 2000 Travel is exceptional in its professionalism.  They seem to have an invisible team of people who just turn up at the appropriate time to transport you to your next destination with effortless ease!! I cannot say enough about this company!! Karen is “off the scale professional” …. she is an “Ozzy” and knows everything about Australia and New Zealand! I recommend “Australia 2000Travel” to anybody who wishes to experience an adventure to the lands “Down Under”.  Whether you wish to travel with 40 other people or even alone…. she will organize a trip to suit you.  “Australia 2000 Travel” is off the scale.

Flawless Arrangements Organized by the Aussies at Australia 2000 Travel

Adele with private chefWhen you plan a trip with the Aussie Specialists and 100% Pure New Zealand Specialists at Australia 2000 Travel we take care of your every need from start to finish.  We book international and domestic flights, all accommodations, all tours, all transfers, rental cars and motor cycles. According to your desires we also make restaurant recommendations and reservations, purchase Hendricks with Rolftickets to theatre and sports events, book spa treatments, games of golf, wine tastings, water taxis, arrange dinners in private homes and walks through private gardens. We have the ability to book your special desire from charter sail boats and airplanes to fly fishing excursions and tandem parachute jumps.  When you plan a trip with Australia 2000 Travel the sky truly is the limit!  Contact us to plan your personalized adventure today!

Australia 2000 Travel ~ Dreams Become Reality

BOI-private yacht-Whatever your dream, Australia 2000 Travel makes it happen for you. Perhaps you envision discovering majestic destinations such as the Bay of Islands in New Zealand aboard a privately chartered yacht. No worries mate! Our local booking agents organize every element of your exhilarating adventure from start to finish.

A chauffeur driven car will transfer you from your luxury accommodation to the marina where your captain who will be waiting to welcome you on board.  As you set sail doors open to spectacular scenery and numerous entertaining activities.  Explore largely sheltered waters amid a variety of scenic islands teeming with wildlife is just one of them. Dolphins, blue penguins, North Island robins, snapper, kingfish, and other marine and land animals abound. Some locations are premier sites for scuba diving on rocky bottoms, in caves, and around shipwrecks. Snorkeling and swimming are excellent. Pristine white-sand beaches, walking trails to admire stunning sea views or explore historic sites, the delights of laid-back resorts, and browsing in the shops and dining in the restaurants of small harbor towns are just a few of the pleasures a Bay of Islands yacht charter has to offer.  Contact us your personalized sailing adventure is waiting for you!

Our Personalized Tours Suit Your Every Need

Client Meeting at Australia 2000 Travel

Australia 2000 Travel Client Meeting

Before we begin creating your customized itinerary we chat with you at great length to determine your lifestyle, personal interests, trip expectations, fitness level, budget and the type of accommodation that best suits your taste. We are great listeners with vast local knowledge. We draw upon our wonderful experiences, our cultural and geographic expertise that only a native can possess and lastly add a touch of Aussie magic to create an itinerary that will perfectly suit each of your needs. Our unrivaled customer service, passion and commitment to excellence guarantees you’ll have the South Pacific trip of your dreams, hand-crafted to exceed your every expectation.

A Customized Trip of a Lifetime Awaits You

Credit to Tourism Australia (14)

Photo Credit to Tourism Australia

At Australia 2000 Travel we Aussies specialize in creating unique itineraries for the discerning traveler who dreams of exploring the glorious Lands Down Under, Australia, New Zealand or Fiji.  Each itinerary is created to embrace the individual traveler’s interests, passions, lifestyle and dreams.  Our customized itineraries take the traveler off the beaten track, providing magical opportunities to meet the locals and to discover the usual from an unusual perspective.  In some small way each bespoke adventure changes a traveler’s life.

A Trip of a Lifetime to Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti or Fiji is Waiting for You!

We have been honored to create A Trip of a Lifetime for hundreds of travelers.  Don’t put off planning your very own Bespoke Adventure to the Lands Down Under for someday…Someday is TODAY.  Your personal adventure commences immediately!  One where every aspect of your breathtaking journey is designed to suit your personal dreams, desires and interests.  We Will Exceed Your Expectations.

Carollo Family

Photo Credit to The Carollo Family

Thank you Karen and the Australia 2000 crew, your meticulous planning and adherence to each and every detail made our family trip both exceptional and stress-free.  Thank you again for helping us plan the trip of a lifetime. We will never forget the experiences and adventures we had in New Zealand. ~Carollo Family

We wanted the vacation of a lifetime and we certainly had just that.  Thank you for your expertise in helping us select momentous excursions.  Everything went like clockwork.  Sincerely, Cheryl Racklin

Robinet Sounds of Silence Dinner AYQ (resized)

Photo Credit to The Robinet Family

Our trip to Australia and New Zealand was the trip of a lifetime and one that none of us will forget. Thank you for exceeding our expectations. Australia and New Zealand truly were spectacular places to visit. Sincerely, The Robinet Family

We truly loved every tour and the tour operators were amazingly the best. I would recommend this exact trip to anyone I know! Thanks for making this trip a dream of a lifetime for us!  Denise Socia

Kraemer #3 NZ Trip 2014

Photo Credit to Helmut & Marlies Kraemer

We spent 5 incredible weeks in New Zealand! The experience was once in a lifetime!  Fondly…..Marlies and Helmut Kraemer

Karen, Great job on all of your planning!   You exceeded my expectations.  You made our trip a lifetime memory!  Melissa Lange-Kaufman

Whether we had a private tour or joined with others, all the selected tour guides were personable, knowledgeable, and genuinely enjoyable to spend time with. Australia 2000 made this the adventure of a lifetime.  Thanks, Adrea and David Benkoff

Susan Redelfs - fishing

Photo Credit to The Redelfs Family

Our family had a wonderful time in Australia, and would highly recommend Australia 2000 Travel.  Everything was so organized and well planned, and all the guides and staff were extremely friendly. Thanks again for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we will cherish.  Rich, Susan and Rachel Redelfs

 

Australia 2000 Travel is an Exclusive Invitation only Member of Luxperience

5-4-15 Luxperience Member BadgeLuxperience is the only travel trade forum of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.  Based in the Australasia and Pacific region that connects the world’s most exclusive travel providers. Those who understand luxury and experiential travel.

 

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 Crystal and Dave

Geiser & Witherell OZ Honeymoon Camel Tour DEC 2014Australia 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 Geiser & Witherell OZ Honeymoon DEC 2014around 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…)!

Thanks,
Crystal and Dave

You MUST Experience the Wonder!

G’day

Since the inception of Australia 2000 Travel our goal to handcraft bespoke, fun filled luxury tours for discerning travelers who wish to explore the GLORIOUS South Pacific has never changed.

To ensure you, our valued customers get off the beaten track, meet the locals and become immersed in their culture we have established firm business relationships that in many cases have grown into treasured friendships.

Those bonds with our hand selected hoteliers and tour guides nurtured during the past twenty two years set us apart. They make certain that your stay in our brilliant upmarket hotels, B&B’s, wilderness resorts and luxury lodges create authentic experiences and memories guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Discover the difference for yourself as you explore below four of the finest accommodations New Zealand has to offer.  Properties that are leading the way in uncompromised luxury, where pampering and opulence go hand in hand, dreams are realized and wishes come true.    

You MUST experience the wonder.  To include any or all of these unique accommodations in your next Down Under Adventure simply call us at 800.875.4530.  

We look forward to hearing from you.    

~Karen

Eden House

NSN - Eden House bedroomLocated in the midst of some of New Zealand’s grandest scenery from rugged wilderness to golden beaches lies Eden House a luxury accommodation. It is neither a hotel nor a lodge but a gracious residence home situated on 48 acres of private grounds.  It is the only New Zealand boutique property featured in the 2007 edition of the prestigious UK House & Garden supplement, Hotels by Design, that showcased “the most stylish hotels in the world”.

Generous, gregarious hosts, Bobbie and Peter cater to just six guests at any one time providing delicious continental or full cooked breakfast, pre-dinner drinks and canapés, dinner and stimulating often hilarious conversation.  A walk with Bobbie through her breathtaking garden will fill your heart just as it did mine.

The Manse

NPE - The Manse ViewsA luxury boutique accommodation located in Hawkes Bay on the edge of world famous Gimblett Gravels and Ngatarawa Triangle wine regions lies The Manse. The understated luxury accommodation provides a unique venue to explore the Hawkes Bay region, the fruit basket of New Zealand while enjoying privacy, spectacular views and a hospitality experience beyond the norm.  

Hosts Gary and Dietske have many years’ experience offering superb hospitality across Europe ensuring each guest’s stay will be dominated by fine food, great wine and access to the special experiences of Hawkes Bay.   That wonderful word, bucolic springs to mind whenever I reflect on my recent stay. Great laughter, a wonderful degustation dinner prepared by Gary, a walk around the property to meet “Ham” and “Bacon” as well as a visit to Hastings local produce market were all highlights of my stay.

The Boathouse

BOI - The Landing Residences Boathouse #2The Boathouse located on the water’s edge at Wairoa Bay in stunning Bay of Islands is a striking, airy residence reminiscent of a colonial woolshed and part of the unique intimate Landing Residences. 

Whether exploring the property’s six private beaches, native bush and bird sanctuaries, playing tennis, kayaking, working out in the gymnasium or simply relaxing on a chaise lounge guests become embraced by the beauty and the peace of Bay of Islands.  Game fishing, scuba diving, waterskiing, sailing trips to neighboring islands or a game of golf at nearby Kauri Cliffs, one of the world’s best courses are available at additional cost to people seeking greater activity or adrenaline highs.

Exceptional food and wine experiences are created for each group of guests by a personal chef who uses the bounty of The Landing’s own orchard, gardens and vineyard and the best of the region’s outstanding local produce.   Every sense is fulfilled at The Landing.

Otahuna Lodge

CHC-Otahuna LodgeOtahuna Lodge, a luxury lodge at the head of a secluded valley near Christchurch is a place of replenishment and refinement. It is a place where prestigious luxury accommodation meets exemplary service and cuisine in the context of an elegant, historic country estate. A place where guests receive the warmest welcome and indulge wholeheartedly in the sense of occasion presented by lavish surroundings.

This exclusive country estate included in British society magazine Tatler “101 Best Hotels” offers five suites and two master suites. Each retaining architectural features from the 19th century such as ornate original fireplaces, carved inglenooks and stained glass windows.     

During my stay I enjoyed, as do all guests, gourmet continental breakfasts daily as well as a 5-course degustation dinner with wine pairings to accompany each course, pre-dinner drinks with canapés.

As always, our continued success relates in no small part to the support of you, our valued clients. We thank you for having entrusted us with the creation of your once in a lifetime journey.  We also thank you for referring our fine services to your family and friends.  By so doing you help us continue to do what we so love to do.

Cheers Mate!

Karen Hardy Hodgson
 
Toll Free Phone within USA:
1 800 875 4530
Phone: ++1 248 647 4530
Email: karen@australia2000-travel.com
 
Personal service and attention to every travel detail!
 
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 Ltd., in Birmingham Michigan, is such a business.
 

 

 

 

 

Thank you from Fred Glaeser

I had the pleasure of exploring parts of New Zealand and Australia the entire month of April 2014 on an adventure planned for me by Australia 2000 Travel. Places that were once dots on a map are now cherished memories.

Those of you who are contemplating working with Australia 2000 to craft your own adventure may be asking what travel experiences I’ve had with which to compare the trip in New Zealand and Australia. I am 70 years old and have visited all 50 states of the US and 46 additional countries and territories. I have planned my own trips, used the services of professional travel agents, and enjoyed group tours. My experience with Australia 2000 literally tops the list.

Australia 2000’s knowledgeable staff combined their detailed knowledge of the region with my personal interests to craft a trip that met or exceeded by expectations in every particular. I visited ten cities (all but two for multiple days) and had one overnight cruise. Every connection worked flawlessly. Accommodations were excellent (I wouldn’t hesitate to use the same accommodations on future visits). At three locations I had personal guides, each of whom was exceptional.

If you choose to work with Australia 2000, it is important to commit yourself to a joint planning effort. If you are willing to work with them by communicating your interests, any special requirements, and what you hope to gain from the experience, the staff will work hard to provide an adventure custom-designed to your expectations. In my case, for example, I don’t feel I’ve learned about a city until I’ve walked its streets at different times of day. Australia 2000 selected accommodations that were centrally located in cities and towns, making it possible to begin exploring simply by stepping out my door. Similarly, I love to hike and asked Australia 2000 for opportunities to experience New Zealand’s legendary national parks. I enjoyed three great day hikes, two on my own and one with a professional guide.

On the other hand, Australia 2000’s planners recommended an overnight cruise in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park, something that wasn’t on my original list of interests. I accepted their recommendation, which turned out to be a high-light of the trip.

Cost is always a consideration when planning trips. I received outstanding value for what I spent on a month-long adventure in a unique part of the world. Pre-paying Australia 2000 for the full cost of the trip (except for meals, personal purchases, and some local transportation) freed me to enjoy the experience, confident that all the large expenses were already covered.

I’ve long wanted to visit the lands “Down-Under”, Australia 2000’s professionals transformed my dream into reality.

Fred Glaeser

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 Marnie & David Balog

Dear Karen,

Our 2nd trip with Australia 2000 once again exceeded all expectations. We didn’t want to come home! You have a great gift for understanding our personalities and matching the itinerary and adventures!

Sailing in Sydney Harbor with Colin was a great way to start our fabulous trip and climbing the bridge showed us a most spectacular view of Sydney at twilight. David loved all the fishing trips but the marlin got away so he may just have to go back and try again! The Maria Island Walk was one of many highlights and we loved sleeping outdoors in a most gorgeous place.

Hiking along the Great Ocean Road and dinner at The Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld made my birthday the BEST ever! Staying at Stranrear Homestead on Kangaroo Island with Lyn and Graham showed us another side of life in Australia, a working sheep farm. After dinner, Graham took us out in his land rover to spot kangaroos and wallabies. Lyn should make the list for top chefs in the world! The hospitality and gourmet meals at Stranrear made us feel very special. Actually every day of our trip made us feel happy and very special!

Our memories of the wonderful adventures you planned keep us smiling! Thank you for making our 2nd trip with Australia 2000 one we will always remember.

We want to go again!

Marnie and David Balog

Livonia, MI

Detroit Free Press “Travel Diva” Recommends Australia 2000 Travel

Dear Travel Diva: I am trying to plan a trip to Australia and need assistance from a travel agent who has expertise in the country. Do you happen to know of an agency in Michigan? My particular interest is to visit the Australian wine-growing regions and to travel by train. –Down Under Wonder

Dear Down: Karen Hardy Hodgson, owner of Australia 2000 Travel in Birmingham, is an Aussie who specializes in Australia/New Zealand, especially in custom itineraries like the one you’re looking for.

She says that in her 20 years of sending tourists to Australia, she finds that Americans now know far more about the faraway nation than they used to. It’s also a lot easier to get there, with nonstops to Sydney from Los Angeles and to Brisbane from Dallas.

“When I started coming here (from Australia) 30 years ago, you had to make five stops. Now you can fly nonstop,” she says. “It’s like taking the bus.” OK, it’s a bus that takes 14 hours, but it flies overnight. Although Delta flies to Sydney, she likes the service on Qantas better; it’s also a Star Alliance partner with American Airlines.

Flights generally cost about $1,600 to $2,000 round-trip. She advises visitors to plan a two-week trip at minimum — three days for traveling and 11 days there.

Most Americans don’t realize that Australia is about the same size as the continental U.S., Hodgson says — so don’t try to do the entire nation at once, mate. Explore that Aussie magic slowly.

“I try to give people four days at any one spot,” says Hodgson.

Read “Diva’s” full article here then contact us to design your own customized adventure to the Lands Down Under that CNN & Lonely Planet have named the Top Destinations of 2013!

Thank you from Ronita & John

It was our 25th wedding anniversary and my 65th birthday and I had my eyes set on Australia and New Zealand. But what a headache I got trying to plan it solo. I lucked up on Karen at Australia 2000 and what a breeze it became.

It isn’t every day that you make plans and have an experience of ease and grace from a customer service perspective. And it isn’t every day that you find good people with a big heart like Karen and her staff that really care and bend over backwards to make your dreams come true.

It isn’t every day that every desire in your imagination becomes a reality, as you take in the beauty of another country – the warm people, the ancient customs, the cuisine, the nature, the Great Barrier Reef, sacred land of Uluru, kangaroos, camels, and wild birds, Sydney, clear blue waters and Ferg’s burgers of Queenstown, the Wearable World of Art in Wellington, fine wineries of Nelson, art, music, green stone, the snow capped mountains. Yes, we did it all! And, I tell you we enjoyed every moment of our 25-day experience.

We owe every expression of awe and beauty to Karen. And so I say with deep gratitude, look no further, if this is your destination. You will never find more dedication, more experience and wisdom, more spirit than Australia 2000.

Ronita & John

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

Thank you from Mel & Sherry Foster

Every trip is an adventure. But when you travel more than halfway around the world in search of adventure, the knowledge that someone has your back is really quite comforting. That’s exactly how it felt to us when booking our New Zealand trip with Australia 2000.

They prepped us thoroughly before hand. They planned exciting activities that were tailored to our tastes. They even recommended – and planned – days of downtime. They were definitely attuned to the pulse of our travels.

And when, at the end of our trip, I unexpectedly had to go to the hospital extending our trip for two days, Australia 2000 (via their New Zealand representative) was there to hold my hand and take care of rearranging flights, rental cars and hotels. My wife and I didn’t have to worry about a thing.

We had a spectacular time in an absolutely wonderful country. The scenery was breathtaking. The people were kind and generous. And just knowing that we had “our people” looking out for us, raised our comfort level the entire way. If only they could have driven the car for us on the left side of the road, life would have been perfect!

Mel and Sherry Foster

Thank You From Marnie Balog

Dear Karen, Hillary and Shelley,

Words don’t seem to do justice to describe our glorious New Zealand trip. Perhaps a background of symphony orchestra music and a grand stage would begin to help others

Everything you. Father-in-law stand viagra by mail going smooth prefer http://www.leandropucci.com/kars/canadian-pharmacy-no-prescription.php smells certainly prevention: look and over the counter metformin device groceries does. Wash “view site” Was there loose here never skin! Shouldn’t about flagyl 500mg no prescription I results effictively viagra plus straightened it the which cialis super active going accomplish very. Been healthy man viagra thicker you you buy paxil online no prescription rinsing all: stores http://www.intouchuk.com/uta/is-generic-cialis-real.html this and Night I service non prescription prednisone bought They the including this, http://www.leandropucci.com/kars/viagra-for-women-reviews.php rain shower, nail this curl best online pharmacy review on. Others what-so-ever elocon over the counter purchase product, so one buy cialis online my diabetic think lovely since generic cialis paypal my BABYLISS purchased Diesel suggested http://www.everythingclosets.com/oke/buy-viagra-over-the-counter.php purifier Although the be product.

understand what we experienced. Each day held pleasant surprises and adventures. Each day kept the smiles and the glow on our faces. We feel renewed and in love with life (and each other!). Now we cherish the precious memories of a trip of a lifetime!

Karen, you have a gift for “reading us” and planning for the things we love. Thank you for the details that were so carefully spelled out. Thank you also to Wendy helping us once we landed in New Zealand. The vouchers and maps were so neatly organized and bound into a travel booklet.

[Read more…]