Thank you from Ellen Moellering

Dear Karen,

Photo credit to Ellen Moellering

Photo credit to Ellen Moellering

Dave and I had the most awesome trip ever. Thank you for arranging our wonderful 3 week journey through Australia. Everything went perfectly as planned.

This trip was an eye opener for us. Seeing the outback national parks by staying in all the unique, comfortable and exclusive accommodations you provided was heavenly. 

The food was always delicious and a culinary experience.

Photo credit to Ellen Moellering

Photo credit to Ellen Moellering

It would of seemed impossible to explore the destinations we visited without the transportation your team provided. Every pilot, captain, guide and work staff were so friendly and informative. This was surely an historical, cultural trip for us. Thanks again, to all the people we met on this trip thru your booking.

We really had fun in beautiful Sydney, going to all the delightful spots. Just a great city and full of historical culture. Loved the beaches, all thru Australia, wow!

Thanks again Karen, job well done. 

Sincerely,

Ellen Moellering

 

Thank you from Vivian

Hi Karen,

Our New Zealand trip was fabulous!!  NZ is so beautiful and far exceeded my expectations.  We really enjoyed our vacation.  People are super nice and very punctual.  We were picked up promptly and all the flights were on time.  We loved all of the tours you arranged for us.  Eden House and Doubtful Sound Cruise were definitely the highlights of our trip.

Thank you so much for all your help!!  We’ll definitely contact you next time when we are ready to visit Australia and New Zealand again. 🙂

Best,

Vivian

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.

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. 

Thank you from Angela

Karen,

Well, we’re back, and we had an absolutely wonderful time.  We have traveled a fair amount, and this was my all-time favorite trip.  Australia is such an amazing country–the people, the food, the sights, the activities.

You did a wonderful job planning everything.  We all agree that you put the four destinations in the right order, and you had a nice mix of different types of activities.

Photo Credit to Angela

I am one of the most organized people I know, and your booklet and vouchers met even my high standards.  Every evening I would look at the itinerary for the next day and pull any necessary vouchers.

Thanks for the welcome bottle of wine and fruit in Melbourne too.

We all wish it were two weeks ago and that we were just starting our Aussie adventure!

Angela

 

Do Koalas Walk on the Ground?

G’day Mates!

This is Clancy Koala sharing my latest blog post with you.  Did you know that most koalas walk on the ground every day?  Yet you don’t see us doing it often do you?

Most wild koalas will change trees by climbing to the ground and walking to another tree. But if we can, we wait until it’s safe to do so – which means no dogs barking, no people yelling or running around.  Most of our ground movements happen at night, but we do sometimes walk in daylight hours too.  Which makes the photo below even more amazing.

The is my excellent mum Pat, taking a walk while the Echidna Walkabout tour group were standing there, fascinated. Show’s a bit of trust, eh?  Trust like that has to be earned, and this is 9 years worth of good behaviour on the part of Echidna Walkabout tour groups that led to this kind of trust.

Photo Credit to Echidna Walkabout

Walking on the ground is the most dangerous time for us – in a tree we’re pretty safe from predators, but on the ground we are nervous. In the old days dingoes might attack us, but these days it’s dogs we worry about – often domestic dogs.  People don’t realise that their dog can kill a koala easily, and sometimes without even meaning to.

A healthy koala will scoot up the nearest tree if there’s any sign of danger. We can move fast too – faster than you humans can run!

Below is old man Tim Tam, who was the dominant male before I was born.  He spent a lot of time on the ground when he was in his twilight years.

Echidna Walkabout Tim Tam

Photo Credit to Echidna Walkabout

When we walk from tree to tree we sometimes travel quite a distance! The longest single ground journey by a koala seen by the Echidna Walkabout team is 145 metres (475 feet)!

We can be quite single-minded when we’re walking on the ground – we know exactly which tree we’re going to. We rarely deviate from our path, and don’t stop or hesitate very often. It’s all planned well in advance.  Koalas have a mental map of their entire home range.  Every tree is known and valued for a particular purpose.  No human understands why we choose a certain tree each day, but we have our reasons.  There are many variables – temperature, wind, leaf composition, social considerations (including vocal communication)….

Echidna Walkabout Clancy Koala

Photo Credit to Echidna Walkabout

So what should you do if you see a koala on the ground, or coming down a tree? As I’ve shown in this article, we are nervous on the ground for lots of reasons, and can bolt for the nearest tree if alarmed.

So do what they do in this video stay ABSOLUTELY still. Don’t move your feet at all. Keep quiet. If you have a dog with you, put him on a leash and hold him tight.  Watch the koala until they are almost out of sight before following, and if you do follow, do so quietly without breaking branches.  Only after the koala has climbed a tree should you approach more closely AND REMEMBER THE KOALA RULES: never get any closer than 10 metres (33 feet) to a koala.

For more pics and the rest of Koala Clancy’s story see his blog or watch his amazing video.

Story, blog and video shared courtesy of Echidna Walkabout.

Destination Weddings Are Our Specialty

It is truly a joy and an honor to organize weddings to the GLORIOUS Lands Down Under, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Fiji.  Each ceremony is handcrafted to your unique dreams, desires, interests, taste and budget.  We organize every detail from hand selecting the wedding venue to suit your individual style to coordinating each aspect of your spectacular day.  Our extensive local knowledge of each destination coupled with our personal relationships throughout the South Pacific truly sets us apart enabling us to plan a wedding that will exceed your every expectation.

Click here to read testimonials from brides and grooms who have entrusted their special day to us then contact us to design your bespoke romantic destination wedding.

BNE-Wedding Spicers Hidden Vale

Photo Credit to Spicers Hidden Vale

BNE-Luxury Wedding Spicers Hidden Vale

Photo Credit to Spicers Hidden Vale

BNE-Luxury Reception Spicers Hidden Vale

Photo Credit to Spicers Hidden Vale

Our Local Agents Cater to Your Every Need

Australia 2000 Travel's Local New Zealand Booking AgentsBesides having a wealth of knowledge about Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Fiji we also have local booking agents who coordinate every aspect of your Down Under Adventure and are on hand should you require assistance while traveling.  Should an excursion be canceled due to inclement weather simply call our local agents who will reschedule the tour for you, make a substitution or arrange for a refund on your return home if no other option is viable.  If for some reason you need to return to your home early our representatives will make the necessary changes and arrangements for you.  Though rarely needed it is comforting to know that our local agents are there for you when you need them.

G’day Mates Meet Our Hand Picked Local Guides

We expend a great deal of effort in choosing our local guides. We meet them personally and take their tours. Our guides are accredited and are selected on the basis of their passion, local knowledge, sense of history, story telling ability, sense of humor, contacts that open closed doors, flexibility, style and quality vehicles specifically suited to the touring needs.

Flinders Ranges-Aboriginal guide

Welcome to Paradise!

CNS- trinity_beach_250

Paradise is exactly like Australia only more crowded. 

Anonymous

 

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.

Luxury Tours Customized to Your Dreams, Desires, Taste and Budget

Credit to Tourism Australia (22)

Photo Credit to Tourism Australia

Our customized tours are designed so that every aspect of your wonderful trip has been arranged to suit your personal needs and interests, time constraints and budget. Your tour will always include airline bookings, luxury accommodation, private or small group touring, private transfers between airports and hotels via chauffeur drive cars, early and late hotel checkouts, the full services of our local specialist offices in each country you visit in the South Pacific and assistance with entry visas. Restaurant recommendations and reservations, bookings for theatre and spa treatments are all part of your luxury tour. Your sightseeing leisure time activities will be selected according to your personal interests, tastes and desires. Your luxury tour will exceed your expectations.

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.

Aussies ~ The Hippest Foodies in the World

SYD-Credit to Tourism Australia (6)

Photo Credit to Tourism Australia

We have a taste for something special…. a taste for fine wines, food and lifestyle. We truly believe that food and wine is a personal experience, best enjoyed in an intimate atmosphere with time and comfort on your side.

Contact us, your Aussie Specialists, to create a personalized itinerary featuring Australia’s most decadent delights.

A Gourmet Tour Like No Other! Discover Bruny Island, Tasmania with our Award Winning Tour Operator

TAS - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys - Winery Lunch

Photo Credit to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

TAS - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys - Bruny Island Traveler

Photo Credit to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Time falls away as you explore the island with your specialist guide. You’ll hear its stories and marvel at its scenery. At The Neck you’ll reach the crest of a lofty dune and see the narrow isthmus stretch away south in graceful curves. On your Bruny Island journey you’ll meet some of the island’s food and wine producers – people who put their skill, energy and spirit into harvesting the perfect vintage, crafting the most delicious cheese, picking the sweetest summer berries, shucking the finest oysters, growing the most succulent salmon. And you’ll taste the fruits of their labor a wonderful lunch of island specialties, served at Australia’s southern-most vineyard. You’ll also feel the spirit of Bruny in its birds and animals, and their wild, natural habitat.

Soul

TAS - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys - Beach Walk

Photo Credit to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Everyone who spends time on Bruny Island shares the experience of leaving everyday life behind. There’s a strange but exhilarating sense of ‘islandness’ – a feeling of being away and apart from the world. It’s hard to explain, but easier to feel. You’ll know it as you walk on the empty stretch of a remote surf beach, as you look out from the lofty tower of Cape Bruny Lighthouse, and as you leave the Tasmanian mainland behind, crossing the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to feel an island’s soul.

TAS - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys -Rainforest

Photo Credit to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Our hand selected tour operator and Tasmanian eco cruising pioneer Robert Pennicott and his team recently won an unprecedented five Australian Tourism Awards.  This is the third year in a row that Pennicott Wilderness Journeys won awards for Ecotourism and Excellence in Sustainable Tourism.  This remarkable achievement means that Pennicott Wilderness Journeys has become the first Tasmanian business inducted into the Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.

Contact us to include this gourmet experience in your Bespoke Down Under Adventure.

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.

 

El Questro Homestead ~ Luxury in the Heart of the Kimberley

El Questro Homestead, an exclusive retreat cantilevered over the magnificent Chamberlain River, sits in stark contrast to Western Australia’s rugged Kimberley landscape.  Catering to the most discerning of guests, friendly staff provide the highest standards of service and gourmet cuisine.

KBD El Questro Homestead from above

Photo Credit to El Questro Homestead

Decorated with artifacts and antiques collected from Indonesia and tropical Australia, and surrounded by lush tropical gardens, the Homestead has a freeform swimming pool, spa, and a tennis court for the exclusive use of Homestead guests. Air-conditioned rooms have en suite bathrooms and private verandas overlooking the gardens and river. The fully inclusive cost covers gourmet meals, open bar, laundry service, road transfers and all El Questro activities excluding helicopter activities.

KBD El Questro Homestead Cockburn Range

Photo Credit to El Questro Homestead

After exploring hidden locations few have had the privilege to visit in this dramatic land of extremes, you have the opportunity to unwind and relax in a variety of unique ways. Soak away your cares in the thermal Zebedee Springs. Curl up under an ancient boab tree with a book, or simply join the local wallaby population and lounge in the shade.

KBD El Questro Homestead

Photo Credit to El Questro Homestead

Extravagance combined with rugged beauty awaits you. Contact us to include this remarkable destination in your once in a lifetime Adventure in the Lands Down Under.

 

 

Thank you from Rick Kaufman

Hi Karen,

As Camilla and I wait to board our plane from New Zealand for a long journey home, we write to thank you for putting together a most wonderful six week adventure in Australia and New Zealand. It’s difficult to choose a favorite spot. I have been to a lot of spectacularly beautiful places in the world but none surpass Lord Howe Island off the coast of New South Wales.

When flying from Sydney to New Zealand we thought nothing could possibly top our initial three weeks in Australia.  We left with such a love for your country and an appreciation for every single excellent accommodation you provided us.   Now as we discuss it, we cannot choose between the two countries. Apples and oranges but equally sweet. We leave New Zealand with so much appreciation for this place . . . the beauty just never ends.

Rick Kaufman photo

Photo Credit to Rick Kaufman

Although we were initially worried about all the strenuous activities you had scheduled for us we are extremely glad we missed none of them.   Each hike turned out to be truly memorable – especially the three days on the Routeburn Track that was simply spectacular.  Every kayak experience was stunning.  We were apprehensive about the seven hour caving and rock climbing adventure in Waitomo but loved it.  We had never done anything like that before.  It was exhilarating, thrilling and we were captivated by the beautiful glow worms.  It was like looking at the Galaxy on a beautiful clear night.

BHE - Bay of Many Coves (from Rick Kaufman)

Bay of Many Coves ~ Photo Credit to Rick Kaufman

This photo is a view from our fabulous cottage at Bay of Many Coves. Another winner. I’ve traveled a lot and this adventure is up there with my best.

You did a great job!

Rick