Thank you from Heather and family

Dear Karen,

Overall we had a wonderful time in Australia and didn’t want to come back!  You did a great job of planning all the details.

Heather Sullivan OZ DEC 2014– The kids’ favorite activity was the Sydney Bridge climb.  Such a beautiful view!

– Our Sydney accommodation Radisson Blu was in a good location

– The surfing lesson was fun (but cold)

– Christmas brunch at the Waterfront was great.  Good food, good service, and a beautiful view!

– Loved shopping in China Town

– Experienced “Boxing Day”.  Wow, that was so much crazier than Black Friday in the U.S.!

– Took a tour of the Sydney Opera house

– We all loved the GrHeather Sullivan OZ DEC 2014 #5eat Barrier Reef cruise and snorkeling.  Soooo beautiful and the water was sooo warm!

– The kids loved feeding the kangaroos and wallabies at the wildlife sanctuary

– We enjoyed Daintree and saw a Cassowary bird with chick along the road.  Very cool.  Also had lunch at a café on the beach and listened to an interesting Aboriginal talk at the information center.

– The villas at O’Reilly’s are breathtaking!  Very relaxing.

– Walked along the river in Brisbane and did some shopping.  Beautiful city.  It would have been nice to have another day there.

Thanks again for planning such a wonderful vacation!  We will always remember it.

Heather and family

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!

Australia’s Capital Cities

ADELAIDE

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

BRISBANE

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

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Australian Ultimate 28 Day Action Packed Adventure

Australian Action Packed Adventure

DAY 1-3: In Sydney: Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sailing on Sydney Harbour. Explore the Blue Mountains.
DAY 4: Fly to Adelaide.
DAY 5-7: 3 Day South Australia Outback Adventure in Southern Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound.
DAY 8-9: Explore Kangaroo Island, Seal Bay and Flinders Chase.
DAY 10: Fly to Darwin. Half Day Darwin City Tour.
DAY 11-13: 3 Day Camping in Kakadu National Park.
DAY 14: Fly to Cairns.
DAY 15: At Leisure in Palm Cove.
DAY 16-20: 5 Day Wilderness Adventure.
DAY 21: White Water Rafting on the Barron River.
DAY 22: At Leisure in Palm Cove.
DAY 23: Full Day Great Barrier Reef Tour.
DAY 24: Fly to Brisbane. Transfer to your Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park.
DAY 25-26: At Leisure in Lamington National Park.
DAY 27: Transfer to Brisbane.
DAY 28: Depart Australia.

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Thank you from Kevin, Kristin, Owen and Ian

We traveled in New Zealand 10 years ago and Karen planned an amazing 2 weeks in the South Island. She planned an equally amazing three weeks on Australia’s east coast this summer; we booked the trip and left 6 weeks later. She knew we were taking our 9 and 6 year old boys and created an awesome family adventure for us.

BRISBANE: We arrived August 15 to sunshine, palm trees, and found friendly people at every stop. The kids enjoyed the Australia Zoo with our private caddie, feeding the kangaroos and hearing about the animals of Australia. Canungra, at the base of the mountain going to Lamington, is the home of the Funky Dory restaurant. We recommend it for fish-n-chips (Baramundi and Red Emperor were our favorites), squid lips, and an owner who loves what she does. We drove to O’Reilly’s guest house in Lamington National Park and loved the birds, hikes, views and incredible food. The boys were up every morning for a 6:45 a.m. guided bird walk. When our son left his glasses in a restroom, Karen’s assistant in Sydney was able to help us track them down and send them to our next hotel.

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