Thank you from Mary Jo Drew

Hi Karen,

My entire foodie trip in the Lands Down Under went off with nary a hitch. The business class flights were the best splurge I’ve given myself in years!

MEL - Downtown from Mary Jo Drew

Photo Credit to Mary Jo Drew

The Hotel Lindrum in Melbourne was well positioned with easy access to shopping and attractions.  The Lanes and Arcades tour is an absolute must for anyone visiting Melbourne for the first time. As our guide pointed out, by not knowing to look down the city’s narrow alleyways many Americans would walk right past them and miss out on so much vibrant local culture.

There is so much colorful history in Melbourne.  At our guide’s advice, I even stopped in and had a drink upstairs with the famous Chloe in her namesake bar across from Flinders Railway Station!  The Yarra Valley winery tour was great fun. I really enjoyed seeing the Chandon Estate and didn’t realize Chandon had a vineyard in Australia!

Hobart in Tasmania was a really nice respite after the hustle and bustle of Melbourne.  The Old Woolstore Hotel was so close to the downtown area and harbor that I was able to walk virtually the entire downtown during my stay.  My private tour and lunch at the Morilla Estate was fantastic though the artwork at MONA came as a bit of a shock!   The trip to Bruny Island was great.  The weather started out very rainy but by noon everything cleared out and I had a lovely day.

ZQN view from Mary Jo Drew

Photo Credit to Mary Jo Drew

And then came Queenstown in beautiful New Zealand. The Dairy may have been my favorite accommodation – had I not stopped at The Manse later!  The view, room, breakfasts and staff service were all superlative.  I also enjoyed the hot tub on the back deck – a great place to sip wine while enjoying the view!  Although the weather was on again, off again, I had mostly great weather for my wanderings about town, the public garden, and the narrow streets.  I also enjoyed great meals at a couple of unique tapas bars on Lake Wakatipu.  The Doubtful Sound trip was quite majestic, but as The Sound is so remote it was a very long day. The winery tour to Otago was great and the charcuterie lunch was quite good.

NPE - The Manse view from Mary Jo Drew

Photo Credit to Mary Jo Drew

Lastly came Hawkes Bay. I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the plane I’d be flying on the leg from Christchurch to Napier – a regional aircraft not unlike some I have been on in the Pacific Northwest!  After staying at The Manse and being totally spoiled by the fantastic accommodation, the pool, the drinks before dinner, Gary’s sumptuous meals, and his and Dietske’s hospitality, I can only say that I wish I had had spent more time there!  My guide on the winery tour had spent years in the business himself, and it showed in his insights into the various wineries and producers.  My tour of Napier with Gary on the last day of my trip certainly cemented my wish to spend more time in stunning Hawkes Bay.

The trip was spectacular and I will have great memories to share for years to come.  Thanks for all your help in making this happen!

Best wishes,

Mary Jo

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 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

 

Dazzling Holiday Festivities in New Zealand

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

Telecom Christmas Tree - Ponsonby, Auckland, 2009

Photo Credit to Daniel Ngu

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

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

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

New Zealand Adventure Vacations

CNN features New Zealand on its Destination Adventure series as a “thrill seekers” destination for the explorer at heart.
A country of dramatically diverse environments, New Zealand offers an array of activities for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
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New Zealand’s remarkably varied landscape includes beaches, mountains, fjords, glaciers and rain forests, making it one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth.  The small country consists of two main islands, the North Island and the South Island, each boasting a surprising variety of natural wonders as well as urban centers.  read more

Yes, it’s true, New Zealand is a place that will satisfy even the most thrill seeking adventurers’ adrenaline rush; however it is also the perfect destination for anyone who appreciates natural beauty set amongst a stunning variety of landforms such as rugged mountains, spectacular fiords, glaciers that cut through the mountains, subtropical forest, bubbling mud pools, and miles of coastline dotted with sandy beaches.

Originally named “Aotearoa” by the Polynesian settlers, which means the Land of the Long White Cloud; New Zealand is approximately the same size as Japan and yet is compact enough that one can sample a wide range of diverse land masses in a single trip or even a single day.

[Read more…]

14 Day Classic New Zealand Discovery Tour

Day 1 Arrive Christchurch. Private City Tour of Christchurch
Day 2 Private Tour to Akaroa
Day 3 TranzAlpine Express to Arthurs Pass
Day 4 At Arthurs Pass
Day 5 Private tour to Hokitika & Punakaiki
Day 6 Private Touring to Franz Josef. Light aircraft flight over the glaciers
Day 7 Private touring to Queenstown
Day 8 Dart River Lord of the Rings Tour
Day 9 At leisure in Queenstown
Day 10 Overnight Doubtful Sound Cruise
Day 11 Glowworm Caves Tour. Return to Queenstown
Day 12 Fly to Auckland. Private city tour of Auckland
Day 13 Private tour with Maori guide
Day 14 Depart New Zealand

[Read more…]

Thank You from the Luginbills

Karen and Hillary,

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

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

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

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

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

Ron and Barb Luginbill

Traveled to Fiji and New Zealand January 2011