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.
We’re Aussie natives and certified Aussie and 100% Pure New Zealand Specialists who weave your interests, dreams and desires into our in-depth local knowledge and add a touch of Aussie magic to create a unique, fun filled adventure that exceeds your expectations. Whether it’s a honeymoon on a private island in Fiji, breakfast with the kangaroos in Australia or hiking the magnificent rainforests in New Zealand we Aussies bring all of your aspirations to life.
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.
Besides 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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey makes its world premier in November 2012. There has never been a better time to join our specialist guides for the ultimate LOTR tour.
Join our specialist guide to visit all of the Lord Of The Rings filming locations for Rivendell where Frodo recovered from his knife attack; the Auduin River where Aragorn was washed ashore after the attack of the Wargs; the Gardens of Isengard, the sight of the Orcs Felling the Trees and where Gandalf rode to see Saruman; go to the Mount Victoria lookout and Hobbiton Woods where you can race the Ferry and get off the Road; Buckland Forest where the Hobbits hid from Nazgul/Black Riders and where they found the mushrooms on the Road; Dunharrow Rohirrim encampment; visit the quarry for the filming of Helms Deep and the fortified ravine in Rohan and Minas Tirith.
Visit the sites for Lothlorien (the White Bridge is there and a great photo opportunity) and Beside the Gladden Fields where Smeagol fought with Deagol. Both locations are situated at the elegant and beautiful Fernside Lodge in the Wairarapa. Your tour has exclusive access to the site where you will be served a gourmet picnic lunch at the White Bridge of Lothlorien – one of the few remaining structures used in the filming. Your tour also visits the location of Bree, and the district of Miramar. Miramar is production central and the home of Peter Jackson and many of the cast and crew. If time permits you will experience Stansborough, an interactive New Zealand time warp journey from the flock, the factory and the fabric to the fashion, the films (Lord of the Rings) and the future!
Contact us to include a magical day to Middle Earth during your once in a lifetime adventure Down Under.
My trip to Australia seems ages ago but my memories run deep. The land down under is indeed full of beauty and spectacle and amazingly friendly people.
- First there’s the delicious lamington! (Ha! Did you think I would start with the Sydney Opera House? Not focused on the uber-tourist trail with this little blog post. Besides food always comes first!) If you’ve never had a lamington, you must try one (or two) immediately…if you can find a place that makes them…or you’ll have to make your own. Lamingtons are sponge cake cut in cubes and dipped in a light chocolate frosting and sprinkled with coconut. They are divine!
- The spectacular Great Ocean Road! (Yes I know this is on everyone’s list but there is good reason!) The highlight of my very long but incredible day was a helicopter ride to see the Twelve Apostles and Shipwreck coast from an unforgettable vantage point!
- Lots of great wine! From the three wine regions (of which there are plenty!) that I visited across Australia and the few wineries that I was able to experience in each area, here are the standouts…
There are the bigger, more well known estates like Voyager and Vasse Felix that are consistently good so I will focus on the houses that offered me the most memorable experiences and wines that were fantastic in my opinion (not to mention some interesting names!)
+ Wills Domain – excellent whites especially their Semillon
+ Knee Deep – fantastic, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc
+ Swings and Roundabouts – great reds and a beautiful Chardonnay
+ Yering Station – this is a popular and quite commercial estate but they had a Shiraz Viognier (2008) that was amazing
+ Rochford – lovely, elegant wines especially their Chardonnay (2001)
+ Schild Estate – very nice, smooth whites like the Semillon, Frontignac and Chardonnay and there was a fabulous blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre (GSM as the Aussies love their acronyms!)
+ Hentley Farm – fantastic Zinfandel and a Shiraz called The Beast (2010)! It was to-die-for…much more complex and interesting than The Beauty!
- If you find yourself in Melbourne and you’re a huge fan of sushi, then you must try Jamon (www.jamonsushi.com) which is a little sushi place in the charming suburb of South Yarra. The owner and master sushi chef (be prepared to meet Charles, a long-silver-haired Harley Davidson type dressed in black) prepares everything for you fresh that day – the menu is omakase so the chef will make whatever he chooses from the fresh fish, mushrooms and vegetables that he had gotten from the markets that day (you can just tell him what you may not prefer). It was like an opera watching him prepare the whole fishes and creating delicate pieces of sashimi from various parts of the fish, slicing the beautiful shiitake and enoki while grounding fresh wasabi root and sprinkling some of his homemade mustard. Oh, and in that tiny space of sushi bar for 7 and 2 tables for 2, they project Japanese animation on the large white wall in front of the
bar. It was a lovely, spontaneous and unforgettable experience!
- Kangaroo Island is a spectacular place where you feel like you’re at the edge of the world…and you are! It’s on the Southern Ocean and there’s nothing between you and Antarctica! The island was bigger than I expected with so much nature to see…of all the beautiful natural surroundings, I would have to say that the Remarkable Rocks were a highlight and of the few man-made places, there is nothing more amazing than the Southern Ocean Lodge (www.southernoceanlodge.com.au) which is an eco-friendly resort that caters to your every whim! The rooms, food, guided tours, spa and hospitality are all absolutely second-to-none! If only we could have stayed longer…
- Finally, after seeing so much natural beauty, I was ready for a big dose of urban culture when I reached Sydney. And the Art Gallery of New South Wales didn’t disappoint. The gallery is at one end of the beautiful Botanic Gardens and surprisingly had on view the works of some of my favourite modern and contemporary artists. It was the perfect closing to a fabulous holiday.
Like an artist’s canvas, Sydney Harbour and its foreshores transform when Vivid Sydney illuminates the night skies, 6 p.m. until midnight, May 25 to June 11, 2012.
A celebration of music, light and ideas, Vivid Sydney, transforms Australia’s famous harbour into a radiating playground of brilliance. Live musical performances, creative industry events, glowing interactive art sculptures, illuminated skyscrapers and 3D projections of masterful patterns of color beam and bounce brightly off Sydney’s famous icons.
For a truly unique experience, visit Vivid Sydney, where dazzling light shows and spectacles set the scene for the coming together of creative industries and inspired ideas. Contact us to include this one of a kind festival in your customized adventure to the Lands Down Under.
Our Trip was fabulous… exceeded my expectations in all areas.
I cannot thank you enough for all of your suggestions, everyone one of them was on the mark. Tours and guides were excellent and full of stories related to the history of your country along with their own personal family history. Amazing group of people; they were all awesome.
I’m sure Colleen will fill you in on the food and wine… She’s the foodie I’m only the guest who follows her suggestions and I’m always pleased and satisfied.
You might ask what was the highlight of the trip… cannot say… would need some time to sort it out… right now I’m still on cloud nine.
Thank you for everything Karen, you made my trip Down Under so special and one that I’ll savor for a very long time.
Arrowtown, New Zealand, a charming historic gold mining town established in 1862, is now the location of the long running Arrowtown Autumn Festival. Taking place April 20 – 29, 2012, this family friendly event celebrates the magnificent colors of the season.
Located only 25 minutes northeast of Queenstown on the South Island, the Arrowtown Autumn Festival, now in its 28 year, attracts visitors wishing to experience the stunning scenery of autumn splashed red, orange and gold leaves.
Over 50 attractions are featured during the 10 day event and this diverse program offers something for everyone. Creative venues such as the wearable art fashion show, sculptor guided stone carving workshops and an evening with a master chef Brett McGregor are featured, as well as a good natured events such as the pub to pub challenge, guided historical walking tours and the opportunity to step back in time and do a little gold panning.
Include this fantastic fall event in your once in a lifetime journey to explore the GLORIOUS South Pacific. Call us today and we will weave all of your dreams into an unforgettable Down Under adventure!
Our month visiting the Lands Down Under was truly the trip of a lifetime!
You did a great job putting together a mix of wonderful B & B’s, hotels and lodges, along with some excellent guides. We had a chance to meet some lovely people in both Australia and New Zealand, and our only regret was not being able to stay a little longer in each country.
Paul & Norene