Thank you from Hillary & Andrew

Photo credit to Hillary & Andrew

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

Photo credit to Hillary Andrew

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

 Thanks, 

 Hillary and Andrew

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.

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

 

Foodie’s Wanted at Tasting Australia

Celebrate one of the finest culinary galas of the yearTasting Australia, taking place in South Australia’s finest wine producing region April 26 to May 3, 2012.

San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

Photo Credit to Fast Forward Event Productions

Hosted by hundreds of the world’s top chefs and wine producers, Tasting Australia, has become one of the country’s best attended, prominent food and wine events since its inception in 1997.  Attracting upwards of 50,000 foodies from all over the country, the festival features interactive, hands on experiences with more than 80 events designed for anyone with a zeal and passion for food and wine.

Celebrity cooking classes and demonstrations, food photography, cheese making workshops and wine appreciation classes are among a few of the events taking place.  This year, The Australian Culinary Federation joins up with Tasting Australia for the much anticipated battle of the chefs, where selected contestants put their culinary skills to the test competing for the honor of ACF chef of the year 2012.

It is not too late to be a part of this extraordinary event.  Contact us today and we will weave this highly regarded affair into an unforgettable once in a lifetime journey to the Glorious South Pacific.

New Zealand Gourmet Food Tours

Is there a better way to discover a new place and its culture than to experience it through its food and wine?

The Platter

Photo Credit gautsch

For a fantastic day of exploration joined with the ultimate cuisine and a sampling of delicate flavors of the finest wines, join our specialist guide for a private walking gourmet tour in New Zealand. Where sightseeing combined with great food and our knowledgeable specialist create a unique introduction to the food, culture and sights of each city.  Our specialist guide introduces New Zealand’s food scene showcasing all of our favorite places. Taste the finest food and meet the passionate producers behind them, at places the locals know and love.

Mornings begin with great coffee and treats at a boutique coffee roaster. Stop at the best food stores where local foodies and chefs shop.   While exploring top food spots your guide will share personal stories, recommend favorite spots and join you in a taste or two along the way. You’ll be indulged in a tasting lunch at an award-winning restaurant, where the owners and chefs will introduce their food and regional wine matches.

Tours are customized for the individual traveler, so whether you are a wine aficionado looking to create your very own wine, blended to suite your palate, or simply yearn to relax in an intimate setting with country tea and scones, or dream of joining a renowned caterer and cookbook author for a stylish lunch or cooking demonstration, our guides relish the opportunity to create a uniquely tantalizing experience for you.

August News from Australia 2000 Travel

A look at our August Newsletter. If you would like to sign-up to receive our newsletter, use the sign-up on the bottom right-hand column on this page.

Australia 2000 Travel Newsletter

G’day

As summer comes to a close and the days turn to cooler weather here in the U.S., we look forward to fall festivals, pumpkins, apple cider and the piling of leaves that have left their branches to scatter randomly on the ground. As much as we love the fall, it is also a reminder that winter is just around the corner with spring seemingly nowhere in sight.

Fortunately, for those of us with a heart for travel, spring has just begun to burst forth in the GLORIOUS South Pacific! From September through November, the lands Down Under enjoy the renewal of spring. Vineyards are ripe with fruit for picking, orchard trees are in bloom and major festivals showcase food and wine, flowers, as well as local and international theater, dance, arts, music and so much more.

Photo Credit: avlxyz

Perhaps the grandest event to take place in spring is the richest and more prestigious horse race that stops the nation of Australia, The Melbourne Cup. Taking place on the first Tuesday in November, The Melbourne Cup literally stops the country as all gather to witness the three minute race that covers 3200 meters and finishes with the winner awarded upwards of millions of dollars in prizes as well as the coveted cup trophy.

Not to be left out from the calling of spring, I am on my yearly journey to New Zealand meeting with representatives from our handpicked accommodations, experiencing new and exciting tours and filling my heart to bursting with the sights and sounds of the lands Down Under. Be sure to look for our September newsletter where I will share my exciting adventures.

~Karen

From the Blog
A look at what has been happening on the blog over the past month…
Thank you so much for your support!  It is referrals from clients like you that help us keep doing what we so love to do.

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.


Culinary Tours to Australia

Photo Credit to Fast Forward Productions

According to the article below from Travel Age West, culinary travel is one of the fastest-growing travel segments.

As many travelers do, I love food, and I love to try new flavors and cuisines every time I travel. In my mind, it’s one of the best ways to discover a new culture. And, I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone. In fact, when I listen to my colleagues and family members reminisce about their own travels, it almost always starts with some type of culinary experience — from eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant to sampling street food, cuisine is a dominant force in travel…read entire article.

Ask any self proclaimed “foodie” (a lover of food) about the importance of incorporating a variety of culinary dishes and dining selections into their everyday living and you’ll quickly discover it is simply the very essence of who they are.  These same vibrant, vivacious individuals choose to travel in the same manner in which they are accustomed to living their life sampling a variety of fresh local delicacies and fine wines while exploring new cultures and creating new travel experiences.
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Should Technology Take the Place of Personal Service and Interaction?

As technology is taking over practically everything it touches perhaps it’s time to get back to basics, human contact and interaction.  This NY Times article touches on the both sides of the issue.

Some hotels have begun to expand the definition of concierge to mean more than just a knowledgeable employee. It now can also mean smart digital devices. Software companies are creating programs that offer information like restaurant tips, flight arrivals and departures and driving directions via these devices to guests at midtier hotels that do not provide traditional concierge services.

Even more upscale brands that employ human concierges are joining in, by offering location-specific information, accessible via the Internet, iPhone apps and even live chats. And all Hyatt hotels let guests send requests, via Twitter, to customer service agents who are on call 24 hours a day…read more

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