Thank you from Donna Mann

When my husband and I decided to go to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, we turned to Karen and her team at Australia 2000 to help us plan it.

Photo Credit to Chris & Donna Mann

At our first meeting, we talked to Karen about the places that interested us, the types of things we liked to do, and discussed our budget.  Then Karen used her knowledge of the area and her extensive contacts to develop the itinerary and recommend hotels, tours and experiences for us.  After some discussion and advice from Karen, we decided to fly Premium Economy on Air New Zealand for our flights over the Pacific, and it was worth every penny.  We were so much more comfortable that we would have been in coach, and we arrived in New Zealand ready to begin our adventure.

Photo Credit to Chris & Donna Mann

Karen also arranged transportation for us when we needed it so we didn’t have to worry about driving in unfamiliar places on the opposite side of the road.  That worked flawlessly.    We felt so spoiled!

Karen chose a nice mix of B&B-type lodgings as well as traditional hotels.  All were well located and offered excellent service and food.  She also arranged a number of excursions for us, including:

  • A guided hike on the Routeburn Track
  • A luxury overnight cruise on Milford Sound
  • My husband’s fly-fishing trip
  • Touring Kangaroo Island to see koalas, kangaroos, seals, sea lions and even an echidna in the wild
  • A day long tour of Sydney
  • Our farewell dinner at Cafe Sydney, where we were seated at one of the best tables in the restaurant

We really appreciated Karen’s suggestions and her expertise.  There is no way we could have put together this kind of trip on our own, and we would have missed some amazing experiences had we tried.  Plus we met so many wonderful and interesting people along the way who not only helped us out, but also were excited to share the places they lived with us.  Knowing there were local people we could call if we had any problems made us confident that we would enjoy our trip to the fullest.  If you want a customized and personal vacation, turn to Karen and her team at Australia 2000.  They won’t disappoint!

Donna Mann

 

Join Our Specialist Guide on an Astonishing Four Day Outback Safari in South Australia’s Gawler Ranges

Gawler Ranges Safaris WildlifeYour first stop on your remarkable journey will take you to Mikkira, a private homestead where you’ll wander the property to find colony of wild koalas dozing in gum tree. Your tour will continue through farming land and to your luxury Outback camp site. During an afternoon walk you’ll discover kangaroos, emus and a wide variety of birdlife. Stop for drinks at sunset by the unusual rock formations known as organ pipes.

Gawler Ranges Safaris VisitorsDuring the next two days of your Aussie Outback Adventure you’ll visit spectacular Lake Gardiner, a vast glistening white salt lake set amongst the red, red landscape of the haunting Aussie Outback.   You’ll wander in an ochre pit used by the Aboriginal people to create red, white and black paints from ochre white clay and charcoal. Marvel at the red sand dunes, the cigar shaped rock formations that were formed over one thousand six hundred million years ago, a wide variety of Aussie bird and wildlife and vibrant spring wild flowers.

Gawler Ranges Safaris Wildlife #5You’ll leave your camp today to commence a sensational wildlife experience at Baird Bay. During a short boat ride you’ll become enchanted by Bottlenose dolphins that will ride the bow wave created by your boat. When the boat reaches shallow water you’ll have the opportunity to join the magnificent creatures at play. Leaving the dolphins behind you’ll cross the bay to visit a resident colony of rare Australian sea lions. As you wade into shallow protected lagoons you will experience the joy of playing face to face with the agile mammals. You’ll find the sea lions very friendly and inquisitive. If you were to duck dive you’d be certain to find a sea lion diving alongside.

Gawler Ranges Safaris Kanguluna CampsiteDuring your Outback Adventure you will be accommodated at Kungaluna Camp in a luxury bush tent furnished with a queen size bed or two twin beds. Delicious meals created using fresh Aussie produce are prepared daily and are enjoyed with your newfound mates in the camp dining room or around a campfire under the Milky Way.

 

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

Thank you from Marnie & David Balog

Dear Karen,

Our 2nd trip with Australia 2000 once again exceeded all expectations. We didn’t want to come home! You have a great gift for understanding our personalities and matching the itinerary and adventures!

Sailing in Sydney Harbor with Colin was a great way to start our fabulous trip and climbing the bridge showed us a most spectacular view of Sydney at twilight. David loved all the fishing trips but the marlin got away so he may just have to go back and try again! The Maria Island Walk was one of many highlights and we loved sleeping outdoors in a most gorgeous place.

Hiking along the Great Ocean Road and dinner at The Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld made my birthday the BEST ever! Staying at Stranrear Homestead on Kangaroo Island with Lyn and Graham showed us another side of life in Australia, a working sheep farm. After dinner, Graham took us out in his land rover to spot kangaroos and wallabies. Lyn should make the list for top chefs in the world! The hospitality and gourmet meals at Stranrear made us feel very special. Actually every day of our trip made us feel happy and very special!

Our memories of the wonderful adventures you planned keep us smiling! Thank you for making our 2nd trip with Australia 2000 one we will always remember.

We want to go again!

Marnie and David Balog

Livonia, MI

Thank you from June Fasang

Dear Karen,

My trip was wonderful!  A big THANK YOU to you and your associates for your help in planning it.

I never really thought I would take this trip until I found out about your agency from the write up in the Sunday Detroit Free Press.  I had to keep pinching myself that I was really there after wanting to go for 60 years!

I am very glad you advised me to spend the extra money to upgrade my seat on the Air New Zealand flight to Auckland.  I cannot say enough good things about Air New Zealand and the flight attendant you alerted ahead of time to watch over me.  She was incredibly kind to help me through immigration and customs.

Auckland was lovely, the personal tour guides, Pete and Christine, were so helpful and went out of their way to welcome and show me their part of New Zealand.  City Life Hotel upgraded me to a suite and it was very comfortable. I only wish that I had more time there.  My last day in Auckland Pete showed up at 7 a.m. all spiffed up in suit and tie to transfer me to to the airport for my flight to Australia.

A friend was waiting for me in Adelaide and I really think that was my favorite part of the trip. Adelaide is a beautifully laid out city and the surrounding country is gorgeous. I loved Kangaroo Island.  It was perfect weather wise and it was there that I first saw kangaroos and koalas. Other places I enjoyed were the wineries at McLaren Vale and Granite Island where we hopped aboard a horse drawn carriage tour.

On to Melbourne on Virgin Australia, where I was upgraded to business class for the short flight and yet another reunion with friends.  After resting for a couple of days at their lovely home, their mother, who is my lifelong friend, arrived.  We visited the wonderful botanical gardens and enjoyed viewing the wild life.  Joanne made a Kangaroo supper one night and it was surprisingly good. The next day we set off to Canberra where we toured the new Parliament building and the War Memorial.  They were both amazing.

On to Sydney… The Sydney waterfront was all that I expected and that is where we met my sister and husband. I parted with my Melbourne friends and spent the rest of the day with my sister and family over in Manly Beach. I walked to the Quay to explore the Rocks and took a tea time harbor cruise.

I enjoyed the food but found Australia very expensive both in restaurants and grocery stores. Lamb was cheaper than here and I brought back Vegemite which I love (like British Marmite).

The Sheraton Hotel in Los Angeles that you arranged for me was just fine.  I took advantage of both the lovely accommodation and the limo transfers you arranged for me.

Thank you again, Karen, I could not have done it without you.

Regards,

June Fasang

P.S. I will not hesitate to recommend your agency.

Australian Wildlife

KOALAS

There is no place better to view koalas in the wild than on Kangaroo Island, a remote island that was separated from the Australian mainland about 9,000 years ago and remains one of the most unspoiled natural wonders of the world. Your specialist guide will lead you to koalas munching on gum leaves in trees by the side of the road. At nearly every turn you will find a variety of Aussie wildlife from seals basking on quiet beaches, echidnas wandering in search of insects, kangaroos, goannas, wallabies to all manner of birdlife (including little blue penguins).

KANGAROOS

Kangaroos number the millions in Australia providing many opportunities to view them in the wild. You may be luck enough to find yourself in the unique situation of playing golf amidst a mob of kangaroos! Contact us to include a game of golf on this amazing course as part of your customized itinerary.

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Thank you from the Berminghams and Elders

Karen, Hillary, Shelly and Wendy,

Our Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania trip was spectacular. Everything was perfectly planned and we experienced a new adventure every day. We loved Sydney – the bridge climb, sailing the harbor and great shopping. A highlight has to be the Blue Mountains with such spectacular views, the opportunity to see kangaroos jumping about it the bush and lunch on the Wollondilly River.

We were very brave and drove on the opposite side of the road for our tour of Tasmania. We experienced Bruny Island with all the massive cliffs and just incredible views on our drive on the coast to Freycinet National Park. The Park has beautiful beaches with clear water and a nice secluded feel. It seemed there was one beautiful sight of beaches, waterfalls and rainforest after another as we drove to Launceston.

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Thank you from Barry and David

Hi Karen,

As you know, we just returned from our amazing trip to Australia. It was good to talk with you yesterday.

Some more about our experiences:

The harbor views from the Grand Quay Suites were wonderful. We had a picnic dinner on the terrace one night, enjoying the views of the city and the Harbour Bridge at dusk. Sailer’s Thai was great, as was Hugo’s Pizza in Kings Cross. The service was wonderful at the GQS: one morning our breakfast was particularly slow to arrive, so they comp’ed our meal. Our guide on the Rocks Tour pointed out that another advantage of staying at the GQS is that when you are in your room, you don’t have to SEE the GQS (and the other towers that have been allowed to be built along the eastside of Circular Quay), which are an over-development eyesore on the harbor. There are also a large number of great restaurants strung along the quay.

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Thank You from Patrick

G’day Karen!

We’ve only been back 2 days and all I can think about is when can we go back? Even with the jetlag, I have to say this was one of the best experiences in my life. I’d like to thank you for all your help in making this a ‘Lifer’ experience for us! So many wonderful memories we’ve brought back, that it’s tough to know where to begin.

Premium Economy seating – While the price tag was higher, the seating was definitely worth the extra cost. So much more comfortable than regular economy seating. And the Qantas staff was fabulous.

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