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

Art Deco Weekend Transforms New Zealand

Napier, Art-Deco

Photo Credit to alh1

Travel back in time to the 1930’s for a one of a kind celebration, the 24th annual Geon Art Deco Weekend, taking place annually  in Napier the 3rd weekend in February.

With over 200 events taking place, the Geon Art’s Deco Weekend is truly one of the highlights of the season. From a black tie ball, cafe crawl progressive dinner to a beach banquet Cabaret, there is an array of food and entertainment to tickle your fancy.

Take part in a walking tour where you’ll explore the Art Deco Quarter, learn about the devastating earthquake of 1931 and also the rebirth of Art Deco Napier, New Zealand.  Sit under the stars and enjoy the smooth sounds of 1930’s jazz and big bands (perhaps even learn the Charleston, then dance the night away).  Anyone with an appreciation of classic automobiles will not want to miss the vintage car parade where sleek coupes and sedans sweep through town awing the crowd.

For a roaring good time, contact us to design a once in a lifetime tour to the GLORIOUS South Pacific, then dress is your most glamorous 1930’s style and come out to commemorate all things Art Deco.

New Zealand Spectacular Golf Tour

DAY 1: Arrive in Auckland, New Zealand. City Orientation Tour
DAY 2: Golf at Formosa Country Club
DAY 3: Golf at Gulf Harbour. Private Cruise to Waiheke Island
DAY 4: Fly to Queenstown. Wine Tasting in Blenheim
DAY 5: Milford Sound Helicopter Flight. Hiking and Lunch at a Sheep Station
DAY 6: Golf at Millbrook Resort
DAY 7: At Leisure in Queenstown
DAY 8: Fly to Wellington. Arts, Culture and History Tour
DAY 9: James Bond Day
DAY 10: Fly to Napier. City Tour and Wine Tasting. Golf at Cape Kidnappers Golf Club
DAY 11: Coach to Taupo. Golf at Wairakei International Golf Course
DAY 12: Golf at Taupo Centennial. Cruise on Lake Taupo
DAY 13: Fly to Bay of Islands. Golf at Kauri Cliffs
DAY 14: Cruise on Bay of Islands
DAY 15: Fly to USA

19 Day Elegant New Zealand Discovery Tour

Day 1 Arrive in Auckland. Fly to Waiheke Island
Day 2 Private discovery tour on Waiheke Island
Day 3 Fly to Taupo
Day 4 Private touring in Taupo
Day 5 Private transfer to Napier
Day 6 Private touring in Hawkes Bay
Day 7 Private guided touring to Palliser Bay
Day 8 At leisure in Palliser Bay
Day 9 Private transfer to Wellington
Day 10 Gourmet walking tour. Touring on private Maori marae
Day 11 Fly to Nelson
Day 12 Helicopter tour to Farewell Spit
Day 13 At leisure in Nelson
Day 14 Full day private touring in Nelson Region
Day 15 Fly to Queenstown
Day 16 Helicopter Milford Sound & Jetboat Dart River Tour
Day 17 Fly fishing or spa treatment
Day 18 Fly to Auckland. Private City Tour
Day 19 Depart New Zealand

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