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

 

Thank you from Mike & Jess Wiley

Mike and I had such an amazing trip to New Zealand that we didn’t want to come home!

Mike & Jessica Wiley

Everything from the airport pickup to Queenstown was beyond words. The stay on Waiheke Island was absolutely breathtaking and it was the PERFECT way to start our trip. Our accommodations were very nice and our hostess was very sweet! We loved the Lord of the Rings movie set and the various scenery that we saw across these beautiful islands. Nelson and the Able Tasman National Park was exquisite. We were really impressed at the conditions of the national park trails and how organized everything was. Christmas in Nelson and dinner at the Boat Shed Restaurant was fabulous. That was one of the best dinners we have ever had! The seafood was beyond perfection and I am very picky about seafood!!!! The drives to the Franz Josef Glacier and then to Queenstown were beautiful. Our pictures hardly capture the magnificence of the places we saw. The glacier hike was so much fun!!! We felt very safe with our guide and it was such a unique experience. Thank you for getting us a GPS with our car rentals! It was VERY helpful!

Our most favorite adventure was in Queenstown when we went to Glenorchy for the jet boat safari on the Dart River. We wanted to do it more than once. Even the bus ride to Glenorchy was breathtaking.

The food was great and the atmosphere everywhere we went was so hospitable and inviting! Everyone was very nice and gave us well wishes on our recent marriage. We would definitely go back and see some of the things that we didn’t get this time.

I have attached a couple of pictures from our trip. Thanks again for organizing this trip for us. It will truly be something we will never forget. We hope you all had a great start to the year and have continued blessings throughout the year.

Sincerely,

Jess Wiley

Thank you from Gerald Fuller & Siamak Gholami

Our two week Australia/New Zealand adventure experience was truly one of the finest vacations either of us has ever had. Karen and her Michigan office and international staffs executed a fine-tuned, action-packed, successive whirlwind that we slept dead 12 of the 14 return hour flight from Melbourne to Los Angeles. Exploring the north Sydney beaches on Harleys, flying low along the Sydney beaches in a sea plane, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, swimming in the Coral Sea with three sharks, sand boarding, New Zealand jet boating, paddling the Waka (Mori outrigger), gazing in awe walking the Milford Track, mountain biking down a 3,000 foot mountain to downtown Nelson, hiking the Abel Tasman and Heaphy Traks, climbing active volcanoes of New Zealand’s north island, and chartering 11 helicopters, 3 planes, and a sea plane are just some of the excitement included in Karen’s adventure itinerary.

Gerry Fuller & Siamak Gholami SYD (2)Now to the hotels. Wow! Park Hyatt in Sydney, Eichardt’s Private Hotel in Queenstown, Edenhouse near Nelson, Peppers Awaroa Lodge in Abel Tasman National Park are just a few of the perfectly suited for the experience and location we enjoyed. Even with walking/trekking, mountain biking, paddling a Waka, and climbing mountains, we still gained an average of 7.5 pounds each; enough said on the naturally nutritious, delicious, and extremely well-presented food.

Gerry Fuller & Siamak GholamiWe spent nearly two years working with Karen to get the trip we wanted. Gerald wanted to end his 60s with a bang and Siamak just lives life with a bang. Together we all pulled it together, but the nucleus was Karen and her staff. Thank you.

Gerald Fuller and Siamak Gholami

Thank you from Dr. Gunta Wheeler

Hello Karen,

Our trip to Australia & New Zealand was absolutely a dream come true.

Sydney was everything you told us to expect. We thoroughly enjoyed our luxurious hotel and all of the wonderful tours planned for us, especially the small group city orientation tour. Our guide was totally awesome, he even brought us to the market so that we could do a bit of shopping and then to the Yacht Club for a fantastic lunch.

Lizard island was as we dreamed it would be “out of this world” with absolutely the best food and service. The weather was as we ordered, sunny when we needed it to be and cloudy when we had a slight sunburn. Adelaide, the wineries and Kangaroo Island were also just perfect.

Our favorite part of New Zealand was Queenstown. On arrival we enjoyed a hot springs spa treatment and then headed into town where we joined in a Bar Crawl at the Ice Bar. That was the best night ever. My friends were trying to remind me my age, but I could not care less.

I must tell you that there is a new restaurant in Queenstown called Flame Bar and Grill where the ribeye steak is to die for. Also the Irish pub, Pog Mahones Stone Grill, has the best cuisine next to Lizard Island. Our favorite tour was the jet boat ride on the Dart River. It was thrilling fun and we had the best captain. I have to admit that I am totally ready to drop everything and move to Queenstown if I am ever offered the opportunity.

We also thoroughly enjoyed our chartered boat tour in Nelson. The captain was great and the Tasman Sea was at its best with lots of sun and seals, penguins and very artistic jelly fish. We sun tanned, swam and enjoyed our lunch tremendously. A highlight of the day was the terrific driver who told all about the Nelson area and even stopped at the local market so that we could purchase fresh fruit.

WOW was as wow could be, we were shocked out of our pants, that Nelson has a magnificent museum. After visiting the museum our private guide took us to the wineries where we savored the best ever smoked salmon. Paired with a prized Chardonnay, the salmon was simply splendid. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed Nelson thanks to the tours and fantastic tour guides.

Now the toughest part is to get back to ordinary food and work. I truly feel that New Zealand is calling me to return as I felt so very much at home there.

Thank you so much for a truly glorious trip!

Dr. Gunta Wheeler

Thank you from Ronita & John

It was our 25th wedding anniversary and my 65th birthday and I had my eyes set on Australia and New Zealand. But what a headache I got trying to plan it solo. I lucked up on Karen at Australia 2000 and what a breeze it became.

It isn’t every day that you make plans and have an experience of ease and grace from a customer service perspective. And it isn’t every day that you find good people with a big heart like Karen and her staff that really care and bend over backwards to make your dreams come true.

It isn’t every day that every desire in your imagination becomes a reality, as you take in the beauty of another country – the warm people, the ancient customs, the cuisine, the nature, the Great Barrier Reef, sacred land of Uluru, kangaroos, camels, and wild birds, Sydney, clear blue waters and Ferg’s burgers of Queenstown, the Wearable World of Art in Wellington, fine wineries of Nelson, art, music, green stone, the snow capped mountains. Yes, we did it all! And, I tell you we enjoyed every moment of our 25-day experience.

We owe every expression of awe and beauty to Karen. And so I say with deep gratitude, look no further, if this is your destination. You will never find more dedication, more experience and wisdom, more spirit than Australia 2000.

Ronita & John

World of WearableArt Exhibition Aptly Described as “Mardi Gras Meets Haute Couture at a Peter Gabriel Concert”

WOW, the World of WearableArt, is taking New Zealand by storm once again, this time as a traveling exhibition taking place now through November 2013.

What began as a promotion for a Nelson art gallery in 1987, World of WearableArt, has evolved over the years to include the newest concepts of technology, illumination, sound and fantasy to create visually stunning and dramatic living art forms.

Simply to describe this dramatic and creative display of theatre, art, color and movement in words does not do it justice. Perhaps it is something that can only be fully appreciated by those who experience it.

To feast your senses on this masterful adventure, please contact us and will weave all of your travel dreams into a once in a lifetime Down Under adventure!

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…]

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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Thank You From Marnie Balog

Dear Karen, Hillary and Shelley,

Words don’t seem to do justice to describe our glorious New Zealand trip. Perhaps a background of symphony orchestra music and a grand stage would begin to help others

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understand what we experienced. Each day held pleasant surprises and adventures. Each day kept the smiles and the glow on our faces. We feel renewed and in love with life (and each other!). Now we cherish the precious memories of a trip of a lifetime!

Karen, you have a gift for “reading us” and planning for the things we love. Thank you for the details that were so carefully spelled out. Thank you also to Wendy helping us once we landed in New Zealand. The vouchers and maps were so neatly organized and bound into a travel booklet.

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