Thank you from Bonnie & Scott Morton

Dear Karen,

We are pleased with our custom trip to Australia and Tasmania. We enjoyed our excursions – Davidson’s Safari Camp, Flinders Range, Kangaroo Island, and Tasmania.

Morton - Flinders Ranges 2015

Photo credit to Bonnie & Scott Morton

We enjoyed Davidson’s Safari Lodge a lot. We had excellent meals. The cabin was comfortable and the guides were excellent. We enjoyed seeing the aborigines’ art and the billabongs. We saw a number of birds, alligators, and wallabies.

Mick is an excellent guide. We enjoyed his sense of humor and knowledge of the area around Flinders Range. We learned a lot from him. It is a beautiful area. We saw the wildflowers in full bloom.

Steve was our guide on Kangaroo Island. He is a farmer and works as a guide part time. Steve and Scott enjoyed talking about their farms. Steve gave us a tour of his farm which we thoroughly enjoyed. Mandy and Paul, the owners of Seascape were excellent hosts. Mandy is a great cook and the meals were delicious.

Morton KI 2015

Photo credit to Bonnie & Scott Morton

Adelaide was the perfect place to be our jumping off point from Flinders Range to Kangaroo Island to Tasmania and the Adina Apartment Hotel served us well. The hotel is within walking distance to Chinatown which has a very good selection of Asian restaurants, and Rundle mall for shopping.

I found some very warm merino gloves for the forecasted cooler weather in Tasmania. Having a washing and dryer in the unit was very helpful. We started our 6 days in Tasmania with a full load of clean clothes.  Also having a small kitchen in the unit allowed us to purchase food for a continental breakfast.

Cradle Mountain (photo credit Morton)

Photo credit to Bonnie & Scott Morton

Karin was our guide in Tasmania. In addition to being very knowledgeable about the area, she is very thoughtful and helpful. She surprised us with a gift for our 25th anniversary. I just happened to mention it to her. We didn’t want to publicize the event, but we appreciated her thoughtfulness.

We enjoyed Sarah Island, Cradle Mountain, all the walks, Cataract Gorge, the Walk to Wineglass Bay lookout, seeing and learning about all the rock formations.

We felt the organization and coordination of the drivers and guides were excellent. We enjoyed the adventures, learning about the history and seeing the beautiful views of Australia.

Thank you for such a nice job.

Bonnie and Scott Morton

A Gourmet Tour Like No Other! Discover Bruny Island, Tasmania with our Award Winning Tour Operator

TAS - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys - Winery Lunch

Photo Credit to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

TAS - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys - Bruny Island Traveler

Photo Credit to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Time falls away as you explore the island with your specialist guide. You’ll hear its stories and marvel at its scenery. At The Neck you’ll reach the crest of a lofty dune and see the narrow isthmus stretch away south in graceful curves. On your Bruny Island journey you’ll meet some of the island’s food and wine producers – people who put their skill, energy and spirit into harvesting the perfect vintage, crafting the most delicious cheese, picking the sweetest summer berries, shucking the finest oysters, growing the most succulent salmon. And you’ll taste the fruits of their labor a wonderful lunch of island specialties, served at Australia’s southern-most vineyard. You’ll also feel the spirit of Bruny in its birds and animals, and their wild, natural habitat.


TAS - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys - Beach Walk

Photo Credit to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Everyone who spends time on Bruny Island shares the experience of leaving everyday life behind. There’s a strange but exhilarating sense of ‘islandness’ – a feeling of being away and apart from the world. It’s hard to explain, but easier to feel. You’ll know it as you walk on the empty stretch of a remote surf beach, as you look out from the lofty tower of Cape Bruny Lighthouse, and as you leave the Tasmanian mainland behind, crossing the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to feel an island’s soul.

TAS - Pennicott Wilderness Journeys -Rainforest

Photo Credit to Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Our hand selected tour operator and Tasmanian eco cruising pioneer Robert Pennicott and his team recently won an unprecedented five Australian Tourism Awards.  This is the third year in a row that Pennicott Wilderness Journeys won awards for Ecotourism and Excellence in Sustainable Tourism.  This remarkable achievement means that Pennicott Wilderness Journeys has become the first Tasmanian business inducted into the Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame.

Contact us to include this gourmet experience in your Bespoke Down Under Adventure.

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

The BEST of Australia for You!

Australia 2000 Travel Newsletter
G’day Mates,

It is our privilege to hand-select the finest tour operators, accommodation and tour guides throughout the GLORIOUS South Pacific. It is no small task and one that is never compromised. By so doing we ensure our ability to handcraft breathtaking experiential, adventure packed itineraries for you, our discerning travelers.

Each year, by special invitation, I attend the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), Australia’s premier tourism trade event and the largest international travel trade show of its kind in the southern hemisphere. During the arduous convention, comprised of four days of meetings between travel designers, like ourselves, and Australian suppliers, strong business relationships are formed that permit us to bring you the very best Australia has to offer. This year Perth, capital of Western Australia, hosted one of tourisms most important events.

Preceding the adventure that culminated in Perth I spent a few days in my hometown, Sydney. Staying at the chic and sophisticated Hilton Sydney built on a long history of hospitality, expertise, phenomenal design, and ground breaking innovation was a wonderful experience. The luxurious Hilton Sydney is certainly a fabulous vantage point from which to explore one of the World’s most magnificent cities.

From Sydney I flew to Darwin in “The Top End” and stayed at Mandalay Luxury Stay, a gorgeous colonial style stone cottage originally built by Lord Alistair McAlpine. Laying in a hammock on the verandah of the house, sipping a chilled Aussie chardonnay while watching the fiery red sun sink into the sea was certainly a marvelous forerunner to the unique adventure awaiting me.

To my joy, the following morning Sab Lord, owner of Lords Kakadu & Arnhemland Safaris, escorted me on a private three day Kakadu, Arnhemland and Mary Region tour. During the adventure I was privileged to walk through the sacred sites of Arnhemland with an Aboriginal guide who told the stories of the rock paintings created by his forefathers. One breathtaking experience it seemed followed another on Sab’s tour. Our final evening was one of complete indulgence spent at Bamurru Lodge where water buffalo and agile wallabies wandered freely, where each meal was a taste sensation, where the Milky Way sparkled in the pitch black sky of the wilderness…just for me or so it seemed!

Three days in cosmopolitan Sydney followed by four days in The Top End well prepared me for ATE where one of the many highlights was a meeting with the representative of Maria Island Walk. The multi award winning, unspoiled natural island off of the east coast of Tasmania is home to a four day luxury guided walk that is guaranteed to create long lasting memories. Waxing lyrical about my own life changing walk on Maria Island led to suggestions of creating a tour for just five couples to experience the wonder. Do contact us to express your interest in joining this extraordinary life changing adventure.

Until our next adventure we wish you a glorious summer filled with all that makes your heart sing.


Our continued success relates in no small part to the support of you, our valued clients. We are delighted that you have found us. By referring our fine services to your family and friends you help us do what we so love to do. For that we thank you.

Cheers Mate!

Karen Hardy Hodgson
Toll Free Phone within USA: 1 800 875 4530
Phone: ++1 248 647 4530
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.





Maria Island Far from the Stress of Life

Escape the crowds…

Without modern development and only two park rangers as residents, Maria Island guests escape to their own private island.

Away from traffic…

Secluded from emails…

Far from the stress of everyday life…

Maria Island is a wildlife haven for mammals, birds and marine creatures and home to many rare and endangered species found nowhere else on earth.  The meeting of the warm and cold ocean currents surrounding the island provides a rich source of food for bait fish, seals and sea birds.   The island lies on one of the great whale migration paths.  Maria Island has long been a prized destination for the keen birdwatcher with 11 of Tasmania’s 12 endemics and over 130 recorded species.  There are almost too many animals to take in.  Rare Tasmanian mammals that hop, climb trees, burrow underground or even lay eggs, seals and dolphins splashing happily in the sea are all to be found during your adventure on  Maria Island.

Explore campsites left by the Oyster Bay Aborigines and hear tales of European explorers and whalers.  Meet characters of yesteryear; explore the brickworks and lime kilns where convicts toiled.   Have it all, solitude in spellbinding nature, followed by shared stories over dinner with new friends.

Enjoy a Mediterranean climate with unspoiled open spaces.  After refreshing days relax with the indulgence of fine food and comfortable wilderness camps.

Maria Island, unspoiled nature…the ideal destination to relax and recharge.

Thank you from Marlies Kraemer

Dear Karen,

Our trip was as perfect as this rose in Tasmania…

Marlies Kraemer

Thank you from Colleen Berry

G’day Karen,

What a wonderful trip to Oz! You and your staff did a fabulous job in helping to make my second trip to Australia wonderful and helped me see new and exciting parts of the country.

I loved Tasmania, Adelaide and the Margaret River area. Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island was just amazing, a once in a lifetime experience, and so wish I had stayed a third night. The small group tours across the itinerary were perfect.

Thank you for your patience in putting together a trip for someone visiting for a second time and my traveling companions visiting for a first time. The only downfall was not having more time or more money!

Thank you for making so many wonderful memories for me, Marianne and Rose.



Australia’s National Parks

New South Wales

In the year 2000 UNESCO awarded The Blue Mountains area a world heritage listing based upon its outstanding natural value to humanity and the pristine environment that provides protection for an unusually diverse range of rare and ancient vegetation communities and isolated animal populations ensconced in its deep gorges.

Our special guides will take you to view The Three Sisters and the Jamison Valley, an iconic site of this vast and special area.

Northern Territory

Kakadu National Park, located 160 miles east of Darwin, in Australias Northern Territory is the largest National Park in Australia and has been awarded a World Heritage listing. Adjacent to Kakadu National Park lies a vast subtropical savannah that has been described as a national treasure trove depicting ancient human occupation and a pristine wilderness area hosting myriad ecosystems and wildlife inhabitants. The Aboriginal association with the land is constantly on display in Kakadu National Park where richly descriptive rock paintings from 50,000 years ago depict events of the distant past. Let us send you to this ancient area where your hosts, Max and Phillipa Davidsons passionate devotion to the area and its people has developed into a relationship of trust and respect with the traditional owners. Their association has resulted in an unchallengeable, in-depth knowledge of the history and traditions of the area.

[Read more…]

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.

[Read more…]

Travelers’ Tales

Chapter 56: My Year of Springs

This year a fortunate combination of climatic factors, wishful planning, and a good deal of luck presented me the opportunity to witness the coming on of Spring in four separate locations on this planet, each one experiencing spectacular wildflower blooms not seen in recent memory. I traveled from the Mojave Desert (where Lake Manly partly filled in Death Valley) to Anza-Borrego near the Mexican border and later into Arizona during the North American Spring. Then, unexpectedly awarded a sabbatical leave, I was able to take in the wildflower blooms of Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania during their Spring. I was on the go, off and on, from Mid-February to Mid- November. From early October to mid- November, I literally wandered alone in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, driving and hiking my way through the outback of South Australia and forests and lakes of Tasmania. A field biologist’s dream come true. So aside from several thousand digital images of truly spectacular wildflower blooms and a bestiary of exotic creatures, what else did I bring back from these wanderings?

[Read more…]