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.
The guided tours of The Rocks and of the Opera House were great. The Opera House was more impressive up close that we had imagined. We really enjoyed the visit to the Toranga Zoo, the Harbor Cruise, and our walk across the Harbor bridge. The weather in September was ideal, just like you said it would be. We stumbled into David Jones and saw their Spring Flower Show just by accident, which was a great surprise.
The Southern Ocean Lodge is probably the most extraordinary place we’ve ever stayed at. All the staff there is knowledgeable, and made you feel both welcomed and special. We especially enjoyed the “Kanapes with the Kangaroos”, and also the Remarkable Rocks. The wildlife viewing is wonderful, and suggests an Australian version of Yellowstone National Park. The staff introduced us to a baby wallaby they had adopted, and of course the 24/7 open bar was pretty impressive, too. The spa services were the best I have ever experienced.
At the Daintree Rainforest, we had a full day tour with Juan Walker. He took us to places that we would never be able to discover on our own, and told us the history of the area. We can strongly recommend him to other travelers who are going to the Daintree.
Lizard Island is a wonderful island paradise on the Great Barrier Reef. We especially enjoyed the trip to the Research Center, and of course, the snorkeling. We might have been more impressed had we not just arrived from the SOL. The SOL is really in a class by itself.
Thanks for letting us know about the slow and leisurely service at restaurants. It saved us from thinking there was something wrong with us, or we were’t doing something right, or ??? We also appreciate your telling us about Aussie’s being “confirmed foodies”. We did not have a disappointing meal at anytime in Oz, and the food is always fresh. But every meal was very elaborate. We began to miss our California “simple” food, like eating a large salad or a big bowl of pasta.
The country is phenomenally clean, and we never met a cross or rude person anywhere. Australia is really an impressive society and country, and we enjoyed getting a chance to visit it
Thanks for putting together such a well organized and wonderful trip.
Barry Kob and David Lundquist
Traveled to Australia September 2010