Author Topic: Travel agency recommendation for trip to Australia  (Read 1010 times)

beel

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Travel agency recommendation for trip to Australia
« on: November 06, 2022, 01:22:49 PM »
We are planning a trip this winter to Australia and would like to know if anyone can suggest a travel agency that books private tours?  We have used Odynovo Tours in the past in other countries but apparently they are unwilling to accept any clients this late. We are hoping to go in Jan 2023.  Any suggestions or recommendations would be a big help.

deborah

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Re: Travel agency recommendation for trip to Australia
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2022, 03:52:10 PM »
Where are you planning to go? It will be hot, and everywhere will be very busy because itís school holidays and absolutely peak season, so youíll have a hard time getting bookings.

Zamboni

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Re: Travel agency recommendation for trip to Australia
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2022, 04:36:59 PM »
I'll second the request for which city or cities you are hoping to fly to. Australia is as big as the US and Europe (minus Russia). . . unless you are going to be there for a month or more, probably best to pick a region or two and focus on that to not spend all of your time on transportation.

We did everything piecemeal when we were there, which was nice because we spent most of our time conversing with Australians rather than being in a tour pack of Americans. Before we left we did book a "behind the scenes" tour of the Sydney Zoo (which was great), bought opera tickets, and figured out where we would play volleyball. Once there, the concierge booked us on a tour of the Blue Mountains that had three stops and was lovely. Everything was super easy to figure out: we took the water ferry, other public transit, and ubers/lyfts without any problems there.

Some friends did one of the cross-continent luxury train trips. Apparently that was spectacular if you are into that type of travel.

There are a bunch of Aussies on this board, so you could probably get plenty of recommendations of places to go, how to book, etc if you want to forgo the formal tour route.

Gremlin

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Re: Travel agency recommendation for trip to Australia
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2022, 07:05:54 PM »
"Winter".  Tee hee...

I'm going to reiterate choosing an area and exploring rather than trying to see everything.  A couple of points I would make...

Sydney is normally a very, very expensive destination.  But not much business travel happens in January, so accommodation in Sydney itself can actually be a fair bit cheaper (think 'very expensive' instead of 'very, very expensive') than other times of the year.  Day tours to the Blue Mountains are pretty easy to sign up for.  Alternatively, Leura is a great place to stay for a couple of nights if you want to experience more than a day tour and you can catch the train from Sydney.

Otherwise, catch a ferry to Manly where you can laze at the beach.  There are beautiful walks around the foreshore of Sydney Harbour, if that's your thing.  In fact, there's an 80km trail from Bondi Beach to Manly Beach (Sydney's two most famous beaches) that is simply stunning.  The stretch around the Royal Botanic Garden, past the Opera House, through the Rocks and over the Sydney Harbour Bridge is truly iconic.

Sydney has a few zoos - Taronga is the most famous, but when we used to live in Sydney, we'd take international visitors to Featherdale.  At Taronga you'll see animals from all over the globe, but Featherdale is geared towards Australian fauna.  It's a bit of a trek, but some Blue Mountains tours will include them on the way.  If you go to Brisbane, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is another similar venue.

Australians flock to the beach over the summer holidays.  Accommodation costs in most beach destinations will be sky high, as Deborah mentioned.  North Queensland (Great Barrier Reef area) may not be as booked out as other areas.  North Queensland is very hot and humid that time of year and it's stinger season (read up on it, take appropriate precautions) but I would highly recommend seeing the reef if that's where you want to explore.

Unless you are very confident driving long distances, don't.  Once you move beyond the Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney-Brisbane corridor, road quality can become quite variable.  Most tourists aren't used to driving on the 'correct' side of the road and avoiding kangaroos is as much an art as a science.

I would absolutely avoid Uluru at that time of year.  It's stunningly beautiful, but the heat will be deadly.  I used to live in the Outback and every year tourists would die from sunstroke, heatstroke and dehydration just by going outside at the wrong time of day, at times within 15 minutes walk of where they were staying.  It's hard to describe just how brutal the heat can be.

mspym

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Re: Travel agency recommendation for trip to Australia
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2022, 01:14:38 AM »
Gremlin makes some great points - we tend to stay in Sydney over that time because everyone clears out to the beach towns so the local beaches (and roads to them) are relatively clear.

 

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