From Melbourne to Adelaide on a self-drive Aspire Down Under tour with side trip to Ayers Rock and back to Sydney ... and a few of the photographer and his wife.
As they say pictures can say a 1000 words.
Great trip....We loved both hotels and had fun finding restaurants in both places..The reef snorkeling was perfect...warm and flat and easy... Beautiful Coral. My Architect husband like the Opera house tour and that lunch was over the top.
The entire itinerary was professionally coordinated, hotels were perfect, tours were exceptional, and every drop off/pickup driver was on time and friendly. We did not have to worry about a thing! Our trip highlights were definitely the Kangaroo Island Odysseys tour, Quicksilver tour to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, and the Blue Mountains tour in Sydney.
I have to tell you the trip was really fantastic. I want to tell you that the tour of Auckland with time unlimited tours, our guides name was sofia, she was fantastic and the tour was fabulous. We really enjoyed the private tours the most. Also both of the tours in Port Douglas were great. The Walkabout Cultural Adventures, our guide was Juan, was fantastic as well..
Absolutely fantastic. Aspire Down Under is a MUST if you're seeking a smooth, well-planned, well-organized, and top-notch vacation in Australia and/or New Zealand. We spent 2.5weeks between the two countries (four cities) and it couldn't have gone better. I'll be the first to admit I've never been a travel agent person, as I like to organize and plan vacations myself. However, I found myself at a loss when researching tours, activities, accommodations, transfers, etc in a continent that I wasn't familiar with.
Sydney- What an awesome city and we felt like total Sydneysiders by the time we left! The Four Seasons was in a perfect location and was what you would normally expect from a Four Seasons. We loved the Circular Quay/Rocks area as there was so much to do and see. The Bridge Climb was so much fun and it was actually pretty cool that "Modern Family" was filming an episode right below us outside of the Park Hyatt hotel.
What were the most enjoyable or memorable parts of your trip?
This is a difficult one. It was all superb. We expected enchanting scenery, and the people turned out to be the best part.
We flew business class on Air New Zealand. We had never flown on a flight that long. With all their service, amenities, good food, and a comfortable seat that made a bed, the flight went by very quickly.
Got back last night after a wonderful trip- thanks to you ! Praise is due! Sir Samford was a truly grand hotel with great staff and marvelous rooms and public areas. The sailing trip was very well done. Ayers Rock's only flaw was the AC in the Hotel really couldn't cope with the heat . I would have liked freezing but it was merely cool.
Overall, it was great, and we wanted to really thank you for the work you put into organizing and planning the trip. Everything went smoothly, and we were thankful many times over the course of the two weeks that you had arranged everything so that we didn't have to worry about logistics at all and could just focus on enjoying ourselves!
All of the car transfers were perfect. Drivers were all at the appointed places at the right times. Very courteous, knowledgeable, and helpful.
We had a fantastic time and really appreciated the attention to detail throughout the itinerary you put together for us. My husband was amazed throughout the whole trip about the cool stuff we were getting to do and then doubly impressed at the price we got it for. We really appreciated that there was never any hassle or confusion at any of our lodging places or activities when presented with the voucher or basically just giving them our names
I had a WONDERFUL time, and you did a great job helping me have such a terrific trip!
In case you're interested in specific comments for future clients, here are my thoughts: The hotel in Melbourne (on Batman's Hill) was just what I asked for. It was clean and comfortable and perfectly located. It was small and definitely not luxury, but fit our needs very well.
Phillip Island was one of the highlights of our trip. The tour company was good, though we did a fair amount of rushing from place to place. Seeing the penguins was fantastic!!!!
Im sorry for my delay, but I wanted to follow up and let you know that we had a terrific time on our trip thanks to you. Everything you put together for us was perfect and so thoughtfully chosen, and you made the process incredibly easy for us. Thanks for handling everything pre-trip so masterfully, and thank you for creating the perfect itinerary for us all in a very short timeframe.
we had a fabulous time! Everything worked out well! The Mantra in Sydney was perfect for our needs...great location and comfortable. The only challenge was their in-room WiFi which didn't work consistently, but even their coffee in the lobby was great!
The Blue Mountains tour was perfect with the owner Rob as our guide. He was so professional and made sure we saw so much. We loved Uluru and the tours. The Sounds of Silence dinner was well worth it...we had a beautiful night and really enjoyed it. I can't believe that I ever doubted going!
We absolutely loved the trip. Everything you put together for us was excellent. Really! There were no mishaps!
All trips to and from the airport to the hotels worked out fine. The Harbor Cruise was lovely. The tour company for the Blue Mountains was top top notch. The guide, Alex, was one of the best any of us had ever experienced. In fact, the tour company owners came to the pier to see if we were satisfied and to see us off the the last leg.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Our trip was AMAZING!! Everything was perfect ~ down to the last detail! We loved our itinerary and wouldn't change a thing. Every tour was great as were the hotels and drivers. I want to give a special shout out to the Kangaroo Island folks who were just so special. They bent over backwards to show us their "home" and we loved it. We can't say enough about our experience with them.
We had a great time and everything you planned for us was exactly as promised and described. There were no surprises or disappointments and the trip went off without any problems. Qantas is a wonderful airline and they made the very long flights very comfortable and pleasant. Much better than the US carriers!
The Adina in Sydney was a terrific experience. The room was so spacious and having the kitchen and laundry in the room was a bonus. The location was perfect and the staff was excellent.
I wanted to let you know the trip was really great. All the arrangements you made were excellent. The hotels were outstanding the travel arrangements were consistently accurate. The day trips were well worth it. I want to especially commend Blue Diamond tours. The trip to the Blue Mountains was breathtaking. The tour operators were great. The owners even came to meet us at the ferry.
We just got back last night and had the best time of our lives! The itinerary that you put together was perfect. We loved the Bed and Breakfast in New Zealand with Janet and Colin making us feel right at home. Mike and I loved the caves and found Waitomo to be such a cute town. However, we went to Melbourne and found we loved that city too! We decided to do the tour that included the March of the Penguins and we loved it.
The trip was a true "bucket list" trip - Shelley with Aspire Down Under did a phenomenal job of putting together all the elements we wanted, but kept it within our budget. She was great when we needed to make some major changes about 6 weeks out, and continued to take care of us all the way through the adventure. We had a wonderful time and created some life-long memories. I recommend Shelley and Aspire Down Under at the top of the scale!
I just wanted to let you know that we made it back from our trip safely yesterday. Erin and I both really enjoyed Fiji, but we absolutely loved New Zealand! It was a truly amazing honeymoon and we really appreciate all of the hard work you put in to make it happen!
We just arrived back from our honeymoon in Australia. Everything was outstanding! All the arrangements were perfect and the hotels were great. The wildlife tour out of Sydney was excellent - the guide was very friendly and knowledgeable and we got to see a lot of interesting wildlife so we definitely recommend it if others ask about it.
Every tour in Australia was absolutely fantastic. The great barrier reef was like swimming in an aquarium even though the ride home was rough to say the least. Jungle surfing was the coolest. I have to send you a picture of me flying upside down in the rain forest. My wife was so nervous for it but the staff there was great. She had the hugest smile on when it was all over. On the Blue Mtn tour we fed a baby wallaby joey straight from the pouch! One of the highlights of the trip for sure. The Yarra Valley wine tour was absolutely beautiful. The scenery and wines there are stunning.
Can't tell u how pleased we were with our trip!!!! Absolutely fantastic service with everyone, and we loved our Great Ocean Tour guide, John!!!!!! He was awesome! We had fun even in the rain!!!! Saw tons of koalas and Roos! Many beautiful parrots. Our drivers, flight, Crown Metropol, and most of all Silky Oaks was supreme!!! Wouldn't have changed a thing, and you did an outstanding job!!!
I've been meaning to write to you ever since we came back from our wonderful trip. It couldn't have been better!! We had the time of our lives and the plans you made for us just worked out perfectly. We loved the hotels and the tours that you chose for us. The Hilton in Surfers Paradise was "over the top," the Mandalay in Port Douglas was outstanding and in such a great location, and the Holiday Inn in Sydney was just perfect also in its location. We were thrilled to be able to walk through the Rocks section of Sydney, head down to the Harbor, and have everything be so close to the hotel.
Shelley, Shelley, Shelley, the trip could not have been better!!! Jim remarked at least every other day how wonderful the accommodations were, how remarkable the people are, and how smoothly the days went by. We talked about you quite a bit. There were a few points that were exceptional that I wanted to point out. The Rees Hotel in Queens town was fantastic. The Grand Mercure Monaco in Nelson was to die for (we upgraded to a one bedroom apartment which was fabulous--very English Country style.
I want to thank you for arranging for us possibly one of the best trips I have ever taken. I had never used a travel agent before but knowing so little about this area of the world I thought I had better. To be very honest, I wasn't sure how things would go and if the extensive itinerary you had planned for us would go smoothly. There were so many flights, shuttle pick ups and tours that I was sure that something had to fall apart somewhere. Well, much to my delight I was proven so very wrong!
We just returned from our honeymoon on Wednesday morning, and I wanted to THANK YOU for all of your hard work. We had a wonderful time. Everything was handled meticulously. Thank you, especially, for encouraging us to stay at the Four Seasons in Sydney despite the Trip Advisor reviews. We absolutely loved the hotel and do not understand how anyone could criticize the service. Their breakfast was incredible, and it was such a pleasant surprise to learn that it was already included.
Hi Phil, Hope all is well! The honeymoon was amazing! Every location and hotel accommodations were perfect. The car services were great and very reliable. They also had so much information to share as well as travel tips. It was a trip of a lifetime. We will definitely encourage others to utilize Aspire should they ever have the opportunity to visit your beautiful homeland. Hopefully we can make it back one day to visit the areas we missed.
This is a thank-you for arranging a fabulous trip to Australia for my wife and me. We thoroughly enjoyed it. The accommodations were wonderful -- we had a view of Uluru from our room at the Desert Gardens Hotel and had a grand panorama at the Shangri-La that included Sydney Harbor Bridge on the left and the opera house on the right. All of the drivers were knowledgeable, courteous and prompt; we had no complaints. Yes, we did have a bit of rain on our trip to the Blue Mountains, and the sea was pretty choppy on our way to the Great Barrier Reef, but it was a wealth of new experiences.
"qualia meet and exceeded all my expectations. The reality for once matched the buzz. It's setting at the far end of Hamilton Island ensures privacy and once you enter the gates, peace and tranquility is all around. Great landscaping and nature gum trees abound. The Leeward and Windward pavilions are both impressive in their right, however I would strongly recommend anyone considering qualia to go with the Windward pavilion.
We just wanted to let you know how our trip to New Zealand went. We had a fantastic time. Thank you so much for the big part you played in it. All the hotels, tours and shuttles went as planned and we enjoyed them all so much. Our favorite place was Queens town and the Brown's Boutique. What a wonderful three night stay. The room was great with a beautiful view.
Cory and I wish to thank you for what was, without question, the most spectacular vacation of our lives. From the moment we arrived in Savusavu and put ourselves in Aspire Down Under's fully capable hands, to the moment we touched down at LAX on December 18th, we were in heaven. The entire itinerary was seamless, and every detail was just as you said it would be.
"Arrived in Port Douglas to the best surprise of trip so far. The Mandalay Luxury Beachfront Apartments are great. 20 yards and you walk through the dunes and onto 4 mile beach. 4 mile beach is the perfect N Queensland beach, endless sand, great surf and plenty of winter sun. Compared with some of the larger resorts which are set quite a way back from the beach, quite a bonus. The ground floor beach front apartment we have is spacious, modern, fully equipped kitchen, day bed and outside dining patio. Tough to ask for more.
Launched in 2003 with a passion for Australia, New Zealand & The South Pacific Islands,
Aspire Down Under specializes solely on these destinations and offers the very best advice
and service coupled with creative itineraries, unique offers and specialist knowledge that
makes the difference between a good vacation and a great vacation. Find out why “nobody does
Down Under better” when you travel with Aspire Down Under.