Australia/NZ travel/tour agent?

Apr 8th, 2005, 05:02 AM
  #1  
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Australia/NZ travel/tour agent?

We are in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Australia and New Zealand for June 2006 (my brother-in-law has to put in for his vacation a year ahead so we have to start now). Recently I set up two trips using on-line travel agents (one to Brazil and the other to Africa). They were able to customize an itinerary for us and kept the cost fairly reasonable. I am looking at OAT and some other small group operators, but I wonder if anyone has used anyone particularly good for planning a trip like this. I figure we will probably be looking at a total time frame of 3 weeks.
jcasale is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 06:46 AM
  #2  
 
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I used swainaustralia.com
I only booked flights with them, but they have packages or can just book cars, hotels, excursions, whatever you need.
We did everything by email and phone
pb_and_j is offline  
Apr 8th, 2005, 04:08 PM
  #3  
 
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Check www.australia.com, the official Australia tourism site, which from memory provides referrals to specialist travel agents and much else.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Apr 9th, 2005, 06:19 AM
  #4  
 
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Hi Jcasale,

I second Neil's advice to go to www.australia.com. Tourism Australia re-vamped it's program as of January 2005 and now have "Premier" Specialists listed. As it naturally follows if you specialize in Australia, many of us also do NZ (and many others Fiji and Tahiti as well). So I'd suggest checking out www.purenz.com and see if you can find a "match".

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Apr 9th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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I will be using Down Under Answers in August, I will report back if you happen to still be on the lookout.
flygirl is offline  
Apr 9th, 2005, 12:07 PM
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Why not save some money and do it yourself?

Half the fun in traveling is learning about the place you are going to visit. Go to the local bookstore and get some travel books on Australia. Come back here and ask questions. Go to google and enter "tourism australia" or "tourism queensland" or any of the other state names. You'll get a zillion websites to look through. Pretty soon, you'll figure out where you will want to visit in order to do the things you're interested in.

Getting around Australia is very easy. Airfares are reasonable and navigating through the airports is a breeze. As for accomodation & tours, you can usually get all the info you want online and booking is as simple as an email or phone call.

Good luck!
JohnInMiami is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 09:39 PM
  #7  
 
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Sign up for email specials from American, United, Air New Zealnd, and Qantas. They sometimes have some great prices for flights to Aussie/NZ.

Also call. My girlfrined called Qantas and was quoted $1620US per person for a 3 week trip in Nov 05 (LAX-Syd-Auckland-Mel-LAX, 1 week in each). Then you can plan your trip via coach or self drive.

Since my hubby and I live in Melbounre we are using Kirra Tours. http://www.kirratours.co.nz

Our land package (includes breakfast, dinner, attractions and all trans within NZ) is $5010AUD for both of us. Convert: http://www.xe.com

For hotel info go to Wotif. They only do 14 days out but they have a wealth of info on hotels. http://www.wotif.com

Deb
[email protected]




WildRedDeb is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 07:13 AM
  #8  
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Thanks to all for the advice and recommendations. I've got some guide books to read and try to figure out which areas to go to. I figure we'll have about 3 weeks and can't do it all! I think rather than an escorted tour (which all seem to have some things we like and some we don't) we'll do our own itinerary so I'll probably be back from time to time for advice!
jcasale is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 08:42 AM
  #9  
 
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jcasale - This board is probably the most valuable resource you'll find. You'll be amazed (as am I) at the amount of quality, detailed information that the regular posters provide here. No matter how obscure the question, someone always seems to know the answer!
JohnInMiami is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 09:16 AM
  #10  
 
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jcasale--we did the same as you--thought about a tour because the information needed was so vast--then hung out here at Fodors and got courage and great information on how to plan our trip. Then millions of web sites later got frustrated trying to find the best rates at some places (out of date web sites) we turned to an on-line site in Aus. Globe Net Travel. We dealt with Mary Dunbar at www.globenettravel.com.au and had very good service. We told her where we wanted a reservation and what price range and she got them. We even had to do an emergency change of plans and her company bailed us out and were very helpful. The places didn't charge any more than the web site charges. One difference, however, is that you don't get your Frequent Flyer miles if you go through a travel agent if you stay at a hotel that you would normally get them. We went to Sydney--Blue Mountains--Uluru--Darwin and Kakadu-Cairns-Port Douglas--Sydney. Mary helped with car and hotel in most of those places.
Sally in Seattle
SnRSeattle is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 03:49 PM
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Hi Sally in Seattle!

You're absolutely correct in that it doesn't cost you any more to use the services of a travel agent (seems there's alot of confusion on this point). In fact, in the long run we can actually save you money.

But, I don't know what you wouldn't be able to get your frequent flier miles applied at a hotel? When I make reservations for clients, (airfare or hotels), I put their information into the reservation and the mileage is credited.

Puzzling!

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 04:02 PM
  #12  
LN
 
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We found so much information on this site and researching additional sites as to where we'd like to go and do that we wound up planning our own intinerary and enjoying our trip immensely!

We never drove a car ourselves (and we've been to OZ twice now) when we needed to get to a new adventure we simply booked a local tour and tried that. It always worked throughout Australia and New Zealand.

If you sign up for specials from Qantas and Air New zealand you'll learn of their specials. The last was $650 pp from LA to Sydney (plus taxes).

We've gotten great plane fares in Feb/Mar and in September. Another tip we learned was to use WOTIF.com.au for hotel reservations as they give much better rates at the last minute.

People on this site will give you all the assistance you'll ever want on Sydney, Canberra, Ayers Rock, Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, Great Barrier Reef, and all of New Zealand - start asking some questions and checking it out!!
LN is offline  
Apr 13th, 2005, 05:03 AM
  #13  
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SnRSeattle - thanks for the company suggestion. We just got done doing something similar to Brazil and to Africa and I have recommended those agents on this site. I have started saving some of the advice I have seen for areas we want to visit and am plowing through guide books. I will definitely start posting some more specific questions as we narrow down what we want. We're thinking Sidney-Alice Springs/Uluru-Cairns or Port Douglas-then on to New Zealand.
jcasale is offline  

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