BEST TOUR COMPANIES FOR AUSTRALIA

Old Mar 10th, 2007, 03:52 PM
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KATHERINEMAEPARDEE
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BEST TOUR COMPANIES FOR AUSTRALIA

Australia is a huge country. As not to spend days in airports, which are the best places to visit. We have looked at Globus and Trafalgar. Who else do you recommend and why.

We like to be shepherded around...hand held from place to place. Luggage at the door each am when necessary - early. That works great for us.

Where to go in Australia and with which company? Please share your good and bad experiences.

Thank you.

[email protected]

you can write direct to this above email or post for everyone who would get good info from you.

Thanks again
 
Old Mar 10th, 2007, 07:04 PM
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If you were to do a Search on this topic you will find I regularly recommend Australian Pacific Touring -
www.aptouring.com.au and have travelled with them on numerous occasions all over Australia. We find them to be very efficient, have extremely well informed and pleasant staff who have always made the trip that much more enjoyable by their presence.
Other companies are Scenic Tours and a relative newcomer Outback Spirit with whom we are actually booked in September, because they have a smaller group i.e 26 rather than 40 and have some interesting itineraries.
You will find that the majority of posters on this Forum prefer to do their own tour arrangements, but we do the Tour Company way for all the reasons you list.
We have used APT for tours in Western Australia, the Kimberley, the Centre, Queensland and Tasmania. This year will be the Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges with Outback Touring so I hope they measure up and we are not sorry we changed.
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Old Mar 11th, 2007, 03:52 AM
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Hi,

You'll find that c. 75% of posts here seeking info about Australia are about "Cairns" (ie FNQ with preferred destination being Port Douglas) and Sydney. Most people go to both. And often they throw in Melbourne too. The GOR and KI chime in with about 10.00%. Uluru and the centre 7.5%; Tassie maybe 5%; the slack is taken up with the odd question about WA and the Top End.

That's a long way from being statistically accurate (though it would be an interesting exercise for someone to do properly).

So those, I guess, are the "best places to visit".

There are alternatives - like going to FNQ and not staying in Port Douglas. Like going to the centre and skipping the Olgas and Kings Canyon for something else. Like spending less time in resorts and more out on the road visting the "other" Australia.

But for a first trip I guess the statistics tell the tale, unless you are coming for 3 months.

Personally I wouldn't recommend anything that was the equivalent of the sort of European Tour where "if it's Tuesday, it must be Paris". The distances are great.

Far better to pick two or three places and enjoy them in a leisurely way.

But, having re-read you post, I see that you like the idea of spending a night here and a night there. So why not - but please do get a map and discover something about the size of the land.

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Old Mar 11th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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KATHERINEMAEPARDEE
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Thank you for the postings; I am going to make some educated decisions thanks to you.

Katherine
 
Old Mar 11th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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We just made reservations today for an Australian tour with OAT (Overseas Adventure Travel). We have traveled with them and their sister company GCT before, and have found all of their trips excellent value for the money. They also do an excellent job of acquainting people with the culture of the country visited.

OAT allows only a maximum of 16 tour participants on their tours, which we much prefer to a large bus with 40 to 50 people. Our tour directors with OAT and GCT have also been far superior to those we have had with other tour companies.

I had spent a couple of days doing an excel spreadsheet, comparing all of the tours from various tour companies that we were considering. I had compared a total of 13 tours. OAT's Ultimate Australia tour was definitely the best value and most comprehensive. It also included all of the places that were high on our list. We also opted for their Tasmania pre-tour extension.

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at [email protected].
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Old Mar 12th, 2007, 12:59 PM
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Sandy,

I can just imagine the time you spent putting that spreadsheet together! I just started one of my own for my honeymoon in late August/early September. Would you be willing to email me your spreadsheet? My email address is katiewallenatyahoodotcom.

Thank you! We're really at the beginning of our trip planning, but realize that we need to get on it soon. Right now we want to spend about 3 nights in Sydney, 3 nights on some sort of inland tour (maybe self-guided) and 3 nights somewhere on the reef in the north. We will have 10 nights, so we can add a night anywhere.

Anyway, I'd love to see your spreadsheet if you don't mind!

Thanks,
Katie
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Old Mar 12th, 2007, 03:34 PM
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I'll send it to you Katie. It's in Excel.

Have fun planning your trip.
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