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Looking for Local Travel Agent

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Oct 31st, 2011, 11:31 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Looking for Local Travel Agent

I'm going on a business trip to Taiwan and Singapore at the beginning of January 2012 but want to combine it with a vacation to Australia so I am looking for a local travel agent to set things up for a week visit to Sydney and Melbourne in mid-January. I have never been to Australia but I understand it is the rainy season so the Great Barrier Reef is less desirable to visit. I'm thinking my wife and I would like to see the sights in Sydney and stay for a couple of days in the wine country near Melbourne. Are there any recommendations for a good travel agent?
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Nov 2nd, 2011, 02:56 PM
  #2
tt7
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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I can't help with a travel agent (good - or otherwise...) but I do wonder what it is you want the travel agent to arrange? A one week trip to Sydney and Melbourne is pretty straightforward.

You don't say where you are coming from but do you intend to fly back to Singapore from Sydney/Melbourne or directly home (wherever that may be)? A ticket from Singapore to Sydney (or Melbourne) and back is pretty straightforward - just buy it from whichever airline is your preference. If you're coming from the US and you haven't booked your Taiwan/Singapore flights yet, you may want to look at some sort of "Circle Pacific" ticket (for example, on AA and QF).

Accommodation in Sydney and Melbourne is easy to arrange - just need to figure out what price you're prepared to pay. In Sydney, most people would probably opt to stay somewhere in the Rocks/Circular Quay area, in Melbourne probably in the middle of town (another recent poster was staying at the Novotel on Collins, which is right in the middle of town and an excellent location for getting about).

Plenty to do in Sydney for a few days - climb the Bridge, take a ferry to Manly, visit Taronga zoo, go to Bondi or do one of the cliff walks, visit the Opera House, take a day trip to the Blue Mountains.

Melbourne is easy to get around on foot or by tram. Lots of restaurants / shops / bars / theatre / sport, depending on your interests. The central area has major streets running east/west and north/south in a grid, with lots of laneways and alleys in between - which is where many of the more interesting shops / bars / restaurants are to be found - and trying to find them is half the fun.

Wineries - the Yarra Valley is about an hour or so drive from Melbourne. Easy enough to rent a car for the day and drive yourself or there are organized tours. A number of wineries can provide a good lunch (TarraWarra, De Bortoli, Domaine Chandon, Yering Station, for example). If you want to spend a couple of days out of town, Daylesford is the "spa capital" of Victoria and you could take a couple of days to loop around from Melbourne to Daylesford (northwest) and over to the Yarra Valley (northeast) and back to Melbourne.

Provide some details of what it is you need help "arranging" and I'm sure folks around here can provide suggestions.
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Nov 7th, 2011, 10:22 AM
  #3
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This is what I was looking for from a travel agent. I'll look into the "Circle Pacific" tickets, too. Many thanks, MikeI
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Nov 7th, 2011, 12:40 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: May 2009
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If you book with Qantas you can cover most of the basic Travel requirements you need and then you can walk into an Agency in Australia and book for the special tours that you want OR you can look up the State tourist agencies and choose something from them. I will get back to you with a link for Sydney to start you off.
On the subject of Circle Pacific Tickets - make sure you compare those tickets with say, asking Qantas for a "Oneworld" comparison fare and/or a "Star Alliance" comparison fare i.e. with OneWorld you have AA, Qantas, Cathay Pacific and a Chinese airline I think which would go to all of the places you need.
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Nov 7th, 2011, 12:45 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: May 2009
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Here is a starter: http://www.discoverwhy.info/nsw.php
Also gives the other states. Perhaps you could think of Tasmania instead of around Melbourne because it will be cooler and it does have far more diverse tourism attractions and quite different from anything else in Australia. It also have wonderful wines - look at www.discovertasmania.com.au ( I think that is the website.
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Nov 22nd, 2011, 08:09 PM
  #6
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Thanks ivenotbeeneverywhere! It turns out that the Circle Pacific tickets require you to start and return to the same place and, because of the travel distances, it's shorter to leave from Singapore and return through Taiwan. Also, it seems that I need to have more than three stops to make it worthwhile. For the three stops, it is less expensive to get discount fares. Your links were really helpful. Thanks again, MikeI
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Nov 22nd, 2011, 08:57 PM
  #7
 
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Have a look at some of the special deals with www.tigerairlines.com ( I think) and particularly my favourite www.airasia.com I have used the latter many times and it does fly into, and out of, Australia from Asia with great fares. However depending on the time of year you are coming Malaysian Airlines have been offering some great deals together with Cathay Pacific
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