Tours of Austraila & New Zealand

Old Dec 16th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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Tours of Austraila & New Zealand

My wife and I have done a fair amount of international travel and have never used a travel agent or tour company. We are in our late 60's and would now like to try a tour company in Australia and New Zealand. We were recommended to Tauck Tours but it's quite a hefty price and I would like to use my frequent flyer miles. Any Help?
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 04:36 PM
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I can recommend Australian Pacific Touring - who have extensive tours throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Very efficient and pleasant staff, new coaches and an ideal means of seeing and enjoying any new country.
We enjoy this means of travel because of the tremendous amount of information you receive while touring -from either the APT Guide or local guides at strategic sites, which I know we would miss out on if travelling on our own.
We are Australian & have travelled with this company many times but there are also other companies including AAT Kings and Scenic Tours who come well recommended as well.
However, you will find on this Forum that the majority prefer to travel independently.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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Elderhostel has several trips which might interest you.
http://tinyurl.com/y6z2bu

They are less expensive, with good accommodations and guides. Don't dismiss them without considering them. You can take the 'program only' option to use your FF, which is what we have done several times.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 08:49 AM
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I can recommend Australian Pacific also. We did a New Zealand-Australia trip with them and it was wonderful.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 06:54 PM
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Hi Spark,

Tauck Tours is what I'd call a "no brainer" in the travel industry. Yes, they're expensive, but on the flip side, clients have absolutely NO complaints, so I love them!

APT is a very very good tour company also, as others have mentioned. If you can't afford Tauck, this is a good alternative if they have a itinerary you like I'm sure you'd be happy.

Regards,

Melodie
Certified Aussie & Kiwi Specialist
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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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I, too, can heartily recommend Australian Pacific Touring <http://www.aptouring.com.au>. Their short/independent tours are particularly good and allow you more flexibility to do other things on your own without the regimentation of one all-inclusive tour that does everything for you. For example, you could have several short/independent tours of 3-5 days duration (e.g. Red Centre, Far North Queensland) and still be able to have 1-day side trips in Melbourne & Sydney with last minute scheduling. This is desirable only if you don't mind scheduling your own domestic air transportation, hotels, etc.
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Old Dec 22nd, 2006, 07:38 PM
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I used Down Under Answers -- set up an individualized itinerary with flights and some scheduled tours. Did a good job for me.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2007, 04:22 PM
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We just signed up for a Tauck Australia/NZ tour for next December and I - like you - was shocked to see their airfare to get there! But you don't have to use them for the international portion - go ahead and make your own air arrangements. I don't think we've ever used Tauck's air and have saved substantial money doing it ourselves.
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