Jun 18th, 2003, 07:29 PM
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Hi again, I'm just going to have to move to Australia in order to see everything I want to LOL! Originally I was focusing on Adelaide and SA, but now I'm thinking I might do Adelaide and K.I. on my own, but then go with one of the major tour operators; such as, Tauck, Trafalgar etc because as a single traveler it may be less worries overall. The better ones stay at nice places and hit most of the popular spots so it may just be easier to go that route. Has anyone been on Tauck, Globus, Maupintour, Trafalgar, Collette or any other escorted tour of Australia and what did you think of it? I'm also 33 so I do enjoy tours that typically have a nice mix of ages and I've found that with Tauck and Abercrombie & Kent in the past. Thanks again!
Jon-Eric, New Orleans
Jon_Eric is offline  
Jun 18th, 2003, 10:53 PM
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We have done several tours - mainly in Western Australia with Australian Pacific Touring - and they were wonderful.
Terrific range in ages - 70 - 7, very efficient and stayed at good to above average hotels.
prue is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 06:11 PM
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Thanks Prue, I checked out their website and it looks pretty good. I see that they're based in Australia, but I imagine they get people from abroad as well.
Jon_Eric is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 07:29 PM
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APT gets folks from all over the world, and few from Australia as Australians tend to travel within Australia independently.

Tauck, Trafalgar, etc are VERY MUCH geared towards the older American here in Australia.

It sounds to me like you want a certain level of luxury and ease, in which case APT is good. I would suggest you consider doing it all independently, as many things can be done as day tours out of major cities or simple overnights (ie blue mountains in NSW). You will meet a range of people and ages by staying in guest-houses and hostels, and by doing day tours you can choose when and where to go. You can also stay somewhere a bit longer if you like it.

I have travelled most of Australia independently, staying in hostels (although in a single room so I don't have to share my sleeping space) and found it easy, friendly, and just fine in terms of accommodation.
PixieChick is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 08:07 PM
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What kind of hostels did you stay in? I was planning to stay at the YHA ones. Any hostels you especially recommend or not? Did you do tours run by the hostels? I'd love to hear more about your experiences as I'm going to Australia for the first time and staying at least 2 months so I need to economize!
Karla is offline  
Jun 19th, 2003, 11:11 PM
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Just as a matter of interest on all the APT tours we have been on there were probably 2/3 Australians and the rest from all over the world.
prue is offline  
Jun 20th, 2003, 05:54 AM
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Contact Swain Australia, with offices in sububan Philadelphia. They specialize in Australia, New Zealand and rest of Pacific Ocean Island Countries.

They'll design an independent travel itinerary for you. You can pick the hotels you want in your budget range; they'll arrange for day-tours in particular cities, etc.

After arriving in SYD, we did only 1-tour on the water thru them, otherwise we discovered SYD on our own, on foot, bus and water. Pre-booked Rental car and drove to Blue Mntns.

In Cairns, we stayed in Palm Cove and they scheduled our trips to Kuranda (on rail up/skyrail down), day out on Poseidon (small boat) for reef day, and Daintree & Cape Tribulation; we had 2 free days to ourself.

In Alice we had a BBQ and they arranged a full-day fly to/fr Uluru and tour.

In MEL, they arranged tour to wine country, but we again pre-rented car and did Great Ocean Rd. on own, then we had day on our own to discover MEL.

To-date Australia has been our least expensive trip. I would say we stayed in 4* hotels all the way.

Check for their site.
Jun 20th, 2003, 09:22 AM
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Hi Jon Eric,
I'm about your age (4 yrs older) and visited Australia last July solo, spending a month there. It's a really easy place to go it alone if that's what you want to do or to join a group. As you've no doubt learned from this board, Aussies, by and large, are incredibly warm, friendly people! Personally, I liked picking up day trips better than multi-week coach tours, but that's just me ;-)

I used Adventure Charters while in Kangaroo Is. and wholeheartedly would use them again. I bought the 2 day, 1 night package which was a good amount of time for the place. I did a couple of day trips on the Top End w/APT (to Kakadu and Litchfield). The tours, especially Kakadu, were much too rushed. I believe I was the only American on either trip; most people were sweet retired couples from Oz and NZ.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me: [email protected]. I spent time in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns and Port Douglas.

You're going to LOVE Australia!!!
OneWanderingJew is offline  
Jun 20th, 2003, 08:03 PM
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Thanks everyone! APT does sound promising and I've sent for some of their brochures.

Pixie, I've been on Tauck before and even at 24 I wasn't the youngest, but I'm sure thats probably not typical. I think it depends on the particular tour how great the odds are of a nice age mix. Tauck is a tough act to follow though, truly superior operation. I would think given its popularity their Aussie trips would be mixed ages, but maybe not. I'm considering both Tour and independent, there are advantages to both. The biggest advantage to Tours is its just less worries, you aren't alone, Tauck and A&F had really nice people... well, with one exception LOL theres always ONE on each tour who tries to take over the tour, but I digress I am a fan of B&B's, but not really of Hostels unless that means something different in Oz than it does here?

Sandi, Swain sounds familiar to me, I'll have to check out their website too.

Debbie, cool screen name! If I do go independent I'd probably do that, that way I'd be able to do SA, then Victoria, and maybe back to NSW or even Perth again, I really liked WA and when I was there before it was a limited time frame. Another possibility would be to take the Ghan, I think its the Ghan, train that goes from Adelaide to the Alice; that would be an interesting thing to do. Im just not certain if I'll do NT and/or Qld during this trip or not. I know, you could spend a entire month just in Qld and probably not see it all and God knows I barely touched Qld on my other trip that I probably missed a lot.
I agree, Debbie, one of the highlights of any trip to Australia is its people.
Its people, beets on hamburgers and a (in comparison to here) almost total lack of crime! I was just reading about Sydney in respect to crime and thought, my God for nearly 5 million people its like a giant Salt Lake City its so safe!

Thanks again everyone! I really appreciate the suggestions!
Jon_Eric is offline  
Jun 30th, 2003, 06:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Hi Jon-Eric
Greetings from Kangaroo Island.
My wife Christine and I are the owners of a B&B on KI and also have small group touring.
Both Adventure Charters and APT use our B&B (Correa Corner) and do a great job with tours on the island.
Please check out our website
Send us an email and I will forward details of our touring program, meals etc
If you book directly with us we are able to offer incentives.
What time of year are you thinking of coming over?
Hope this helps with a small part of your journey.
wm7901 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2003, 04:19 PM
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When I went to KI last July, Adventure Charters used Stranraer's and the Wanderer's Rest. I don't remember even hearing about Correa Corner or that they used that B&B.
OneWanderingJew is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2003, 09:34 PM
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prue is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 02:22 AM
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Hi all, this is my first day on this site. I am Australian and found some the comments on this thread fascinating. The comment about Sydney being crime-free!! Wow, nice to hear, and I wish it were true, but just be careful out there. And the comment about Australia being the least expensive holiday - double Wow. I guess it is all comparative. Since I've never been to USA I cannot make such comparisons. I think Australia is a great destination but compared to Australia, Bali is incredibly cheap; Singapore so clean; and Japan the safest place I've been to.The nicest people I ever met were the Boti people of West Timor. To be totally patriotic Australia runs second in all these categories!!!!

Really good to hear such positive comments about my own country - which is pretty good really
Samwise is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 04:43 AM
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Just a quick reply to OneWanderingJew
Adventure Charters did not use Correa Corner until we took over the business in October 2002
Wilderness Tours have also started using us as of January 2003
Australian Pacific Tours have been using us for some time
wm7901 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2003, 09:45 PM
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Hi everyone, Thanks Michael Kangaroo Island is definitely on my list. Oh, onewanderingjew is currently in Argentina, another favorite place of mine.

Samwise, I repeat compared TO HERE Sydney is virtually crime free though I should point out that was regarding violent crime specifically. US cities half the size of Sydney have astonishingly higher murder rates, so yes be proud mate!
Jon_Eric is offline  

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