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Travel agent recommendations please - Australia and New Zealand

Travel agent recommendations please - Australia and New Zealand

Mar 20th, 2013, 10:22 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 36
Travel agent recommendations please - Australia and New Zealand

HI all,

Looking for recomendations on a good travel planner for independent travel to New Zealand and Australia.

Our requirements are pretty minimal - Auckland, Cairns (inner and outer Barrier Reef) and a Koala experience. We are open to other suggestions and feedback on Queenstown, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and/or Christchurch. One traveler is 40 and one is 71, so not a lot of "adventure" activity. Mid range hotels and some day trips.

Had been working with About Australia but they are MIA - our first agent, Carly, was there on Friday then gone Monday. Had to start the process over with Paul, the owner, and had to book by March 14th. We had a few things to add (flights, glow worms and a helicopter tour) and multiple emails and calls to him have not been returned. So, we start planning again for a third time.
kaley1kt is offline  
Mar 20th, 2013, 02:44 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,547
Why not plan your trip yourself? This forum is full of people who will help you out - free of charge.
Melnq8 is online now  
Mar 20th, 2013, 04:45 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,691
I suggest you try this fellow, Andrew Haffenden, http://naturetravelspecialists.com/index.html

Commercial alert. He books tours with me and I am using him to help in the arranging of some of my time in Costa Rica.
AlanJG is offline  
Mar 21st, 2013, 10:27 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 36
Thanks!

I did start to plan myself but the flights alone hit a higher price point than the entire package offered to my by About Australia.
kaley1kt is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2013, 03:02 AM
  #5  
tt7
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 367
I have never heard of About Australia (but then no reason why I would have, particularly as I have no idea where you and they are located) but if an agent could (a) offer me an entire package for cheaper than I could find the airfare and (b) told me I "had to book by March 14" the alarm bells would be ringing very, very loud .... particularly if the agent vanishes and the owner then doesn't return calls or emails. I hope you didn't give them any money.

As Melnq8 suggests, why not plan it yourself? Coming to Oz is a pretty well-trodden path and there are lots of people around here who can provide advice (generally unbiased = no commission to pay). Getting an entire package for less then you can find the airfare is unlikely. Agents may have access to some "deals" but frankly, from where I sit, agents don't offer much that you can't do yourself, given modern technology.

Your plans seem somewhat vague so I'm not sure how any agent would put a package together for you without some greater specificity. Where are you coming from (the U.S.?). How long are you coming for? When? Where do you want to go - you mention Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch and Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Why those places - what is it you want to do?

Said another way, do you have specific places you want to go (thus probably requiring you to arrange it yourself or find an agent that will put a 'package' together for you) or are you happy to take a pre-existing package (the 'grand tour of Oz' etc.) that would probably cover most of where you want to go but wouldn't necessarily be tailored to your specific locations and wants?

The first thing anybody usually says is that if you want to come to Oz and NZ in the same trip, you need the time to do so - a few weeks to a month or more. For Oz, the most obvious hit-the-highspots tour would be something like Sydney-Melbourne-Uluru-Cairns. If you can be more specific about timeframes, what you want to see etc., I'm sure people around here can provide advice.
tt7 is offline  
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