For many travellers, the lands down under, Australia and New Zealand, are the ultimate dream destinations; the once-in-a-lifetime adventure at the top of many bucket lists. I have been to Australia and New Zealand and this February will make a return visit , as tour leader for Craig Travel's popular annual tour.
What I love about this tour are the many magical experiences which have been included. Instead of simply seeing, we will be doing. And to me, that's what a great travel experience is really all about.
For example, in New Zealand we will split into little groups and enjoy dinner and an overnight with local families. Next day, we are back together as a group and will share stories of this adventure. My husband and I have been good friends with the hosts we met during our dinner experience at their home years ago. We have since visited with them at their home and they have come to Canada.
In spectacular Milford Sound, we'll enjoy a luncheon cruise, sailing up close and personal, past cascading waterfalls and towering Mitre Peak. This huge U-shaped valley with its sheer sides, hanging valleys, waterfalls and stunning size and beauty will leave us in awe.
We'll spend a full day on the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage-listed reef, a living masterpiece so big it can be seen from outer space. The reef is surrounded by pristine, palm-fringed islands and below the turquoise waters, we'll explore by glass-bottom boat or snorkeling, the rainbow-coloured coral islands and marine life. This is an amazing experience and one I still treasure from my past visit there.
Another truly thrilling adventure awaits as we climb aboard the narrow gauge rail train which takes us to Kuranda. We'll travel, high up, through lush rainforests and a stunning gorge; then be entertained by a group of Aboriginal dancers and perhaps have a chance to play the didgeridoo! This is a fabulous day, I've done it and can't wait to experience it all again!
In the heart of the Outback, we'll explore the base of famous Uluru (Ayers Rock), one of the natural wonders of the world and a sacred site. That evening, we'll dine under a million stars in a secluded setting in the middle of the desert as the sound of the didgeridoo fills the air and the sun sets slowly over the sacred rock.
There are many more highlights to enjoy and I invite you to join me ! With two, three and four night stays in most centres, it makes for a more relaxed, leisurely pace, but at the same time, this incredible journey is packed with new experiences, lots of fun and many lasting memories!