Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Exploring Sydney Harbour and Manly Beach by Ferry

Sydney Harbour stretches for many kilometers, radiating outwards from North and South Head, the two sides of the entrance to the Harbour itself.

The Sydney commuter ferries run an extensive network of ferry options from Circular Quay throughout the various bays, inlets and stretches of open water that make up the Harbour area. It is very easy to catch a ferry that stops off at a number of the small suburb docking points on a regular basis. Perhaps appreciation of just how big Sydney Harbour is, is provided by taking the Manly ferry from Circular Quay to Manly and back. This journey crosses the entrance from the ocean and lands at Manly, a bayside suburb that has frontage to the Harbour as well as to the ocean. Manly is known for its beach culture, from surfing, surf life saving and swimming to the marine zoos showing the sealife of both the Harbour and the nearby ocean.

Catch the Manly Ferry from Circular Quay. As a tip, if making a day trip of it, take the slower conventional ferry for a relaxed look on the way over to Manly and then the fast catamaran back to the city.

When you get off the ferry at Manly, it is a short walk through the Corso, a mall connecting the ferry terminal on the harbourside with the Pacific Ocean and Manly surf beach. There are loads of specialty shops, restaurants, pubs and interesting characters all along the esplanade north and south of the Corso.

A particularly good walk is one up and over North Head. The trail is easy to pick up from the north end of the Esplanade at Manly Beach

If you like exploring cities on your own and to get a feel for the way the locals live, this is a good day’s introduction to Sydney Harbour and its beach culture. For more information go to our website,

Friday, November 27, 2015

Tasmania Self Drive Package - 8 Day/7 Night

New 8 Day/7 Night Self Drive Packages for Tasmania!

Wilderness & Beaches…History and Nature Walks…NEW 7 Night Packages ready to go that include accommodations, rental vehicle, entrances to places like Port Arthur, MONA and boat excursions to Wineglass Bay (since you might not want to do the 3 hour hike!). Stay at Cradle Mountain, and finally, take a cruise on the Gordon River. In style. Spend time on Tasmania’s east coast to enjoy the crystal blue waters of Freycinet and spend time at Friendly Beaches.

There are 2 Packages ready to go – first one called Wilderness & Beaches has you arriving at either the Hobart Airport or Launceston Airport (we’ll check your dates to be sure you don’t miss the Hobart Saturday Salamanca Market, if interested). If the wilderness is driving you, then land at Launceston Airport and you’re in position to stay at Cradle Mountain and then move on to Tasmania’s west coast – where ocean beach is a great example of cool temperate beaches – the crashing waves reminds you that you are in the path of the roaring “40’s.”

You’ll walk through the wilderness path in Mt Field National Park and experience the man ferns, huge swamp gums and Russell Falls, one of Australia’s most spectacular wilderness waterfalls….and it’s only 20 minutes from the carpark!

The second package, History and Nature Walks, has more time in Hobart and Port Arthur to study the history of the convicts and get the real story on transportation to all of Australia. The Port Arthur Historic Site has been restored beautifully and is now a major example of how life was for the Convicts in the mid 1800’s. There are loads of walks, especially on the Tasman Peninsula near Port Arthur that will show you some of the most amazing ocean views and cliff top vistas out over the Tasman Sea. The Sydney to Hobart yachts turn around the end of the Tasman Peninsula for the final run up to the finish line in Hobart.
Both Packages include a Wineglass Bay nature cruise with lunch and while at Freycinet, visit a vineyard, a marine farm and Kate’s Berry Farm to check out the local wine and food. Obviously, seafood is at it’s best on Tasmania’s East Coast.

A night is included in Launceston, Tasmania’s major northern city where you can visit the Tamar Valley wineries in their spectacular valley hillside locations. Walks in the Cataract Gorge at Launceston provide a unique experience in local wilderness right in the heart of a major city.

For more information, visit 8 Day 7 Night Packages on

Sunday, November 1, 2015

10 Days in Australia - Splitting Up Your Time

You really want to go to experience all that wonderful wildlife, but you only have 10 days to do it. You can stretch an extra day or two to cover the travel time and give you 10 days on the ground Downunder, but that’s about it.

So…how do you decide where to go, and for how long?  You see the packaged tours and they are usually too long and miss something that you really want to do. Customise your Trip instead.

It is usually a bit rushed to try and spend less than 3 days in a particular location, so saying you want to visit Sydney, the Reef, Tasmania and Kangaroo Island in the 10 day span is pretty counter productive. You will get to know a lot about Australian airports. Remember, Australia is about the same size as the continental U.S.A. Splitting your time up too much results in flitting from point to point without getting to really see it.

Work with a Travel Planner on  There are two levels of of trips – Deluxe and Budget. The real difference between the two is the level of the hotel and the offerings of small group trips versus seat in coach day tours. In the deluxe arena, there are private driver/guides for a few 4 Wheel Drive trips to get you away from the coaches. So, you can stay at a lower level hotel, and put the money in going off the beaten track. Or, you can stay in better hotels and take the coach trips.

It is a good idea for a first trip to include Sydney and the Reef – your third place to visit can be decided by whether your interests are in wildlife, cities, wilderness walking or zip lining in the wilderness type activities. The experiences are in different locations and a Travel Planner knows how to mix them in to your final trip so you’ve included everything what you want. This is how you do not waste time unnecessarily.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

6 Day – All of Tasmania Tour

Tasmania – How to do it without a car!
Cradle Mountain, Freycinet, Wineglass Bay, Hobart, Port Arthur, West Coast & Strahan.
Even if you are a single traveler, this trip is a great way to see how beautiful Tasmania really is while you are tasting some of its excellent food products and walking in its famous wilderness.

If you are not driving, it is often very difficult to get to the coasts with single tours.  This NEW 6 DAY Tasmania Tour takes all the guesswork out of the trip.  Accommodation is included (dormitory or private) and a local driver/guide makes sure you get to see the sights and take part in the activities and food tastings.  All this from about A$110. per day per person, depending on accommodation level.
The trip leaves Hobart each Sunday and is going to be very popular.  Make sure you book early here. 
The schedule is really fun!  After visiting Port Arthur Historic Convict Site and the Tasman Peninsula  for the fabulous ocean views and history on the first day, it is up the Derwent Valley to Russell Falls and the beginning of the western mountains.
On Day 3, head for Tasmania’s West Coast to Strahan via Montezuma Falls and climb some of the world’s best sand dunes at Henty Dunes.
Day 4 takes you to Cradle Mountain and then on to Sheffield and honey and salmon tasting.   The next day takes in the East Coast, Wineglass Bay and Freycinet.  The Bay of Fires has some of the most amazing cool temperate beaches in the world and here is your chance to go on the beach.  The finale is a visit to Kate’s Berry Farm to taste Tasmania fruit products and even fruit wine.
The tour finishes in Hobart…and you have seen it all!
Again, book early here

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