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Australia-New Zealand extravaganza Feb-Mar 2018?
Apr 15, 2018 11:08 AM 1416 Views (via Mobile)

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I had been wanting to go to Oz-NZ since 2013, but was unable to do so due to various reasons. Finally, I could manage to book it with Thomas Cook.

My wife and I landed at Brisbane at night and were picked up and taken to a hotel in Gold Coast. Since we had arrived a day early we had an extra half day before the rest of the people arrived. Right from the get go it was a great experience. We met Aruna Rasal, our tour manager, the next day. She was warm, friendly and well informed. Told us the details of the tour and all that we were to do over the next 20 days. She conducted us with respect and thoughtfulness. Mithila(Maithli, Mitali and many other names that she was called by) was the other tour manager. A young, fun loving girl with lots of pep and Josh.

Australia itself is a marvelous and a beautiful country. Each place we went to we were mesmerized. Although we found the cities of Melbourne and Sydney to be chaotic and also dirty like in India at places. But the smaller cities and towns were outstanding.

We especially liked Gold Coast, Cairns, the snorkeling at Green Island, the drive along the great ocean road, the twelve apostles, Blue Mountains and the icing was the visit to the Opera house and the Harbour Bridge.

On long drive days Aruna would keep the group engaged by getting introductions done for all and later getting people to sing or tell jokes and so on. Overall Australia was good fun. But the best was yet to come.

We left Australia for New Zealand one fine day and landed up at Auckland. Good for us as our tour manager continued to be Aruna. However, quite a few of the co-travellers changed and some were put into the other group. That we certainly didn't like as we had to renew our acquaintances once again. But it only took a day or two.

New Zealand is a different cup of tea. If Australia was beautiful, New Zealand is heaven on earth. Everywhere you look the beauty is breathtaking. Every sight is picture postcard setting. So much greenery(and as our driver told us - there are 80 shades of green in NZ and I don't doubt that), more sheep than people, vast open spaces, and everything you ever imagined in a beautiful place is here.

Auckland- their financial hub, Rotorua-glow worm caves, Queenstown - adventure capital( I did my first bungy jump here and sky diving too), the amazing Milford Sound cruise and the so many crystal clear and pure water lakes.

New Zealand is a country worth not only visiting but settling down in if it is possible. Freezing during winter but what the heck, merino wool comes from there and there are plenty of sheep per person. Wrap one around yourself. ??

Why one star less? Too big a group size. Resulting in very early check outs whenever travel to another city was involved.

Every meal was a feast and I came back weighing 3 kilos extra which I haven't been able to shed till now. ??. If you don't plan to shop then the Thomas Cook package is complete in every respect as every meal and stay is taken care of. Thank you Aruna, Mithila and Ria(the second tour manager in NZ). Our trip was all the memorable thanks to you guys. ????

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