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Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand

Operated by: Trafalgar

18 Days from $8,519 per person
APR 2022 - MAR 2023
Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, New Zealand

Countries Visited

Australia, New Zealand ...more Australia, New Zealand

Locations Visited

Melbourne (VIC), Cairns, Sydney, Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown (Nz), Franz Josef, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch (Nz), Arthur's Pass ...more Melbourne (VIC), Cairns, Sydney, Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown (Nz), Franz Josef, Lake Tekapo, Christchurch (Nz), Arthur's Pass
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Melbourne

    Stylish and friendly Melbourne extends a warm welcome to your epic tour (flights to arrive prior to 12pm). You’ll soon see you’re staying right in the heart of the action on the banks of the Yarra River, the perfect springboard for your time in the city. After settling into your hotel, get to know your Travel Director and fellow travellers over a Welcome Reception at The General Assembly. Perched on the Yarra River’s South Wharf, this modern pub is a great introduction to Melbourne’s cosmopolitan vibe. Relax and tuck into a three-course dinner with specialties such as Fisherman’s bend pie, schnitzel, and mac & cheese croquettes, washing it down with your choice of local wines and 15 beers on tap.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Crowne Plaza
  2. Day 2 Uncover Melbourne's Laneways

    Delve into the city this morning on a private walk with your Travel Director to discover the little lanes, arcades, and café society of stylish Melbourne. View its famous, edgy street art–in the striking contrast to federation buildings and churches that Melbourne is known for—and immerse yourself in the city’s robust coffee aroma, admiring the exquisite Victorian façades lining grand boulevards. After your orientation, you have the rest of the day to get a feel for the city strolling or finding a spot on the Yarra River to grab a drink, taking advantage of the time to do a little souvenir shopping, relaxing back at your hotel, or choosing an optional experience such as the popular viewing of the daily sea-to-shore trek of the tiny, adorable penguins on Phillip Island. This rare wildlife encounter is a fascinating look at the penguins’ life and one you can’t find anywhere else in the world.

    meals Breakfast
  3. Day 3 Cairns, in the Tropics

    Get ready for a change of scenery and “locals” today as you fly north to Cairns. Then get right in the action meeting a Local Specialist for a private wildlife encounter at Hartley's Crocodile Adventures on a boat cruise through where the crocs are the stars of the show popping up from the murky waters or lazing on the bank. Safe in your boat, your local guide will give you the inside scoop on the life and habits of these Cairns’ area locals. Inspired by your introduction to wildlife, you’ll love your next experience helping take part in a Rainforest Restoration project to protect the natural wonder of the nearby Notophyll Vine Forest, an area older than the Amazon. Your helping-hand planting trees supports the protection of this rare type of dry rainforest from development and restores it to its former glory as an important wildlife corridor rich with native birds - a mission you’ll feel good contributing to. Back in town, enjoy your evening on your own sampling some of the city’s famous seafood around the Cairns Marina or visiting the Cairns Night Markets where you’ll find it hard to take your pick of over 70 open-air stalls of local specialities.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hilton
  4. Day 4 View Colourful Coral and Tropical Fish

    No matter where you hail from, today is a bucket list experience exploring the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef as we set sail on a high-speed catamaran —and you have a full day to do it. Kick the day off, then don your mask and fins for a snorkel (equipment provided) exploring this underwater wonderland up close. You’ll think you’re inside an aquarium as you wind your way through the rainbow of reefs and fish. Or, stay dry in your semi-submersible, air-conditioned craft with an underwater observatory to view the tropical species that live in the world’s largest coral reef system. Your local guide shares all their insights on the reef and its ecology. Learn about the colourful fish and plants that call the Reef home and why it’s so important to protect this beautiful and fragile ecosystem. Refuel with lunch and afternoon tea and coffee under the glorious Aussie sunshine before you cruise back into the city, all smiles after an amazing day.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
  5. Day 5 Cairns, it's All Yours

    Soak up the atmosphere of sunny Cairns with a free day to explore the town, head further afield, or relax by your hotel pool. You can also choose to join a popular Optional Experience aboard the Kuranda Scenic Railway through a lush forest past gorges, ravines, and waterfalls to Kuranda 'village in the rainforest.' Explore this quaint village of trails, wildlife sanctuaries, shops, and markets within a World Heritage rainforest before returning to the lowlands soaring above the canopy on the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Tonight, join the group to trade tales from the day at Ochre Restaurant. With views of the inlet and mountains, watch the boats come in over the Harbour Lights’ boardwalk as you enjoy Australian cuisine featuring the best local produce. Try their dry old Tablelands beef or Salt and Pepper Prawn with a craft beer, glass of wine from their extensive list, or cocktail highlighting their largest selection of Australian spirits in the region.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
  6. Day 6 Fly to Glorious Sydney

    We’re only six days into our Australia and New Zealand tour and the journey continues leaving the golden beaches of Cairns behind and heading to Sydney, Australia’s largest city, harbour, and fun-loving metropolis. Settle into your hotel in lively Darling Harbour - the best location when visiting Sydney - before exploring it from the water on a sunset Harbour Cruise Regional Dinner. With spectacular views all around, you’ll watch day turn to night from their spacious decks or inside expansive windows as you enjoy dinner on the water. From Circular Quay and Shark Island to magnificent waterfront homes, beaches, and parklands, you’re starting your time in Sydney in the best - and most relaxing - way. Soak in the beloved Opera House illuminated against the night sky and Sydney Harbour Bridge stretching across the harbour like a diamond necklace.

    meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
    hotel Hyatt Regency
  7. Day 7 Sydney's Vibrant Inner West

    Relax and enjoy a late start to the day before seeing another side of the city and exploring the true local side of Sydney. Tour Newtown, a community rich with lively culture and home to numerous street art sites that will surprise you. Continue through the suburb of Marrickville, recently crowned the 10th “coolest” and most liveable neighbourhood in the world, before arriving at Dear Delicious Café to Connect With Locals. Meet the owner Greg in his bountiful, sustainable garden and learn how he’s brought urban farming to the community before enjoying a tasty Be My Guest Lunch showcasing his fresh, local produce such as beets, kale, and aromatic mushrooms. After lunch you’ll head to Batch Brewery to meet founder Andrew and join a masterclass and tasting learning how his team creates inspired limited release batches like Mole Poblano Choco Chilli Stout using sustainable practices. Make sure to try one of their specialties like Pash the Magic Dragon or Tasman Tango South Pacific Ale. After a full day of the food and drink of Sydney, your evening is free to relax or do some shopping around Darling Harbour.

    meals Breakfast, Be My Guest
  8. Day 8 Sydney Harbour from Another Angle

    Begin your last day in Sydney visiting Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay, a tranquil hideaway overlooking Sydney Harbour and the perfect place to spend your last day in town, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Meet a local volunteer and learn the story of how the garden was transformed, beginning in 1992 from unused railway land at the foot of founder Wendy’s house into a beautiful, whimsical, tucked away retreat. Stroll the grounds, poking around the nooks and crannies where shrubs, herbs, and towering trees line meandering paths and find a quiet corner to enjoy a moment of peace amid a dazzling city. You’ll no doubt want to stay a while - just as the resident parrots, gulls, kookaburras and wagtails have done - but as your time draws to a close, take comfort in knowing your visit provides a contribution to the ongoing maintenance by volunteer gardeners of this enchanting garden. On your last night in town, take one last walk around the harbour before sitting down to a Regional Dinner on the waterfront saying a fond farewell to Australia before experiencing a change of scenery on the next leg of your journey in New Zealand.

    meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
  9. Day 9 Kia Ora Auckland New Zealand

    Say a fond hoo roo to Australia on your Australia and New Zealand tour as you board your flight to Auckland. Upon arrival, ease into the warm, welcoming embrace of the City of Sails before meeting your Travel Director for dinner at your hotel right in the heart of the city, Gusto at the Grand. You’ll love their Italian cuisine with a New Zealand flair such as made-in-house pastas and made-from-scratch risotto and no doubt full of anticipation for your first full day in New Zealand tomorrow.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel The Grand by SkyCity
  10. Day 10 Delve into Auckland

    This morning, you’ll see how the city earned its name as the ‘City of Sails’ as you jump right in with a city sightseeing tour showcasing the beautiful waterfront of Mission Bay, historic overlook of Bastion Point, and spacious gardens and sunken pool at the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial offering sweeping views of Waitemata Harbour and the North Shore. You’ll even head out to the Auckland Museum located on the dormant volcano Pukekawa, meaning 'hill of bitter memories' referring to tribal battles fought on the site until 1828. Cap off your tour visiting the quaint shops and art galleries in the stylish suburb of Parnell. Pop into one of their many chocolate cafes for a treat after a full morning of exploring. Your afternoon is free to relax, stroll the waterfront, or take an optional trip outside the city soaking skyline views as your ferry takes you to Rangitoto Island, the youngest volcano in New Zealand. Climb this icon walking through lava fields to the highest point on the island where you'll be greeted with panoramic views of Auckland from another vantage point - a great way to top off your first full day in New Zealand.

    meals Breakfast
  11. Day 11 Rotorua, the Cultural Hub

    Journey through the dramatic scenery and landscapes of Waikato, passing through Cambridge, on your way to New Zealand’s cultural capital, Rotorua. On Cambridge’s tree-lined main street, learn about the town’s claim to fame as the training grounds for thoroughbred racehorses and famous jockeys. Your time in Rotorua kicks off to an extra cute start with the first of two MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences today, visiting Rainbow Springs Nature Park for a tour of the National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa with a Local Specialist. At this national leader in kiwi husbandry, learn about the work being done to save this rare native bird. Get up close and see kiwi eggs being incubated, the hatching process, and even newly hatched kiwi chicks - leaving you with an appreciation for those trying to save New Zealand’s national bird. This evening, Dive Into Culture at a Regional Dinner at Tamaki Maori Village where you’ll journey into the forest to a time of warriors and ancient traditions. You’ll be welcomed by their Poi and Haka dances - and have the chance to join in - before enjoying an authentic Hangi (cooked underground) dinner of kumara (Maori for sweet potato), potatoes, carrots, lamb, beef, finished with New Zealand’s national dessert, Pavlova, and live music under the stars.

    meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
    hotel Millennium
  12. Day 12 Adventure Capital Queenstown

    Hello, Hobbit fans, today is a bucket list adventure to the charming village of Hobbiton, the movie set of the now iconic The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit Trilogies. Enjoy breakfast “on set” before you’re treated to guided tour through the 12-acre set stopping in the Alexander family sheep farm, past Hobbit Holes, and the Mill as your guides points out how the movie was made, famous locations, and the sets’ artistic details. Even if you’ve never seen the films or read the books, you’ll be entranced by the rolling green hills and lush landscape surrounded by the distant Kaimai Range. It’s no wonder this beautiful land has become the site of a worldwide sensation. After a full day in the countryside, you’ll return to Auckland to board your flight to Queenstown, adventure capital of the world. Settle into town and talk to your Travel Director for recommendations of the best restaurants to soak in the city views you’ve come to love.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Millennium
  13. Day 13 Cruise Milford Sound Fiord

    Rise and shine journeying through some of the best natural and dramatic landscapes you'll ever experience along the shores of Lake Wakatipu and over the Devil's Staircase to Te Anau. Stroll the boardwalks of Mirror Lakes and amble through peaceful trees before watching water rush over rocks at the Chasm in the Cleddau Valley. Emerge from the hand-hewn Homer Tunnel towards Mitre Peak—named after its resemblance to a bishop’s mitre headdress—and Lady Bowen Falls before reaching World Heritage listed national park, Milford Sound. You get to the experience this treasure on a scenic cruise getting up close to sheer cliffs, white-capped peaks, and waterfalls as you watch for dolphins, penguins, and seals. Take it all in as you learn how the dramatic landscapes of Milford Sound were carved out by the erosion of ancient glacial ice. After a day of natural beauty, return to Queenstown for a free evening to stay in and wind down or dine at one of the restaurants overlooking Lake Wakatipu.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
  14. Day 14 Indulge Yourself in Queenstown

    It’s your final day in Queenstown and the world is your oyster. Oenophiles will want to join an Optional Experience touring three premium boutique vineyards in the famous Otago region known for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. You’ll indulge in vineyard and barrel hall tours complete with early history of the region and, of course, plenty of tastings as well as a platter lunch with the vines as your backdrop. Perhaps cruise across Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm for an authentic Kiwi Farming experience complete with a sheep shearing demonstration and gourmet barbecue lunch. With more sheep than people in New Zealand, you’ll know this is the real thing! This evening, we take a step back in time with our Travel Director over a Regional Dinner at the Postmasters Cottage built in 1907 in nearby historic Arrowtown. You’ll learn how after the cottage was almost demolished by developers, it was then saved and purchased by the passionate local community and ultimately restored and embellished with verandas and gardens. Lastly, sit down to fresh, local food and wines matched with friendly service that the kiwis are known for.

    meals Breakfast, Regional Dinner
  15. Day 15 Breathtaking Lake Tekapo

    Leave the alpine wonderland of Queenstown for Lake Tekapo, travelling through Arrowtown’s lovingly restored mining cottages, and Cromwell on the banks of Lake Dunstan. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped inside a painting as you see the iconic Church of the Good Shepherd perched on the shores of the lake and built with stones gathered within a five-mile radius. Then the night sky calls as you spend the evening stargazing in the world-renowned UNESCO Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve. Your Local Specialist will show you the famous Southern Cross, Magellanic Cloud, and Milky Way as you gaze up in wonder and get a closer look using a powerful optical telescope. Cap off your adventures in this beautiful part of the world with an overnight at Peppers Bluewater Resort overlooking Lake Tekapo. Experience this location known for its bountiful stars strolling the sprawling grounds or from the comfort of your room.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Peppers Bluewater Resort
  16. Day 16 Christchurch, the Garden City

    Watch the sun rise over the lake or enjoy a relaxed start before heading north through South Canterbury, en route to Christchurch. You’ll stop in the charming town of Geraldine, known for its boutique shops, a farmers' market and - perhaps most unusual - the world's largest knitted jersey! You’ll have time to stretch your legs, enjoy lunch in one of the many cafes, and stroll the quaint town and unique galleries and stores - maybe pop inside the Geraldine Historical Society Museum or their notable vintage car and machinery museum. And if you’re still feeling peckish, visit the original Barkers shop showcasing local jams, condiments and sauces, or Talbots Forest Cheese for complimentary samples. Wherever you explore, you’ll be immersed in beauty as the town is surrounded by mountains and ancient native forest including huge trees such as the totara, kahikatea, and matai. As you take in the scenery of this farming community, you’ll see why fishing, alpaca walking, and petting zoos are also popular in the area. After a day soaking up country life, you’ll arrive in Christchurch ready to explore the Garden City.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Distinction
  17. Day 17 Sights of Innovative Christchurch

    You’ll enjoy your last full day in Christchurch, a beautiful English city rich in history and thriving after rebuilding itself from the devastating 2011 earthquake. Everywhere you look you can easily see how it’s earned its name, the Garden City. Begin at the Transitional Cathedral in Latimer Square, the temporary home of the Christchurch Cathedral, to admire its colourful stained-glass windows and sustainable cardboard construction that gives it the nickname “The Cardboard Cathedral.” You’ll take a tour of the highlights of the city including Canterbury Museum, Christchurch Earthquake Memorial, Bridge of Remembrance, and see the English punting boaters in their striped hats along the Avon River. After your tour, you’ll Connect With Locals in the beautiful home - and former horse stables - of Tim and Isabelle Weston for a unique experience over a Be My Guest morning tea, coffee, scones, and cake. Motor enthusiasts will love hearing about Isabelle’s father John Britten’s achievements building the Britten V1000 motorcycle, built right here in the Britten Stables’ garage. After an insightful afternoon, join your Travel Director and travel mates and toast your incredible adventure across Australia and New Zealand with a celebratory three-course Farewell Dinner featuring produce from the Canterbury region.

    meals Breakfast, Be My Guest, Farewell Dinner
  18. Day 18 Farewell Christchurch

    Your adventure sadly comes to an end this morning. Before your transfer you to the Christchurch Airport, enjoy one last breakfast with your travel mates reflecting on your adventure, food, and wildlife-filled experiences across Australia and New Zealand (flights anytime).

    meals Breakfast
Contrasts of Australia and New Zealand
Price Includes

Dining Highlights

  • 2 Be My Guests
  • 16 Breakfasts
  • 7 Dinners
  • 1 Farewell Dinner
  • 1 Lunch
  • 2 Regional Dinners
  • 1 Welcome Reception

First class travel Highlights

  • A Trafalgar bonus - all Intra-Air Flights: Melbourne to Cairns, Cairns to Sydney, Sydney to Auckland, Auckland to Queenstown
  • All land transport shown. All transfers shown
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • Optional Experiences and free time

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Discover Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Queenstown, and Christchurch
  • Explore Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua, and Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve in Lake Tekapo with a Local Specialist
  • Scenic Cruise on the Great Barrier Reef, Milford Sound
  • View Darling Harbour from your Sydney hotel room, Mt. Cook, Church of the Good Shepherd
  • Visit Hartley's Crocodile Adventures in Cairns, Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach in Sydney, and Wendy's Secret Garden in Lavender Bay
  • Connect With Locals Eat well. Feel well. This lunch is made up of simple honest ingredients, nothing to hide.
  • Dive Into Culture Experience Maori traditions at a fun and entertaining evening including a cultural performance and traditional Hangi meal.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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April 2022
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$8,519
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$8,954
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Jan 26 Thu
Feb 12 Sun
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$9,151
February 2023
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Feb 2 Thu
Feb 19 Sun
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$9,151
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Feb 16 Thu
Mar 5 Sun
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$9,151
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Feb 23 Thu
Mar 12 Sun
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
$9,151
March 2023
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Mar 2 Thu
Mar 19 Sun
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
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Mar 9 Thu
Mar 26 Sun
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Mar 16 Thu
Apr 2 Sun
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TODAY'S PRICE - Based on twin share
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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
James Mackenzie
Monday, December 9, 2019
Service
They answered my questions about the tour. Worked out payment schedules to suit our finances.
Vacation
Great tour directors on both tours. We would have preferred a smaller tour group, but the tour directors handled everything just fine.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are so happy that you enjoyed your trip. Thank you for taking the time to write.
Thursday, December 12, 2019
Trusted Customer
Monday, April 1, 2019
Service
Responded quickly to questions, very helpful with flights (made sure our Global Entry Numbers were submitted), had useful advice for the trip.
Vacation
The Australian portion of the trip was very good. Our travel director was very knowledgeable and helpful, and there weren't too many people booked on the trip. Optional experiences were also good. There were way too many people on the New Zealand portion of the trip and the day we flew to New Zealand was horrible. We spent the entire day waiting or traveling. We had to leave at 5:30 to pick up another group of tourists at a different hotel and ended up waiting forever at the airport for some of the others. Although our experiences in New Zealand were wonderful and the travel director was helpful, he talked WAY too much on the coach. Information about the country, it's people, plants, animals, landscape, etc. is VERY much appreciated, but jokes and personal information are not, nor were we interested in watching commercials. The sound system on the coach was way too loud and there was no way to tune them or the travel director out. Fewer people and less talk would have made the experience much more enjoyable. Both countries are amazing and we are glad we went.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you so much for the detailed feedback. We will be sure to share your comments with the Quality Control team at Trafalgar and ask for immediate improvement. We are glad to see that you enjoyed both countries despite the issues you encountered.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Ahsanuddin Ansari
Sunday, March 3, 2019
Service
Very helpful, took care of all the details, provided detailed and complete documents. Had to change my departure day due to bad weather and flight delays. Worked with me to make sure I had the right connections and all flights were confirmed. Notified the Tour Director in Australia that my wife and I will be joining the group a day late.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are sorry to hear about your weather delay, but glad to see that you arrived safely and were able to join the group and enjoy the rest of your trip.
Monday, March 4, 2019
Vacation
Felt a little too pricy since didn't realize that the airfare within Australia/New Zealand were not included in the advertised price, which probably was just the land tour price. A little misleading.
Jack Jimenez
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Service
the guides were good-Marty was flatout outstanding in every way. The accomadations and food were very good We saw a lot . I would recommend Get to everyone.
Vacation
excellent in all ways - highly recommend
Trusted Customer
Friday, May 18, 2018
Service
Guides were courteous, knowledgeable and very professional.
Vacation
Outstanding. Will travel with your organization again.
Louise Sincaglia
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Service
Very helpful. answered every question making you feel very comfortable.
Vacation
The trip was well planned and covered everything I wanted to see.
Cheryl Huffman
Sunday, March 18, 2018
Service
The experiences Trafalger put together on this trip were wide and varying. Guides were excellent (Australia) and good (New Zealand).
Vacation
For the price, I expected a smaller (30-35) group. A FULL bus load, matched with the time of year (i.e. Chinese New Year) ensured CROWDS in every venue we traveled.
Dorothy Englund
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Service
THE HOTELS, FOOD, PLACES I VISITED WERE EXCEL;ENT. I ENJOYED THE OTHER EOPLE ON THE TOUR. THEY WERE FRIENDLY AND INCLUDED MEISINCE I WAS TRAVELING ALONE. THE TOUR GUIDES WERE KNOWLEDGABLE AND HELPFUL ESPECIALLY ALAN. IT WAS A GREAT TRIP AND I AM GLAD I WENT. IT WAS THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME BECAUSE I WILL NEVER GO AGAIN.
Vacation
I LIKED NEW ZEALAND THE BEST.
Trusted Customer
Friday, July 29, 2016
Service
Booking process was easy.
Vacation
Had 2 great guides, Kyle and Marti. Hotels and excursions were all excellent.
Trusted Customer
Sunday, March 6, 2016
Service
I was traveling alone. When I met the "GET" group in Auxland. NZ, I was the ONLY person from that group. No one ever informed me of that before I left.
Response from Grand European Travel:
This trip was operated by our sister company Trafalgar Tours/AAT Kings. We do try to be clear in our brochure, payment receipts and travel documents and arrival instructions, highlighting the operating company. If we did not communicate this properly to you, please accept our apologies. Grand European Travel
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Vacation
The hotels, except the Four Points in Sydney were way nicer than I anticipated. The Treafalgar tour guide in Auatrlia was very good. How did i ever end up with agroupd named Big Journey and AAT Kings?
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