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Alison F

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Alison F

Alison F

USA

Mar232008

Tour/Activity

Phillip Island: Penguins, Koalas and Kangaroos Day Tour from Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
We stayed in Melbourne so the ride to Phillip Island was long: close to two hours. Be prepared for a lot of bus time on this tour. The stop at the cattle farm is not very worthwhile unless you have yet to see any Australian wildlife. The koala stop was better than the cattle farm, as we saw several koalas. However, stopping at these places makes the ride to Phillip Island better. If you don't want these stops, I would suggest the Phillip Island Express Tour. The stop for dinner provided for many options, which was nice, but we also were there at the end of the high season, so choices may be fewer in the low season. All that being said, the penguin parade, which is why we went on the tour, was great! We upgraded to the private viewing platform and I'm glad we did. Instead of being with several thousand people, we got to watch the parade with less than two hundred people. We were within a few feet of the penguins as they strolled up the beach. Our driver, who was quite the entertaining character, decided to give us more time to watch the penguins as opposed to getting caught up in traffic which was much appreciated. Some tours leave shortly after the first groups of penguins come out of the water. We got to see penguins for about an hour, which was plenty of time. Highly recommended!

Mar222008

Tour/Activity

Yarra Valley Food and Wine Small Group Tour

Melbourne, Australia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
We had a great time on this tour! It was just the two of us so it was essentially a private tour. Our guide was polite, knowledgeable and accommodating. The wineries we visited had some good wines. We enjoyed DeBortoli, especially the cheese platter that accompanied the wine tasting. Lunch at Domaine was wonderful! Lunch was a perfect two course light lunch with four glasses of wine to taste with your food. The stop at Yering was enjoyable too. Highly recommended!

Mar192008

Tour/Activity

Michaelmas Cay Dive and Snorkel Cruise from Cairns

Cairns, Australia

My Rating
2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better

My Review
We went snorkeling and that part of the trip was very enjoyable. Some of the equipment aboard the ship for snorkeling was more worn than I expected, but it was sufficient. The lunch buffet aboard was also pretty good; definitely much better than we expected. However, it is about a two hour ride to reach Michaelmas Cay, which really cut into the time we could snorkel. While two hours may not seem like much, it is when the water is very choppy. I felt the purpose of this cruise was to sell you things aboard the boat more than seeing the reef. I kept being accosted by the boat photographer while snorkeling even though I had no interest in buying pictures. I think for what we got, this tour was pricey. There are definitely many other options for snorkeling if you look around, many of which are less expensive and probably less crowded. You may want to look into options that leave from Port Douglas if you're staying in that area. You might be able to get more reef time with less travel.

Mar182008

Tour/Activity

Cairns Night Zoo Safari and Barbecue Dinner

Cairns, Palm Cove or Port Douglas, Australia

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review
This was a lot of fun! Dinner included chicken, steak, and fish with salad, potatoes, and more. All the food was pretty good. Dinner was served in a covered pavilion which had plenty of wine and beer on tap. The ability to hand feed kangaroos was our favorite part of the night, closely followed by the koala petting, which was closely followed by one of the guides feeding crocodiles from within the crocodile enclosure. The Night Zoo is close to Cairns and Port Douglas and is well worth a trip if you're in the area. This is also a very kid-friendly outing. Highly recommended!

Mar122008

Tour/Activity

Sydney in Style: Lunch Cruise, Afternoon Sightseeing and Dinner at Summit Restaurant

Sydney, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
The harbor cruise itself was nice. However, the lunch buffet on the harbor cruise was disappointing and the only beverage included was tap water. The afternoon sightseeing was very enjoyable and our guide was great. We got to see much of Sydney and its various harbors. The dinner at the Summit was also very nice. You can't beat the view, especially as the sun is setting. The food was good too!

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