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Edward W

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Edward W

Edward W

USA

Sep242008

Tour/Activity

2-Day Uluru (Ayers Rock) National Park Explorer Trip from Alice Springs

Alice Springs, concludes Ayers Rock, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
We needed a tour that would get us from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock and allow us to explore the rock. This one fit the bill nicely. It's a long, approximately 6-hour journey from Alice Springs to Ayers Rock on one long straight road through the desert with a couple of stops. One stop allows you to ride a camel, which I thoroughly recommend! The driver was quite informative, giving you information as you go. The sightseeing around the Olgas and Ayers Rock was great. The sunset and sunrise were a really memorable experience. We also enjoyed the partial hike around the base of the rock, for which the bus driver tells you about the Dreamtime Aboriginal stories related to the rock. Our only disappointment is that we thought the tour might be lead by an Aborigine, but we only saw a few the entire time we were in Ayers Rock.

My Photos

  • Didgeridoo demo

Sep242008

Tour/Activity

Great Ocean Road Small Group Eco Tour from Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
This is a quality day out. Our driver was great. Very informative. You stop at an Aboriginal center and for lunch on the way, as well as a rain forest and the Twelve Apostles and a few other stops. The worst part is they stop for fast food on the way home, so you find yourself stuffing McDonald's or Subway in the back of a dark van trying to balance everything on your knee. What's nice is they give you a PSP device to watch movies on the long journey back to Melbourne to pass the time. This was one of the best tours we took in our 3 weeks in Australia.

My Photos

  • London Bridge

Sep132008

Tour/Activity

Kuranda Scenic Railway Day Trip from Cairns

Cairns, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
They have this trip organized like clockwork. You board the train at the charming train station. The train journey is like stepping back in time and is quite picturesque. You arrive in Kuranda, a cute little town. We only had about 50 minutes there -- could have done with about 2 hours to enjoy it fully. It has tons of quality gift stores and cafes and great big banyan trees. We were then whisked off to the animal park, where we saw crocodiles, koalas, wallabies, etc. The lunch was great, buffet-style, where we enjoyed talking with other travelers. After lunch, we had the duck tour, which detailed life in the rain forest. We went back via the Skyrail over the lush rain forest, which was nice. Our only complaint was the entire day we felt we were herded like cattle from one thing to the next -- a little rushed, but well organized.

Sep082008

Tour/Activity

Barossa Valley with Hahndorf Tour from Adelaide

Adelaide, Australia

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

My Review
We booked several day trips on our Australian vacation. If I was to book it again, I would skip this day tour. There wasn't anything particularly wrong with it, it just wasn't that exciting. The best part was the excellent lunch at the Kaesler winery. It was probably one of the best meals of our entire trip. We arrived at Hahndorf late in the day and it was really dead with no atmosphere. It was just gift shops. It seemed overrated to us. Skip it!

Sep072008

Tour/Activity

Kangaroo Island in a Day Tour from Adelaide

Adelaide, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
We thoroughly enjoyed this day out. Our only wish is that we could have stayed longer or stayed overnight on the island. It is a very early morning, and it's quite a long journey to the ferry, and not that much available for breakfast on the ferry, so make sure you eat before you go or take snacks. Our only complaint is we spent too long at the seal beach.

Sep052008

Tour/Activity

Phillip Island Penguin Small Group Eco Tour from Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
The tour operator seemed like a quality tour company. They run small buses, have good drivers offering a wealth of information and provide PSP machines to watch videos on the way back from your destination in order to pass the time. The actual penguin parade was quite amazing and has to be seen to be believed. The only disappointment is you can't take photos. Make sure you dress warmly -- we went in September and needed gloves, hats and parkas. There's no time for an evening meal, so they have you buy a sandwich at your lunchtime take-away stop. If we did it again, we wouldn't bother doing that as the sandwich was gross and mushy by the end of the day. We would rather have picked something up near our hotel when we got back or requested room service. Overall, a memorable experience.

Sep032008

Tour/Activity

Melbourne City Sights Morning Tour with Optional Yarra Cruise

Melbourne, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
This was a good tour, and we learned things from the commentary but would have liked to have been able to get off the bus more. We learned that there is a free shuttle for tourists around the city, so if we'd known that, we probably would have saved our money. We prebooked the Yarra cruise, but we wished we'd skipped it as there were only 4 of us on the boat in September and it was kind of a repeat of things we'd already heard and seen by the bus or walking around.

Sep032008

Tour/Activity

Colonial Tramcar Restaurant Tour of Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review
Excellent food and service. The alcohol was free-flowing. The early sitting was nice in that it was still light enough to see everything out the window; we went in September. For some reason, I expected the scenery to be more exciting though. My only complaint is that it felt rushed. It was a little like, "Get in, sit down, eat, get out, bye!"

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