Australia in December Trip Report

DCPhotoGal

Photographer and Mom to 2 Princesses
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Greetings from Sydney! Since I know several of other DIS folks are headed here in a few days, I thought I would get a head start on my trip report while I'm here. I'm not having great luck with uploading photos, but I will share what I've got so far with text. It's warm and festive here right now.

http://travel.veralana.com/2017/12/17/australia-sydney/

I will keep updating as I can.
 

ozliz

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 29, 2013
Following along. As an Aussie (not from Sydney but I visit fairly often) it’s always interesting to see a visitor’s perspective. For the record, it wasn’t the exchange rate that made the meal in Circular Quay expensive, it was the location. The food down there is all overpriced but if you go elsewhere for food (there’s a great food court with nice fresh and healthy options nearby - plus Zumbo’s patisserie which is definitely not healthy) then you lose the view so people pay the Circular Quay prices. Hopefully you got to experience some better Australian food while here.
 

DCPhotoGal

Photographer and Mom to 2 Princesses
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Following along. As an Aussie (not from Sydney but I visit fairly often) it’s always interesting to see a visitor’s perspective. For the record, it wasn’t the exchange rate that made the meal in Circular Quay expensive, it was the location.
Thanks yes, I just meant I hadn't adjusted to buying in Australian dollars yet, so I didn't have a good sense of how much it converted to, but it did seem pricey :) A lot of our meals have been provided with the tour, so we haven't had to buy too many on our own. Dinner was on our own last night (day 2), but we were so full from lunch we didn't really need dinner.
 
  • acndis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2012
    Great report! We are leaving for Sydney on Wednesday. We are currently in Auckland, NZ and loving it! If Australia is 1/2 as great as NZ, this is going to be a great adventure. Keep the report coming and have fun!
     

    AllisonGsav

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2015
    I am following along also! We are an ABD loyal family but are here in Austraila right now with the Abercrombie and Kent family tour. We wanted to be able to compare the two providers. Hope you have a great trip. It’s beautiful here!!
     
  • Zosha

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 4, 2014
    Another Aussie here! I love reading about Aus through other people's eyes. Enjoy the trip. Can't wait to read more.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Trip report looks great so far! Looking forward to more!

    I am following along also! We are an ABD loyal family but are here in Austraila right now with the Abercrombie and Kent family tour. We wanted to be able to compare the two providers. Hope you have a great trip. It’s beautiful here!!
    I'll be interested to hear what you thought of Abercrombie and Kent.

    Sayhello
     
  • AllisonGsav

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2015
    We are here in Austrailia with A and K family and wanted to be able to compare the two companies. We have also traveled with Tauck Bridges. Arrival in Sydney was great, plane on time and our kids slept about 10 hours on the flight from SFO. It was easy to spot our a and k escort as he had a big sign with our family name and we weee whisked off to the sprinter van and off to the Four Seasons. Location is perfect and I’m a sucker for a good hotel. Our view from our adjoining rooms is spectacular. We arrived a full day before the tour started so we arranged for a private tour guide to give us a tour Sydney so we could stay awake;) The next day he picked us up and took us to the Blue Mountains and Featherdale wildlife reserve where we were able to feed/pet/hold baby wallabies and kangaroos and actually get up close and personal with a koala and pet her. It was pretty amazing. That evening at 530 our group met for welcome drinks and dinner at the hotel. The restaurant at the hotel was great. Food and wine delicious. The next am we met and took the ferry to the Taronga Zoo. We had a guide from the zoo and she was wonderful. I would have thought they would have arranged for a private animal interaction but they did not. It was really hot after we left the zoo so most of us opted to head back, cool down and nap. That night was dinner on our own. The next morning we met at 845 and headed to Bondi Beach for a private group surfing lesson. It was amazing. We all had a blast and that was followed by lunch on the beach at an awesome restaurant called Bucket List. We then got back on our coach and headed to circicular quay where we boarded a high power jet boat. It was an high dateline boat ride that included crazy tricks and spins. It was our kids favorite part! Tonight we are meeting our group for dinner at a local restaurant. The restaurant was right on the water and despite the tuna being abysmal, the barramundi was delicious. I thought the service at the four seasons was incredible and our rooms were great. The coach picked us up this morning and we are headed to the airport to leave for Ayers Rock. Just as in a Disney trio, the kids have all bonded well and are loving hAnging out with each other. I’ll tell you the thing that I feel is missing is the interaction with the kids by the guide. My kids have loved our Disney guides and still y’all about them. This a and k guide is fine... my daughter says she reminds her of her English teacher at school. I’ll continue to post throughout.
     

    CaliforniaGirl09

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 4, 2009
    We are here in Austrailia with A and K family and wanted to be able to compare the two companies. We have also traveled with Tauck Bridges. Arrival in Sydney was great, plane on time and our kids slept about 10 hours on the flight from SFO. It was easy to spot our a and k escort as he had a big sign with our family name and we weee whisked off to the sprinter van and off to the Four Seasons. Location is perfect and I’m a sucker for a good hotel. Our view from our adjoining rooms is spectacular. We arrived a full day before the tour started so we arranged for a private tour guide to give us a tour Sydney so we could stay awake;) The next day he picked us up and took us to the Blue Mountains and Featherdale wildlife reserve where we were able to feed/pet/hold baby wallabies and kangaroos and actually get up close and personal with a koala and pet her. It was pretty amazing. That evening at 530 our group met for welcome drinks and dinner at the hotel. The restaurant at the hotel was great. Food and wine delicious. The next am we met and took the ferry to the Taronga Zoo. We had a guide from the zoo and she was wonderful. I would have thought they would have arranged for a private animal interaction but they did not. It was really hot after we left the zoo so most of us opted to head back, cool down and nap. That night was dinner on our own. The next morning we met at 845 and headed to Bondi Beach for a private group surfing lesson. It was amazing. We all had a blast and that was followed by lunch on the beach at an awesome restaurant called Bucket List. We then got back on our coach and headed to circicular quay where we boarded a high power jet boat. It was an high dateline boat ride that included crazy tricks and spins. It was our kids favorite part! Tonight we are meeting our group for dinner at a local restaurant. The restaurant was right on the water and despite the tuna being abysmal, the barramundi was delicious. I thought the service at the four seasons was incredible and our rooms were great. The coach picked us up this morning and we are headed to the airport to leave for Ayers Rock. Just as in a Disney trio, the kids have all bonded well and are loving hAnging out with each other. I’ll tell you the thing that I feel is missing is the interaction with the kids by the guide. My kids have loved our Disney guides and still y’all about them. This a and k guide is fine... my daughter says she reminds her of her English teacher at school. I’ll continue to post throughout.
    Very cool! thanks so much for posting. I haven't heard much about A&K so it's nice to see the side by side comparison.
     

    AllisonGsav

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2015
    Our flight to Ayers Rock was fine- check in at airport was super easy as a and k arranged for porters. We bypassed the long lines and were able to check in at a special line for groups. We landed and the porters took care of our luggage and our coach was waiting. We were taken to the hotel - sails in the desert where we had lunch while we waited for our rooms to be ready. Food was great. Hotel keys passed out and the rooms were not next to each other as requested. They had the kids on one floor and my husband and I on another. We waited a little bit to be able to get this fixed which was annoying as all the kids were already at the pool swimming and my kids needed the luggage for their swimsuits. It was taken care of but I will say that our guide is was very nonchalant and unapologetic. I remember when this happened with Disney one time it was taken care of so quickly and with a smile. The resort is super rustic. SUPER RUSTIC. But I think it’s basically the only shop in town. Could use a freshening. Tonight we are headed out to watch the sunset and tomorrow we rise early for the sunrise and camel ride tomorrow evening. I’ll continue to update. The thing sticking out in my mind between the three providers we have travelled with is really the guides. Tauck and so far a and k can’t hold a candle to ABD guides. I will say this country is beautiful and magical and we are enjoying every single second of it! I’ll keep updating as we go.
     

    AdamEfimoff

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 29, 2015
    We are here in Austrailia with A and K family and wanted to be able to compare the two companies. We have also traveled with Tauck Bridges. Arrival in Sydney was great, plane on time and our kids slept about 10 hours on the flight from SFO. It was easy to spot our a and k escort as he had a big sign with our family name and we weee whisked off to the sprinter van and off to the Four Seasons. Location is perfect and I’m a sucker for a good hotel. Our view from our adjoining rooms is spectacular. We arrived a full day before the tour started so we arranged for a private tour guide to give us a tour Sydney so we could stay awake;) The next day he picked us up and took us to the Blue Mountains and Featherdale wildlife reserve where we were able to feed/pet/hold baby wallabies and kangaroos and actually get up close and personal with a koala and pet her. It was pretty amazing. That evening at 530 our group met for welcome drinks and dinner at the hotel. The restaurant at the hotel was great. Food and wine delicious. The next am we met and took the ferry to the Taronga Zoo. We had a guide from the zoo and she was wonderful. I would have thought they would have arranged for a private animal interaction but they did not. It was really hot after we left the zoo so most of us opted to head back, cool down and nap. That night was dinner on our own. The next morning we met at 845 and headed to Bondi Beach for a private group surfing lesson. It was amazing. We all had a blast and that was followed by lunch on the beach at an awesome restaurant called Bucket List. We then got back on our coach and headed to circicular quay where we boarded a high power jet boat. It was an high dateline boat ride that included crazy tricks and spins. It was our kids favorite part! Tonight we are meeting our group for dinner at a local restaurant. The restaurant was right on the water and despite the tuna being abysmal, the barramundi was delicious. I thought the service at the four seasons was incredible and our rooms were great. The coach picked us up this morning and we are headed to the airport to leave for Ayers Rock. Just as in a Disney trio, the kids have all bonded well and are loving hAnging out with each other. I’ll tell you the thing that I feel is missing is the interaction with the kids by the guide. My kids have loved our Disney guides and still y’all about them. This a and k guide is fine... my daughter says she reminds her of her English teacher at school. I’ll continue to post throughout.
    I am not going to Sydney for a while. No good hotels except the park Hyatt. Which I never been to.
     

    DCPhotoGal

    Photographer and Mom to 2 Princesses
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2011
    We are leaving for the Gold Coast this morning. I have my blog up to dat through the end of the GBR. I need to write up yesterday, which included the koalas and crocs, and has been my favorite day so far.
     

    sayhello

    Have Camera, Will Travel
    Joined
    Oct 28, 2006
    Beautiful! Man, you and Grifdog and the others are really pushing me to do this ABD sooner rather than later!! :)

    Sayhello
     

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