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Nov 172016
 
Yes, you can cuddle a koala during our 'Breakfast with the Birds' experience.

Yes, you can cuddle a koala during our ‘Breakfast with the Birds’ experience

 

 

 

 

Hand feed and pet friendly kangaroos and wallabies

Hand feed and pet friendly kangaroos and wallabies

 

 

 

 

See geysers and other exciting geothermal activity in Rotorua

See geysers and other exciting geothermal activity in Rotorua

 

 

 

 

Glide smoothly and silently above the world heritage rainforest, enjoying amazing views, on the world's second longest gondola ride.

Glide smoothly and silently above the world heritage rainforest, enjoying amazing views, on the world’s second longest gondola ride.

 

 

 

Be taught by an Aborigine how to throw a boomerang

Be taught by a local Aborigine how to throw a boomerang

 

 

 

Snorkel, or scuba on the Great Barrier Reef; or if you'd rather stay dry, cruise in a semi-submersible boat above it.

Snorkel, or scuba on the Great Barrier Reef; or if you’d rather stay dry, cruise in a semi-submersible boat above it….

 

 

 

 

... or if you'd prefer a more active water experience, race through the Huka River and to the base of its falls at up to 50 mph in a jet boat.

… or if you’d prefer a more active water experience, race through the Huka River and to the base of its falls at up to 50 mph in a jet boat.

 

 

 

Climb to the very top of the superstructure on Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge.

Still thinking of water, climb to the very top of the superstructure on Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge for amazing views around the city and harbor.

 

 

 

 

Your tour leader and his daughter, five years back, racing down a luge in New Zealand.

Your tour leader and his daughter, five years back, racing down a luge in New Zealand.

 

 

 

 

Lord of the Rings fan? You'll want to visit Hobbiton, then!

Lord of the Rings fan? You’ll want to visit Hobbiton, then!

 

 

 

 

Yes, the locals are friendly. Why do you ask? :)

Yes, the locals are friendly. Why do you ask? 🙂

Here’s a different type of Travel Insider tour for 2017.  Why not travel with your children, and/or your grandchildren (or nephews, nieces, and so on), on a Travel Insider tour to Australia and New Zealand during the summer holidays next year!  Create some wonderful and lasting shared memories that the younger generation will remember and treasure forever as part of your family legacy.  We’re putting together an itinerary that includes lots of things that appeal to ‘children of all ages’ – to you and to the youngsters you would bring with you, too.  (Children not mandatory – there’s plenty for adults traveling without children to enjoy, too!)

Our tour is currently seeking expressions of interest, and if we get enough interest, we’ll quickly create the exact specifics of the tour for you to then confirm your participation with.  Here are the basic and general things you need to know in order to let us know if it is something you’d like to do.

Targeted Age Range

We suggest this tour would be most enjoyed by children in Upper Elementary and Middle School – ie, about grades 4 – 8; more or less between about 10 – 15 yrs old.

This isn’t a hard and fast rule but we feel that younger than this and they’d probably not remember much and wouldn’t appreciate the uniqueness and specialness of where they went and what they saw and did, and younger children might also have less stamina, focus, and self-control.  At the other end of the scale (and as you may recall from your own youth!), once children get entrapped in their teenage years, their interest in traveling with parents and/or grandparents often (but not always) tends to sadly diminish for the better part of a decade.

You of course know your family members and what would work for them, but we’d caution you if considering younger than 9 yrs old.  The upper age ‘limit’ is not nearly as relevant – if you have older children, young adults, or friends of any age who express an interest in joining, then they’ve sort of automatically ‘self-qualified’ as being appropriate and would be welcome.

We should tactfully add that we don’t want ‘problem’ children or disruptive elements or bad influences as part of this group any more than you do – it is essential that we provide a positive and safe environment for the youngsters on the tour.  We’re sensitive to the varying needs and attitudes of different children, and will do all we can to assist you in making for positive experiences for everyone, but if we have issues with a child’s behavior or actions that aren’t speedily resolved and which may impact on other children and the group’s positive shared experience, that child and their accompanying adult relatives would necessarily need to leave the tour.

Approximate Dates and Duration

The tour will comprise approximately ten days in Australia, and an optional four or so days in New Zealand after the time in Australia.  It will start in mid July.

Places Visited

The tour will go to Cairns in Tropical North Queensland (6 or 7 days), to Sydney (3 or 4 days), and optionally also to the Rotorua region of New Zealand (about 4 days).

Types of Activities Enjoyed

We’ll provide a careful balance of educational and fun activities that can be enjoyed, experienced and shared by young and old alike, plus free time for you to fill in doing exactly the things you most want to do as it suits you.

Here are some of the activities that either will be included or can easily be added to our core itinerary.

  • Snorkeling in the warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Other water sports and recreational activities
  • Cuddling a koala
  • Petting tame kangaroos
  • See NZ’s national bird, the nocturnal flightless kiwi
  • Traveling on an amazing aerial gondola ride (the world’s second longest) above the world heritage rainforest in the Cairns area
  • Walking through the rainforest itself
  • Experiencing real Aboriginal culture in Australia, including learning to throw a boomerang and have it come back to you
  • Experiencing real Maori culture in New Zealand, possibly including participating in dance and ceremonial activities and enjoying a traditional hangi feast (similar to a luau in Hawaii)
  • Learning about the people, culture, history and heritage of each region
  • Sampling the different cuisines (and candies!) in both countries
  • Traveling through an underground cave system and seeing the bioluminescent glow-worms and their lights hanging from the cave ceilings
  • Touring through areas of intense geothermal activity, with geysers, boiling mud pools, steam and strange smells
  • Soaking in natural hot water mineral springs
  • Visiting New Zealand’s version of Pompeii
  • A beautiful nature walk in NZ’s native bushland and a visit to a hidden waterfall
  • Learning about all the different types of sheep including watching one being sheared and a sheepdog demonstration, and possibly even helping to hand-milk a cow
  • Luging (a tremendously fun way of riding gravity powered sleds down a windy track on a hillside)
  • For the more adventurous, potentially parasailing, hot air ballooning, Segway touring, even zip-lining, bungy jumping or rolling down a hill inside a huge clear ball (ugh!)
  • River tubing or rafting
  • Climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge superstructure, way above the vehicle deck
  • A harbor cruise on beautiful Sydney harbor
  • Exhilarating high speed jetboat ride
  • Scenic train ride
  • Visiting Hobbiton as featured in the Lord of the Rings movies

Did we leave something out that is on your ‘must do’ list?  Let us know, and probably it could be included!

Accommodation Style

As much as possible, we’ll use accommodation options that feature either connecting rooms (in a hotel) or a unit with a bedroom and additional sleeping in the lounge, and with a fridge and other self-catering facilities.

Accommodation will be ‘four star’ rather than five star – ie, clean, comfortable, and practical, rather than luxury/deluxe.

Some Adult Only Time Too

We’ll take turns at child minding so that, if you wish,  you can sometimes head out for a break, adult-only style.

Alternatively, if there are some activities you don’t wish to do but the kids with you do wish to do, you can probably skip the activity while the rest of the group takes care of your kids.

Weather

Yes, our northern hemisphere summer translates to a southern hemisphere winter.  But that’s actually the best time of year to be in the Cairns region, which is where we’ll spend most of our time, and the ‘winter’ experience in Sydney and New Zealand has moderate rather than cold temperatures, and almost certainly no snow or below 32 degree weather.

In Cairns during July, temperatures are wonderfully warm to hot rather than stiflingly hot and humid (as they get in the region’s summer months), and it is the dry rather than rainy season.  The average daily high is a perfect 77 degrees, the daily low (at night) is 64, and the water temperature is an inviting 75 degrees.  A light sprinkle of rain might occur about one day in three (total rainfall for the entire month is just over one inch).

In Sydney, temperatures are cooler but far from cold – a daily average high of 63 and night time low of 46, and still only rain one day in three (just over two inches of rain total for July).

Over in the Rotorua region of New Zealand, temperatures are somewhat cooler again – average daily highs of 56 degrees, a low at night of about 44 degrees, rain two days in every five, and a total of almost five inches of rain for the month.

Cost

We’re targeting for perhaps $2000 per adult and around $1500 per child, depending on how many people are traveling in each family group and the hotel/motel room configuration chosen.  This will include accommodation, some touring, some activities, and some meals.

It does not include all the activities listed above, and does not include airfares (you’d need to arrange to fly from your home airport first to Cairns in Australia, then to Sydney, then to Auckland in New Zealand, then home again from Auckland.  Depending on the airline you choose, you could possibly add extra stops in Australia, or possibly Fiji or Hawaii or even Tahiti on the way to or back from the tour.)

Do You Wish to Join In?

If you’d like to be part of this wonderful family touring experience, please let us know and tell us how many adults and children (and the approximate ages of the children, as of July next year) you’d have in total.

Based on received interest levels, we’ll make a ‘go/no-go’ decision on this tour within ten days and let you know as soon as the outcome has been determined.

We hope this wonderful tour, crammed full of ‘bucket list’ type experiences, will proceed, and that you – with or without other family members – will be able to share it with us.

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