Monday, August 27, 2007

Australia and New Zealand Tours

Planning to travel those 14 hours across the Pacific? Rather than just visiting one country, why not take some extra time off from work and hit up both Australia and New Zealand in one vacation?

Many airlines offer very affordable (sometimes, even complimentary) stopovers, allowing travelers to easily create multi-city itineraries. Consider the following schedule: Fly from the USA to Sydney, travel around Australia for 2 weeks, return to Sydney to fly to Auckland, tour New Zealand for another 2 weeks before flying home to the USA. Many of our clients have done the same (or very similar) itineraries for their own vacations to the South Pacific.

The options are endless:

  • Rather than return to Sydney after touring Australia, consider flying to Auckland from Brisbane
  • Instead of flying, there are frequent cruises between Sydney and Auckland
  • Maybe add another stopover onto your trip: Fiji
  • Travel from the USA to New Zealand before traveling on to Australia

The list goes on and on! View some samples of our Australia and New Zealand tours. Then, call an expert Travel Team agent for more travel ideas and to help with all the logistics.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Air New Zealand

Since many of our customers fly to Australasia via Air New Zealand, we decided it would be nice to provide a little overview of that popular airline:

Based in Auckland, Air New Zealand is NZ's official carrier. Servicing the major destinations in New Zealand, it can make a lot of sense for tourists to travel via air within New Zealand. Please note that in addition to the major cities of Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington, Air New Zealand also services the Bay of Islands, Rotorua, Dunedin, and Invercargill, among others. (For more information on domestic travel in New Zealand, see our previous post.)

As a Star Alliance member, Air New Zealand is also a well-respected international carrier. Not only does the airline fly into the major cities of Australia and Asia; it also offers non-stop flights to and from San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA, as well as Honolulu. From Los Angeles, travelers can fly to London, UK, where they can make connections to other European cities.

Currently, Air New Zealand offers 4 classes on its airplanes. Business Premier is the highest level of service, offering its passengers fully lie-flat beds. Immediately below is Business Class, followed by Pacific Premium Economy. This new Premium Economy class has more legroom, larger seats, and greater seat reclines than Economy Class. A major perk of flying Air New Zealand is the recently instated on-demand entertainment, available to all classes of service on roundtrip flights from California, USA to Auckland, NZ.

Now that you know a bit more about New Zealand's national carrier, consider flying Air New Zealand for your next trip to Australasia. You won't be disappointed! Visit our website to view some of our great airfares on Air New Zealand.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Blue Mountains

Have you noticed that almost any travel package of Sydney, Australia includes (at least) a day in the Blue Mountains? Unfortunately, most Americans do not know much about Sydney’s nearby natural neighbors. So, we thought we should provide a short overview of the UNESCO World Heritage Area, the Blue Mountains . . . and why it’s one of Australia’s “must sees”!

The Blue Mountains offer some of the most spectacular scenery on the Australian continent. Its 1 million hectares contain rainforest, canyons, forests, and waterfalls, as well as a wide array of animals and birds. The area is named after the mist created by eucalyptus tree oil which hangs in the air.

The most popular sight in the Blue Mountains is The Three Sisters: A three-point rock formation. Learn about the legend of the Three Sisters,
here. Travelers should also try to visit the impressive Kanangra Falls and Jenolan Caves.

Home to some of Australia's best hiking trails, the Blue Mountains offer many exploring options for all hiking levels, from the casual walker to the more adventurous expert. Tromp through the canyons, up the impressive peaks, past the many waterfalls, and through remote caves. Many companies offer guided tours.

There are several golf courses throughout the area, while several of the villages have art galleries and museums on various topics. And, don't forget the wonderful Bed and Breakfasts and nature resorts - you'll feel on vacation from your vacation!

If you plan to visit the Land Downunder during the winter (June, July, August), make sure you attend the Blue Mountains’ Yulefest. Several hotels and restaurants celebrate with log fires, decorations, caroling, visits from Santa, and meals of turkey, ham, puddings, and mulled wine. Now that’s really “Christmas in July”!

The Blue Mountains are easily accessible for the independent traveler, either by car, bus, or Inter-City train from Sydney. (Actually, many of the Australians that live in villages of the Blue Mountains commute about an hour to Sydney for work.) So, there is no excuse not to go – even for just a day! Learn more about
The Blue Mountains, and then contact one of our great agents at Travel Team to book your travels to Australia.