Insider's View


Australia & New Zealand

With so many must-see places in Australia and New Zealand, it helps to have local experts guide your vacation plans. Our On Location partner, The Exclusive Travel Group, is on hand to give you the right advice. Read what Stephen White, Director of Business Development, had to say about visiting these two incredible countries.

Q: What do you consider to be the highlights not to be missed by combining Australia and New Zealand on one vacation?

Both countries are very different but there are aspects that you just can't miss seeing: 

  • Staying at Southern Ocean Lodge on Kangaroo Island; spectacular! 
  • Taking a food and wine tour of Tasmania and staying at Saffire Freycinet Lodge. 
  • Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. 
  • Walking around Ayers Rock at sunset.
  • The Great Barrier Reef.
  • Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, Queensland. 

On to New Zealand:

  • Trout fishing at Huka Lodge.
  • Flying over the volcanic region of Lake Taupo and seeing the Mountain of doom from the air. 
  • Playing a round of golf at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers.
  • Visiting the famous wine region of Nelson.
  • Swimming with dolphins.
  • Mustering on horseback.
  • Flying by helicopter to Minaret Station.
  • Sailing down Doubtful Sound.

Q: What are your favorite off the beaten track places?

In Australia, The Gawler Ranges Safari; dinner on the salt lake with the stars above. 
In New Zealand, flying by helicopter from Minaret Station out to a rock in the Tasman Sea and landing there. Your guide then dives for fresh crayfish for supper and on the way back you land on a glacier and get ice for your gin and tonic.

Q: What type of services and packages do you offer?

We are a luxury inbound destination management company, specializing in bespoke, tailored travel with 24 hour service. We cater to independent travelers, couples and small family groups. We describe ourselves as the 'Architects of refined experiential travel'.

Q: What special features are a part of the travel arrangements you make?

We have two offices; one in Sydney and one in New Zealand and an expert team, so including the South Pacific islands, you have one company for three destinations. We offer 24 hour concierge service. Everything we do is tailored directly to our clients' wishes.

Q: Tell us about some of the food and wine experiences can you arrange.

Food and Wine plays a big part in a visit to these destinations where there is quality, originality and a variety of cuisine from fresh sea food to the famous Aussie pie. Of course meals are accompanied by local, world class wines.

  • In the Gawler Ranges of South Australia, we set up a dining table on a salt lake (the water from winter has evaporated). It is white so with a white table cloth the table sort of disappears. When it gets dark we turn off the table lamps and the stars are amazing.
  • In New Zealand, we fly you into Minaret Station where you fish for your supper by helicopter (or the guide dives for it). It is extraordinary and one of my favorite off the beaten track experiences.

Q: What other special interest vacations can you arrange?

  • We organize honeymoons and both countries are amazing for this as there are some very special places to stay. Remote James Bond style homes to the very best in luxury lodge living. 
  • Vacations geared to culture, adventure, sport, nature, luxury and family travel are other specialties we cater to.
  • We also manage the National Geographic trips into both countries.

Q: Which cultural experience is your favorite?

Visiting Ayers Rock with our Aboriginal guide and he explains what all of the cave and rock art work means. It's so old and everything is a story.

Q: Is there an activity in Australia and New Zealand that should not be missed?

Diving or snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef or hiking and sailing in Fiordland, New Zealand.

Q: Tell us about the unique accommodation options you offer.

Both countries have some of the best Lodges in the world, but there is a growing number of more boutique hotels and specialist properties. Pretty Beach House outside Sydney and Annandale Luxury Villas in New Zealand's Banks Peninsula are some of the amazing private retreats available.

Whitehaven beach. | Whitsunday Island, Australia

Vacation Side Travel

Steven Talbott
Vacation Side Travel

533 Church St Ste #278
Nashville, TN 37219

 855-822-8747 (Toll-free)
 615-800-8069 (Fax)

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