The fiancee and I are thinking about doing our honeymoon in Australia and New Zealand, and were wondering if anyone has a reference for a travel agent who does a lot of work in those areas. We’re looking at going to Cairns/ Barrier Reef, Sydney, and Auckland.
I’d prefer someone in Chicagoland (save on long distance), but any references will be welcomed.
American Express runs a travel agency, and they are very thorough. Not to mention, usually an office in every major city.
Drat, I have no such reference. But I stayed a month in Cairns on my honeymoon and didn’t use a travel agent. Tourist info is pretty easy to come by there. And we totally forgot we needed a visa to travel there, so the guy at the airline desk at SFO arranged it for us on the spot. (Not that I recommend doing it that way)
Two things I’d recommend: Wait-a-while tours nighttime wildlife spotting tours. Lots of fun.
And Reef Magic snorkeling trips. We tried smaller boats, and they were a bit frightening, and Quicksilver seemed really expensive and overly crowded/touristy. We got on all our trips by calling a day or two in advance, but we were there in the off-season, so YMMV.
Unfortunately my honeymoon album is in deep storage, so I can’t give a lot of detail. If you have any specific questions, though, I’m always happy to blather about my honeymoon.
Hey, we’re going to New Zealand for our honeymoon. Quit following me!
Seriously, are you a AAA member? AAA has a travel agency/service that is quite good. You give them your itinerary and one of their agents will do their agency magic. I’ve never personally used them, but a friend went to Australia on his honeymoon as well and said AAA did a bang up job.
PS: Family recently went to New Zealand and said “Auckland is nice, but pretty muc like any other big city.” We plan to spend the bulk of our time in the South Island.
Something I just thought of: You may consider using an Australia/ENZ-based travel agent like . They’re quite internet savvy down there. Of check out PurEnz – they’ve designated travel agents who deal with NZ business. Surely someone’s located in/near Chicago!
I did a quick search for ya and purenz recommends, in Chicago,
Phone: 773 832 1699
Fax: 773 832 1698
Postal: 3617 N. Ashland Ave Chicago, Illinois 60613
Carol Hitchie email@example.com
Any particular reason you’re thinking of Auckland? While it’s a nice enough city, there’s more interesting places for tourists. The South Island rocks. Christchurch IMO is a more interesting place to be a tourist in than Auckland. Dunedin’s lovely. The road in between Dunedin and Chch has interesting bits
I live in Auckland and though I would deny saying this it is true, the South Island is where you want to go. Fly into Christchurch and go on from there. Auckland is a wonderful city and a cool place to live but probably not that thrilling from a tourist point of view.
I think South Island is where we were interested in going, and for some reason, the fiancee thinks that Auckland was the easier access point. I’ll raise it with her. Thanks for the tips!
Check out the deals on Air Pacific. They generally have some of the cheapest flights to NZ/Oz and you can usually work in a no-cost stopover in Fiji. We did a 3 week NZ, 1 week Fiji trip last year and had a blast. Total airfare was only $895. If you’re into diving, they can also put together some very good dive/hotel packages.
Let me know if you want any specific recommendations about NZ.
Thanks for all the advice. I spoke to Carol at Destinations Downunder who is terrific and very enthusiastic. I think we’re looking at 3 days in Cairns, 3 days in Sydney, one day in Christchurch, and 3 days at a lodge in Arthur’s Pass. Should be a lot of fun.
Have a blast, jeevmon! Having someone else handle your travel arrangements is the way to go.
OK, well you didn’t ask, but I’m gonna say it anyway: Going all the way to NZ and then going to Christchurch and Arthur’s Pass is like driving to southern Nevada and looking only at the Hoover dam while ignoring the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. Now being that this is your honeymoon, you may be more interested in just spending a majority of your time in a hotel room, but if you’d rather be out seeing a some of the magnificent countryside, I’d recommend transferring from Christchurch directly onto a puddle jumper to Queenstown (or see if you can get there directly). Queenstown (the Las Vegas equivalent- not because of gambling but because of the all the different things you can do there) gives you quick access to the mountains as well as the coast, has a plethora of fun activities and is more conducive to “seeing and doing things” if you don’t have a car. Also from Queenstown you can easily do a day trip to Milford sound (which is the Grand canyon equivalent). Don’t get me wrong, Arthur’s pass is nice and I’m sure you’ll like if you go. However having been both there and the Queenstown/Fjordland area, I would have been disappointed if I had come back from NZ only seeing Arthur’s Pass.