Sunday, January 23, 2011

Follow Oprah's trail to Australia

Oprah in Australia. I have been watching these programs and I must say it could not have been better. Oprah has given Australia a push on the U.S. market and if any of you are interested in coming Down Under you can expect a great adventure and a big welcome.

Being a travel agent myself and having handled hundreds of itineraries for our clients by far, the most popular itinerary is to arrive in Melbourne and spend a couple of nights there, then off to Adelaide and the world famous vineyards in the area before getting on the plane that takes you to Ayers Rock or as they call it now, Uluru. From there you fly to Cairns and visit the Great Barrier Reef and finally to Sydney for a couple of nights before returning to the U.S.

If it is a matter of cost and time I would suggest you leave out Ayers Rock and fly direct from Adelaide to Cairns.

However, we do the itinerary to suit you so if you have any special requirements, let us know and we’ll come up with suggestions. Perhaps a couple of days in Tasmania, take on the longest rail trips, from Sydney to Perth or from Adelaide to Alice Springs and Darwin. The destinations and the combinations are endless, almost.

So the best thing you can do if you are interested in coming to Australia is to send an email to
We’ll look after you.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why use a travel agent?

Do they still exist? Yes, we do but we have adopted to today's business climate accordingly.
Many of our clients book accommodation through the web, tours, flights and much more but for personal recommendations and service nothing beats a travel agent.

Apart from having visited over 120 countries (and counting) we have travelled extensively in Australia and know the country intimately. We also have colleagues all over Australia so when we send our clients to, for example Alice Sprigs you get local people with local knowledge which is important.

So, if you want personal service, contact us. It's easy,

Friday, July 9, 2010

I've only read 5 lines in my favourite book !

I have one book and I must confess I don't read it over and over ! It is written by a Russian author, Michail Osorgin in the 1930s and it's English title is: The Quiet Street. It has the most fascinating first page I've ever read and, unfortunately I can't find any translation in English on the internet so you would need to find out for yourself.

Further on, I have never ever read beyond the first page! Yes, I know it's a bit weird but I think those first lines which takes me from the Universe down to a back street in Moscow called "Sivtsev Vrasjok" (which is also the Russian title of the book) is so good that I don't need to read the rest.

I might do it one day, but so far I've had it with me on my travel during the last 30 years and in between it's near me here in my "office".

Just in case somebody read Swedish or if you want to use Babelfish to get a translation here are the lines;

"I en liten avkrok av det oändliga världsaltet, någonstans inom vårt solsystem, här på jordklotet, i Ryssland, i Moskva, i ett hörnhus vid den lilla gatan Sivtsev Vrasjok satt den lärde ornitologen Ivan Aleksandrovitj i en länstol i sitt arbetsrum".

So there you are, that's my favourite book !

My Dream Vacation

We had one a couple of years ago. Took a plane from Sydney, Australia to Buenos Aires and upon landing we were met and taken to Lina's Tango House. The first impression was...uuhhh what is this. It was rather small and there was nobody around....until about 1200 when people started waking up!! We wondered what was going on but it was soon explained. This is what we did from then on. We congregated with the rest of the guests in the courtyard for an al fresco dinner and a sometimes tango lessons. Around midnight we took a taxi to a nearby dance hall which was always absolutely packed with afficionados dancing tango. We normally finished off the night with a morning coffee before going to bed and waking up at....yes you guessed it right..around midday. ! It was a sensational stay but we had only booked for 5 nights ( as I was not sure what we had booked) so then we moved to Sheraton and as you know they are OK but completely boring after the stay at Lina's.

We enjoyed all of B.A., the people, the food, the music and the tango.

After Buenos Aires we took a plane to Miami, picked up a car at the airport and drove to South Beach, parked the car and when we came back a couple of hours later there were some nice bodies drawn in chalk nearby the car. We enquired what it was all about and were told there had been some shooting earlier!! Lucky we weren't there.

Drove down to Key West and enjoyed some touring down there before taking the next flight to Las Vegas and say whatever you think about Las Vegas it is the most entertaining place on earth. Sure there is gambling as well but we hardly had time for it. There is so much else to see, shows, dining, just walking along the Strip, shopping, touring etc.

Drove to Los Angeles and stayed in Santa Monica for a week before retuning home.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Caving in Australia

If Batman ever decided to leave Gotham to find a holiday retreat I’m sure he would have chosen Australia. With its powerful landscape and a myriad of caves he would have found the ultimate cave here. And you, being the tourist don't miss the chance of visiting some spectacular caves during holidays in Australia. They are found all over the country and I have listed some easily accessible caves here. For Tasmania which has some of the best caving experiences in Australia I recommend you to visit the Tasmanian blog on
Chillagoe Caves
Formed by an uplift of sediments and now with five caves that can be viewed. Chillagoe, Queensland.

Olsens Capricorn Caves
A private cave and a long standing Queensland tourist attraction and consist of 16 caves to visit. Rockhampton , Queensland

Undara Lava Tubes
Not really a cave but we had to fit this one in somewhere. They were formed by lava spilling out from a volcano into a river bed and with the water flowing this caused a cylindrical tunnel to be formed. They run for many kilometres and the caves are large. Found at Undara in Northern Queensland

Jenolan Caves
Perhaps the most caves in Australia with nine caves open for viewing. The complex is well set up and lots to see and do. It is located at the Blue Mountains a couple of hours by car from Sydney or join one of the many tours available from Sydney. Look them up at where you also get a 10% discount.

Wellington Caves
The Wellington Caves have one of the largest stalagmites in Australia and a lot of fossils have been discovered here. Wellington, New South Wales

Jewel Cave
A limestone cave near Augusta in Western Australia, and at it's highest is 100 metres high.

Yallingup Caves
A set of caves that feature in Aboriginal life and the fight between a good and bad spirit. Yallingup Cave, Western Australia

Mammoth Cave
A lot of fossils have been found at Mammoth. Prevelly Park, Western Australia

Marakoopa Cave
A good cave for glowworms and easy to view. Mole Creek, Tasmania.

Tantanoola Cave
A wheelchair access cave formed in a coastal cliff. Millicent South Australia

Buchan Caves, Victoria
Buchan Caves are 360 kilometres east of Melbourne near the township of Buchan. The Buchan Caves Scenic Reserve protects the caves and their fragile interiors. Underground rivers cutting through the limestone rock formed the caves. Guided tours are available through the Fairy Cave and the Royal Cave. “ Wild “ tours are available for small groups into the unlit, less accessible caves.

Princess Margaret Rose Cave, Victoria.
First discovered in 1936, Princess Margaret Rose Cave is close to the Glenelg River, 3 kilometres east of the Victoria/South Australia border. Guided tours of the main cavern with its delicate formations are available daily.

Cutta Cutta Caves in the Northern Territory features a series of caverns displaying spectacular limestone formations. The caves are home for a variety of wildlife including the Brown Tree Snake and the rare Orange Horseshoe Bat and Ghost Bat.

There are Ranger guided tours operating 7 days a week during the dry season. The Park is 27km south of Katherine on the Stuart Highway, open all year round (except Christmas Day) 8.30am-4.30pm, and entry is $7.50 for adults and $3.75 for children.
However due to flooding within the cave systems during the wet season (December - April) tour times may vary. The most comfortable time of year to visit the park is between the months of May and August, when external conditions are warm and dry .

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good News for Beer Drinkers ! Tours from Melbourne

Top Down Tours who operates Cabriolet Chevrolets has joined the Australia Card and offers a 10% discount on their Beer Tours to Yarra Valley.

On this tour you visit the Major Watering Holes in Yarra Valley and have the opportunity to discover the “divine drink” which was a gift from the Gods according to the ancient and not so ancient or as one bloke puts it; Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer.

Well, here is an opportunity to check out the Beers of Yarra Valley. You start this tour by travelling the winding roads of Warrandyte to Healesville where you visit Buckleys Brewery named after William Buckley, the famous escaped convict. The beers are traditionally brewed, non-filtered and full flavoured. This is Yarra Valleys First Traditional Brewery with Solar Heated Brew. There are 4 beers to choose from. This is where you will be taken through the brewery and shown the step by step production method of making Beer.

Next stop "Innocent Bystander Giant Steps" and the new brewery 'White Rabbit'. The guys there are creating some great beers and have been awarded for "Little Creatures", the 2007 Worlds Best Ale in The Australian International Beer Awards. There is also a personal selection of some of the worlds other great beers.

Next we travel the rolling hills across to Yarra Glen to visit Hargreaves Hill Brewery. This is a family owned micro-brewery which brews with rainwater. They make the ales the old fashioned way, no preservatives, no chemicals or sugars. They have 3 new beers and 2 guest taps.

This is also where we stop for lunch at the new Bar and Restaurant. The Chef is known for his delicious modern brasserie style menu.

After lunch we visit Coldstream Brewery which is a micro-brewery that has Rod Williams as a renowned brewer for over 25 years. His experience and expertise in establishing the brewery is marked by the unique beer and ales available. There are 4 beers available.
We travel back to Melbourne via Warrandyte.

Using The Australia Card you will enjoy a 10% discount on the tour price.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Nullarbor - Australia's Great Drive

Crossing the Nullarbor Plain is one of the foremost outback travelling accomplishments for Australians and overseas visitors alike. It’s said that until you’ve spent the time making your way across this endless, mostly treeless, plain you’ve not fully experienced the true loneliness – and freedom – that Australia can provide. It’s been driven, walked, cycled, trained and even skateboarded, and has come to represent everything that is vast and intensely featureless about much of the Australian Outback. With the compliments of Australian Traveller –Australia’s Best selling travel magazine here are some fascinating facts about this “roadtrip of roadtrips”.

The Nullarbor can be done fast or slow, and in fact sometimes it’s difficult to tell which is which; time has a way of telescoping on this famously arid drive. Foot to the floor, it can be done in less than 24 hours – but that’s foolhardy in the extreme. Allowing yourself anywhere from five to ten days is best for really embracing the wide expanse, occasional low spinifex and straight, straight bitumen. Driving east is more comfortable than driving west - you don't drive into the sun in the afternoon.

It’s easy to imagine the Nullarbor as it must have been millions of years ago when it was thought to be a vast seabed. The Plain itself covers around 200,000km2, and is gutted east to west by the ramrod straight Eyre Highway, which begins at the WA end at Norseman and terminates almost 1700km later in SA’s Port Augusta. In between, you’ll find only a few things to disrupt your train of thought as you drive. These include: the world’s longest straight bit of road (the 90 Mile Straight, 146.6km between Caiguna and Balladonia); giant semitrailers intent on sweeping you into the roadside gravel if you’re not careful; hundreds of feral camels (of which a handful are almost certain to stray out of the darkness into your path); ditto Big Red ’roos; a roadhouse or two; tourists (probably German) on bikes; and dozens of shimmering mirages as you slowly succumb to white-line fever.

The spectacular cliffs of the Great Australian Bight, some of the longest in the world, can be viewed from several different Marine Park lookouts and provide some important relief from the mesmerising uniformity. As do the plethora of underground cave systems, such as Cocklebiddy, one of the longest underwater caves in the world. Be sure to check out the museum at Balladonia for more info on these fascinating – and tremendously fragile – environments running beneath the Nullarbor’s extensive limestone surface.

The various towns dotted along the Nullarbor Plain range from Eucla at their largest (near the SA/WA border, with its much-photographed Old Telegraph Station being gradually reclaimed by sand dunes), to Ceduna, the last major town if crossing east to west, to Balladonia, Caiguna, Madura, Mundrabilla and Penong – which are essentially roadhouses with the odd hotel/motel and caravan park thrown in. Balladonia became briefly famous in 1979 when chunks of Skylab crashed to Earth nearby, Caiguna has its own landing strip, Madura is focused mainly on sheep farming, Mundrabilla is famous for large meteorites fragments discovered in the area, and Penong is known for its abundance of windmills. So don’t let anyone tell you there’s nothing to do out there.

At the WA end of your Nullarbor odyssey, you can elect to veer south and wind your way through Esperance and Margaret River – but to do so would be to abandon the Outback flavour of your journey. Instead, head north from Norseman along Route 94 for Kalgoorlie and the Golden Mile. And remember, if you’re travelling west to east from Perth across the Nullarbor (especially if you’re on the great Indian Pacific train journey), Kalgoorlie represents the last major town for many hundreds of kilometres. So be sure to stock up on water, snacks and plenty of in-car games.

Tell anyone you’re driving almost 2000km across the Nullarbor and you’ll get one of two reactions. The first is usually a mixture of bewilderment, pity and horror: “It’s so long and boring – why don’t you fly, or at least catch the train? It’ll take days and there’s nothing to see.” Others look at you enviously: “Wow, I’ve always wanted to do that!” The Nullarbor’s like that. There’s no denying it’s a long trip – four days, maybe more: it covers an area equivalent to England, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland, with 7000km2 left over. And it’s definitely flat, with long sections of empty straight between tiny settlements where shopping, nightlife and good coffee is non-existent. But once you’ve done the trip you could never argue that it’s boring, nor could you say there’s nothing to see. As far as great Aussie road trips go, this one can’t be beaten.

Total distance: Perth to Ceduna, around 2000km

Suggested itinerary:
Day 1: Perth to Kalgoorlie, 596km
Day 2: Kalgoorlie to Balladonia, 378km
Day 3: Balladonia to Nullarbor Roadhouse, 693km
Day 4: Nullarbor Roadhouse to Ceduna, 297km

Contact me on for any bookings in Australia.