My vacation to Australia began on a clumsy note, neither excited nor very happy. This was because initially we had planned a customized trip to Australia and not a group tour. The customized trip, which we had planned with another agency, did not really work out and we approached Thomas Cook and they accommodated us swiftly in a group of 50 people, in their package tour ‘Australian Extravaganza’.
We landed at Brisbane and were transported to Gold Coast, where our tour manager Mr. Kedar Kulkarni greeted us.
Surfers paradise was a strip of golden sand beach that conjures up ‘ paradise ‘ to many. The beaches there welcome swimmers, joggers and strollers. In Gold Coast, we had 3 nights at Hotel Mantra Legends. According to the itinerary, we visited the two theme parks mentioned, Dream World and Movie world each of which were mesmerizing. We also had a 360° turn jet boat ride, which was out of the box and thrilling. The arrangements made by Thomas Cook concerning hotels, transport and food were convenient and pleasant. However, this cannot go without a special mention to our tour guide Mr. Kulkarni who interacted with the entire group, was successful in bonding each member with the other, bringing each family close, and in the end all of us became more like an Australian Family.
The tropical rainforests here is one of the most diverse and beautiful example of Mother Nature’s work in the world. We explored these rainforests with the help of a sky rail, which gave us one of the better views of the rainforest. The next day, was the Hot Air Balloon ride, which was my personal favorite in the entire trip. The exhilaration of floating with the wind at sunrise over beautiful scenery and spotting the kangaroos is unforgettable!
One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Reef Barrier boasts an abundance of marine life and corals. It was a day in the cruise, submarine and glass bottom boat, which helped us, explore the underwater world!
We began with the Eureka Sky deck, which gave us the best views of Melbourne from the 89th floor. The next day we toured the city of gardens and saw the main attractions like the St Patrick’s church before moving towards Sydney. Here, my advice to Thomas Cook would be to arrange another day in this city to devour in its splendid attractions.
The liveliest city I have ever been. The darling harbor was one of the best with the two of the most popular attractions are the Sealife and Sydney wildlife. The Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge definitely made my day, as these are the attractions to which people from all around the world come to visit.
The next day we had a Sydney Cruise Boat dinner with a splendid show and with that, we wrapped up our Australian Extravaganza.
These ten days changed my mindset about group tours. We had become one big family by the end of these days. From clicking pictures together to going out for night walks, these ten days were the best. The hotels and food arrangements by Thomas Cook were great and all the transport facilities at each city were on time and smooth. Last but not the least, a mention to our guide Mr. Kulkarni who went out of his way not only to ensure that we spend the best days but also made sure we face no problems whatsoever during the tour.
We returned with heavy hearts and a bag full of memories.