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It’s possible to buy a package tour to Sydney that includes airfare and, say, five nights’ accommodation in a decent hotel for less than the cost of the airfare alone. Because each element of a package—airfare, hotel, tour, car rental—costs the package company less than if you had booked the same components yourself, packages are a terrific value and well worth investigating.

There are two kinds of "package tours"—independent and escorted—and there are pros and cons of each. Independent packages usually include some combination of airfare, accommodations, and car rental, with an occasional tour or shopping discount voucher book thrown in. The main advantage is that you travel at your own pace and according to your own interests, rather than sticking to a group schedule. Your car and hotel arrangements are already booked, leaving you free to get on with your day instead of fussing about finding a hotel for the night.

Escorted tours have different advantages—you don’t have to carry your own luggage, for starters. Nor do you need to constantly plan ahead, and if you have free time, there is someone to advise you on fun things to do and even to make your tour bookings for you. A significant argument for escorted tours is that you usually have a well-informed guide who can offer interesting tidbits about the country as you go along, so that you’ll probably learn more than you would on your own. You also get to meet and travel with other people. Escorted tours tend to be more expensive because you’re paying for the guide, but most meals are included.

And what are the cons of each? If you fancy an independent tour, think about whether you really want to book your own tours day after day, do all the driving yourself (on the wrong side of the road, don’t forget!), and schlep up the stairs carrying your own luggage. If you’re considering an escorted tour, do you really want your magical bushwalk in the Blue Mountains cut short because the schedule says at noon we all have to be back in Sydney for opal shopping? And can you stand the thought of traveling with the same strangers for days or weeks on end?

The airlines themselves are often a good source of package tours. Check newspaper ads, the Internet, or your travel agent. The following American companies also offer independent packages Down Under: Austravel (tel. 800/633-3404 in the U.S. and Canada, www.austravel.net), Inta-Aussie South Pacific (tel. 800/531-9222 in the U.S.; www.inta-aussie.com), Sunmakers, Inc. (tel. 800/841-4321 in the U.S. and Canada; www.sunmakers.com), and United Vacations (tel. 800/32-TOURS in the U.S. and Canada; www.unitedvacations.com).

Escorted tours are available from Collette Tours (tel. 800/340-5158 in the U.S. and Canada; www.collettetours.com), Maupintour (tel. 800/255-4266 in the U.S. and Canada; www.maupintour. com), and Sunbeam Tours (tel. 800/955-1818 in the U.S. and Canada; www.sunbeamtours.com).

The following companies offer both independent and escorted tours: ATS Tours (tel. 800/423-2880 in the U.S. and Canada; www.atstours.com), Goway (tel. 800/387-8850 in the U.S. and Canada; www.goway.com), Qantas Vacations (tel. 800/348-8139 in the U.S. and 800/268-7525 in Canada; www.qantasvacations.com), and Swain Australia Tours (tel. 800/22-SWAIN; www.swainaustralia.com). Swain Australia is owned and largely staffed by Aussies. ANZA Travel (tel. 888/269-2166 in the U.S. and Canada; www.anza-travel.com) specializes in special-interest vacations with an active bent, such as golfing, sailing and fishing.

Because each element of a package--airfare, hotel, tour, car rental--costs the package company less than if you had booked the same components yourself, packages are a terrific value and well worth investigating.

There are two kinds of "package tours"--independent and escorted--and there are pros and cons of each. Independent packages usually include some combination of airfare, accommodations, and car rental, with an occasional tour or shopping discount voucher book thrown in. The main advantage is that you travel at your own pace and according to your own interests, rather than sticking to a group schedule. Your car and hotel arrangements are already booked, leaving you free to get on with your day instead of fussing about finding a hotel for the night.

Escorted tours have different advantages--you don't have to carry your own luggage, for starters. Nor do you need to constantly plan ahead, and if you have free time, there is someone to advise you on fun things to do and even to make your tour bookings for you. A significant argument for escorted tours is that you usually have a well-informed guide who can offer interesting tidbits about the country as you go along, so that you'll probably learn more than you would on your own. You also get to meet and travel with other people. Escorted tours tend to be more expensive because you're paying for the guide, but most meals are included.

And what are the cons of each? If you fancy an independent tour, think about whether you really want to book your own tours day after day, do all the driving yourself (on the wrong side of the road, don't forget!), and schlep up the stairs carrying your own luggage. If you're considering an escorted tour, do you really want your magical bushwalk in the Blue Mountains cut short because the schedule says at noon we all have to be back in Sydney for opal shopping? And can you stand the thought of traveling with the same strangers for days or weeks on end?

Sydney and region - 5 Day tours

Day 1: Sydney City Highlights
Our trip starts in the city at Lady Macquarie's Point, which has the most beautiful outlook over Sydney Harbour. A leisurely walk through Royal Botanical Garden takes us to the Opera House, and over Circular Quay to famous Harbour Bridge.
Next stop is Hyde Park in the center of the city, where the Centerpoint Tower offers a wonderful panoramic view, a stroll to Queen Victoria Building between skyscrapers takes us to Sydney Town Hall.
The next destination is Watson's Bay, for a climb on the towering cliff tops above the open sea. A walk on the much loved Bondi Beach, the most desired destination for sun lovers in Sydney.

Day 2: Blow Hole and southern beaches
Through Moss Vale to Fitzroy Falls & over Kangaroo Valley to the well known "Blow Hole" at Kiama, and up to the lookout by Bulli with it's breathtaking view over the southern beaches. We drive down a steep descending road to the beach for a dip in the sea, and coming through the Royal National Park on the way home.

Day 3: Blue Mountains
The Valley of the waters at Wentworth Falls offers fabulous views over the valley.
In Katoomba and Leura a visit to Echo Point and the famous rock formation Three Sisters, the Scenic Skyway and the Scenic Railway helps to enjoy the magnificent scenery. Afternoon tea on our return trip at the Hydro Majestic Hotel with it's wonderful panorama and a detour to Warragamba Dam, the water supply of Sydney.

Day 4: Darling Harbour and Manly
We start out in Darling Harbour where the Sydney Aquarium, Chinese Garden, stroll in China Town and Hay Market is an experience not to be missed.
We board the ferry at Circular Quay to Manly, to explore the beauty of
Sydney Harbour.

Day 5: Olympic Stadium and North Sydney
We wander around the architecturally unique structures of the Olympic Venue and a drive to Palm Beach and Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park, where we see beautiful nature at it's best.

General information:
Longer holiday periods available on request with diverse programs, such as: a day tour to Canberra and regions, Nelsons Bay dolphin watch tour and personalized tours of the Sydney region if required.

The price of all day programs include normal costs such as: national park entry and parking fees, but does not include personal entry fees to special venues, attractions or rides.
Transport in air-conditioned vehicle with English, German and Hungarian speaking driver/tour guide.

 


 

 

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