Removing Ourselves from Middle Eastern Oil

While it’s nice having the ability to choose which energy company you’d prefer to have provide your business or home, it’s still not enough of a change. I was hoping that by coming here to Texas I might be able to have access to alternative energy providers but even here in the largest, most sprawling state in the United States I’m still not able to find a company whose sole source of energy is alternative. We’re still so far behind the Germans in terms of harnessing solar and wind power that it’s almost embarrassing to be an American. Middle Eastern Oil

We’re a culture that is pouring toxic fumes into the atmosphere at a rate that only China is beating us at. That should send a real, profound message to American culture but unfortunately it’s not going to happen. Continue reading “Removing Ourselves from Middle Eastern Oil”

I Am Thinking About Moving out to the Country

dish networkI have been thinking about going in with this buddy of mine on a house out in the country. For most people this would be too far away from any place, because this is out in the middle of nowhere. It is near this really nice fishing lake and I love to fish. Of course if it was a couple of months ago I would not think about it, because until recently I was working on the other side of town. Now it is only about ten minutes from the new plant. I am looking at http://www.cable-tv.com/dish-network/ to try to check out the cost of dish network packages. I would have to get them or Direct TV, I do not know which is best, but there is not a cable company in this area. Continue reading “I Am Thinking About Moving out to the Country”

9 days: Top End Wildlife, Wilderness, Icons, and Adventure from $3,599 per person (includes airfare)

Start at the Top End of the Northern Territory, with time to explore the city of Darwin and embark on an incredible indigenous journey with one of our favorite Aboriginal guides.   Then on to your next adventure at the luxurious Wildmans Wilderness Lodge.  A chance to explore the wildlife and our ancient Aboriginal culture in more detail, whilst relaxing with a glass of wine in hand.  Continue on to Sydney for a chance to explore the icons and submerge into urban life, your hotel is well located for exploration on foot.

Artisan Traveler offers travelers unique experiences in each location. Our philosophy is to engage visitors in the culture of Australia, and allow them to see the country through the eyes of a local.

These itineraries can be fully customized; to book as seen or to tailor one of these packages to your specific requirements please call An Artisan specialist at 1-800-576-48121-800-576-4812

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the United States for Australia
Depart Los Angeles for Darwin, Australia.

Day 2 – Cross International Dateline

Day 3 – Arrive into Darwin
Land in Darwin via your connecting gateway.  Once in Darwin, pickup your rental car.  Make your way to your hotel.

Accommodation – Novotel Darwin

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Spend 2 nights at the Novotel Darwin Atrium – conveniently located in the city centre, overlooking Darwin Harbour. This 4-star hotel is a short stroll from the Mitchell Street dining and entertainment precinct and is equally suited for business trips and holidays. Boasting 140 spacious rooms and conferencing facilities, Novotel Darwin Atrium features a magnificent tropical indoor rainforest, complete with cascading vines and palm trees. Try the famous cocktails in the bar or enjoy a delicious meal in the restaurant.

Day 4 – In Darwin, Northern Territory Indigenous Tour

Activity:  Indigenous Lichtfield Spectacular Day Tour

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Learn the real story on this small-group day tour from Darwin to Litchfield National Park. Explore the area with a personable Indigenous guide with countless generations of history in the region. Get hands on as our guide demonstrates bush resources in season. See and refresh yourself at iconic waterfalls. Experience dramatic stone country as it comes alive in our tropical summer. Enjoy a flame-grilled lunch of ocean-caught barramundi, marinated kangaroo and crocodile back fillet, at private Woolaning Spring. Be treated to expert natural and cultural interpretation from guides with unrivaled knowledge of the area. Take home memories you’ll never forget.

Inclusions—Small-group touring by air-conditioned tour vehicle; pickups from any Darwin accommodation; expert interpretation of the natural and cultural environment from an Aboriginal viewpoint; lunch of freshly cooked wild caught barramundi, crocodile and kangaroo; water bottle and cool water.

Day 5 – To Wildman Wilderness Lodge
After checking out of your hotel, drive to Wildman Wilderness Lodge.

Accommodation – Wildman Wilderness Lodge

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Spend 2 nights at the Wildman Wilderness Lodge.

Amidst the lush wilderness of Australia’s breathtaking Top End, Wildman Wilderness Lodge offers an extraordinary wetlands safari experience, situated in the Mary River Wetlands area half way between Darwin and Kakadu National Park. Wildman is a small-scale, high quality safari lodge featuring a variety of boutique and environmentally sensitive touring options, including tours of Kakadu National Park and cruising on the Mary River. Its teeming wildlife and unique tours a world far removed from your own, yet with all the modern comforts of great accommodation, delicious meals and wine to enjoy at the end of each day.

Day 6 – At Wildman Wilderness Lodge

Activity:  Mary River Rockhole Cruise

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This amazing cruise on the mighty Mary River varies throughout the season. This is an excellent opportunity to observe crocodiles, wetland birds and fantastic views across the vast Mary River floodplain. Glide down this vast river system which can triple in size during the wet season; venture into sheltered billabongs and sit in silence and observe nature at its best.

Day 7 – Darwin to Sydney

Today you continue your Australian journey to Sydney.  Make your own way to the Darwin airport and fly down to Sydney.  Make your way to the Radisson Blu in Sydney.

Accommodation:  Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney

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Experience this historic accommodation in Central Sydney.  A 5-star hotel with a stunning 1800’s sandstone facade, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney is an intimate, boutique-style property.  Once home to the Fairfax newspaper empire and the prestigious Bank of New South Wales, this accommodation offers a location near the Sydney Opera House and major shopping precincts.  Take full advantage of the hotel’s convenient location in the CBD of Sydney and explore shopping malls and parks at Circular Quay.  Relax with a range of therapies in the modern Health Club and Spa before feasting on European-influenced Australian cuisine at the on-site Bistro Fax Restaurant & Bar.  Make your reservation today to experience an unforgettable stay at this accommodation in Sydney.


Day 8 – In Sydney 

In Sydney, your time is at Leisure!  Please speak with an Artisan travel expert to discuss activity options.  Some of our suggestions:

Classic Bike Tour of Sydney’s Highlights
Tour Sydney differently! Feel the wind on your face, relax and take the healthy choice and do a guided bike ride around the city. Take carefully planned routes that ride in the street a minimal amount of time – instead, go through parks, harbour fronts, and sidewalks. The guides will give you great tips on what to do while in town, what’s on, where to eat, and an all-around entertaining and informative experience.

OR

Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge! Absorb a 360 degree panorama of Sydney as you journey to the summit on this climb experience. Like an exposed spine, the outer rim delivers you to the peak, as the sky remains just beyond your outstretched fingertips.

OR

Take a Surf Lesson at Bondi
Surfing at Bondi Beach is about as ‘Aussie’ as you can get. Take a shared lesson no matter what your skill level and you can become part of the local beach culture. This is a fun way to meet locals and enjoy the beach lifestyle Australia is famous for.

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OR

Half Day Sydney Harbour Cruise on a Yacht

If there is one thing you should do in Sydney, it’s to experience Sydney Harbour like a local. On board the luxurious Calypso motor yacht you will experience the harbour like you would if you had your own boat. As well as fabulous sightseeing, you can swim, fish, kayak, relax and sun bake at your leisure after your gourmet barbecue lunch served with local wine and beer.

Day 9
Make your way to the Sydney airport.  Board your return flight home to the US.

Inclusions:

  • Round trip International airfare from Los Angeles in Economy class
  • Domestic Australia airfare in Economy class
  • 2 Nights at the Novotel Darwin, Standard Room, Twin Share
  • 2 Nights at the Wildman Wildnerness Lodge, Habitat, Twin Share
  • 2 Nights at the Radisson Blu Sydney
  • Mary River Rockhole cruise at Wildman
  • Rental Car for your stay in Darwin and Wildman
  • Northern Territory Indigenous Tour, Litchfield Spectacular
  • All airport taxes & fuel surcharges to package inclusions

Value Adds:

  • Save $250 per couple/$125 per person.  Great Value!
ASK about our GREAT SAVINGS
on PREMIUM ECONOMY and BUSINESS CLASS airfares for this itinerary

Booking Code: NTAT02

Terms & Conditions:

  • Price is per person and based on twin share/2 adults traveling together.
  • Must book by 30 November 2014.
  • Subject to availability of airfare and hotels/tours at time of booking.
  • Black out dates apply.
  • Pricing is based on USD at today’s exchange rate and departure from Los Angeles.
  • Add-on fares are available from other cities.
  • Departs every day each week.
  • Packages are valid from 15 October 2014 to 31 March 2015. Travel to be completed by 31 March 2015.
  • Pricing reflects 3% discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check.  Credit cards accepted for payment; ask your Artisan specialist for terms.
  • Pricing is seasonal so call to ask about the dates you wish to travel.
  • Value adds cannot be combined, only one per booking.
  • Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.

9 days: Red Center 4WD Outback Adventure plus Melbourne from $4,425 per person (includes airfare)

Experience an outback adventure like no other!  Begin your adventure in Ayers Rock, known as Australia’s Red Center. You’ll have the opportunity to discover the iconic and majestic monolith that is Uluru, the magic of Kata Tjuta, and the broad landscapes of King’s Canyon.  From there, you’ll fly down to the cosmopolitan city of Melbourne.  There is a lot to love in Melbourne – from it’s fascinating laneways, cafes, word-class restaurants, and sporting events, to the many boutiques that make this a pure shopper’s delight.

Artisan Traveler offers travelers unique experiences in each location. Our philosophy is to engage visitors in the culture of Australia, and allow them to see the country through the eyes of a local.

These itineraries can be fully customized; to book as seen or to tailor one of these packages to your specific requirements please call An Artisan specialist at 1-800-576-4812.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the United States
Depart the United States for Australia.

Day 2 – Cross International Dateline

Day 3 – Arrive in Australia
On arrival into Ayers Rock, meet your driver for your shared transfer to the Hotel.

Ayers Rock/Uluru is in the center of Australia. The sheer size of Uluru/Ayers Rock, along with the strong sense of spirituality and culture you will find here, means a visit here is an encounter with the very heart of the Australia. Uluru is sacred to the people of the area and on this vacation you’ll have the chance to explore with an Aboriginal guide, giving you a firsthand account of the stories, folklore and importance of this sacred place.

Accommodation – Desert Gardens Hotel

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Spend 2 nights at Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel, a superior 4.5-star hotel at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort.  Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the setting for this hotel. Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms overlooking the desert.  You can relax in the comfort of your own private balcony or courtyard, or unwind in the hotel’s pool, sipping cocktails from the Bunya bar.  It’s only a short stroll to the Resorts’ numerous lookouts, where you can view what is arguably Australia’s best sunset, with the spectacular play of colours across the face of Uluru and the surrounding desert.  Once the sun has set, dine at Arnguli Grill and savour an a la carte flame grilled menu.

Day 4 – Sunrise Kata Tjuta and Sunset Uluru Tours

Today’s inclusions:  An outback Australia guide, touring to Kata Tjuta and Uluru, National Park entry ticket, outback picnic breakfast, refreshments at sunset, including sparkling wine, and a buffet dinner at the hotel.

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Day 5 – Ayers Rock to King’s Canyon Resort
After you check out of your hotel, you will be transferred over to King’s Canyon Resort.

Spend 1 night at the King’s Canyon Resort.

Today’s excursion includes your Outback Australia guide, touring from Ayers Rock Resort to Kings Canyon via Kathleen Springs including either Kings Canyon Rim walk or Kings Creek Walk.  It also includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 6 – King’s Canyon to Alice Springs
Today’s adventure includes your Outback Australia guide, touring from King’s Canyon to Alice Springs, and includes breakfast.

After your arrival back into Alice Springs, your accommodations for the night is at the lovely Aurora Alice Springs hotel, where you can relax overnight before continuing your journey to Melbourne.

Day 7 – Alice Springs to Melbourne
After checking out of your hotel, you’ll be transferred to the airport for you flight to Melbourne.  On arrival, make your way to the hotel in cosmopolitan downtown Melbourne.

hotel-lindrum-melbourne-front

Spend 2 nights at the famous Hotel Lindrum, right in the heart of spectacular downtown Melbourne. Ideally located in Flinders Street, Hotel Lindrum is known as a luxury Melbourne romantic hotel and is nestled in the heart of Australia’s fashion and dining capital, providing easy access to all this world-famous city has to offer. The hotel is within walking distance to world-class theatres and restaurants, sporting venues such as the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Melbourne & Olympic Parks and major attractions such as Federation Square.

Enjoy elegant dining in the Felt restaurant, a cocktail by the fireplace in the back bar or simply relax with a drink while enjoying a game of billiards.

Day 8 – In Melbourne
Day at Leisure to enjoy and explore the city.

Touring Idea:  Lanes & Arcades walking tour and Eureka Skydeck 88
This morning join your Hidden Secrets tour at the Time Out Café at Federation Square (café opposite Flinders Street Station), to commence a half day Lanes and Arcades Tour. Indulge with a casual walk through Melbourne’s lanes and arcades in small groups to engage in the life of this city which many miss. Discover local designers and specialty retailers, tiny cafés and more. A little history and attention to amazing architecture will inspire locals and visitors alike. Lunch is included. Get orientated and return to those places you like best in the afternoon, at your leisure. Tour concludes at approximately 2.00pm, at Caboose Restaurant.

At conclusion of tour make your way to Skydeck 88, one of Australia’s newest must-see attractions. Located next to the Yarra River, the building’s two elevators propel visitors to the 88th floor in less than 40 seconds. Once at the top, you’re at the “Edge Experience”—a switchable glass cube that slides out from the building with you inside! The cube walls and floor of the Edge start off fully opaque and change to clear once the cube is fully extended. The breathtaking effect is accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack which varies with each experience. Moving at a speed of 3 feet (1 m) per second, the cube moves in 5-minute sequences until extended to its full distance high above Melbourne.

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Day 9 – Melbourne to the United States
Make your way to the Melbourne airport.  Board your return flight home to the US.  Arrival back into the US the same day.

Inclusions:

  • Round trip International airfare from Los Angeles in Economy class
  • Domestic Australia airfare in Economy class
  • 2 Nights at the Desert Gardens Hotel, Deluxe Rock View Room, Twin Share
  • 1 Night at King’s Canyon Resort, Deluxe Room, Twin Share
  • Professional Australia Outback guide for your touring at Ayers Rock and King’s Canyon
  • 1 Night at the Aurora Alice Springs Hotel, Standard Room, Twin Share
  • 2 Nights at the Hotel Lindrum in Melbourne, Superior Room, Twin Share
  • Transfer from your hotel in Alice Springs to the airport
  • All airport taxes & fuel surcharges to package inclusions

Value Adds:

  • Save $300 per person.  Normally $4,799 per person.  Limited time offer, valid if booked by 30 November 2014.
ASK about our GREAT SAVINGS
on PREMIUM ECONOMY and BUSINESS CLASS airfares for this itinerary

Booking Code:  NTAT03

Terms & Conditions:

  • Price is per person and based on twin share/2 adults traveling together.
  • Must book by 30 November 2014.
  • Subject to availability of airfare and hotels/tours at time of booking.
  • Black out dates apply.
  • Pricing is based on USD at today’s exchange rate and departure from Los Angeles.
  • Add-on fares are available from other cities.
  • Departs Tuesday and Saturday each week.
  • Packages are valid from 15 October 2014 to 31 March 2015. Travel to be completed by 31 March 2015.
  • Pricing reflects 3% discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check.  Credit cards accepted for payment; ask your Artisan specialist for terms.
  • Pricing is seasonal so call to ask about the dates you wish to travel.
  • Value adds cannot be combined, only one per booking.
  • Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.

Sports, Golf & Events

Let Artisan Traveler make your big plans a reality. Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Fiji’s Somosomo Strait or even Earth’s largest fringing reef at Ningaloo. Golf Cape Kidnappers or the private clubs of Melbourne. Snag a front-row seat to the world’s most anticipated sporting events. Or join the crowd at a vibrant festival. Artisan Traveler handcrafts itineraries designed around your wants, needs, timeframe and budget. To get a taste of what’s possible, check out these sample itineraries. Have a look, see what catches your eye, then chat to an Artisan Traveler expert to custom-create your itinerary.

Australia & New Zealand Golf Vacation $6,000-$7,999 per person Best Australian Golf Courses $2,000-$3,999 per person
ATGSE3 ATGSE2
Designed by passionate golfer for two passionate golfers from North Carolina, this is a combination of Australia and New Zealand’s great golf courses. They visited Tasmania and Melbourne in Australia, the two homes of the best golf in the country. After enjoying rounds of golf at Barnbougle and Lost Farm near the Tamar Wine Valley in Tasmania, this golf couple also spent four nights of their Australia and New Zealand golf vacation in Melbourne in stylish accommodations. Then they headed to the sunny, warm Bay of Islands in New Zealand for Kauri Cliffs and ended at stunning Cape Kidnappers, which is a bit farther south, for the absolute best golfing in New Zealand in spectacular scenery. Suggested Length: 16 Days Designed by a passionate golfer, this is a combination of great Australia golf courses and her highlights. A round of golf at Royal Melbourne and The Dunes in the sandbelt, while staying at stylish centrally located accommodations. Venture on to Tasmania for the challenging Lost Farm and Barnbougle Dunes and a chance to explore wine country. Every Australian golf package should finish in Sydney with a round at historic La Perouse with the locals, and enjoying 5 star accommodations.
Inclusions:
– 16 days rental car
– 4 nights Tasmania
– 3 nights Melbourne
– 2 nights Auckland
– 1 night Karikari Peninsula
– 2 nights Matauri Bay
– 2 nights Hawke’s Bay
– Barnbougle Dunes Golf Cours
– Lost Farm Golf Course
– Golf Harbour Country Club Course
– Carrington Golf Course
– Kauri Cliffs Golf Course
– Cape kidnappers Golf Course
– 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners
– 24-hour local assistance
– Australian visa processing for US citizens
Inclusions:
– Private airport transfers
– 10 days rental car
– 3 nights Palm Cove
– 4 nights Melbourne
– 3 nights Tasmania
– 3 nights Sydney
– Paradise Palms Golf Course
– Barnbougle Golf Course
– Lost Farm Golf Course
– Private wildlife tour in Tasmania
– Private La Perouse transfers
– Visa processing for US citizens
– 24-hour local assistance
Booking Code: ATSGE1 Booking Code: ATSGE2
Golf: 19 Days New Zealand, Created by Golfers $8,000-$11,999 per person The Australian Open, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney 11 Days $2,307 per person
ATGSE1 ATGSE4
Designed by golfers. New Zealand is quickly becoming one of the best golf locations in the world. In this itinerary, you’ll stay at the country’s most luxurious lodges and hotels, while golfing the most famous courses. Included are Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers, both listed on the World’s Top 50 Golf Resorts by Golfer’s Digest. All green fees, golf cart for two passengers, and rental clubs are included in this golf lover’s dream itinerary. Plus, see the highlights of New Zealand along the way… See the Australian Open, the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney on this amazing 11 day trip.  Arrive in Melbourne where you can enjoy a walking tour of downtown seeing Melbourne the way few people ever do.  Here you can take in all the tennis action you want while attending the Australian Open.  From Melbourne you will fly to Cairns where you will enjoy the Great Barrier Reef Cruise.  From Cairns you will fly to Sydney where you can take in the city life.  Explore the city taking in all the sights like the Sydney Opera House and cruise the harbour.
Inclusions:
– Private airport transfers
– 15 days rental car
– 4 nights Queenstown
– 2 nights Canterbury
– 1 night Christchurch
– 3 nights Wellington
– 2 nights Taupo
– 3 nights Napier
– 3 nights Bay of Islands
– Millbrook Resort Golf Course
– Jack’s Point Golf Course
– Terrace Downs Golf Course
– Clearwater Golf Course
– Zealandia entry in Wellington
– Bottle of wine and tapas plate
– Paraparauma Beach Golf Course
– Kinloch Golf Course
– Cape Kidnappers Golf Course
– Kauri Cliffs Golf Course
– 6 breakfasts, 6 dinners
– 24-hour local assistance
Inclusions:
– Accommodation for 11 nights
– Melbourne 4 nights
– Carins 3 nights
– Sydney 3 Nights
– Reserve seating in the Rod Laver Arena with 4        sessions at the Australian Open
– Small group walking tour of Melbourne
– Full day Great Barrier Reef cruise including lunch
– Cruise on Sydney Harbour
– Tour of the Sydney Opera House
– Airport transfers
– 24/7 local travel assistance
– Australian GST

Food & Wine

Not all travel can be captured by a camera. Let Artisan Traveler deliver an adventure you can just taste. Walk past the waiting lists at the best restaurants in Sydney. Journey through Mornington Peninsula with a top chef in search of the best local ingredients. Dine by starlight in the Sounds of Silence deep in the heart of the Outback. Sip wines straight off the vineyard on the New Zealand classic wine trail. Artisan Traveler handcrafts itineraries designed around your wants, needs, timeframe and budget. To get a taste of what’s possible, check out these sample itineraries. Have a look, see what catches your eye, then chat to an Artisan Traveler expert to custom-create your itinerary

Discover New Zealand – Unique Food and Wine – $4,000-$5,999 per person Ultimate Food Safari – Fiji – $3,649 per person

Gibbston valley winery, Gibbston Valley. New Zealand.
Gibbston valley winery, Gibbston Valley. New Zealand.

Castaway08, Castaway  Resort
Castaway08, Castaway Resort
This special itinerary was created for a couple from Chicago who wanted to experience the wine trail in New Zealand, but wanted a personal, unique vacation. So we sent them to all four major wine areas in New Zealand. They started in Napier where they tasted wine and experienced the unique art deco architecture. Then they moved on to Wellington for a wine tour train excursion through Martinborough. We then sent them to amazing property, the Bay of Many Coves in Queen Charlotte Sound where the owners prepared special meals for them each night. They also toured the Marlborough and Central Otago regions.                           Suggested Length: 11 Days Join us on our inaugural Fiji Food Safari, hosted by Castaway Island’s Executive Chef, Lance Seeto. This seven day itinerary will take you on a journey to discover more about the amazing Fijian produce now available from our oceans and rich fertile land. Chef Lance will be launching his book as a part of this special experience, COCONUT BLISS: Inspiration and the Food of Life from Ancient Fiji.
Inclusions:
– 3 nights accommodation in Napier
– 2 nights accommodation in Wellington
– 3 nights at Bay of Many Coves
– 2 nights accomodations in Queenstown
– Art Deco Walking Tour
– Hawke’s Day Shared Winery Tour
– Martinborough Wine Train Tour
– Otago Wine Tour
– 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 3 dinners
– All water taxi transfer
– All land transfers
Inclusions:
– Airfare to and from LAX
– 6 nights at Castaway Island Resort, Beach Bure
– Daily meals
– All cooking classes and special escursions
– All meals including morning & afternoon tea
– Transfers to and from resort
Booking Code: ATFW1 Booking Code: ATFW2
Tasmania Food, Wine, Wildlife Expedition – $4,000-$5,999 per person 16 Days Australian Epicurean Journey – $12,000 per person
ATFW3 ATFW4
This vacation was created for two couples who were looking to experience Australia and Tasmania. We gave them a blend of self-driving and luxury small group/private touring, which combined Tasmania’s exceptional cuisine and its outdoor beauty. They got to explore several cool climate wine regions, shucked oysters right from the water, and visited some of Australia’s most breathtaking scenery. Tasmania is the perfect blend of hospitality, organic cuisine and wildlife. Their final evening was with Craig, one of our personal favorites, and it was truly a food, wine and wildlife encounter that they are still talking about. Suggested Length: 8 Days This trip was designed for a couple, he is a chef and she is an accountant. This was their post tax day Australia vacation. He wanted to taste all of the local cuisine; she needed a place to unwind and relax. They started their Australia vacation with a few days on luxurious Lizard Island at the Great Barrier Reef where they completely relaxed. Then they started on their chef-led journey complete with private wine and food tours. They ended their food and wine journey at Penfolds where they “made their own blend”. To round out their Australia vacation, they really wanted to hit the highlights, which included a private yacht cruise on Sydney harbor, behind the scenes tour of Sydney Fish Market (largest in the Southern Hemisphere), and a Sydney Opera House performance with dinner at astounding Aria. Suggested Length: 16 Days
Inclusions:
– 8 day car rental
– 3 nights at 4-star horel in Hobart
– 2 nights at Saffire Freycinet
– 2 nights at 4-star hotel in Launceston
– Tasmania Food & Wine Tour
– Tamar Valley Wine Region Tour
– 2 breakfast, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
– Australian visa processing
– 24-hour local assistance for all needs while traveling
Inclusions:
– Private airport transfers
– Flights Cairns-Lizard Island-Cairns
– 4 nights Melbourne
– 3 nights Adelaide
– 5 nights Sydney
– Private tour of Yarra Wine Valley
– Private tour of Barossa Wine Valley
– Private Sydney Harbour Cruise
– Private tour of Hunter WIne Valley
– Tour of Sydney Fish Market
– Performance and dinner at Sydney Opera House
– 3 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 4 dinners
– Visa processing for US citizens
– 24-hour local assistance for all your needs while  traveling

Wildlife & Wilderness

Visiting a zoo is not the same as voyaging into the wild. Let Artisan Traveler take you to a world of epic landscapes and animal encounters. Kayak among fur seals in the quiet mist of New Zealand’s fjords. Dive the vibrant depths of the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkel through the impossible blue of Fiji’s sea caves. Cuddle a koala or keep a careful distance from crocodiles in Kadadu. Rise early for a champagne breakfast with kangaroos in the Outback or hike through the night to spot the endangered Tasmanian Devil. Artisan Traveler handcrafts itineraries designed around your wants, needs, timeframe and budget. To get a taste of what’s possible, check out these sample itineraries. Have a look, see what catches your eye, then chat to an Artisan Traveler expert to custom-create your itinerary.

The Best of Australian Outback Adventure $8,000-$11,999 per person Reef, Rainforest, Outback & Wildlife $6,000-$7,999 per person
ATWW3 ATWW4
This amazing vacation was created for an anniversary couple who wanted to experience the magic of the Barossa Valley combined with a luxurious cruise. They started at the top end in Darwin for two nights at a luxurious lodge and then went on to Broome where they boarded the True North boat for a 7 day cruise of Kimberly. After the cruise, they decided they needed a little adventure, so they stayed on three days to experience the wilderness. They ended in Adelaide for a little pampering and wine tasting. Suggested length: 16 days From ancient rainforest to the teeming barrier reef to the remote Outback to Kangaroo Island (the Galapagos of Australia) to the relaxed city of Melbourne, this itinerary takes you out and about to the best places to see wildlife and wilderness in Australia. Add luxury accommodations throughout and you have an itinerary set to pamper you while staying in remote, off-the-beaten-path destinations. Spectacular scenery and unique wildlife, along with a mix of quirky local character, bring you to the best wilderness and wildlife.
Inclusions:
– 2 Nights Accommodations at Bamurru Plains
– 7 Nights on the True North Cruise Ship
– 3 Nights Accommodations at El Questro Homestead
– 3 Nights Accommodations at Kingsford Homestead
– True North Heli flights are NOT included
– Full day tour of Arnhem Land – Kakudu
– All meals aboard cruise ship
– All meals at El Questro and Kingsford Homestead
– Touring at El Questro Homestead
– Private tour of Barossa Valley
– Hot air balloon tour of Barossa Valley
– All transfers as outlined
Inclusions:
– Private airport transfers
– 10 day rental car
– 3 nights Palm Cove
– 2 nights Silky Oaks Lodge
– 2 nights Adelaide
– 3 nights Outback
– 2 nights Kangaroo Island
– 2 nights Melbourne
– Great Barrier Reef snorkel cruise
– 2 days touring on Kangaroo Island
– Phillip Island wildlife tour
– 9 breadkfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
– 24-hour local assistance for all your needs while  traveling
– Australian visas for US citizens
Booking Code: ATWW1 Booking Code: ATWW2
Australia New Zealand Luxury Honeymoon Adventure $8,000-$11,999 per person New Zealand’s Penguins, Fiordlands & Wilderness $4,000-$5,999
TAWW4 ATWW5
A combination of adventure travel and luxury was the recipe for this vacation planned for a Dallas couple for their Australia and New Zealand luxury honeymoon. We put them at some of the South Pacific’s most acclaimed luxury lodges. They started their trip in the Daintree Rainforest, the oldest living rainforest in the world. From here they experienced the underwater wonderland of the Great Barrier Reef. Next for their Australia and New Zealand luxury honeymoon, they spent some time at the wonderful Wolgan Valley Resort nestled in the Blue Mountains Heritage area. In New Zealand, they enjoyed the wilderness and waterfalls at Treetops Lodge, and ended their Australia and New Zealand luxury honeymoon in spectacular Queenstown at New Zealand’s Top 5 luxury lodge, Blanket Bay Lodge. Suggested Length: 17 Days New Zealand is an excellent destination for off-the-beaten-path experiences with the beautiful mountain scenery as your playground. Mass tourism has yet to find its way here so travelers can find a hidden waterfall or a stunning mountain lake that seems it has yet to be discovered. Visit the penguins at sunrise on the Otago Peninsula, kayak in gorgeous scenery paired with the unique wildlife are an adventure’s dream.
Inclusions:
– Private airport transfers
– 5 days rental car
– 4 nights Daintree Rainforest
– 3 nights Wolgan Valley
– 2 nights Golden Bay
– 3 nights Queenstown
– Daintree Rainforest tour
– Great Barrier Reef snorkeling/diving trip
– Kiwi Encounter
– Farewell Spit tour
– Helicopter to Milford Sound
– Routeburn Track Guided Hike
– 14 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners
Inclusions:
– Airport transfers
– Private transfer to Arthur’s Pass
– 9 day rental car
– 1 night Arthur’s Pass
– 2 nights Dunedin
– 3 nights Te Anau
– 2 nights Rototua
– 2 nights Auckland
– Private nature hike at Arthur’s Pass
– Sunrise Penguin Walk and tour of Otago Peninsula
– Full day Doubtful Sound excursion
– Milford Sound kayaking
– Full day tour of White Island Marine Volcano
– Ferry to TiriTiri Matangi
– 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners

New Zealand – What to Know

Do I need to have a Passport and Visa to enter New Zealand?
All visitors to New Zealand must carry a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date you intend to leave the country.Currently travelers from more than 50 countries, including the USA, do not require a Visitor’s Visa for stays less than three months.

You do require in addition to your passport:
An onward or return ticket to a country that you have permission to enter. Sufficient money to support yourself during your stay – approximately NZ$1000 per month per person What is the customs quarantine procedure like when entering New Zealand? There are strict laws prohibiting or restricting the entry of drugs, steroids, weapons, firearms, protected wildlife and associated products. If you are unsure about anything declare it to Customs upon arrival.

What is and how much is the Departure tax?
A departure tax of NZ$25 has to be paid at the airport when you leave New Zealand. Please note this tax is not included in your ticket price.

What languages are spoken in New Zealand?
English is the common language of New Zealand. However, as New Zealand is a multicultural society, you may hear other languages spoken including Te Reo Maori, the official language of New Zealand. The vast majority of New Zealand place names are of Maori origin. A Maori phrase you’ll be sure to hear and see is Kia ora which means hello.

What is the time difference between New Zealand and the U.S.?
New Zealand is one of the first places in the world to see the new day, 17 hours ahead of EST or 20 hours ahead of PST. In summer New Zealand uses ‘daylight saving’, with clocks put forward one hour to EST+18/PST+21. Daylight saving begins on the first Sunday in October and ends on the third Sunday of the following March, when clocks are put back to EST+17/PST+20.

What currency is used in New Zealand?
New Zealand’s unit of currency is the New Zealand dollar (NZ$). Coins have values of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, $1 and $2; notes have values of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.

What Credit Cards can I use in New Zealand?
All major credit cards can be used in New Zealand. Travelers Checks are accepted at hotels, banks and some stores. International credit cards and ATM cards will work in New Zealand as long as they have a four-digit PIN encoded. Check with your bank before leaving home.

What Taxes are currently in place in New Zealand?
All goods and services are subject to a 12.5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) included in the displayed price. Visitors cannot claim this tax back; however when a supplier ships a major purchase to a visitor’s home address the GST will not be charged.

When and how much should I tip in New Zealand?
New Zealanders do not expect tips for normal service – even in restaurants and bars. However, tipping for extra special service or kindness is at the discretion of the visitor. Hotels and restaurants in New Zealand do not add service charges to their bills.

What electric voltage currency is in use in New Zealand?
230/240 volts, 50 Hz, 3 pin plugs. The power supply is 220/240 volts AC. Sockets accept three-flat-pin plugs so an adaptor is needed. 110v appliances will need a voltage converter.

Do I need to get any specfic vaccinations before entering New Zealand?
Vaccinations are not required unless you have come from, or visited a yellow fever infected country or zone within six days before arrival. No other health certificate is required to enter New Zealand.

Is all water safe to drink in New Zealand?
It is safe to drink tap water anywhere in New Zealand. Bottled mineral water is available throughout the country.

What precautions should I take to protect myself from the sun/weather in New Zealand?
New Zealand’s clear, unpolluted atmosphere and relatively low latitudes produce sunlight stronger than much of Europe or North America, so be prepared to wear hats and sun block if you plan to be out in the sun for more than 15-20 minutes. Weather conditions in New Zealand alpine areas can change rapidly. Be prepared for cold wet weather if you plan to walk in our National Parks, whatever the time of year.

What is the beach safety like in New Zealand?
Beaches with potential hazards are often patrolled by lifeguards, who put up yellow and red flags – Water Safety New Zealand recommend that between these flags is the safest place to swim on these beaches.

What do I need to know about driving in New Zealand?
New Zealanders drive on the left hand side of the road. The steering wheel is on the right hand side of the car. The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is 50 km/h (30 mph) and on country roads and highways, 100 km/h (62mph) unless signs indicate otherwise. Strict drink-driving laws apply. Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times. Visitors may drive in New Zealand on a valid overseas driver’s license for the same class of vehicle or an International Driving Permit. Licenses must be carried when driving. If the driver’s license is not in the English language, the visitor must carry a translation with the permit.

Beach & Islands

Most Australians lives within a 20 minute drive of the coast, so it’s hardly surprising that the beach is so deeply embedded in the culture. With so many beaches, both on the mainland and the islands strectching from the Great Barrier Reef to the untouched wilderness of Tasmania, you can have the sand between your toes in no time.

The coastline of New Zealand is stunning, pristine beaches, memorable walks and wildlife. The diversity of the coast will have you reaching for your camera time and again – the Abel Tasman National Park, the Bay of Islands, the Coromandel, the rugged South Island west coast, the black sands of Auckland, an endless list to enjoy.

Unspoiled white sand beaches, long hot days, fabulous coral gardens and the friendliest hosts in the world, are just a few of the things the island nation of Fiji is famous for.

Breathe in the fresh pure air. Wade into the cool, calm, blue lagoons. Let the untouched charm of these beautiful Cook Islands capture your spirit and hold your heart.

Hamilton Island, Kangaroo Island, Adelaide, & Sydney – $4,099 per person Sydney, Rainforest, Noosa, Fraser Island & Brisnane – $4,199 per person
ATBI1 ATBI2
16 days/13 nights: Sydney is the epitome of Australian culture: art, fashion, food, beaches, sports, nightlife, and so much more! This is the city to visit if you’re curious about the land down under. As home to the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Sydney is a city with so many eclectic layers waiting for you to uncover. Hamiltom Island, in this quintessential aquatic wonderland, you can revel in the very best of everything that is great about Australia: glorious warm weather, azure waters, brilliant white beaches, awe-inspiring coral reefs, fascinating flora and fauna, 10km of bushwalking trails, fine food and wines, laid back luxury, unpretentious service, and activities almost too numerous to mention If you like to be where the action is, you can’t beat Sydney. A modern, vibrant city with something for everyone.  An overnight stopover in Noosa where the bushland and its natural creatures are ‘right at the front door’, then onto Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world. The island is a place of exceptional beauty, with its long uninterrupted white beaches flanked by strikingly coloured sand cliffs, its majestic tall rainforests and numerous freshwater lakes of crystal clear waters. The capital of the Sunshine State, Brisbane is located on the banks of the Brisbane River and enjoys a subtropical climate year round. During the last decade, the city has matured into a unique blend of historic buildings and sophisticated architecture. Visit the South Bank development, the former site of the 1988 world expo and the Botanical Gardens.
Inclusions:
– Round trip economy class air from Los Angeles with  Qantas Airways
– All international flights within Australia
– 13 nights accommodation in your choice of 3, 4, or 5  star hotels
– 4 nights Sydney
– 5 nights Reef View Hotel Hamilton Island Coral            Sea View including full breakfast daily for 3/4*          package or Beach  club for 5* package
– 3 nights Adelaide
– 2 full days/ 1 night Kangaroo Island Coral Sea View  including full day tour including lunch
– Round trip transportation from Adelaide to Kangaroo  Island by scenic coach & ferry transfer
– Half day small group sightseeing tour of Sydney
– Harbour cruise of Sydney
– Half day city sights tour of Adelaide
– All airline taxes and fuel surcharges
Inclusions:
– Round trip Economy air from Los Angeles to Sydney
– Domestic Australian flights
– 4 nights Sydney
– 2 nights O’Reillys Rainforest retreat
– 1 night Noosa, Quay West
– 2 nights Fraser Island, Kingfisher Bay Retreat
– 4 WD day tour of Fraser Island
– 2 nights Brisbane
Booking Code: ATBI1 Booking Code: ATBI2
Yasawa Island Luxury – $4,299 per person Outrigger on the Lagoon & Castaway Island – $3,470 per person
ATBI3 ATBI4
Located on Yasawa Island, one of the most pristine parts of Fiji and located by a 35 minute charter flight from Nadi is the spectacular sanctuary of Yasawa Island Resort & Spa.  Enjoy brilliant, fine, white sandy beaches and perfectly clear seas to channel your very own Blue Lagoon movie fantasy.  Your contemporary air-conditioned Fijian bure is set in lush gardens on the edge of the beach – your haven for 6 nights of absolute luxury. Enjoy three nights in a deluxe Oceanview room at the award winning Outrigger on the Lagoon in the heart of Fiji’s Coral Coast and the services of your own personalized butler to serve you complimentary champagne & canapés each evening. Relax as you enjoy a one hour spa treatment at the new Bebe Spa – the most spectacular spa in the South Pacific. Depart Outrigger by a scenic 20 minute helicopter transfer to Castaway, one of Fiji’s most popular resorts blessed with beautiful white sand beaches and lush tropical gardens. Your home for the next three nights is a traditional Fijian thatched bure. Enjoy your Island experience with all meals included and a complimentary Dolphin Safari tour.
Inclusions:
– Round trip Economy air from Los Angeles to Sydney
– Domestic Australian flights
– 4 nights Sydney
– 2 nights O’Reillys Rainforest retreat
– 1 night Noosa, Quay West
– 2 nights Fraser Island, Kingfisher Bay Retreat
– 4 WD day tour of Fraser Island
– 2 nights Brisbane
Inclusions:
– Economy air round trip from Los Angeles to Nadi, Fiji, on  Air Pacific
– 3 nights Outrigger on the Lagoon – deluxe ocean-view  room
– 3 nights Castaway Island – Island Bure
– All transfers within Fiji including scenic helicopter trip
– All non motorized activities, 2 x 1 hour spa treatments    at Outrigger and Dolphin Safari tour at Castaway      Honeymoon bonus – Outrigger: Complimentary sulus &  special gift. Castaway: Complimentary wine, fruit  basket, sulus & a champagne Island hop on “Teivovo’ –    Fiji’s fastes speedboat.
Booking Code: ATBI3 Booking Code: ATBI4

Multiple Destinations

Looking for mixture and diversity, a tropical beach and New Zealand adventure, want to see the Sydney, the outback and relax at a Fijian island resort or an overwater bungalow and a lodge with a wood burning fireplace. No Problem. Below are some of our suggestions. The combinations are numerous and the flight schedules do vary daily between different countries so we recommend speaking with a Aspire Down Under consultant and tailor your dream itinerary.

Australia & New Zealand Australia & Fiji
Australia from the awesome beauty and wild colors of Ayers Rock & Great Barrier Reef to the famous man-made icons such as the Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge. New Zealand’s awesome landscapes, lush forests, amazing wildlife and pleasant climate make it a haven for many outdoor activities. And the great advantage of New Zealand is that all of its diverse physical, cultural, and artistic landscapes are so close to each other! Australia’s icons range from the awesome beauty and wild colors of the natural icons such as Ayers Rock & Great Barrier Reef to the famous man-made icons such as the Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge. Unspoiled white sand beaches, long hot days, fabulous coral gardens and the friendliest hosts in the world, are just a few of the things the island nation of Fiji is famous for. The spirit, culture and beauty of Fiji will captivate you.
New Zealand & Fiji Cook Islands & New Zealand
New Zealand’s awesome landscapes, lush forests, amazing wildlife and pleasant climate make it a haven for many outdoor activities. And the great advantage of New Zealand is that all of its diverse physical, cultural, and artistic landscapes are so close to each other! Unspoiled white sand beaches, long hot days, fabulous coral gardens and the friendliest hosts in the world, are just a few of the things the island nation of Fiji is famous for. The spirit, culture and beauty of Fiji will captivate you The perfect South Pacific combination. Stop enroute at the Cook Islands, a place where simple, lazy days meet luxurious evenings, beautiful white sand beaches and panoramic views of the reef and breaking ocean waves. Onto New Zealand and whatever experiences take your fancy, romance and luxury, outdoor pursuits and adventure or food and wine And the great advantage of New Zealand is that all of its diverse physical, cultural, and artistic landscapes are so close to each other!

Luxury Adventure

Still waiting to take that luxurious trip you have always dreamt of, well here is your chance. Leave behind your worries and discover the wonders of the South Pacific, whether it be a cruise in Australia, while diving the depths of the Great Barrier Reef, or an unforgettable adventure off-the-beaten-path, we have what you are looking for.

5-Star Adventure-Sydney, the Reef & the Rock $8,541 per person Epic Australian Wilderness – per person – price on application
ATLA6  ATLA7
A luxury yacht cruise on the Great Barrier Reef, Qualia, and exclusive performance at the Sydney Opera House, deluxe and private touring, with luxury accommodation in Sydney and Ayres Rock. A luxurious vacation to some of Australia’s most contrasting wilderness locations, close encounters with unique wildlife, the Indian Pacific rail journey and the country’s finest accommodation.
Inclusions:
– Accommodation for 10 nights including a luxury yacht  cruise (2) and in 5 star hotels at Qualia on Hamilton  Island (2), Shangri La Hotel Sydney (4), Longitude 131  Ayres Rock (2)
– 2 day/ 2 night luxury yacht cruise in a double ensuite    cabin at the Whitsunday Islands includes all meals, non-  alcoholic beverages, marine & park island fees, kayaks    and snorkeling equipment
– Helicopter tour to the Outer Barrier Reef
– 30 minute scenic helicopter flight in Sydney
– Full day private guided Hunter Valley Wine Tour
– Private performance and tour of the Sydney Opera    House
– Private transfers
– 2 x Australian ETAs (electronic visas) values at $US40-    Free
Inclusions:
– Accommodation in 5 star hotels for 10 nights in Sydney (3), Blue Mountains (2), Kangaroo Isand (2), and Tasmania (3)
– Helicopter flight in Sydney
– 4 hour Sydney Harbour Cruise with gourmet lunch
– Full day Hunter Valley Wine Tour
– Rail transfers to Adelaide
– Return flights to Kangaroo Island
– 3 days compact car rental
– Private transfers.
Booking Code: ATLA1 Booking Code: ATLA2
Journey to Middle Earth! A 10 Day 5-star New Zealand Adventure $2, 719 Signature Australia Silver 5-star Luxury 13 Days – $6,380 per person
ATLA5 ATLA
A 10 day 5-star adventure.  Journey beneath southern skies and discover a land reminiscent of JRR Tolkien’s fantasy world of lush lowlands barren watelands, deep hidden valleys and remote mystical mountains. This independent tour of Australia takes in all the highlights of the country. Including Melbourne, Ayres Rock/Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney and air from Los Angeles.
Inclusions:
– Accomodation for 9 nights in 5-star luxury hotels
– Stay 2 nights at the new Sofitel Auckland Viaduct  Harbour with a Free upgrade to Marina View Room
– Intermediate Automatic Rental Car for 9 days
– Hobbiton Movie Set and Farm Tour
– Stay 2 nights at Black Swan Lakeside Boutique Hotel,  Rotorua including breadkfast
– Visit Te Puia to learn about Maori arts and crafts on a  guided, receive a complimentary greenstome or bone  carving
– Mitai Maori Cultural Experience and Hangi Feast Dinner
– Stay 2 nights at the boutique hotel – The George Hotel,  Christchurch
– Enjoy a Lord of the Rings Tour in Christchurch to movie    locations
– Stay 3 nights at the 5-star Sofitel Queenstown with a  FREE upgrade to Luxury Room
– Private airport transfers
Inclusions:
– Round trip economy air from Los Angeles
– Luxury accommodation for 10 nights in Melbourne (2),    Ayres Rock (2), Cairns/Palm Cove (4), and Sydney (2)
– Guided walking tour of Melbourne
– Small group guided Australian wildlife eco-tour
– Sounds of Silence DInner
– Uluru Sunset Tour
– Kata Tjuta Sunrise Tour
– Great Barrier Reef Cruise
– Half Day sightseeing small group tour of Sydney
– Sydney Opera House Tour
– Private transfers to and from airports
– International and Domestic Flights

New Zealand – When to go

Best time to honeymoon in New Zealand
Year round. Warmer months are November – March, however New Zealand’s temperate climate makes it great to explore any time.

Best time to see penguins and whales
Althougth both arevisible year round, they tend to be more active and in large numbers in New Zealand’s winter months, June – September. Kaikour is the bease to enjoy whale watching cruises, swin with dolphns and even seals. Dunedin is home to the only land accessible Royal Albatross breeding colony, as well as the yellow-eyed penguin.

Best time to Self drive the South Island of New Zealand
October – May although it can be enjoyed year round. October/November will still have snow capped mountain peaks in the distance. February is very busy time to travel and needs to be booked well in advance. They drive on the left hand side of the road, but we always ensure you have an automatic rental car with GPS as an option.

Best time for hiking on glaciers and black water rafting
Year round. In their summer, December – March you can hike in shorts on the glacier. Weather changes hourly in this region. We usually include 2 nights here for maximum chances of heli-hiking on the glaciers. Black water rafting, being underground involves a wetsuit and is great year round.

Best time to see Maori culture
Year round. How in depth you would like to go, decides the location and the experience we recommend to you. From contemporary art galleries, to traditional Marae visits and modern day Maori wine makers.

Best time to golf in new Zealand
November – March. Some of us are avid golfers, visit our blog about our top 10 courses and insider tips on which courses to play.

Best time for food and wine touring in New Zealand
Year round – harvest time is a great event in New Zealand. Festivals in small towns makes a wonderful self drive exploration. The Classic New Zealand wine trail allows you to meander through the country visiting the best of the local boutique wineries.

Best time to ski in New Zealand
August – October. Both North and South Island offer skiing opportunities. Let us know your ski level and we’ll match the perfect location.

Best time to visit New Zealand and Fiji
We like this combination for adventure and beach relaxation. Best done August – November or March – May. But great to do year round, we simply pair resorts and locations you visit by the time of the year you travel.

Best time to visit New Zealand and Australia
Year round, we change where you visit in each country depending on the time of year you travel. To see the highlights or for active outdoors, March – May or October – December.

11 days: Ultimate Cultural Australia – Uluru, the Top End, and Great Barrier Reef from $3,899 per person (includes airfare)

See the diverse ecosystems of the Northern Territory, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Daintree Rainforest- some of the amazing natural wonders that Australia has to offer. Arrive into Uluru (Ayers Rock) at the center of Australia; the sheer size of Uluru/Ayers Rock along with the strong sense of spirituality and culture found here, means a visit to Uluru is an encounter with the very heart of the Australia. Following Uluru, head north to the top end city of Darwin. Embark on an incredible indigenous journey with an aboriginal guide. Continue onto Cairns and journey an hour north to Port Douglas, the gateway to an amazing selection of touring options encompassing the Reef, the Outback and the Rainforest.

Artisan Traveler offers travelers unique experiences in each location. Our philosophy is to engage visitors in the culture of Australia, and allow them to see the country through the eyes of a local.

These itineraries can be fully customized; to book as seen or to tailor one of these packages to your specific requirements please call An Artisan specialist at 1-800-576-4812.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart US
Depart the United States for Australia.

Day 2 – Cross International Dateline

Day 3 – Arrive into Australia
On arrival into Ayers Rock you will be met by your driver for a shared transfer to the Resort.

Ayers Rock/Uluru is in the center of Australia.  The sheer size of Uluru/Ayers Rock as well as the strong sense of spirituality and culture you find here, means a visit here is an encounter within the very heart of Australia.  Uluru is sacred to the people of the area and on this vacation you’ll have the chance to explore with an Aboriginal guide, giving you a firsthand account of the stories, folklore and importance of this sacred place.

Spend 2 nights at Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel, a superior 4½ star hotel at Voyages Ayers Rock Resort.  Magnificent ghost gums and flowering native shrubs are the setting for this hotel. Voyages Desert Gardens Hotel is centrally located to all resort and touring facilities and offers a range of accommodation, from shaded poolside rooms to deluxe rooms overlooking the desert.  You can relax in the comfort of your own private balcony or courtyard, or unwind in the hotel’s pool, sipping cocktails from the Bunya bar.  It’s only a short stroll to the Resorts’ numerous lookouts, where you can view what is arguably Australia’s best sunset, with the spectacular play of colours across the face of Uluru and the surrounding desert.  Once the sun has set, dine at Arnguli Grill and savour an a la carte flame grilled menu.

Day 4 – Uluru & Kata Tjuta
Activity:  Sunrise Kata Tjuta and Sunset Uluru Tours
Revel in the early morning serenity of a truly spiritual place as the sunrise colours change on Kata Tjuta. Departing the resort the tour will travel through the landscape to the entrance of Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park. From there is it a 40km journey through the desert landscape to the mighty rock formation.  On arrival at the viewing area, you walk to the best vantage point to see the 36 domes that comprise this spiritual place while watching the sun’s morning glow as the desert comes alive.

After a scrumptious breakfast in the desert, you will return to your hotel for a few free hours.

As sunset approaches, you’ll begin your journey to explore the most profound and culturally significant monolith in Australia. Departing the resort, the tour will travel through the landscapes to the entrance of the Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park.  From this point, it is only a matter of minutes before the spectra of Uluru rises from the sand dunes to demonstrate its enormity and presence in this country .  With Uluru looming in front of you, you journey toward the base.  Walk with your guide to a place of tranquility.  The closer you wander the more you surrender to the realization of the sheer size of this monolith.

Day 5 – To Darwin
Complimentary transfer from the Desert Garden Hotel to the airport.  Fly Ayers Rock to Darwin.  Make your way to your hotel, as per your own arrangements.

Spend 2 nights at the Novotel Darwin Atrium – conveniently located in the city centre, overlooking Darwin Harbour. This 4-star hotel is a short stroll from the Mitchell Street dining and entertainment precinct and is equally suited for business trips and holidays. Boasting 140 spacious rooms and conferencing facilities, Novotel Darwin Atrium features a magnificent tropical indoor rainforest, complete with cascading vines and palm trees. Try the famous cocktails in the bar or enjoy a delicious meal in the restaurant.

Day 6 – Northern Territory Indigenous Tour

Activity:  Indigenous Litchfield Spectacular Day Tour

Learn the real story on this small-group day tour from Darwin to Litchfield National Park. Explore the area with a personable Indigenous guide with countless generations of history in the region. Get hands on as our guide demonstrates bush resources in season. See and refresh yourself at iconic waterfalls. Experience dramatic stone country as it comes alive in our tropical summer. Enjoy a flame-grilled lunch of ocean-caught barramundi, marinated kangaroo and crocodile back fillet, at private Woolaning Spring. Be treated to expert natural and cultural interpretation from guides with unrivaled knowledge of the area. Take home memories you’ll never forget.

Inclusions—Small-group touring by air-conditioned tour vehicle; pickups from any Darwin accommodation; expert interpretation of the natural and cultural environment from an Aboriginal viewpoint; lunch of freshly cooked wild caught barramundi, crocodile and kangaroo; water bottle and cool water.

Day 7 – To Port Douglas
Make your way to the Darwin airport.  Fly Darwin to Cairns.  On arrival into Cairns, you will be transferred from Cairns airport to Thala Beach Nature Reserve (approximately 50 minutes).

Accommodation – Thala Beach Lodge, Port Douglas

Thala_Beach_lodge_650

Stay 4 fabulous nights at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Port Douglas in an Coral Sea Bungalow – A true eco-tourist resort; the main building is designed to embrace all the elements of the tropics. Built from local timbers, as well as open and spacious, it allows the cool sea breezes to flow through. A circular guest lounge and reading room sits amongst the Poplar Gums with beautiful views over the Coral Sea. Forest paths weave amongst wispy eucalyptus with chalk white bark, linking the bungalows with the main building. A path leads onto a private beach where hours can be spent discovering secluded coves. Great sensitivity has been applied to the design of the bungalows, which are individually built high on timber poles, looking out through the canopy of trees. Each has air-conditioning as well as ceiling fans and bathrooms feature a separate shower and bath. All Bungalows have a private veranda with generous windows allowing guests to enjoy the tropical surroundings in comfort.
 

Day 8
At Leisure.

Day 9
At Leisure.

Day 10
At Leisure.

Day 11
Transfer from Thala Beach Nature Preserve to the Cairns Airport.  Fly Cairns to your connecting gateway in Australia, and board your return flight home to the US.


Inclusions:

  • Round trip International airfare from Los Angeles in Economy class
  • Domestic Australia airfare in Economy class
  • 2 Nights at the Desert Gardens Hotel, Standard Room, Twin Share
  • Transfers from/to the Ayers Rock airport to/from the Desert Gardens Hotel
  • Sunrise Uluru Tour including breakfast
  • Sunset Kata Tjuta Tour including champagne
  • National Park Ticket for Uluru and Kata Tjuta
  • 2 Nights at the Novotel Darwin, Standard Room, Twin Share
  • Small group tour of Litchfield National Park with Aboriginal guide
  • 4 Nights at Thala Beach Nature Reserve, Coral Sea Bungalow, Twin Share, including Breakfast daily
  • Transfers from/to Cairns airport to/from Thala Beach Lodge
  • All airport taxes & fuel surcharges to package inclusions

Value Adds:

  • HUGE SAVINGS – Normally $5,995 per person.  Limited time special offer of $3,899 per person. A savings of $2,000 per person.
ASK about our GREAT SAVINGS
on PREMIUM ECONOMY and BUSINESS CLASS airfares for this itinerary

Booking Code:  NTAT01

Terms & Conditions:

  • Price is per person and based on twin share/2 adults traveling together.
  • Subject to availability of airfare and hotels/tours at time of booking.
  • Black out dates apply.
  • Pricing is based on USD at today’s exchange rate and departure from Los Angeles.
  • Add-on fares are available from other cities.
  • Departs Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week.
  • Packages are valid from 15 October 2014 to 31 March 2015. Travel to be completed by 31 March 2015.
  • Pricing reflects 3% discount for purchases made by cash/wire transfer/check.  Credit cards accepted for payment; ask your Artisan specialist for terms.
  • Pricing is seasonal so call to ask about the dates you wish to travel.
  • Value adds cannot be combined, only one per booking.
  • Cancellation penalties and other restrictions apply.

KIP FAGAN

kipKip Fagan directed Jesse Eisenberg’s Asuncion for Rattlestick last fall. Other Rattlestick credits include Heidi Schreck’s There Are No More Big Secrets and Sheila Callaghan’s That Pretty Pretty; or, The Rape Play.

Other NYC: Carlos Murillo’s A Thick Description of Harry Smith and Sam Hunter’s Jack’s Precious Moment (P73), Sheila Callaghan’s Roadkill Confidential and Rachel Hoeffel’s Quail (Clubbed Thumb), Zayd Dohrn’s Reborning and Cory Hinkle’sCipher (SPF), Sheila Callaghan’s Recess and Christopher Durang’s Not a Creature Was Stirring(The Flea), Greg Keller’s The Young Left (Cherry Lane), Sam Marks’s Nelson (Partial Comfort).

Other regional: Annie Baker’s Circle Mirror Transformation (Marin Theatre Company), Greg Kotis’s Michael Von Siebenberg Melts Through the Floorboards and Jennifer Haley’s Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom (Humana Festival), Sam Hunter’s A Permanent Image (Boise Contemporary Theater), Jordan Harrison’s Futura (Portland Center Stage), Len Jenkin’s Limbo Tales (Todd Mountain), Tommy Smith and Gabriel Kahane’s musicalCaravan Man (Williamstown), Craig Lucas’s Small Tragedy (The Playwrights Center), Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery (Empty Space Theatre), and several plays with Printer’s Devil in Seattle, which he co-founded.

Kip has developed new plays with Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public, New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Vineyard Theatre, New Dramatists, Ars Nova, The Lark, and many regional theatres. He has taught and/or directed at SUNY Purchase, The Juilliard School, and NYU. He was a 2003-2004 NEA/TCG directing fellow and the 2007 Bill Foeller directing fellow at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Upcoming: David Ives’s Venus in Fur (George Street / Philadelphia Theatre Company).

DANIEL ORESKES

danDaniel Oreskes recently performed the role of Bretzky in Nathan Englander’s TWENTYSEVENTH MAN at the Public Theatre as well as the role of Misha in The New Group’s acclaimed production of RUSSIAN TRANSPORT.  Broadway credits include BILLY ELLIOT, THE MIRACLE WORKER,  CYMBELINE, ELECTRA, AIDA, and THE SONG OF JACOB ZULU.  Off-Broadway credits include TERRORISM, ROAR, JAYSON WITH A “Y” at the New Group, A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM at the Delacorte, John Shanley’s CELLINI at Second Stage, MISSING MARISSA (Primary Stages), Doug Wright’s QUILLS at New York Theatre Workshop, and Arthur Miller’s MR PETERS CONNECTIONS at Signature Theatre. Film and Television credits include THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, DEVIL’S ADVOCATE, THE SOPRANOS, THE GOOD WIFE, RESCUE ME, THIRD WATCH, PAN AM, LAW AND ORDER.

SYNOPSIS

synopsisDavid arrives in Poland with a crippling case of writer’s block and a desire to be left alone. His 75-year-old second cousin Maria welcomes him with a fervent need to connect with her distant American family. As their tenuous relationship develops, she reveals details about her complicated post-war past that test their ideas of what it means to be a family.

BUY TICKETS

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PHONE: Call Ovationtix at 866-811-4111
BOX OFFICE: Cherry Lane Theatre,
38 Commerce Street
Call 212.989.2020 for box office hours.

TICKETS: $85
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QUESTIONS
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Jesse Eisenberg

je-creditsf2-bird-frameJesse Eisenberg most recently wrote and starred in Rattlestick’s Asuncion at the Cherry Lane Theatre, for which he was nominated for a Drama League Award.  He has appeared in the films “The Social Network” (Oscar nomination), “Zombieland”, “Adventureland” (BAFTA nomination), “The Squid and the Whale”, and “Roger Dodger”.  He is also a contributing writer for McSweeney’s and his humor essays have appeared in Harper’s and The New York Times.

 

Vanessa Redgrave

Vanessa RedgraveVanessa Redgrave was Guest Director of the Brighton Festival 2012. During the Festival she directed and narrated with Nadim Sawalha & Najla Said, a play with music and a girls’ choir,devised by Vanessa and Mariam C.Said, based on the memoir of Mariam’s mother Wadad Makdisi Cortas, a devoted teacher and principal of a girls school in Beirut, Lebanon.This was presented at the Theatre Royal, Brighton in May, 2012.

In June this year in Dublin, Vanessa recited the Seamus Heaney poem “The Republic of Conscience” for the Amnesty International Concert for Aung San Suu Kyi, who received the Ambassador of Conscience Award from Bono.

Vanessa was last on Broadway in the 2010/2011 season with James Earl Jones & Boyd Gaines in the play by Alfred Uhry ” Driving Miss Daisy”, directed by David Esbjornson.

In the 2007 season she was seen in Joan Didion’s play “The Year of Magical Thinking” directed by Sir David Hare.

Vanessa appears in a new film with Terence Stamp, “Song For Marion”, screened at the TIFF Festival in Toronto September 15 this year,and also on October 19 at the London Film Festival.”Coriolanus” the film starring and directed by Ralph Fiennes, in which Vanessa plays Volumnia,the mother of Shakespeare’s warrior, was also screened at these Festivals in 2011. One of Vanessa’s favorite roles is in “Letters to Juliet” directed by Gary Winnick, filmed in Italy in 2009, and also in The Whistleblower with Rachel Weisz, released 2011.

On September 14th this year Vanessa Redgrave received UNICEF Germany’s Award for Childrens Rights in Frankfurt. She has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1995, and a UNICEF-UK Special Representative from 1993-1995.