Our Travel Inspiration, Jan. 27

Welcome back to Our Travel Inspiration. Please follow along with us each Monday for our carefully-curated selection of current Asia and travel-related news stories.

jan27-blog
 

Share-worthy pieces on Asia this week:

Travel tidbits that caught our fancy:

We’d love to hear your feedback—please comment below. And please come back next Monday for more of Our Travel Inspiration!

Our Travel Inspiration, Jan. 20

Welcome back to Our Travel Inspiration. Please follow along with us each Monday for our carefully-curated selection of current Asia and travel-related news stories.

Panna Mia baori, Amber . Rajasthan
 

Share-worthy pieces on Asia this week:

Travel tidbits that caught our fancy:

We’d love to hear your feedback—please comment below. And please come back next Monday for more of Our Travel Inspiration!

Our Travel Inspiration, Dec. 2

We’re glad you’re back to join us for another week of Our Travel Inspiration. Please follow along with us each Monday for our carefully-curated selection of current Asia and travel-related news stories.

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Share-worthy pieces on Asia this week:

Travel tidbits that caught our fancy:

We’d love to hear your feedback—please comment below. And please come back next Monday for more of Our Travel Inspiration!

Postcard from our traveler: One of the best trips we’ve had

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef

I have to say that our Australia trip was one of the best trips we’ve had. We were able to see so much in so little time. Every place we went to was different. We keep on saying to each other that Tom did a great job planning the itinerary. Everything went smoothly. Everyone was punctual.

We were quite skeptical about Tyroconnell Outback Retreat but were won over by the charm of the place and the hospitality of the family. It is sad to know that they are planning to sell the place but they are doing it to spend more time with their children. My husband really enjoyed the Great Barrier Reef and didn’t want to leave.

The only thing that we were disappointed with was the cancelled tour with the Aboriginal guide. We could have learned so much.

Extras that we did on our free days were – the Bridge Climb in Sydney (amazing), bi-plane over Fraser Island, helicopter ride at the Great Barrier Reef, the Sky rail and Railway tour in Cairns, climbed Ayers Rock, and the Sound of Silence dinner at Ayers Rock (I was sitting between two heaters and didn’t even need a jacket!)

We were quite shocked by how expensive everything was. We spent a lot of money there, but I can’t think of a better way of celebrating my 40th. Thank you so much for the bottle of champagne that was sent to our hotel room. We met a lot of great people that we would keep in touch with. We will definitely return to Australia with our kids in the future. But we would like to travel to Vietnam with them first, probably in 3 years. Thank you so much for putting together an amazing trip.

Sincerely,

Theresa P.

San Ramon, CA

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Theresa and her husband embarked on an Insider’s Australia Custom Journey which was arranged by Travel Specialist, Tom Lastick. This was their second trip with Asia Transpacific Journeys, and we look forward to planning more adventures for their family in the future.

Go Beyond the Ordinary in Australia

Asia Transpacific Journeys’ trips to Australia visit iconic sights for which Australia is justifiably famous, but also offers travel to remote areas of Australia that many travelers do not get the chance to experience. A trip to these off-the-beaten-path regions can turn the average Australia travel experience from something ordinary into something extraordinary.

The west coast of Australia is covered with sparkling white beaches and crystal clear blue waters perfect for snorkeling, exploring or relaxing. From the islands and gorges of The Kimberley, to Shark Bay and the Ningaloo Reef, the area is a vacationer’s paradise.

After spending time in Sydney, Cairns and at the Great Barrier Reef, take a cruise on the luxurious Australian yacht, True North. The West Coast Explorer cruise is the perfect way to round out your Australia vacation and see everything that this wild and beautiful land has to offer. True North cruises provide an ideal opportunity to get out of the cities and often crowded tourist areas and experience the Australian wilderness at its best. It’s the perfect add-on for any of Asia Transpacific Journeys’ custom trips to Australia.

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Learn more about Asia Transpacific Journeys‘ trips to Australia and True North cruises by speaking to an Australia Travel Specialist at 800-642-2742.

Get Two Free Nights in Sydney While Exploring Australia by Exclusive Private Plane

Take the trip of a lifetime this summer and explore incredible Australia by private plane. Reserve your space on the June 16 departure of the Great Australian Aircruise and receive two nights in Sydney (for two people) at no additional cost, an AUD $1,200 value.

  • Two nights accommodation in a 5-star centrally located Sydney hotel
  • Breakfast
  • Airport transfers

This trip to Australia circumnavigates huge swathes of the island-continent, to provide a sweeping overview of Australia’s most dramatic landscape formations—aboard a small, low-flying aircraft. Discover UNESCO World Heritage areas; see sacred Aboriginal sites; encounter profuse wildlife in their native habitat.

To learn more about this trip to Australia, watch this video or visit our web site for trip details.

Where Camels Once Trod, a Train Crosses Australia

The New York Times featured an article on Australia’s transcontinental train, The Ghan, as reported by Iver Peterson.

The Ghan, part cruise train, part the working train that it started as, 90 years ago, is Australia’s transcontinental north-south line — a private railroad now running for 1,900 miles with just four stops through the vast interior of the country (and 1,900 miles back) twice each week. Northbound, it rolls from Adelaide on the temperate southern coast, through low desert plateau at Alice Springs, and on to the tropical lushness of the Top End, as Aussies call their northern coast, at Darwin on the Timor Sea.

The train was originally called the Afghan, after the camels that provided earlier transportation into the Australian interior; it has since been shortened to the Ghan, and a camel with its rider is the train’s ubiquitous trademark.

The entire trip from Adelaide to Darwin lasts 48 hours.

To read the complete article, visit NYTimes.com

Visit our site for information on group travel to Australia or creating a custom private trip to Australia, to include a ride on The Ghan, for just you and your family or friends.

A Staff Postcard from the Field: Australia

Notes from the Antipodes from Marilyn Downing Staff, Asia Transpacific Journeys’ Founder and President

Austraila travel – The Great Ocean Road

Austraila travel – The Great Ocean Road

I have just returned from adventures in Australia. This journey began as both the quintessential ‘girlfriends’ trip and a journey of exploration to shores unknown.  My dearest friend, who I had met long ago when, post college, we were both traveling in Latin America, called one day to suggest a nostalgia trip.  Remembering how much fun we had long ago? Our kids are now grown and we finally had time to sneak away to rekindle a dear friendship, within the framework of adventure.

Travel to Australia is a huge undertaking, so we decided to bite off a manageable chunk:  Melbourne, The Great Ocean Road, the Barossa Valley wine country and a few days in Sydney.  The perfect road trip.

Melbourne’s sophisticated charms captivated us from the beginning, as we spent a lazy weekend exploring the markets, craft fairs, admiring the architecture both Victorian and oh, so contemporary and watching the Sunday rowers on the Yarrow River.

Leaving Melbourne, our first few kilometers on the road toward the coast were memorable, mostly for the sheer terror of driving on the left side of the road.  But, alas, even Americans can be quickly retrained and within a short time we were comfortably cruising like the locals.

The Great Ocean Road will forever loom large as one of the World’s great road trips.  Quaint coastal villages, spectacular ocean vistas, bronzed surfers, charming cafes, friendly people all along the way, koalas, kangaroos and (oh, should we mention?) great shopping.   We had days were we achieved record low distances covered. We stopped at every sight, drank coffee in each café and visited with countless, interesting people.  Watching the sunset over the ocean from the sheer cliffs at the Twelve Apostles rock formations will stay with me forever.

Eventually, with time drawing short, we begrudgingly picked up the pace and arrived in the Barossa Valley, Australia’s premier wine region.  Quaint and charming don’t begin to describe. Closely resembling California’s Napa, this valley produces some of the world’s fine wines and has an outstanding food and art scene, as well as world class accommodations, including The Louise with it’s award winning Appellation restaurant.  We could have stayed here forever, but Sydney and home beckoned.  Will we return?  Absolutely!

View Marilyn’s Australia travel photos on our Flickr site >>


Visit our site for information on creating a custom private trip to Australia for just you and your family or friends.

 

Celebrate The World’s Most Pristine Forests on Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to share an excerpt from a recent article from Travel + Leisure, The World’s Most Pristine Forests, featuring the best preserved forests in the world. We were asked to provide tips on how to best experience travel to these amazing ecosystems.

Kayan Mentarang National Park, Indonesia
“Kayan Mentarang, on the verdant island of Borneo, is one of the last remaining homes to the rhinoceros hornbill and strange primates like proboscis and leaf monkeys. The big draws for tourists (and poachers) are the adorably petite Sumatran rhino and the Borneo pygmy elephant.

How to Go: Asia Transpacific Journeys suggests a six-day itinerary beginning at the village of Long Layu. Local Dayak tribes still live in communal dwellings and guests do, too, as there is no accommodation in the park.”

Daintree National Park, Australia
“At 160 million years old, this UNESCO World Heritage–listed spot in Oz’s far northeast region is one of the oldest undisturbed forest ecosystems on earth. It’s also a birder’s paradise—more than 430 avian species live in the forest, including 13 found nowhere else on Earth. And it’s home to the weird and wonderful peppermint stick insect: colored like candy, the creature creates a peppermint aroma to ward off predators. The Maardja Boardwalk (an easy stroll even for a lethargic walker) displays the transition from freshwater rainforest to saltwater mangroves.

How to Go: Asia Transpacific Journeys guests stay at Daintree Eco Lodge, a luxury treehouse set high in the canopy.”

The Travel Bug Has Bitten

Three of our staff depart this week for adventures abroad. We wish them safe travels and look forward to their return when they can share their experiences with us!

Company founder, Marilyn Downing Staff, leaves for Australia where she’ll explore the Great Ocean Road and other stunning sites while traveling from Sydney to Melbourne.

Donna Galland will be joining our guests on ‘Snorkeling Thailand and the Mergui Archipelago: the Undiscovered Waters of the Andaman Sea‘, a trip jointly ran with the World Wildlife Fund.

And Allison Shepley will do some research on expanding travel options in the Philippines for us.