Our Vice President, Jhonny Stathopoulou, recently headed over to the other side of the world and has been eager to share his experience in Australia and New Zealand with all of you.
From Los Angeles, it’s a 15-hour flight—to put things in perspective, LA to Italy is only 10 hours. A flight from the East Coast could be anywhere from 19 to 30 hours, depending on layovers. With that said, prepare to binge on your favorite Netflix shows, catch up on all of the movies you have been meaning to watch or books on your list to read.
Jhonny’s flight experience was excellent! He flew Delta One Suite from LAX to SYD. The suite is very comfortable, spacious and extremely private. The service was fantastic and was able to stream his favorite shows with the fastest internet he has experienced on any international flight. Needless to say, the flight was a breeze!
Lovely and laidback Melbourne is the coastal capital of the southeastern Australian state of Victoria and upon arrival, you will notice the city’s breathtaking views.
Jhonny had the pleasure of staying at the iconic, 5-Star Grand Hyatt, Melbourne. Located on Collins Street, close to tourist attractions and surrounded by the city’s high fashion, fine dining and last, but certainly not least, very convenient for those traveling to the Australian Open!
Melbourne has something for everyone! Jhonny recommends the Great Ocean Road, home to stunning cliffs, nearly empty beaches and abundant wildlife. You’ll find plenty of adventure in nature, including epic surf and extraordinary hikes.
Known as Australia’s spiritual heart, Uluru is a massive sandstone in the heart of the Northern Territory’s arid “Red Centre” that leaves people in awe. Australia’s most recognizable natural icon and one of the world’s largest monoliths. Much like Sedona, it is a great location for treks.
Recommended Hotel is Longitude 131°, a Baillie Lodges Luxury Hotel, this is a wilderness camp that is eco-sensitive and very romantic.
You can’t miss watching the colors of the desert change as the sun rises or sinks below the horizon—it’s spectacular!
Lizard Island is highly recommended! Experience amazing service and dine on food prepared by world-renowned Michelin Star chefs whose previous kitchens include Per se and French Laundry. With only 40 rooms and villas, and 24 private beaches on the island, you can escape to your own private beach daily! It is the best place to stay when visiting the Great Barrier Reef.
There is so much to do here, Jhonny recommends exploring the Great Barrier Reef by snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking and great Marlin fishing.
Known as the Emerald City, Sydney is a coastal metropolis with a sophisticated food and drink scene. With 5 million residents, this is the largest city in Australia.
Experience five-star views from the harbor’s edge at The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney. Conveniently located on the iconic Sydney Harbor, enjoy impeccable service and accommodations.
Definitely explore the city by foot! Jhonny recommends a self-guided walking tour to all of the major landmarks. It’s a very walkable city and you may see and enjoy things at your own pace.
After Sydney, Jhonny took a 3 hour flight to Queenstown, New Zealand.
Queenstown sits on the shores of the South Island’s Lake Wakatipu, set against the dramatic Southern Alps.
Sofitel Queenstown Hotel & Spa. Very central location in the heart of the city’s dining and entertainment precinct.
What to Do
Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world! From iconic Queenstown bungee jumping to whitewater rafting, river surfing, canyon swinging and jet boats, you’ll find adrenaline activities for every thrill-seeker.
A New Zealand trip wouldn’t be complete without seeing Milford Sound, a fiord in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island. Milford Sound is known for towering Mitre Peak, plus rainforests and waterfalls like Stirling and Bowen falls, which plummet down its sheer sides. The fiord is home to fur seal colonies, penguins and dolphins. The best way to experience it is flying above this rugged backcountry by helicopter!
For 30 years, we have been crafting the most lavish and exclusive worldwide retreats and adventures traveling to all parts of the world. Our seasoned travel advisors create a unique and unforgettable experience for all seeking opportunities to travel their dream destinations worldwide. When it comes to planning a travel package to Australia and New Zealand, we are just the best.