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We had a terrific time in New Zealand and Australia. Sydney remains my favorite. The harbor is such a hub of activity, everything is accessible and so clean. We took a ferry ride to Manly Beach which was charming, all the beautiful cockatoos...but what a racket they make. We toured the opera house and found the inside as impressive as the outside. also walked through the botanical gardens. Bondi Beach was a great breakfast stop. Amazing to watch the surfers and swimmers. Port Douglas was a 10, the snorkeling, touring Daintree Forest, cane toad racing at the local pub, driving to The Tablelands, all great, ending with hugging a Koala at the preserve in Cairns. Melbourne was also good but not as clean as Sydney. We toured the gaol, depressing . However we enjoyed the Koorie center at Federation Square and went to a lecture about oral histories of the indigenous people and later a walk along the Yarra River with interpreters. The Phillip Island trip was a definite highlight. Loved the nature center and seeing wildlife up close. The penguin parade was great and our guide Paul made every effort to see we had a memorable day. Moving onto New Zealand Queenstown was charming but too touristy for our tastes. Lots of restaurants and gift shops. Not pedestrian friendly. Rotorua was wonderful as we had two amazing experiences in the woods. The rain forest zip line trip was wonderful. Our guides Josh and Jen did everything to keep us safe and see we had fun while learning about the forest. Later we toured the redwood forest which was amazing. We walked it at dusk, so peaceful and smelled so good. Then after dark we walked through the canopy lighted by the beautiful lanterns/art. It was magical and I would do it again in a heart beat.
The best benefit of the trip was the clean air....everywhere. My asthma was completely absent, even while we were zip lining. What a bonus. Thank you for helping make our trip memorable.