ASI Tours Update

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    September 03, 2018 - AAT Update 9

ASI TOURS – AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR

TOUR UPDATE 9  - July , 2018

FINAL TOUR PACKET, OPTIONAL DAY TOURS, CARRY-ON LUGGAGE,

AUSSIE SLANG, ALLERGIES & MORE

Final tour packets will be sent out in tomorrow’s mail.  When your packet arrives please review the enclosed documents carefully and email or call us with any questions. Our delay has been due to another flight change from Qantas airlines and receiving new QF individual flight E-Tickets.  

MEETING WITH TOUR DIRECTOR RANDY KECK ON SEPT. 21.  You will have a tour orientation briefing at 11:30AM in the Lobby Bar of the HI Old Sydney Hotel.  This space will be reserved for our group.  Following the briefing we will commence our afternoon tour of Sydney.  Please wear your name tag so tour members can quickly get to know each other by name and home city.   Your tour packets will have a tour member name and home city list.   Please be prompt as the day is tightly scheduled.

FULL AND HALF DAY OPTIONAL TOURS:  It is advisable to pre-book any formal tours you know for sure you want to do during free time on tour, previous to the day of the tour.         

Please note:

Hervey Bay: On the free day after arrival, ASI Tours will be offering a recommended optional morning whale watching tour to tour members at a discounted rate.  This will be paid directly to ASI Tours in Australia in AUD. 

Gold Coast:  Those who are planning to visit the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary do not have to pre-book this visit.  A discounted rate however is often available if booked in advance on-line.  Those who wish to escape the hustle and bustle of the Gold Coast on their final day may wish to partake of a 4wd adventure to the fabulous hinterland behind the Gold Coast.  We recommend either the Full Day Tamberine and Lamington tour to or the afternoon half day Natural Bridge and Springbrook tour, available through Southern Cross Scenic Tours:  www.sc4wd.com.au  email: booking@southerncrosstours.com.au and telephone, 07-5574 5041.  If you are interested you would book this on a direct basis.  

CARRY-ON LUGGAGE

In a previous update we stipulated the largest carry on for Qantas flights is 41 total inches due to overhead and under seat size capacity on the airline. Qantas now advises it allows   45 total inches on all flights except Dash 8 aircraft that limits the size to 41 inches.  Our last flight on tour is a connecting flight from Brisbane to Hervey Bay after arriving on an earlier flight from Darwin.  This final flight is on a Dash 8 aircraft.  If your carry-on is larger than 41 inches Qantas gate staff may gate check your carry-on.  Prepare for this in the way you pack for these final two flights on Oct. 8.   Please keep in mind anything that is of high value or medicines, you have in your carry-on, you may want to have in another small carry-on for the last leg, such as a purse of purse type piece of luggage which qualifies as a personal item. 

 FINAL DAY AT GOLD COAST AND TRANSFER TO BRISBANE AIRPORT

Most tour members will need an airport transfer from our Gold Coast hotel to the Brisbane Airport on Oct. 14.  Your Tour Director in concert with the hotel tour desk will assist in arranging your airport transfers.  These will be paid either to the hotel tour desk or directly to the transport company.          

PERFUME AND COLOGNE

While a seldom discussed topic in tourism, we live in a time of greatly increased allergies and allergic reactions.  When we are traveling together by coach we ask that you restrict the use of perfumes and colognes to a minimum in consideration of any of tour members who may be prone to such allergies. 

AUSSIE SLANG

Australians have a colorful way of expressing themselves and have developed a slang of their own.  This link, below, lists the most commonly used words and will help you to know what is being said.

https://www.gapyear.com/australasia/australia/useful-phrases-for-australia

SNORKELING ON THE REEF

For those of you who will be snorkeling while at Fraser Island or on your free day in Hervey Bay, we advise you to bring a T-shirt to wear over your swim suit, while swimming, to help prevent sun burn.  You will also want a very high SPF sunscreen to apply liberally to the back of your legs, arms and neck. 

AUSTRALIA TIPPING GUIDE

Proud Mary River Boat:  Individuals are not tipped on the Proud Mary.  A tip jar will be on the counter as you depart.  The tips are divided by all service crew on the Proud Mary.  If you wish to tip the crew we suggest $5 to $10AUD for the two-night cruise.   

 Café Server:  If there is a tip jar by the cash register, it’s a nice gesture to leave a couple of coins. For exceptional table service tip 5-10%.

Restaurant Server: There is no obligation to tip as waitstaff receive a livable minimum wage. For service that exceeds expectations, feel free to tip 5-10%. Servers sometimes don’t receive tips included on a credit card, so always try to tip in cash whenever possible.

Taxis:  A tip isn’t expected, but is always appreciated. A good rule of thumb is to tip up to 10% of the final bill for a smooth and courteous ride. You can also let the driver “keep the change,” if that’s easier.

 Airport Shuttle:  It is not necessary to tip your driver, but feel free to give $1 per bag if they help with your luggage.

 Porters:   Porterage is included on our tour.

 Housecleaning staff:    Tipping is not expected but you can leave coins or $1 per day if you wish.

 PHOTO AND VIDEO REQUEST

I will be creating a carousal, and/or photo album, on the home page of the ASI Tours website.  I would be very grateful to any of you taking pictures of the group, selfies, and short videos of the group or tour activities, if you would please email them to me as soon as you are able, after you have taken them, so I can post them to the website with the caption, “TOUR IN PROGRESS” while the tour is out.  They will then remain on the website as the 2018 AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR MEMBERS ON TOUR.   You will need to tell me if you want your name on the picture/s or not.

  

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    August 28, 2018 - AAT Update 8

ASI TOURS – AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR

TOUR UPDATE 8 - July , 2018 

AUST. SIM CARDS, EMERGENCY CONTACT INFO.,

QF SEATING AND LUGGAGE LIMITS AND FINAL PACKET

 

 Greetings Around Australia Tour Members,

As we get close to departure we want to update you on several items that will help insure your trip to Australia will be easy, successful and memorable.  Please have a look at each topic and contact us if you have any questions.

1. FINAL TOUR PACKET

You will be receiving your final tour packet in approximately a week.  This will include a final daily itinerary, Domestic Qantas E ticket and flight itinerary, luggage tags, names tags, list of tour members and originating cities, instructions for the time to meet Randy in the hotel lobby for the beginning of the Sydney day tour, a final update and more.

 2. CALLING HOME USING AN AUSSIE SIM CARD FOR YOUR ‘UNLOCKED’ USA SMART PHONE.

You have different options for staying connected to friends and family in the US or elsewhere, while on the AAT.  Many, perhaps most of you will have a smart phone or tablet that you will use to check emails.  You will have access through most of our hotels and coaches to an internet connection at no charge.  You can easily make free calls on your smart phone using Skype or the app we use, IMO.  With the app, you can call, video call and text with pictures, for free.   It is important to keep your settings for roaming to the off position or you could incur very hefty charges from your phone company in the USA.  Much of the time you will be connected to the hotel or coach wi-fi.  In addition, you may hook up to hot spot in many locations free.  You must be careful when using Hot Spots however as they can be a haven for hackers to rifle your emails for passwords and account numbers, especially in airports.  

Should you desire to have an unlimited phone calling capability to the USA with your current ‘unlocked’ smartphone or cell phone, then a sim card is suggested.  There are two major phone companies in Australia with the widest coverage. This sim card will give you an Australian telephone number. 

  1. Optus https://www.optus.com.au/shop/mobile/prepaid/plans
  2. Telstra https://www.telstra.com.au/mobile-phones/prepaid-mobiles/mobiles-and-starter-kits#!/filter/brand//os//features//type/simstarterkit/sort/featured

Optus has the most store fronts available to help if there is an issue with your phone while in Australia, while Telstra seems to have the widest coverage in remote areas such as the Murray River, and the Outback.  Both companies have a $40.00 AUD sim card that will allow you unlimited international calls to several countries, including the USA.  If you elect to get a sim card and if someone needed to call you from the USA, they must use the Australian telephone number that is connected to your new sim card.  For couples, you may choose to have one smart phone with an Australian sim card, using that phone to call the USA using unlimited minutes while the other phone retains the US number for emergency calls from the USA to you in Australia.  It is advised to purchase this card on arrival in Sydney, so either Optus or Telstra can install it in your phone and make sure it is working.  They can also answer any questions you may have, in person.  Both companies are not far from the HI Old Sydney.  In addition, the unlimited plan is only good for 28 days without adding another full month.  When you have the new sim card installed and your new phone number, you can then email, SKYPE or IMO people in the US with your Australian number. They must call that number, not your USA number to get through to you. 

3. CONTACT INFORMATION FOR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES – PROUD MARY AND ASI TOURS OFFICE

The tour hotel list with telephone contact information will be in your final packet.  If you want to give this list to friends, family and business acquaintances prior to receiving the final packet, you can download it from the website.  We have not changed our original hotel line up, therefore the hotels on the website are current and the contact information is correct.  You may want to provide a website for time differences or at least a printout of the best time to call Australia from the different time zones in the US.   The link for Current Local Time in Australia is at the end of this update.  

We will be giving you two contact number that we will not list on the website.  This is for the Proud Mary River Boat and my personal cell number.  The number is a cell number for the Captain of the River Boat and is ONLY to be used for EMERGENCY purposes.  The company does not give this number out, but as a special request, agreed to extend the number for this sole purpose. 

I will, also, be available 24/7 during the entire time the AAT is in progress, for emergency calls from friends or family.  I will be accessible using the office phone and 800 phone number at all times.   The only exception to this is unforeseen power outages.  In that event my cell phone will take a message and I will be able to retrieve and call back.  Theses numbers are as follows.  Proud Mary and Gail’s cell will not be posted under updates on the website. 

 

ASI TOURS

Office – 1-401-560-0350

Toll Free – 1-800-925-7122

 

4. QANTAS DOMESTIC SEATING

Around Australia group members are advised that Qantas domestic flights inside Australia operate a bit differently than most domestic flights in the U.S. in terms of preassigned seating.  They typically hold back a sizable block of seats in the forward part of the economy section for assignment at the airport.  Our Qantas Vacations Group Air agent has and will continue to do everything possible to accommodate, in advance, the specific advance seating requests of our group members but this likely will not be possible for some seats on some of our eight Australia domestic flights.  They also advise it is not possible with standard three wide seating for them to pre-assign window and aisle seats in the same row for couples with an empty seat in between.  They further advise that generally changing seats upon check in at the airport is not a problem.   We ask you to be aware of these policies when you receive your E-ticket and during the tour.

5. LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE ON QF DOMESTIC

Many of you are packing for your upcoming Around Australia Tour adventure. We want to remind you of the luggage allowance Qantas Domestic adheres to.   They do take away carry-on luggage they deem to be too large or heavy and will check it in.  If you will be carrying prescription medicine or valuables in your carry-on, you will want to make sure your carry-on is not in any jeopardy of being taken from you.  We suggest you have your valuables or medicine in a personal item carry-on.   Also, as a note of caution, please have copies of all prescriptions in a separate place.  A good option is having photocopies of prescriptions in a file attached to an email that could be retrieved from any smartphone, tablet or computer.

Your carry-on luggage should not exceed 41 linear inches, measured by adding length + width + height.  The maximum weight is 15lbs.  It must easily fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you on the aircraft as well as on the motor coach.   You are allowed to bring a quart-sized plastic bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.  

In addition to your carry-on baggage allowance, you may also carry onboard one small personal item such as a handbag, laptop computer, overcoat, small camera, a reasonable amount of reading material or a small amount of duty free goods (where permitted).

Check-in luggage is restricted to 61 linear inches which is measured by length + height + width.  Your maximum allowance without incurring excessive weight charges from the airlines is 50 lbs.  ASI TOURS LLC is not responsible for additional costs due to overweight luggage. 

Although it is very unusual for luggage to be delayed on domestic flights in Australia, we suggest you carry a change of clothes with you.

7. APPS FOR YOUR SMART PHONE OR TABLET

There are several apps on the ASI Tours website at https://asitours.com/travel-resources/mobile-travel-apps/.

Having these apps will help you know where you are in the city at any moment and what is near you as well as a dollar conversion and time of day app. for making call to the USA and more.  

If you have a travel app that you have found exceptionally helpful, I would appreciate if you would send me the information so I can post it on the website and let our tour members know about it.  Also, not everyone is tech savvy. We do, however, have some tour members that have dealt with phone apps for traveling internationally and will be happy to try to assist you with your phone.

CURRENT LOCAL TIME IN AUSTRALIA WEBSITE

https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/australia

IMO APP

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.imo.android.imoim

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    July 13, 2018 - AAT Update 7

ASI TOURS – AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR

TOUR UPDATE 7 - July 13, 2018 

FREE TIME OPTIONS ON TOUR

By design we do not offer and sell 'free time' optional tours for the Around Australia Tour.   This is because we want tour members to have maximum flexibility of scheduling for their valued free time right up to the last minute, especially during the latter part of the tour.   Tour members can schedule and book any free time activities either before departure or during the tour on their own, such as a dinner at a specific restaurant such as the Tramcar Restaurant in Melbourne or a performance at the Sydney Opera House.  Advance bookings are especially encouraged if there are specific special interests that you wish to follow up on during the tour.  Please be advised that while many free time activities that require a booking can be arranged at the last minute, some may not.  

Your Tour Director will advise, during the tour, regarding available day tours, booking options and self-guided exploring opportunities which tend to be of greatest interest to international visitors.   In cases where a number of tour members are interested in the same free-time activity the Tour Director may be able to assist with arrangements.  

Listed below is a guide to some of the free-time options on tour, including, in chronological order, the corresponding tour dates.  Nights are not included.   The many informative links included are to assist you with advance free-time research and planning.   If you do your pre tour homework it will pay dividends.  

SYDNEY – Sep. 22 (SA) Free Afternoon in Sydney

Free time exploring in Sydney will be on pre tour days for those spending an extra night or two in Sydney and for the afternoon of Sep. 22,  after our morning Sydney Harbor Cruise.  Our cruise begins and finishes in Circular Quay which is a short walk from our hotel.   Afternoon options include: a tour of the Sydney Opera House, visiting the Botanical Gardens or generally exploring the Circular Quay and historic Rocks area.   Some may wish to take a harbor ferry to the seaside village of Manly or the Taronga Park Zoo.   On Saturday afternoon Sydney Harbor is usually awash with sails providing a visual feast for visitors and locals alike.  Please see - AAT Update 2 - December 29, 2017  for an interactive Map of Sydney and several links to the Sydney attraction websites. 

https://asitours.com/tour-details/asi-tours-updates/   

 MELBOURNE - Sep. 27 (TH) – Free Afternoon in Melbourne 

Our AM city sights tour will finish at the famous Victoria Market where you can explore, on your own, and begin your free afternoon and evening.  Those who wish, can be dropped off at our tour hotel.  Your endless options this afternoon include the National Gallery of Victoria, the Royal Botanical Gardens, wandering the alley ways, lane-ways and arcades for which the city is known and hopping on and off the free tram which operates in a circuit around the city.  In the afternoon and evening there is often free entertainment along the Yarra Riverfront.   Melbourne is always full of discoveries for visitors.  A fun, special evening, dining experience in Melbourne is the Tram Car restaurant.  The early seating is recommended due to our early morning departure for Adelaide.  See the links below.

 https://www.lonelyplanet.com/australia/melbourne/attractions/a/poi-sig/362494

 www.onlymelbourne.com.au/image/map-circle-2013.gif

http://tramrestaurant.com.au/

PERTH – Oct. 2 (TU) - Full Free Day in Perth

Today is a bountiful free day in Perth to explore the many attractions of the city on your own or choose from a wide variety of day tours.  Touring options include wildflower tours and Swan River winery cruises.   Perth has an amazing system of free buses that can get you around the city very efficiently.  The Perth Mint is always a favored stop.   Please note that some of the longer full day tours from Perth return late in the evening due to the distances covered.   Also note that our flight from Perth to Alice Springs is currently scheduled for a very early departure the following morning.  If the current flight time holds we may have to depart for the airport around 5:00am.  See the following links regarding Perth exploring options.

https://www.visitperthcity.com/sites/default/files/age-friendly-city-guide.pdf

http://www.traveller.com.au/20-reasons-to-visit-perth-gm8egr

http://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/portals/0/asset/documents/tickets%20&%20fares/perth_cat_map_2013-2.pdf

https://www.transperth.wa.gov.au/timetables/cat-timetables

ALICE SPRINGS – Oct. 5 (FR) – Free Morning and Early Afternoon in Alice Springs.

This morning you may choose to sleep-in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast or explore quaint Alice Springs on foot.  You will have had a late return last night from Ayers Rock.   There are several interesting galleries in Alice which feature indigenous art.  Some may wish to partake of morning half day tours such as visiting the West MacDonnell Ranges or venturing to the Desert wildlife Park. You are free until mid-afternoon, when we transfer to the airport for our flight to Darwin.   Check the following links.  

https://northernterritory.com/alice-springs-and-surrounds/region-guide

https://northernterritory.com/alice-springs-and-surrounds/see-and-do

http://www.traveller.com.au/twenty-reasons-to-visit-alice-springs-2pspb

DARWIN – Oct. 6 (SA) –   Free Afternoon in Darwin

Options for your free afternoon and evening include, afternoon and sunset harbor cruises, the Deck Chair Cinema, the attractions of the colorful Waterfront Precinct and exploring this unique multi-cultural tropical city on foot.  Some may also wish to visit the tropical George Brown Darwin Botanical Gardens.   Check the links below. 

http://www.traveller.com.au/darwin

https://www.viator.com/tours/Darwin/Small-Group-Tour-Northern-Beaches-Sunset-Tour/d360-48351P5

https://www.waterfront.nt.gov.au/darwin-waterfront-precinct/tours-and-attractions

HERVEY BAY - Oct. 9 (TU) Free Day in Hervey Bay

This morning there is a recommended whale watching tour departing near our hotel as it is prime whale watching season.  See the link below.  If enough tour members want to go, it might be possible to get a discounted rate.  Attractions within walking distance of our hotel in Hervey Bay, include strolling along the seafront via the small but interesting Reef World Aquarium to the scenic Urangan Pier.  A 25 minute walk of 1.2 miles directly inland from the hotel and seafront is the relaxed Hervey Bay Botanical Gardens.   It is possible to go and return on different walking routes.   Pay attention to your time today as in early evening we are hosted by the Hervey Bay Rotary Club for an Aussie BBQ at a park, a short walk from our hotel. 

http://www.tasmanventure.com.au/

GOLD COAST – Oct. 13 (SA) Free Day in the Gold Coast

Today is free to explore the many attractions of the exciting Gold Coast including strolling on the endless world class beach and perhaps doing some last minute shopping.   An option for wildlife aficionados is the famed Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, about 30 minutes by taxi or Uber from our hotel.  Consult the Currimbun schedule for feeding times and shows; and plan accordingly.  

Some may prefer an escape into the beautiful, scenic hinterland and mountains of the Gold Coast instead of a day at the bustling seafront.  Southern Cross Day Tours offer several excellent itinerary options in 16 passenger vehicles ranging from half day to full day tours.  Our tour farewell dinner tonight will be at 7:30pm., at our hotel.

 www.currumbinsanctuary.com.au

http://southerncrossdaytours.com.au/gold-coast-tours/

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    July 6, 2018 - AAT Update 6

ASI TOURS – AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR

TOUR UPDATE 6

Travel Items for Trip 

Greetings Around Australia Adventurers,    

It is now two and a half months prior to departure for your great Australia adventure and time for an update and pre tour advisory covering a number of topics.   Please review this advisory in detail as it may add some items to your personal pre-tour to do list. 

TOUR PHILOSOPHY

Australia is a remarkable, fascinating and highly diverse country and travel destination.  Every destination we visit on our exploration around the island continent and Tasmania is deserving of more time and most will likely leave you thirsting for more.  This is a good thing.  This Around Australia Tour could easily be 35, 40 or more days in length instead of 26 days.

Perspective is everything.  You will have the opportunity to experience many of the prime attractions of  each state, territory and region we visit.   Combined you will have a comprehensive and balanced tour experience of Australia unlike any other available.  Many of you are also undertaking pre and post tour extensions of Australia on your own arrangements which will further enhance your overall experience. 

Australia Domestic Flights:

Our Around Australia Tour is made possible only by the utilization of Australia domestic flights between the destinations we visit.  It is important to understand that many of these flights operate only once or twice per day.  This means that our tour itinerary is built around these flights and is also subject to change when the airlines change their flight schedules.  While this can happen with little advance advisory we are usually able to adapt our itinerary around the flight changes. In getting to the far corners of Australia, flexibility can indeed be the key ingredient in achieving our touring objectives.   

  TRAVEL ENHANCERS

As experienced travelers each of you will have special travel related devices that assist with your travel and touring.  We would like to suggest a few specific items to consider including for your Australia tour.  While many of these items can be purchased in Australia they are much less costly in the USA.

 

Collapsible Walking stick – There will be several occasions on tour when you will be walking on uneven terrain.  A good lightweight collapsible walking stick can definitely increase your walking stability. Earth Trek Gear is a recommended choice because their model collapses to a packing friendly 12 inch length, is inexpensive, comes in two sizes, standard and small and includes a handy traveling pouch. Cost: apx. $30.00   Check the sizing charts on their website as below to determine your best fit.   www.earthtrekgear.com/collections/pine-creek-outdoors/products/folding-collapsible-hiking-trekking-pole

Small Binoculars – For best viewing of birds, mammals, reptiles and distant vistas we recommend a small, lightweight pair of binoculars.  Nikon Aculon T01 is a very affordable option with reasonably good optics.  These are available on eBay and other sites.  Prices generally range from $45 -$60.

Day Pack – It is advisable to have a small, lightweight, pack-able water proof or water resistant day pack for our tour walking excursions and your free time exploring.  Packs that have a water bottle pouch are recommended.  Keep in mind that it is safe to leave any items you wish on our motor coach as the coach will always be secured when we are not on board.   

Camera options – If your smart phone has a good camera this can be a good space saving option for documenting and recording your journey.  Small point and shoot cameras are also a good option and not expensive these days.     

Rain gear – While our tour is operating outside of the primary rainy seasons in the areas visited, we advise that you pack a light weight water proof or water resistant hooded nylon parka for use if necessary in cooler areas such as Tasmania.  We also strongly advise you pack a small, light weight umbrella for use in warmer and humid areas where a parka can be too warm. 

Insect repellent – While we are not traveling during seasons when mosquitoes, flies and other insects tend to be most bothersome, it is important to carry effective insect repellent in case the need for use arises.  

Skin Protection - Australia is a very sunny country where sunscreen protection and the use of hats for the prevention of burning and skin cancer is taken very seriously including in the schools.  We recommend you liberally apply sunscreen protection of SPF 50 or higher daily while on tour.  We also strongly recommend you carry a lightweight broad brim hat for sun protection particularly in the most sunny areas.  Hats that have mesh areas for maximum air circulation are best.   

 Motion Sickness Prevention – On tour we do not have any long open water journeys where motion sickness is a common occurrence.  We do fly to and from the Great Barrier Reef in a small aircraft and of course are undertaking a lot of coach travel.  If you are prone to motion sickness we suggest you carry either ginger tablets or non drowsy Dramamine as a preventative.

 

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March 5, 2018 - AAT Update 5
2018 AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR UPDATE
Applying for your ETA (Electronic Travel Authority - Visa)
&
Verifying Your ETA 
Greetings AAT 2018 Tour Members:
 
If you have not done so, we want to remind you to apply for your Entry Visa for Australia. (link below)  This is a new online ETA process for the Australian Government and we are urging our tour members to  double check to make sure their ETA has officially been granted and properly linked.  It is important to obtain the approved ETA early then check a couple of times prior to departure to make sure nothing has changed with your status.   
 
If you already have your ETA,  please verify that it is linked to your passport.   You will need your Reference Number and information from your passport.   The link to check your ETA is at the top in the white bar, third from the left.  (link below)  
 
If you have any questions or need help, please give us a call at 800-925-7122
https://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAS3/etas
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February 3, 2018 - AAT Update 4

2018 AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR UPDATE

FLIGHT TIME CHANGES

Greetings AAT 2018 Tour Members:
We hope this finds all of you well and preparing for the Around Australia Tour, a little more than seven months from now.   We wish to update you on a few topics.  
 
AAT Domestic flights in Australia:
Our amazing tour is made possible due to the utilization of particular flights in getting us to the far corners of the continent in a timely manner.  Utilizing non stop flights for all but our final flight sector is essential.   Between some of our destinations there is only one suitable non stop flight per day.  Therefore we are subject to any time changes Qantas makes, and must adjust our itinerary accordingly. 
 
Our air agent just advised us that Qantas changed the time of the one daily nonstop flight we must use from Perth to Alice from early afternoon to a very early morning departure.  In this case any discomfort from this early departure is more than balanced by having valuable extra time in Alice Springs; a clear net gain.  The point is simply to convey to tour members there is always a sound rationale for why our flights are when they are.  Again we never know when changes in flight times might happen but we are always ready to adapt.   We have just had 4 flight time changes and  each  provides us with additional opportunities we did not have before. 
 
In terms of the itinerary, we have now added a visit to a lavender farm in Tasmania as well as a unique goat, cattle and cheese making family farm operation. I have updated the daily itinerary on the website and will post this update on the ASI Tours Update page.  So you do not have to figure out which days are changed,  I have copied them below, exactly as they appear on the website.   
 
Day 6
Sep. 24 -   MO - PORT ARTHUR
This morning visit historic Port Arthur, the site of Australia's most famous and rugged convict settlement.  An educational guided tour and harbor cruise of the UNESCO World Heritage Site settlement will provide great insight into early Tasmanian and Australian history.  Lunch is on your own.  
After lunch we meet the chocolate makers of one of the finest artisan chocolate mills in Australia.  Enjoy demonstrations as they use methods and equipment reminiscent of yesterday. Tasting of their delicious treats is included. Our next stop is the Pt. Arthur Lavender Farm for an informative look at this unique Tasmanian industry.  There will be time for a self-guided tour and to enjoy interactive displays describing the lavender farming process as well as sampling lavender products.  Return to Port Arthur for a relaxing evening at your charming inn. Dinner is on your own, tonight. 
 (B)  Fox & Hounds Inn
DAILY ACTIVITY: Port Arthur walking tour apx. 1.0 miles. Lunch break free time walking at Port Arthur. Short walking time at chocolate mill.  Short walk at Australia Lavender Farm.
Day 7
Sep 25 -   TU - PORT ARTHUR/ BICHENO
After departing Pt. Arthur we have an exciting stop at a small working goat and cattle farm.   Meet with the owners and learn about their fascinating lifestyle and the many facets of their operation including cheese making.  We then continue traveling northward along the scenic east coast of Tasmania to the seafront village of Bicheno with stops enroute at a special coastal vineyard and cottage industry sites. We head to Freycinet Peninsula and some of the most breathtaking ocean vistas in Australia.  On entering the Freycinet National Park we stop at the Tourville Lighthouse to undertake a short scenic walk to a lookout with sweeping views of the pounding sea far below.  Continue to our overnight accommodation. On arrival check into your sea-view accommodation. This evening experience an up-close nature encounter on a captivating Fairy Penguin Tour on the Bicheno seafront.  Dinner is included tonight.
 (B, D)  Beachfront Bicheno
Daily Activity: Short walk at Goat and Cattle Farm. Scenic walk .60 miles at Freycinet National Park. Evening Penguins tour requires a short walk.
Day 8
Sep. 26 - WE - BICHENO/HOBART/MELBOURNE
Depart this morning traveling to Tasmania's heartland, visiting the historic colonial towns of Campbell Town and Ross before continuing south to Brighton and the award winning Bonorong Wildlife Park.   Bonorong provides an exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with a wide array of Australian native wildlife including animals, birds and reptiles.  This amazing wildlife encounter is a heart capturing experiences. We then continue to the Hobart Airport for our flight to Melbourne and transfer to our city center apartment style hotel.
 (B)     Mantra on Russell
Daily Activity:  Possible short walk in Campbell town and Ross.  Walking tour and free time walking at Bonorong Wildlife Park .40 – 1.00 miles
Day 10
Sep. 28 - FR – MELBOURNE/ADELAIDE/ABORIGINAL RESERVE/PROUD MARY RIVERBOAT
 Transfer this morning to the airport for your flight to the capital of South Australia, the festival city of Adelaide.  On arrival, commence a sightseeing tour of the expansive surrounding parkland's, charming Adelaide Hills and some of the enticing wine country for which South Australia is so well known.  There will free time to visit the multi-cultural City Market, the National Wine Center and Adelaide's beautiful Botanical Gardens.  In the afternoon we have an exciting visit to the Aboriginal Living Kaurna's Cultural Centre which will include a walking tour of the Warriparinga Park and Wetlands. We will be introduced to the history, language, dreamtime stories, seasonal bush tucker, traditional bush medicine and music of the Kaurna people.  Learn about the native plants and animals of the wetland’s reserve.  
Continue on to Murray Bridge to board our 18 cabin, purpose built, riverboat for a relaxing but highly educational two night cruise on Australia's mighty Murray River. The River Murray forms the greater part of the 3,750 km (2,330 mi) long combined Murray, Darling River system which drains most of inland Victoria, New South Wales, and southern Queensland.  Our cruise adventure will be on the lower course of the Murray where, tonight on deck, you discover the magic of ‘cruising the river at night’.  The ships powerful floodlights unveil a nocturnal wildlife environment including birds such as owls, coots and night herons.  On the cruise, all meals are included and your on-board culinary indulgence begins with dinner tonight. 
  (B,D)   Proud Mary - Riverboat 
Daily Activity:  Guided walking tour at Aboriginal Reserve .5 – 1.0 miles.  Riverboat stairs between lower and upper decks Days 10, 11, 12.
 
Day 12
 Sep. 30 - Day 12 SU - RIVERBOAT/ADELAIDE/PERTH
 This morning, cruise downstream to Mannum and Board a waiting coach for a tour to beautiful Reedy Creek Environmental Park.  On a guided walk the ecologist guide will explain the effects of this unusual ecosystem on the surrounding countryside and original aboriginal inhabitants. Back on board, we continue to cruise downstream with more amazing lens friendly scenery.  An informative Murray River ecology documentary will be shown on-board to further your River Murray education.  We disembark late afternoon at Murray Bridge and transfer to the Adelaide Airport for an evening flight to Australia's West Coast and its inviting capital city, Perth. On arrival in the beautiful river city transfer to your apartment style hotel. Dinner in-flight.
 (B,L,D)     Mantra on Murray 
Daily Activity: Reedy Creek walking tour.
 
Day 15
 OCT. 03  -  WE - PERTH/ALICE SPRINGS
 Early transfer to Perth Airport for our flight eastward to Australia's isolated desert and gateway to the Red Center, Alice Springs. Alice is a most unique town; a true mixing of colonial heritage, aboriginal culture with the many challenges of isolated outback living.  On arrival, commence a sightseeing tour with an overview of Alice Springs from Anzac Hill. 
 Continue on to visit three important Northern Territory landmarks including the historic Overland Telegraph Station; an outpost which served as the vital link in connecting frontier settlements across Australia.  Enjoy a tour of the impressive Royal Flying Doctor Service with its impressive history of providing medical services throughout remote Central Australia, and tour the famed School of the Air that has been delivering air schooling to children on remote outback stations for decades.  After checking into our centrally located hotel the evening is free to begin exploring outback Alice on your own including observing the desert locals at work and play.  Breakfast in-flight. 
 (B)     Mercure Springs Resort 
Daily Activity:  Evening free time walking in Alice Springs.
 
Day  17
 OCT. 05  -  FR - ALICE SPRINGS/DARWIN
 The morning and early afternoon are free to relax and explore some of Alice's attractions on your own.  Among your many choices are the Alice Springs Desert Park, Kangaroo Sanctuary, Road Transport Hall of Fame, Women's Pioneer Museum, the Araluen Arts Centre and Yubu Napa Art Gallery both featuring Aboriginal arts and culture.  In late afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight north to the tropical top end of the Northern Territory and its colorful multi-cultural capital, Darwin.  Transfer to your apartment style hotel on arrival.  
(B)    Mantra on Esplanade
Daily Activity:  Morning self guided exploring.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

January  22, 2018 - AAT Update 3

2018 AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR UPDATE

HOTEL CHECK IN TOUR INFORMATION

 Dear AAT tour member,

 Many of our tour members are currently planning their pre-tour days in Sydney.  We want to update you regarding hotel check in and time to meet up with the group; for the first time.

 Some of our tour members may belong to the Holiday Inn Rewards Club, allowing you free upgrades when checking into a HI hotel.  If you are not a member, it is free to join.  I have copied the website below, for you. 

 ASI Tours group hotel rooms are booked as ‘standard rooms’.  When checking into the HI Old Sydney, if you identify yourself as a HI Rewards member, you may be given an upgrade, but only on a space available basis. If you are upgraded for any pre tour nights this does not guarantee you will have the same upgrade extended once the tour begins on Sep. 21.  If you are in an upgraded room for pretour nights it is possible you may be required by the hotel to change rooms.  If you wish to avoid the possibility of having to change rooms please do not request an upgrade upon your initial check in. You should inquire about the upgrade situation when you check in. Be advised that our tour hotel is in a premium location in the Rocks, adjacent to Circular Quay on Sydney Harbor and tends to be at full occupancy much of the time.    

 We have set the group meet-up time for 1:30 PM on Sep. 21 to allow tour members to have the full morning for activities such as the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb or other organized or self directed exploring.  We will depart from the hotel on the afternoon sightseeing tour of Sydney about 2:00 PM.  

 

Please email or call us with any questions or if you need assistance with any of the above items.

 HI REWARDS CLUB WEBSITE

https://www.ihg.com/rewardsclub/content/us/en/home

    ________________________________________________________________________

December 29, 2017  -  AAT Update 2

2018 AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR UPDATE
Pre and Post tour information

 Dear AAT tour member,

We hope everyone had a joyous Christmas and are looking forward to the New Year filled with new destinations and friendships.   We would like to provide you with the following update and information to help plan your upcoming trip to Australia in September 2018.

This update will include both, pre and post tour information and advisories as well as Australia arrival and departure information. 

ETA – An Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) is required of American citizens for travel to Australia.

If you have not yet secured the ETA, see the ASI Tours website under Tour Details and Passport and Visa information - https://asitours.com/tour-details/passport-visa/

AIRPORT TRANSFERS FROM SYDNEY AIRPORT TO HOLIDAY INN OLD SYDNEY

The easiest transfer option from the Sydney Airport  to our tour hotel at the Holiday Inn Old Sydney, 55 George St, Sydney, NSW, is by taxi.  The taxi fare currently averages around $35AUD, apx. $28USD.  This is easily the best option with two or more people sharing the ride.  An airport shuttle which may stop at several hotels can be pre-booked by single travelers for apx. $16-18AUD, $12-$14USD. 

Website for Airport Transfer: http://au.jayride.com/Airport-transfer-from-Sydney-Airport-SYD-to-Holiday-Inn-Old-Sydney/9-9033801685639541020 

If you go to the ASI Tours website, then Tour Details, then Featured Hotels you will be able to click on the button below the picture of the hotel.  It will take you to the HI Old Sydney’s website.  You will see a map, information about the hotel and the area and be able to contact the hotel directly for pre tour booking and information.  You can also use other booking sites to book the hotel such as Trivago, Hotel.com or other booking sites.

Holiday Inn Old Sydney website:  https://asitours.com/tour-details/featured-hotels/

Click on 'Show' button for full update.

Australian Money on Arrival     

You will need to have some Australian dollars once you arrive in Sydney, to pay for your transfer to the hotel and have as spending money. All major credit cards are accepted in Australia but you will want to have local currency for smaller shops, some restaurants, taxis and drinks in pubs. There may be minimum purchase amounts in smaller stores, in order to use a credit card. 

Using your Bank ATM card will usually give you the best exchange rate.  It allows you to withdraw in local currency.   You will want to check with your own bank to see what branch in Australia they may have a banking relationship with, in order to save on ATM and exchange fees.  For example, Bank of America is a member of a banking partnership called Global ATM Alliance, with WestPac Bank.  By using the WestPac Bank ATM to withdraw money in AUD there is no ATM fee or international transaction fee, by either bank.

To easily determine the conversion of  your USD into AUD, use the XE Converter.  You may want to download the app to your Smartphone, which is free.  The current exchange rate is apx. $1.00USD = $1.30AUD.

http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

The following link is to the list of banks and ATMs in the international terminal of the Sydney Airport.  You will know ahead of time what terminal you arrive at so you will be able to determine where your closest affiliate ATM or bank is located.

https://bankssydney.com/australian-banks-branches-and-atms-in-sydney-international-airport

 PRE TOUR OPTIONS

The Around Australia Tour spends only two nights in Sydney.   We recommend that tour members arrive in Sydney a day or two prior to the beginning of the Around Australia Tour which starts on Sep. 21st.  At this point almost all tour members are planning to arrive early.   We also recommend spending the extra night(s) at our centrally located hotel in the historic Rocks area; the Holiday Inn Old Sydney. The hotel is ideally located to walk to The Rocks area, restaurants, downtown, many attractions in Circular  Quay, including Sydney Opera House and pickups for tours.

Most flights to Australia from the USA arrive in Sydney in the early morning.   Normal hotel check-in time is apx. 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM so it is unlikely your hotel room will be ready on arrival at the hotel, mid morning unless the previous night has been pre-paid.  Most people choose not to do this because of cost.  If your room is not available upon arrival you can request an early check-in subject to availability.  Your bags can be secured in hotel storage and you can freshen up using hotel facilities. You can then spend time exploring the Rocks area and the attractions of Circular Cay until your room is ready.  A plethora of varied, convenient dining and snacking options are available in these areas and also at our hotel.   The hotel front desk or concierge will have local maps and suggestions for restaurants and help with a walking route for you.  You will also be able to get brochures of attractions in the area, at the hotel.

Some tour members arriving early may wish to experience a tour, performance or combination tour and performance at the famed Sydney Opera House.  

The link for Opera House bookings is, https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com.

You may want to sign up for new updates from the Opera House, at: https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/general/signup-email-subscribe.htm

The following performances are currently scheduled prior to and for our scheduled nights in Sydney.  Keep in mind that we have a group welcome dinner shortly after the completion of our Sydney city tour on Friday September 21.  

 PRIOR CONTACT WITH TOUR MEMBERS

Most of the tour members on the 2018 AAT are traveling to Sydney 1-2 days in advance of the beginning of the tour.  We are, therefore, compiling a voluntarily list of tour members who would like to be in contact with fellow tour members prior to the tour.   This is primarily for those who may be interested in participating in pre-tour activities in Sydney with other tour members before the group convenes for the tour orientation and city sights on the afternoon of Sep. 21.  Examples of these activities, particularly on Sep. 19 or 20 are activities such as doing a specific guided tour, independent sightseeing or attending a performance at the Sydney Opera House.  If, as a result of contact, you find that you are traveling to Australia on the same flight as other tour members on the list there may be an opportunity to connect up at the airport prior to the outbound flight. 

If you are interested in being included in this pre-tour contact list, advise us by email or phone with your contact information.  Please let us know as soon as possible to give tour members time to contact each other and work on their plans.

Once our tour begins you will find you are traveling with a very cohesive group of friendly, experienced world travelers, most of whom are long time ITN readers.  On evenings when dinner is not included tour members often choose to dine with other members.  It is difficult, on tour, to tell who is traveling with a roommate and who are traveling as singles. Tour members also often participate together in free time activities of mutual interest.  Your tour director will, also, always be available to assist.     

DEPARTURE AND POST TOUR OPTIONS

The official end of the Around Australia Tour is after breakfast at our Gold Coast Hotel, the Mantra Legends which is apx. a 55 minute airport shuttle ride to the Brisbane Airport.  A number of tour members will be commencing their own post tour arrangements in Australia or other destinations.   For those not extending the most convenient return option is the Qantas #15 nonstop flight from Brisbane to Los Angeles which is currently scheduled to depart Brisbane at 10:20AM and arriving LAX at 6:00AM, the same day.  You re-cross the International Dateline gaining the day lost enroute to Australia. This is a daily flight.  This may be an additional motivation for doing your international flights to and from Australia with Qantas Airways.   Qantas is a member of the One World Alliance and an alliance partner with American Airlines and Alaska Air.  If you are traveling to Australia on another carrier you may be required to connect via Sydney, or in the case of Air New Zealand, Auckland. 

Our tour members book their international air either directly with their airline of choice or one of the on-line sellers of international air.   You may contact ASI Tours if you have any questions or need assistance.   

 POST TOUR AIRPORT TRANSFERS

Post tour airport transfers are easily arranged from our Gold Coast Hotel, The Mantra Legends, to the Brisbane Airport, an apx. one hour ride.  The standard airport shuttle transfer rate per person is apx. 54 AUD (39 USD) per person.  It is likely that many of our tour members will be returning to the USA on flight - Qantas #15 departing from Brisbane currently at 10:20AM on Oct. 14; our tour departure day.  When we know the number of tour members departing the same day, it is very likely we will be able to arrange a discounted group transfer rate.  Airport transfers can also be arrange with the concierge at our hotel.  

POST TOUR HOTEL EXTENSION

Some tour members are planning to extend their Australia holiday by spending a few extra days at our wonderful beach located hotel. 

Additional nights can be booked directly through your favorite on-line booking site such as hotels.com.  You can also book directly with the hotel at www.mantralegends.com.au/facilities/, Tel: 61-7-5588-7888.  Click on the button under the hotel picture on the ASI Tours website in the Featured Hotel list.  Or copy the following into your browser:

      https://asitours.com/tour-details/featured-hotels/

Contact us if you need information and advisory regarding other post tour arrangements.

BOOKING YOUR INTERNATIONAL AIR

Many of you have already booked your international air from your home city to Australia and return.  Others have not yet done so and may or may not have determined your booking source.  Some are also planning to use frequent flyer miles for their international flights.

Qantas Airways offers the most frequent service to Australia from the USA with, currently, five daily non stops from LAX, two from SFO, one from DFW and a one stop service from JFK.  Qantas has connecting service and fares in conjunction with its One World Alliance partner American Airlines from cities throughout North America. 

Qantas flights can be booked on-line through the following link:

https://www.qantas.com/us/en/destinations/australia/nsw/sydney.html

If you prefer to book with an agent, Qantas through fare flights can be booked with our Qantas Vacations, booking agent Rozelle at 800-252-6239 ext. 1016.  Qantas Vacations is the booking agent for the domestic flights included in our tour. 

Alternatively you can call the toll free number for direct Qantas reservations is 800-227-4500, but we recommend using Rozelle as she is familiar with the Around Australia Tour.  When securing a quote remember to ask for the best through fare from your home (originating) city and be aware of the rules and restrictions of the fare.   

SYDNEY ATTRACTIONS FOR SUGGESTED PRE TOUR SIGHTSEEING

On arrival at the Sydney International Airport, take a moment to visit the Sydney Airport Tourist Information Centre, where you can pickup brochures of day tours, the Red Bus brochure and ask where to catch a taxi or other transportation.  

Below are just a few websites of the most famous attractions you won’t want to miss.  

1. Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/

Opened in 1816, the garden is the oldest scientific institution in Australia and one of the most important historic botanical institutions in the world. It is open every day of the year and access is free. It enjoys a stunning position on Sydney Harbour, immediately adjacent to the Sydney central business district and the Sydney Opera House. 

For detailed information about the Gardens – click on the link below.

                 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Botanic_Garden,_Sydney

 If you would like to sign up for updates about what is going on at the Royal Gardens, click on the website below and type in your name and email address and hit the send button. 

                  - https://www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/about/notifications

2.  The Rocks, Sydney -The Guide to the Rocks –

      http://www.australia.com/en/places/sydney-and-surrounds/guide-to-the-rocks.html

The Rocks area features a variety of souvenir and craft shops, as well as many themed and historic pubs. The Rocks Market operates each weekend, with around 100 stalls. During the week, shopping options include galleries exhibiting Australian artists, such as Ken Done and Ken Duncan, as well as Australian clothing and Australian opal shops. There are numerous historic walks through the area, visiting historical buildings such as Cadmans Cottage, Sydney Observatory and the Dawes Point Battery which was the first fortified position in New South Wales.

Two separate pubs in The Rocks claim to be Sydney's oldest surviving pubs: the Fortune of War and the Lord Nelson. Others in the area include the Observer, the Orient, the Mercantile, the Palisade and the Hero of Waterloo.

3.  Sydney Taronga Zoo

Discover the home of over 2,900 animals at your own pace with an entrance ticket to Taronga Zoo. Reach the zoo in Sydney Harbour by rocket ferry from Circular Quay and then ride the Sky Safari cable car on arrival enjoying the  spectacular views of Sydney Harbour.

​You can pre-purchase your Taronga entry ticket to save time and avoid queuing at the ticket booth. By public transport - Take the ferry to the Taronga Zoo wharf and then the bus or the gondola to the entrance at the top of the hill.  Buying a ticket that includes the return boat trip from Darling Harbour, the gondola ride and the entry to the park is the best way to experience this attraction.  You can also book this at your hotel.  Wear good walking shoes and carry some water - it is set up on a hill!

Website for Taronga zoo:

  https://www.getyourguide.com/sydney-l200/sydney-harbour-cruise-taronga-zoo-and-sky-safari-t72927/?partner_id=R3GYW4V

 4, Art Gallery of New South Wales - https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/

The Art Gallery of New South Wales, located in The Domain in Sydney, is the most important public gallery in Sydney and one of the largest in Australia. The Gallery's first public exhibition opened in 1874. Admission is free to the general exhibition space, which displays Australian art (from settlement to contemporary),European and Asian art. A dedicated Asian Gallery was opened in 2003.

 For updates - https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/about-us/keep-me-updated/

 For more information on the Gallery - 

         Website: -   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Gallery_of_New_South_Wales 

5. Interactive map of Sydney’s attractions:

           Website: -  http://www.aviewoncities.com/maps/sydney.htm

This interactive map will take you to each attraction listed on the left side of the map, by placing your cursor on a name of a place, a picture opens up on a map.  If you click on (most) of the names, the website will open and will give you information about that site.  There is a + and – on the lower right side of the map.  Hitting the + several times, will enlarge the map to the point names of stores, banks, restaurants, art galleries, etc, will be appear.

6. Downtown Sydney

To find your way to the heart of downtown Sydney make your way to Martin Place - on the interactive map (above).  Martin Place is a pedestrian mall in the central business district of Sydney.  It has been described as the "civic heart" of Sydney. As home to the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Macquarie Bank, Westpac and other corporations, it is also a centre of business and finance. The Sydney GPO (General Post Office) and the Seven Network's Sydney news centre are also located on Martin Place.

Martin Place has become a national Australian icon in popular culture for attracting film and television productions and actors to the area. Martin Place runs between George Street and Macquarie Street, and provides entrances to the Martin Place railway station below street level; an underground city of magnificent restaurants and shops - a must see stop.  Other cross streets includes Pitt Street, Castlereagh Street, Elizabeth Street and Phillip Street.

The history is of Martin Place is fascinating.  For more info:

                            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Place

 7.  RED BUS HOP ON HOP OFF TOUR BUS – SYDNEY

WBESITE:  https://www.redbuses.com/our-tours/sydney-hop-hop-off-tour/

The Red Bus is the ideal way to get around to all of the attractions you want to see during your pre tour time in Sydney.  You can purchase a 24 or 48 hour pass.  The website above will show the route the Red Bus travels with a brief description  about each stop. You will be able to obtain a brochure at the airport before you catch your transportation to the hotel, or at the hotel information desk.

First tour starts at 8.30 am. Frequency 15- 20 minutes* Bondi Tours: depart from and finish at Stop A - Eddy Avenue (Central Railway Station) First tour starts at 9.30 am. Frequency 30 minutes All services terminate at 7.30 pm in peak season and 6.30 pm in off peak season

We hope you will find this information helpful in making your pre tour time in Sydney educational and highly memorable.  It is a beautiful city and very easy to navigate.  

 Please email or call us with any questions or if you need assistance with any of the above items.

  _________________________________________________________________________

December 18, 2017 - AAT Update 1

2018 AROUND AUSTRALIA TOUR UPDATE
Itinerary Changes in Sydney and Tasmania

Dear Around Australia Tour Members,

We are excited to announce the following Around Australia Tours 2018 UPDATES.

To date our group has 20 tour members confirmed plus your tour leader, Randy Keck.

We are thrilled to announce the following itinerary changes which will allow another full day of touring with additional exciting educational visits in beautiful Tasmania.  These added visits will include a working Australian sheep farm, a unique chocolate mill, a coastal vineyard and more sightseeing time in historic towns.  This also changes a previous one night stop at Pt. Arthur to two nights.  These changes will not affect the tour cost or duration.

Click on 'Show' button for full update.

To do this we are changing our Sydney stop from three nights back to the original two nights.  Most tour members are already planning to go to Sydney one or more days early, so you can plan your Sydney arrival accordingly. 

Our Sydney city sights tour will be in the afternoon of the first tour day in Sydney, Sep. 21.  The Welcome Tour Dinner will be on the first night, Sept. 21.   Our included Sydney Harbor Cruise will be on the morning of our second day in Sydney, Sep.22, with the afternoon free for exploring on your own.  With our itinerary change we now depart the following morning, Sep. 23, for Tasmania.

Please visit our official revised itinerary, on our website, at:  https://asitours.com/tour- details/itinerary/

Our new additions with an extra night at the charming Fox and Hounds Inn in Port Arthur, will allow a more relaxing and in-depth experience in Tasmania.   We continue to update as part of the Aussie Specialist program with the Australian Tourist Board while exploring possible options for inclusion in our tour. 

If you have any questions, please call or email me.  I am happy to answer your questions regarding the tour.