This was our 11th trip with Smartours. Overall the quality of this trip was less good in the past. Despite the high cost there were few included meals and tours. Optional tours were offered but expensive. Further, especially in Sydney there were too many options as to time and date so making it difficult for the tour leader to coordinate. In Australia, since we flew between cities, there was little time informing us about the country, if you elected not to go on the optional tours. As usual the descriptions of the tours was somewhat unrealistic, raising expectations which could not be expected to be fulfilled - most animals function best at dusk or at night, so one cannot expect to see them during a morning tour. Although interesting the "Farm stay" in Fairlie, NZ was simply a bed & breakfast, the hosts once owned a farm, but now simply live in a house with no animals around. Your choice was probably based on cost, but the outward journey was very long - several hours were added by having to fly through Sydney to get to Auckland. This was in addition to a 15 hour flight LAX-Syd. and our connecting flight from the east coast. We were en route for 42 hours! Of the hotels, that in Melbourne was the weakest, including limited internet which functioned very poorly. Welcome and farewell dinners very OK at best. One had the impression both restaurants just wanted us to eat and get out. Food was scanty.
11 months ago
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smarTours has a 4.41 average rating from 1,366 reviews

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