smarTours is a leading provider of direct-to-consumer, affordable travel experiences to exotic global destinations. The Company offers travelers curated, pre-packaged itineraries to over 40 destinations across the globe. By offering tours directly to consumers, the Company provides premium-quality experiences at value prices, and as a result, has cultivated a highly passionate and loyal community of repeat travelers. More than 200,000 travelers have taken a smarTours trip since the founding of the Company in 1996. smarTours is… the smarter way to see the world.
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"Attention to detail outstanding. Accommodations outstanding as well. Optional tours very good although we added a trip to the opera since a great opera showing while we were in Sydney. Something management might consider in the future and skip farm stay in NZ. Overall it was a great tour!!! Highly recommend to all."
"Certainly a whirlwind trip and happy memories. NZ landscape is stunning and people we met were so welcoming. The farm stay in Fairlie was a high point. Stays in Australia also gave us new experiences.
Betty's role was adequate but not outstanding. A number of us felt that she was condescending a few times. I have toured with other companies so I do have a comparison to guides.
Due to weather, we were unable to go on the Kuranda Skyrail. We paid $172 for the the days activities so I understand that we would receive only a partial refund to compensate for the skyrail. However, I did expect that it would be more than $45.
As you may be aware, we had some travel challenges with Qantas. I am not sure I would elect individually to ever travel with them again. Of course, SmarTours is not responsible for that.
Finally, I would suggest that the tour start in Australia then go to New Zealand.
It would be better to do the busy cities and activities at the beginning then, as one's energy level wanes, go to NZ which was more relaxing."
"The trip to New Zealand and Australia were amazing! I would suggest adding a day to each location to be able to explore more. Going that distance from the USA and all the different places to see in country there is just not enough time. So instead of 19 days it would be 25 or so!"
"There were many airport delays with Qantas. At one point they gave all our seats away. We lost 1/2 day in Auckland. They landed in Townsville instead of Cairns. We had to sit there 8 hours and lost another 1/2 day. Our tour director was unpleasant. She spoke rudely to many people on the tour. She was unhelpful and confusing. She couldn't be reached in an emergency as she didn't share contact information. We enjoyed both countries and the people on our tour."
"The tour of New Zealand and Australia were enlightening. Betty, our tour director, was excellent with directions and keeping us all informed about each days events and times. Betty even arranged scuba diving for me in Cairns and Ziplining in Queenstown, New Zealand. The homestay in New Zealand was a bonus to this trip. I could have stayed longer. Our hotels were excellent and in central locations for easy walking. This was my 11th Smartours trip and I have already booked two more."
"I enjoyed the tour very much. Liz, our guide, was professional and gave excellent advice. New Zealand and Australia were new to me and it seemed that the itinerary touched on a pleasing variety of sights, experiences, and locations within the time we had. We also were fortunate to have great travelling companions and good weather. I'm very satisfied with our experience."
"This tour was my first with SmarTours. I liked the tour and was very happy with Liz Moran as our guide. I didn’t see any reason to go to Auckland, just a city. Our “farm experience” was a bed and breakfast, not a working farm as expected. I loved the four wheel drive in Queenstown on the Wakatipu river. It was a great add on tour. I’m sure you’ve heard how unsatisfactory the hotel in Cairns was. Construction dust everywhere and mold in the air vents. Bad choice of accommodations on your part."
"This was our 5th Smartours and my rating is "good". The trip was exceptional. New Zealand was a wonderful revelation and Australia was fantastic. The tour group was close and friendly. The Tour Escort (note-not "guide") certainly got the group efficiently from place to place but was not a resident and therefore provided extremely little insight into the land, the people, the customs, culture, history or society. All this has been provided on previous tours and took my rating down a notch. The escort seemed to be a bit detached from the group and therefore made some of us feel as though we were a bit of a distraction rather than a focus. I urge Smartours to only use residents of the country as tour guides. We travel to learn about other places and cultures and, in my opinion, this was not provided in this instance"
"Amazing trip. Everything was organized and thought out. Only downfalls were staying in Dunedin and our tour guide should have been a native Australian.
The bus driver in New Zealand was knowledagble about everywhere we went including history and current events. We missed out is Australia not having someone who was extremely familiar with where we visited and knowing the local culture."
"Our recent trip was great. The itinerary was thorough in providing us an up close experience of both New Zealand and Australia. Our guide Jeremy was fantastic. He was knowledgeable, organized and gave us many little tips to make our experience even better. Thanks for making our experience terrific."
"This was my best trip to date. Jeremy Elsasser was the most Professional, patient, informative and kind Tour Guide that I have ever traveled with. I would gladly recommend Smartours because of the excellent guide and the wonderful tour. It was everything I had hoped for. Thanks to all."
"Everything about this trip was amazing, from the itinerary to the cost. Our guide Jeremy made the trip interesting and kept things on track. He was very knowledgeable, having lived in Australia for 7 years. This was our 4th. trip with Smartours and there will be more. Smartours is a real class operation!"
"April 4-24 2017 - This itinerary was such a great one - and for the cost: outstanding and the local people all so very nice. The hotels were nice, all in good locations, always great buffet breakfasts, always good and reasonable restaurants nearby with stunning views everywhere we went otherwise. We saw the best of both New Zealand and Australia - everything we have ever read about we saw and did and more.
In New Zealand - both North and South Island - the highlights for me were the beautiful scenery and interesting Maori culture and every stop had plenty of time to shop, eat and see something unique. The Shotover River Jet Boat ride, Gold Rush Safari through the canyons and the beautiful Remarkables mountain range, evening steamboat ride to a riverfront farm estate for an incredible chefs' buffet dinner party were one of a kind experiences. The drive to Milford Sound and then ferry ride amongst the towering mountains and waterfalls - absolutely breathtaking.
Australia was another stunning destination. For me being able to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef and see the colorful giant clams opening and closing, the sea turtles and beautiful fish swimming just feet below in the amazing underwater landscape was well worth the ride to Michaelmas Cay just outside of Cairns. The Great Ocean Road near Melbourne offered beautiful scenery the whole way, with its final destination ending with the surreal view of the 12 Apostles rock formations in the pounding surf against bright blue sky - spectacular! Sydney? One of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen! Dining the first night at a small Italian restaurant on Sydney Harbor with the Sydney Bridge and the Opera House in the background is indescribable - I'll never forget it, and I also did the Bridge Climb the next day, although there are many ways to get an unforgettable view from the Bridge of all of Sydney Harbor. A dinner cruise around Darling Harbor to Sydney Harbor, and also a tour of The Rocks area was yet another wonderful "not to be missed" and historical part of what I would call a trip of a lifetime!!!"
"First I want to say I loved this trip it was 21 days of amazement. I loved our tour guide Elizabeth Moran who was one of the reasons why I loved this trip. This guide was not only knowledgeable but also took care of every single detail on this trip to taking us to the locations and taking us on walking tours to understand the dynamics of the area. One of the highlights that normally you don't get is having the tour guide with you even on the plane and that was such a blessing especially with the confusion some airports have when transferring over to another plane from one layover to another country. Elizabeth stayed with us until every person was accounted for and that again is not something you experience most of the time once the tour is over the guides leave you at the airport and you have to figure it out yourself, not her she was there guiding, telling us and making sure we were all accounted for the whole time. I would recommend if making this trip to request her as your guide you won't regret it.
This trip you will be busy and will find yourself with so much to do and every minute loving it. The hotels are in great locations and you will be eating pretty much all the time.
This trip is what I would call a life time trip, I experienced New Zealand and Australia in manners that I will always hold dear. My highs on this trip were The canyon runs in New Zealand, the mountains surrounded by the pristine clear waters, Milford Cruise, Fairlie farm stay and the gardens at Christchurch. As for Australia, Starting with the Twelve Apostles, Apollo Bay, Cairns and getting to swim the Great Barrier, to Climbing the Sydney Bridge and getting up close to the Sydney Opera House just made this trip go to the top best trips I have done in my life."
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