Australia and New Zealand: WE Loved the People!

Emily, we really appreciate all of your help in planning and making this a trip we will never forget. It certainly was a once in a lifetime vacation that we could not have planned on our own.


We both thought Hayman was one of the most beautiful places we had ever been to. We loved our “retreat” room and all of the activities there. It’s truly a special destination. The breakfast was delicious every morning and the views from breakfast were even better. For the most part our stay was terrific. There were few issues with service as they did not have our bookings which we had emailed prior to our stay–they ended up taking care of it, but there seem to be some communication issues on their end. Some of the concierge people were not very helpful, but we ended up meeting Ralph who took care of everything for us. Some information that may be helpful for future travelers:

1. Take the daily snorkeling trip–$45 and it was well worth it

2. Fontaine is by far the best restaurant there–we loved our meal

3. Do the private dining over the pond–very romantic

4. Use the catamarans and other free activities at the beach


What a fantastic city. We loved our time there. The Grace hotel was a great city hotel. We enjoyed our stay there. It’s probably the only time in our trip where we truly wanted to stay an extra day–as Emily had suggested in our original itinerary. Bridge climb was a cool experience, hop on hop off was a terrific way to see the city, and we ended up heading to the zoo per the recommendation of every person we came across. We ate at millville in surry hill the first night and though it was solid. We loved the winery for drinks–very cool spot. We ate at The Bentley one night and did the degustation, which was fantastic. We also ate at Pony Dining at the Rocks which we also thought was ok. We found the rocks to be a very cool, unique area. A few other places we really liked were Gilmore in the Rocks (great place to grab a bite and drink after bridge climb) and Bucket List at Bondi Beach. Both were great daytime drinking and eating spots. Overall we loved everything about Sydney.

Breckinridge Lodge:

Wow. Where do we start. First, Malcolm is terrific. His food was out of this world. He was extremely friendly while still making sure we were well taken care of. We loved spending new years with him and the rest of the people at the lodge. The house is absolutely stunning with an incredible garden. We loved our wine tour and found it to be exactly what we were looking for. Once again, I want to emphasize that the dinners were incredible. If you could include dinner both nights that would be my suggestion as I don’t imagine people will want to leave after wine tasting all day.

The Springs:

On our way up to The Springs we stopped in Tao Po (at Malcolm’s suggestion). It was a great way to break up the drive and grab a bite at Scenic Cellars which was a great lunch spot. Tao Po is a cool beach town and it was nice to get some fresh air. Colleen at The Springs made us feel like we were at home. She is so friendly and warm. Our stay there was perfect.

Lonely Bay:

What a neat place. Loring and Mal, literally did everything possible to make our stay special. From having a towel bag for the beach to getting a hair straightener for Robin, their energy and desire to please was unbelievable. It also was also extremely refreshing to see how they didn’t “pinch pennies” when it came to drinks, food, or other usage of the property. We truly felt like we were at home with the best assistance on the planet. Cooks beach is a quiet town, but we found it enjoyable and peaceful. We ate at Salt and GoVino and enjoyed both places. Loring cooked amazing breakfast and dinner and I can’t emphasize enough how accommodating she was. The effort and thoughtfulness, combined with the exquisite house is what makes this place special.

The people in both countries could not have been nicer. We loved the PEOPLE!!!


Suggested similar trip: A Taste of Australia and New Zealand Vacation

5 out of 5
Down Under Endeavours