Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

We traveled to Australia in November 2023 (after a very, very long delay of the original planned date of March 2020). We had many speed bumps in the planning phase due to Covid, wild fires in the Blue Mountains and hotels that decided to close for refurbishing. But all along the way, our travel agent Kylie from Drew’s office was ON THE BALL and making sure that we had accommodations that were not just suitable, but luxurious and afforded us the same experience we would have had in the original plan. Kylie’s communication of these issues was immediate and direct and she was able to pivot quickly and get us the next-best thing.

Kylie did a great intake of our expectations and was very in tune with what we wanted to do while traveling. We are an active group and her scheduling allowed us time to exercise like we wanted to, including some really interesting hiking experiences (Carrington Falls, Tasmania and Hamilton Island). She also really pushed a helicopter ride to the Great Barrier Reef—which was an incredible experience that all should do if visiting Hamilton Island—it blew my mind! Our accomodations in each place were terrific, luxurious and gorgeous views with excellent service. Kylie nailed it! I will be recommending her to anyone traveling to Australia. She also was pretty much available to us 24/7, not that we needed it, but that was a really comforting number to have, being so far away from home knowing we had a friendly contact in case something went wrong.

I can not express enough how professional and on top of things Kylie was and she’s also a very warm person—I never felt like I was bothering her with our requests. She is a true gem of a person.

After waiting for over 2 years for COVID restrictions to be lifted and rules and regulations to be decided, we were finally able to travel to Australia. Hurray!!! And throughout this process, Kylie was with us. From planning in the beginning, September of 2019, to finally accomplishing the trip, May/June 2023, Kylie was with us. She worked with vendors to ensure we could still book with them and our deposits/payments would be safe and carried forward; she ensured prices either remained the same or had small increases. And the trip turned out to be the trip of a lifetime!

This was our 4th trip to the wonderful country of Australia. And we decided to visit Queensland and the Northern Territory. Kylie was invaluable with regards to arranging travel partners and visiting the natural and historic aboriginal sites. We started our adventure with 3 days in Sydney, having been to Australia before but never had time allotted for enjoying Sydney. This time we made sure we did. Such a wonderful city to walk and we enjoyed the hop-on-off bus. We also completed a desire of mine — Sydney Bridge Climb! Fantastic. We did it on a blustery and chilly day. It was worth it!

After Sydney, we stayed in the lovely town of Port Douglas. Several good walk/hiking paths and 4-Mile beach both were steps from our hotel. We could hear the surf at night, delightful. And many good restaurants in the very walkable town. Then on to a lovely lodge in the rainforest. We went river rafting, drift snorkeling in the Mosman River. Visited the Great Barrier Reef for more snorkeling and a sunset cruise. After leaving the very relaxing Port Douglas area we traveled to Darwin for our next adventure. And it was!

This is where we traveled by heavy-duty, all-terrain transport to the aboriginal parks of Kakadu and Arnhem Land. The wildlife we saw — flying foxes chattering in the trees and also flying overhead; crocs sunning on the banks of the billabong and swimming; too many birds to keep track of, all delightful! We went hiking in the parks to reach very old aboriginal rock artwork. Our guide, Damon, of Venture North, was a wealth of information.

Since we were in the north country, safety was paramount as we were in some very remote areas, no cell service or even people for miles and miles around. Once at the camp we were welcomed with champagne and canapes. There were many activities/tours to enjoy or not, your choice. We went fishing. And we had to be mindful of crocs — no hands over the side of the boat. As one of our fellow travelers was reeling in a fish and ready to take it off the hook a shark came and bit the fish clean off, only leaving the head! That was an eye opener!! We also went mud crabbing — delicious to eat! Our camp was quite nice for being in the very top end of the Coburgh Peninsula. And our travel companions for this part of our adventure were a delight!

And an added bonus was being able to fly from Coburgh to Darwin, by 5-seat private plane. This flight was totally unexpected! It was so interesting to see the terrain we had traveled by SUV from the air. After our Venture North adventure it was back to Darwin for some relaxing down time, exploring the town of Darwin and enjoying sitting beside the pool and not having to worry about crocs being in the water!

The next part of the trip was getting from Darwin to Uluru. Before COVID there were several flying options of getting to Uluru from Darwin, after COVID nothing direct or time-efficient. Having a travel agent like Kylie was invaluable! Kylie was able to secure private air travel for us between Alice Springs and Uluru. And what a delightful way to travel! Such a beautiful and interesting country!

Staying at Uluru at the end of our trip was really a highlight! Our all-inclusive hotel lived up to its reputation! From the arranged hikes, to the meals with wine, and dinner under the stars with an astronomer who was able to tell the aboriginal stories and point out the constellations — a magical night under the Milky Way!

Without Kylie’s knowledge of Australia and knowledge of the various vendors and listening to the places/things we wanted to see and experience, this trip would not have happened! And thank you Wendy Perrin and company for the resources of The WOW List!

Our holiday in Australia (Sept. 1 – 25, 2022) was arranged by Drew’s senior planning designer, Kylie Damen, and she was superb.

She was very open to our ideas, and graciously steered us when she knew of a better option.

Her recommendations about where to stay and the pacing of the trip — how many days where — were spot-on.

She and her team handled all the logistics — commercial flights within Australia, along with charters (Cessnas and helicopters), airport pick-ups and drop-offs and lodging. She also arranged a private guided tour in the Daintree Rainforest and made some restaurant reservations.

We highly recommend Kylie and Drew to anyone thinking of a trip to Australia (and we wish she could plan trips for us elsewhere in the world).

PANDEMIC TRAVEL  We cannot recommend Drew and Kylie’s office highly enough for assisting with your travel plans. Our travel advisor, Kylie Damen, has gone WAY above and beyond to make sure we had a truly execptional experience. We were originally scheduled to go to Australia for our 25th anniversary in April 2020. You can guess how that worked out. But she worked with us for nearly 3 years (we started planning the trip in June 2019) to reschedule the trip 4 different times as we tried to anticipate re-opening dates, and we finally traveled on August 19th and had an incredible trip.

Beyond the unusual circumstances of the pandemic, Kylie has deep expertise about Australia paired with a deep understanding of the needs/expectations of luxury travelers. When we first started planning the trip, she set up a phone call to understand our needs and expectations. We told her of our interests in Art and Wine, as well as our preference for smaller luxury accommodations, and she used that information to put a terrific itinerary together encompassing Perth, Margaret River, Uluru and Melbourne. The accommodations she recommended in Uluru (Longitude 131) and Perth (COMO The Treasury) are among the nicest places we’ve ever stayed. She also arranged truly unique experiences—at two wineries not only did we have tastings, but they were with the owner and head winemaker respectively who each spent well over 2 hours with us. Amazing. If you are looking for a provider with deep expertise about Australia who will go the extra mile to understand and exceed your expectations, you can’t make a better choice than Drew and Kylie.

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