Australia and New Zealand revisited.

Once upon a time, Carolyn Waghorne and three friends joined a large group on a journey to Australia and New Zealand. Though she didn’t love being part of a big group, she adored both countries, and she swore she’d return, next time with her husband, Rick, in tow.

     In the meantime, Carolyn and Rick met R. Crusoe & Son managing director David Weber. As they got to know one another, the talk turned to future travel, and David suggested that the Waghornes give R. Crusoe a try. 

     They did just that.

     First, they joined us on a small group tour to Italy. They were hooked. 

     “Crusoe’s Italy tour was great. It was an intimate group, a small group of very interesting, friendly people we really enjoyed. And Rick and I fell in love with Siena, where we did a private tour.” 

     Finally, it was time for Australia and New Zealand.

     “We knew this time around we didn’t want to go with a group. We wanted to go just the four of us—Rick and myself and our good friends, the Bournes.”

     Both the Bournes and the Waghornes spent time on the phone with Jane Franklin, Crusoe’s expert on Oceania. “Jane was great,” says Carolyn. “She was extremely patient and had no problem with being given lots of input from all four of us. She worked up an itinerary that included plenty for everyone. She struck a very nice balance.” 

     Both couples love to golf, so Jane made sure to include some excellent courses. Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnapper were favorites of the foursome.

    “Golfing at these places was a real high point,” recalls Carolyn. “The properties were fantastic. Gorgeous. And it felt great to get out and golf during the trip.”

     Though she’d been to Milford Sound on her previous visit, Carolyn wanted Rick and the Bournes to see it. Jane suggested that they take a helicopter sightseeing flight over the area. “That was great fun,” says Carolyn. “We all loved it.” They followed that with a luxurious cruise around the sound.

     In Queenstown, serendipity stepped in. The couples had reservations at a hotel that wasn’t their first choice. Just down the street, however, was “a neighborhood restaurant—very casual, which we liked. And it was so enjoyable to be able to sit down to dinner at a place where the locals flocked to. We got to know the people. I don’t think we could have found such a place if we’d been looking for it.” 

     The journey ended with a short stay in Sydney. While the men golfed, the women took a day-trip to the Blue Mountains. As a final coup, Jane arranged a behind-the-scenes tour of the Sydney Opera House. “The guide she chose did a wonderful job,” says Carolyn. “Afterward, we sat down to a special dinner at the opera house, then stayed for a performance. It was a real treat and a great way to wrap up our travels.”

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