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active 7 hours ago

Gary Topic

I am immensely proud of my beautiful, stunning country and love to show it off to visitors. I get a real buzz when someone from overseas says, "Wow, that was amazing."
I am also an explorer by nature. Anytime a visit I new place or a new city, I maximize my time by taking a long walk just to find out what else there is to see, and what little gems I might be able to share with others. I love to find those secret hidden places, known only by locals (and me). The fun part is, the learning is never-ending! Sharing my knowledge with others is my dream job.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Our nationwide network of local partners enables us to deliver a portfolio of highly rated experiences, accommodating a wide range of budgets, standards of comfort & uniqueness and levels of activity. From join-in coach tours to self-drives, from camping or glamping to the comforts of luxury accommodation, from professional surfing lessons to (self-)guided nature hikes. You tell us what you expect from your dream-holiday to Australia, chances are we will make it happen!"

How did you get involved in travel?

"I think I was born to travel. My first big trip was a cruise from Sydney to the US, plus an overland trip to visit my Nanna and Pappa in Illinois, at the age of two. But the travel bug really bit on my very first school excursion. I was captivated by the idea that one could get into a car, bus, train or plane and explore entirely new places, meet different people, and experience amazing scenery. That excursion was to the Barrington Tops in the Upper Hunter Valley and I still take my daughters to explore this wonderful landscape today.

Our parents took us on wonderful, memorable road trips across the country to Adelaide and Brisbane. As soon as I gained independence, I began dragging my friends around Australia on road trips, Mystery Flights and interstate weeks away.

At age 18, I organized my first group coach tour to see Phantom of the Opera in Melbourne. I really wanted to see it but I figured why not see it with 50 friends? This was followed by two more coach trips to World Expo in Brisbane and two weeks around Tasmania.

After a stint working in administration, I commenced in the travel industry in 1998. Since then I have worked arranging group tours around Australia and New Zealand, and also as a tour director and sometimes driver in both countries. I know most Australian destinations like the back of my hand and can genuinely say that the entire country feels like my home."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I was driving a tour group across outback Northern Territory when we stopped at the Devils Marbles. The plan was to camp in tents there overnight. We clambered to the top of the highest rocks (I knew a secret way) to watch a stunning sunset. But from that vantage point we could see a desert storm approaching in the distance. We decided to drive to Wycliffe Well to instead enjoy some more solid accommodation. From there we watched in awe at the most intense electrical storm I have ever seen, by far. The dark approaching clouds were simply mesmerizing, as they lit up with never ending lightning flashes ... about 5 per second. When at last it hit, we were glad we had skipped the tents. Wow, such powerful wind and driving rain. The whole experience made us feel small, humble and in absolute amazement."

Gary is part of the following groups: Australia Travel Agents, Australia Family Travel Agents
Top itineraries and travel advice
Family itineraries
Road trip itineraries

Recent trip reviews for Gary

Will be using kimkim again
Australia | Apr 26 - May 10, 2024

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Grace V.
Denver, CO | Reviewed on May 19, 2024
This was our first time using a travel agent. It was definitely worth it! Gary helped us identify the best cities to visit, mapped out the right amount of time to spend in each place, gave us ideas for activities, and booked it all. There were a few times where our tours canceled ahead of time, but Gary found alternatives and reorganized our itinerary so we could still see what we came for. It was especially nice having all of our airport and tour transfers organized for us. We just had... Read more

This was our first time using a travel agent. It was definitely worth it! Gary helped us identify the best cities to visit, mapped out the right amount of time to spend in each place, gave us ideas for activities, and booked it all. There were a few times where our tours canceled ahead of time, but Gary found alternatives and reorganized our itinerary so we could still see what we came for.

It was especially nice having all of our airport and tour transfers organized for us. We just had to show up at the right place and time and everything else was taken care of. We didn't have any last minute tour cancelations or hiccups, so we didn't need to contact Gary while on our trip. However, it was nice to have his contact information if something did come up!

Activity Reviews
The Taste of Sydney
The Taste of Sydney
Sydney

We really liked our tour guide and the variety of food. However, this tour turned into being more of an alcohol tour than a food tour. It was still a good time, but not what we were expecting!

Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
Australia

This was our favorite trip to the Great Barrier Reef. The boat was very nice and wasn't a huge boat with tons of people. The staff was very kind. We loved our dive master for our certified scuba dives. There was also an optional session about the underwater wildlife during the boat ride back and that was a pleasant surprise!

Pick up your rental car at the Airport
Pick up your rental car at the Airport
Australia

The instructions for finding our rental car were a little confusing. However, we figured out after asking around.

Blue Mountains Deluxe Day Tour Experience
Blue Mountains Deluxe Day Tour Experience
Sydney

We loved our tour guide for this trip! We also decided to switch from the restaurant lunch to the hiking option (with a packed lunch). It was a beautiful day and we didn't want to miss an opportunity to explore.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Whitehaven Beach Big Island Day Tour
Whitehaven Beach Big Island Day Tour
Airlie Beach

We got unlucky with a rainy day that never let up. It was cold and wet so we didn't get to enjoy the beach. The day trip would have been 5 stars had the weather been better.

One Day Daintree, Cape Tribulation & Bloomfield Tour
One Day Daintree, Cape Tribulation & Bloomfield Tour
Australia

We probably could have skipped this tour given we had already seen the rainforest on other day trips. It was cool to say we saw the Daintree Rainforest, but it was quite similar to other experiences we had earlier on our trip. If this was the only rainforest visit we had, it would have been 4 stars.

Full Day Great Barrier Reef Adventure
Full Day Great Barrier Reef Adventure
Australia

The docked pontoon was an interesting experience, but the trip felt very commercialized. The boat staff was trying to sell everyone on buying upgrades, accessories, photos, etc. The boat was really big and had a ton of people on it. The scuba diving was rushed. It felt like they were trying to churn through dives to make the most money. We still loved seeing the Great Barrier Reef, but the tour service wasn't as good as our other experience.

Classic Kuranda Tour
Classic Kuranda Tour
Australia

Barron Falls was one of our favorite parts of our whole trip! Definitely worth visiting. The SkyRail and train were great experiences. We could have gone without visiting the town of Kuranda and the Rainforestation. We had seen a lot of Australia's wildlife on a previous tour, so there wasn't much more to see a Rainforestation.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Drop Off Your Rental Car at the Airport
Drop Off Your Rental Car at the Airport
Australia

Super easy and quick. No issues!

BridgeClimb Summit - Twilight
BridgeClimb Summit - Twilight
Australia

I was expecting the bridge climb to be more physically strenuous and scary, but it was actually pretty easy. I loved that we went for sunset!

Local specialist: Gary Topic

Had a GREAT time on our trip. Thanks to Gary ...
Australia | Mar 14 - Apr 15, 2024

SANDRA
SANDRA V.
Chicago, IL | Reviewed on Apr 22, 2024
Had a GREAT time on our trip. Thanks to Gary Topic for putting together a GREAT trip for us to Australia! We had a great itinerary, our hotel locations were always close to where our activities were, our activities were almost always spot on! Gary also guided me several times when I messed up and didn't follow the itinerary and had questions!Job well done!
Our five week trip inclued Port Douglas (scuba diving on the great barrier reef, Daintree, Karunda), Cairns, Whitsundays, Eungella (Glass...
Read more

Had a GREAT time on our trip. Thanks to Gary Topic for putting together a GREAT trip for us to Australia! We had a great itinerary, our hotel locations were always close to where our activities were, our activities were almost always spot on! Gary also guided me several times when I messed up and didn't follow the itinerary and had questions!Job well done!
Our five week trip inclued Port Douglas (scuba diving on the great barrier reef, Daintree, Karunda), Cairns, Whitsundays, Eungella (Glass Mountains, fruit bats, duck billed platypus), Fraser Island, Australia Zoo, Brisbane, Byron Bay, cave diving at Fish Rock Cave, Coffs Harbor, Port Macquarie, Tasmania (Cradle Mt, Bay of Fires), Sydney (opera house, climb the Harbor Bridge, Coogee and Bundi beaches, Blue Mountains tour), Canberra, and Melborne (Phillip Island penguin tour, Great Ocean Road tour). Thanks again - great trip!

Local specialist: Gary Topic

Gary was amazing helping us plan our trip to ...
Australia | Mar 15 - Mar 21, 2024

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carol g.
Cape Coral, FL | Reviewed on Apr 08, 2024
Gary was amazing helping us plan our trip to Western Australia what a beautiful country Read more

Gary was amazing helping us plan our trip to Western Australia what a beautiful country

Hotel Review
Novotel Perth Langley
Perth

Close to everything we wanted to do the staff was friends and very helpful

Authenticity & Character
Staff
Location
Walking to city and buses pick up
Staff
All staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Explore Rottnest Island by bike
Explore Rottnest Island by bike
Australia

Beautiful beaches and laid back fun food great

Quality of Experience
Beaches
Perth Swan River Dinner Cruise
Perth Swan River Dinner Cruise
Perth

Loved see the city from the water

Wave Rock, York, Wildflowers & Aboriginal Cultural Tour
Wave Rock, York, Wildflowers & Aboriginal Cultural Tour
Perth

This rock is really cool go see it

Pinnacle Stargazing Tour
Pinnacle Stargazing Tour
Perth

Amazing to see

Perth Arcades and Laneways Walking Tour
Perth Arcades and Laneways Walking Tour
Perth

Lots of good information and history

Local specialist: Gary Topic

Five fabulous days in Palm Cove
Australia | Mar 23 - Mar 28, 2024

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Cheryl P.
Cedar Park, TX | Reviewed on Mar 29, 2024
Our entire 5 day stay in Palm Cove and all the activities we did was superb. Kerrie and Gary did a fabulous job with the planning of our trip. Gary picked up where Kerrie left off and was awesome. He listened to all our needs and wants and made them happen. Our only glitch was we were signed up for an aboriginal art experience which ( we really didn’t want to do) and it got cancelled and replaced with an aboriginal spear crabbing experience- which was great. So happy this part of the trip... Read more

Our entire 5 day stay in Palm Cove and all the activities we did was superb. Kerrie and Gary did a fabulous job with the planning of our trip. Gary picked up where Kerrie left off and was awesome. He listened to all our needs and wants and made them happen. Our only glitch was we were signed up for an aboriginal art experience which ( we really didn’t want to do) and it got cancelled and replaced with an aboriginal spear crabbing experience- which was great. So happy this part of the trip turned out the way it did. All of the tour companies were great , very organized, on time and staff so kind and helpful. Overall extremely positive experience planning this portion of our trip! Thank you so much to all involved

Hotel Review
Peppers Beach Club & Spa Palm Cove
Palm Cove
Authenticity & Character
Location
Great location. Right across from beach and can walk to several restaurants for dinner
Staff
Manger knew us by name!
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
Australia

This day was amazing. I was apprehensive about snorkeling as I had a previous bad experience. The crew that went out with us were so patient and helpful. Basically if you wanted a crew member would escort you out to reef , take you around to different locations and then return you to boat. It totally put me at ease and made my snorkeling experience so enjoyable

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Gary Topic

Gary was there for me online from start to fi...
Australia | Mar 10 - Mar 16, 2024

Josephine
Josephine J.
Seattle, WA | Reviewed on Mar 20, 2024
Gary was there for me online from start to finish, always checking in and quick to respond to my questions. He was so personable and easy to work with that I’m considering another vacation in 2025! I loved that he worked with me to accommodate family who wanted to join me for part of my visit to Australia; his efforts to get my brother authorized as another driver for the rental; and changing out my hotel in Sydney during the planning process. The itinerary with all the additional... Read more

Gary was there for me online from start to finish, always checking in and quick to respond to my questions. He was so personable and easy to work with that I’m considering another vacation in 2025!

I loved that he worked with me to accommodate family who wanted to join me for part of my visit to Australia; his efforts to get my brother authorized as another driver for the rental; and changing out my hotel in Sydney during the planning process.

The itinerary with all the additional details and photos was super easy to follow - I appreciated having an electronic version as well as a printed version for when I was off grid and couldn’t connect via wifi to the internet.

I sat on the very top of Australia all by myself for over an hour last week and thought, “how fortunate am I to have had such a wonderful vacation that fell into place exactly the way I had dreamed.”

A huge thank you to Gary!
I’ll be back.
Cheers,
Jo

Hotel Review
Four Seasons Sydney
Sydney

It was expensive but so worth the luxury after a week off grid on Lord Howe Island. The views of the Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge and all the beautiful ocean liners coming and going from the 27th floor were spectacular. The bed, pillows, and linens were luxurious - just what I needed after five weeks of busy travel. The room had everything I needed, and then some! The valets were very responsive - never a bag did I have to lift. They even helped me get the rental car back to the hotel after I got lost in the city. Taking about the city, it was awesome to be only a stone’s throw from Circular Quay where I walked to catch buses and trains. I was so close to the Opera House, The Rocks, Museum of Modern Art, and Botanical Gardens, that I could stroll over to any of them within a few minutes. There’s a great little cafe in the lobby that caters for early risers or those who need a quick coffee. That would be me LOL!!! Next time I visit Sydney, that’s going to be my destination hotel. You have to spoil yourself once in a while - next time I’ll stay longer so I can really enjoy sleeping in one day and making the most of the best bed of my entire vacation!

Authenticity & Character
The luxury of being in a sanctuary that was peaceful and beautiful. The views, however, were mesmerizing. I stayed up late with the lights turned down so I could enjoy the magic of the harbor at night.
Location
Circular Quay with gorgeous views of the Harbor!
Staff
Responsive, professional, and happy!
Cleanliness & Comfort
The bed and linens were to die for.
Local specialist: Gary Topic
Gary
Gary Topic
Local specialist in Newcastle, Australia | Replied on Mar 22, 2024

Hi Jo,
Thank you for your lovely review. It was a pleasure to look after you. I also once sat at the top of Australia one time when I was leading a group, thinking, "This is a pretty wonderful office to be working in."

Gary was such a pleasure to deal with from th...
Australia | Mar 9 - Mar 16, 2024

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Ken K.
Lake in the Hills, IL | Reviewed on Mar 17, 2024
Gary was such a pleasure to deal with from the beginning he answered all questions very quickly. Once we started our trip things went flawless every pickup was on time our hotels were nice and in great locations. I would recommend Gary to anyone looking to book an Australia vacation. I would like to thank him for making our time there so special. Thanks again Ken. Kasbohm Read more

Gary was such a pleasure to deal with from the beginning he answered all questions very quickly. Once we started our trip things went flawless every pickup was on time our hotels were nice and in great locations. I would recommend Gary to anyone looking to book an Australia vacation. I would like to thank him for making our time there so special. Thanks again Ken. Kasbohm

Hotel Reviews
PARKROYAL Darling Harbour
Sydney
Authenticity & Character
Location
We could walk to everything
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Pacific Hotel Cairns
Cairns

During my two-night stay at Pacific Hotel Cairns, I was impressed by the stunning views and comfortable accommodations. The hotel staff were friendly and helpful, making my stay enjoyable.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Loved the view from balcony
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel
Mascot, Sydney, NSW

My one-night stay at Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel was convenient and comfortable. The proximity to the airport was a plus, and the hotel amenities were great. The staff were helpful, and the room was clean and cozy

Desert Gardens Hotel
Yulara

My two-night stay at Desert Gardens Hotel in Uluru was unforgettable. The hotel's location was perfect. The hotel staff were knowledgeable and provided great service.

Activity Reviews
Sounds of Silence Dinner
Sounds of Silence Dinner
Australia

Highly recommended activity to do, it has our highest points!

Quality of Experience
Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
Australia

This activity was memorable, snorkeling in this location was one of the higlights of our trip. The guides were awesome!

Quality of Experience
Local specialist: Gary Topic

Thank you Gary - We had an amazing trip in Australia.
Australia | Jan 16 - Jan 30, 2024

Yael
Yael C.
Canada | Reviewed on Feb 02, 2024
We had an amazing trip in Australia. everything was well planed and fitted our requests and budget. We saw lots of new animals, we tasted wonderful wine and food, we dipped in the ocean and in some beautiful waterfalls and we snorkelled the Grate Barrier Reef. Gary was very responsive to our requests and fulfill them very well, while surprising us with some extra tips and special upgrades that we greatly appreciated once we arrived at a venue. It was a stress-free trip and all we had to do... Read more

We had an amazing trip in Australia. everything was well planed and fitted our requests and budget. We saw lots of new animals, we tasted wonderful wine and food, we dipped in the ocean and in some beautiful waterfalls and we snorkelled the Grate Barrier Reef. Gary was very responsive to our requests and fulfill them very well, while surprising us with some extra tips and special upgrades that we greatly appreciated once we arrived at a venue. It was a stress-free trip and all we had to do is to enjoy Australia and the company of each other. Strongly recommending using KimKim and especially Gary - THANK YOU

Hotel Reviews
Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney
Sydney

amazing location and very comfortable room , bed Nice and helpful staff

Authenticity & Character
Location
right on the Main Street in Sydney. Close to everything
Staff
very helpful and friendly - especially the young guys opening the doors
Cleanliness & Comfort
Mercure Cairns
Cairns

this is more like a hostel not very much a hotel. the rooms are very big but empty. no decor, not a dresser to put your cloths, not a table - nothing. The was no remote to the AC unit so the room was freezing. Two towels were provided for 4 nights and no cleaning service. Carins gets lots of rain but they do not provide any umbrellas. The breakfast looks miserable, for the some cost we ate at The Novotel next door and enjoyed a wonderful variety of food and drinks. But the worst were the staff - they were so NOT friendly that we were actually laughing . Its like they were trying to avoid making eye contact with us so they don't need to greet us. The desk is literally next to the elevator and they were pretending to be on the computer or immediately went to the back room without saying simply "Hello". Very weird.

Authenticity & Character
no Character what so ever
Location
The location is OK - it is not as closed to the beach as the other hotels but it is still ok
Staff
the attitude MUST improve. They need to be friendlier and more approachable. They should greet their guests and not let them feel unwelcome as we did
Cleanliness & Comfort
its a very clean hotel but the rooms and showers/bathrooms are not serviced at all and its a bit too much for a stay of 4 nights.
Mercure Melbourne Southbank
Southbank

this is not a 5 stars hotel but is it very well maintained. the rooms are comfortable and large. the coffee at the Lobby Bar was amazing. the location is AWSOME and the staff are nice and friendly. I used the laundry facility - it was very appreciated to have one after 10 days of the trip.

Authenticity & Character
nothing special about this hotel but it is nice and amazingly located. It was decorated for the AO games which added a lot to the vibe.
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Sydney Opera House Tour
Sydney Opera House Tour
Australia

a MSUT DO

Half Day Panoramic Sydney Sights
Half Day Panoramic Sydney Sights
Sydney

our specific tour guid was not the best but the tour itself is important for the first day in Sydney

Sydney Aboriginal Dreaming Tour
Sydney Aboriginal Dreaming Tour
Sydney

I think that the idea of this trip was supposed to be much different than what we got. but seriously I have no idea what was this trip about

Hunter Valley Wine Tasting
Hunter Valley Wine Tasting
Sydney

After visiting the Yarra Vally near Melbourne I know that Yarra is better ... HAHAHAH

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Waterfall Wanderers Full Day Tour
Waterfall Wanderers Full Day Tour
Australia

the young guy that took us on the trip was absolutely adorable. it was a very very nice trip

Quality of Experience
Food
I wish the food was a bit better
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
Day trip to the Great Barrier Reef
Australia

We were taken by a beautiful Catamaran. The staff on the boat were absolutely outstanding !!!!! they took care of each one of the 80+ passengers as if we were royals. I was not feeling well on the way and 2 staff members looked after me easing my sea sick and making me feel better. When one of the guides saw that I was not comfortable with the snorkelling gear in the water he took me personally on trip to the reef attached to a life saving ring making sure to point every special fish and coral we saw on the way. He made my day and I made sure to tell him he did (I tipped him some extra $) .

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Kuranda Deluxe Tour - Skyrail
Kuranda Deluxe Tour - Skyrail
Australia

it is defiantly a MUST do while in Carins. The view from the gondola was outstanding I think that we were a bit tired that day - it was a slow moving and a bit too commercial for our test but, still, a MUST DO

Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour
Great Ocean Road Small-Group Ecotour
Melbourne

nothing to add - the view said it all

Melbourne Foodie Culture
Melbourne Foodie Culture
Melbourne

Probably the highlight of the trip - we learned SOOOOOOO much about Melbourne and Australia that day

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Tour
Phillip Island Penguin Parade Day Tour
Melbourne

I wish we could go Stright to Phillip Island. We LOVED LOVED LOVED the Penguins parade part and being in the "Penguin PLUS" experience made a HUGE difference for us. The day trip itself was a waste of time for us as by now we saw million Koalas and Kangaroos ....

Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Blue Mountains Deluxe Day Tour Experience
Blue Mountains Deluxe Day Tour Experience
Sydney

Our tour Gide was amazing, the group was so friendly and the vibe was very fun. we loved visiting the farm on the way to the mountain.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Yarra Valley Wine Experience
Yarra Valley Wine Experience
Melbourne

Yarra Valley is SOOOO much nicer than Hunter Valley (the wine is better too) - but don't tell the ppl of Sydney I said that ...

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Gary Topic

Wonderful Service Gary was terrific! He was ...
Australia | Dec 29 - Jan 8, 2024

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Kara C.
Merrillville, IN | Reviewed on Jan 15, 2024

Wonderful Service
Gary was terrific! He was accessible, thoughtful and helped us plan and experience the most amazing trip!

Local specialist: Gary Topic

Sydney Vacation
Australia | Nov 4 - Nov 9, 2023

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Agatha C.
Ashburn, VA | Reviewed on Nov 20, 2023
Overall, we had a a great experience using KimKim and interacting with our specialist, Gary. Gary was very responsive and we got answers to our questions right away. The responsiveness was one of the first reasons we liked KimKim and decided to book with them. Gary was able to find an amazing hotel with a great view and location for us. Gary also had wonderful suggestions for things we might like to do or see, and he offered a great guide on good eats. We loved our walking tour of The Rocks... Read more

Overall, we had a a great experience using KimKim and interacting with our specialist, Gary. Gary was very responsive and we got answers to our questions right away. The responsiveness was one of the first reasons we liked KimKim and decided to book with them. Gary was able to find an amazing hotel with a great view and location for us. Gary also had wonderful suggestions for things we might like to do or see, and he offered a great guide on good eats. We loved our walking tour of The Rocks and had a very personable guide. The Blue Mountains tour and our Aboriginal tour of the botanical gardens were both very memorable. The Sydney Opera House was, itself, of course, impressive and iconic, but our tour for the Opera House didn't really compare to The Rocks tour or other tours we took. Our favorite thing that we did in Sydney was the Bridge Climb. We loved our twilight climb! It was raining, cold, and dark when we went, but the climbing suits keep you warm and dry, the tour guides are amazing and energetic, and the views are breathtaking. The only thing that happened on our vacation that I think KimKim could improve on, was two of our tour times were incorrectly written in our itinerary. We ended up missing our tour time for our Rocks tour because the itinerary mistakenly listed its end time as the start time. The Rocks Tour company was easy to work with and fixed this for us right away, but we discovered our other tour for that day was also listed incorrectly in the KimKim itinerary, so we ended up missing the end of the Rocks tour and dashing to the next tour. When we asked Gary about the mix-up, he was very apologetic and checked all of our remaining tour times and schedules to make sure everything was lined up correctly.

Hotel Review
Shangri-La Sydney
The Rocks, Sydney
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Sydney Opera House Tour
Sydney Opera House Tour
Australia

I really loved touring the Opera House and seeing inside the building. The information from the tour was good and interesting, but I think our tour guide was a bit over it all. She seemed cranky and didn't really answer peoples questions kindly.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Aboriginal Harbour Heritage Tour (Private)
Aboriginal Harbour Heritage Tour (Private)
Sydney

I loved this experience. Our tour was a private tour and it really made it more personal. We were able to ask questions freely and learnt about a whole different history of Sydney and Australia's people. It was really interesting to combine this tour and the Rocks tour on our trip because there was overlap discussing some of the same histories and peoples from different perspectives (The Rocks Tour was mostly from an European perspective and this tour, was obviously, more of an Aboriginal perspective). We also got to learn about some of the different uses of the plants in the garden.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Sydney Showboat Dinner & Show Package
Sydney Showboat Dinner & Show Package
Sydney

This show was an interesting addition to our trip. It was basically a cabaret show and dinner. The dinner was good and the show had great music and dancing. However, the boat itself was having some issues that needed some maintenance. There was water leaking onto one of the dining tables from the ceiling (this was an inside dining room, so it was not water or mist from the cove). Luckily, no one was seated at that table, but that makes me suspect it was a known problem. The pace of the show was also very slow. The show started and stopped multiple times, which I suspect was to account for large crowds and serving dinner, but we had a rather small crowd for our show time, and the pace was just off, like the entire tour time was 3 hours, but with the dinner and the show, it really could have wrapped up in 2 hours.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Blue Mountains Deluxe Day Tour Experience
Blue Mountains Deluxe Day Tour Experience
Sydney

We had a great tour of the Blue Mountains. The mountains were beautiful and our guide had a great pace for seeing and enjoying the views as well as getting us to the next location. The botanical gardens at the end were very impressive!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
BridgeClimb Summit - Twilight
BridgeClimb Summit - Twilight
Australia
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
The Rocks Walking Tours
The Rocks Walking Tours
Sydney

This was the best tour we took in Sydney. Very great guide and just really interesting information about the history of Sydney.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Local specialist: Gary Topic

KimKim Australia Tours October 2023
Australia | Oct 22 - Oct 31, 2023

Suzanne
Suzanne F.
DeLand, FL | Reviewed on Nov 04, 2023
KimKim Australia Tours October 2023 First of all, Kerrie and Gary were great to work with to make our dream vacation to Australia a reality. My first contact was with Kerrie. Gary took over when Kerrie was not available. Their quick response to our needs and questions was great. Kerrie designed our vacation to encompass all the aspects of Australia we were looking for in a 9-day whirlwind vacation, most of which ended up being totally different from what we had in mind. Kerrie took what... Read more

KimKim Australia Tours October 2023

First of all, Kerrie and Gary were great to work with to make our dream vacation to Australia a reality. My first contact was with Kerrie. Gary took over when Kerrie was not available. Their quick response to our needs and questions was great. Kerrie designed our vacation to encompass all the aspects of Australia we were looking for in a 9-day whirlwind vacation, most of which ended up being totally different from what we had in mind. Kerrie took what we wanted to experience and used a more user-friendly trip itinerary than we had envisioned. We had two hiccups with our transportation but they both worked out ok. The tours were all great, over all the transportation was what we needed, the hotels were great, everyone we encountered was helpful and friendly.
We used Uber to get from the cruise port to our hotel – Rendezvous Hotel Sydney, The Rocks. This was a quaint hotel about 2 blocks from the cruise port. The only bad thing about our first night there was getting to the room. They had us on the first floor – which sounds great except we had to pull our suitcases up 10 steps to the first floor, go down 2 steps in the hallway, up two more steps and immediately down 2 steps to get to the room. Same thing going back to reception at check out the next morning. This would not have been bad except we had 2 big suitcases and 2 carry-ons to get to the room. The room was more of an apartment – with a steep flight of stairs to the bedroom/bath. Since we were just staying the one night, we left our suitcases downstairs in the ‘living room’. – This was something Kerrie/Gary would not have known when booking the hotel and it was a nice change from the ship stateroom and regular hotel rooms.
In the afternoon of our arrival, we had a half day Panoramic Sydney Sights tour with our tour guide, Tom, with AEA Luxury Tours. This was a good overview of the city and Tom was great with the history of the city and what we saw.
Transport to Sydney airport was uneventful and though delayed, the flight from Sydney to Cairns was also uneventful. Our transport to Port Douglas from Cairns airport was uneventful.
Our stay at Meridian Port Douglas was delightful. Mini apartments surrounded the pool with walkouts to the pool. The staff at the Meridian was great, giving us information on the city, and the locations of different shops, restaurants and post office. Amanda was the main person at the Meridian that we talked with during our stay. She even showed us to our room and explained how the a/c worked and where the washer/dryer was. We did not have cell phone service while in Australia. Amanda arranged transportation for one of our excursions as well as helped us with our first mix-up with our scheduled transportation from Port Douglas to Cairns. Amanda contacted Hughes Chauffeured Cars, our scheduled transfer company, to inquire where our driver was. When, after an hour, our driver still had not come, Amanda contacted a transfer company the Meridian advertises to inquire about transportation for us to Cairns. Everyone at the Meridian was gracious and very helpful. The Meridian was very well situated for walking everywhere in Port Douglas and transportation. We were about 2 blocks from town and the beach. Our first tour in Port Douglas was to the Great Barrier Reef. We were picked up in front of the Meridian and driven to the dock. Everything we wanted to do – semi-submersible, mainly – was included in the tour price. The only things we had to pay for were drinks while on the tour and souvenirs. This was one of the highlights of our trip.
Our second tour ‘Ngana Julaymba Dungay’ – We all Going Daintree’ ended up being a full day tour instead of half day (which turned out to be great). We were picked up and dropped off in front of the Meridian. Once again a highlight of our trip. Our tour guide, Juan, a local Aboriginal of the Kuku Yalanji people, was great. He took us to a coastal region near Mossman where members of our group found a sand crab, mud crab, scallops and mud snails in the Mangroves on the beach. Juan cooked what we had found on the beach to go with the wraps and fresh fruit for lunch. He also explained the vegetation in the Mossman Gorge, showing us a tree that had been bent into a directional arrow. We learned a lot about the Kuku Yalanji people from Juan.
Our private tour of the Tropical Animal Rehabilitation Center in Port Douglas was another highlight of our trip as we were able to hold a Koala (for a picture) and feed kangaroos and wallabies. We even had 2 parrots join us for lunch. The information on wildlife and how they rehabilitate them was invaluable.
The Pacific Hotel Cairns was in a good spot for walking around the port area and getting transportation to the Outback for our tour. The hotel staff was good about getting us a taxi to the bus terminal for our tour as well as holding one of our bags until we returned.
We took a coach from the transit station in Cairns to Undara Experience Resort near Mount Surprise. This was a great experience for us as it was a ‘semi-local’ coach from Cairns to Mount Surprise so we were able to see different towns along the way.
The coach driver, Dave, asked if we had transport from the bus stop to the resort as it was a 15 KM road to the resort. Dave was kind enough to contact the resort to verify if we had transportation and arrange it for us. He was also the coach driver on our return to Cairns the next day and inquired about our stay there.
We went on the Wildlife at Sunset tour seeing lots of kangaroos on the property and bats at one of the lava tubes. The next morning, we went on the Archway Explorer tour which took us further into two different lava tubes in the Undara Volcanic National Park. Our accommodation was half of a train sleeper car, and the dining/bar area was made up of antique train cars.
Back to Sydney from Cairns with time to explore the Harbor. Dinner on the pier and another 2 nights at the Rendezvous Hotel Sydney the Rocks.
Our last tour was a day excursion to the Blue Mountains National Park with our guide Paul, with AEA Luxury Tours. Our first stop was at Calmsley Hill, a working farm home to farm animals, Kangaroos, Emus, and Koalas. We were able to pet the Koalas. We had several stops at lookout points of the Blue Mountains, including a beautiful waterfall at Govetts Leap and the last stop at Eaglehawk Lookout for a view of the 3 Sisters. Our final stop of the tour was at the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens.
I can’t thank Kerrie and Gary enough for making our dream vacation to Australia a reality.

Hotel Review
Undara Experience
Undara
Authenticity & Character
Everything was centered around railway cars
Staff
Very helpful and friendly
Cleanliness & Comfort
I give it 4 stars because there is no air conditioning in the sleeping cars. Did have ceiling fans. That was also part of the charm
Local specialist: Gary Topic