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Simon Bernardi

I have been in the travel Industry for over 30 years and have traveled extensively both within and outside Australia. Our business was established to provide tailormade experiences for travelers wanting a unique experience. We enjoy curating experiences that provide local insights for our travelers. Australia is a unique destination with diverse communities and natural beauty.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"I specialize in Australia in particular Queensland, Tasmania, and New South Wales and have traveled in the outback as well as many coastal regions. Having lived in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane I have extensive knowledge of all of these cities. As a keen Scuba diver I have also dived in many places in Australia as well as the South Pacific."

How did you get involved in travel?

"I initially entered the travel industry with a love of Aviation and joined Qantas Airways where I spent most of my career. My roles included running their holiday arm Qantas Holidays for many years. Since then I have led a number of holiday companies and have a passion for showing international visitors our home Australia."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"A unique travel experience I have had was traveling in Far Nth QLD where we traveled to the Lockhart River and went on charter boats and remote Islands for seven days Heli-fishing and Scuba diving. This trip was fantastic where we were helicoptered from fishing spot to fishing spot. We caught Barramundi in the coastal rivers whilst avoiding the Sharks and Saltwater Crocs that were also lurking below. For lunch, we would Barbecue and enjoy a great lunch before helicoptering back to our Island or charter boat. This is an expensive trip but purely a once in a lifetime experience. This is a truly unique part of Australia very sparsely populated where there may be no other people near you for thousands of kilometers."

Simon is part of the following groups: New Zealand Travel Agents, Australia Travel Agents
Milford Sound
Highlights of New Zealand's South Island: Kaikoura, Mt. Cook, Queenstown & More - 12 Days

The 12-day itinerary includes some of the South Island's greatest experiences. It begins in Nelson, at the top of the South Island, and ends in Queenstown, near the bottom. Between these two towns you'll get the chance to try some of New Zealand's finest wine in its largest wine-producing region, Marlborough; spot whales in Kaikoura; see glaciers and glacial lakes at Mt. Cook; cruise on iconic Milford Sound; try adventure sports in the adrenaline capital of New Zealand, Queenstown; and much more.

Sydney Opera House
Australia Grand Tour: Sydney, Melbourne, Uluru, Great Barrier Reef - 15 Days

Australia is an enormous country, and when trying to work out an itinerary it can be difficult to choose between its lively cities, beautiful beaches, or unique wildlife. With this varied 15-day itinerary, you can experience a bit of everything. Starting in Melbourne, travel along the spectacular Great Ocean Road—one of Australia's best short road trips—before heading to Adelaide and wild Kangaroo Island. You'll also visit Australia's dramatic red center, relax at the Great Barrier Reef, and end in Sydney, Australia's largest city.

Sydney Harbour
Best of New Zealand & Australia: Queenstown, Cairns, Sydney & More - 15 Days

This fun two-week tour allows you to experience some of the highlights of New Zealand's South Island, as well as Australia's east coast. Begin in Christchurch, then travel across the mountains to explore mountains, glaciers, fiords, and the 'Adventure Capital of New Zealand', Queenstown. Traveling across to Australia, snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef, visit one of the oldest rainforests in the world at the Daintree National Park, have fun at a theme park on the Gold Coast, see the highlights of Sydney, and marvel at the unparalleled natural beauty of the Blue Mountains. This tour fits a lot of varied sights and experiences into two action-packed weeks. 

Pukaki Lake in Queenstown
New Zealand Self-Drive Tour: Auckland, Rotorua, Christchurch, Franz Joseph & Queenstown - 8 Days

Explore the highlights of New Zealand's North and South Islands on this self-drive adventure. Start in cosmopolitan Auckland before passing by the expansive cave system of Waitomo on your way to Rotorua. Here, you'll visit Tolkien's "Shire" and dip in thermal pools. Then, you'll fly over to South Island, where you'll drive yourself around Christchurch, explore the Glacier Region, and end in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world.

Watch the sun rise over Uluru
Ultimate Australia: Sydney to Cairns & Uluru - 19 Days

This 19-day Australian adventure combines the mega-metropolis of Sydney with the laidback surf towns on the east coast, the reefs and rainforest of Cairns, and the ancient mystique of Uluru. Start with Australia's biggest city before making your way up to Brisbane, stopping en-route to see whales and dolphins, explore tropical forests, and visit relaxed beachside towns. Round it off with a trip up to Cairns & into Australia's Red Center to marvel at some of the world's greatest natural sites and uncover the secrets of the oldest living culture.

View of Sydney, Australia at Sunset
Best of Australia: Melbourne to Sydney - 11 Days

This trip to Australia starts in Melbourne with city exploration, a scenic drive along Great Ocean Road, and a visit to the penguins of Phillip Island. Head to the center of the country to explore Uluru, also known as Ayers Rock, with sunrise hikes through the national park, stargazing tours, and the Field of Light art exhibit. End your trip in Sydney where you'll cruise the harbor, tour historic neighborhoods, visit nearby beaches, and explore the Blue Mountains.

Recent trip reviews for Simon

Laurie

Amazing adventure in Australia · Australia - Nov 12 - Nov 27, 2019

Traveler: Laurie L. - Local specialist: Simon Bernardi

I had an amazing adventure in Australia. The in-country agents that kimkim set me up with were overall very good. Initially, I had to review everything quite closely and we made changes to a number of things on the itinerary, such as choice of hotels or upgrades to the hotel rooms. If I hadn't been so engaged I don't think the trip would have been quite as fun and satisfying as it was.

Peggy was very responsive to my requests and added a few nice touches, like private limo airport... read more

I had an amazing adventure in Australia. The in-country agents that kimkim set me up with were overall very good. Initially, I had to review everything quite closely and we made changes to a number of things on the itinerary, such as choice of hotels or upgrades to the hotel rooms. If I hadn't been so engaged I don't think the trip would have been quite as fun and satisfying as it was.

Peggy was very responsive to my requests and added a few nice touches, like private limo airport transfers, which I really appreciated.

All my stops were incredibly satisfying. Sydney was terrific. I did the Bridge Climb (pay the premium for the twilight option as you get afternoon light, sunset and night views) which was really fun. Swissotel was a fine choice — very central and make sure you choose the Executive Lounge option (thanks Peggy!).

Really enjoyed Adelaide and the Mayfair Hotel. About as central to city center as it gets. Wine tour of Barossa Valley was excellent. My two days of touring on Kangaroo Island was wonderful. Kangaroos, wallabees, koalas, sea lions, seals, dolphins, and more! My Inn, Wanderer's Rest, was a little downscale from my other hotels, but the owners and food were lovely. Next time I might splurge on Southern Ocean Lodge.

Cairns was really fun. Peggy suggested the Riley Hotel, which was an excellent choice. Great view of the sea and right on the promenade. Day of snorkeling the reef and the Sky Rail to and train from Kuranda were real highlights. Make sure to do the Gold Service on the train. Well worth the few extra bucks.

Ended my trip with three days at Uluru. I broke the bank staying at Longitude 131, which is the safari-inspired hotel with magnificent views (the only hotel with good views) of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Food, room, everything was amazing. If you can afford to splurge when you visit Uluru, Longitude 131 is the only option, trust me.

In terms of negatives, I was concerned that when I called kimkim customer service about an issue, not only did no one pick up but there was no answering maching. Please upgrade!

Overall, I must give it a big thumbs up, as I had a truly wonderful trip. Having all of Peggy's logistical help was incredibly helpful.

Simon Bernardi profile photo
Simon Bernardi, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Laurie,
Happy New Year !
Thank you for your kind feedback and areas where we can improve also. Im glad you had a great trip , it was a pleasure to work with you on the trip. If you come back to Australia we would love to assist you again.
Also unfortunately Southern Ocean Lodge burnt down in the recent fires, hopefully will be all rebuilt for your next trip.
Best
Simon