Author Archives: Jod
Greetings from My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters!
It has been a while since our last entry, over the course of the last two years we have been battling to survive the effect that COVID-19 has had on our industry, and we are more than thrilled to be one of the businesses that has managed to pull through. During this time though, we did refrain from trying to tempt you into going away with us due to the frailty of the system, with border closures and travel bans stopping and starting seemingly weekly.
That however is behind us, and to celebrate we want to invite you to join us on our next group adventure – the first since January 2020 – to Norfolk Island in November 2022! To celebrate the return of travel and opening of borders we are re-running one of our more popular tours, and as you will see there is nowhere like Norfolk!
Like our departure in 2019, this tour will take in the best of Norfolk Islands Scenic, Cultural and Culinary and Historical Heritage, with behind the scenes visits to see how the island operates, fantastic meals, and incredible company!
7 Nights / 8 days,
Sydney to Sydney,
7th to 14th November 2022
AU$3492 Per Person Share Twin
AU$4205 Per Person In Single
Once one of the most notorious penal colonies, today Norfolk Island is a charming island paradise with cultural and historical sights than will amuse and delight. Combined with the incredible scenery and the fantastic cuisine Norfolk Island is a must see destination for all!
This programme includes return airfares ex Sydney with Qantas including all prepayable taxes, Return airport transfers, 7 nights accommodation at South Pacific Resort Hotel, Cooked Breakfast daily, 1 x 2 Course Dinner at the South Pacific Hotel, 1 x 2 Course Dinner at Hill Restaurant 1 x 2 Course Dinner at the Homestead Restaurant other meals as detailed in the itinerary and all sightseeing and entrance fees as detailed.
Day 1, 7th November 2022: We depart Sydney today for the incredible Norfolk Island, flying out at 0930 with Qantas and arriving at approximately 1310. On arrival we will be met and transferred to our lodgings at the South Pacific Resort Hotel, where there is time to refresh before enjoying our welcome dinner. (D)
Day 2, 8th November 2022: A fantastic day of exploring Norfolk island awaits starting with an Orientation tour of the Island showing off sights like Kingston, Cascade, Longridge and much more. The day is brought to a close with a progressive dinner with each course served at different Norfolk island family homes. (B/L/D)
Day 3, 9th November 2022: We visit the home of prolific author Colleen McCullough this morning before enjoying an afternoon to ourselves, This evening we enjoy a traditional island feast— the island fish fry — before we head off for a night time adventure through the convict settlement at Kingston, a sound and lightshow set to bring the convict era alive. (B/D)
Day 4, 10th November 2022: This morning is all about Cheese as we head of on a Mootineers Cheese Tour of the Christian Brothers Cheese Company where we learn all about the local dairy farming, local honey production and see some truly spectacular rural Norfolk views. The remainder of the day is free until dinner at Hilli Resteraunt. (B/D)
Day 5, 11th November 2022: Today we find out what makes Norfolk Tick as we head behind the scenes to see what goes into making the island operate from Weather Monitoring to Recycling to Fishing and Power generation. This continues in the afternoon with local farming and distilling, before we take a break with Dinner and a Ghost Tour through historic Kingston. (B/D)
Day 6, 12th November 2022: While we have had some convict experiences previously, this afternoon we head out for an indepth tour of the historic Georgian Settlement of Kingston, visiting the main sights and hearing of the convict and colonial history. Our day of Convict Exploration is capped off by the famed “Night As a Convict Dinner” (B/D)
Day 7, 13th November 2022: We head out this afternoon for a visit to Two Chimney’s winery for a late lunch and wine tasting. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner at Homestead restaurant. (B/D)
Day 8, 14th November 2022: You may have thought the touring portion of the itinerary was done, but we have one last stop to make with a visit to the incredible Cyclorama – an inspiring visual journey through Norfolk Island’s history. Afterwards, having already checked out of our hotel we continue on to the airport where you will have time for light refreshments before we board our plane at roughly 1410 and fly for Sydney where this tour concludes upon arrival at around 1600. (B)
*Please note that Itinerary may be subject to change based on local conditions
If all this sounds fantastic, and you want to have as great a time as our last adventurous bunch of convicts then now is the time to book your space on this incredible getaway! Get in touch with My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters today!
Telephone: (02) 4421 5577
Address: 81B North Street, Nowra, NSW 2541
If you are looking to get away in 2020, we have a single lady that is in the process of planning a trip to China to visit the SILK ROAD! With the Cave wrought temples, coloured hills, rarely seen portions of the Great Wall. the crescent lake and more this will take you from Xian (home of the Terracotta Warriors) to China’s far west to places like Kashgar, Urumqi and Turpan which were major stops on the old Silk Route!
If this sounds like somewhere that may interest you, and you are interested in sharing please contact Daniel at My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters on (02) 4421 5577 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in potentially sharing – or would just like to see more information on the planned trip, then contacts us today!
EUROPE IN FOCUS
14th November from 5pm
@ Shoalhaven Ex-Serviceman’s Club (In Nowra)
Starting at 5pm on the 14th November join us and Intrepid Travel, Star Clippers, Viva Holidays, Scenic Tours, Insight Vacations, Peregrine Adventures, Collette, Seven Oceans Cruising, Evergreen Cruises & Tours and Bunnik Tours in an evening event to explore all things Europe!
From Budapest to Belfast, from Scottish Castles to Norwegian Ice Hotels, from Reindeer Pulled Sleds in Finland to sailing the azure waters of Turkey – there is something for everyone to discover in Europe, whether you prefer self exploration, private tours, small groups, river and ocean cruising or luxury tours!
Talk to Experts that cover all forms of travel around Europe from Independent Travel to Small Groups. This is your chance to get a different perspective on what can be done in Europe!
Or call us on (02) 4421 5577 to secure your entry today!
Are you a morning person? If so, or even if you are not .. you may want to consider signing up and coming along to some of our Breakfast Sessions over the next few months. Held every second Wednesday we spend 45 mins in the morning from 8 am until 8:45 am giving a brief on a destination, a product or why we do certain things the way we do. These sessions are aimed to educate, inspire and of course encourage you to travel 🙂
Some like our first few will highlight destinations we have tours going to in the near future – like Egypt & Central Asia. Others like those following will spotlight a variety of suppliers and why we think their product is worth booking. Finally the last group are why we do things the way we do – like encourage you to book during the earlybird season.
These sessions are conveniently for most held in our office – so confirmation of attendance is important as space is limited. Over the next few months we have the following sessions coming up ..
10th July – Egypt & Jordan
24th July – Central Asia (Discovering the Stans)
7th August – the Iberian Peninsula (Spain & Portugal)
21st August – Russia
4th September – Canada & USA in Fall
18th September – Earlybirds & You!
So if you feel like being inspired, picking up some new information or getting a few hints and tips for when travelling – then feel free to RSVP BY CLICKING HERE or by giving us a call on (02) 4421 5577
If you didn’t see our last newsletter you may not have realised that we have launched a new social club – the Armchair Travel Club. The Armchair Travel Club meets at 10:30 on the 2nd Wednesday of every month at Coastal Waters Retirement Village Lounge, with the next meeting on the 10th of April – it is held by open invitation so everyone and anyone is welcome to attend.
This is a social group where you can inspire and be inspired by others, through the sharing of past travel stories, and future travel dreams. Hear what inspires and others, and be inspired in turn – and if that is not enough, each session is attended by one of our partners who will showcase their inspiring product.
If you can’t make it to the events you can always join our Armchair Travel Club Facebook Group (Click Here), where we will give a quick recap of each meeting and where like at the meeting you can share your travel inspirations, dreams and stories!
For more information on the Armchair Travel Club, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
If you have been considering a short escape, our 4 Night cruise to Melbourne on the 11th October 2019 with the Celebrity Solstice is the perfect escape. 2 Luxurious days at sea and one day free to explore the fascinating city of Melbourne – shop til you drop, take in a show, visit relatives the choice is yours!
We have just 3 Inside Cabins Left (AU$687 per person share twin) , and 2 Balcony Cabins (AU$1217 per person share twin) – and these must be sold by the 9th April!
So if you want a real taste of luxury and five star service, at a reduced rate call us today to lock in your cabin before they disappear – because come the 9th they will be gone!
Call (02) 4421 5577 and ask for Daniel to book your cabin today!
Central Asia, specifically the countries that Australians refer to as “the Stans” – Kazahkstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – have been a growing tourism location for decades. Originally the majority of visitors were Russian, simply because during the days of Soviet Russia travelling internally was easier for them than externally, with the fall of the USSR the face of tourism in these regions started changing, and while Australians have been travelling there for some time, accessibility – through flights, visa issued, permissions, have always kept the numbers low. With Uzbekistan now allowing for E-visas, and with the ability to get visas on arrival for other, and some waiving them entirely – the region is going to open up like never before, and it is a region that is well worth visiting for a huge range of reasons.
The region is filled with natural wonders in Kyrgyzstan areas like the Golden Spa, or Broken Heart Gorge, are scenic rivals that are comparable to places like the rocky mountains, and the desert landscapes of Eastern Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have incredible rock formations that are truly remarkable. With some f the worlds oldest inhabited cities, and some of the more incredible Heritage listed sites like Shakisirabz, Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand you can discover some of the origins of modern astronomy and mathematics, you can discover the cultural growth of the local tribes and the influences of religion in the region, as an integral part of the old silk road the entire region is covered with forts, palaces, temples and museums that leave a person stunned at the wonder – and places like Registan Square (which inspired the tale of a 1001 Arabian Nights) have been doing so for centuries.
When you combine he natural wonders, the ancient cultures and the ancient heritage, it would seem that these destinations have enough for anyone, but their years under Russian and Soviet rule have brought another aspect to travel with regions like old nuclear test zones opening up for travel, the Aral Sea disaster zone, the former Space Center in Kazakhstan from where the USSR launched their initial space missions including that of famed cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin bringing in visitors who love not just modern history, but whom have an intense desire to see man;s impact on the globe and how they can help moving forward – not to mention the every day aspect that Soviet rule had on the region which can still be seen in the older housing communities, as well as the soviet era-esque statues, parks and memorials in major cities like Dashanube.
Central Asia for centuries has been a crossroads for travel – like Turkey, like India, and like Egypt – and has been a cradle for civilization, science and culture, and while in the last century, the control of the region has seen a change in where its visitors and influence has come from its opening boarders is bringing this incredibly diverse ancient, culturally significant and naturally stunning area back into the forefront of thought for travellers. What’s more is that as an area that has seen less press, less coverage and visibility – there is less expectations, you can be floored by what you discover rather than being dissapointed that what you are seeing isn’t exactly as you saw it in the social media posts of a thousand or more other travellers. With many of the destination names meaning little to the average Australian Traveller even seeing where they are going in print is an exercise in exploration that has for the most part become lessened with areas that see much more regular visitors, and for a truly unique experience, a taste of what these destinations are, now is the time to get in and see them, while the infrastructure is being developed, whilst the numbers are low, whilst things are still raw and unedited and free of the filters that mass tourism tends to produce.
Once these lands tied together the wonders of China and the Orient to the realms of Western Europe and the Middle East, through the Silk Road. The “Heart Of The Silk Road” package for 2020 currently being previewed by My Travel Expert for 2020 is the prefect example of the diversity that one can expect to see and encounter within the region, and with a limited group size of 16 becomes the perfect intimate way to discover the area.
The Heart of The Silk Road tour will visit a number of incredible places including Almaty, Karakol, Altyn Arashan, Tamga, Jety Ogyz, Lake Issyk-kul, Bishkek, Tashkent, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Bukhara, Chardjou, Merv, Mary, Ashgabat, Kov-Ata, Tashauz, Dashoguz, Urgench & Khiva
This is a small group journey that will run with no more than between 8 to 16 travellers, and will journey through some of the most incredible regions of Central Asia as it journeys through Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It should be noted that the group size is limited in part due to he vehicles that will be used to discover the natural wonders of Kyrgyzstan.
Note From The Tour Leader:
This tour will cover the natural, historical and cultural highlights of these zones including Lake Issyk-Kul, Altyn Ashran, the Gate of Hell, Buhkara, Khiva, Registan Square and more. We will also visit some of the most significant cities of the region including Almaty, Bishkek, Tashkent and Ashgabat. This is not a 5 star luxury tour, whilst all the accommodation has been specifically chosen for flavor and experience – we have noted most as a lower category than official sites do, specifically so I do not raise expectations. We will be staying in a range of 3 star boutique hotels, a guest house, and what are officially listed as 5 star hotels but with their faded soviet glory would more appropriately be called a comfortable 4 star (on occasion). The package price is based Almaty to Tashkent and covers most expenses barring visas, tipping and most of the meals outside of breakfast. With the best food available outside local hotels I elected not to include meals so that we can get the best culinary experience whilst travelling.
The package price does not include the main international airfares, I do recommend using the Asiana Options when they become available but have left it open in case people decide to extend or visit other regions while on the road. This is a unique hand-crafted programme designed to take in the best of the region in relative comfort, and I would love to have you join us when we head there! – Regards Daniel
For more information on the Heart of the Silk Road Journey, please click here for the full itinerary!
Or Call My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters
on (02) 4421 5577 and ask to speak with Daniel
You may have seen that in January 2020, My Travel Expert and the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters have a group programme running to Egypt! (Click Here for Details). This is a fantastic escape that will take in the best of Egypt from Ancient Egyptian Sites to Mameluke Citadels, Ottoman Palaces, British Colonial Heritage and some of the best cultural experiences in the country.
If you are a single female traveller who is interested in doing this journey please get in touch with us ASAP as we have an incredible single lady looking for someone to share with on this voyage of discovery!
Just pick up the phone call (02) 4421 5577 and ask to speak with Daniel
My Travel Expert has a fantastic array group tours upcoming in 2019 and 2020 including day tours, regional holidays, cruises and tours. This is your opportunity to come along and here about the incredible sights and destinations that are on the menu for the upcoming two years, and what we are considering “beyond”.
From classic destinations to less travelled paths there is something for everybody in our 2019 & 2020 selections. On the night we will cover destinations including Norfolk Island, Broome, Melbourne, Egypt, Russia, Spain & Portugal, Thailand, Hawaii, the Danube, Uzbekistan & beyond!
2019 & 2020
Special Guest Speakers include:
Roger Condon – Star Clippers
Karen Arnold – APT
When: 1st November 2018, from 5pm
Where: Nowra Ex-Servicemen’s Club
26 Exhibitors, Representing Dozens Of Suppliers
5 Film Sessions & Product Seminars
PLUS the chance to Win A Trip To Fiji!
To our Shoalhaven Solo Sister Members, on the off chance that you have yet to hear – we are holding a travel expo on the 21st September at the Shoalhaven Ex-Serviceman’s Sports Club at Worrigee from 4pm til 8pm.
We have 26 travel industry experts attending representing dozens of companies, including several that have specials for Solo Travellers, and others that regularly have fantastic offers for Solo Travellers including Coral Expeditions, Wendy Wu Tours, Avalon Waterways, Cosmos and Peregrine Adventures.
We have 5 film sessions highlighting not just our upcoming tours but some of the incredible destinations and product that is on offer at this Expo. At 4:30pm we have Coral Expeditions hosting a session to tell us about their fantastic expedition cruises. At 5:00pm we have APT & Travelmarvel hosting a session on their incredible product. At 5:30pm Kirra Tours are going to tell us about all things New Zealand. At 6:00pm We have the Globus Family of Brands in to tell us about their incredible range of product and at 6:30pm the South America Tourism Office will fill us in on everything South America.
At 7:00pm, we will be doing our door prize draws which will include a range of smaller prizes, a mystery prize for those that have pre-registered and of course our major prize – a trip for 2 to Fiji including Flights, Accommodation, a day Cruise with Captain Cook Cruises and return airport transfers in Nadi.
To pre-register simply click here and apply!
or Call Us on (02) 4421 5577
We Hope To See You There!
Images used courtesy of FIJI AIRWAYS and CORAL EXPEDITIONS