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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 email@example.com
If you are interested in potentially sharing – or would just like to see more information on the planned trip, then contacts us 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!
It has been a few years since the last time the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters and My Travel Expert have done a trip to Norfolk Island, but in November 2019 we are revisiting this destination, and taking a unique look at all it has to offer!
Like many tours we are going to head out and see the old convict settlements and learn about the early days of Norfolk Island, unlike many others we are also going to take a good look at contemporary Norfolk Island, visiting places like Colleen McCulloghs House and the incredible Cyclorama. We also go behind the scene and visit some of the scenes visiting some of the farms and industries that keep Norfolk Island running – and allowing us to try out some of the fantastic local produce from places like Hilli Goat Farm, Two Hills Winery and more.
At AU$2875 per person share twin this is a fantastic price – considering all of your daily activities and all of your meals are covered! Departing November 24th and returning December 1st this tour takes in the best that Norfolk Island has to offer – and in some great company!
You can review the programme by clicking here, or if you want to book aboard or register an interest in finding someone to share with then just contact us at My Travel Expert on (02) 4421 5577 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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
If you have ever thought of visiting the Red Centre and seeing the highlights including Uluru, Kata Tjuta and More than this is your chance! We have a Solo Traveller seeking a companion to share with to help defray the cost of travel. If this sounds of interest please call us on (02) 4421 5577 and speak with Daniel or Maree and we can look at putting the two of you in touch to test compatibility before booking anything in!
For those that came down to our tour launch on the 1st November – I hope you had a fantastic night, we sure did! Just seeing the charm of the Star Clippers Fleet, or the untouched lands of Uzbekistan, or the tiered hills of the Douro, absolutely stunning, and truly inspiring – at least we thought so!
To re-cap the night for those that were there, and to let those that were not know what is on offer we will do a brief run through of our tours, and the hyperlinks to the current itineraries (just click on the tour names) and programmes for them!
We have a small selection of day tours leaving from the Shoalhaven to explore areas beyond the local. I should also note that if the Wine Day in the Southern Highlands prove popular we will run others to both the Southern Highlands and nearby in the Shoalhaven. To that end the tours we have on offer are ..
- Vivid 2019. A revamped and updated dinner cruise for the Vivid lights, longer and later than previous years this is guaranteed to give us a fantastic view of the lights.
- Winter Wine Warmer. A visit to the Southern Highlands to get a taste of the local produce from wine to beer and ciders, capped off with a 3 course gourmet lunch.
- Ghosts and Grapes. A fantastic combination of the incredible abandoned town of Joadja and a brief taste of the Southern Highlands Wine Region
- Nepean Belle. A three course luncheon cruise aboard a paddlesteamer along the Nepean River in the lower ranges of the Blue Mountain National Park
For those that are looking to get away for more than a few days but not looking to travel to far we have a great selection of packages coming up from the beautiful Norfolk Island to a taste of luxury with the incredible Celebrity Solstice.
- Come Sail With Me! An incredible week away in Thailand aboard a luxury cruise aboard the tallship Star Clipper with fantastic meals and visiting all the most incredible locations
- Discover Broome. A week away discovering the highlights of one of Australia’s most scenic and secluded destinations.
- Solstice Escape. Join us on a short escape to Melbourne as we experience the luxury of the Celebrity Solstice. The perfect chance to sample this incredible vessel, shop in Melbourne without the worry of baggage weight for flights, or to just enjoy a weekend away.
- Norfolk Exclusive. With great central accommodation, all the sights people know about, plus those they hadn’t expected this tour covers all you could imagine and more for a trip to Norfolk!
For those areas beyond a small flight we have a stand out selection of tours coming in the next two years. Some are available to book now – like our Danube Cruise and Egypt, and others – like Russia and Central Asia are previews only where you can sign up your expression of interest so we can let you know all the details when they come on sale!
- European Gems. The time honored Danube cruise from Budapest to Amsterdam, is a bucket list item for many – and the perfect trip for those looking for good company. With Stops along the Rhine, Main and Danube this is one of Europe’s Must Sees!
- Cradle Of Civilization. There is nowhere quite like Egypt, and this tour not only takes you to the highlights that everyone wants to see, but the true spectacles that many don’t even know are there. Limited to 16 places this tour is filling fast!
- My Hawaii Escape. For 8 years running the Pride of America’s Cruise around the Hawaiian Islands has been voted the “Best Hawaii Itinerary” and this is your chance to experience this stunning voyage.
- Heart Of The Silk Road. Join us as we journey the less travelled paths of the Silk Road exploring some of the most incredible natural landscapes and ancient cities on the planet as we traverse Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan
- Jewels Of Russia. Tying together two of Russia’s most incredible destinations (Saint Petersburg and Moscow) a Russian River Cruise is the perfect way to get a look at both the urban and rural life and landscapes of this remarkable destination
- Colours of Spain & Portugal. Visiting the highlights of Spain and Porrtugal and combining them with a Douro River Cruise this package is perhaps one of the best ways to get out and explore the incredible Iberian Peninsula
- Fall Colours Of The East With Canada and New England Cruise. Following on from our West Coast Tour – this trip discovers the incredible cities of Eastern Canada, the beauty of Niagra Falls and New England and the Eastern US Cities like Boston, all around the time that the seasons change bringing about a riot of colour and drama.
What an incredible range of tours and destinations! Again you can preview the programmes by clicking on the tour names above, but if there is any further information wanted on any of these tours, or if you want to book on one of them or register your interest please do not hesitate to contact us at My Travel Expert & Shoalhaven Solo Sisters!