Category Archives: Updates

Discover the Heart Of The Silk Road

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.

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Mountains of Kyrgyzstan

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.

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Registan Square, the inspiration for “1001 Arabian Nights”

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.

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Ashgabat is a Modern Metropolis in an Ancient Land

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.

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Jety-Ogyuz (Broken Heart Gorge)

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

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Gate Of Hell in Turkmenistan

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

2019 & 2020 Tours Are Here!

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!

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Day Tours

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

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Regional Tours

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!

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Extended Tours

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.

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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!

My Travel Expert & Shoalhaven Solo Sisters

P: (02) 4421 5577 E: nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au
A: Shope 28a Nowra Mall, Kinghorne Street Nowra NSW 2451

Looking For Share

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Just a quick update on Solo Travellers seeking travelling companions for upcoming voyages!

  • Trans-Siberian Railway: Single Lady seeking suitable companion to join her in a Trip on the Trans-Siberian in 2018
  • Murray River: Single lady seeking a travel companion to join her on our 2018 Murray River & Kangaroo Island Programme
  • Italian Experience: Single Lady seeking possible travel companion to join her on our 2018 Italian Experience Programme
  • Canada Journey: We have a single lady still looking for a companion on our 2018 Canada Journey – if interested please let us know ASAP!

If you are interested in getting away in 2018 we still have availability on the Murray, Japan, Italy and Mekong Journeys. Some have limited space so if you are interested please let us know asap!

For More Information Contact
My Travel Expert on (02) 4421 5577 or nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

 

 

No Single Supplement with Avalon

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If you are interested in cruising the waterways of Europe and you are a single traveller then now is  the time to go!

Avalon is offering a waiver of the single supplement on 2017 European River Cruises (subject to availability, cruise and T&C’s), which in some cases – such as the Danube Delta to Prague Cruise, could see you saving as much as AU$7301

With a range of Cruise duration’s from 7 nights to 14 nights, and covering sailings on the Maine, the Upper & Lower Danube, the Moselle, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Saone and the Seine there are plenty of options to choose from.

This offer ends on the 4th August 2018, so if a river cruise in 2017 sounds like something you would like do not hesitate to call us today at My Travel Expert & Shoalhaven Solo Sisters on (02) 4421 5577 to discuss options!

Exclusive Inclusions & Discounts in 2018

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Julie Woodall & Partner, enjoying local transport in Vietnam

With Four Large Tours on the way in 2018, one question we have been asked is  ..

Why should we choose these over any other tours?

.. and the answer is simple, because we are offering something that is unique on each tour that is only available should you book through My Travel Expert & the Shoalhaven Solo Sisters. More than that we are offering them at fantastic prices.

Unique Inclusions and Discounted Prices.

In April we head off to Japan to encounter the wonders of this country during Cherry Blossom Season, one of the most picturesque times to visit. Outside of the standard touring though, and the inclusions of the airfare in the price we are taking you to see some fantastic sights that will round out the tour that others will not be. Taking a look at the culinary side of Japan we will take you to Asias Largest Fish Markets where you can see the sheer volume of seafood eaten before we take a cooking lesson to learn how to prepare Japans signature dish – Sushi. We are also going to take you to see part of modern Japan, down top Shinoboku to an entertaining evening for a dinner and show – where the popular cultures of Anime, Robots, and more are on display at an almost bizarre Robot Cabaret Show. More to the point the release value of this package is already discounted by 10% from the pricing that it was originally.

In May we have a fantastic Canada and the Inside Passage Departure with Scenic and while that means luxury the price is inclusive of airfares, discounted for early bookings and includes unique moments that no other tour provider includes starting with transfers to and from the South Coast to Sydney Airport. An overnight in Rydges in Sydney to accommodate for the early departure flight, , as well as enriching experiences on tour from photos with mounties, Canadian History Evenings, the Rocky Mountain Round Up, First Nation Cultural Experiences and more.

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Leonie Clay getting a close up look at an iced over Lake Louise

When we head to Cruise the Mekong in August we have already included your flights and transfers in the pricing, and have selected a vessel that allows better access to the river than any other Ship currently cruising so you spend less time transferring to sights whilst cruising. To really make this exceptional we have charted the entire vessel, which means that we are saving over AU$2,000 per cabin –  which is a fantastic saving for any couple.

Finally in October we are headed out to Italy, where apart from the airfares and major highlights we have built in an incredible extension to the south to see the highlights of Pompeii, Naples, Amalfi, Capri and Sorrento.  On arrival in Rome rather we have thrown in a complimentary Borghase Gardens Tour that you can opt to take rather than waiting for your hotel room to be ready. Before leaving Italy and Rome we have included a fantastic little market and cooking tour that will allow help buy the foods that you will use to cook your own fantastic goodbye luncheon.

As you can see, we have gone to some lengths to ensure that what you are paying for is more than worth your money. So with the fact that we offer Unique Inclusions and Discounted Prices now is the time to book aboard one of our 2018 Departures .. just contact us today for details!

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Leonie Clay, enjoying the sights of Rome

2018 Tour Launch, Spaces Still Available

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Good Morning Ladies and Gents,

Just a quick reminder that we still have a few spaces available on our 2018 Tour Launch evening on the 29th March 2018. This is being held at the Ex-Servicemans Club in Nowra and we would love to have you there as we unveil the fantastic destinations we will have on offer for 2018, as well as a very very brief look at what is planned beyond.

If you would like to join us for what promises to be a great evening please give us a call on (02) 4421 5577 or register your place directly here

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While we are on the subject of reminders, there are still spaces available for our Vivid Departures (on the 31st May or 7th June – $139 per person), Joadja Ghost Town Tour (2nd  September for AU$110 per person) and our Floriade Getaway (30th September – 1st October AU$390 per person share twin).

If you would like to register a place on any of these quick trips please give us a call on (02) 4421 5577

Discovering Joadja

Join Us On 2 September As We Discover
Joadja Ghost Town & Distilley

Joadja valley and town is a region of significant cultural heritage.  The community at its peak was home to more than 1200 people, mostly Scottish immigrants who lived in tough conditions in an isolated valley. The mine closed and the people that lived here moved away to start somewhere new. The town, the mine and its equipment were left behind, and now stand as a testament to what took place here all that time ago. Nature is slowly but surely taking Joadja back, climbing over the buildings and working its way into the foundations. Come and enjoy the beauty of this stunning valley, hear the stories and feel the history behind it all!

Includes Transfer to and from  the Shoalhaven (from designated pick up points), Morning Tea, 90 Minute Guided Ghost Town Walk, BBQ Lunch & Distillery Tour

Joadja Ghost Town & Distillery Tour
$110 Per Person
2nd September 2017
 

Reserve your space today simply call My Travel Expert on
(02) 4421 5577 or email nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au

Finding Floriade

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1 Night / 2 Days,  30 Sep – 1 Oct

Nowra – Canberra- Nowra
$390 Per Person Share Twin Or Double
$530 Per Person In Single

Australia’s biggest celebration of spring – returns to Canberra for the 30th year in 2017
Developed in 1988 as a grand, one off floral tribute to mark Australia’s Bicentenary and Canberra’s 75th anniversary, Floriade has become Canberra’s most iconic annual tourism event and Australia’s premier spring festival. The floral display of more than a million bulbs and annuals planted across 8,000 square metres of inner city parkland is more than just a flower show.
If one million bulbs and annuals weren’t impressive enough, Floriade presented its popular after-dark experience NightFest across five illuminated nights in 2016 and is excited to do so again in 2017. Visitors explored amazing outdoor lighting design and production, curated and constructed by the expert team at Mandylights. They designed a parkland-full of impressive lighting installations which excited and delighted. Complementing the bazillion LED lights incorporated into inspired lighting designs, NightFest hosted a swathe of roving entertainment delighting those wandering through the wonderland.
Nightfest includes:
  • Illuminated wonderland – Explore the whimsy and the beauty in outdoor lighting design and production, as curated and constructed by the expert team at Mandylights. They’ve designed a parkland – full of impressive lighting installations which will excite and delight the fairy light lover in anyone.
  • Roving Entertainment – Be amused and entertained by talented musicians, quirky roving entertainers and circus acts, who will bring the park to life each night. Giant lady bugs, flame twirlers and many many more…
  • The Marketplace – To indulge your inner foodie (and food critic), we’ve created the Marketplace; a food, wine and beer bazaar hosted in the The Kitchen Company Tasting Plate, during NightFest. Explore the food and beverage crafts of Bentspoke Brewery, Pialligo estate, Mount Majura vineyard and more, in a melting pot of top local and regional talent.

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This 2 day package includes transport to Canberra and Return from the Shoalhaven, time on the Saturday afternoon and Sunday Morning to visit Floriade, a Standard Nightfest Entry Ticket, and One Night Accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Canberra.   Costs for upgraded Nightfest Tickets and Breakfast available on request. Spaces are limited

Costs for upgraded Nightfest Tickets, Breakfast and more available on enquiry.

Call My Travel Expert on (02) 4421 5577  or e-mail nowra@mytravelexpert.com.au to reserve your space today or

 

Seeking Solos ! Japan, Borneo & Cruise !

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We have a number of ladies seeking to find travelling companions for early 2017 and beyond, if you have a wanted to visit these destinations and the thought of a travelling companion to share the costs sounds intriguing then maybe now is the time to consider

Asian Cruise- March 2017

Departing 9th March 2017, cruising from Singapore to Dubai with Norwegian Cruise lines visiting Kula Lumpur, Penang, Phuket, Colombo, Cochin, Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Muscat, Fujairah, Khasab and Abu Dhabi.  Booking an Oceanview or Balcony Cabin now will also allow you to choose an onboard bonus including an unlimited beverage package, speciality dining, pre-paid services charge, Internet Access Packages or the 3rd & 4th Guest to sail free!

Japan Tour- April 2017

Departing on the 16th April this Travelmarvel programme integrates the best of coach touring with some of Japans most iconic rail journeys. Visiting Sapporo, Hakodate, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Hakone, Mount Fuju, Matsumoto, Hida Folk Village, Takayama, Kyoto, Nara, Hiroshima, and Hakata. Seeking a travelling companion to join one of our members on this Unique Travelmarvel Members Journey

Canada Tour- August 2017

Departing 30th August we have a single lady seeking a companion to join her on an incredible voyage across Canada, beginning with an Rocky Mountain Experience and Inside Passage Cruise before heading east to see Toronto and more!  This programme takes in the best of the East and West! Visiting Skagway, Juneau, Glacier Bay, Tracey Arm, Ketchikan, Whistler, Victoria, Vancouver, Sun peaks, Kamloops, Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise, Ottowa, Toronto, Niagra Falls, Kingston, Quebec City and Montreal.

Borneo Trip – 2017

Finally we have a traveller looking to explore Borneo, with open options of dates, sites and inclusions, so if you have ever wanted to visit the Orangutans at Sepilok, take a dive-walk at Labuan, visit the war graves of Sandakan, shop in Kota Kinabalu, visit a mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan or take a boat ride down a river to view unique wildlife like a Probiscis Monkey then this may be your opportunity!

For details or information on any of these trips and the ladies involved please give us a call at My Travel Expert and Shoalhaven Solo Sisters on (02) 4421 5577

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Hassle Free Travel @ My Travel Expo

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Whether it is a trip through the heartland of America, the medieval cities of Europe, the ancient cities of South America or the lands of the Maharajah, a lot of people find the thought of how to connect one location with the next, and what to do in those locations exhausting. How to I get from Paris to Cologne? Will I have to wait in a long queue at the Taj Mahal? How many places can I reasonably see in Washington in a day?

Sometimes, when you are ready to experience a location – be in a new country, or part of your own, what you really want is to sit back and relax, enjoy the sights and sounds and let someone else worry about how you get between places, or what you are doing for breakfast. Which is where group touring is a fantastic way to experience locations around the world!

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There are large group tour operators who offer a number of destinations across the world – their inclusions range for the all inclusive luxury style packages of APT, Scenic and Insight Vacations, to the good quality programmes of AAT Kings, Travelmarvel, Globus, Wendy Wu Tours and Trafalgar that cover what you want to see but may not include as many meals or drinks.

For the more budget conscious or those who enjoy a bit of adventure, but like the security of having someone there to look after your problems there are slew of operators running everything from small to large groups like Cosmos or Peregrine, or smaller groups and more intimate experiences with companies like G-Adventures or Intrepid.

Then you have your dedicated small group tour operators that use good quality accommodation, and tie off the ability to see fantastic sights with an intimate touring experience, or a unique focus on the touring, such as is available through operators like Back-Roads Touring, the Africa Safari Co, or National Geographic Journeys by G-Adventures.

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Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. Small groups, adventurous travel, luxury travel, large groups, short tours and longer voyages. There is a group tour out there for everyone, whether its the desire to hike around the Inca Trail or relax in Luxury as you cruise the Danube, there are group programmes available for every style of traveller – and no better way to let someone else worry about the little things while you enjoy the opportunity to explore, visit and make new connections.

So if exploring the world in good company sounds like something you are interested in then now is the time to come and speak with the wide range of group travel experts that will for one night only be accessible at ..

My Travel Expo.
4pm til 7pm, 22 September 2016,
@ Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemans Club Worrigree.

Call (02) 4421 5577 for more information

Register Here For Quick Entry!