Visiting Australia | Sydney Melbourne Pt Douglas

Australia | September 2017

Don’t suppose this picture is what you might first think of when thinking about Australia. We were a bit surprised as well.

If you look through this Flickr album though, you’ll see the usual things to, like the Sydney Opera House, a kangaroo and a tropical fish at the Great Barrier Reef. But you’ll also see pix from Melbourne (like the one above) and that’s a city that’s more like Hong Kong than what you might be expecting. And they have one of HK’s most famous dim sum places too. There’s a pic of that too.

Enjoy the photos.

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
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Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

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Australia New Zealand | Sample Luxury Itinerary

Hi Clients and Friends……… Thought you might want to peruse a cool luxury New Zealand and Australia itinerary put together by one of our top partners in the area. The writer is a woman here in San Francisco who is the US representative and who I work closely with. Enjoy reading, and let me know if you have any questions and/or would like your own custom itinerary for yourself or for a group of friends. We also do pre-organized small luxury groups if you prefer traveling that way.

Thanks much,
Josh

My top recommendation is to visit these destinations separately. When clients combine Australia and New Zealand in one trip, they are truly just skimming the surface of what each country has to offer.
Field of Light, Uluru, Bruce Munro 2016. Photo by: Mark Pickthall
My trip began with “The Red Heart of Australia.” Rising nearly 1,150 feet high from the desert plains, Uluru is Australia’s most recognizable natural icon, a 500 million year-old sandstone formation that is sacred to the Aṉangu, the Aboriginal people.

Uluru was a magnificent place to start because of the palpable sense of spirituality in the land, the fabled light and the vastness of the views. The black night skies were so brilliant with stars I felt I could reach out and touch them.

A Reason To Go To Uluru In The Next Nine Months

Another stroke of luck: the Field of Light art installation by Bruce Munro had just opened at Uluru. At night the landscape is lit by more than 50,000 slender stems topped with frosted-glass spheres in various hues. If clients are planning a trip to Australia before Field of Light closes at the end of March 2017, I highly recommend this magical experience.

While there, the best place to stay is Longitude 131°, an eco-sensitive wilderness camp with 15 luxurious tents facing the World Heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park and its fabled sunrises and sunsets. The view is incredible, and I couldn’t help but take a selfie from my deck.

Longitude 131° offers so many ways to explore the landscape and delve into the foundations of Aṉangu culture, but one of my favorites is the Bush Tucker Tour. An Aboriginal host leads a walk through the countryside to identify bush foods, then guests prepare ingredients in the traditional manner. The Aboriginal people have such respect for the land, and provide an inspiring example of how we can restore our relationship to Mother Earth.

Dinner is a four-course menu that changes daily and showcases the riches of Australian food and wine, be it under the canopy of the central Dune House or a billion stars at Table 131°. Later, an astronomer is your guide to the heavens. Staying in this luxury tented camp was a true highlight of my trip.

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From Uluru I flew north to the tropical rainforest in Queensland, where relaxation, wilderness, luxury, adventure, wildlife and Aboriginal culture all converge. Travelers can cruise with the crocs on the mighty Daintree River, tour the world’s oldest rainforest and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, a 1240-mile collection of colourful coral reefs along the Queensland seaboard that makes for some of the most spectacular diving imaginable.

I was particularly taken with Lizard Island Resort, set on a 2,500-acre National Park with 24 sandy beaches and a lagoon. It offers incredible access to diving, snorkeling right from the beach, inner and outer reef fishing and private beach picnics, along with all the luxury resort amenities you expect. Every time I looked up, I couldn’t believe the beauty of this place.

Then it was down to vibrant, sunny Sydney, the nation’s capital in New South Wales. On past trips to Australia I had already enjoyed iconic experiences such as the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb, Sydney Opera House, Taronga Zoo, The Royal Botanic Garden and Bondi Beach. I had toured the wineries clustered in New South Wales and even traveled the Great Ocean Road, so Southern Crossings paired me with a local guide from My Detour who uncovered the hidden secrets of Sydney.

Another Side of Sydney

My Detour is highly creative, offering themed tours that focus on food, music, Aboriginal spirituality and other areas of interest. I chose a custom tour that took me into Redfern, a culturally significant neighborhood that is the heart of Sydney’s indigenous community. Gentrification has brought great coffee, restaurants and shops to the area. I discovered a treasure-filled boutique owned by Brian, the New Zealander pictured above, and purchased a silk scarf and some beautiful china.

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The Growing Market For New Zealand

Tourism to Australia and New Zealand is growing because they are among the safest countries to travel. New Zealand is the stunning landscape where “The Lord of the Rings” was filmed, and attracts ever more adventurers who want a place that is uncrowded, unspoiled and safe.

Most Americans fly into Auckland on North Island and make their way south. Direct flights have recently expanded: American Airlines started its non-stop service from LAX in June, and United Airlines launched its non-stop service from SFO on July 1, 2016. Air New Zealand flies non-stop to Auckland from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Honolulu.

Since I was coming from Australia, I flew into Queenstown on South Island and traveled north. My first stop was Blanket Bay Lodge, a luxury alpine lodge represented by Rebecca Recommends. Set on the northeastern corner of Lake Wakatipu and ringed by mountains, Blanket Bay is known for its stunning views. The combination of sky, mountain and lake is unlike anywhere else in the country, so I consider Blanket Bay a must for any trip to the South Island.

Though it seems remote, I traveled less than an hour from the airport to reach Blanket Bay (a quick helicopter ride is just ten minutes) and was delighted to be welcomed by Tom Butler, Blanket Bay’s new general manager. Even though winter was coming (the seasons are reversed), we dined under the stars while a great fire roared, gazing at the still lake and ring of mountains. The five-course degustation menu changes nightly and features wines from nearby Central Otago.
While staying at Blanket Bay I made time for horseback riding, but there are so many activities nearby, including golfing, fly-fishing, heli-skiing, hiking, jet-boating, kayaking, 4WD tours, art trails, winery tours and flight-seeing over the World Heritage Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. It is truly the perfect home base for an adventurous holiday.
From Queenstown I took a quick flight to Christchurch, an absolutely charming city that is rich in historic architecture, art galleries, parks and gardens, with the River Avon meandering through its heart. I stayed at Otahuna Lodge, an historic Victorian home transformed into a beautiful inn with seven luxurious suites.

Otahuna Lodge is also known for its cuisine, and guests dine communally in an opulent formal Victorian dining room. During the winter months (now through September), executive chef Jimmy McIntyre offers a three-hour class that includes a harvesting visit to Otahuna’s organic gardens, menu planning, hands-on cooking class, and a four-course meal.

Travel + Leisure Praises New Zealand Cuisine

In the July issue, Travel + Leisure published a story on the distinctive national cuisine of New Zealand that featured Otahuna Lodge, Annandale and wineries which keep their very finest releases for the home market. Author Kevin West commented:

“What I most relished about my gastro-tour of the South Island was that I got to eat food and drink wine that, in fact, I couldn’t get at home, which was a startling notion, because I thought you could get anything in Los Angeles. The idea of inaccessibility was heartening, akin to the notion that if you want to see the best Velázquez paintings, you have to go to Madrid.”

From Christchurch I flew to North Island, where Hawke’s Bay is renowned as one of New Zealand’s richest agricultural areas. I stayed at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, made time for another ride along the bay and enjoyed the area’s wineries, shopping and beautiful landscape.

My next stop was Lake Taupo, the trout fishing capital of New Zealand. Its vast and beautiful waters drain into Huka Falls, which is New Zealand’s most-visited natural attraction. There I enjoyed the iconic and legendary Huka Lodge.
END

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, the ultimate in service & exclusive luxury hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

one & only resorts | what’s new

I met virtually this morning with my friend Dianna from One & Only Resorts. She represents all of the properties and here is the latest. As with most of the world’s best hotels we have ‘an in’ so you’re one phone call away from being a VIP guest of Josh Friedman Luxury Travel. We also have contracted perks at most of them like complimentary breakfast, upgrades, and room credits.

ocean club / bahamas – major renovation including ‘new’ guest wing, beach front pool and restaurant

palmilla / cabo – rebuilt after the hurricane including a new villa which is over the top, including a fully glass built swimming pool. it’s one of those ‘got to see to believe.’

royal mirage / dubai – a large resort on the beach and quiet, but walk out front door and you’re in middle of the city.  Split into 3 sub-hotels which operate separately. the best are the 48 rooms in ‘the residence’ section

the palm / dubai – under 100 rooms. on the island and more modern that royal mirage

reethi rah  / maldives – only 4 hours by flight from Dubai DXB so a natural combination with royal mirage or the palm. 900 staff for 128 villas (i think i got that right!) 12 beaches, overwater bungalows or beach front villas.  like space? starting at 1,300 sq feet, many with private pools. on arrival, take a boat from the airport direct to the resort

le saint geran / mauritius – 4 hours from jo’berg, a good combo with your safari. kite surfing, wind surfing in this well established resort

cape town south africa – killer views of the city’s ‘table mountain,’ which having experienced personally is a big deal. this is the kind of city  that you’d want a nice resort to come back to after a day of touring

hayman island / great barrier reef  – only reopened about a year after a complete renovation, arrive via private boat from hamilton island.  you’re a 20 minute flight or 1 hour boat ride from the actual reef  from this very contemporary resort perfect for both honeymooners and families (they keep it all separate!) this is one of the top maybe 3 resorts in australia.

wolgan valley / australia – just outside sydney in the ‘greater blue mountains’ via helicopter or car, this is a ‘conservation-based’ retreat, all-inclusive with critters all around! just 40 suites, a great food and wine destination.

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
an independent affiliate of travel experts | a virtuoso agency
facebook  twitter  flickr  you tube
four seasons preferred partner

 

Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals.  His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays.  He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own — from VIP introduction to the hotel’s management to upgrades, scrumptious breakfasts and hotel spending credits.

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & exclusive hotel amenities with Virtuoso.

 

4083 24th street, #460250,  san francisco, ca 94114 cst# 2080753-40

 

Josh Friedman Luxury Travel | San Francisco

 

 

Modern Family in Australia | Hayman Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MODERN FAMILY CAST AND CREW FILM AT ONE&ONLY HAYMAN ISLAND

Modern Family enjoy Great Barrier Reef after filming Australian family holiday episode

Great Barrier Reef, Australia, 21 April 2014— Members of the cast and crew of Modern Family filmed at One&Only Hayman Island, located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, as part of the Australia family holiday episode. The cast and crew also managed a little time to enjoy the private island between shooting. The exclusive preview of the One&Only Hayman Island resort comes ahead of the official opening on 1 July 2014, following a multi-million dollar transformation.

The award-winning ABC comedy series will feature the TV families enjoying the Whitsunday’s Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. The filming throughout Australia was followed by days of intense media speculation as to the movements and itineraries of the cast and plans for the show.

“We’re grateful to the folks from One&Only for their hospitality on Hayman Island,” said Steve Levitan, co-creator, and executive producer of Modern Family. “After our hectic shoot in Sydney, it was perfect to wrap things up at such an exotic, beautiful and private place. It was an experience we will always remember.”

Modern Family stars the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan, a wonderfully large and blended family. The Modern Family Australia holiday episode is expected to be watched by more than 100 million people globally after its initial domestic and international run and via syndication. The episode will premiere in the United States and Canada on 23 April 2014.

“We were thrilled to welcome the members of the cast and crew of Modern Family to One&Only Hayman Island. It was fun to have Modern Family be the first guests to discover the new resort. The Great Barrier Reef is a natural wonder and it is the perfect programme to highlight that guests of all ages can enjoy the resort and The Reef’s spectacular beauty,” commented Guenter Gebhard, General Manager, One&Only Hayman Island.

Offering an unparalleled commitment to the finest holiday experiences on every possible level, One&Only Hayman Island will cater to the most discerning travellers. Each award-winning One&Only resort offers memorable experiences through a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, genuine hospitality and a vivid energy that is unrivalled.

“One&Only Hayman Island is our first resort in the Asia Pacific region and we were delighted Modern Family chose to film with us on this iconic private island. The programme will surely introduce American and international viewers alike to the Great Barrier Reef and will most certainly make a positive impact on tourism to the destination,” said Alan Leibman, CEO Kerzner International, the parent company of One&Only Resorts. “We cater to guests from all over the world and we look forward to opening our doors in July 2014 to welcome new guests and past guests alike.”

One&Only Hayman Island is surrounded by an amazing natural ecosystem of pristine coral reef formations and diverse marine life, will begin welcoming guests in July 2014. Showcasing the natural elements of the iconic location, One&Only Hayman Island will provide a number of memorable guest experiences with reimagined accommodation, innovative culinary options, KidsOnly programme and the One&Only Spa, all with signature service throughout.

For more information, or to make a reservation, visit oneandonlyresorts.com.

ENDS

International Media Enquiries:
Ashley McBain

+971 4 426 0325

Ashley.McBain


Australian Media Enquiries:

Nicole Craig
Black Communications

+612 8399 3005
nicole@blackcommunications.com.au

About One&Only Resorts

Created exclusively for the luxury resort market, One&Only Resorts are conceived as hallmarks of excellence. Set in some of the most beautiful locales in the world, each award-winning resort offers guests a distinctive style and personality borne of its local culture, a genuine hospitality and a lively energy that is unrivalled. These properties include One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives; One&Only Le Saint Géran in Mauritius; One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai; One&Only Ocean Club in The Bahamas, One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico, One&Only Cape Town, South Africa and One&Only The Palm, Dubai. One&Only recently announced plans to develop and operate three new One&Only resorts, in Sanya, Hainan, China; in Montenegro, which will be the first property for the collection in Europe and in the city of Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. One&Only will also assume management of Hayman, Great Barrier Reef resort after a multi-million dollar renovation and be re-launched as One&Only Hayman Island in July 2014. More information on One&Only is available at oneandonlyresorts.com.

Call Josh for details, excellent pricing, the ultimate in service & exclusive hotel amenities with Virtuoso. To receive our periodic destination and/or promotional emails, click here.

josh friedman luxury travel
in san francisco
415.987.0372 | joshfriedmantravel.com
with travel experts, a virtuoso member agency

twitter flickr facebook you tube tripadvisor
Josh Friedman is an old-fashioned travel agent offering highly personalized 24/7 service. Specialties include high-end and bespoke luxury travel for small groups and individuals. His areas of expertise include ultra-luxury cruises, customized vacations & luxury hotel stays. He also plans spectacular honeymoons, anniversary and birthday celebrations and completes trips that clients have started and just can’t quite figure out how to finish.

His relationships built over twenty years with the world’s top hotels, cruise lines and local agencies will ensure your successful vacation. As a client you get exclusive and complimentary perks that you can’t get on your own